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January 30, 2005

I couldn't help myself

Technorati profile?

Every passing social software gimmick appeals to me like sweet-wrapping to a magpie. Next up del.icio.us, the self-described 'socal bookmarks' website. Of course, I've almost certainly signed up just after its stopped being the next big thing. Perhaps it is at last time to get an iPod...

A Gentleman's Bookmarks at del.icio.us

January 30, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2005


Occasionally I find a blog with a sense of humour perfectly attuned to my own. This isn't London is one such.

Of the delights on offer, my favourites have to include buildings that don't reside currently beneath Whitehall including 'the world's biggest reservoir of whitewash' and the 'Morlock Embassy', and a selection of Easterns (The Isle of Dogsville, Epping Forest Gump etc).

Very, very funny.

January 25, 2005 in Humour | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

The Hague - Friday afternoon question

It's really starting to bug me: a colleague has come back from a meeting in The Hague.

Could someone confirm for me whether it is the only city in the world with a definite article ("the") in its name?

January 21, 2005 in Observations | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

One day, perhaps...

This gentleman is unfortunately not in a position to have his suits lovingly made to his every whim, but one day - one day dammit! - he shall.* In the meantime I will have to do with pipedreams fuelled by the likes of Thomas Mahon, a mate of Hugh Macleod.

Tom explains the origins of the term 'bespoke':

[It] dates from the 17th century, when tailors held the full lengths of cloth in their premises. When a customer chose a length of material it was said to have “been spoken for”, hence a tailor who makes your clothes individually to your specific personal requirements, is called bespoke. Unlike “made to measure” which simply uses a basic pattern which is then simply adjusted to your measurements.

This is no mere historical blog, though. It is a marketing tool and one I expect to be most successful, particularly as he resides in Cumbria and has an office in Saville Row and therefore, though there are perhaps fewer overheads, there's also less scope to advertise a presence in the Row. He also writes well with a few barbs for the press:

No journalist ever had to spend seven years as a proper tailor's apprentice. Their agendae are different from yours.
All business is personal. Especially in tailoring.

A bespoke suit. Drool.

*(I do buy them from Saville Row and Jermyn Street, however they remain very much, off the peg)

January 21, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2005

Look at me

You may have come across Look at me, an archive of anonymous photographs. With now over 400 images they seem mysterious and yet candid - unknown to the viewer and yet intimate with the photographer in whose position we sit. Looking through I thought it an obvious opportunity to practice a little short fiction - no more, say, than 300 words.

So, I've written something to accompany no.44 (opens in new window)

Boy it was cold! Cold as the ice on the stream out back at Ma’s house. Jimmy and me are wearing gloves, see. And hats. But we all had hats then. Especially Jimmy – looking all grown up and ready for the world with his fedora and striped tie. He was going to Chicago to work in his uncle’s telegraph business. Or so he told us: me and Dick.

Dick was older than us. Smart but without Jimmy’s ambition for himself. Dick just liked taking things apart, seeing how they fit up and then fixing them right back up together. When some guy came into town with a camera and a pack of cards Dick went and won the camera playing blackjack with him. Sure he was good but no ambition.

Not Jimmy. He told us tale after tale about his uncle in Chicago. Did we believe him? Not really. Dick and I thought we’d all be together forever. Even when Dick took the photograph, it was as though Jimmy was putting it on. That’s why I am laughing and Jimmy looks so serious. His case was so light I joked there was nothing in it. He just scowled and said that according to his uncle all you need is a clean shirt and a quick mind.

Dick took the photo and we walked to the edge of town with Jimmy, expecting him at every moment to say he was just kidding. But he didn’t, he just kept on walking. We stopped, waved, and watched as he kept on walking, till he was gone around the light blue cold of the next hill.

January 15, 2005 in Fiction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2005

Labour vote trading

John Harris looks at the alternatives for dissafected Labour voters in today's Guardian. Harris is pretty dismissive of all them but grudgingly suggests that tactical voting is possible. However, he seems to think it pretty unsophisticated.

What he doesn't discuss (and may not be aware of) is vote trading. As I have previously noted in the US, Ralph Nader voters would promise to vote Kerry (and before him Gore) in swing states to prevent giving votes to Bush. In return, a Dem would vote Nader in a safe Democrat or Republican state. Effectively, therefore, it is allowing preferential voting.

With a likely General Election in the UK in May, does anyone know of plans to set up a 'LabourTrader' site? This is where disaffected Labour voters in tight Labour/Conservative constituencies who don't wish to see a Tory win but wish to register a protest at New Labour could vote Labour in the expectation that their 'pair' in a non-Labour seat votes for the Lib Dems where the vote will stand a better chance of helping beat a Tory than a Labour vote would. Both people in the pair should 'win'.

It's not a perfect idea - trust is crucial, but it does go someway to coordinating more tactical voting. Of course, in the US there have been accusations that such schemes are illegal - they may be here in the UK too.

However, there is time to set up something along these lines (assuming Mr B doesn't announce a snap election tomorrow in the Mail on Sunday) and it might, just might assauge some troubled consciouses and maintain a progressive political agenda at the same time.

January 8, 2005 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 07, 2005

What If...


Craig Robinson's pixel illustrations of bands, filmstars and others have a very loyal following on the web. Wayback when FlipFlopFlyin started I regularly dropped by to view tiny caricatures of David Bowie or Blur. For some reason he dropped off my radar.

Anyhow, I've been back and heartily recommend What If..., a map of Robinson's life that suggests what might have happened had the artist as a young man taken a different path. Most witty.

Update: digging further through the site I also learn (though am hardly surprised) that Robinson designed the iconic From ABBA to Zappa advertisements for the Observer Music Magazine.

January 7, 2005 in Humour | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dem bones, dem bones

What would Hello Kitty, Charlie Brown or Fred Flintstone look like under the X-ray?

To be honest it is not a question I've asked myself, yet Michael Paulus has asked it and provided an answer: as good a Friday diversion as I have seen this year ;-)

There are some glaring omissions, however. Disney would probably sue, but whither Snoopy? Whither Bugs and Daffy?

Link: Michael Paulus :: Skeletal Systems.

January 7, 2005 in Humour | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack