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Post Tagged with: Zeitgeist

The Big Bang – spoilers!

The Big Bang – spoilers!

So… spoilers and my broken incoherent thoughts for the superlative and rather emotional The Big Bang – don’t read if you haven’t seen it!

Now I'm posh

Now I'm posh

Until recently, I could safely say that I wasn’t that posh – aside from when my bizarrely-posh telephone voice makes an appearance – according to the Daily Mail, because I only ticked two of their ten boxes, to whit:

– shopping at Waitrose (and that’s only because it’s the nearest food supermarket to me)
– I have been known to eat hummus. But only when it’s served to me – I’ve never taken any home to eat.

However, thanks to my alcoholic neighbour – who managed to leave a bottle of Prosecco out in the back garden the other night – I now know what Prosecco is. Of course, I took one tiny sip and my head has been hurting since.

It’s interesting to note that the Daily Mail, despite being the sort of newspaper that still laments the loss of Lady Diana and carries the sort of headlines that are perfect who worry about such things as immigration, cancer, and the lack of morals doesn’t regard itself as being the paper of choice for posh people, or even wannabe-posh people.

A random lunchtime in Cleveland…

A random lunchtime in Cleveland…

Asian doughnutsThese are apparently Asian doughnuts, as offered to us by the waitress at the Cleveland cafeteria I was at lunchtime. Despite their innate Asianness – I mean, they’re called Asian doughnuts for a reason, right? – I was unable to detect any Asianness in them. No barbecued pork, no wasabi, no egg tart. Nothing.

En route out, carrying our leftovers, we somehow attract the attention of a slightly old man who strikes up a conversation about our leftovers. Assuming he’s after some money, I give him $2. But instead of going away as his London equivalent would do, he carries on talking to us about his job working in the Florida nuclear regulatory commission, his daughter who designed one of the buildings along the street, and he even shows us his drivers licence. For some strange reason, none of it rings true. After all, why would random strangers strike up conversations with other random strangers?

Later on that afternoon, leaving campus, we spot a shedload of police cars and a fire truck surrounding one particular street. It later turns out that a “shameless” person had streaked across the area. As you do.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

I’ve essentially had the best birthday ever. 😀 For more details, email me!

It'll be lonely this Christmas … but the alternatives are worse

It'll be lonely this Christmas … but the alternatives are worse




loneliness london

Originally uploaded by sebiphoto

Just in time for December, the BBC has commissioned some research that shows that even the loneliest community in 1971 wasn’t as lonely as the strongest community in 2001, with Edinburgh and London being the loneliest cities and Stoke-on-Trent being the strongest community.

Purely coincidentally, I’d rate Edinburgh and London as being some of the best places to live in the UK, and Stoke-on-Trent as probably one of the less brilliant places.

I used to live in North Wales, which is undoubtedly one of the most “connected” places in terms of a sense of place, belonging and community. Their parents lived round the corner, their grandparents lived round the next hill, so there was definitely a sense of long-term continuity. And I hated it. The locals did their best and were warm and welcoming – far more than their counterparts would be in London, Edinburgh and Manchester – and yet all that did was exacerbate the feeling I had that I had very little in common with my neighbour.

The researchers are blaming the sense of loneliness and a loss in the community on a transient population, and note that community is less prevalent in university areas. Which means, in other words, that people who try to get “educated” are ruining it for the communities at large. If this is true, how long will it be before Britain’s “tall poppy” syndrome means we no longer value “brains”, but ignorance and staying home instead? Until, in other words, we end up like parts of the United States

To count the sense of loneliness, the researchers based it on the number of single-people households in a given area. The more single-people households there were, the more lonely the community would be, went that theory. But I’m pretty sure that many areas are full of couples who don’t know their neighbours, their local butcher or even their local pub, whereas single people would probably make more of an effort to know their neighbour, butcher, or publican.

In other words, I’m not sure about this survey

What's wrong with having your name on a list?

What's wrong with having your name on a list?

So… the membership list for the British National Party (a far-right fascist party advocating the consensual repatriation for non-Europeans from British soil … oh, and giving the 2012 London Olympics back to Greece) has been leaked all over the Internet, and British geeks have been soiling themselves all day mashing the list.

So now I can see that my area of London (which also happens to encompass the BBC’s Television Centre) has 7 members – more than any other West London postcode. Other websites have managed to pinpoint with far greater accuracy the data, despite the learned frownings and warnings from many a political/tech geek.

My question is: what’s all the fuss about? Surely if you’re going to donate money to be a member of a political party or lobby group, you are de facto agreeing to most of that political organisation’s aims and ideals, and therefore you should also be proud to identify with them? Give £200 to a political party, and your name is publically registered against that donation. If I were a member of any political organisation, I’d expect my name to be listed against it, and presume that it’s published somewhere.

Whether Labour, the Conservatives, No2ID, Plaid Cymru or any other group publish their membership list publically or not, I don’t know. But I can’t see why they shouldn’t, in the interest of transparency. And the same would go for the BNP. Or the Communist Party. If nothing else, it’d stop those “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”-type questions.

Now, tell me why I’m wrong.

You know you're getting old when…

You know you're getting old when…

Courtesy of kottke.org, the following facts:

Listening to 1982’s Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 2008 is equivalent to listening to Elvis Presley’s Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, and Love Me Tender – all released in 1956.

Listening to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit today is equivalent to playing Terry Jack’s Seasons In The Sun (1974) in 1991.

Watching Star Wars today is like watching It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) in 1977.

Watching The Godfather today is like watching Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936) in 1972. Modern Times was a silent film (Chaplin’s last).

Back to the Future (1985) –> To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Die Hard (1988) –> Bullitt (1968)

Radiohead, OK Computer (1997) –> Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet (1986)

How can we take the time if we never make the time?

How can we take the time if we never make the time?

Busy London commuters, taken by DriftWords There’s a fascinating article in the Washington Post about what happened when they persuaded a world-class violinist, using a rare Stradivarius, to play some of the world’s ‘best’ classical music purposes while standing on an intersection in a busy Washington D.C. Metro station. Would commuters stop, and listen in awe – or move on in their busy lives?

Ironically, the article itself – as presented on the web – is so hideously long and complicated, I had to skim-read to find out what happened next. So the article online is definitely not a work of art. 😉

Whose luggage is this?

Whose luggage is this?

Whenever i go travelling i am usually quite obsessive about keeping my luggage with me just in case anyone nicks my precious things if nothing else!

so i was quite surprised when i was at victoria coach station (the nearest thing london has to a refugee camp theme park experience) and saw a suitcase sitting by itself taking up a valuable seat.

after about twenty minutes i started making discreet enquiries amongst my fellow passengers as to whether it was their suitcase. It wasnt.

so i alerted the station supervisor who started prodding it with his foot. Immediately some guy at the back who had headphones on ran over and claimed it. He got a lecture.

but never mind the potential terrorist problems. Why would someone leave their bag on a seat and then stand at the back somewhere ? Who are you "saving" the seat for ?!

travellers. Tsk tsk.

Having fun at work

Having fun at work

I’ve worked within new media companies for just over a decade, and no office I’ve been in has come close to having as much fun as the staff at Connected Ventures, according to this new video which has apparently sparked yet another entry to the trendy urban lexicon, lip dub.

Maybe it’s because UK new media is just too dour to do things as silly. Maybe it’s because all the new media companies I’ve worked for were based in either way-too-posh rented offices, or just run-of-the-mill offices. Maybe I’m just too old for the onset of true citizen-generated video content. Maybe it’s just me.

Stick with the clip, it does become one of the silliest, joyful and yet easy-to-do videos I’ve seen. Then again, I’m a huge fan of miming. Even has shades of Morecambe & Wise in it.

Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.

There’s another track I need to add to my iTunes…

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