Monthly Archives: January 2011

Borderline libel

I’ll leave you with this cutting from the Cambridge News. Scan below copyright Cambridge Newspapers Limited; §30, CDPA 1988, et al. Just in case you’re wondering, I am “Mr Arrogant” but, alas: I’m not mentioned by name and therefore my libel case would be weaker than Chris Leydon makes Earl Grey.

Borderline libel: a cutting from today's (29th January 2011) Cambridge News. Click image to enlarge; CDPA 1988 §30 and all that.

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The 31

Today, the county learnt that fifty-odd bus routes in Cambridgeshire will be withdrawn or truncated as a result of—as Cllr Mac McGuire put it—"the fact [that] funding is tight". My local route, the 31, is under the axe; its bus driver Malcolm has said that as the contract is up for renewal in mid-2012, that is the most likely time the service’ll be withdrawn. Cllr Kilian Bourke said "[the axing] create whole communities where, unless you are able to and can afford to drive, you will be isolated".

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Addenbrooke’s Road (née Access Road)

In one week’s time (27th January 2011), Addenbrooke’s Road in the south of Cambridge will be three months old. I’ve ridden on it perhaps three times. It’s not the best road to cycle on—even though it has both an alright (I guess) shared-use path on its northern side that has priority at side roads, though they’re currently leading to nowhere, and mandatory cycle lanes for its entire length.

I use Francis Crick Avenue far more, because it’s on my route to college. It’s okay; again with the mandatory cycle lanes—but no off-road cycleways and oddly no speed limit. (Private road, you see.) I cycle outside the cycle lanes on most roads; their use is not compulsory and I shouldn’t be forced anywhere. (JSYK, I also cycle on the outside of bus lanes.) I usually get toot’d for doing this: on Francis Crick Avenue, I have never in three months got tooted. I’m putting this down to the restrictions signed at either end of the road: “no motor vehicles except for access to hospitals”, which is (shown by the lack of horns) interpreted as “motor vehicles are guests.

BBC Alba and Freeview

This is somewhat old news but I’ve only just found the time to write this bloomin’ post. If I’ve understood the news correctly, most (if not all; can’t be bothered to count) BBC Radio stations will soon be replaced on the Freeview platform by television channel BBC Alba. I agree completely with the BBC Trust’s decision that “the removal of a [channel like] BBC Parliament from [the] Freeview [platform would be a] loss of significant public value”. The change will only affect Freeview viewers and listeners in Scotland.

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Collins en zijn verkeerde uitspraken

I’m currently learning Dutch; it’s my de facto New Years’ Resolution. I recently went on a book-buying spree on Amazon.co.uk and bought a few Dutch books (about either Dutch language or the Netherlands proper), a Dutch book (‘Pim en de piraten’, a children’s story) and also a book on type (‘Just My Type‘; unrelated to Dutch one may correctly argue). One of the Dutch language books was a Dutch phrasebook published by Collins; to my horror, I was … well, horrified to find that Collins are awful speakers of Dutch. I say “speakers” because while I’m hoping that the Dutch in the book is correct, the pronunciation beneath each phrase is god-awful. Even as a non-speaker, I know that -en is pronounced either as ‘en’ or ‘ern’, not ‘u’ as Collins insist. Fietsen is apparently pronounced ‘feets-u'; zeven becomes ‘zay-vu’ … it’s edging on sending it back. Maybe ‘-un’ but not ‘u'; that’s just wrong.

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