Monthly Archives: November 2003

Pop TV

Apparently, Top of the Pops is getting another make-over tonight, this time master-minded by Andy Peters:

Long-running chart show Top of the Pops is relaunching on Friday in a bid to bring it up-to-date and boost its dwindling audience [BBC: Longer Top of the Pops goes live]

Now, like many in the UK I have a great affection for this programme but, I realised as I was reading the story, that I haven’t seen it for a very long time. Yet I watched Cat on CD:UK only last Saturday. I think Andy Peter’s problem with that show is about the timing not the content. Think about all of us thirty-somethings who’d watch it on a Saturday morning.

On this day…

2006: Our Masks
2005: All Change At Capital
2005: Civil Partnership: Update From Scotland
2004: Oh the fun I’m having…
2004: Gary Lucy’s Birthday
2003: Linguistic Sensitivity

Linguistic Sensitivity

Anybody working in any kind of technology arena will, no doubt, be a little interested in this from

One such recent example included the manufacturer’s labelling of equipment where the words “Master/Slave” appeared to identify the primary and secondary sources. Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label.

Of course one should be culturally sensitive but some words have always had multiple meanings as language has evolved. I love this fact about language that something you say today could mean something totally different tomorrow.

On this day…

2006: Our Masks
2005: All Change At Capital
2005: Civil Partnership: Update From Scotland
2004: Oh the fun I’m having…
2004: Gary Lucy’s Birthday
2003: Pop TV

Snow is Oslo?

It may be Thanksgiving Day for some of my colleagues but some of us are still working. I am, however, lucky enough to be in Oslo. I flew in last night (hence all the reading of Attitude in the hotel). It was dark when I arrived but there was an unmistakable hint of snow on the ground at the airport. Considering all the trips I make to this part of the world, I have been a little disappointed that I have never seen a great deal of snow here. I was particularly saddened that there was no snow in Helsinki recently. Alas, by the time I made the centre of Oslo there was nothing to be seen.

On this day…

2005: Civil Partnership: Westminster City Council Survey
2004: I Found Some Of Your Life
2003: Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve worked for American companies for a few years and never really grasped what the thanksgiving holiday was all about (apart from some very obvious things). This year I actually started to look it up:

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated between the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1621. That first feast was a three day affair. Life for the early settlers was difficult. The fall harvest was time for celebration. It was also a time of prayer, thanking God for a good crop. The Pilgrims and the Indians created a huge feast including a wide variety of animals and fowl, as well as fruits and vegetables from the fall harvest. This early celebration was the start of today’s holiday celebration. Like then, we celebrate with a huge feast. [Source:]

I would like to wish anybody passing by Listen to Musak a very happy holiday.

Of course there is always an alternative view.

On this day…

2005: Civil Partnership: Westminster City Council Survey
2004: I Found Some Of Your Life
2003: Snow is Oslo?

At A Newsagent Near You

the gay kiss in coronation streetAttitude Magazine has voted Coronation Street’s Todd Grimshaw as ‘Queer of the Year’ – which is interesting considering he’s a fictional character. At last Coronation Street has acknowledged gay people’s part in a society – although I don’t consider it a breakthrough in making the programme ‘representative’ or ‘real’. I believe that there was a great deal of publicity about this kiss which really concerned a pretty small element of the storylines in the programme (admittedly, I only watched for the few weeks around this kiss). If stories that Todd’s boyfriend is being cast are true, then it might get more interesting. Of course, the real crunch is what the regular viewers think. Perhaps I’ll get an idea when I see my gran over Christmas.

the cover of attitide magazine december 2003Attitude also voted The Hours as ‘Film of the Year’ which I am not sure about, and ‘Event of the Year’ was the scraping of Section 28 – which, of course, is a great step forward. The magazine has also chosen ‘Sexiest Man of the Year’ and, let’s just say, that one of the top choices is a previous Man of the Moment. The other, I imagine, will be very soon! Oh, if you’re thinking of heading to the newsagent, it’s the December issue I’ve been reading.

On this day…

2005: Civil Partnership: Elton To Marry
2004: Thanksgiving 2004
2004: Does Remote Storage Work

Coolest of 2003

iTunes Music Store is Time’s coolest invention of 2003 and I think this is a good thing – although I am finding it difficult to explain why. I’ve noted before that I really wanted record companies to embrace online music delivery and Steve Jobs and Apple have given them a way with mainstream credibility. Interestingly, I noted, that Jobs claimed not to be making too much from the service and it’s really all about selling iPods. I’m certainly wishing that there was a serious rival to the iPod. I’ve had several digital music players and none of them are still in production and, thus, support, upgrades and developments are limited. It’s also kept Apple well and truly in the consumer computing/electronics arena and that can not be a bad thing.

While on the subject of music, I have to note here that – at least on first listen – The Beautiful South’s new album, Gaze, is very good indeed.

On this day…

2005: Boxes Everywhere
2005: Civil Partnership: What’s It All About?
2004: links for 2004-11-25
2004: Celebrity T-Shirt Auction
2002: Stuck On Me

Bye Bye Bush Baby

Well, Mr Bush has headed back to the US. The anti-bush protestors got in my way as I headed homeward one night and that was sufficient to annoy me (that and the litter they left behind). The strangest thing was that I’m not pro-bush so I should have been on the demonstration but I didn’t believe in the marches/marchers. It’s a very strange mix of supporting the cause but not them. Nevertheless, I will be following George Bush’s progress over the next year just to see what happens in the election and if things like this (from here) have any impact on American voters.

Jon Snow (of Channel 4 News) amuses me almost daily in his email. Last Friday’s mail gave me this little insight

Bush strode around an empty village and eventually spots a couple of people to shake hands with. Okay Okay the woman had a vast stars and stripes knitted into her sweater, but it did the job. Suddenly there were five apparently ordinary mortals for him to be photographed with. Look out for it in Time Magazine and most certainly in some bout of electoral literature. After that he spotted another lone figure in the village and paced across to grab his hand too…never mind that it was the Prime Minister’s press spokesman.

Ah well, he’s gone. On the upside, you would never have known the Queen listens to Radio 2 if George hadn’t paid us a visit!

On this day…

2006: A Blog Is Like Concrete Shoes
2005: Manchester United Legend Is Close To Death
2005: Change Your Coffee Shop Now
2004: Regent Street, London

Movable Type Pro, Soon?

Luckily, I don’t get any spam on the pages that I have allowed comments on this site although Six Log has a nice piece on them. However, buried in that piece is the line, “Movable Type Pro (which we’ll be talking about in more detail very soon)”. Now I am excited indeed. A little sad, huh?

On this day…

2006: Children In Need Is Britain’s version of Thanksgiving
2005: Modern Life Is Rubbish
2004: Another Grid Lock
2002: I Want A Career (And I Want It Now)

State Visit

I am always interested in British tradition and heritage and where we get some of our customs from. Reading the European edition of The Independent last week I learned there has been no state visit by a US President to the UK before. This seemed very odd as, I would imagine, almost all US Presidents in living memory have been to Britain but, usefully, The Indy explains all. Apparently, there are only two state visits to the UK each year (it’s an honour, you see) and other visits by a head of state in the same year are treated as guests of the government and not state visits,

Names of the state heads can be proposed by UK ambassadors and the royal household. The visits are discussed by a series of committees and the final recommendations go to the Queen, but the Foreign Secretary makes the ultimate decision. State visits are reserved for those who hold the title of ‘heads of state’. Thus, the French president qualifies for a ‘state visit’ but not the French prime minister.

In June this year, President Putin of the Russian Federation was the last head of state to receive the honour.

On this day…

2005: The Token Gay Friend

Remember, Remember (I’m A Bit Late)

I am several days late with this one. Last Saturday, I went to Battersea Park in South London for the fireworks – and truly spectacular they were too. They all started with a saxophonist suspended from a crane and fireworks going off on the cables that came down from the crane to the floor. The whole 5th of November thing got me thinking about Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot and I realised that I knew very little about it. I was fascinated to know that it can be traced back to Elizabeth I’s persecution of English catholics. The BBC has an interesting summary of the event which has a description of the 1605/6 punishment for high treason:

… the Attorney General lay principal responsibility on the Jesuits, before describing the traditional punishment for traitors: hanging, drawing and quartering. They would be hanged until half-dead, upon which their genitals would be cut off and burned in front of them. Still alive, their bowels and heart would be removed. Finally they would be decapitated and dismembered; their body parts would be publicly displayed, eaten by the birds as they decomposed [BBC History]

Lovely, huh?

On this day…

2005: Switch Me On?
2004: Evening In The City