Friday, November 18, 2005

Autumn leaves

London this week has seen a transformation of the weather straight from summer to winter, completely bypassing autumn.

One week we were enjoying some of the highest November temperatures on record and then this week the frost started with piercing blue skies and icy winds.

Given the weather extremes that there have been around the globe this year, is this a further evidence of the effect of global warming? Certainly in my 30 odd years living in the south of England, I have noticed a gradual warming over time and an increasing number of freak weather occurences.

Getting slightly back on topic for a blog on internet communications, as ever, ask and the internet will provide. A quick search brings up a number of sites with historical UK weather data, one of which provides statistics on the changes in the UK's climate to back up my more anecdotal evidence.

It confirms that the 1990s were the warmest decade on record in the UK, with four out of five warmest years ever recorded occuring in the 1990s. For the real anoraks out there, you can even check a UK place's temperature on a given day from 1982 onwards and confirm your own theories.

Fascinating, yet worrying. Truly, the internet is the world's reference library.

Friday, November 04, 2005


In the age of consumer-generated media, virtual word of mouth provides a way of evaluating just about any product or service. Little wonder that brands are finally waking up to the potential benefits and risks of the general public as publisher.

After waiting months for Screenselect to deliver the Will Smith vehicle 'Hitch', I was looking forward to finding out for myself why the film caused such mixed reactions.

I'd seen the trailer and the film looked great. Hip, original, witty and Will Smith looking in great form. I'd read the critics who offered some decidedly mixed reviews very much at odds with the hype put out by the film's publicity machine.

I decided to let the usually accurate consumer reviews decide it for me. Apart from a few (better informed) cynics, the typically well informed Screenselect film junkies were decidely positive with many claiming it was the ideal rom com. They should have known better.

The first hour lived up to the trailer. The second lived up to the print reviews. To watch the demise of such a promising and well produced film was a crying shame. I could understand it if it had been a money-chasing sequel, but not within the same film.

From an original take on the business of dating, it ended as saccharine nonsense with one of the least believable endings I have had the misfortune to sit through. I can't help wishing the DVD had jammed half way through and I could have that half hour of my life back.

A boost for traditional media. One in the eye for consumer-generated media.