A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Royal scandals are not what they were

If you ever think the current British royal family is prone to scandal, how about this one from the 1660s as told by Samuel Pepys in his diary. It involves the future King James II, who in 1668 was the Duke of York and heir to the throne. I don’t think Diana, Charles, Philip, or Fergie quite had this to deal with:

[6 April 1668] …whither came my Lady Kerneagy, of whom Creed tells me more perticularly: how her Lord, finding her and the Duke of York at the King’s first coming in too kind, did get it out of her that he did dishonour him; and so he bid her continue to let him, and himself went to the foulest whore he could find, that he might get the pox; and did, and did give his wife it on purpose, that she (and he persuaded and threatened her that she should) give it the Duke of York; which she did, and he did give it to the Duchesse; and since, all her children are thus sickly and infirm- which is the most pernicious and foul piece of revenge that I ever heard of. And he at this day owns it with great glory, and looks upon the Duke of York and the world with great content in the ampleness of his revenge.

(Pepys, Samuel. The diary of Samuel Pepys : a selection / selected and edited by Robert Latham. London : Penguin, 2003. 9780141439938 p. 901-902.)

A note on people:

  • “Lady Kerneagy” is Lady Carnegie
  • “her Lord” is her husband, Lord Carnegie
  • The Duke of York is the heir to the throne and the future King James II
  • the “Duchesse” is his wife, the Duchess of York
  • The King is Charles II whose “coming in” is the Restoration of 1660
  • John Creed is an acquaintance of Pepys who worked for the same patron

Survey on BBC News website

The  BBC News website was silly enough to ask my opinion of their site earlier today. I couldn’t let that opportunity go, so filled in the survey, including the following two questions:

A. It is relatively unbiased and it is ad-free. I trust its intentions if not its facts.
The RSS feeds. I find a local one useful.

A. – It’s trying to be a magazine as well as a news site. Like BBC Breakfast, it can’t effectively do both. As a non-profit site, it can be different and deliver quality and untainted news, if it wants.
– Much of the journalism seems lazy. I don’t believe facts are adequately checked; too much reliance is still placed on official hand-outs or from other news agencies: I believe the BBC has loads of local and international correspondents, but I don’t believe these are used efficiently; obvious questions are often neglected in stories.
– Much of the editing is similarly lazy, with obvious typos and grammar errors incredibly common. Although I appreciate the BBC wants to get news out fast, few of its articles are so long that they couldn’t be read at least once over, perhaps by an editor.
– The new layout is awful. I could always see the headlines on one page with no scrolling before. Now I am bombarded by the big story and have to scroll down all the time. I’m happy with a list of top stories without you having to pick the top one for me to the exclusion of the others. The top now has so many menus and buttons that it is effectively noise and the design of the masthead just looks like it hasn’t rendered properly. More concretely, the most watched/listened bit doesn’t fit on my Firefox and cover up the most shared item, which looks somewhat naff.
– I don’t generally want to watch video, so the media players starting all the time slow down page loads and lead me to content I can’t (at work) or don’t want to access.

For the first time in about ten years, I am looking round for another news site.

It’s probably rushed, ill thought out and not all based on facts, but I’m sure they’re used to that. I’ll admit that I corrected one major typo above which didn’t make sense.