Sunday, 30 March 2008

What do *you* reckon?

During an innocent conversation about the merits of the various radio stations we listen to at work, a colleague commented that she found the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 rather annoying. "Oh yes!" I agreed. "I hate those programmes where members of the public are allowed to phone in with their opinions".

The reaction was: "That is such a [Ginger] thing to say!" Which has me slightly worried. Surely I don't have a reputation for favouring oppression of free speech, or a disinterest in what Joe Public has to say? I was all set to explain here in detail my defence, comprising points such as (i) such programmes favour polarised opinions and just aren't interested in the calm middle ground (ii) the sort of people/opinions that get aired just conform to the most obvious stereotypes of both ends of any debate and (iii) I get annoyed at such opportunities being presented as though the actual opinions really matter when, in the great scheme of things, they don't change a thing and are just a tokenistic way of filling airtime.

But it seems that others can say it far better than I:

Thursday, 27 March 2008

I would get more sleep...

... if this weren't so very true:

From xkcd

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Dull epiphany

I realised recently that I spend more time holding a pipette than I do a pen.

That's all.


Monday, 10 March 2008

Unequal standards

There have been a few stories in the press recently debating the contrasting media coverage of the respective disappearances of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews. In fact, the differing lengths of their wiki entries probably says it all. There does seem to be compelling evidence for the argument that class has played a part in how eager the press and public have been to respond to these cases.

But there's another element of bias that seems to be going on, highlighted by the murder case of Scarlett Keeling. I can't help but think that if Karen Matthews had left a two year old alone in a flat while she went to have dinner, or a fifteen year old daughter alone in a foreign country (during term time) to be looked after by a male tour guide, she would have been loudly denounced in the media for being a neglectful, unloving mother - her actions being typical of all that is wrong with society.

But, strangely, such comments are rather muted in the press. Do pretty, blonde middle class girls somehow not deserve good parenting? Isn't every missing child of equal value?

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Ginger's Guide to London Streets #7: Carthusian Street (EC1)

I only really noticed Carthusian Street at all because of its peculiar second road sign that is, for no apparent reason, in French. The sign underneath, 'Borough of Finsbury Bondary 1906'(?), is quite charming too. Having got a picture of that, I felt I better go on a hunt for other points of interest.

It's a pretty short road, so I wasn't too optimistic. Apart from a
disused pub and a hairdresser with attitude there was nothing that immediately caught my eye. And then, tucked unassumingly away, I came across The Chamber of Shipping, with its lovely 1920s crest (below left), including crossed ships near the top. It seems to have quite a long history, but has only been located in Carthusian street since 1994. Its purpose seems to be to act as a trade association for UK ship owners, which seems fairly evident from the name. I was intrigued, however, by the comment here that the £4.3bn gross income of the British Shipping industry makes it 'one of the largest earners of invisibles'. What with that, the inexplicable foreign road sign, and a name like 'Chamber of Shipping', one can't help but wonder if one has stumbled into JK Rowling territory.

Anyway, short and sweet, but a rather different kind of curiosity to the ones I've found thus far.

(Oh, and if you're thinking that the lighting looks suspiciously summer-y, it is. I am soo behind with writing up these entries!)

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