BBC

Yesterday was the Times, today it is the BBC. Another love of my life – if you’ll allow me to go a bit overboard. On TED talks the creator of BBC online, Jonathan Drori, tells us quite a few things we thought we knew…

Why is it hotter in the summer than in winter?

See the video, if you want the answer. And don’t think you know it.

I wake up with the BBC every morning. Not on the radio, but as a news update on my phone. You can choose the areas you want info about, and – even better – not want to know about. that means that I don’t have to read one word about sports! I get some of my technology info from the BBC – the other day we watched (on TV, but you can see it online) an interview with Google’s first employee. He’s still there! And their science news are very good, as is the medical news.

That’s all from me today folks, I need a screen break…

PS: A few sports news I do like, and the fact that Murray beat Nadal in the US Open semifinals, made it to the main news. In 40 minutes time (that’s 10 o’clock PM our time) you can follow the final between Murray and Federer live on BBC Online – not as video, but as blog-like updates every five minutes. Quite cute.

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Ms. Palin revisited and other odds and ends

A friend of mine sent me this very funny episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You won’t be surprised to hear that his subject is Sarah Palin.

Inspired by the renewed debate about abortion, Slate has a really good article about the statistics surrounding this. And the history of the debate. The Republicans are talking about challenging Roe vs. Wade, the historical Supreme Court case about the right to abortion. I’m sad to see though, that the far right has succeeded in planting the term Pro-Life (like they also planted the term Political Correctness), so that even liberal Slate uses it. They are NOT Pro-Life. They are Anti-Abortion. It is NOT the same thing in my opinion.

In yesterday’s Guardian there was a good, although sad article about how the number of women in the highest positions in society is dwindling fast. There are good insights and some stabs at an explanation. The super famous and wildly successful businessman Sir Alan Sugar is quoted:

“he said that as an employer he would like to be able to ask women at interview “Are you planning to get married and have any children?”, adding that the fact that this was legally prohibited gave businesses an easy option: “Just don’t employ them.” “

Is this sad or what?

I wrote recently about intellectual property and copyright. The record industry always claims that it’s doing for the artists. That’s such a joke! And I feel sorry for the artists who believe it. Here’s a story from Boing Boing about how prolonged copyright in Europe benefits – yeah well, who do you think. Clue: it’s not the artists.

On happiness, this time the Danes’. Again. The article is written by a Brit living in Denmark. And so, why are Danes the happiest people on the planet? Because we have such low expectations to life! Take that. Link found on New York Times’ Idea blog.

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Betting on the end of the world

(not ONE word about the presidential election over there in America)

I knew that people bet on practically everything, but a bet on whether the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will destroy the Earth was new to me. But, here it is. And check the prizes for winner and loser. Very subtle, very funny. There’s even a video showing what it’s going to look like for the lucky few who might be out in space that day.

On Slate there’s a really good and informative review of Chrome. The bit about every single operation being independent of each other sounds wonderful – oh how I hate that I can’t do something in one tab (or only at crawling pace) while I’m loading a film or downloading an application in another tab. And how I hate that Firefox slows my computer down. So when Chrome is ready for Mac, I will surely try it, in spite of the quirks it quite obviously also has. Or maybe, as the Slate writer suggests, Mozilla will hurry and correct these obvious flaws in an otherwise great browser.

Today’s final post is unusual. It’s called the Walls of China. Notice the plural. It’s very short, but has a poignant point…

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He might be old, but he looks even older…

Here’s a commercial from the Obama camp, which might do the trick. Isn’t it great that Mr. McCain has actually been filmed while bragging about voting 90% of the time with Mr. Bush (or W. as the American media love to call him)! Ezra Klein had it.

That American politics really are different from politics anywhere else is no news. Here’s an article from Politico about “the Jewish Problem” (not that Jewish problem, the Republicans’ Jewish problem). And why is that interesting? Well, it’s interesting because it – from one corner of this huge arena of stuff that’s not politics – shows why real politics are so relatively unimportant in the US presidential elections.

Ezra Klein is at the Republican Convention (also called the GOP convention, GOP being short for Grand Old Party!!!) and reports from all the speeches. He tells us that the theme of Mr. McCain having spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton isn’t exactly being played down. And that several of the speakers seem to think that having endured torture will make Mr. McCain a better leader. And he quotes this freezing comment from one of his readers:

So torture builds character that leads to leadership.

I can only imagine the sign above Gitmo:

“Welcome future world leaders”

Ezra Klein also points to the front page of US Weekly.

I almost begin to feel sorry for the woman!

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Chrome

Here’s the inside news on the Google browser, Chrome. And here’s Google’s own post announcing it. I don’t (yet) see features that I’ve desperately craved, so I’m not going to install it just yet. I’m overly happy with the latest version of Firefox, which has several new features that I use a lot. Here’s a link to the mentioned “comic book” explaining the thinking behind the new browser and it’s features. It’s quite good and informative, although rather nerdy! Chrome was released earlier today and I’ve had a peek at some early adapters’ response and they seem to think that this is the future! Take a guided tour of it here.

And – speaking of the future, I’ve checked yet another speech at TED.com, recommended by Stephen’s Lighthouse. This one is by the writer, web evangelist and former editor of Wired Kevin Kelly. The Web as we know it has been around for 5000 days. He takes it upon himself to predict what will happen in the next 5000 days. It’s very interesting! There’s a lot of exabyte and terabyte in the beginning of his talk and I’m useless with numbers of that magnitude. They mean nothing to me. But later on he gets to content. And as you probably know – content is king… or at least that’s what a lot of people used to say in the 90’es.

There’s only one machine

The Web is its OS

All screens look into the one

No bits will live outside the web

To share is to gain

Let the One read it

The One is us.

That’s quite powerful, so I’ll leave it at that and say Good Night!

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What did we have for dinner II

A couple of days behind… Day before yesterday we had leftovers. There was a bit of the couscous left and also some of the Jamie Oliver dish from the previous day. Together with other bits’n’bobs it made an OK dinner and left us with good conscience!

Yesterday was Saturday and the weather was gorgeous. David’s sister and brother-in-law are always full of initiative (thank you, L & R!!) and called in the morning to suggest that we went for a boat ride on the Thames. So we quickly threw a picnic together and met up at a boat yard. Here we hired a 10-seater motor boat and took off. We sailed up and down the Thames for four most enjoyable hours, going through two locks on the way. Later we had dinner together in their garden and it was, tada: Leftovers! A bit of this and a bit of that out of various fridges combined with leftovers from the picnic and there was food for 11…

 

More pictures on Flickr.

Today is Sunday and traditionally you have a Sunday Roast here. So I decided to try out the previously mentioned Videojug for recipes for this most traditional meal. And it worked out a dream! My stomach is still happy… I made Rustic Roast Chicken with Crispy Roast Potatoes and Gravy. It doesn’t always have to be posh to be good, although I readily admit to loving all sorts of “fancy” ingredients. Having seen it on video just once makes it stick in a different way than reading a recipe. Try for yourself! And bon appetit.

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How to…

I think I read about this wonderful site in The Times, but can’t be sure, it’s a while ago.  Go spend some time there. Check the film about sleeping comfortably with your partner. And to the new (or old as it is) owners of Iphones there are also helpful films. Send a link to the people you know who claim they can’t cook.

And – speaking of food: What did you have for dinner tonight? Anything interesting? Wholesome? Satisfactory? Not? Well, I did for once. That’s the awful thing about holidays. Either you eat out expensively and it is (or at least should be) enjoyable. Or you eat out inexpensively and it is rarely enjoyable, rarely healthy, rarely anything other than filling! Or you make something quickly at home, because it’s the holidays and you can’t be bothered to cook. Or at least that’s how it is for me. And it’s stupid really, because when else do you have this much time to cook a wonderful meal?

It can’t be sushi every day…

Back to what we had for dinner: Couscous mixed with lightly fried vegetables, sundried tomatoes, apricots, pinenuts and coriander. Fried scallops on top. Quickly made, tasted lovely and there’s more in the fridge. Why is it that I don’t pull myself together and make something simple yet wholesome like that more often? Too frequently I fall back to the good old meat, potatoes & 2 veg. Fine. But BORING and often too expensive. Tomorrow night a friend is coming for dinner, so I’ll cook a proper dinner. Will report back to you…

Here’s a couple of websites I go to, when I’m drained of inspiration but still haven’t given up: Epicurious, I think the biggest on the web. They have a section called Quick & Easy. Good Housekeeping and Sainsbury’s are behind Love your Leftovers. Quite good! Then there’s the Recipe of the Day from the New York Times. But that’s not exactly for your Monday night with the family. Good inspiration though! And I can recommend How to Cook like your Grandmother. Fabulous, when the elderly relatives come for dinner. Very untrendy and ever so American is Every Day with Rachel Ray – 30 minutes recipes. But they do work and they do take 30 minutes to prepare.

Finally a little jab about the credit crunch. Oh, I do feel sorry for the young families who can’t get a mortgage. And even more so for those who got one, but can’t renew it. And yes, we can also feel the rise of the petrol prices and food prices. But dear friends – relax a little. Unemployment rates are not skyrocketing, inflation is not exactly worrying and it’s not like the banks are rolling over in death cramps. So why not just take the opportunity to ask ourselves an extra time before we buy anything, whether it’s really something we need or which will make us truly happier? And I think I’ll start buying groceries weekly at Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s and have them delivered. That way I have to plan meals better and will use less petrol.

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