Friday, January 29, 2010

Daily Mail Cancer List

Came across this excellent list of some of the things horrendous scaremongering tabloid The Daily Mail (cheerful Christmas front page, right) has claimed will give you cancer.

Some of the entries are almost beyond belief, but links to each offending article are provided in the interests of authenticity. Things to watch out for include: being a woman, being a man, both children and childlessness, artificial light, bubblebath, scented candles, crayons, Facebook, radioactivity (no surprises there), space travel (a low-level concern for me) and every food ever invented. And dogs.

Scary times...

Andy Murray: 88% British

Edwin's Raisin is proud to declare that at the time of writing, Australian Open tennis finalist Andy Murray is 88% British.

The statistic has been calculated by The AndyMurrayometer, which describes itself as "an indispensable indicator as to whether the tennis player Andy Murray should be described in conversation as 'British' or 'Scottish'."

Visitors can cast their vote on the site and even bet on the results with

The AndyMurrayometer stats for 2009

The current sentiment is to be expected after the 22 year old Brit reached the final of the Australian Open yesterday morning. (Please note that the corresponding sentence - showing how easily confusion can arise - would be: "… after the 22 year old Scot lost his Australian Open semi-final yesterday morning.").

Murray's only previous slam final appearance was against Federer in the 2008 US Open Final. Sunday's Aussie final is likely to be a rematch – and the outcome could have a definitive bearing on Murray's nationality. Hold on to your seats...

UPDATE ON SUNDAY: Andy Murray is Scottish. Obviously.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shunt Lounge re-opening

"Shunt are very pleased to announce that due to the immense support from Network Rail, Thameslink, Turner and Townsend, Mace and Southwark Council we are able to remain in our current location under London Bridge Station for another year."


From 5 February. Tickets £10 for you, free + 1 and a queuejump for Mr Christopher. ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BRITs Nominations

Well the BRITs nominations are out. And are they a lot of BALONEY. What's wrong with this list:

International Female
Solo Artist

Lady GaGa
Norah Jones

That's right: no Beyonce. Because the most notable international female artist over the past 12 months - by a country mile - has been Norah Jones. She's the name on everyone's lips.

In the past 12 months, Beyonce has released the following singles: "If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies", "Diva", "Halo", "Sweet Dreams" and "Video Phone". Norah cracked out "Chasing Pirates", which soared to no. 87 in the UK charts, and decided she'd quit while she was ahead. Just the one, thanks.

~ Further questions ~

1. Why do people prefer In For the Kill (too high for La Roux's whiny reedy voice) to Bulletproof?
2. Why have JLS been nominated for Best British Group.
3. Who knew Ladyhawke wasn't British? Not Mr Christopher.
4. Was "Breathe Slow" not the crappy slow one by Alesha Dixon? The Gary Barlow one? Best British Single?
5. Why have JLS been nominated for Best British Group.
6. Why is this not nominated for Best International Song?

(It might be because it's old and weird, but I really do like it.)
7. If Dido or Coldplay win BRITs Album of 30 Years, can we all agree that enough is enough and deport them?
8. Has Daniel Merriweather (of 2007 'Stop Me' fame) just broken through?
9. Why have JLS been nominated for Best British Group.
10. Is it me or is Lady Gaga growing on everyone? (Though she's still clearly a div - see right)


Friday, January 15, 2010

GQ and Sarkozy: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

The Élysée Palace was distraught this week as GQ declared Nicolas Sarkozy to be the third worst-dressed human man of 2009.

Clearly incorrect. Ever since his election, I've been struck Sarkozy's consistent elegance: impeccably turned out in dark Dior suits, crisp neutral shirts and sharp understated ties. There may not be too much variation, but anyone with a uniform of dark Gallic style is fine by Mr Christopher.

Who looks better: Obama or Sarkozy?

Brown or Sarkozy?

Carla and Nicholas is obviously a closer call – or in fact, an obliteration by the First Madame – but he at least measures up (height jokes aside):

He may not be quite so slim as he would like but when it comes to couture, Sarko is smooth as a button and sharp as a stick. He's certainly not BAD.

David Cameron as best dressed #8? Nothing wrong with him, but he's guilty of the odd pink shirt, crap tie and podgy waistband. The guy is one step away from brown shoes with a grey suit.

Even though it's a horrible 'power photo', imagine how thrilled we would be if Dave, Gordy or anyone else in British politics stepped off a plane looking like this (left).

I'd like it anyway. So hush your mouth GQ. And please don't put your own editors in the top ten. It looks a little biased.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Because he's worth it

David Cameron, leader of the opposition and shoe-in for PM by May, has kicked off his election campaign with a poster in which he just looks a little... well, smooth.

In other words, someone's cracked out Photoshop and made himself all purdy.

The Conservative Party said that they could not rule out "minor retouching", and DC himself was questioned on the matter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The photos of you on the big ads ... a lot of people say [they look] a bit weird. You wouldn't airbrush a photo of yourself, would you?" The Tory leader laughed and said "I certainly hope not!", before saying he had had a "ribbing" from friends and family about the poster, which has been on 759 billboards around the country.

But what about airbrushing? "Look, I don't produce the picture or the poster but what I do produce is on the poster, which is [our promise that] we will cut the deficit and not the NHS," said Cameron. So that's a yes, then.

And there's no denying that his visage yesterday (right) seemed a little more wrinkled than the poster would have us believe.

But who cares. Blair did it, and so long as he steers clear of Berlusconi-style facelifts and outright manipulations a la Sarkozy (c'est pathétique, non?), I think the guy is allowed a little polishing. Or make-up. Or whatever it is.

After all, even Mr Christopher's marvellous mug would struggle to look good on a 20ft billboard.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The London Underwear

When temperatures in London dip below freezing, it's generally seen as time to button up, throw on a scarf and pop on some extra layers. It is NOT recognised as a good time to take off your trousers. But this Sunday, that's what will be happening on the inaugural No Trousers Underground Ride.

Started as the No Pants Subway Ride in New York in 2002, the aim is to act nonchalant. as if you've simply forgotten to wear trousers. From the instructions:

"When you enter, act as you normally would. You do not know any of the other pantless riders. If questioned, tell folks that you “forgot to wear trousers” and yes you are “a little cold.” Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their trousers. Be nice and friendly and normal.

You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, “I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.” Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don’t wear a thong or anything else that might offend people. Our aim is to make people laugh, not piss them off."

3.00 p.m., Trafalgar Square. See you there.

UPDATE: video.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Album stamps are ALL BUM (stamps)

More stamp news from Mr Christopher, as the Royal Mail releases ten First Class stamps celebrating classic album covers from the last four decades. And sadly, it's pretty slim pickings. Best of the bunch are:

Of course, my biggest problem is that bloody Coldplay have got one. But even that aside, the portfolio is pretty uninspiring. Maybe if I'd been around in the '70s some of them would mean more to me, but few of the ten could really be described as iconic.

The Bowie one (and before you bring it up - yes, I have recorded there, stop going on about it...) should surely be the one on the right. And why no Elton John, Queen or Oasis?

I shall write them a letter of complaint. Using my own stamp.

White Country

Mainland Britain, covered in snow, as papped by a Nasa satellite today and beamed down to the University of Dundee.

Amazing. Bet there's a buried train or two down there.

Snow joke to be cut adrift!

It's cooking up a snowy storm still in Olde Londone Towne, and our beloved public transport system is coping about as well as you'd expect. But tales of hour-long delays on the way in to Liverpool Street don't come close to matching this story from the Times Archive, about a train which got completely buried in snow in 1891 - and wasn't found for two days.

It was March, and a blizzard covered most of the West Country. The Times reported that it was the heaviest fall of snow for 50 years, "and the gale that accompanied it rose at times to a hurricane". Ships were wrecked, sailors swept into the seas and houses marooned by collossal snowdrifts.

And on Monday evening, perhaps a little unwisely, the 6.35 p.m. from Princetown toddled off towards Yelverton.

The passengers were dug out on Wednesday. It had been snowing so heavily that a farmer living just 200 yards from the train hadn't even noticed it. The report notes that "All the compartments of the carriages, although the doors and windows were closed, were filled with snow up to the hat racks."

But at least they got cake. Which is more than can be said for the East Coast Main Line.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Winter from Above

Polish paragliding pilot Kacper Kowalski has taken these awesome aerial photographs of winter.

Kowalski, who won a World Press Photo award in 2009 for his aerial photography, is showing the extraordinary winter landscapes in London for the first time at the moment. I'm not going to go and see them because they're in a restaurant, and frankly, I think that Polish food is just loads of potatoes. And if I'm going to eat loads of potatoes, they're going to be in a bag marked 'Kettle Chips'. But still, they sure are pretty snaps. Happy New Year!
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