Posts from 7th February 2008

Feb 08

Is “Ashes To Ashes” Rubbish?

Do You See + FT35 comments • 2,178 views

Or perhaps I mean – “How intentional is “Ashes To Ashes”‘ rubbishness?”

It’s an odd show, to say the least, this Life On Mars sequel thing (they’re calling it a ‘follow-up’, but it’s a sequel). A retread, but a retread very keen to demonstrate how clever its retreading is. Spoilers below the cut if you haven’t seen it yet.


Freaky Trigger Top 100 Songs of All Time – Number 47

FT/5 comments • 1,502 views

Doop – Doop

It’s March 1994 and i’m helping to set up at our “end of rag week” ball. As usual there are twice as many people as are actually needed due to being able to get in for nowt if you do a bit of humping and shifting. Both the ents and rag gangs (separate, yet overlapping) were pretty much, to a person, INDIE, one might even go as far as to say PROPER INDIE (with maybe like three dance kids). And yet, and yet, about every five minutes, one of us without fail would start humming or whistling or quietly singing to ourselves “doo-de-ah doo-de-ah doodoodoo” without even realising until someone went “GAH, THAT BLUDY SONG AGAIN!!!” and then five minutes later it would be them whistling it. Honestly, it went on all day. The sound engineer, who was a truly miserable bastard having spent ten years on the road with hawkwind (and had the track marks to prove it), was beside himself, because we just couldn’t stop doing it. I’m sure that Doop was not one of the songs discussed on How Pop Songs Work the other month, but it clearly was very very effective somehow…

Blimey, for a three minute song, it goes on a bit, eh?

253. To. Euston

FT + Proven By Science27 comments • 688 views

I mentioned on Lollards last night my growing (petty) irritation with the introduction of automated announcements on London buses, whereby the bus route and each stop is announced regularly throughout the journey. This morning I did a small, non-scientific, non-representative experiment to see whether my annoyance was reasonable – afterall, tube and overland trains have similar systems which are not half as irritating, and perhaps bus announcements just need adjusting to. Here are my results.

Journey: Stamford Hill Broadway to Brecknock Road
Bus: 253
Length of Journey: 19 minutes
Number of Stops: 18
Number of times announcement said ’253. To.    Euston’: 20
Number of times bus stop was announced: 18
Total number of announcements: 38

The pattern of announcements was this – on approach to bus stop announce stop name, on arrival at bus stop announce destination before opening doors (why?!), then once doors are closed and bus is pulling away, announce it again, for the benefit of passengers who have got on the bus and immediately forgotten which bus they got onto. There were a couple of stops where the destination was announced only once, but most of them got 2 announcements per stop. With the bus stopping approximately every minute this gives an average of 2 announcements every minute.

I’m not saying that this system doesn’t have merit – it is clearly quite useful in a number of ways, but it is excessively intrusive. Buses are quieter than trains, on the whole, so the announcement is clearer, and harder to tune out. I am fully convinced of the value of announcing the stop name, but announcing the destination is surely not as important, especially this frequently. I know it benefits people with visual impairments, but it’s not like they get on random buses then sit there waiting for an announcement that will let them know whether they’ve got on the right bus or not.  And people getting off a bus have no real need to know what bus they are alighting from.

My experiment also suggests that no one will sit next to you if you have an open notepad into which you record a tally.

Flamboyant Bella – “Absolutely Wankered”

FTPost a comment • 112 views


“Not chavs or goths, just the ordinary teenagers who want to get ridiculously drunk as often as possible.”
Verdict: 4.4 (18 votes, sd 1.6)