Yoo Hoo, New Who

January 4, 2009

Never heard of him. AND he’s younger than me. And he’s a fop. And… And…

And he’ll be excellent.

Look at those hand gestures! He’s clearly born and bred to play The Doctor in some secret BBC experiment (what are they doing with Porton Down these days anyway?). I suggest he was raised in a vat and that his secret birth date is (in fact) not coincidentally the same time they cancelled the series.

I haven’t seen this year’s Christmas special episode yet, but I’m delighted (DELIGHTED) to report that it includes someone who thinks he’s a future Doctor, come back to help out an old incarnation. Delighted because it proves to me that the writers do understand time travel and because I’d written about just this myself in a previous blog post. Ha!

Clearly I should be hired at once, flown to Cardiff to join the writing team. I can be contacted quite easily should anyone wish to send me a plane ticket.

Also, Tennant rightly points out the obvious: there’s no closed door when it comes to his Doctor.

All told, it’s a win-win.

EDIT: And having watched some of the footage of the interviews, I find the headline I came up with (independently and, I have to admit, somewhat obviously) was used by some red top newspaper in the UK when Tennant took over the role. Clearly a career in newspapers is writ large in my future as well.

Yes, we can

November 6, 2008

Does Obama’s win balance out Abu Grhaib?
Does it balance out waterboarding?
Does it balance out secret extradition flights?
Does it balance out weapons of mass destruction?
Does it balance out economic turmoil?

Does it balance out The Rumsfeld? (And if you’re looking for a book about Rumsfeld, the war in Iraq, Bush’s presidency or how leadership fails those it leads, look no further than Bob Woodward’s great book, State of Denial. Well worth a read in how not to get things done).

Does it balance out “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”?

I don’t know but it goes a hell of a long way towards it. Well done, America. Welcome back.

Now, get down to business. There’s a lot to do.

It would seem the world is enamoured with Michelle as much as with Barack and I can understand why having heard her speak (well, via the Tubes at any rate). This story seems to cover all the bases.

Here she is doing what she seems to do so well.

I’ve just had to train my spell checker to accept Barack as a real thing. I can imagine there are a lot of re-settings going on around the world today.

Finally a word about the online coverage. I watched this election via the BBC, CNN and Twitter. Rarely have I felt so involved. I dashed home ready to watch the speech (sorry, The Speech) only to find that TVNZ had decided to stop screening its coverage of the election in favour of a game show.

For the love of god, people, have you no idea what you’re doing? This man will be on a dollar bill one day. They will name airports and high schools and aircraft carriers after him and you cut to Wheel of Fortune? On the plus side, a man correctly guessed ‘Chocolate Brownies’ and won a photograph of any New Zealand landscape he cared to name, so that was nice.

I imagine that will be the last time I consider watching such events on TV. It’s the tubes from here on in, all the way.

Favourite online graphic: the BBC’s historical map of voting in previous US elections. Classy.

And Tom Scott, as always, does a splendid job of it.

Journalism on the web

October 31, 2008

This is what it should be like… use of the medium to tell the story in a way that’s comprehensive, inclusive and multi-media.

I was honoured to be asked to help judge last year’s Qantas Media Awards and I got the jewel in the crown (in my opinion) of online news story.

It turned out to be fraught – almost every entrant took a newspaper story and bunged it online and said “There, it’s an online news story”. Only one reporter made use of the medium and did more.

Helen Malmgren at the NBR wrote a wonderful piece exposing some nastiness. She didn’t just write it, however, she made use of sound files, links to relevant documents and legislation to tell the story.

You could feel the quality of the research. Nobody else came close.

This BBC report is along those lines – it draws on more than just text, more than a funky graphic to really tell the story in a way that only TV reenactments could do previously.

Also, I see Dave Lee, blogger extrordinaire who visited New Zealand earlier this year and came to give a talk on social media to the Vodafone senior staff, has scored a real job. He’s now the co-editor of the BBC Internet Blog.

Bastard.

Dialects

July 24, 2008

I love a good dialect but these days it’s all “as if” and “woteva” and frankly everyone’s starting to sound the same.

I’ll stop now. I sound so old!

But anyway, the BBC has a nice story on dialects and a university study that’s been collecting them. They use nets and, occasionally, long prong-like devices fashioned with a fork at one end.

And here’s what they sound like.

This is very good news

December 20, 2007

and given my place of employment I shall say no more, but I wanted to mark the event in the appropriate manner.

See also this, this and this. And well done to Juha who uncovered this rat back in 2003 – now get out there and blog some more.