Is this the most extravagant teapot ever?

Our canteen has this machine to make the tea (full video here). It is quite extraordinary. It turns the mundane exercise of getting a cup of tea into a major entertainment extravaganza. The machine is called the “Lipton T-Bird” and is part of their “Tea Revolution”. It even has a big yellow light that flashes periodically when the machine is not in use, to remind you that it is still there and is very important.

The key question is: What is the difference between a normal cup of tea and a cup of tea made in this machine?

Answer: 30 pence.

Advertisements

Is this the most extravagant teapot ever?

Our canteen has this machine to make the tea (full video here). It is quite extraordinary. It turns the mundane exercise of getting a cup of tea into a major entertainment extravaganza. The machine is called the “Lipton T-Bird” and is part of their “Tea Revolution”. It even has a big yellow light that flashes periodically when the machine is not in use, to remind you that it is still there and is very important.

The key question is: What is the difference between a normal cup of tea and a cup of tea made in this machine?

Answer: 30 pence.

Tribute to Alan Freeman

It is a very sad day for radio! One of the most influential broadcasters, in terms of DJ style, Alan Freeman has passed away, aged 79.

“Fluff” will be remembered for a couple of specific things. First of all, he more or less invented the “countdown” which he did so brilliantly and excitingly on “Pick of the Pops”. He used his backing music “At the sign of the swinging cymbal” to fantastic effect as he ran down the Top 20. What he did with the music and the countdown was sheer genius. There have been many imitators of the Sunday evening Top Forty. But all of them owe a little bit to Alan Freeman, who created the genre of the Top Forty run-down in Britain.

His Saturday afternoon Rock Music show on BBC Radio One (on VHF/FM – a rarity for Radio One in those days) showed his enormous flexibility and yet again, he showed his genius in creating a genre all of his own. The introduction was wonderfully exciting and the inserts of classical music etc were a brilliant touch. He was a real rock music buff.

He later went on to do classical music on Radio Two. So he managed to straddle pop, rock and classical music in his career. Quite a feat.

I met Alan Freeman in 1975 when I was sixteen. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for the South-West heat of “Quiz Kid ’75” on Radio One. It was fascinating to see him work.

A few years ago I wrote to him when I saw his entry in the Radio Hall of Fame. I told him how brilliantly exciting his Top 20 run-down and his Saturday afternoon intros were, and that many of us still remembered him fondly from the radio. I received a reply from his manager, Tim Blackmore.

Tribute to Alan Freeman

It is a very sad day for radio! One of the most influential broadcasters, in terms of DJ style, Alan Freeman has passed away, aged 79.

“Fluff” will be remembered for a couple of specific things. First of all, he more or less invented the “countdown” which he did so brilliantly and excitingly on “Pick of the Pops”. He used his backing music “At the sign of the swinging cymbal” to fantastic effect as he ran down the Top 20. What he did with the music and the countdown was sheer genius. There have been many imitators of the Sunday evening Top Forty. But all of them owe a little bit to Alan Freeman, who created the genre of the Top Forty run-down in Britain.

His Saturday afternoon Rock Music show on BBC Radio One (on VHF/FM – a rarity for Radio One in those days) showed his enormous flexibility and yet again, he showed his genius in creating a genre all of his own. The introduction was wonderfully exciting and the inserts of classical music etc were a brilliant touch. He was a real rock music buff.

He later went on to do classical music on Radio Two. So he managed to straddle pop, rock and classical music in his career. Quite a feat.

I met Alan Freeman in 1975 when I was sixteen. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for the South-West heat of “Quiz Kid ’75” on Radio One. It was fascinating to see him work.

A few years ago I wrote to him when I saw his entry in the Radio Hall of Fame. I told him how brilliantly exciting his Top 20 run-down and his Saturday afternoon intros were, and that many of us still remembered him fondly from the radio. I received a reply from his manager, Tim Blackmore.

Praise for NI Assembly security guards

Thanks to Duncan Borrowman for linking to an extraordinary video of the Michael Stone invasion of Stormont yesterday. The two security guards, who apprehended Stone, deserve medals.

The security guards, a male and a female, were unarmed. Stone had a “gun”, a garotte and nail bombs. And he was obviously Michael Stone, well-known friendly neighbourhood mass-murderer. So that would have put the fear of hell into anyone tackling him.

Goodness knows how Stone made it to the front door of Stormont, paused for several minutes to daub graffitti on the outside wall by the main door, and then entered the main revolving door.

Don’t they have CCTV covering the front? The odd armed policeman? The building has a huge front concourse. It is not as if the man just hopped off a passing bus and sneaked in. His approach up to the front door would have had something of a State procession about it.

It appears that Stone has arthritis, which may have made his apprehension eaiser. The gun was apparently an imitation device, but even then, that’s not something you can bring into the equation when he’s there in front of you waving it.

The story is still unfolding. Stone “faces a total of five charges of attempted murder…He was also charged with possession of articles for terrorist purposes and possession of explosives.”

It all certainly comes under the heading: You couldn’t make it up!

Follow-up: U-turn on fines for unmarried couple with children

It is always good to look back at stories which initially cause a media furore.

One such case happened in Black Jack, Missouri, USA in May this year. My blog summarised the situation:

The town (which calls itself a “city” for some reason) of Black Jack, Missouri, USA has a law, recently confirmed by the local council, which bans unmarried couples with more than one child from occupying homes there. One such couple is facing fines of £270 a day for continuing to live in such a situation.

The City’s web site and the American Civil Liberties Union reported more recently:

On August 15, 2006 The Black Jack City Council voted UNANIMIOUSLY (sic) to change the policy and amend the definition of “family”. This vote differed dramatically from the vote on May 5, to where five of the eight members of the City Council REJECTED a proposal to change the policy.

So all it ends happily after the City council, apparently, caved in. Good for them. However, there is still a lawsuit outstanding:

On August 10, 2006 the ACLU of Eastern Missouri and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project filed a lawsuit on behalf of Olivia Shelltrack, Fondray Loving and their family who were denied a permit to live in the City of Black Jack because of a law that prohibited more than three people from living together unless they are related by “blood, marriage or adoption.”

So the second shoe hasn’t yet dropped….

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup prospects

I just walked down to the entrance to Newbury Racecourse (a few yards from house).

It is raining heavily, to put it politely. There is thunder and lightning which seems about a mile away.

Having had 14mm of rain yesterday, which changed the going to soft, I hope the rain today doesn’t risk the meeting.

“Cornish Rebel” seemed a natch for me to put some money on each way. I also covered myself with a small wager on Mongtermont, which is likely to be the favourite. John Francombe on Channel 4’s “The Morning Line” reckoned Ardaghey is worth an each way, so I put a soupcon on him as well. Total bet: £11, so the bank isn’t broken if they all fail.