March 17th, 2005

Viewers Like You

Once more, by some strange statistical flook, I visit the states when it is Pledge Week on public radio / television. Unless of course it is always Pledge Week...
These days, PBS looks quite slick, almost like a European TV station, whereas most US channels look somehow very tacky and dated ( though this may of course be the 525 lines). I particularly like the 'viewers like you' ident. The only thing I completely fail to understand (and I am looking for some explanation from one of my US friends) is WHAT IS IT WITH 'NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER'? In depth news does not have to be so mindblowingly pompous, tedious and patrician. If these people have not seen Newsnight or Channel 4 News I will happily rip them a CD so they can see how it should be done.

Anyway, I thought it was a good sign that the marketing person from the company I was visiting, who picked us up from our hotel both mornings, was listening to NPR (I think she said that she gives them money, in fact).

More geekery / trivia / tedia

... must ... do ... something ... useful ....

but apart from that...

I have decided that 26B is the optimal seat on BA 777s. Row 26 is the exit row at the front of veal class so there is plenty of leg room. 26A is by the exit door so you are slightly constrained as to where you put your feed, whereas if you stretch your feet out in 26C you will trip up the stewards.
Having had 26C on the way to the US, I asked for 26B on the way back, which I got, but in the event the guys with 26A and 26C were travelling together and asked if I would swap so I got the window seat. I said to them that there was a bylaw that those 3 seats were reserved for computer related people, they chuckled. I didn't talk to the 2 other guys on the way out but it seemed likely, and these 2 were brandishing papers about robots and haptic interfaces and one had a briefcase / laptop bag with the IEEE Computer Society logo on it. From their comments to each other about the vote of no confidence in the Harvard President, they must have been at Harvard. I would guess professor and post-doc. The younger guy, with inevitable iPod, was one of these people where if you had to describe their ethnic group you would have to say 'geek' (it's the same with fans, there is something about fans which can completely dominate the ethnic group, somehow).

Aargh, talking seat numbers. Must. Shoot. Self.