February 17, 2010


When I started writing my thesis last semester, I also started getting home delivery of the New York Times — believe it or not, the idea was that it would free up time to work. (By resolving to get all my news from the paper, I removed any excuse for dicking around on news websites, which I'm sure takes up more time per day than reading a newspaper; besides, I can read the newspaper during my hour or more of commuting each day.)

Anyway, that's all been great, but I must say that, having on a whim decided to look at the BBC today, I hadn't realised how much I was actually missing it. I'm still a Brit at heart, after all, and there's something deeply comforting about reading the sorts of British news that simply wouldn't ever make it to the Times. Like this:

BBC News: Voters know me from Gavin and Stacey, says Prescott

The article claims that at least two voters in Mr Prescott's constituency pledged to vote Labour solely because of his appearance on the show (which is hilarious, if depressing), and also reveals some fantastic new items of Prescottiana:
The Hull East MP, who has admitted suffering from the eating disorder bulimia, said he loved [fasion expert Gok] Wan's Channel 4 programme How to Look Good Naked, particularly one which featured a disabled woman.
And if the words "Prescott" and "naked" together in a sentence haven't made you recoil from your browser window in disgust, there's also this:
Mr Prescott is also a fan of micro-blogging website Twitter, telling BBC Radio 5 live that they key to good "tweets" was "to be yourself and use humour".
(Dedicated readers may remember my last tribute to Prescott back in 2006, along with accompanying quiz.)

It's not just Prescott, though. Where else but Britain can you find news items about German trains being too English, and the advertising watchdog issuing statements about TV adverts being too loud. (Direct quote: "We noted that the maximum subjective loudness of ads was consistent with other ads during the break, but that it was not well matched to the overall sound levels of the programme.")

Actually, though, apparently the loud adverts thing isn't as British as it sounds:
In the US, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill to curb loud advertisements.
So that's what they've been doing all this time!

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