Getting shirty

It’s about time I had some decent dress shirts, and after a recommendation I had a fitting in January with English Cuts. I liked the company immediately from its website – the site is the owner’s blog! Thomas Mahon turned out to be an excellent bloke, friendly, honest, and no pressure to buy.

The first shirt’s since arrived, and it’s perfect – a good, solid material that just doesn’t stretch or look fragile, close stitching and detailing with folds of sumptuous Italian cotton herringboning over each other at the seams. Lots of little touches that make it special, such as blades and darts all over the place giving the shirt a proper 3D shape that you ‘wear’, rather than something flat that you wrap around yourself. From a distance, you’d easily mistake me for Pierce Brosnan in his first 007 films.*

As I always say (from now on, anyway): you can tell the character of a man, by the quality of his shirt.

Now it’s time to really go to town on the rest of my wardrobe – double-ply epaulettes, extra buttons, a pocket or two, lots of blades and darts, a pen pouch, different collars, fabrics…. what fun. And not badly priced either. Like a well-constructed suit, a really upmarket shirt is like armour, emphasising the male silhouette and protecting you from the sartorial vagaries of city life in a way no T shirt can.

Only problem now is I have to learn to tie a tie again…

*(Assuming the distance was at least 2km.)

Cracking open the Oyster

Been discussing with someone over whether London’s Oyster contactless prepaid card could be implanted subdermally, by ripping out the RFID chip and pasting it under a flap of skin on your right forearm. It’d mean you’d never be stuck for a Tube fare.

As a Googler, he states he’s already considered doing this with his Googleplex ID card (and you thought their 20% creativity time was spent inventing AdWords and stuff.) Apparently the RFID stuff itself is quite big, with lots of wiry bits functioning as the antenna of the induction radio.

Where it gets interesting, though, is if you could hotwire the chip’s input connections into your nervous system, so the natural electrical energy of your body could power the chip up if you could train your neurals to trigger the right logic gates. Technically speaking, this means recharging the card with credit would be a simple matter of doing the right dance. (Or maybe thinking the right thoughts. Probably involving voting for Ken Livingstone.)

Could this even become legitimate, granting Londoners a means of travel in exchange for providing street entertainment or adherence to a certain moral code? Definitely one to think about.

Or not.

As an aside: the Hongkong equivalent is called Octopus, keeping that sea-based non-mammalian metaphor going. However, the one in Singapore is called EzyLink. They really should have used Lobster. Or Chilli Crab.