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Times Change

It’s been 50 years since I first started working for a newspaper. I’ve seen a lot of changes.

We’ve gone from moveable type to Twitter. Newspapers were once laid out on the “stone” in the composing room and stories were set in metal type. You had to be able to read upside down and backwards to proofread.

You had three editions and perhaps a couple of replates throughout the day. Now with the Internet, stories are updated at any time throughout the day.

TV has changed as well. I was still in England as a child when JFK was shot in Dallas. The BBC didn’t know how to cover it. In the pre-satellite days of television, there was no footage until they could fly it over the Atlantic. We knew he was dead, but we had no details.

As I recall, the BBC put up a test card because I think they found it inappropriate to continue with their regular programming.There were news updates throughout the evening, but details were sketchy and we sat staring at a mostly static screen, wondering what was happening.

Now major news is covered wall-to-wall, 24/7 with sat trucks beaming every detail instantly around the world.

On reflection, I think too much information is better than too little.


The real school bus problem

Why are all these school bus problems suddenly cropping up? No drivers. Autistic kids left at the side of the road. Whatever happened to the day when the person driving was someone who’d been doing the job for years and the company was local and had been business and served the community for years.

Then the Liberal government decided to go to competitive bidding. The contracts went to the lowest bidders – i.e. the school bus company that paid the least to their drivers. That resulted in the contracts for busing in the hands of one or two multinational corporations.

School bus companies in small towns that had been in business for years shut their doors. I think that’s a terrible shame. Those drivers took pride in their work. They knew their kids. The knew the ones who needed a bit of extra help and whose parents were who.

Yes, it meant lower costs. For now. The big companies were able to eat the losses for a while. But I wonder how long it will be before they hike their rate and we’re left with the worst of all worlds.


to be or not to be?

I love the Cineplex livestreams of great theatre from London. Just saw Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch. it was amazing. He takes Hamlet to a whole new level. The entire cast was great – especially Gertrude (Anastasia Hille).

It is an amazing production that stays faithful to Shakespeare while still opening up whole new perspectives on it. Cumberbatch reportedly was nervous about his role in the play, as he felt expectations were too high. Trust me, he had no need to worry. Superb performances all round. 

latin thought of the day

  •  atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. – Tacitus

They made a desert and called it peace

Mr. Holmes, I presume

Caught Mr. Holmes  recently. Just when you thought there was no new twist on Sherlock Holmes, along comes Ian McKellen  and Laura Linney with a wonderful new take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective.

If there is any justice in Hollywood, both will get Oscar nominations for their performances.

McKellen portrays Holmes in many ages – a remarkable feat. Lovely story and some great performances.

Give yourself a treat this weekend. Go see it!

Today’s Latin thought

ipsa scientia potestas est (Knowledge is power – Frances Bacon)

flag flap

while it’s good to see South Carolina legislators voted to remove the Confederate flag from in front of the State House, I wonder if it will be as easy to cleanse the deeply-rooted racism that led a young man to massacre 9 black worshippers in the African Episcopal church in Charleston recently.

Until they implement meaningful gun control laws and until they overhaul mental health services, I fear the removal of the flag will be an empty gesture.