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AE on Telly News (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Boreades wrote:
Was it a remake of "Local Hero"?

With a smattering of ‘Trainspotting’ (and ‘Deliverance’) to capture the local ambience.
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Mick Harper
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Viewfinder Latin America (Al-Jazeera)

In Argentina there is 'The Impenetrable', a region where few sustainable solutions survive. But for Fernando Ibarra it is a wondrous laboratory.

The only available fuel in this remote part of northern Argentina is wood, so Fernando invents a wood-burning refrigerator. The village gathers round. It turned out not to be a sustainable solution. As promised.
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Mick Harper
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Impossible Engineering: Qinghai–Tibet Railway BBC Yesterday Channel

A very entertaining and revelatory account of this, the highest railway in the world, though the more 'impossible' it was, the more depressing it became. It was obvious within a few minutes that nobody would ever build such an uneconomic line (not just the building of it, it needs medical staff in permanent attendance for the passengers!) unless there was a very good non-economic reason for doing so.

That purpose is to make sure that so many Han Chinese settle in Tibet that never again can the Tibetans ask for 'home rule'. Cheap at the price, I'm afraid.
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Mick Harper
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Those of you (in Britain) who intend to stay up and watch the US election results must tune permanently into CNN. This stands in relation to BBC/ITN/Sky as Al-Jazeera does i.e. there is no comparison. In fact, if you are new to it, you will be introduced to a whole new world in which politics is treated as a cross between the Grandstand teleprinter and the Eurovision Song Contest. It is entertainment on an entirely cosmic scale and is one in the eye for those people who supposed democracy was not the best form of government.
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Mick Harper
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My technique for US elections is to record the next six hours of CNN, go and do something useful, then settle down with my fast forwarder. Every time it says Key Race Alert I watch the bloke say, "And Dobbins County, Georgia has just reported a hundred and thirty votes for Biden and forty four for Trump even though it split 63.7 for Trump and 31.2 for Hillary Clinton. We have known for four days that Biden will win the election but in the current climate it's more than our jobsworth to say so." Then I wake up and decide to see how the Americans are getting on with their election. But here's the spooky thing. When I do, I find the fast forwarder is actually in my hand, CNN is actually playing on the telly and there actually is a Key Race Alert.
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Mick Harper
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The Vow (Sky Documentaries)

They've only shown the first part but already we have yet another example of someone coming up with some really nifty ideas and then saying to themselves, "How can I turn this into a cult and end up in prison?" I watched keenly for tips as I want to be a cult leader when I grow up.
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Mick Harper
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We have known for four days that Biden will win the election but in the current climate it's more than our jobsworth to say so.

After a particularly small 'vote dump' from Dobbins County, Pennsylvania, the CNN boffins phoned upstairs to tell the anchors to announce a CNN Prediction, and declare Biden the winner of the state and thus of the presidency itself. On hearing the news, the blue half of America hit the streets to celebrate thus showing that CNN won the election.
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Mick Harper
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A lovely vignette on Newsnight. The word had gone out from HQ: "Find some Trump supporters protesting about the election and interview a coupla loonies." But before this could happen there had to be an establishing shot. "Oh, look over there, one of them has a Covid mask in the form of the lower face and jaw of a grinning skeleton. Pan the camera, make sure you end up on him and then linger. And linger some more. And a little bit more ... and Action!"
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Mick Harper
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Virgin are forever digging up our streets in their quest to keep ahead in the boards-per-millisecond race which means our services are always being interrupted, eg I've had no Netflix for a week. But we are urged to consult the website to find out when it will be fixed and we are always assured 'engineers are working round the clock to put this right". One of them is responsible for changing today's date to tomorrow's date every morning, just before noon, on the website, as they have been doing for a week now.

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14 November 12:00 in your location

They say tomorrow never comes but in Virginworld, today never comes.
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Mick Harper
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Bastards have knocked off for the weekend
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16 November 12:00
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Mick Harper
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But they have resumed their vigil
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17 November 12:00

It's worth pointing out why they can get away with this. Virgin are (I think) the best of the providers, partly on account of uniquely having their own fibre optic network -- and hence are always upgrading it. The others rely on the BT network which since this includes BT is a mixed blessing. Virgin have precisely worked out how much they can profitably piss us off without us buggering off.

You can monitor this propensity quite finely:

1. Government monopoly pisses us off royally [You can't sue the Crown]
2. Private monopoly: pisses us off sub-royally [You can sue]
3. Private non-monopoly but a nuisance to change: pisses us off a bit
4. Private non-monopoly where it's easy to change: doesn't piss us off one bit.
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Mick Harper
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Mountbatten (Channel 5)

This was an exmplary telly bio. Giving the subject a good kicking but in a rounded sort of way. Even I had not quite realised how awful he was during the war while rising seamlessly up the ranks. From commanding a destroyer to commanding half the world isn't bad going in five years. But even so it wasn't as bad as Germany in the First World War which had a) the Kaiser as C-in-C and b) various lesser royals in charge of armies.

One gaffe they missed was when Mountbatten turned up at the Quebec Conference and insisted on demonstrating a new form of concrete that could be used for constructing landing strips in the middle of the ocean. It blew up and nearly took Churchill, Roosevelt and the Combined Chiefs of Staff to a Canadian grave.

I did though disagree with their treatment of Mountbatten and the Partition of India. He might not have been acting from the noblest of motives but I reckon he produced a medium tragedy rather than a mega one.
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Mick Harper
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Oh yes, and before I forget, a real sign of the times when it comes to Mountbatten's sexuality. Gayness is so fashionable that Mountbatten must have been gay. Since he insisted on surrounding himself with women all his life, this has been mutated into bisexuality. Now Mountbatten's life, both public and private, is such an open book that the fact that the only evidence the programme could put forward was some second-hand gossip about gay brothels in Malta is pretty persuasive. After all, one would think having it off with the seventh most famous person in the world (or whatever), whether for love or money, would feature in somebody's recollections. The fact that it (still) hasn't points to it never having happened. Ever. Not even the one time. Ooh the scandal! Prominent royal outed as straight.

Which brings us to the marriage with Edwina. If milord was heterosexual, milady must be an ungrateful trollop not to want to be sexually bonded to someone with such matinee idol looks, such famous charm and so much aphrodisical power. She definitely wasn't, hence he must be gay and she must have been forced to get her oats elsewhere. (Whether with Nehru is doubtful as she was looking a bit the worse for wear by then but, hey, it must be worth Kashmir.) Oddly the same situation was occurring to one of Mountbatten's powerful friends. Dorothy Macmillan was resolute in serially rejecting Harold in favour of (the actually bisexual) Lord Boothby. What Dottie thought about having to share Bobby with the Kray Twins has not been recorded. What's the word for four-in-a-bed?

Actually the explanation is obvious enough. The hupper classes get most of the breaks but not the freedom to dump the spouse, either de facto or de jure, like the rest of us do. Their position in society requires them to stay together all the time and not, as we sometimes have to, for the sake of the children. (They get rid of their children anyway when the poor little sods turn eight and it's time to be packed off to prep school.) Hence these bizarre carryings-on in the social stratosphere. Anyway that's my theory and I'm sticking to it unless I hear something better. It'll probably turn out that Mr and Mrs Mountbatten were at it like knives, the beasts.
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Mick Harper
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Country Music (PBS)

Luckily, with my Netflix out, this eighteen hour history of country music begins.
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Mick Harper
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They've knocked off for the weekend again
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23 November 12:00

But they've arranged a Netflix substitute for me

Hello Michael,
We’re giving 100 Virgin Media families the chance to enjoy an unforgettable one-to-one video chat with Santa,
live from his online grotto in the North Pole. And we ho-ho-hope you’re one of them.

I ho-ho-hope so.
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