The Quantum Angler
He never gets Bohred of fishing.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

John Simpson, hero of the BBC

I have to be honest, I've always had an image of John Simpson as being the privileged, senior man at the beeb. I pictured him being flown out specially whenever something interesting happened, donning a flak jacket, reporting live and then heading home to bask in the accolades. But not anymore.

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that John Simpson is no stranger to danger. He once appeared live on the news moments after his convoy in Iraq was hit by an American air-strike. When a US solder approached him he told the man (live on air), "Shut up. I'm broadcasting! Oh yes, I'm fine - am I bleeding?" According to wikipedia, he was even punched by Harold Wilson. But my respect for the man began to change when I was watching a BBC news report about the elections in Zimbabwe. "The BBC is banned in Zimbabwe, but I'm here anyway" he started. What a ledge!

A different John Simpson

In fact, barely a momentous historical event goes by without John turning up. The Tiannamen Square massacre, The Islamic revolution in Iran, Nelson Mandela's release from prison. He even disguised himself as a woman to get into Afghanistan for the invasion of Kabul. Never were a man's nostrils more finely tuned to the scent of a big scoop.

In conclusion, John Simpson is clearly the epitome of the model journalist; tireless, courageous and impartial. Long may the BBC flourish under his example!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rant of the week: Microsoft

This has always annoyed me:

Can you see it? What's missing from my status bar in Microsoft Word 2003? Yes, that's right, a period and a close-bracket! As far as I know, on any computer I can remember using, the language text never quite fits into its allocated space. It's not as though this only happens with UK English either, if you change it to US the same thing happens.

I just don't understand how something so simple can get past quality control. Word is one of the most commonly used applications, developed by the biggest software company in the world, surely it went through a significant amount of development and testing before it was let loose? I guess this serves as a good example of the kind of bad design which you rarely find on a Mac, but is endemic on Windows systems.