As well as mad people, a recent daytime discovery of mine has been the joys of radio, particularly Radio 4. It never fails to surprise, veering between the mainstream and the just plain odd. The other day I caught a 20-minute interview with a lady in Wales who, using seaweed, weaves special covers to keep bales of hay dry. Of course, there isn’t much demand for her unique skill these days (since the roof was invented?) but she is paid to keep it going. Who was the person at the BBC who heard about this and thought it would make great radio? Possibly the same person who commissioned all the geology programmes – minute descriptions of the colour, shape and texture of bits of rock is surely not ideal radio matter. Still, it’s the random bits of weirdness that make it great.
At the other end of the spectrum is Pandora Internet Radio. You just type in a song or artist you particularly like, or are in the mood for, and it streams other similar songs. Type in Celine Dion and you’ve created your very own Radio Celine. You can then rate the individual songs it throws up to further refine future selections to your own taste. I just created Radio Barbra Streisand as a joke but am clicking the thumbs up icon on all the songs. This is a little frightening – back to geology.