Uncooked Data


Library related events, questions and links: My professional life on a page

Questions to a fellow Blogger: Paul Burgin from Mars Hill

Paul Burgin writes the Mars Hill  political blog. I am blatantly half-inching the ‘Twenty Questions’ concept from him, and so it is only right that he should be up first for a return leg of the questioning.  Thanks to Paul for agreeing to kick off this part of the Uncooked Data experience.

What’s your all-time favourite blog?

That’s a hard question, but Iain Dale’s Diary, LabourList and LabourHome, Rupa Huq’s, yours, and Kerron Cross’s (when it existed) are/were must reads.

As a blogger, what’s your proudest blog moment, all-time favourite or most commented post?

That’s a bit difficult. I am proud of my actions during the Draper/McBride affair & the MP’s expenses scandal, because not only did my posts get noticed and I made my views clear, I did not stop to look and see if many people agreed with me or not. Sometimes you can come across an issue which is so black and white in it’s morality that you have to make a stand.

What is your day job? Is your blog linked to, tangential or completely separate from what you do?

I work as a Supervisor at a bookshop, so apart from the fact we sell some political books (at reduced good prices I might add), then no.

In the future of the internet and information, which will win: speed or accuracy?

I don’t want to even consider that. Information I hope, but the rise of a media over the past century which relies more on sensationalism does not inspire me with hope.

What is your favourite journey?

I like the Cambridge/King’s Cross train journeys, apart from the occasional delays and crowding, but I enjoy flights as well (apart from sustained turbulence and just before take off), as I rarely get to go on a plane.

What one thing (material, spiritual or emotional) would change your life for the better?

A number of things, am sure. A stronger faith would help go a long way and, like many other thirtysomethings, marriage, children, and a place of my own. But if these things do not come about, then it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which book would you wish you had with you?

Apart from The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare, which I would want to take? The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis and a decent biography. Nearly took Susan Howatch’s Starbridge Novels which are good, but there are six volumes.

What’s your must-see film?

A Bond movie, or Gandhi. Now there is a contradiction for you 😉

Which song sums up your life?

Tough questions, but possibly Amazing Grace

Marmite: Love it or hate it?

Love it, but appreciate a lot of people hate it

How do you relax?

Watching TV, reading, and going for walks

Who is your greatest inspiration?

Is it cheesy to say Jesus Christ?

Where would you most like to visit? And where do you never want to have to go again?

I’d like to do a grand tour and revisit the US and Canada, with Ireland as a stopgap either on the way there or coming back. I can’t think of anywhere I’d never want to go back to. That said I had a miserable time doing school work experience at Hitchin Library. It took me ten years to even consider re-entering that building, and even now on the rare occasion I do, I feel very uncomfortable. The woman who ran the place at the time (nearly twenty years ago) was quite vile towards me and her report to the school made them gasp with shock and almost reduced me to tears.

Do you have a favourite website/ tool for work? Or for leisure purposes?

Is it sad to mention the BBC News Website, the Doctor Who Website, and Facebook for social!

Do you read a newspaper? Is that online, or in paper form or both?

I read The Guardian and The Independent in paper form, and The Sunday Times, although I do sometimes go for The Observer. I tend to read individual articles online more than the newspaper itself

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given? And what’s the worst? 

Best piece of advice to always think of others. The worst must have been so bad that I can’t remember 😉


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