Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ArcelorMittal Orbit

Britain's biggest ever piece of public art was revealed today: the ArcelorMittal Orbit, chosen to mark the 2012 Olympic Games.

The looping, twisted tubular tower stands at 115m – taller than the Statue of Liberty (93 metres) and Big Ben (96 metres) – and will afford visitors a panoramic view of London.

Designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor, the spiralling steel structure will cost £19.1m, though only £3.1m of this will come from the London Development Agency, with the rest coming from steel company ArcelorMittal.

Boris has nicknamed it "The Hubble Bubble" because he thinks it looks like a massive shisha pipe. Which I don't really see (What has HE been smoking, etc!), but then the curved design is supposed to incorporate the five Olympic rings, and I don't really see that either.

As a legacy building, it may be no Eiffel Tower, but at least the viewing platform means it will actually have a use, giving it an edge over the Angel of the North, for example.

I like it. A little bit alien invasion, a little bit rollercoaster, a little bit… BRIGHT RED. It's a little bit tacky, sure, but while not every structure can be a landmark, Mr Christopher sees nothing wrong with large-scale public art striving to be strong, striking and spectacular. As the tower will be built inside the Olympic Park itself, it will be surrounded by modern stadia and regenerated landscape, so you can't accuse it of being particularly unsympathetic to its environment.

Mr Christopher verdict: War of the Worlds meets Angel of the North and apparently also a shisha pipe. 7/10

"Hey kids, who wants to go to the Olympic Park?"

Friday, March 26, 2010


I don't care what they say: there's nothing wrong with judging a book by its cover. I do it wholeheartedly. It's the sort of thing I sit and think about.

- The dilemma -

Want this:

Not this:


You see my dilemma. It's a literally impossible literary quandry. I am paralysed by indecision and expect to end up buying neither or both.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Free Anglepoise

Ooh my goodness look what has just landed on my desk.

A glossy old Anglepoise lamp to replace the perfectly acceptable (if characterless) fluorescent strip light I received at work couple of weeks ago. I am overjoyed.

Apparently the one I have is a 1989 Model 90, which is an updated version of the classic 1969 Model 75 - round base and fluted shade. The one above is black, but mine is pillar box red. Much better. It has a few scratches but looks awesome.

The Anglepoise was based on the ability of a new type of spring invented to remain in position after being moved in every conceivable direction - the 'constant tension' principle of human limbs. The Anglepoise was designed in 1934 and has remained in production ever since, generating a whole genre of articulated desk lamps.

Thank you, whoever it was that found this for me at work.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

French Connection

I'm not the world's biggest fan of French Connection (= bland chav chic), but I am ALL OVER this campaign.

Now. My friend thinks that the man looks like a creepy 1950s Soviet paedophile. I doubt that this was French Connection's intention, and to be honest the observation has kind of spoiled it for me. But before my innocence was ravished, I thought the man looked strong, brooding and quirky, which is basically The Best Brand Image.

The girl, obviously, is a cute-as-a-button chic French thing, which is always fine.

On a related note, I terrify myself with how much time I spend thinking about this:

The saving grace is that while Google Imaging that picture to include it here, I came across a more masculine version taken from the film Le Ballon Rouge:


Sunday, March 21, 2010


These awesome pictures were all drawn with a humble Bic pen. Or rather, four humble Bic pens, as Spanish artist Juan Francisco Casas needs muchos biros to cover his 3m high canvases.

Very good. Though a lot of the pictures he's chosen to draw are a tad seedy or of naked women, which makes me think he might benefit from a girlfriend. Then again, the drawings are reproductions of photos he's taken himself, so maybe he just lives a very sexually charged life. We may never know.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oscars: shot of the night

Sorely underused (at least by the Brit press) and surely the shot of the night.
James Cameron pretends to strangle his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow. She beat him to the best director Oscar. Hat tip: emmalouiselayla

Sunday, March 7, 2010

British Isles (Foxes)

I have just discovered that Mrs Christopher doesn't like foxes. And so I suppose it's just as well I didn't buy it. But I was THIS CLOSE.

Seen at Nelly Duff on Columbia Road this morning. £140 unframed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This Too Shall Pass

Better than the treadmills, better than Honda: OK Go's latest vid.

Awesome. And the earlier version is pretty neat too.

Well done, OK Go. 10/10 for videos, even if a little lower for actual songs...
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