I'm half way through watching the new "Knight Rider". Can't say I'm impressed, it's very 80s but with CG. I must say, though, I like Val Kilmer as the spaced-out voice of KITT.
Anyway, I just had to post this frame grab of KITT's keyboard - it's an Apple wireless model! I think it's therefore safe to assume that KITT is run on Leopard on a Mac! Like Vista was ever an option...
Why do shop assistants still put items in carrier bags without asking me if I want one? I despair at the vast amount of collateral I gather if I ever go to McDonalds, and at my local baker's the assistant smiles mockingly with recognition at me when I buy a cake saying "you don't want a carrier bag do you". Surely we're all aware these days of the impact that needless waste has on our environment.
What I just don't get, though, is that training staff to ask "would you like a carrier bag" instead of assuming is an opportunity to (1) save your business the cost of the carrier bag (2) demonstrate to your customer that you care about the environment, both local and worldwide, and (3) encourage people to recycle their old carrier bags.
What brought this on was reading a post about packaging on Seth Godin's blog. A watch purchase led to a ridiculous amount of accompanying packaging. I couldn't resist sharing a photo I took of the packaging that came with the watch I bought my wife for her birthday in November. A pound and a half of wood, plastic cloth, cardboard and paper. The vast bulk being completely unnecessary. Surely all of the brochures at least could be online?
Seriously, as opposed to making products more luxurious, I see the waste and it turns me off. Not a good feeling to create in a prospective customer.
I've just been splurging on Moving Wallpaper, ITV's comedy-behind-the-"real"-soap TV series by my pal Tony Jordan. Now, I'm still not convinced by the back-to-back broadcasting concept of Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach as I have no interest in watching a new soap opera - particularly one that immediately follows a programme continually telling me that the soap isn't real (and peppering the soap with in-jokes constantly breaking my suspension of disbelief). However, Moving Wallpaper is great fun, and Ben Miller's stand-out performance is balanced by a fine supporting cast and some very slick writing.
I was rather pleased with myself when I spotted a very brief and obscure in-joke in episode one. Miller's obnoxious character, producer Jonathan Pope, is lambasting the production team for the unattractive cast of their worthy Cornish drama "Polnarren", and demands it be rebranded as the sexier-titled "Echo Beach" with "actors that ducked the ugly stick". Then with a cry of "I mean, for goodness sake" he plucks an actor's photo from the wall as an example.
I hit pause, wondering what poor actor had befallen this fate, then I recognized the face... as Tony Jordan himself. What a nice bloke Tony is to fall on the sword like that for a joke that only a few people would get.
I never watch ITV (Corrie, natch, and the still-surprisingly-good Primeval excepted), so what do I know about the channel's viewers? But, I can't help feeling that Echo Beach is just unnecessary. I'd expand Moving Wallpaper to fill an hour and just have cameos with the Echo Beach "cast", which could ever-evolve, and show odd clips á la Extras. It'll be interesting to see how the show goes down, and I'd be sad to see Jonathan Pope axed if the current format doesn't work.
Ah, the great engineers of the North of England, how I *loved* to read about them in my Arthur MeeChildren's Enclopedia. Manchester in particular seemed to be the most exciting city in the world, being home to great inventors such as:
Richard Arkwright - builder of steam powered mills
So, they must be swelling with pride in their graves at this idiotic piece of design for Public Transport for Greater Manchester, created by one of the children of the wondrous North of England Industrial Revolution inheritance. It takes a special kind of ineptitude to create a mechanism that cannot possibly work out of only three working parts. Not a child who played with Mecanno then...
The irony is, we've just delivered a programme to the DFES aimed at encouraging kids to do STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at school.
I was lucky enough to see the new Star Trek XI trailer at the weekend, accompanying the very cool, high-concept Cloverfield. I wasn't expecting it, and boy did it give me goosebumps. When Leonard Nimoy's voice kicked in with the immortal "Space, the Final Frontier..." line my eyes got a wee bit misty.
However. And I'm not the first to ask. The Starship Enterprise being built on Earth, and not in a space dock? Hmmm.
Am I more disturbed by the existence of a pink child's bed called "Lolita", or the mediahoo-ha that's followed in it's wake?
Actually I'm more disturbed that not a single person in the entire Woolworths organisation is aware of the book or film "Lolita". How can this be? I don't expect everyone to have read the book, or seen the films (to be honest I haven't) but SURELY "Lolita" is a popular culture reference? I know I'm going to sound like my father, but seriously what do they teach people in schools these days?
A spokesman for Woolworth told The Times: “What seems to have happened is the staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either. We had to look it up on Wikipedia. But we certainly know who she is now.”
Wow. That statement didn't come from a humble store-worker not knowing about one of the English language's great pieces of literature. That statement came from a "spokesman" - a person Woolworths entrust as an ambassador of their brand. Personally I've always been rather shy about my ignorance, and, although I use Wikipedia a lot, I wouldn't quote it as an authoritative source...
I'm not going to boycott Woolworths for stocking the Lolita Midsleeper Combi, but this silly-season story has certainly tainted my impression of the quality of the staff at Woolworths. How can I ever trust their judgement about anything? How can I ever trust the quality of their goods? How can I ever trust the opinion of one of their staff? Every aspect of the relationship between a vendor or supplier and a customer is about trust.
Woolworths should sack their ill-educated spokesman. And their staff should read more.