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No Respect I Tell Ya, No Respect

No Respect I Tell Ya, No Respect Former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf is attempting to surrender to US forces, according to a London-based Arabic newspaper. But Al-Sharq al-Awsat says the Americans have refused to arrest Mr Sahhaf - who became a familiar face during the war with his upbeat assessments of Iraqi military "successes" - because he does not appear on their "most wanted" list of 55 former regime officials
posted by turbanhead on Apr 29, 2003 - 20 comments

 

BBC chief attacks U.S. war coverage

BBC chief attacks U.S. war coverage The head of the BBC has launched a broadside against American broadcasters, accusing them of "unquestioning" coverage of the Iraq war and blatant patriotism.
posted by turbanhead on Apr 24, 2003 - 50 comments

BBC reporters' log closed

BBC News reporters' weblog on the war is closed. It was a great example of how the idea of weblog can be used in mainstream media. (Although it lacked hyper-links) In it's last instalment, reporters record some final impressions and look back at what it was like reporting the war. The daily archives are available on the right column of the page.
posted by hoder on Apr 18, 2003 - 3 comments

Nationalise Google?

Nationalise Google? "Perhaps the time has come to recognise this dominant search engine for what it is - a public utility that must be regulated in the public interest." Bill Thompson from the BBC tells me that Google puts a cookie on my computer that can't be deleted till 2038: "This means that Google builds up a detailed profile of your search terms over many years. Google probably knew when you last thought you were pregnant, what diseases your children have had, and who your divorce lawyer is. It refuses to say why it wants this information or to admit whether it makes it available to the US Government for tracking purposes." Are they "a secretive, hyper-competitive company with no respect for the personal privacy of its users"? Are other search engines better behaved? And is this the beginning of search ethics?
posted by theplayethic on Apr 14, 2003 - 60 comments

More pronunciation quandaries

Coffee, our nan? Is this "Would you like some more coffee, Grandmother?" or Kofi Annan? Oh and mathowie - are you sure the Irish Haughey is pronounced Howie? [Check out Charles Haughey for the proper way.] Thank you, Voice of America, for teaching us how to pronounce those pesky foreigners' names. And shame on you, BBC Pronouncing Unit, for not being online! [This last link requires Real Audio but is really worth listening to if you have anything against stuck-up English twits.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Apr 12, 2003 - 16 comments

Shoe slapping in Iraq.

The culture of a society, is largely invisable to it's inhabitants. While the bigger things in our own cultures are easily identifiable, such as food, customs and religion. More unique things like hitting a statue or a picture of Saddam with a shoe, are not. Symbolism is usually subtle and can easily be missed or misinterpreted by people from other cultures. This is a great article from BBC WORLD NEWS which explains some of the symbolism we're seeing in the Iraqi gatherings.
posted by Civa on Apr 10, 2003 - 2 comments

Saddam sightings.

Saddam sightings. SARS sightings. It's just like Elvis, right? But why use the tired "Elvis sighting" cliche (and trivialize his memory) when you could use Lord Lucan instead? Like this example from the BBC: [scroll to the Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 1016GMT entry]. Saddam Hussein has already been spotted in more places than Lord Lucan. He's been in the Russian embassy, he's been in the mosque this morning, he's alleged to be on a convoy to Syria - no doubt he'll soon be found on a sofa in Huddersfield.
posted by TheManWhoKnowsMostThings on Apr 10, 2003 - 4 comments

What friendly fire looks like.

What friendly fire looks like. BBC reporter John Simpson barely avoids death during a mistaken bombing run which killed at least 10 others in Iraq on Sunday. The BBC has the dramatic video.
posted by skallas on Apr 6, 2003 - 39 comments

BBC's Iranian cameraman, Kaveh Golestan's last moments by Jim Muir

BBC's Jim Muir explains how Kaveh Golestan, Pulitzer-winner BBC's Iranian cameraman, was killed last week in Northern Iraq: "But the extent of Kaveh's injuries was far greater than could have been inflicted by two anti-personnel mines. I believe the Iraqis had done what they apparently often do, which is to plant an anti-personnel mine on top of an anti-tank mine so that the one detonates the other." More about Golestan on Google.
posted by hoder on Apr 5, 2003 - 13 comments

Beware the giant squid

'A colossal squid has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean. ' Related (old news from January) :- giant squid attacks boat.
More squid sites :- Search for Giant Squid, a Smithsonian exhibit about a 1999 expedition. 'Whether living or extinct, on land or at sea, in literature or in life, large animals have long fascinated people. The largest animals have been known and hunted since prehistory: whales, walruses, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and large fishes... However, one large animal has gone almost unnoticed or certainly unobserved in its habitat. That animal is the giant squid. Although these animals have been found in the nets of commercial fishermen, in the stomachs of sperm whales, and washed ashore on different continents, no scientific information has been gathered by direct observations of live giant squid ... '
The UnMuseum's article on the giant squid.
posted by plep on Apr 3, 2003 - 23 comments

Media bias

Should news be independent The BBC stands accused (from some quarters) of being biased in its coverage of the Gulf war. Of course news reporting will always have a bias - but whose bias should it be?
posted by daveg on Mar 31, 2003 - 30 comments

The Chant of the Weed

The Chant of the Weed. "Think of the received image of the jazz musician, the young man with a horn or the tortured singer with the gardenia in her hair. And think what baggage they carry, along with the reeds and the valve oil and the spare mouthpieces. Somewhere in the flight case or purse, tucked away out of sight but still seemingly essential to the image, a little something for after the gig, maybe weed, maybe white powder, maybe a discrete bottle of pills. Like it or not, drugs are very much part of the history and still more of the mythology or jazz." And you gotta hear the clip of Cocaine Habit Blues.
posted by theplayethic on Mar 28, 2003 - 12 comments

Ghosts of BBCi

"These Enemies of Humanity would like to claim the world for themselves." No, this is not about either side in the Iraq War, it's part of the opening of Act I of "Ghosts of Albion", a serialized Friday Flash thingy from BBC-interactive, animated by the people who brought us "Dangermouse", and co-written by the actress behind a dead "Buffy" character (I admit it: I got the link from BuffyFilter). The site's got everything from a profile of Lord Byron's Ghost, to (dare I say it?) a Weblog.
But is the "dramatisation" dramatic or scary or funny or worth going back to every week? IMGUO*, it doesn't get off to as good a start as Ep.1 of "Tales of the Blode", but consider the pedigree... Then again, the BBC did bring us both "Monty Python" AND "What Not to Wear"...
* IMGUO: In My Generally Unpopular Opinion
posted by wendell on Mar 28, 2003 - 4 comments

Music and Freedom

Shostakovichiana. Documents and articles about one of the twentieth century's greatest composers, some of them focusing on the problems he encountered working under a totalitarian system. Some highlights :- 'Do not judge me too harshly': anti-Communism in Shostakovich's letters; 'You must remember!': Shostakovich's alleged 1937 interrogation; About Shostakovich's 1948 downfall. More related material can be found at the Music under Soviet Rule page.
There are a number of interesting sites dealing with music expression and censorship generally. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has a site on the music of the concentration camps - 'While popular songs dating from before the war remained attractive as escapist fare, the ghetto, camp, and partisan settings also gave rise to a repertoire of new works. ' Here's a Guardian article on the Blue Notes, who 'fought apartheid in South Africa with searing jazz'. Here's a page about the Drapchi 14, Tibetan nuns who 'recorded independence songs and messages to their families on a tape recorder' (and were subsequently punished). Finally, a page on records which were banned from BBC radio during the 1991 Gulf War (example :- 'Walk Like an Egyptian').
posted by plep on Mar 26, 2003 - 18 comments

Baghdad WebCam

A WebCam in Baghdad The BBC are streaming live pictures from an unmanned camera in the centre of Baghdad, complete with sound. (RealPlayer required.)
posted by Mwongozi on Mar 22, 2003 - 12 comments

We Begin Combing in Five Minutes!

We Begin Combing in Five Minutes! The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed in the Oval Office as he squirmed in his chair and practiced on the teleprompter minutes before Wednesday night's speech announcing the launch of military operations against Saddam Hussein.

It's America's Funniest Outtakes (squirm). But where can we view it?!
posted by sparky on Mar 21, 2003 - 33 comments

Blog-like war reporting

The idea of weblogs has defenitely inspired BBC Online news for making the following pages:
posted by hoder on Mar 20, 2003 - 4 comments

Better than Shakespeare ?

We will not fly our flags in their country The finest speech so far in the whole war thing. Good luck boys!
posted by terrymiles on Mar 20, 2003 - 54 comments

Sailing close to the flame

At what point does a government have to stop and wonder if it's judged the mood correctly?

The UK government manages to bribe a rebel with a cushy job, but not one, not two, but three other MPs walk away from the government in one day. Are things going wrong in the UK?
posted by twine42 on Mar 18, 2003 - 63 comments

Geeks without Borders?

Chasing the Wish was one of those websites that people suspected of being everything from another 8march2003 to another Push Nevada or Cloud Makers. What it turned out to be however was a announcement for a free ARG or Alternate Reality Game as hosted by such groups as the ARGN, Unfiction, Collective Detective, to name a few. Mentioned in this BBC article and this NYT article, as potential ways to study collective problem solving dynamics, it would seem that this type of crossover treasure hunting could yield some very real world knowledge. I bet the folks at Princeton will have an eye on this one. It's already spawned a funny parody site too.
posted by metameme on Mar 16, 2003 - 4 comments

This why the Federal Government has more than one branch

The Senate bans "partial birth" abortions, but a similar law was struck down in Stenberg v. Carhart . Memo to Mr. Bush: there are other branches of the U.S. Federal Government.
posted by Bag Man on Mar 13, 2003 - 65 comments

Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq.

Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq. (RealAudio, 49 minutes into the broadcast.)
In an interview with Radio One Ireland, Kate Adie, former chief news correspondent for the BBC, drops a bombshell.
If satellite uplinks from the press are detected in Baghdad, they would be "targeted down", said a senior US military official. "They know this. They've been warned."
Ms. Adie also revealed that the US military are openly asking journalists what their feelings are on the war, and are using this information to block reporters from access to reporting on the conflict.
These actions are "shameless" and "entirely hostile to the free spread of information," says Ms. Adie. "What actually appalls me is the difference between twelve years ago and now. I've seen a complete erosion of any kind of acknowledgment that reporters should be able to report as they witness."
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 12, 2003 - 74 comments

Three little pollitically correct animals...

The BBC reports that a school in West Yorkshire has banned stories like the Three Little Pigs and Babe because "for Muslims talk of pigs is offensive." Strange that the Muslims don't agree.
posted by twine42 on Mar 5, 2003 - 22 comments

Who would you vote for ...

Who would you rather vote for - Frankenstein, Hitler, or Tony Curtis? That's the decision facing some voters in India ... Have you ever run across other 'repurposed' names?
posted by Jos Bleau on Feb 27, 2003 - 6 comments

Forget 50 Cent and Eminem

Give It Up for MC Zhirinovsky Flamboyant Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, renowned for his controversial views on Iraq, has had his words turned into an anti-war rap song. The song, titled "Don't you dare go shooting at Baghdad", is being launched on the internet, according to the Russian television station TVS.
posted by turbanhead on Feb 26, 2003 - 7 comments

Waving their strange limbs, beckoning....

Synthetic Trees could purify the air - "It looks like a goal post with Venetian blinds," said the Columbia University physicist...synthetic trees could help clean up an atmosphere grown heavy with carbon dioxide..."You can be a thousand times better than a living tree...There are a number of engineering issues which need to be worked out," he said. (BBC) Hurry up, then - "Ice dams are blocking Latvian ports, winds and storms are battering Europe, Portugal is freezing, Vietnam has lost one-third its rice crop, and the cold has caused close to 2,000 deaths in usually temperate South Asia."
posted by troutfishing on Feb 23, 2003 - 18 comments

Blast hits New York oil plant

Staten Island oil and gas facility on fire...
The BBC reports that a massive explosion has struck an oil and gas facility on Staten Island, on the outskirts of New York City.
posted by tomcosgrave on Feb 21, 2003 - 31 comments

Loving the US

How to love the US is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here. I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
posted by jpburns on Feb 19, 2003 - 86 comments

New BBC News

The BBC's News website has undergone a re-design. The primary change is the switch from using a 640x480 based design to a 800x600 design. BBC News Online's Editor-in-Chief explains their reasons for the change here. What do MeFi users think of the re-design? Personally, I find it's a little CNN-esque and I'm not totally convinced.
posted by metaxa on Feb 19, 2003 - 38 comments

Become a protest photo stringer for BBC

Going to anti-war protests this weekend? Become a photo stringer for the BBC! "The BBC is asking people attending Saturday's anti-war protests who are carrying new combination camera/cell phones to relay their pictures to its newsroom at (44) 7970 885089 or email them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk. The broadcaster said that it hopes to provide coverage of the demonstrations 'from a protester's perspective.' It is also accepting photos taken with digital cameras."
posted by me3dia on Feb 14, 2003 - 30 comments

Which one is it?

The New York Times published on Sunday a very favorable report on Ken Lay. In it, they argue that he was, at least in part, wrongly chastised for his role in the Enron affair. Apparently, we are to believe that the CEO didn't know what was going on inside the company he ran. After news of the report appeared in numerous U.S. media earlier this week, the BBC today counterattacks brutally (although perhaps not intentionally), describing some of the most ruthless Enron practices - like placing the combined total salary of the top 200 executives salary at one and a half times the company's total earnings (Lay's went from 15m to 164 mil in that period). My question is simple: just what is going on here?
posted by magullo on Feb 14, 2003 - 9 comments

Mr. Watchword, Wordy for short

Look and Read offers storylines, songs, video clips and my first introduction to Wordy from this classic BBC School series. As someone who grew up on Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock, I found it interesting to see the British equivalent. Plus, it's good campy fun.
posted by snez on Feb 5, 2003 - 4 comments

Funny Latin Phrases

Quanto putas mihi stare hoc conclave ? That's "How many prostitutes does it take to change a lightbulb?" in Latin. No, actually it's "How much do you think I paid for this apartment?". Here's hoping, in the wake of the BBC's superb The Roman Way series, written and presented by David Aaranovich, that good old Latin is on its way back, albeit in an Internet, soundbitey way. Those intending to smuggle some into MetaFilter should definitely start here. The owner, for instance, might find Ne ponatur in mea vicinitate useful - "Not in my backyard". And Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione - "I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult" should prove popular in the God threads. Vale!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 3, 2003 - 26 comments

-=Applause=-

History of Applause: What compels us to clap in appreciation? Theories abound. The earliest clapping is found in percussive instruments of ancient Egypt (jpg), while the Bible has us clap in joy, as well as derision. Emperor Nero so craved it he would pay freelancers to applaud his atrocious singing. Applause has even influenced classical compositions.

But, in the age of the pre-planned encore, do we still mean it?
posted by apostasy on Feb 2, 2003 - 17 comments

Challenger Explodes

17 years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven aboard. I share this primarily as I recall this being the first where-were-you-when of my childhood. So where were you?
posted by xmutex on Jan 28, 2003 - 161 comments

London Vs. The Smog Monster

50 years ago last month, a dark cloud settled in over London. And stayed for four days. This fog, which was brought on by a lethal combination of high pressure, near freezing temperatures and London's pervasive coal burning, starting killing things. At first, the animals at a cattle show, then the elderly, or those prone to resperatory disease. By the end, over 4,000 people had died. Strangely, to this day the disaster retains a low profile, unlike more glamorous disasters such as the Titanic, or Bhopal. Stranger still, is that unlike those others, while the fog was at its most deadly, few realized there was even an epidemic occurring, with most viewing it as, at worst, a mild nuisance.
posted by jonson on Jan 22, 2003 - 22 comments

Collective (with a wierd asterisk)

Collective* is the BBC's attempt to build an online community (or have a go at a simpler version of h2g2). Actually seems like an online version of The Guardian's 'The Guide' (mini what's on section which appears every Saturday). Overall it does feel a bit too processed. Should these things be so structured, or is it better that they develop naturally?
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 14, 2003 - 4 comments

The BBC's virtual monopoly must end (must it?)

Is the BBCi website far too big and monopolistic? Editorial from 'The Guardian' discussing whether the BBC's website, funded by the British license fee is taking the thunder away from commercial websites worldwide trying to achieve the same results in advertising run market place. There is some logic to the argument -- when e-marketing revenues are dwingling how can some sites compete with this bohemoth? On the other hand, if they were achieving the same results people would be going to them instead, and the BBC's website is very, very good in some places, indispensible in others.
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 6, 2003 - 23 comments

'The Virgin Mary'

Tonight, the BBC took the controversial decision to screen a documentary which investigated the plausability of the life of The Virgin Mary as it appears in The Bible. As someone who's spiritual without commiting to any one religion, it was a fascinating look at a people and a time. But I can understand why Christians would be offended, especially since the programme suggested that Mary (or Miriam) wasn't a virgin at all, that she was a 'mother bringing up a wayward son under difficult circumstances'. Was this the kind of programme which should be shown at Christmas time?
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 22, 2002 - 26 comments

The Sky At Night

The BBC television show The Sky At Night, which opened in April 1957, is one of the longest-running in the world. Its longevity is undoubtedly due to host and national treasure Sir Patrick Moore. Amongst his other contributions to mankind, the uniquely-voiced bemonacled one plays the xylophone [Flash], is an endless source of inspiration for comedians [MP3], and was, of course, the condescending yet benevolent GamesMaster. But in this festive season, can he explain the Star of Bethlehem [Real]?
posted by Pretty_Generic on Dec 21, 2002 - 14 comments

Mass arrests of Muslims in LA

Mass arrests of Muslims in LA. The BBC is reporting US immigration officials in Southern California have detained hundreds of Iranians and other Muslim men who turned up to register under residence laws brought in as part of the anti-terror drive.

CNN, FOX News, and the like have extensive coverage.....sort of.
posted by CrazyJub on Dec 19, 2002 - 64 comments

BBC 7: New Comedy Radio Channel

Britannia BBC Rules The Radio Waves and no other broadcaster in the world comes close. Radio 4, The World Service and Radio 3 are simply the best radio stations for news, commentary and classical music there are. Now, their sparkling new channel, BBC7, is full of comedy and drama greatness. The League of Gentleman, Rory Bremner, Stephen Fry, Griff Rhys-Jones... nobody does comedy or radio like the British and when the two come together, it's bliss. Bless 'em! [Specially for us non-license-paying foreigners listening in on the Internet... Real Audio required, nonetheless.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 19, 2002 - 32 comments

Local Heroes

There's one man that represents where I was brought up in Lancashire. Steeplejack Fred Dibnah. His interests include industrial archeology, traction engines and wearing flat caps. Recently he has been making history programmes for the BBC where his enthusiasm and interest in what other people are saying is given a fresh twist by his working class perspective and respect for the builders of castles, mills etc. A great man with his own way with words. So, who are your local heroes?
posted by quarsan on Dec 18, 2002 - 8 comments

One-in, one-out: the nominations.

One-in, one-out: the nominations. "Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell on Dec 18, 2002 - 6 comments

Fame Academy comes to an end.

David wins Fame Academy! Mix Big Brother with Pop/American Idol and you get the Fame Academy, where 12 gorgeous under-30s are thrown into a glorified stage school for a few months, and only one emerges an idol. The prize? Supposedly the 'biggest TV prize ever.' A £1 million recording contract, a fancy apartment in London, a personal shopper, chauffeur, and more. All is not lost for the 'losers' though, as they've all gained professional management and Mercury Records is considering them all for solo careers. In contrast to the 'Idol' shows, being couped up for weeks on end has caused even the wackiest contestants to grow in their singing and songwriting abilities. So will this show reach the US? Probably, given these other crossover shows.
posted by wackybrit on Dec 13, 2002 - 8 comments

The BBC World Service World's favourite song

The BBC World Service are searching for the World's favourite song. If hundreds of Irish students have their way it'll be the kitschy rebel song A Nation Once Again but by the look of the contenders they'll have a fight on their hands.

What would your choice be?
posted by stunned on Dec 12, 2002 - 26 comments

Satire in advertising

Should advertising be allowed to contain caricatures and satire of major figures without their permission? My opinion is yes they bloody well should. Good luck to the producers with hunting down Osama.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 27, 2002 - 15 comments

Great Britons

Winston Churchill has been voted as the Greatest Briton in a BBC survey. Yes, he gave some great speeches when he needed to, but who gave him the language to make them? Who is missing from the list?
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 24, 2002 - 65 comments

If this isn't a sign of the apocalypse,

If this isn't a sign of the apocalypse, I don't know what is. What should be on the list of the all-time greatest pop tunes?
posted by LittleMissCranky on Nov 9, 2002 - 49 comments

NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy

NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy After decades of almost ignoring claims that the Apollo missions were hoaxed, NASA commissioned aerospace writer James Olberg to write an official rebuttle. Perhaps a bit more reasonable than the NASA Stooge, the book is aimed at the general public.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 7, 2002 - 33 comments

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