Facebook cut their comments down (17 March 2011)


I noticed today that Facebook has changed the functionality of its comments.  Previously when you commented on someone’s status you could press ENTER to get a new line, twice to get a new paragraph and continue on a while until you got your point across and then you used your mouse to click on Enter (the word) to share your comment.

Now when you hit ENTER via the key you automatically get your commented added.  Why is this?
Does Facebook only want quick answers? Are they discouraging people away from ranting posts? Discouraging them away from long answers on statuses?

Is that’s the case then I am upset.  I look for long answers on my statues.  I want them.  I enjoy them and a lot of my followers look for them.  They don’t want short, snappy responses.  If they want that they’ll go to Twitter.

But they may go to Twitter now to advertise their blogs as people seem to be encouraged towards having their own blogs if they want their own piece with a comments section allowing lengthy comments in discussion.

The hunt is on for the politics section (16 March 2011)


Despite the intention to write this blog often events conspired to prevent me from doing that.  A couple were to do with work and the other was being struck down by a virus within a scarily short period of time. 

Literally within the space of an hour on Monday morning at work I went from well to unwell.  So at 9am I was fighting fit, at 10am I was shuffling to the bosses door wittering about not feeling great and describing the symptoms.   I was sent off home.

A virus it was but a fairly weird one.  The symptoms changed by night-time on Monday to what I was certain was the flu.  By Tuesday afternoon it felt more like a cold coming on and by Tuesday evening roaring earache.  

On Wednesday morning the doctor confirmed the virus theory by telling me I didn’t have an ear infection but my ears were in fact dull, although there was not much chance of them bursting.  Thanks Dr A.

Therefore it’s taken me the best part of a week to get going and the best part of today to try and forget the work I’ll be going back to.  

Politics Section

Feeling better today I decided to head out after PMQ’s (before or during would have sufficed) and went shopping so I headed to The Gyle Shopping Centre in the West of Edinburgh.  I don’t head out there often but today it seemed to combine what I needed which was WH Smith, Boots and a book shop and a supermarket.

The bookshop at The Gyle is part of WH Smith, although a different unit, and is called WH Smith Books.  I’ve never been fond of it.  A few months ago I’d been looking for a book on politics and managed not to find it within their section on Politics.

Today there was just no politics section.  Or so it seemed.

I wandered around the small shop.  I went from General Fiction to Romance to Science Fiction to History to Education to Children’s to Reference to Languages to Health to Cookery to Sports to Business to Gardening to Maps but never to Politics.  Feeling frustrated I made the circuit again.  I was acutely aware that the staff may have been watching me and thinking that I was casing the joint.

Still no Politics sections.  I’ll admit to being on the mild side of angry.  I left the store.

I can never get across to people how big a part and how important politics is in their lives.  How it should play a bigger part in education.  This WH Smith Books store is a five minute bus journey from two primary schools, two secondary schools, a college and a university and it’s the only book shop I know in the area, aside from anything found on campus.

Never one to be beaten I returned to the shop before I went home.  It was busy and I had to wait on the attention of an assistant but when one was free she duly asked how she could help and I asked her if the shop had a politics section.

They do and she took me to it.  The reason I had bypassed it was because the shop had been shifted round slightly.  

Fair enough.  I followed her to the History section where the assistant point to the lower shelves.  I thanked her for her help and she left me to it.

Two and a half shelves.  That’s all that’s dedicated to politics in this store that dedicated at least three times that to health, three times that to cookery and much, much more to romance.  Not even is it split into British politics, American politics and others, but all lumped together in a simple A to Z.

I left disheartened.  

Dream School

I have just turned over from the Chelsea game to watch part 3 of Dream School.  I have seen this series both slated and praised in the last two weeks but from me it gets all praise.  There’s only one area I might give it minus marks and that’s in the editing.

Catching up on some of the YouTube footage today the passion of the students in the politics class, among others, is catching.  Passionate on subjects like knife crime, like youth clubs.  Regardless of how they put it, these kids have something to say that we should really be listening to.

Well done Jamie, the teachers but most of all…the kids.

Jamie’s Dream School – lighting the fire in your belly (9 March 2011)

Well, I’ve just finished watching the second episode of Jamie’s Dream School and I have to admit to finding this series absolutely brilliant.

There is, unfortunately, a very high amount of kids leaving school every year without proper qualifications and that in itself is something that has to be addressed.  I’m not writing this blog to lay the blame at any particular door but it has to be realised that the blame doesn’t lie solely with the education system but neither does it lie solely with the kids.  It’s a combination of contributing factors.

Personally, I’m very into politics and tonight it was interesting to watch the reaction of the kids to Alastair Campbell’s politics class.  They really very much got into it, highlighting issues which bothered them and in general getting fired up.  Yes, a fight broke out outside between Jenny and Georgia which was unfortunate but did highlight the passion the each had for their own side of the argument – it just went too far but they did make their peace.  I have actually seen grown, educated men fight like that when disagreeing on certain subjects.

Watching the kids get fired up about politics got me a bit fired up.  I wish I had had more politics in school, it was a subject very much glossed over, covered in Modern Studies and probably a bit in History.  There are so many subjects which deserve to be on the curriculum that it’s hard to fit them all in which is where an overhaul of the education system is needed.  Do I have the answers? No.  Would I like to  help find a solution? Yes, of course.

Back to Dream School.  Tonight seemed like a bit of a breakthrough programme.  Starkey made his peace with Conor and taught a class which the kids really enjoyed.  Rankin brought out real creativity in many of the kids and gave them a positivity which so many of them need badly.

Simon Callow didn’t have the greatest of lessons but taking them to a performance of his play was something they seemed to enjoy.  The reaction of the audience wasn’t great and it might have been deserved but Simon was willing to take the risk and the kids did get something out of it.

As an aside to that, while the kids might have been disruptive in the theatre, I have been, and know others who have been, in theatres and cinemas where other attendees have answered their phones, had conversations and allowed their phones to ring during performances.  Were these the kids from Dream School? No.  Actually a variety of people, many of whom you’d expect better.

Another thing I liked was Jamie taking out his mixing bowl and asking for the mobiles then shoving them in a cupboard.  There is no doubt that mobiles are a distraction.  Not just to these kids either.

Well done Jamie and his celeb teachers for doing this.  I hope that all of the kids, in some way, get something out of it.

1 18 19