Tuesday, 14 June 2011

People that moan about social media

...being used for communication and advertising presumably feel the same way about speech:
Oh, remember when talking was about food, and going to the toilet, and stuff?
Now it's all about marketing...
Perhaps we just need to accept the fact that people will use social media for marketing, as well as for useful stuff.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

When Buying Music

...always buy the Explicit version (if available). I mean, otherwise you're just paying for silence.

And the words they remove are usually $5 words...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Solutions That Aren't

The little one-woman cafe in the local garden centre has a menu behind the counter, entitled "Breakfast Solutions".


Solutions. As if they're solving a complex problem. It's bacon, sausage and egg, not world hunger.

Why not "Breakfast Options"? "Breakfast Choices"?

Or even just "Breakfasts"?

The problem is the bleed of marketing non-speak into everyday life. Horrid.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Something Sporty

We've been invited to wear something sporty to work, for charity.

I fear the majority choice will be things worn to watch sport rather than do sport. So that'll be an entire package holiday worth of national football and rugby shirts.

I'm trying to decide whether to wear a swim cap, my skydiving jumpsuit, or - as one witty colleague suggested, a waistcoat (not that I really believe snooker to be a sport).

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Daily Mail

Whenever I see someone buy the Daily Mail, a little piece of me dies. With the Mail on Sunday, it's a slightly larger piece.

I can't read the newspaper without elevating my blood pressure and heart rate at the wild leaps of "reasoning" the frothy-mouthed articles make in order to foment the readership into righteous indignation.

That anyone would choose to read such poisonous tripe is profoundly disappointing, distressing, disturbing.
That anyone might accept it enough to act on it unthinkable.

A recent piece opened with the statement that cyclists had more heart attacks than other people. By the end of the article, the statement was revealed to be based on a creative interpretation of a piece of scientific research - an interpretation not endorsed by the authors of the research.

Now I don't have a problem with creative writing, but when it's dressed up as factual journalism, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Cultural Differences

The Italian prime minister has been indicted to stand trial on charges of paying for sex with an underage girl (according to BBC News).

I really can't imagine that happening in the UK.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


The dental profession's preferred way of making your gums bleed.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Coffee for Survival, Coffee for Pleasure

At this time in the morning, the first coffee of the day is about survival, not pleasure. Something to get me through the dark, early hours of Too Early, Too Early.

Later, when my mind is more active, when the sleep is rubbed from my eyes. When the joints are less creaky, the muscles warmer, the blood runs a little hotter - then coffee is about pleasure. A dark, rich brew, glorious.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

An Email from Fiona Robyn

Today, an email newsletter from Fiona Robyn, always a joy. I love the way Fiona writes: with warmth, confidence and a kind of reassuring authority.

To see more of Fiona's writing, read her Writing Our Way Home blog.

Clothes with draw-string hoods

I would like to propose that all clothes with pull-cords and draw-strings - things like hooded tops, for instance - come with a warning label. This label would contain a prominent, cleverly-worded message reminding first-time parents of the dangers of wearing such a garment around a grabby infant.

I realise that such a message might deter first-time parents from buying the clothes, which ain't really brilliant for the clothing manufacturer. But it would be a boon for parents everywhere.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Celebrity Come Dine With Me

A British TV show where dysfunctional minor-celebrity no-hopers with dreary new-build estate homes and over-inflated opinions of their culinary and social skills compete to win a feeble sum of money for charity by hosting dinner parties for the other contestants.

In case you missed the italics, the aspect that makes this a celebrity show - in keeping with most other celebrity versions of television programs - is not the celebrity (or otherwise) of the contestants, but the fact that the prize money is for charity.

Come Dine With Me

A British TV show where dysfunctional no-hopers with over-inflated opinions of their culinary and social skills compete to win a feeble sum of money by hosting dinner parties for the other contestants.

Usually, the least offensive (meaning least interesting) person from the group wins.

The fact that these people are on television should be warning enough that they're not the kind of people that would be fun to have dinner with.

What impresses and depresses me the most about this program is the sheer number of people convinced of their own abilities despite all evidence to the contrary. Every episode, one contestant will proclaim their lack of experience ("I've never done a dinner party before" or "I don't cook desserts").

Monday, 24 January 2011

Wafer Thin Ham - Why Bother?

What's the attraction of wafer-thin ham? It seems miserly. I want thick slabs that I can taste.

I like ham; not that slimy wet stuff that comes from reformed scrapings, recovered from carcasses, mashed and pulped and shaped to look like ham.

The thing is, some people's only experience of ham is those sliced slabs, round-cornered oblongs that fit the packaging (and sandwiches) perfectly. Pigs aren't regular sizes, certainly not oblongs. They have bones and other bits that help them live (and make their ham tastier when cooked). It's all part of the sanitising of meat, moving away from the distasteful fact of having to kill something.

There's something not quite right about that.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Monkey Peeler

...That's a peeler-for-vegetables shaped like a monkey. Not a peeler-for-monkeys.

I'm pretty sure.