Blog in 02 2012.
Did you know, half of all books in Britain are never read? And up to 13 million books are sent to landfills every year, while only a fraction of books are printed on recycled paper. The London Book Swap wants to change all that.
Creator Chris Gilson is launching the scheme at all tube and train stations across the city around the 2012 Olympics. The rules are simple. You, the weary London tube/train trekker, go to the book stalls (you’ll find them in every London station), and pick up books you’d like to read. For free. Or you can drop off those books that are cluttering up your shelves.
The campaign aims to ‘help to cement London as a capital of literacy as well as sport’. And London’s own peroxide, floppy-haired mayor thinks it’s: ‘a very good idea and would say something powerful about the kind of city we are and our commitment to literacy, which obviously we are trying to demonstrate in lots of ways particularly with young people.’
The project needs help spreading the word, so pass it on to any book lovers you know. You can find more info here.
I would like to enquire as to your availability on 14.02.12, on which date I propose we engage in some form of evening entertainment, such as [tea and cakes/a rave/twitching].
The aforementioned entertainment would ideally take place in a venue adequately proximous to both of our abodes.
If you aim to add an overnight extension to the festivities, I would be happy to settle upon a location considerably nearer to one of our abodes than the other. To this point, I should add that I own a [bearskin rug/hot chocolate machine/Tempur mattress], though I do not want this to affect your decision.
Please indicate your acquiescence to the above request by filling in the below form and returning it to me in the stamped and addressed envelope.
[Name] --------------------- I, [Firstname Surname], agree to attend [insert entertainment] with [Firstname Surname] on 14.02.12.
I hereby agree to Have A Good Time and, if the evening warrants it, to indicate said enjoyment by way of engaging in [insert sexual act].
Date offer subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. (At least until the alcohol starts flowing.)
There are two new high street banks floating about at the moment. They both want your attention, and they both want your cash. Those banks are Virgin Money and Metro Bank.
It’s a really interesting situation that banking hasn’t seen before – the public doesn’t know anything about either bank and that means there are no customer services records to see, no branches to visit, no stats, nothing. So the only ways to get you hooked are with their accounts. And with their branding.
Here’s some bits from Metro Bank’s boastful ‘about us’ page.
‘With our unique, customer-focused retail business we reinvent the rules of retail banking, making every effort to remove all stupid bank rules from our day to day services to offer simpler and more convenient banking to you.’ ‘We aim to exceed the expectations of our customers every day.’
And here’s some bits Virgin Money’s calm, honest ‘find out more’ page.
‘We’ve made no secret of our ambition to build a new kind of bank in the UK, one that makes everyone better off – customers, staff, shareholders, partners and the communities we serve.’ ‘We’re here to build a bank that’s fair, transparent and honest – bringing a fresh face and some much-needed competition to the high street.’
Which will do better? For me, calm and honest definitely beats boastful when it comes to keep my cash safe and sound, so my money’s on Virgin.
So today, this is happening.
À mon avis, one of the sillier public trials we’ve seen recently.
Paul Chambers is facing trial in a court of law for tweeting a joke. No, really. The story goes: he’s off to meet a lady from Northern Ireland for a date. But when he arrives at Robin Hood airport in Nottingham, it’s closed. And being a cheeky sort, he tweets: ‘Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed, you’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!’. Fine, sure, very droll.
Just a man getting grumpy about some rubbish public transport. Nothing new. Let’s move on. Let’s not report Paul, send plain clothed officers to his house, search him, his house and his car, then arrest him and take him to court under the Crown Prosecution Service’s provisions against bomb hoaxers and try him in the High Court, because that would be madness.
Ah, too late.
Now, many people far more qualified than me can comment on just how silly and damaging this is for freedom of speech, or how seriously people take our law enforcement, or even the politics of social media. But it does seem that in an age when we tweet 300 million times a day, the law needs to catch up with just how fast publically available opinion is growing.
We all use hyperbole like Paul’s in speech every day and nobody bats an eyelid. But now, thankfully, everyone has the opportunity and the soapbox to air their views on sites like Twitter. And after all, it’s really just an ongoing conversation – everyone can be just as facetious and dramatic as we would be in real conversation. Which for my money, is brilliant.
It’s just a shame the law doesn’t think so eh? Keep up, law.