Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today in the news

South Yorkshire flooding. A view from the trainOn the way back from London today on the train I saw the flooding in South Yorkshire for myself. Field after field was submerged in water for as far as one could see. The train was delayed as it had to travel slowly through the affected areas.

I arrived at Darlington station and there was a scrum of television crews waiting for the train to arrive. When I got out of the train, Tony Blair, our freshly departed Prime Minister, got out of the next carriage. I walked off to the car park next to Cherie Blair.
Tony Blair at Darlington Station on his last day in office


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pete Doherty is still a nice boy

Another fascinating article in the Times. This time it's Pete Doherty's diaries, extracts of which are being published as "The Books of Albion: the collected writings of Peter Doherty".

I've said before that Pete Doherty is a nice boy and this article shows him as a sensitive, poetic and troubled young man, wrestling with his addiction and head-over-heels in love with his woman. But he is well-read, wordy, passionate and interesting; something you can't say about Ronan Keating, for instance.


Zebra Crossings

Belisha BeaconMatthew Parris writes in the Times today bemoaning the decline of the zebra crossing on British roads. He rightly points out that the zebra crossing allows the pedestrian to cross the road without waiting and doesn't needlessly hold up traffic, as happens when the lights of a pelican crossing still turn red despite the pedestrian having long since crossed.

Furthermore, I would suggest that the zebra crossing is a very British thing; relying on goodwill and bonhomie on the part of the motorist and pedestrian alike. No intervention of machines is required to regulate proceedings, merely a cheerful wave of gratitude from the crosser and a nod of recognition from the driver is all that is needed.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Go to work on an Egg

Tony Hancock
The British Egg Information service, who know a lot about eggs, had planned to repeat the 1950s "go to work on an egg" adverts featuring Tony Hancock. Unfortunately, the Advertising Standards people have said that the adverts cannot be shown now because they don't promote a balanced and varied diet.

In the example being shown on the BBC News site, one of the protagonists is tucking into his 4th egg of the day, with Hancock understandably upset that his egg stock is being diminished.

You can read more about this nonsense at the British Egg Information Service website.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Alan Smith linked to Middlesbrough

The worst sports story of the day is that Alan Smith is being linked with a move to Middlesbrough. The under-performing Manchester United striker, with no Premiership goals this season, is whinging about not getting assurances of a first team place at Old Trafford. 

It seems obvious to me that Fergusson has been talking up Smith's abilities in the closing weeks of the season with a view to boosting his selling price, because there is no way on earth that Smith is top-class striker. He would be a hugely disappointing replacement for 19-goal Mark Viduka. If hear that Middlesbrough have signed Smith for £5.5m, then there's going to be trouble.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Safari for Windows

Safari for Windows and MacYesterday Apple announced a beta version of their Safari browser for Windows as well as for Mac. The new version seems to include a faster Javascript engine. According to benchmarks that I took last year, the new version is three times faster than Safari 2 at processing a substantial chunk of Javascript, making it faster than Firefox and Camino on my G4 Powerbook.

Using the same benchmark as I used in July last year, Safari 3 executes the code (a Google Javascript Ajax library call) in 1.5 seconds compared to 4.5 on Safari 2.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Liverpool fans the "worst supporters in Europe"

That's not my opinion, that's what UEFA say.

Steven Gerrard defended the conduct of Liverpool fans in last month's European Cup final after UEFA had described them as "the worst supporters in Europe".

Gerrard said that Liverpool fans had been following their team around Europe for years without any trouble, conveniently forgetting to mention the Heysel stadium disaster of 1985. After a wall had been pushed over, killing 39 Juventus fans, English teams were banned from European competition for five years, throwing English football back into the dark ages. Players moved abroad to play at the highest level and other perfectly innocent teams were denied access to the world's most prestigious club competitions.

Just thought I'd mention it.


London Olympic 2012 Logo

The logo for the London Olympics in 2012 was unveiled yesterday to a wave of derision and scorn. The logo, pictured below, cost £400,000 from a design agency.
Londonn Olympics 2012 logo
I thought I would turn my not inconsiderable artistic prowess to designing an alternative. My creation features East-end icon Pat Butcher and her royal highness the Queen in a modern collage. It symbolises the diversity of London

London Olympic 2012 Logo featuring Pat Butcher, The Queen, the Union  Jack and a nice cup of tea