October 11th, 2005


Teaching Company does The Vikings

Hmm -- this one in the new catalog seems interesting enough to be worth a mention. The Teaching Company has just added a course on The Vikings. 36 lectures on 18 CDs, currently on sale for $70. I'll probably pick it up sooner or later, but it sounds like the sort of thing that might be interesting to a fair number of the SCA folk out there...

(Edit: And I notice that they've just added the option of downloading instead of getting hardcopy, for only $50. Interesting...)

How not to improve a magazine

We just got the first issue of the "new, improved" TV Guide. To say the least, I'm underwhelmed.

The only reason we ever subscribed to TV Guide in the first place was that it was a convenient single source for information about upcoming TV shows. We never had a lot of use for the columns, and only cared slightly about the articles. The grid was the relevant part.

Now? Continuing the trends of the past year or two, they have gutted the grid. There is no longer any local content -- it only contains the national networks, with no consideration of the ways that local coverage may vary. That mostly occupies a few pages in the back, with the bulk of the magazine made up of exactly the fluff we didn't care about in the first place.

It's probably not worth the hassle of calling them up and demanding the remainder of my prorated subscription back. (Their new, officially splufty customer service website is curiously silent on this subject, which is probably a true FAQ.) But that's one magazine off the subscription list...