Monday, 29 September 2008

He's Got The Look

I'm working in Shoreditch at the moment. It's a brilliant but confusing part of the world. Even Diet Coke cans here are different. Half covered in a variety of shiny patterns, this at first made me think they were perhaps Coke Lite – the poor man's Diet Coke – in disguise.

I'm sure the patterned Diet Coke can epidemic is the same all over London, but this is the first place I've seen it. The cans are branded with the tagline 'choose the look you love', which is aptly appropriate for the thing I really love about working around here: people's outfits.

Highlights this lunchtime include gold lame leggings (the shiny American Apparel ones) with a skirt, and my personal fave: a shirt, jacket, boots and tiny denim hotpants. And these were both on men…

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Human towers

As seen earlier in Barcelona. It's a Catalan tradition, real people, standing on top of each other.

So many questions: but who came up with this idea in the first place??

It looked amazing...but glad i was the one standing at the bottom with the cameraphone.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Random tube poster #1

What the Winston Churchill is this advertising? It's an mysterious poster tease.

Friday, 12 September 2008

London through a lens, through a lens

The Getty Images gallery is currently running a photography exhibition – Time Out’s ‘London through a lens.’

It’s an eclectic collection of black and white images spanning the past 100 years in the city, from a time before everyone had a camera phone. The exhibition offers a portrait of the variety and diversity of life in London – from an photo of huntsmen and their hounds at an eerily empty early 1900’s Oxford Circus (virtually unrecognisable with only one car, a handful of people, and no H&M), to children rushing to a sweet shop following the end of food rations in post-war, 1950’s Acton, to an image of the violence and hostility of the poll tax riots in Leicester Square in 1990.

You can see some of the images on the BBC London website here. The gallery is on Eastcastle Street near Oxford Circus: no huntsmen were spotted there today, however.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Anti-Green is in Vogue

The October issue of Vogue comes with a giant poster to advertise Marks and Spencer’s new range of autumn clothes. It is huge - about eight times A4 size. In between the photos of Lily Cole strutting about the countryside in tweed and cardigans, it also talks about M&S’s Plan A, which is its five year environmental plan to tackle ‘challenges facing our planet’ including raising awareness of eco issues and reducing carbon emissions.

So…a paper poster to talk about how ‘green’ the company is.

How can this have possibly seemed like a good idea?

It goes on to boast about all the planet-friendly things M&S has done so far including planting 20,000 tress to offset carbon emissions. But how many trees had to be cut down to create thousands of copies of this poster, which hardly anyone will read before throwing away? And how much carbon was wasted in producing it and transporting it? Shocking.

Monday, 8 September 2008

It's the end of the word as we know it...?

So the world may or may not be ending on Wednesday, depending on if you’re a glass half-full or half-empty sort of person.

This is the day that CERN, the nuclear research organisation, will switch on its Large Hadron Collider, which could either be the start of an amazing science experience to discover the origins of life, or the end of the Earth as we’re all sucked into a big black hole. As a former English Lit student who works in PR, I’ll leave it to someone qualified in physics to explain the ‘science bit’ better here.

In recent years the Nostradamus prophesises and the Bible Code have also predicted the end of the world, both of which turned out to be inaccurate and served no other purpose than creating a minor media flutter and selling some books - luckily for humankind.

Whatever the scientific theory behind the CERN experiment, it seems like there is a doom-prophesy scare like this every couple of years, as if someone decides we’re too comfortable being happy to be alive and need shaking up a bit. But for the CERN scientists, if it all does go wrong, at least there will be no-one around to remove their funding.

In other news, Andy Murray is through to the final of the US Tennis Open and will play Federer this evening. Murray recently signed up to Twitter, and microblogged last night after beating Nadal that he was ‘glad to get the job done’. Fingers crossed for him tonight – and according to some people, fingers crossed for the rest of us too, who may either have the rest of our lives or only until Wednesday to reflect on the outcome of his match. As a glass half-full person, I’m gunning for the former.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Say hello to the 'Twiller'

New York Times author microblogs thriller book via Twitter, the ‘Twiller’. One-off social experiment, or death of the novel as we know it…..?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The world is your Oyster card

As someone who grew up in the country, I love living in London. I’m a big fan of all the advantages that this brings (like living right next to shops, restaurants, or a Hot Bikram Yoga Studio). I’m even like things other Londoners detest – like public transport – as to me it’s an easy way to get home after a night out, when growing up the only choice was to ring my mum to come pick me up.

One thing that does drive me crazy about London and public transport is slow people - my pet hate is people standing in front of the tube ticket gate slowly rifling through bags for misplaced Oyster cards, when there’s a queue of people behind them.

However, this could be thing of the past according to an article on The Guardian Online yesterday about the successful completion of a trial by 02 and TFL to turn mobile phones into Oyster-equipped ‘mobile e-wallets’. 500 testers spent six months using a specially modified phone handset, to make tube journeys and as a bank card to pay for small items under £10. It’s by no means a new idea – similar types of schemes have been implemented successfully over the past few years in other countries such as Japan.

The mobile technology behind the UK trial is near field communications – which can also be applied for other uses such as mobile gig ticketing, or to create electronic house keys out of your phone (so you really could ring your keys if you lose them).

As it’s likely that mobile travel cards will be rolled out to all users in the next few years, I’m not sure what the security implications for having this type of information on your phone are - especially in light of the recent Oyster card bug and outage. And considering how long it takes to replace a handset, how do you get to work if you lose your phone?

In theory though, the TFL/02 trial sounds like a positive and convenient use of technology, and I like the sound of something that requires me to carry less stuff around in my bag. Plus, anything that could help to speed up slow people on the tube can only be a good thing.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Human Race

I took part in the Nike Human Race on Sunday – the annual Nike 10k run, but this year with a twist. People in 26 different cities ran on the same day, with the aim of competing to find the winning city with the quickest average race finishing time.

The London race started on rainy Sunday evening in Wembley Stadium, with all 20,000 participants in red t-shirts (which matched the seats, and co-incidentally my hair). There were four waves of runners – yay wave 3! – and a random but fun pre-run concert with Pendulum and Moby.

A couple of techy things I really liked about the race:
* Each runner was given a chip which measured times at start, finish and various points throughout the course. This information was constantly fed back to big screens around Wembley to show London’s overall position versus the other competing countries. London finished fifth overall, ahead of France and Australia
* Receiving a congratulatory text immediately after the race with my time and average speed per kilometre - I finished in 1.07.01
* Being able to log in to the website to see my pace across the course, position overall (135668th – go me!) and via city (11320th in London)

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of exercise (apart from Wii Fit, which I LOVE, because it tricks you into thinking exercise is fun – and where else can you run round a park with ‘celebrities’?) but despite the pouring rain, hilly track, and the ‘scenic route’ round the back of Tesco car park, I really enjoyed it. Although judging from my muscle-ache, it might take me a whole year to recover in time for the next one…

The official post-race Facebook group is here, with personal photos and video clips participants have uploaded.