Tweets on 2009-10-30

  • Receptionist said if necessary, starve both of them! #
  • Ambridge to be available as podcast the announcer just said. That means available as MP3 with fewer restrictions than iPlayer! #
  • Leaflets ho! #
  • Wow – a collection of historical political posters, in Flickr Commons #
  • @cllrtim amazingly positive coverage of your Barnsley by-election win in this week's Private Eye Rotten Boroughs. #
  • @jamesgraham missing Milton Keynes is making my conspiracy antennae twitch 🙂 #
  • @stephentall saw the trails for that – what he was doing in rehearsal didn't seem to tally with the "all but dead" media coverage? #
  • @adamrio are you the best fountain caulker? #
  • Do Americans say caulk when we say grout? I'd never heard the word before "27 Dresses". #
  • RT @jamesgraham RT @girlonetrack: RT @james_weston: <<< good lord, impressive chest hair. #
  • So that plasticy stuff you put round the edge of the bath is in fact caulk and not grout, and I've been using the wrong word? #
  • @helenduffett @markreckons this is why they don't let me DIY. #

Powered by Twitter Tools.


Excellent transport initiative

I’ve been reading the Weymouth Relief Road blog for the last few months, and I think it’s an excellent transport initiative. It keeps local people informed of the details of a complicated road-building project. It costs little or nothing to keep updated and running, but tonight’s post really proves its worth. A communication with the local press got misinterpreted – so they are easily able to set the record straight, almost immediately.

With many transport infrastructure projects, it’s often hard to understand just why it takes so long for things to happen. They’re currently widening the M1 around Nottingham, and it’s taking years. If they had a blog (actually, do they?) they could explain what it is they’re doing, why it takes so long, just which bits will be busy at any given time, what milestones they’ve reached, and people could be better informed. If there were problems or delays, they could tell us about that.

There are a number of major transport projects in the pipeline in Nottingham. Right through my ward runs Nottingham’s Ring Road, which jams up twice every day with the school run and commuter traffic. There is a plan to add an additional lane in one direction, along with massive work to pretty much every junction. The work will cause trouble while its on, but will hopefully make life better once it is concluded. Unlike the Weymouth road – I think, anyway – the ring road is both a major transport route, and a residential street. The people who live along it will be particularly affected – and they will also be consulted. If the Council gets organised enough to start the blog early enough it can be publicised during the consultation and keep local people informed right the way through the process.

And the ring road major scheme is just one of any number big transport projects planned for Nottingham in the next few years – others include Turning Point East, around the Broadmarsh centre and London Island; there’s also the major renovation project for the Station. And of course that’s not mentioning the multi-hundred-million pound project that is the next phase of the Nottingham Tram.

Tweets on 2009-10-29

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Daily View 2×2: 29 October 2009

Good morning and welcome to October 29th. Today is the anniversary of the first performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the birthday of Boswell, the biographer of Samuel L Jackson, and the anniversary of the death of Sir Walter Raleigh (he was executed – I didn’t know that.)

It’s also the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which first set up a Constitution for Europe.

2 Big Stories

The postal strike is on
Read all about it on the Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian:

Both sides blamed each other after three days of talks mediated by the TUC collapsed without a deal being reached. As late as evening there had still been some hope that this week’s strike action could be called off to relieve the pressure on Royal Mail.

Tony Blair set to stand for EU presidency ‘if job is big enough’

The Times “has learnt” from “friends” of Mr Blair… oh, read it yourself:

Tony Blair will stand for the presidency of the European Union if its leaders agree that the role is a substantial one requiring clout on the world stage, The Times has learnt. The former Prime Minister would give up his lucrative commercial interests for a job that would allow him to “make a difference” for Europe, friends say.

Our poll on the issue is currently running – and is not looking good for Mr Blair’s interests in the role of president of the Council of Ministers.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Alex Wilcock: Ex-Liberal Democrats in the News (including two you may not have spotted)
  • Eagle-eyed Alex reminds us of the Liberal Democrat histories of two people in the public eye, including maligned Conservative PPC Elizabeth Truss:

    […]in around 1993, she was a self-styled radical Liberal Democrat who kept attacking me when I was Chair of the Liberal Democrat Youth and Students because I wasn’t left-wing enough, and whom I once held a meeting with to try and get her to work with anyone else in the organisation because she was a complete and utter egomaniac pain in the backside incapable of working in a team [. …] I hope she’s as well-loved and effective a teambuilder for the Tories as she was in the Liberal Democrats.


  • One Governator, three links
  • Mark Reckons, Jonathan Calder and Paul Walters are all considering a particularly fine bit of writing when California Governor Schwarzenegger refused to sign a bill sent to him by the state assembly. His refusal is couched in what first looks like unoffensive text. A closer inspection reveals a profane acrostic.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post a comment sharing them with us all.

Biscuitgate proponents left with custard on face

Remember “Biscuitgate” – which Stephen reported on last week – the apparent inability of the Prime Minister to decide which sort of biscuit he liked?

Turns out there’s not a crumb of truth in it. Private Eye’s Adam MacQueen reports for First Post:

“Being more decisive would spare the Prime Minister needless embarrassment” declared the leader column of the Times, and even David Cameron weighed in at Prime Minister’s Questions: “Are we really going to spend another six months with a Prime Minister who cannot give a straight answer, who cannot pass his own legislation, and who sits in his bunker not even able to decide what sort of biscuits he wants to eat?”

Except, er, no one asked him. As Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts has now clarified in a posting on the website, the biscuit question proposed by various messageboard users was never put to Gordon Brown in the hour that he devoted to the interview.

“The truth is that Gordon Brown didn’t follow the live chat on the screen directly – he answered the questions grouped and fed to him by Mumsnet HQ and his advisers. He didn’t avoid the biscuit question because it didn’t cross his path…

“We were conscious of not merely focusing on frivolities. Fun as biscuits are, access to the Prime Minister is precious and we would have hated to waste time on Rich Tea Fingers at the expense of miscarriage or school starting age. Plus, of course, we’d rather not be seen as a soft touch.”

It does rather beg the question about how Gordon Brown let it be thought for so long that he didn’t have a view on biscuits when he could have squashed (fly) the stories. At time of writing 154 mums have weighed in on the issue over on Mumsnet – with more than a few participants feeling sorry for how the PM has been portrayed.

Novel post office campaign

It’s not just UK post offices that are at risk of closure and taking steps to campaign to keep themselves open, as this story from Florida reveals:

Residents of a Florida town are sending coconuts to the U.S. postmaster general as postcards asking him to reconsider the closing of their post office.

Locals in Lantana and surrounding areas said they are mailing coconuts, which cost about $4 postage, to Postmaster General John Potter with marker messages asking him to reconsider the planned closing of the small Lantana post office, one of three in Florida’s Palm Beach County marked for closing by the Postal Service, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Thursday.

A Wednesday rally in support of the initiative was attended by Lantana Town Manager Mike Bornstein, Lantana Mayor David Stewart, town council members and County Commissioners Steve Abrams and Shelley Vana. The event was also attended by mayors of towns served by the post office, including South Palm Beach, Hypoluxo, Atlantis, Manalapan and South Palm Beach.

“They’d have to be nuts to close this post office,” Abrams said at the rally, explaining the pun behind the choice of coconuts.

Residents said they are also circulating petitions to save the post office and have thus far collected 5,300 signatures.

I hate iPhones!

Aargh! I hate iPhones! There, I said it. And it seems I’m not alone.

They’re good. They’re funky. The UI is top notch.

But what I really hate is that they do nothing my existing Nokia couldn’t already do. They launched on the scene with a great fanfare, with fewer features than most existing smartphones. And yet, almost straight away, all the websites that had previously neglected smartphones in various guises jumped straight onto the iPhone bandwagon, and produced an iPhone compatible version that still excludes the majority of other smartphones out there. Aaargh!

Then, with the world iPhone friendly, it’s getting harder to use Nokias. It’s a daily struggle to get my phone to do what it should be able to do easily. Getting podcasts on using iTunes is a horrible kludge (I use iTunes Agent, which does the job, but not without mucking about). The supplied software with my N95 8GB didn’t work on Vista. The downloaded software is mostly fine, but sometimes a little buggy. But its native music/podcast app just refuses to run on my computer. One of the main points in getting a large capacity phone was so that I didn’t need to take two gadgets into the shower out leafleting with me if I wanted to listen to podcasts whilst delivering.

I’ve also not managed to get picture messaging or email working on my phone since I upgraded, although browsing the web, mainly and using Opera Mini works a dream. Without email, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way of integrating Flickr and Twitter, which is a shame.

Oh, and the Nokia N95 8GB? Much clickier keys. Not good for using surreptitiously in meetings. And the keyboard seems to be a major contributor in my hand pain, which I’m calling RSI, even though I’ve not discussed with an actual medical professional.

Hmm. Having said I hate iPhones, I seem to have spent much of the time talking about hating Nokias.

Still, there are some things that put me off trying to upgrade to an iPhone. I don’t want to have to move from Orange (although there seem to be precious few reasons to stay these days) (and they seem to be getting iPhones soon). Can you use an iPhone with one hand whilst walking? Are you more likely to get mugged for an iPhone? And what would I do with all my still useful Nokia chargers that litter the house?