My top ten British sitcoms – number eight

Today I continue the list of my top ten British sitcoms with a modern classic.

Number eight – The Office

Set in the less than glamorous Slough Trading Estate, The Office is a fictional documentary about the employees of Wernham Hogg Paper Company. The star of The Office is David Brent, a general manager at Wernham Hogg who considers himself to be a talented comic, musician and philosophical thinker. In reality, he is none of these. Much of the programme revolves around David Brent’s misguided and often cringeworthy attempts to get what he most wants in life… attention and recognition. Other characters include Gareth Keenan (a man who attempts to compensate for his many flaws by always trying to be something he is not), Tim Canterbury (a likeable character whose purpose in the show is to highlight his colleagues’ shocking behaviour) and Dawn Tinsley (a down to earth secretary who, with her engagement to Lee, faces an unfufiling life ahead).

The fact that there were only ever fourteen episodes of The Office make it the second shortest running sitcom on this list. What it lacks in length however, it makes up for in originality and polish. Also, more than any other sitcom on this list, The Office divides people between those that love it and those that hate it. I understand that there may be a lack of in-your-face comedy (or arguably a lack of anything). However, in my opinion, the bland setting and subtly of the humor make the whole thing more meaningful and funny.

Here is a clip from one of the best episodes “Training”. In this episode, David Brent continually tries to divert attention away from the training instructor and onto himself by any means necessary.

You can buy the complete series of The Office for just £8 from Also, if you enjoy The Office, you may also like Extras; another sitcom by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.


My Lovely Horse

After listing Father Ted as my ninth best British comedy, I came across this live version of My Lovely Horse, the song featured in the episode A Song for Europe. Enjoy…

Check out this blog tomorrow to find out what my eighth best British comedy is.

Sony PSP2 – first look

On Thursday, Sony gave us our first glimpse of the successor to the Playstation Portable (PSP1). I have owned a PSP since 2009 and whilst it hasn’t sold as well as Nintendo’s portable system, I love the thing. I was therefore excited to hear the announcement of the PSP2 (codenamed NGP).

When I first saw the images of the PSP2, I thought I was looking at the original PSP1 (PSP1000/2000/3000, not the PSP Go). The reason for this is that like the PSP1, the PSP2 features a brick shaped design. The layout of the PSP2’s controls is also somewhat similar to its predecessor.

Whilst on the surface, there may appear to be a lack of innovation by Sony, the PSP2 has an impressive list of new features. These include:

  • Flash memory based cartridges (not USB disks like the PSP1)
  • Five inch touch sensitive screen (960 x 544 pixels)
  • Touch pad on the rear (mirroring the screen)
  • Six-axis motion sensing system
  • Front and rear facing cameras
  • Built in GPS
  • Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity
  • Two analogue sticks

There more I think about the PSP2, the more I like it. At first I was quite sceptical about the inclusion of a touch screen. On reflection however, I think the move was a good one, allowing the system to play the sort of mini games so popular on the iPhone. So long as touch controls are not shoehorned into games for which they are not suitable, this in my view can only be a good thing. The touch pad on the rear of the PSP2 can only stimulate innovate game development too.

Overall, my first impressions of the PSP2 are very positive. The fact that it looks similar to the PSP1, in my mind, is a good thing. The inclusion of a second analogue stick is a small but significant development that should bring the controls in line with home consoles. Also, having a front facing camera should make video calls on Skype possible.


Song of the week (number 19)

flying home
flying from a land once thought so strange
below me a dream left behind
above me the clouds in which I shall stir

soon I will open my eyes
soon I will emerge into myself once more
this dream is fading fast
for now at least it still seams pure

someday I will sleep again
someday I will visit this land anew
my future is uncertain
but my dreams are mine and mine alone to shape.

Blind card sorting puzzle – the answer

Here is another puzzle that I never got round to answering… Until today. Firstly, here is the puzzle again:

“A blind person is given a normal deck of 52 cards. They are told that exactly 10 of the cards are facing up, all the rest are facing down. How can the blind person divide the cards into 2 separate piles, with each pile consisting of an equal number of cards facing up?”

The answer is below

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