Speed dating with Stan

Sometime in December, I signed up for a one-month free trial with a streaming service, just to see how it measured up. A week later I was telling a young friend, “I’ve been speed dating Stan.” He gave me that WTF look 30-somethings sometimes give their elders: “It’s called binge-watching, Dude.” And so it is. If you succumb to the marvels of being able to stream TV drama to your mobile phone, iPad, laptop and…

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Cucumbers and the silly season

All through my journalism career I tried to take holidays at this time of year – the peak summer period known universally as the ‘silly season’ It’s called that, here and abroad, to describe the sudden drying up of real news stories (or even cleverly disguised fake stories). The media must continue on its 24/7 quest for yarns, but the fare becomes increasingly trivial, short on detail and (gasp) exaggerated. In Australia, the ‘do not…

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Things go better with Santa

By Guest Writer Phil Dickie* Think Santa Claus. Think an overweight gent with a white beard wearing a distinctive red coat with white fur trim and a hat to match. In the English speaking world, that’s it. But while the tubby one is certainly known in continental Europe, he is not alone. Often, he is not even there in the Christmas accessory departments and when you make discrete inquiries you might be told “Oh, you…

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