October 31, 2009
The only thing funnier than the bonkers Daily Mail is its equally over-the-top readers. Take a look at this report on how M&S’s £10 Meal Deal – which includes a bottle of plonk – is apparently unwise because it encourages couples to share a bottle of wine a night. This “British Liver Trust”, whatever that […]
October 30, 2009
Another common sign that a country’s turning into a Police State: when minor public officials take umbrage at equally minor criticism. Thanks to the culture of authoritarianism made concrete by New Labour, today’s civil servants like to believe they should be above questioning.
October 27, 2009
My word. I’ve only just seen the actual video Microsoft made to promote its “Windows 7 Launch Party” campaign, and I’m utterly flabbergasted at just how excruciatingly awful it is. It’s destined to be a true cult classic, even if the spoof versions are almost as funny. We have a term for this in the […]
There’s nothing like having your own punchbag. I’ve just bought a “man-shaped” one, “man-shaped” here having the expanded definition of men with no arms, legs, or head and whose bodies resemble an upturned skittle. (And who are capable of levitation.) The fundamental skills common to most boxing-derived fighting styles – stances, striking, and keeping your […]
October 25, 2009
I’m now a third of the way through Neal Stephenson’s grand cycle of Europe (and America too if you include Cryptonomicon as the fourth book after the trilogy) and enjoying it. I don’t read much fiction these days, sci-fi even more rarely. But Stephenson’s moved on from his Snow Crash and Diamond Age phase of […]
Excellent article on why giving food aid to Africa simply distorts the incentives that’d let them help themselves. It’s rare today to see journalists actually saying the difficult things – thanks to Britain’s newfound culture of yob speak and mob rule – but perhaps this represents a turning point.
It’s deja vu all over again! I can’t help but feel heartened by the tsunami of strike action about to hit the UK. Because just like the Winter of Discontent of my childhood, a Labour government – nominally Socialist and in support of a unionised workforce – is getting the crap kicked out of it […]
October 23, 2009
Hmmm. Armed police patrols in London’s residential areas are to become routine, for the first time. And the unit concerned apparently didn’t feel this was the sort of thing it should have told its chief (or the mayor) about. It’s driven by a “rise in gun crime”. But this isn’t about gun crime; it’s about […]
October 18, 2009
I was sitting on my rooftop in the early hours thinking just how hard it must be to be a moderate male Muslim in Britain today. Strange to be thinking this. (And a strange place to be thinking it in, but that’s just me.) Atheists like me resent religionistas in general, with some justification. Let’s […]
October 18, 2009
Hmmm, lousy 3G internet access today. And furthermore I know the reason. Google Maps on my phone can show me my location even without GPS, by triangulating between nearby mobile masts. Previously it’s put me a few streets away: not bad, within half a km or so. But last night, I noticed it put me […]
October 14, 2009
It’s not getting worse, it’s just not getting any better. I’ve just seen the latest ad in a mobile phone company’s excruciating attempts to be down with the kids. “I’d text everyone I’ve ever met and throw a big party”? What the FUCK? “People I didn’t like enough to even spend the 5p or so […]
October 14, 2009
A brilliant piece by David Simon, creator of The Wire, that’s less about a TV show and really about what America’s become. Phrases like “Mythology has a cost” and “these are the excess Americans” demonstrate why he’s such a fantastic writer. And I don’t even watch television.
October 10, 2009
My three Big Problems with New Labour’s Britain – its nannynagging Police State, its increase in red tape, and public sector bloat – became even sharper when I ran a few numbers about just how under-delivering our public sector is. For centuries, we who create wealth (business and taxpayers) had a deal with civil servants: […]
October 9, 2009
At first glance, healthcare marketing contains a conundrum: you’re marketing a dream of perfect health, yet you don’t want your customers to have it. After all, doctors and hospitals make money by seeing patients, conducting diagnoses, and performing treatments. Healthy people don’t spend much time in hospitals. Healthy people are unprofitable people. Based on this […]
October 6, 2009
Stop, Conservative Conference attendees, you’re getting it all wrong!!! The speeches yesterday were truly aaarghworthy. 1. New jobs not attracting National Insurance costs. First, what exactly is a ‘newly created job?’ One that becomes empty and you have to fill, or a new job role? This will be ‘gamed’ by companies renaming empty roles to […]
October 5, 2009
Probably the best £7.95 I’ve spent this summer has been on a hand squidger* from my local Decathlon. It’s a spring-loaded grip thing that you squeeze with one hand, to strengthen your grip and exercise fingers. I’ve got it set on 30kg and do 3 sets of 11 with each hand on the way to […]
No clearer anecdote about just how deeply Britain’s become a high-tax jurisdiction under New Labour than Tracey Emin quitting the UK to live in… France!
I lost my old Leatherman Wave years back, and recently found it again in the box of nuts and nails and strangely-shaped flange brackets that lurks in the garage of every household. In the meantime I’d re-equipped with a new Charge. And it’s interesting to see how a decade of listening to customers has evolved […]
After a few moments of thought, I realised this sign meant “No bullshit”, but I do wonder why it was the visual for a dating website ad. Creates entirely the wrong impression.