MY MUM said she was buying me a birthday present. I am now 38 years old. This is far too old to be a junkie. But anyway we went through Tesco's electrical department and picked out a cheapie CD player plus (what I really wanted) a digital radio.
The FM dial in London is so jam-packed with pirate stations playing outdated early 90s drum-&-bass I find it literally impossible to get a signal on the speech stations I actually like.
Nobody uses satellite radio in this country. In fact I have never seen (or even heard of) a set on sale, though I've heard a satellite called Hotbird does broadcast to Europe. What I got was DAB, which offers crystal-clear reception subscription free from local broadcasters on about 50 channels ~ though there's apparently space for loads more. Unlike ordinary FM radio, DAB broadcasts come via a "multiplex" where the signal on one frequency, eg 220 mhz is divided into 8 or more stations, making pirate DAB broadcasting a tad too technically complexicated for the average drum-&-bass towerblock hoodlum.
The radio pirates install their FM transmitters at the top of residential towerblocks and broadcast practically anywhere they please on the FM dial. Sometimes you can just about get talk radio but with a ceaseless pulse of dfff-dfff-dffffff sub-bass. Other times the DJ's voice comes shamelessly through on top, interjecting phases like "rewind selecta" and "big up da blah-de-blah-blimblom" (their mates). There's supposed to be a taskforce tackling these illegal broadcasters, who use random flats in the area (with another, low-power frequency as link) but they never seem to go away for more than a day or two. You can usually tell which is and isn't strictly "legit" because pirate stations broadcast in mono ~ so they don't light up the red stereo light. I'm all for freestyling on the radio waves don't get me wrong. I just find it annoying when they're decimating the BBC. Personally I think the legal broadcasters should all switch to digital and leave FM for anybody who wants a go. But apparently there's a problem because car manufacturers usually install AM/FM-only radios in keeping with pan-European demand and a lot of digital-only broadcasters claim to lose money. The latest "multiplex" got no bidders and so the future of DAB in the UK is uncertain.
Meanwhile I'm more than happy with what's there!
It's Bashful's funeral today or tomorrow. Oh, and I'm moving to Berlin. More about that tomorrow ...
It was the Eurovision song contest on Saturday night. Widely derided (here); taken incredibly seriously (in the East) it attracts transEuropean viewing figures of over 100,000,000.
I must have been out of my head because unlike former years (when I avoid it like bubonic plague) I thought to myself "this might be good!"~??!? and settled down with a nice cup of tea. Thankfully I conked out for the first half of the "ceremony" but this is what I remember:
PS If you come from lands far overseas and believe all European pop music is a tacky load of tat, see this before you cement your opinion (it will only strengthen it!!)
NORWAY (Best tune)
I was going to put this down as the best entry musically anyhow. And they happened to WIN also:
UKRAINE (Best visuals)
The singer mortgaged her flat to pay for this elaborate set. I hope she gets her money back:
Musicals composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the tune. Whoever wrote the lyrics ("it's my time, it's my time" repeated over and over) deserves to be shot:
("Royaume Uni" came 5th out of 25, with 42 countries voting...)
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