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## How to Avoid Being Cheated on Widescreen TV Sizes

It is rather unfortunate that the widescreen TV industry has decided to go down the route of an almost outright cheating of their customers, by marketing TV sets around their diagonal size.

Fact (1): Widescreen TVs aspect (ratio between width and height) is 16:9 , “normal” TVs’s 4:3. That is, a widescreen TV of the same height of a “normal” TV, is also considerably wider.

Fact (2): Apart from dodgy movies and panoramic documentaries, most TV broadcasts picture objects standing vertically, eg people walking or talking to each other. Even Italian footballers are shown standing on their feet, most of the time. Therefore, the height of the image is very important in the enjoyment of a TV show.

The above means that anybody buying a 28″ widescreen TV to substitute a 28″ “normal” one, is in for a nasty surprise: the new TV set will be shorter in height, and therefore all the objects on the screen will be smaller.

This may explain a generic sense of disappointment when looking at “small” sets in TV shops, with rather minute screens sporting unbelievable sizes of 19″ or 20″…

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Some quick maths can provide guidance: it turns out that to keep the same height, a widescreen TV set’s diagonal size must be around 1.22 times larger than a “normal” one.

So if you want to replace a 28″ TV, don’t ever go for anything less than a 35″ widescreen; a 14″ set, buy a 18″ widescreen or larger; a 32″ “normal” TV, substitute with a 40″ widescreen at least.

Ah…and if you are dreaming of the 42″ widescreen TV sets I can tell you from experience…after two weeks, it will look as small as the old one.

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## Quantitative Effects of Sichuan Earthquake on Tibet Reporting

The Sichuan quake has partially removed Tibet from the news, in a quantitatively quite relevant way.

Articles on Tibet in the New York Times archives:

From 1/Jan/8 to 14/Jun/8: 295 articles (1.79/day)

1/Jan-10/Mar (the day before the Tibetan riots): 31 (0.45/day)

11/Mar-11/May (the day before the Sichuan quake): 212 (3.48/day)

12/May-14/Jun: 52 (1.58/day, that is 55% fewer)

More numbers for those thinking the above is just what happens with “old news”:

11/Mar-11/Apr: 126 (4.06/day)
12/Apr-11/May: 87 (3/day)

So it is true: the quake has halved the news reporting from Tibet, from one day to the next.

World attention on Tibet is in the meanwhile decreasing. During June, there has been just 1.49 articles/day on Tibet.

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## Guappi Unti Causano Dimissioni Politico Gallese

Alun Cairns, deputato Conservatore presso il Parlamento del Galles, si e’ dimesso dall’incarico di responsabile del partito all’educazione dopo aver definito gli Italiani con un epiteto particolarmente pesante: “greasy wops”.

Adesso dice di essersene pentito. Certo che uno farebbe anche a meno di imparare quali termini peggiorativi possono essere usati nei suoi confronti…

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## Effetto Quantitativo del Terremoto in Cina sulla Questione Tibet

Il terremoto nello Sichuan ha allontanato il Tibet dai giornali in maniera quantitativamente molto rilevante.

Ma tanto alla stragrande maggioranza dei miei lettori, queste cose non interessano. Dei “disastri naturali” chi se ne frega?

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Articoli sul Tibet nell’archivio del New York Times:

Dal 1/1/8 al 14/6/8: 295 articoli (1.79/giorno)

1/1-10/3 (vigilia della rivolta in Tibet): 31 (0.45/giorno)

11/3-11/5 (vigilia del terremoto nello Sichuan): 212 (3.48/giorno)

12/5-14/6: 52 (1.58/giorno, una diminuzione del 55%)

Per chi pensasse che si tratti solo del normale “oblio della vecchia notizia” da notare anche questi numeri:

11/3-11/4: 126 (4.06/giorno)
12/4-11/5: 87 (3/giorno)

Quindi il terremoto da un giorno all’altro ha davvero dimezzato gli articoli sul Tibet.

L’attenzione continua a dimunuire, e durante il mese di giugno ci sono stati sul Tibet solo 1.49 articoli al giorno.