2007 — 26 June: hello, sunshine

What a nice change.

So, Sainsburys are rejecting Royal carrots, and Tony Blair's new office will (it seems) be in Jerusalem (after he's finished chatting to Arnie). I must still be dreaming. Oh, and Malcolm Rifkind (surely a one-time minister of defence?) kept saying he wasn't an expert when the BBC asked him about the pending investigation (into possible corruption in the BAE deal with Saudi Arabia) by the US government's Department of Justice. Must be brought on by that sunshine test I mentioned.

Pictures on the radio... department

Daytime radio is so much better than its televisual equivalent. For example, NPR's On Point programme today featured host Tom Ashbrook in a delightful chat with a chap called Bill Geist1 who has spent the last 20 years digging up tales of small town America for CBS. I was delighted to learn that there are no less than three world-record "biggest" balls of twine. But even better was the tale of a couple of ingenious folk in Colorado who are solving the endemic prairie dog problem out there in a manner that would suit Wallace & Grommet down to the ground. They travel around sucking them out of their holes and tunnels into a padded tank (unharmed) and, through a middle-man, sell them overseas as pets. Their operation is called Doggone!

Closer to home, BBC Radio 2 has just informed me that New Zealand has the highest ratio of bookshops per head of population (20% of whom, by the way, [people, not bookshops!] were born elsewhere). NZ scores 1 bookshop per 7,500 people. The UK can only manage 1 bookshop per 19,000 people, and the US apparently manages 1 bookshop per 50,000. I must say, this ties neatly into the Stanford commencement address by Dana Gioia2 that I read with my head nodding in agreement, here. It also fits with the feeling I've had on my occasional visits, though I must add that Manhattan was a (Barnes &) Noble exception back in 1996.

A promise is a promise... department

A couple of days ago, I said I'd post a picture of the Boris on guard duty across our front door. I've since found, and managed to capture, a more photogenic one:


Here he is in a wider context.

Visualization methods

With appropriate thanks to my chum Brian for the link, and carefully reproducing the American spelling, check this out. Your mileage may vary. I particularly like the radar chart cobweb, as it fits in with Boris above.



1  Yes, I have just ordered the last copy of his book from Amazon UK. Sorry!
2  Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.