Archives for August 2008

TV on the Tube

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 13:31 UK time, Friday, 29 August 2008


One of the many notable features of the Bejing Olympics was the presence of TV screens almost everywhere that we saw during games coverage. They seemed to have TV on the underground trains, too.

I heard one of the London Olympics organisers promising a similar technology would be available in 2012.

Leaving aside the number of more basic technical challenges on London's tube, like controlling the temperatures so we don't have to ride in a sauna as we do now, won't everyone have their own screens anyway by then, on their mobile phones?

Why not get phone signals working in the tube - that would be a cheaper option, surely?

Gertrude, where are you?

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 07:54 UK time, Thursday, 14 August 2008


Some of the names babies were still commonly given around the time I was being christened Daniel are now a long way out of fashion, according to a baby and parenting website called

Percy, Gertrude, and even Norman now sound very old fashioned - and I grew up with a lot of Normans. Daniel, on the other hand, is far more popular than when my parents took the bold step of giving me an alliterative name.

But the point of this post is to ask what's happened to fashion in names in other cultures? Are there more Osamas around than there were, or fewer? More Slobodans or fewer? How many Baracks are being registered these days?

Boys were being called Norman because of the Norman conquest, apparently. There are thousands of Atilas in Hungary, despite the generally poor reputation in the West of Attila the Hun, remembered for ravaging Italy and forcing the locals to flee to islands on which they established Venice.

What's the history behind your own name?

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