Monday, 26 January 2009

What if it wasn't a harmless lost parcel . . .?

So what would you do when the guy in front of you on the Underground train says " Whose parcel is that ?".

It's sitting abandoned on the window ledge, about 300 x 300 mm, tied with a ribbon. We are stopped in Bond Street station; a woman picks it up and gives it a good shake.
I ask "Is it yours ?"; she says "No." I peer out the carriage door, there's no staff on the deserted northbound Jubilee line platform. i step off, and punch the big green 'Emergency' button. A voice I cannot hear hisses metallically; I say where I am and what I've seen. I cannot hear what he or she is saying, but that is that. I get on the next train and get to work a few minutes late.

Horniman Museum is musical instruments and Ethnography . . .

I went there looking for Canadian Aboriginal Indian artefacts. I did find a whole bunch in glass cases, but I also found this very large walrus, donated in the 1880's.

It's at
A good example of things they do is the sand painting. It was created by visiting Navajo persons in 1966, and as with all sand paintings, it didn't last long.
If you go to the link, you'll also see more about the THOUSANDS of musical nstruments from all over the world (Poland to Mongolia, not much on Canadian when I visited). You can touch some of them, and play them. It's open nearly every day, and it's FREE . . . London SE22, from London Bridge . . .

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Dr Doom told us it was gonna happen, and guess what ??

Yep, I did wonder how the recession was going to unfold. No, he cannot say, but he has a few predictions. Read Emma Brockes' account of meeting Nouriel Roubini at

Scarlet fever in the Guardian

Simon Hattenstone's hit the nail on the head here. Did you know there's 13 % carrot-tops in Scotland, but only 2 % overall in the rest of the world ? The erudite article is at

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A new way of watching telly . . . STREAMING VIDEO

We're old-fashioned at our house. If there's a programme we want to watch on the goggle-box, we turn on the telly at the prescribed time, watch the show, then switch off.
An exception has always been made for EastEnders, a pretty popular soap, on in the early evenings; that gets video-recorded each time, and then deleted shortly afterwards.

We weren't able to watch a programme about Rick Stein (see photo) who's a popular West Country restauranteur, so we video'd it. The recording was AWFUL (full of 'snow' garbled sound, too too bad). I KNEW that I couldn't download BBC i-player to my MacBook, but I went to

to find the show archived online. You are supposed to download the i-Player software to your PC, then download the programme you want, and watch it on you computer.

Clicking on the picture got me 'streaming video'. Yes, it took me a minute to realise what had happened. but the BBC has set up their webpage so that when you click on a show you want to look at, it checks what type of ADSL (Broadband) connection you are using (speed, contention ratio, technical stuff) and then STARTS TO SEND THE SHOW TO YOUR COMPUTER FRAME-BY-FRAME in real-time. How cool is that !

I had to add the auxillary CRT 550 mm. monitor, to make the film viewable by both of us, over an hour and a half. It worked REALLY WELL.; such a clear picture, clear sound just from the MacBook speakers, 10 out of 10.

I understand the ITV people have done exactly the same thing. Do we need a TV set anymore, then ?? Answers on an airwave, please . . . Does this mean that as we aren't receiving a telly picture on a telly set, we can dispense with paying the £130 annual license fee . . ???

Athiests everywhere . . .

As you can see, Araiane Sherine (the one who kicked off the campaign) is a normal comedy-writer, so who better to raise £ 140, 000 to publicize such an important idea . . .

I've been trying to find something 'fun' to blog for a week or two. This topic (atheist slogans on the sides of London buses) floated in the evening telly news, and lo and behold, there it was on page 15 of today's newspaper. She has written 500 words on WHY she wanted to run the idea past the rest of us.

Find her (faintly humourous but still dead-serious) take on 'lack of God' at
It's a good antidote to the rest of the news