I'm on the National Express East Coast train traveling from Edinburgh to London and am delighted to discover that internet access is now free (you had to pay for it on GNER). Calling it "broadband" is a stretch, though - according to BroadbandSpeedchecker it's 136Kpbs Down and 85Kbps Up - but then again I am able to do *this* for free so I shouldn't complain.
Anyway to get the free internet you have to log in with an email address - technically there's no real reason why this is necessary... Once you give your email address you are then offered the usual "can we and some other random people send you spam" tick box. However, it's worded thus:
"If you do not wish to receive ... please untick the box"
For the second time this week such an option has strained my brain trying to figure out whether ticking the box will result in me getting spam or not. Go on, try to figure it out yourself. Methinks the vagueness is intentional...
My wife and I mortgaged the house the other week so we could afford to go to the local Vue cinema. I can't believe that anyone in the film industry thinks that a customer being gouged more than a tenner to see a film isn't going to feel resentful and motivated just to buy a camcorded DVD off a bloke on the high street or just download movies from a Bit-Torrent site. Seriously, every time I go to the cinema I feel like I've been mugged.
To add insult to injury, though, I'm then expected to queue for 10 minutes at the food counter because there's only two bored and un-motivated McWorkers serving, and they want to charge me "ONLY £8.08" for two bottles of water and a large popcorn. ONLY?! ONLY!? Some water (that you get out a tap for free) and a handful of corn kernels that have been popped.
First of all, this is absolutely the biggest rip-off in the history of food retailing. There must be a crime being committed here.
Secondly, how on earth did they come up with the bizarre price of £8.08? Is it because the numbers are bisymmetrical? Not that £7.99 would be more of a bargain, but it at least would have had the illusion of being about seven pounds and thus cheaper!
ps We didn't buy the "Sharer Combo". We bring our own water...
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'm bemused by a "Tube Card" advert currently decorating London Underground trains.
The ad proclaims that "a new Underground movement is starting under the streets of London right now. One that will challenge the established thinking of glib headlines or huge phone numbers."
At least that what is says if you stand six inches away from it (on a moving train?!) and have perfect vision.
The ad, suggesting that the reader could become the Next Great Underground Writer is illustrated by two postage-stamp-sized pictures of - wait a minute until I get out my binoculars, no that doesn't work because the train's shaking too much, I'll go up close and get out my magnifying glass, oh it's William S. Burroughs ("Underground" - geddit?!) and, nope I can't read that other guy's name at all, but he looks a bit like Andy Garcia.
First of all, to compare any kind of advertising copy to the literary works of the opiate-addicted beat writer William S. Burroughs is both both bizarre and extraordinarily arrogant.
Secondly, re the mocking of "glib headlines and huge phone number" - you know something guys, at least I can read those headlines and phone numbers. I'm not saying they're great adverts, but glass houses and all that.
Yes, I get that making Tube Cards is probably considered the job of least stature in ad agencies, which explains why they're generally uninspired and full of typos (my wife's an editor, don't even ask me about her apostrophe adventures with a red marker pen). However this ad by CBS Outdoor with its big white spaces and miniscule text is the clearest example I've ever seen of an advertiser not understanding the medium. In the case of a Tube Card, you've got to be able to read it from the seat opposite - a good six to eight feet away.
As opposed to inspiring me, the ad reminded me of those deliberately bad Advertising Standards Authority posters which ended with the caption "We're here to make advertising better, not to make better advertising. Sorry."
Frankly, it's just a pretentious advert made by an agency who think they're above writing Tube Cards.
Every tap had a "DANGER Hot" sign on it, and by their wear and tear had clearly been there for some time. My wife told me that the ladies toilets were the same.
So, the sticker being there is an acknowledgment by someone that the water coming out of the taps is scalding hot. However, instead of turning down the thermostat, or actually doing something about it, it was deemed easier to just put up warning stickers (which are actually hidden by the mirror jutting out and partially covering the stickers - I had to crouch to take the picture).
But who cares, if someone gets badly burned Odeon's lawyers can say that there were warning stickers so they're not responsible.