Robert Hampton

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August 2006

1st August 2006

Important Announcement

From The Guardian, just for a change:-

The government today made public its official assessment of the threat of a terrorist attack, warning that it is “severe” – meaning an attack is highly likely.

Please hide under your beds until further notice, emerging only to Vote Labour or get an ID card.

2nd August 2006

Shrimp on the BARBie
Posted by at 7.14pm | Television | No responses

Here’s something interesting: the top 10 TV programmes for every year since 1981, courtesy of BARB, the UK TV ratings-measuring people.

Of course, the advent of digital TV has changed viewing habits dramatically. For example, on 26th February 1990 Neighbours got 21 million viewers. Barring some catastrophe knocking the Sky satellites out of orbit, it’s hard to imagine that happening again.

3rd August 2006

Babar getting busy

It seems as though Wikipedia is being mentioned in the media a lot recently; unfortunately a lot of the publicity has been negative.

The Register has had the knives out for Wikipedia for quite a while now. More recently, The Onion hit the nail on the head with a great article on the subject.

On his US talk show Monday night, Stephen Colbert waxed lyrical on the concept of Wikiality — the idea that a false statement will become accepted as truth if it’s placed on a Wiki — and the Wikipedia entry on Elephants has been under siege ever since.

It’s quite amusing really. I like Wikipedia — I have even contributed a couple of edits — but surely the site’s founders recognised that an “encyclopedia” that is editable anonymously by anyone is a disaster waiting to happen.

10th August 2006

Not taking this as seriously as I should be
Posted by at 8.29pm | In the News | No responses

Hidden away at the end of this Guardian report is a short paragraph exposing the true victims of today’s reported terror threat.

“Due to the nature of the threat revealed by this investigation, we are prohibiting any liquids, including beverages, hair gels, and lotions from being carried on the airplane.”

No hair gels and lotions?! What will the metrosexuals do? How can the government say that terrorists won’t change our way of life, when people are walking around with non-spiky hair?

15th August 2006

ONE with everything
Posted by at 5.59pm | Television | No responses

Caught a bit of the BBC’s new schedule-filler magazine programme The ONE Show last night. I switched off after 10 minutes, but not before I saw their super “hidden camera” feature.

The basic principle of this feature was that they sent people out on trains to behave in the most annoying way possible and find out why the people around them didn’t complain. I would have thought it was obvious – people are understandably afraid of getting their heads kicked in, but Nadia Sawalahahaha treated this finding as some earth-shattering revelation.

“Do you think they’d react differently in a tough northern town like Newcastle?” was the next question posed. “I don’t know,” came the reporter’s reply, “but it would be interesting to find out.”


Ahem. This could be a whole new genre of factual programming: “Presenters describing features which would be interesting”. It would be much cheaper than the current offerings, so expect to see ITV trying it out in the Tonight with Trevor McDonald slot soon.

Oops redux
Posted by at 10.44pm | Liverpool, Trains | No responses

The RAIB have released their report into the derailment at Liverpool Central last year (you’ll recall my in-depth analysis at the time).

16th August 2006

But how do they go to the toilet?
Posted by at 7.26pm | In the News | No responses

I will admit that when I saw the headline Prince Albert pride for Canadian gay teens, an entirely different meaning came to my mind.

(Link is definitely NOT safe for work!)

17th August 2006

Big Bad Dom
Posted by at 6.59pm | Television | 2 responses

Am I the only person who is seriously disturbed by the giant germ-monster thing in the Domestos ads?

If something like this had been on telly when I was a little kid, I would have wet the bed a lot more often.

18th August 2006

Yakkity Yak, Don’t Talk Back
Posted by at 7.25pm | Liverpool, Radio | No responses

Ten organisations are bidding to run Liverpool’s new FM station, and Ofcom have posted the applications online for examination.

I hope one of the talk-based formats wins; an intelligent speech station would be a boon to Merseyside.

Jack FM, on the other hand, sounds like the worst radio station format ever.

20th August 2006

Life begins at…
Posted by at 12.47pm | It's My Life | No responses

Over the course of my life, I’ve occasionally had to write the number 40 down in its full written form. These occasions have included: on cheques, in a formal letter to my bank manager, and on birthday cards when the recipent has indeed been 40 years old and writing the number on its own seemed too informal.

Each and every time I’ve had to do it, I’ve spelt it fourty.

Well, I looked it up last night, and found out that it it isn’t spelt that way at all: it’s forty.

I feel like such a fool.

21st August 2006

Ticket to ride
Posted by at 8.05pm | Trains | 3 responses

I’m firming up plans to take a week off at the end of September, which involves buying a North West 7-day Rail Rover and going exploring.

On the “to-do” list so far: the Cumbrian Coast, a return visit to the Settle & Carlisle line, some jaunts up and down the West Coast Main Line and a ride on the Stalybridge and Ellesmere Port “parly” services.

No doubt Network Rail, the RMT and leaves on the line will conspire to mess up my plans, but at £39.60 for a week’s worth of (almost) unlimited travel, I can’t complain. Much as I’d like to.

24th August 2006

Keep Watching the Skies
Posted by at 9.19pm | Meta | 1 response

Yesterday I renewed one of my spare domains for another year. One of these days I might get around to actually doing something with it.

30th August 2006

Sound Charades
Posted by at 11.59pm | Radio | 2 responses

Well that’s just not fair. The BBC are recording an edition of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue in Southport on 22nd October. I’ve only just found out about it, and of course it’s already sold out.

Looks like I’ve missed out on my chance to see the delightful Samantha. 🙁