Dear BBC iPlayer,

Why is it that every time – EVERY TIME, without fail – that I download something from your website, it is necessary to do “an essential update to Adobe AIR”. Usually from version to or suchlike.


Do you realise how annoying that is? Does the person who is responsible ever even use the iPlayer? If it really is necessary to update so often, does that not mean the whole thing stinks to begin with? I surely can’t see any difference in speed or reliability – except it takes five minutes to download a program instead of ten seconds. Oh and the program usually crashes or freezes during the update. And then forgets what it was I was downloading. Yeah, that’s improvement. Not.

So please: stop sucking ass bigtime and fix it properly,

Yours truly,


Post-election blogging: Proportional representation

Well I was going to write about the advantages and disadvantages and why I think it’s a great idea.

But, already back in 1987, John Cleese has done all of that for me. None of these arguments is in any way diminished (except the phone numbers and freepost address I suppose is different now :p).

Actually the election results look uncannily similar – and the last minute is just creepy, talking about the liberals holding the balance of power and being able to force a referendum on PR :-O.

Take 10 minutes of your time to see John Cleese not being very funny but making a whole lot of sense nonetheless.

Small (6)

and large, too.

Things I learned or re-remembered:

  • That the Oort Cloud is so large (I read that but had forgotten) (won’t say how large, look it up)
  • That after Tera (1012) come Peta (1015), Exa (1018), # (1021) and # (1024) (won’t say which, look it up)
  • Not much happens in the small end of the Universe
  • Uranus is pronounced ‘YER uh niss’
  • Eyelids have the thinnest skin (won’t say how much, look it up)
  • LOL at water molecule (you gotta look that one up, too!)

And last but not least:

  • We’re probably not in the centre of the Universe :p

TED talks (and Jamie Oliver)

These generally are quite nice (despite my disagreement with – unfortunately – the first one I ever saw, that of Bjorn Lomborg, which slightly prejudiced me against them).

So, in general, go and have a look either on YouTube or on the TED website. But that’s not my real opinion.

By a slight coincidence I found out that:

Jamie Oliver has won the TED prize 2010, and I think that’s just bloody GREAT!

Say and think of him what you will, but his work to get children to eat healthier and to educate them about food is amazing good stuff, and deserves all the support it gets. I watched (on TV) his efforts a few years back to get British schools to serve healthier food to their pupils, and of course I can’t watch him now trying the same in the US, and I thought it was a great effort.

It shows children willing to learn (as is their wont) and eat healthier; it’s mostly the adults doing the complaining, showing inertia in changing their ways. The industrial food lobby doesn’t help, nor does tight budgetting, more concerned with book-keeping than with raising happy, healthy children.

So, have a look at the simple ideas Jamie puts forward in his TED talk – not fancy science, no million-dollar projects, just educating and thinking about what you put in your (and your children’s) mouth.

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food …

Oliver is using his fame and charm to bring attention to the changes that Brits and Americans need to make in their lifestyles and diet. Campaigns such as Jamie’s School Dinner, Ministry of Food and Food Revolution USA combine Oliver’s culinary tools, cookbooks and television, with serious activism and community organizing — to create change on both the individual and governmental level.

(bonus TED Talk below the fold!)

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