Category Archives: Media

National Public Stupidity

“Stupidity is a fact of life, but unmentionable. The new Prudery.”
Mason Cooley

Here’s an almost unbelievable story in Wired about corporate stupidity at National Public Radio in the US. It seems NPR wants webmasters to apply for permission before linking to NPR’s website. Having not applied, I shouldn’t put a hyperlink on this page, but I can still cite the address:

So, just type that into your web browser and you’ll get there anyway. What a stupid policy!

Tempus Fugit

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.”
Hector Berlioz 1803-1869

BBC2 recently started broadcasting the American television drama “24” staring Kiefer Sutherland. The central idea of this timely thriller is that each hour-long episode portrays one hour in the same day. So the twenty four programmes will form a full day-in-the-life of the characters. Viewers are regularly reminded of this conceit by the appearance of a digital clock displaying the current time in this virtual 24-hour day. In another 22 weeks (5

Do you curl?

So, the women’s curling team from Great Britain has won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics. That doesn’t surprise me as much as does the media coverage of the event. BBC Radio was incredibly apologetic about the sport, introducing several reports by stating something to the effect that “Although it may be unglamorous and dull…” and one sports reporter who was uncertain how to describe playing the game even asked the ubiquitous expert “How do you say it? Do you curl?”.

On the one hand, the Canadian in me doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. Curling is a winter sport like any other, except that millions of ordinary mortals play it recreationally every year. Someone has to win the gold medal. Why not the British?

But it seems that despite winning the gold medal, the British (or more correctly the English) know nothing about curling. The women’s team are all Scots, and it turns out that whereas 20,000 people play curling in Scotland, only 300 play it in England and they all play it at England’s one and only rink somewhere near Chester!

The coverage on the web hasn’t been as bad (for an example see Conversion of the curling kind), but I imagine the Scots must be getting ready to break away from this not-so-United Kingdom.

Married love

“There is no greater sorrow than to recall a time of happiness when in misery.”
Dante Alighieri 1265-1321

Britain’s Channel 4 is broadcasting a series of programmes on Married Love at the moment. The first two episodes covered the sexual ignorance of previous generations and the increased sexual awareness of the “Me Generation”.

It’s ironic that as people have learned more about sex, they have chosen to have fewer and fewer children. One of my great great grandmothers had 13 children by the time she was 43; her daughter had six children; her granddaughter had three; and her great granddaughter had only two.

I know there are lots of reasons for this change, but it’s clear that sex is now almost completely divorced [excuse the pun] from its original purpose of reproduction and has become largely a recreation. I suppose for many people it must be right up there with shopping.