Monday, October 28, 2013

‘Why don’t you borrow my cell, Angela, it’s secure…’

Funny picture & caption, some sobering statements:

All governments collect information on nearly all governments. ... However, spying among friends is an ethical grey area and a taboo topic. It can cause great embarrassment, if revealed;

and altogether interesting article at http://theconversation.com/merkelphone-scandal-shocks-europe-but-spies-are-unmoved-19567

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Despite the tough talk, this government is far too soft on tax evasion

Good to see Chris Huhne back in action, e.g. with a Guardian article under the heading: Despite the tough talk, this government is far too soft on tax evasion.

Quote: Tory ministers say prison deters crime. Perhaps they should try harder on tax evaders.

Kanalfahrt in Nordengland: Hausboot für Anfänger

Nice Spiegel article (in German) under the title Kanalfahrt in Nordengland: Hausboot für Anfänger. As usual, you can use Google Translate to get the gist (sort of).

Not sure whether we should tell them about our Happy Cranker? Perhaps better not :-)

Britischer Streit um Superzug HS2: Aufstand der Nimbys

I see the HS2 debate has made it into Der Spiegel under the heading "Britischer Streit um Superzug HS2: Aufstand der Nimbys". As usual, you can use Google Translate to get the gist (sort of).

The author of the article incorrectly refers to the project as "die erste Hochgeschwindigkeitsstrecke in Großbritannien" (the first high-speed train line in Britain), obviously not realising that there is already an HS1 (which presumably shares much of its track with the high-speed Eurostar?), hence the name HS2.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Open letter to Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead and Director General of the BBC, on the platform given to Prof Bob Carter on the World at One programme (Fri 27th Sept 2013)

I recently co-signed an open letter to Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead and Director General of the BBC, on the platform given to Prof Bob Carter on the World at One programme (Fri 27th Sept 2013)

See http://www.claverton-energy.com/open-letter-to-tony-hall-and-director-general-of-the-bbc.html

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Newcastle Central Station has "a dynamic and powerful soundscape"

Quote from the BBC Radio 4 website:

A dynamic and powerful soundscape of Newcastle upon Tyne Central Station using location recordings to tell a story of twenty-four hours in the life of this station - from the spring solo of a robin at dawn on the street outside to the pounding roar of the heavy goods trains which thunder along the rails past deserted platforms in the darkness of the night.
The sound recordist Chris Watson, regularly travels to and from this station and became fascinated by the sounds and acoustics of the building, so when he was granted permission to record inside, he leapt at the chance, visiting at various times during both day and night over several months, to capture the sounds within; from the quiet crackle of the overhead wires on a misty dawn morning to the terrifying roar and clamour of footballs fans and police dogs when Newcastle were playing at home to Sunderland, and the chanting voices and shouts of the fans overwhelmed even the sounds of the trains.
Newcastle upon Tyne Central Station was designed by John Dobson and opened by Queen Victoria in 1850. Entering through a grand sandstone portico " that would give dignity and certainly put Newcastle on the map" says building historian, Grace McCombie, one is immediately struck by the acoustics of this grand Victorian building. The great sweeping curve of the platforms and the vaulted roof above add to the visual grandeur and scale of the Station, "you stand at one end.. and your eye sweeps along the curves and it's just beautiful... brilliant, brilliant design" says Grace "It's like a huge concert hall" says Chris "and it stamps that acoustic on any sound that is generated within the station; the ebb and flow of people, the tide of trains, ... everything that happens in there".

 You can listen to the interesting programme via BBC website.

Guardian comments

I'm not a prolific newspaper article commenter, but occasionally I can't resist, such as in response to the article on Google Translate in today's Guardian.

On closer inspection of my commenting history, I note that over the years I have actually posted more comments than I had remembered.


Friday, October 04, 2013

Elephant March

Today, Sue and I went on the Elephant March in London, and we are glad we did, because the ongoing elephant massacre is a scandal that deserves maximum publicity.

Had a long chat with Zac Goldsmith, mainly about the ivory trade, but I couldn't resist slipping in comments about our so-called Environment Secretary.


For further photos from the march see our online album. See also Environmental Investigation Agency video about the event and related Facebook entry.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Taking the mobile office concept to new heights

Literally took the mobile office concept to new heights last Friday in view of an allegedly time-critical translation job (receipt of which was only acknowledged today, sigh).