I moved.

After the initial enthusiasm, writing on two blogs got a little…well it never got anywhere.

So a quick note – I’m at little green mango .

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The Fight for the Torriano

Earlier this month, my colleagues and I worked on a 7 minute documentary for a video project.

We picked to follow the story of the Torriano, a quaint little pub in Kentish Town, North London.

The landlords and lease holders of the place, a young couple, are in a legal battle with the owners of the property, who want to convert part of the pub into flats. It’s an interesting case.

The next round of hearings is coming up next month. More on that soon.

Till then, this is our video doc. Thanks for watching!

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I was here B.O

I Was Here Before Oprah and now I have to watch her take over the world of social networking as well.

Oprah now tweets. That’s microblogging, 140 words or less, if-you-haven’t-heard-of-it-go-back-under-your-rock.

An endorsement from the queen of daytime talk shows and relentless, recent coverage in news media has meant that the service has seen a sudden huge increase in new Twitter traffic.

On her first day of tweeting, Oprah gathered 343,036 followers. According to Geeks are Sexy, that number is increasing at the rate of about 15 with every browser refresh. Two days after Ashton Kutcher hit one million on the service.

There’s a certain smugness in thinking something was cool before the celebrities of the world thought they needed to get in on the coolness. One idiosyncratic website, http://herebeforeoprah.com makes sure everyone knows that.

I was here before Oprah

I was here before Oprah

After that of course, it only gets disheartening.

I’ve enjoyed the few months quietly spent here – after the initial scepticism and fighting a losing battle with Zuckerberg’s Law of information sharing. And you can still count my followers on your fingers.

Not that my limited audience mattered too much. In the times B.O, twitter seemed like a good place to hide once Mum decided to Facebook me.

Here’s a post about my fondness for Twitter: Tweets to the rescue.

So what’s the Next Big Thing I can latch onto?

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Beatles reunite for the cause of TM

It was the closest thing to a Beatles reunion and it was all for world peace.

Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr came together on stage for the first time in seven years, at a charity concert in Radio City Music Hall, New York.

They performed Beatles classics including  With a Little Help From my Friends.

The concert was to raise money for the David Lynch foundation, which according to the Guardian, “…aims to teach transcendental meditation to children, encourage world peace and promote understanding through what Lynch himself appeared on stage to describe as the ‘ocean of consciousness’.”

“The Maharishi said he wants us all to be cosmically conscious,” McCartney reportedly said, addressing the 6000 strong crowd who had paid a minimum of $500 for tickets to the show. (He then apparently went on to sing the song Cosmically Conscious.)

The Times archive, August 3, 1967

The Times archive, August 3, 1967

It would appear that one would happily cough up the money and put debates about the credibility of transcendental meditation (TM) on hold to watch the two remaining Beatles on stage together.

And to think the whole Beatles-Maharishi saga could have started with this little ad in the Times.

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Journalism 2.0

The Guardian carried an interesting piece about the Huffington Post success story, and its implications for the news industry.

I quote from the article:

…reporters were encouraged by Huffington to stay at their desks rather than go out into the field. They were told desk-based journalism, often spent listening to the candidates’ conference calls, would be more productive.

What? No hounding the newsmakers for juicy quotes?

I think I’ve just been told again that neither Santa nor the Tooth Fairy exist.

But the direction taken by HuffPo seems only to prove the merits of traditional journalism.

There’s definitely a logic in having the “Internet newspaper” and the newspaper (plain old) stand side by side to feed off each other.

While one provides the speed, infiltrates online networks, invites participation and brings about the integration of various mediums and news sources, the other provides the editorial standards, and the actual news, to build this on.

Contrary to what the quote from the article suggests, HuffPost seems to recognise this. In attempts to increase the amount of original news it carries, and bring up the standard of reporting, it has decided to fund a venture to encourage investigative journalism.

See. Easy-peezy.


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Brawn GP blazes into F1

From pole to victory, in a team that didn’t exist three weeks ago.

Brawn GP takes 1-2 at the 2009 Formula 1 season opener Australian GP.

Having driven a flawless race, Jenson Button finished ahead of his Brazilian team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who had a shaky start to the race.

P2 fell to Barrichello in the last few laps of the race after second and third place runners Vettel and Kubica took each other out.

Ross Brawn’s machine was as strong during the race as it has been all weekend, with Barrichello’s car even surviving a couple of knocks to the front and the back.

The result was an acknowledgement of the faith put in the drivers and the team at Brawn GP, by the hastily assembled team of sponsors, and by Ross Brawn and Nick Fry as well.

Jarno Trulli finished third for Toyota after starting from the pit lane.

More after I get some sleep.

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First race weekend of 2009 opens

The first race of the 2009 Formula 1 season kicked off with Friday practice and it’s good to hear the revs of the engines again.

The first 90 minutes of the season ended with strong performances by Williams, Ferrari and Brawn GP.

Nico Rosberg led a Williams 1-2, confirming what has been discussed for a few days now, that Williams is a team to beat.

Brawn GP, the formerly beleagured Honda Racing team, continued its  impressive performances from testing, with Barrichello finishing 4th behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Button was at 6th.

World Champion Lewis Hamilton was 16th in his McLaren.

The 2009 season brings many technical and racing regulation changes, covering almost every aspect of the races. (Except the points system, which remains the same, despite Bernie’s best efforts to push forward his ridiculous ideas of medals for the top three drivers at each race.)

Interestingly, according to the BBC, this season, team radio conversations are no longer out-of-bounds to broadcasters. So no more impeccably timed radio silences from the Ferrari camp.

The five lights will go off for the Australian GP at 7 am GMT on Sunday, 29 March.

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Pocket money for grandparents?

A new report by a charity in the UK has suggested that grandparents be paid for helping take care of their grandchildren while the parents are at work, the BBC reports.

The charity organisation Grandparents Plus has said that grandparents should be offered flexible work practices, two weeks ‘granny holidays’ and tax benefits in return for baby-sitting services offered.

According to the report, 61% of those polled agreed that the government should provide financial support to grandparents who help with childcare.

Earlier reports had revealed how grandparents are increasingly taking on childcare costs, but the deteriorating economic situation is expected to put a further drain on their ability to continue to do so.

Speaking to the BBC, one grandmother said, “I would like to see some sort of legislation whereby grandparents are recognised and given the same sort of remuneration as foster parents because we’re doing the same sort of job.”

But grandparenting a job?

My grandparents have played an integral role in my formative years, and continue to remain important to me.

My relationship with them is one I cherish. I assume they love me unconditionally and in their eyes, I can do no wrong. I respect them enough to refrain from doing things that they might not be too happy with.

The link across generations is special.Since when did family and relationships become a job worthy of renumeration other than a hand-made photo frame?

(Besides, don’t you sign up for the Job automatically when you have children anyway?)

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QPR 0 – 0 Sheffield Utd

Queens Park Rangers’ hopes of making the Championship play-offs suffered another setback as they were made to settle for a goalless draw at home against Sheffield United.

(Read behind the ‘reporter’s diary’ style story behind the story here)

QPR’s Dexter Blackstock had several chances to score, but as in last Tuesday’s disappointing defeat to Norwich, the hosts failed to deliver.

Blackstock had a shot on target as early as the eighth minute, but it was stopped by United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny. Minutes later, Kenny saved another shot from the striker for a corner. It was another chance gone missing in the 55th minute when the forward sent wide Mikele Leigertwood’s cross.

Soon after, Matteo Alberti who came on for striker Samuel Di Carmine in the 53rd minute sent the cross from Blackstock high over the United crossbar.

Playing with a single striker for much of the game, the visitors’ first chance came in the 28th minute when a Kyle Naughton free kick was deflected into the Loftus Road stands by keeper Radek Cerny.

Cerny turned out to be the hero for the Hoops as the Blades picked up the pace in the second half. He dived to save a shot from midfielder Nick Montgomery, minutes after half-time, and denied Danny Webber soon after.

Late into the match, substitute Craig Beattie had his close-range shot held by the Rangers’ Czech keeper.

Despite their seventh successive match without a win, QPR coach Paulo Sousa believes his team are on course to fight next season for a place in the Premier League.

Speaking after the game, he praised the “consistent” and “solid” defence. “We are in the great great way,” he added.

With this result, Sheffield United extended their unbeaten run in the league to 13 matches. They are now fifth in the table, while QPR are seven points off the play-offs in 11th.

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“We live in exponential times.”

Here is a video I came by. Of the food-for-thought kind.

Some of the predictions – and definitely their implications – probably need a rethink, what with the recession being such a dampner.

10 -15 jobs by the time I’m 38?! And there’s also someone telling me I’ll have trouble with my first.

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