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The AM Glass Box

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Eddie Mair | 05:07 UK time, Wednesday, 5 August 2009

glassam2.JPG

Good morning.

You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

It's best to post before 10.00, so we can work ideas into our 11.00 meeting.

Comments

  • 1. At 10:15am on 05 Aug 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    For a while there it all went blank.

    All the voices were silenced.

    All movement ceased.

    The world was at peace.






    Then the blog returned from the doctors and the planet started turning again.

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  • 2. At 10:15am on 05 Aug 2009, eddiemair wrote:

    And we're back!

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  • 3. At 10:22am on 05 Aug 2009, TallulahTanglewood wrote:

    This article in today's Times is very interesting. Worth reading all the way through :

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article6739270.ece

    (Long blurb ahead. Put kettle on.)

    The article addresses the pornification of mainstream life and looks at how " Porn has “groomed” young women until they don’t even address their own pleasure."

    It talks of the effect of this on women and the narrowing of their self-image and also of what's required to be sexy. This also has a narrowing effect on young men and I think this would be a good topic for a discussion.

    What effect is the normalization of hardcore porn concepts doing to the way people understand sex and sensuality and intimacy? Is it making a sex life that's harsh, cold and mechanical the normal expectation for people just embarking on being active sexual beings?

    You could discuss all this without even getting on to feminism. It could just be discussed in terms of being human and not passively and blindly accepting body images and sexual practices that seem to have become taken for granted.

    I think it's quite sad that sex has become so one-dimensional and conformist in the media with hardly any counter-effort to show that it can be warm and joyful and creative.

    Somehow the harsh vacuous culture we've become immersed in with the shallowness and cruelty of reality TV, celebrity feeding frenzies and lunch-hour cosmetic surgery has made it possible for young men and young women in particular to see themselves as little more than packaging or passive sex toys.

    Somehow their reluctance to step out of line and dare to be individuals seems connected to an overall sickness in society that also makes complaining about selfishness in cinemas a bit of a minefield. How did life get so cold and unfeeling?

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  • 4. At 10:23am on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Hurrah! Quadlattes all round!

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  • 5. At 10:42am on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    The Totnes Idea: Primary Elections for Constituencies

    Rolled out across the country, primary elections would cost at least £ 75 million for a small democratic improvement in the 'safe seats.' I calculate this is the equivalent of giving every MP a pay rise of £116,000 per year. It's like fitting plush new carpets in a car that keeps breaking down. Where are the Conservatives going with this idea? The major parliamentary and electoral faults occurred in the top Westminster layers of the hierarchy, not in the Constituency.

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  • 6. At 10:54am on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Iran President Sworn In

    Has ANY evidence emerged that Iran's elections were rigged? They published the full details of the election a few weeks ago. What's the BBC analysis? I haven't seen any reports.

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  • 7. At 10:57am on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Ohhh, I now see that I speak to myself as 'you' not as 'Big Sister'. Well tweaked, sir! But no return of 'recent comments'. Hm.

    Talluluh (3), what an excellent article! And it reminds me of an incident from my youth which is, I think, relevant.

    At the age of 18, I was working as PA to a sales executive for a company with a very wide, high profile, clientele. One of their clients was visiting from Germany. My boss had told me previously that this client 'fancied' me. This man, in his forties, balding, and very corpulent, was quite repellent, as far as I was concerned, and I'd already noticed him leching me, so I was not exactly delighted to hear this. Anyway, an evening out was to be arranged for this client and two representatives from the German Embassy, one of whom was a woman, and my boss asked me if, as a favour, I would be prepared to come along so that there was another female in the party to balance things a little. We went to the Talk of the Town. It was a pleasant enough evening initially, the Embassy representatives being cultured and good company. Prior to agreeing to go along, I had made my boss promise that, just as soon as dinner was over, he would drive me home. That was to be my insurance policy with regard to the client who was so keen on driving a deal with me! Anyway, my boss reneged on the deal, suggesting, as dinner ended that we 'all went along' to Raymond's Revuebar. The pretext for this was that our company had recently done a refit to the lounges there. I was not amused, and of course I could not openly express this with clients on hand. I took my boss to one side and told him that I was not happy, but he refused to take me home immediately, saying that he'd do so after we'd been at the Revuebar for an hour. The only protest I could make, without causing a scene, was to remain silent throughout what was, for me, a most unpleasant hour.

    Now, all those years ago, this was not a common thing for an 18 year old woman to do. I have to say that the objectification of women is something that has always concerned me, and no doubt that episode did nothing to allay those concerns. The issues raised in the Times article are, to me, very worrying. I see my stepdaughters regarding lap dancing as perfectly acceptable, and, in their different ways, emulating the images from Loaded, etc. This later, I realise, is largely driven by the way many modern young celebs dress,who are, sadly, their role models. I do feel that women are losing their way. I personally feel the pressures even here in my own home, and while I refuse to give in, am finding it harder than at any time in my life just to be 'me'.

    An excellent idea for Eddie to pursue.

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  • 8. At 11:00am on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    'This later' should, of course, read 'This latter'

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  • 9. At 11:04am on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Labour Leader

    Has Brown done a secret deal with Harman over the future leadership? There have been many indications over the last six weeks and events this week add further credence. Brown on the brink of resignation. Party conference coming up in the autumn. General election next year. Where's Miliband Major - is he planning his campaign?

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  • 10. At 11:08am on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    "A statistical analysis of province-by-province voting in Iran’s June 12 presidential election makes a compelling case for wide-spread fraud in the vote that returned conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power and touched off days of bloody protests in Iran.

    "The report, [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]“Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election” published by the Chatham House think tank in London and the Institute of Iranian Studies at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, found instances of greater than 100 percent turnout in two provinces. It also found an improbable 90 percent turnout in four other provinces. The research was based official Iranian data."

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  • 11. At 11:17am on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    re my 10 - for some reason the link has been deemed unsuitable - but if you search you'll find it.

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  • 12. At 11:22am on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #10. Sid

    "...found instances of greater than 100 percent turnout in two provinces."

    Yes - and that explained the very same day when it was pointed out Iranians do not have to vote in their own district.

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  • 13. At 11:24am on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:


    This is an interesting US study:

    "Study of those who don't use assisted Suicide Law"

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_or_assisted_suicide_study.html?source=mypi

    The final para particularly...

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  • 14. At 11:46am on 05 Aug 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Sid @ 10, "found instances of greater than 100 percent turnout in two provinces"

    So that would be the same as some places in the USA then?

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  • 15. At 12:08pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Help! PM Team

    Can anyone tell me why my post @ 13 (I'm Charlie by the way) appeared under my name which has now been changed to "you"..?

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  • 16. At 12:13pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:


    How odd.

    I'm logged-in as Charlie:

    "You are currently signed as Charlie. Sign out."

    Even my post @ 12 about having a (you know..!) in the shower has changed to you...

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  • 17. At 12:14pm on 05 Aug 2009, eddiemair wrote:

    Charlie (15) I can give you a non techy answer! I know that our colleagues were working on some blog tweaks...in part to fix a behind-the-scenes problem which made it a complete pain to post. That has been fixed and I guess the new YOU is part of the work they've been doing.

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  • 18. At 12:23pm on 05 Aug 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    Charlie

    Why not just swing with it and change your nick-name to 'you'.

    That way 'you' will be logged on as 'you' and the 'you' messages will all be named 'you' because 'you' did them.

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  • 19. At 12:35pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:



    Hi Eddie

    Mmmm... Are you saying I was volounteered to lay-down my life for the Blog?

    It's alright to tell me. I can take it, sob, sob...

    Does this mean I'm now stuck with "you". If you (pun intended) see what I mean?

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  • 20. At 12:35pm on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    T8/Charlie: Problem is, if you create a different ID you might get modded!

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  • 21. At 12:40pm on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    Richard @ 12

    "These results are not significantly affected by the statement of the Guardian Council that some voters may have voted outside their home district, thus causing the irregularities highlighted by the defeated Mohsen Rezai."

    You really have to read the whole report ...

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  • 22. At 12:48pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14092681 wrote:

    As a matter of interest, can anyone name any country attacked by Iran in
    , say, the last few hundred years?

    Everybody needs someone to hate.

    Funny! I'm "you" too!

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  • 23. At 12:50pm on 05 Aug 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Charlie, you can't be you, *I* am you, see 14 above.

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  • 24. At 12:55pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14092681 wrote:

    "I am because you are"
    -- Satish Kumar

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  • 25. At 1:02pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Chris_G 23

    Believe me, neither you, or anyone else, would want to be me.

    Anyway, strange thing is, if I now "click" on "you", my previous life's work appears under its' correct name of "Charlie".

    I just hope the techies don't handle witness identity changes for the Police. People wouldn't be safe for long...

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  • 26. At 1:42pm on 05 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Surely there's an easy, logical explanation for this "you" business.

    It's simply a way of indicating that you are logged in, and the blog software knows who you are. So it's quite logical that it now informs you that your posts were written by you!

    So, to anyone else reading this, my posts will start "At HH:MMap on DD MMM YYYY, mittfh wrote:" whereas to me they'll start "At HH:MMap on DD MMM YYYY, you wrote:"

    That is, of course, assuming they haven't reversed the change in the meantime...

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  • 27. At 1:45pm on 05 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Perhaps while the blog wizards are at it, they'll fix the profile bug: there are 10 posts on each page, but clicking Newer or Older will increment/decrement by 25 posts (thus skipping 15 each time!)

    And at least examine the feasibility of reintroducing RC :)

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  • 28. At 1:58pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    T8 @ 18

    You may have to be right. And, in more ways than one. Ultimately, I may have to "...swing with it..."

    Wonder if I could trick an institution like Goldman Sachs into giving me a "trading" position?

    Now, there's a thought - anyone got their 'phone number?

    Then I could work towards becoming and, changing my name to: "Big Swinging Dick — A big-time trader or salesman. ("If he could make millions of dollars come out of those phones, he became that most revered of all species: a Big Swinging Dick." p.52)"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar's_Poker

    Incidentally, for one of the best written and most readable explanations of how the world's financial system came to be where it is today, Michael Lewis' offering (unbelievably, of 20 years ago) is absolutely superb. Truly.

    The fellow's a modern-day prophet (although, I wonder, did he forsee my enforced Blog name change..?) Mmmm...

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  • 29. At 2:03pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    mittfh 26

    ...I know I've asked this before, but are you sure you don't want an IT job with the 'Beeb"..?

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  • 30. At 2:10pm on 05 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Charlie @ 29: Put it this way - they haven't headhunted me yet...

    And I doubt they'd be able to justify a decent resettlement package...

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  • 31. At 2:49pm on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Voting in Iran: Superior to British System?


    At elections, voters are free to cast their ballot at any polling station, provided they have their ID card with them. Voters present their ID card at the polling station. Their name and information is checked and entered into a computer, and also recorded in writing. The voter's thumbs are inked with purple dye and pressed onto the the ballot. The voter's ID card is stamped to prevent multiple voting at different polling stations. The computer and written records, together with the thumb print on every ballot, provides complete traceability.

    The Chatham House 'Preliminary Report' was rushed out just a week after the results were declared. It contained such schoolboy howlers, that the author was forced to issue a supplementary update. Voter turnouts above 100% in some provinces occurs normally, as it has done in all previous elections. This is because there is no requirement for people to vote in the province where they registered many years before. Moving house is an obvious explanation, but many who work in the cities for example drive-in from other provinces, and vote where it is more convenient. Seasonal workers in the country's large agricultural sector provides another explanation, and there's still a nomadic nature in the remote areas.

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  • 32. At 2:52pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Eddie 17, I have become a 'you' on several of my old posts. Pleses fix it as I prefer to use my real name here.

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  • 33. At 2:56pm on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Further to my post #31

    As I pointed in #6, Iranian authorities published the full details of the election a few weeks ago. I'm not aware of any BBC analysis since publication. The information made available includes the questions raised by the opposition, and the written replies they received. No one appears to have added any further questions since then - and nothing from Chatham House - although their author discredited himself.

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  • 34. At 3:16pm on 05 Aug 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Hello, just testing to see if I'm still 'you', I mean, 'me' but written as 'you' by the blog. No, in fact 'Funnyjoedunne' but written as 'you'...not 'me' but only 'me' will know...if its still written as 'you' to 'me'. That is unless...it is 'you'! Then it would be written as 'you' to 'you'...not to 'me'...because it would be to you!...'The chuckle brothers wrote'...

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  • 35. At 3:27pm on 05 Aug 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Be assured David (32), your name is still visible!

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  • 36. At 3:28pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    D_M 32

    David


    "...Pleses fix it as I prefer to use my real name here."

    The Princess and I are still working on the question...

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  • 37. At 3:29pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14086049 wrote:

    Hi Mittfh"


    If all it says is "you", how does one know which one one is?

    Are you you too?

    What's "RC"?

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  • 38. At 3:32pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    mittfh 30

    Worry not. I can certainly justify it...

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  • 39. At 3:48pm on 05 Aug 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    I'm nobdy. Who are you? Are you nobody too?

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  • 40. At 3:50pm on 05 Aug 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    And in 39 I am "Chris_Ghoti", while still being "you" in 14 and 23.

    They've been improving things again, haven't they?

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  • 41. At 3:56pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14085632 wrote:

    Tell us a story, please, but please tell us who you is.

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  • 42. At 4:01pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 43. At 4:20pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Charlie 36, Is that the one about the princess and the pee?

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  • 44. At 4:20pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Jackanory 41

    Only the Beeb knows who "you" is.

    I've heard rumours (can't tell you from who_m) that "Dr Who" is to morph into "Dr you". But "who" knows..?

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  • 45. At 4:25pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    D_m 43

    David,

    More like asking why "you" can't hear a Pterodactyl pee.

    Answer 1) because "you" is deaf

    or

    Answer 2) Because the "P" is silent

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  • 46. At 4:34pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:



    Did I ever say that I love "you".

    Well, if I don't, who will..?

    No, don't bother to answer...

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  • 47. At 4:37pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Charlie 45, Probably because it pees down its leg.

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  • 48. At 5:01pm on 05 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Just in case anyone isn't yet familiar with the blog referring to themselves in the second person:

    Every post I make will appear to me as "you wrote"
    Every post I make will appear to others as "mittfh wrote"

    Every post David writes will appear to him as "you wrote"
    Every post David writes will appear to others as "David_McNickle wrote"

    Every post Charlie writes will appear to him as "you wrote"
    Every post Charlie writes will appear to others as "Charlie wrote"

    Does anyone not spot the pattern yet?

    Caveats:
    1) The transformation only applies to the 'full' page - i.e. once you have posted a comment, it will show your nickname (as it always used to) until you refresh the page.
    2) The transformation will only work if you are logged in - if you return to a page on which you have posted when you are logged out, then you will see your nickname in the same way as anyone else.

    Fixes that probably still have to be implemented:
    £123.45 - the pound symbol (and other accents), which only seem to work if preceeded by a capital A with a circumflex accent (Â).
    RCs - acronym for a blog feature which disappeared with the new layout...

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  • 49. At 5:01pm on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    "Voter turnouts above 100% in some provinces occurs normally, as it has done in all previous elections. This is because there is no requirement for people to vote in the province where they registered many years before. "

    Presumably that also explains why in some provinces turnout was less than 0%.

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  • 50. At 5:07pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14093035 wrote:

    What's RC an acronym for, please?

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  • 51. At 5:07pm on 05 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Hang on...is it my imagination or have they fixed the accent / pound symbol problem?

    Test (None of these have been escaped):
    £123.45 (€678.90) - 15ºC - Déjà vu - Français

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  • 52. At 5:11pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Mittfh 48, I thought Spot was a dog.

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  • 53. At 5:11pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Let's see, £.

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  • 54. At 5:14pm on 05 Aug 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Time for a re-write on the "special characters front!

    Does it do £, € etc.?

    No.
    £££££
    well, at least that's a minor improvement, but my keyboard's got no Euro, so
    I'll still have to use €

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  • 55. At 5:15pm on 05 Aug 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    € That is....

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  • 56. At 5:18pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    funnelyJoedonut, I'm working on another glass box. Me

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  • 57. At 5:20pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    fJd, Nothing as elaborate as a hat on a box,though.

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  • 58. At 5:27pm on 05 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #49. Sid

    "Presumably that also explains why in some provinces turnout was less than 0%."

    That's nonsense.

    BTW the answer about SAT's which had you puzzled yesterday: "..what will happen after 100% has been reached."

    They'd focus on Level 5. It's not difficult.


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  • 59. At 5:27pm on 05 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Move on over to the PM Glass Box now. Nothing more to see here.

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  • 60. At 5:35pm on 05 Aug 2009, Fifi wrote:

    Chris (23) : I'm Spartacus and so is my wife!

    Charlie (45) : As any fule no, the P is silent as in swimming baths.

    Yes, and I too would like to know what RC stands for. Clearly not roman catholic, this time....?

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  • 61. At 5:36pm on 05 Aug 2009, Fifi wrote:

    Oh, that's a surprise!

    * jumps up and down, waving *

    Daaaaaavid! Daaaaavid McNickle!

    We've got our own names back. Or I have, anyway. It says: Fifi wrote....

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  • 62. At 5:45pm on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Hello. Am I Big Sis or am I you?

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  • 63. At 5:46pm on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Answer: I am Big Sis. But - still no recent comments.

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  • 64. At 5:47pm on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Nonononononono! Now I'm you again! arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............

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  • 65. At 5:47pm on 05 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    So, I'm Big Sis until I refresh, then I'm you again. Very interesting (possibly)

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  • 66. At 5:48pm on 05 Aug 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    How refreshing! It reveals the real you!

    Gotta fly!
    az

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  • 67. At 6:15pm on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    Richard @ 58

    Honestly! There's no pleasing some people. You ask for evidence, then when it's offered you get all picky! It's not my evidence, and I'm not responsible for the nonsense you turn it into.

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  • 68. At 6:15pm on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    Fifi - only till you refresh. In the shower, perhaps ...

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  • 69. At 6:22pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Fifi 60

    P erfect!

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  • 70. At 6:26pm on 05 Aug 2009, Charlie wrote:



    mittfh 48

    As ever you are a Gnius..!

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  • 71. At 7:22pm on 05 Aug 2009, Sid wrote:

    RC = Recent Comments

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