Monday, February 20, 2006

My second-best friend

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Mrs. Werbenmanjensen suggested as a headline for this post "The Best Technology the 1930s Has To Offer," but clearly this radio has transistors and thus is the best technology of the 1950s. In any case, this 5-quid radio from the DIY on Archway has become my new second-best friend (Mrs. W being my best friend, of course). While Mrs. W is able to immerse herself in the Englishisms in her new office culture, my interaction with the new culture consists of daily runs to the newsagent for a copy of the Guardian.

(It's ironic, but true, that I interact more with Americans on a daily basis than I do with Brits. This is the interconnected world we live in.)

At home, without a TV, I feel a little cut off from the culture I hope to immerse myself in. But at three and a half inches by two inches, the little radio pictured above is my way of hearing English accents and learning about the news of England that I'm not getting via the Guardian and online sources. I like listening to BBC 5 Live, simply because it is headline news and interviews, so I'm getting that news fix I so greatly need, and it puts me in touch with the culture I'm now a part of. But if I need to focus, such as when I'm trying to write something that requires concentration, I switch over to Radio 3, because there are fewer voices to distract me.

I guarantee we will have a TV within a fortnight. Mrs. W will not miss the Oscars.

4 Comments:

Anonymous pseudonymous in nc said...

If you want to get a sense of the big news agenda in the UK, then the Today programme on R4 is probably worth at least some of a listen, and especially the 8:10am interview. You'll find it quite a different beast to Morning Edition.

Five Live is unashamedly more populist, but that can sometimes be refreshing, though I'll take the drive-time news coverage over the phone-ins anytime. Its 'Up All Night' (radio for insomniacs) is good if you want to hear American stories via British hosts, especially if Rhod Sharp is at the helm: they'll usually speak to a local station in the US to get a sense of what's on the radio. It's also been interested in the intersection of radio and the online world for nearly a decade.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Part of the issue is that it's an analog dial, and all of the stations are kind of bunched together, so I'm never quite sure which particular Beeb station I'm tuning into.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous pseudonymous in nc said...

I'm never quite sure which particular Beeb station I'm tuning into.

All listed here... as a general rule, across the country, for FM from 88-108: R2, R3, R4, local radio, R1, more local radio.

And you might want to treat yourself to a DAB radio, depending on how long you're planning to be in London: they're really fab.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:42 PM  

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