I always wonder how much a pre-schooler can take in of another, very complicated language. The Lingo Show is another flagship moment for CBeebies following the controversial Rastamouse and the heartthrob Mr Bloom – you’ve got to hand it to it, it’s a far less risk-averse channel than BBC1: in its opening episode, Chop Chop, the aim was to teach children Mandarin future episodes will tackle Urdu, Punjabi, Somali and Polish. “It’s not going to work on that one,” said my mother, pointing at my two-year-old. “She barely speaks English.” “Yes she does,” I said, outraged. “No way!” said the infant. I don’t know whose side she was on. Hopefully mine.
“Nee hao,” said an animated bug. “Say nee hao.” It means hello. “Miaow,” said the child. “This is going to take a really, really long time,” said my mother.
Strange Random Mandarin Quote:
“Employers tend to find foreign educated, Mandarin-speaking graduates attractive” – David Arkless
- CBeebies teaches toddlers Mandarin (djcadchina.wordpress.com)
- BBC cartoon Wei’s Mandarin lessons prepare children for a Chinese-dominated economy (dailymail.co.uk)
- BBC boss says Sky does not give CBBC and CBeebies prominence on EPG (guardian.co.uk)
- Can a cartoon really teach our children Mandarin? (telegraph.co.uk)
- Rastamouse most complained about children’s TV show after sparking racism row (dailymail.co.uk)
- Is pre-school TV having a golden moment? (guardian.co.uk)
Next to a pile of transistors and exposed metal, a woman with a pinroll hairdo tilts her head to one side and offers the camera a tight, prim smile. This is Daphne Oram, who, according to Science Museum curator Tim Boon, looked “like Margaret Thatcher . . . with a cut-glass accent”, but helped lay the foundation for techno music.
Oram seems an unlikely candidate for a techno pioneer, but as a new exhibition at the Science Museum shows, her life’s work was astonishing.
Strange Random Sound Quote:
- Weekend Clicking (rhizome.org)
- High-Energy Techno Soundtrack Officially Announced For Launch Of Updgraded Techno Kitten Adventure Game (prweb.com)
- S&M – Mr.TECHNO Beats (infoandskillz.wordpress.com)
A lone woman armed with a whistle and enormous courage has set herself the task of defending unsuspecting tourists from the pickpockets who plague Barcelona. Eliana Guerrero became so incensed by the way groups of thieves were able to freely roam the city’s underground network that she now patrols the metro on her own. She gives loud blasts on her whistle whenever she sees the thieves, who operate mostly in a dozen city centre stations including the Sagrada Familia and Placa Catalunya, and hands out flyers warning about the criminals.
Strange Random Whistle Quote:
- Where to backpack with 2 weeks to get from Barcelona to Istanbul? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Whistleblowers now have The Whistleblower’s Handbook, from the National Whistleblowers Center (allthingsreform.org)
- Our full day in Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain (travelpod.com)
- Bye Bye Barcelona – French Riviera – Cote d’Azur, France (travelpod.com)
- Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain (travelpod.com)
- “Social unrest in Plaça Catalunya (Barcelona) today” and related posts (tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com)
- From Bordeaux to Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain (travelpod.com)
- Sagrada Familia and how to avoid going to hell! – Barcelona, Spain (travelpod.com)
The latest instalment in the run-up to Friday’s wedding …
Not the royal wedding: an etiquette guide for the Middletons
1 Stand up during the national anthem and don’t hum.
2 Leave business cards at home. Or bring a LOT. It’s a big church.
4 Never make eye contact with the Queen. She spits like a camel.
5 As the pair are declared man and wife, do not scream: “Holy shit! Kate’s going to be QUEEN!”
6 Don’t tip the archbishop.
7 Don’t kick the corgis, however tempting.
8 Do not accept any holiday villas from the president of Torturestan.
9 Don’t sign anything Andrew Morton puts in front of you.
10 Remember, it’s still not “Liz”.
Strange Random Etiquette Quote:
Visitors should behave in such a way that the host and hostess feel at home. - J.S. Farynski
- Will and Kate Plus Eight: Getting to Know the Royal Wedding Party (newsfeed.time.com)
- “Prince William and Kate Middleton Royal Wedding – TV Channels and Schedule of Events” and related posts (bestsyndication.com)
- Royal Wedding Chatter Amps Up on Facebook, Twitter [STATS] (mashable.com)
- Royal wedding live blog (cbsnews.com)
- Royal Wedding Quiz No. 1: Are you a royal expert? (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
Executives with cash to burn traditionally hire luxury yachts, secluded villas or expensive hotel suites to impress clients. Now they can take corporate hospitality to a new level by hiring an entire country, albeit a small one. The principality of Liechtenstein has decided to make itself available to private clients, from $70,000 (£43,000) a night, complete with customised street signs and temporary currency. It’s a big step for the country best known for its tax-haven status and exporting false teeth.
Strange Random Country Quote:
- Rent Liechtenstein for $70K a night (holykaw.alltop.com)
- To let, for £40,000 a night: Small country adjoining Austria. (May contain Liechtensteiners) (independent.co.uk)
- Rent the country of Liechtenstein from Airbnb for only $70,000 a night (geek.com)
- Rent the country of Liechtenstein for $70,000 a night with Airbnb (airbnb.com)
- Airbnb Goes Into the Fast-Growing Rent-a-Country Business (technologizer.com)
- Airbnb Now Lets You Rent an Entire Country (techland.time.com)
Some time ago, we brought you a TedTalk by David McCandless on how he visualises information in an attempt to find “hidden” patterns. Well, he’s also the founder of http://www.informationisbeautiful.net, where you can find many of his own examples and others from around the internet. For example, this one about the thorny subject of classics that everyone should read.
Do Top 100 Books polls and charts agree on a set of classics? I scraped the results of over 15 notable book polls, readers surveys and top 100’s. Both popular and high-brow. They included all Pulitzer Prize winners, Desert Island Discs choices from recent years, Oprah‘s Bookclub list, and, of course, The Guardian‘s Top 100 Books of All Time. A simple frequency analysis on the gathered titles gives us a neat ‘consensus cloud’ visualisation of the most mentioned books titles across the polls. Do you agree with the consensus?
Strange Random Book Quote:
To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list. – John Aikin
- Hot data: The art of the infographic (independent.co.uk)
- Billion-dollar brainteaser. Gill Ross on David McCandless’s ‘beautiful’ Billion-Dollar-O-Gram (eyemagazine.com)
- Information is Beautiful (flatchat.wordpress.com)
- David McCandless: Horoscope Meta-Prediction & the Generic Zodiac (nowpublic.com)
- Learning How To Visualize: Behind the Screens of Information is Beautiful (infosthetics.com)
- David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization (fredzimny.wordpress.com)
“What’s the difference between a dead cat on the motorway and a dead banker on the motorway? There are skidmarks around the cat.” In an ideal world, business secretary Vince Cable would have got in trouble for the many illogical aspects of this age-old joke (why would a banker be walking on the motorway? Why would the skidmarks be “around” the cat if it is dead? Just saying!) but instead he was vilified by various financial institutions for the propriety of the gag rather than its ropey quality. Let’s show some support for Cable, with an entire 90 seconds of weak stand-up devoted to bankers:
A young banker decided to get his first tailor-made suit. As he tried it on, he reached down to put his hands in the pockets and to his surprise he found none. He mentioned this to the tailor who asked him, “You’re a banker, right?” The young man answered, “Yes, I am.” “Well, whoever heard of a banker with his hands in his own pockets?”
Strange Random Bank Quote:
- Vince Cable hits out at bonus culture with bad taste bankers joke (dailymail.co.uk)
- Cable the comedian: Gaffe-prone minister takes a pot shot at the bankers (dailymail.co.uk)
- Vince Cable considers himself “pretty important” to the coalition Government (mirror.co.uk)
- CIBC says goodbye to long-time banker (theglobeandmail.com)
- NYT: Bankers’ era of contrition may be ending (dailykos.com)