The new Doctor Who
- 2017-07-17, 09:30:22
I think a legitimate criticism of casting a woman in the role is that whilst fiction is all made up anyway, it ¡'should'! follow it's internal continuity rules within the universe that's been created, and in 50 years there's never been anything built into the continuity to allow a time lord to change sex on regeneration, Missy notwithstanding - if they were going to do it, then they've had nearly 15 years of the new series to do a proper job of laying down some backstory conditions to enable it.
The counter-argument to that is all the way through its history the show has played fast and loose with its established continuity, whether that's been out of convenience to solve a rabbit hole they've gone down or whether it's because the producer and script editor at the time have simply forgotten something. The various alternative histories of the Daleks, the date settings of the John Pertwee U.N.I.T. stories (and indeed the modern reverse engineering of UNIT to be Unified Intelligence Taskforce rather than United Nations Intelligence Taskforce), and Robert Holmes just making up on the fly the 12 regeneration rule are the biggest examples.
And arguably the show has been at its weakest when it's been hidebound to its continuity knots, and stronger after the occasional reboot!
I do though think it's a shame the role has become so politicised that whatever the sex or race of the new person to be cast as the Doctor, there would have been one group or other who would have been outraged at the decision.
If I were a betting man...
- 2017-07-12, 21:52:10
'If I were a betting man...' it has only just occurred to me is a phrase only ever said by people who aren't betting men. Because if they were betting men, they'd know that there's no point in betting on a dead cert, because you'll win about 20p from so doing.
In 2017, why are organisations still sending out HTML emails which look like this on a handportable telephone?
It could be the dead wot won it
- 2017-06-08, 09:02:15
According to the polls - varying widely between an increased majority for the Conservatives down to a hung parliament, with one little-reported poll (done by an ad agency rather than a traditional polling organisation, but with a track record of getting its guesses right) even showing a Labour win, the election is too close to call. The fact of there being such a wide variation in the predictions in the final polls from each organisation is evidence enough it's too close to call, even with some polls predicting a big Conservative win.
So of course people are hanging their hopes on the poll which shows the result they'd rather see, and hanging their hopes on the demographic which is mostly likely to vote for the result they'd rather see. 'The old could win it', Conservative supporters say, 'The young could win it', Labour supporters say.
With it this close to call, there's one demographic nobody has thought of who could win it. The dead.
In the olden days it was a pretty tricky process to get a postal vote - you had to satisfy your local elections office, and even prove so, that it would be physically impossible for you to get to the polling station on Election Day. More recently in an effort to boost turnout the requirements were dropped, and postal voting was made available on demand to anybody who asks for it.
So it's feasibly possible that there are people who applied for postal votes, sent them in, and died before Election Day - whether they were expecting a possibility of dying or whether their death came completely unexpected.
If the election really is going to be as close as some polls are having it, if there are a few key marginals which turn on just a handful of votes - and in local elections there have often been whole councils which turn on the toss of a coin because the votes are a dead heat - it's not impossible some of those votes could have been cast by dead people.
It could be the dead wot won it.
Six years after everybody else realised word clouds are a bit rubbish, one of our candidates has cottoned on to word clouds.
- 2017-05-25, 10:06:16
Here's my handy cut out and keep guide to effective political campaigning:
When campaigning one needs to realise who one is campaigning to - you're not campaigning to committed supporters of the other side, you're campaigning to uncommitted supporters, or undecideds. Whilst it's unlikely that party-supporting Facebook groups will contain many undecideds, there's a reasonable chance that they might contain uncommitteds.
What this means is that when campaigning - whether that's going into the lair of the other side or what one posts into one's own timeline - you need to craft your message in such a way that it'll appeal to the uncommitted / undecideds.
Calling the other side a bunch of nasty loony idiots, or posting pictures of their leader looking ugly next to pictures of your leader looking inspirational, might make you feel good and get you lots of Likes from your side's supports, but as a campaigning method it's probably the worst thing you can do. Insulting the uncommitteds on the other side is only going to turn them into committeds, and make the undecideds more likely to swing away from your side than towards it.
The modern toaster
- 2017-04-27, 20:49:18
The Sky At Night 60th anniversary show mentions that the computers which took the Apollo missions to the Moon had the processing power of a modern toaster.
Which is impressive enough, but it does prompt the question - what does a modern toaster do with enough processing power to send three people to the Moon and back?
The realisation that modern twitter is the modern equivalent of the person on the bus who shouts random abuse at random strangers as they walk past.
I've lived in Birmingham for 29 years and never before noticed this clock on the back of the building next to Rackhams.
#birminghamIn group Birmingham