Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

Say “nee hao”: now CBeebies is teaching toddlers Mandarin | Television & radio | The Guardian

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.

via Say “nee hao”: now CBeebies is teaching toddlers Mandarin | Television & radio | The Guardian.

Strange Random Mandarin Quote:

“Employers tend to find foreign educated, Mandarin-speaking graduates attractive” – David Arkless

Enhanced by Zemanta

Daphne Oram: an unlikely techno pioneer | Life and style | The Guardian

August 8, 2011 1 comment
Daphne Oram en la BBC de Londres creando sonidos

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.

via Daphne Oram: an unlikely techno pioneer | Life and style | The Guardian.

Strange Random Sound Quote:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams (British comic Writer, 1952-2001)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Barcelona’s whistleblower

July 15, 2011 1 comment
Sagrada Família

Image via Wikipedia

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.

via The lone woman waging war on Barcelona’s pickpockets | World news | The Guardian.

Strange Random Whistle Quote:

Whistle While You Work.” – Walt Disney (American motion-picture Producer, pioneer of animated cartoon films. 1901-1966)


Enhanced by Zemanta

Not the royal wedding: an etiquette guide for the Middletons

April 27, 2011 3 comments
Royal wedding mugs

Image by celesteh via Flickr

The latest instalment in the run-up to Friday’s wedding …

Not the royal wedding: an etiquette guide for the Middletons

10 golden rules for Carole, Michael and Pippa

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.

3 If flogging spare invitations on eBay, be sure to use a cleverly disguised seller name. “Cherie Blair” ideal.

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”.

via Not the royal wedding: an etiquette guide for the Middletons | Life and style | The Guardian.

Strange Random Etiquette Quote:

Visitors should behave in such a way that the host and hostess feel at home. – J.S. Farynski

Enhanced by Zemanta

Liechtenstein for hire at $70,000 a night

Regierungsgebäude (Government Building), Vaduz...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

via Liechtenstein for hire at $70,000 a night | World news | The Guardian.

Strange Random Country Quote:

“I asked Tom if countries always apologized when they had done wrong, and he says – “Yes; the little ones does” – Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Information is Beautiful – Books you must read

March 14, 2011 1 comment

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, 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?

Books everyone should read

Strange Random Book Quote:

To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list. – John Aikin


Enhanced by Zemanta

Heard the one about the dead banker?

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Vince Cable MP discusses the importance of Bri...
Image by Toyota UK via Flickr

“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:

via Heard the one about the dead banker? | From the Guardian | The Guardian.

For example:

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:

Bank failures are caused by depositors who don’t deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement” – Dan Quayle (American 44th US Vice President under George Bush (1989-93). b.1947)

Enhanced by Zemanta
%d bloggers like this: