Started Monday 27th December 2010: 7.00 am GMT. All URL mentioned accessed on this day. There would be a picture but the Picasa service I praised yesterday is currently unavailable.
Bloggin' could become a habit. There is a bit of Old St Paul's (pre- Great Fire of London) atmosphere pervading the experience. Old St.Paul's at that time was where the intelligentsia of the 1600s, namely anybody that could read, went to buy books. An agglomeration (wonderful word) of small printers, would the turn out pamphlets and news sheets for anybody and everybody to hawk on the steps of the old cathedral. These were the bloggers of their day This is almost a diarists type experience.
I have looked up the diarist Samuel Pepys, for the day 26th December 1667 . The temperature for that day in London was given as the monthly average of 3 °C. The temperature for the present day is predicted to between 1°C and 3°C in Greater London. Little change in the experience for the average Londoner over the span of 343 years, which leads to question of climate change or just weather. This links nicely with the today's activities so far. There is talk of floods in the UK (now where did I hear that yesterday or the day before?)
I have been awake since about 545 am catching up with the news bulletins on how England are progressing in the latest cricket test. Geoffrey Boycott is probably being made to listen repeatedly to his expert commentary made 12 minutes into the BBCs coverage yesterday of where he could not see the England team having a hope of defeating the Aussies. Maybe he should stick to just calling himself a commentator (If you had the chance to hear the banter glasshouses and stones come to mind. Anyway he was a successful batsman despite the Boycott and Botham story related by Dickie Bird on the Wit of Cricket.) As I was listening and fiddling with the Kindle the newspaper arrived. I have only been re-connected to the Internet since last Tuesday (14 days of absence) but now have the benefit of super fast Broadband to my wireless router. I have been busily exploring the Kindle library of free-trail subscriptions, free books and occasionally buying a paid copy. Kid in a sweetshop resemblance here.
Now I used to be a Telegraph subscriber because it was conveniently a lot cheaper than the cover price on the news stand. I did my bit for the local economy by paying for delivery. I cancelled the subscription a number of years ago as I did not really have enough time to read everything. The fortnightly blue bin recycling collection was never rapid enough to cope with the newspaper and all the paper I seemed to acquire as part of my job (see yesterday's blog , I can self-reference !). Plus all those lower backs of paperboys that might have been problematical in later life were prevented.
I had caught up with the Sunday Edition of the Telegraph late last night. I have experienced a few problems with Kindle wireless delivery when the Kindle has gone to into what appeared terminal sleep. After much fiddling, charging and finally resurrection I received the wireless delivery I was intrigued by the Web 2.0 phenomena of Thom Coststello and UK Uncut. (I hope I have the right character as I have only just clicked on that part of the line on the Kindle screen that allowed me to keep today's edition). The PhD student acting as his own case study appears to be attracting a lot of media attention for the facilitation of attacks "on the establishment". (Orchestration is too strong a word as people choose to turn up to sit on shop floors or slow queue, although didn't Norman Cook do this for a pop video. An I was there aside, I saw him live, I did, when I was a student when he was part of the Housemartins, who'd have thought he had all that creativity in him ) Unlike other media grabbing anti-establishment trends such a Punk Music the focus of the disruption is that socially moral crusade against tax avoidance. We can't say it's tax evasion as it is legal. He has probably made it onto a watch list as a danger to society, much like Mick Jagger did at his age. But now look at Sir Mick's privileged position sitting next to the great and the good at England football matches.
The raised eyebrows that could be sensed in linking UK Uncut and the fact that the PhD research at Royal Holloway was being funded by a grant was amusing. It is probably the best piece of state research investment ever. With Mr Costello's marketing skills we should be thankful that his talents are fully occupied on what he claims is also part of an academic exercises. What would happen if he followed his role models that have also had dealings with "labour leaning Demos" and cashed in on the commercial world? Would his viral marketing skills, if snapped up by an Arcadia type organisation, result in a greater amount of money flowing to a company making tax efficient decisions (another euphemism)?. Let's give Thom Costello a chair at a prestigious University and save the national wealth for future generations. It should be an anthropology chair as he certainly seems to be the foremost expert in understanding the way to manage human behaviour (no disrespect to Desmond Morris).
Back to today's stories that fall within my sphere of interest and curiosity. I have taken up the trials for the Telegraph and the the Mail. So far only these in this country, although I have garnered everything from the New York Times, Harvard Business Review (useful for the end user of exponents of the "do as I say but not as I do school of Emotionally Intelligent Managers") , Shanghai Daily, etc. I will get round to assessing their relevance in the next few days. I probably need to also find out how to change my Amazon affiliate recommendation so that Amazon.co.uk is the featured site and not the American site. There seem to be fewer references to the relevant products I am seeing in the UK. So stories that are interesting me at the moment on the Kindle editions.
Telegraph - Students face entry tests.... by Graeme Paton. I remember as a Sixth Former in the mid-eighties taking 4 A-levels (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology not an Art in sight) at a newly opened Upper School universities did have their own exams (not just the ones they administered as Local Examinations Syndicates before the rights were sold to people like Edexel). Even then there was still a potential for US state pupils to sit the local University (Cambridge) entrance exam. The traditional time to sit this if I remember correctly was in term 7 ie after the end of traditional state sixth form. Gap years had not been invented at time, they just existed if you did the Oxbridge entrance. Is this change? The same light seems to be focused on GCSEs in "it's time to scrap GSCEs" by a staff reporter. I have blogged already a little on this http://2pointfiveageofman.blogspot.com/2010/12/1603-and-all-that-ever-after.html, I would have blogged even further if I had not lost connectivity owing to BT (see previous blogs) under which I now draw a lie until the next attack of the Big company syndrome
Just had a minor electricity outage that caused the interruption of the flow and the computer to restart. Everybody must have started to cook breakfast and the local factories switched on the oven to roast peanuts for the next seasonal occasion. Which brings me to another story "Power cut risk from ageing networks" ...... by Rowena Mason . We have been warned or is it so long since the last warniing everybody has forgotten and nobody has done anything about it
Telegraph - Wildlife flourishes in good old British weather .... by Richard Saville. Good for farmers too. Cold winters remove aphids so cuts down on pest and viral loss to crops, so here's to a hopefully smaller chemical inputs in the British countryside.
Telegraph - Record day at sales .... by Tim Ross. Apparently Amazon have had an e-book frenzy, I am not surprised I am one of the frenzied.
Telegraph - Health Wealth and Happiness . by a Staff Reporter....... a good toast but does everybody have to come and live in the South for these, surely not in the 21st Century.
Telegraph - Airports face fines for failing to cope in winter .... by Steven Sainford. who gets the fine and how will this make sure that that money could have been spent on infrastructure and prevention ..... actually is. Sounds like a dastardly conspiracy of legal advisers (what does LLB stand for Lying Little B******** or is it something else) or is this another way to stop the bonus culture?
Telegraph - You pay five times for PFI schemes ....... by Rosa Prince. Enough said, career wish list for average 6th former to be CEO of a PFI?
Telegraph - Calls to scrap inheritance tax ........ Fully agree
Just a few of the stories that I think will become quite important this year. Especially the infrastructure issue, a story I recall about CBI wanting fewer taxes but more investment in infrastructure spring to mind.
To end the blog before another Power Outage strikes didn't mention any Mail stories as they seem to have much the same thread as the subject areas mentioned in the above articles.
Looking at Pepys' diary for the 26th December 1667 again he would appear to be spending his day doing not dissimilar activities to myself. He visits a pub and possibly indulges in a little preparation for some tax evasion (it wasn't illegal then) by talking to somebody from the Exchequer, although I seem to recall he was a government official himself as quartermaster to the Navy and may also have been a tax official. I will be visiting a pub called the Royal Exchange for a quick pint a little later but doubt I will have the opportunity to discuss tax or want to. He visited his bookseller, which I have done with Amazon today.
A visit to the theatre is remarked upon where Nell Gwynne was playing. I shall probably watch a little TV the modern day theatre in my home. A conversation with the father of William Penn founder of the colony that became Pennsylvania was had by Pepys. I doubt I shall meet a father of a nation builder unless I bump into one of the Zimbabwe law students we have in the town at the moment. Cosmopolitan little place this part of West Suffolk. Pepys indulges in a little society gossip which I have received second hand from the newspaper. Apparently the forces are good for Old Etonian future Monarchs as they have an independence that even runs to doing the dishes. Which reminds me....
And finally winter fluxes struck Pepys' family and the subsequent funeral he was unable to attend. Swine flu and slippery roads of modern times?
Does anything really change?