Jez Higgins

Freelance software generalist
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Friday 29 March 2013 The Forest Road Reader, No 8

When BBC journalists go on strike, who decides which programmes to run in the now empty news and current affairs slots? What criteria do they apply? In place of PM yesterday, I listened to (a fair chunk of) a Robert Super-Science-Mustache Winston narrated programme about Watson, Crick, and the structure of DNA. It was great, but what decision making process gave us that rather than Round The Horne, one of the many hundreds of hours of Melvin Bragg talking about something he already knows about, one of the many hundreds of hours of Melvin Bragg talking about something he doesn't know about, or simply a PM from a week or two ago to see if we'd notice?

I've just found exactly the method I need in one of the classes further down in the application. A quick bit of poking around confirms it isn't called from anywhere else. What was it doing there?

Many moons ago, sitting in a hotel room in Dusseldorf, quite possibly wearing only a bathrobe, I watched a tv programme about Conan O'Brien and his eponymous show. Talking about what makes a good or a bad chat show guest, he described the worst interview he'd ever done. Because his show is light and the guests are often there to puff some new thing, he meets them beforehand, has a chat, sees how they are. That then informs what he talks to them about on the show. One evening Janeane Garofalo was on and during the pre-show chat she'd told a good story about something or other. During the show, Conan tried to get her to tell the story again, but she didn't pick up on his questions. She wasn't being awkward or difficult, she just couldn't see where he was trying to lead her. In the end, he was reduced to saying you've got a funny story about …. Ned Sherrin would often, and rather shamelessly, do something similar towards the close of Loose Ends, do tell us that anecdote about you and Ralph Richardson at the National …. For especially ambitious editions of In Our Time, Bragg uses that from the off.

Software development pop quiz: I am creating a document and adding it to a project. How many objects are involved and what are they?

What does a journalists' strike do to the "news agenda"? Morning news coverage tends to focus on what will happen today, and afternoon news coverage focusses on what has happened today. When the there is no news coverage, what happens to the stories they would have covered? Do they just get lost? Will future researchers just find curious gaps in the archives? And what happens if something really big kicks off during a journalist strike - a war starts, the Queen keels over, something of that kind of order? Cover it the next day, I guess, but then what gets bumped that would otherwise have been considered sufficiently newsworthy? Was it a good day to bury bad news?

Discrete Functions Gone Wild! a/k/a What does a regular 3.5-gon look like?. This is one of those subjects that makes perfect sense and you realise you've always known but only once it's been explained to you. And, oh, spirographs fit here too - do they generate the corresponding continuous functions?

Got to run, I've left the dog downstairs listening to The Archers.


Tagged news-agenda


Jez Higgins

Freelance software generalist
software created
extended or repaired

Older posts are available in the archive or through tags.

Feed

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My code on GitHub

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About