A football mascot race involving squirrels, hippos and giant dogs. Welcome to the UK’s Mascot Grand National.
A great insight into how media and celebrity are tied together from Popbitch.
The shorthand version seems to be:
1. Many journalists are lazy and useless.
2. All media is biased.
Nadine from Girls Aloud is really splitting opinion with her solo career. It seems that whenever someone writes something nice about her, certain other papers feel obliged to run something negative.
For example, The Sun gets first listen to her new single, Insatiable, and writes a fairly positive review. Then, the very next day, The Mirror responds with this: “Nadine Coyle has reportedly been snubbed by singer-songwriter Labrinth, because he’d prefer to get the chance to work with Cheryl Cole.”
Only LA-based Nadine didn’t really know who Labrinth was – much less that she’d asked him to work with her. (Her album’s more Bonnie Tyler than Tinie Tempah anyway. And in a good way.)
Must be coincidence that Labrinth shares the same PR company as Cheryl. And is on Cheryl’s sponsor Simon Cowell’s label. And that the Mirror and Mail journalists who seem to write the anti-Nadine pieces are the ones who seem to get all the Cheryl Cole exclusives.
While tabloid scandals are on the agenda, maybe someone should look at some others. Popbitch think it is wrong that celebrity weeklies can routinely peddle what turn out to be complete fabrications as fact on the cover of magazines.
See this week’s Now. “Big Brother Bombshell – As Preston dithers… PETE WANTS CHANTELLE” shouts the cover, with a big photo of Chantelle and Peter Andre. Chantelle Houghton and Peter Andre are both represented by CAN associates.
Peter Andre is not once directly quoted – Pete just can’t get enough of Chantelle right now”, reveals a friend – is the gist of a whole article attributed to quotes from an un-named source.
You probably remember seeing what looks like the same story linking Pete with Kerry Katona, another CAN client.
Those involved – the magazine, journalists, PRs and stars – are complicit in making a cover story on a big-selling magazine without any real basis, treating readers of the magazine with little respect.
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It’s Neil Armstrong on his way back up from the Lunar surface. Look how knackered but happy he looks. One of the best portraits ever taken.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you might’ve noticed that a bloke called Raoul Moat has been running around trying to hide from the Police – after shooting his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. It’s a pretty dark tale of a ex-doorman who went off the rails massively.
However it’s been a pretty weird tale of how the “media” has covered it and handled it. I’m only touching on some of it here.
The Twitter community got on the case . @raoulontherun was set-up with the bio “2010 Hide and Seek Champion“. Twitter suspended the account really quickly. Apparently it’s ok to mock the USA’s worst ever ecological disaster but not a murderer on the run.
Anyway it all kicked off on Friday night when Raoul was spotted in Northumberland town of Rothbury. I picked it up about 7pm as Sky News and BBC News dispatched reporters and had gone to rolling news.
People were crying, Police armed response units were tearing around, the tension was palpable. However reporters were running around like lunatics sticking their microphones into the faces of people who were clearly incredibly upset. It was horrible.
I stuck with it for a bit – but in the end had to turn over. The “breaking reports” were meaningless. There was nothing to report because the situation was still unfolding and the Police didn’t want the media to get too close.
Repeatedly they were asked to stay inside their cars, or to move back, or to go indoors and stay away from the windows. They didn’t. The police even had to resort to this.
Anyway the madness didn’t stop there. England football legend and fellow troubled soul Paul Gascoigne turned up at the Police exclusion zone in Rothbruy claiming to be a friends of “Moatys”.
He had brought Raoul Moat a can of lager, some chicken, a mobile phone, dressing gown and a fishing rod. I shit you not.
He then got into a photographers car and did a radio interview on Real Radio Northeast.
Listen to the interview in full here. It’s pretty tragic.
Anyway, at around 1.15am Raoul Moat shot himself in the head. Possibly after being “tasered” by the Police.
Then this picture appeared on the BBC News homepage.
It’s like some sort of PhotoBomb! Massively inappropriate.
Looks like the ex-bodybuilder was the only one pumped up on steroids. Even the ITV News blurred this unfortunate gurn out on their main broadcast.
Can someone make sense of all this for me please? It’s all been very surreal.
I’m half expecting to see this in the newspapers on Monday morning: The Raoul Moat Memorial Edition “Cut Out and Keep” Party Mask.
Owls are generally pretty cool but this Southern White-faced Owl is like a final boss in a video game. When he sees potential enemies, he transforms into one of two battle modes.
In the first, he puffs himself up, bugs out his eyes, and squats like some kind of battle tank.
But when he’s facing a really big foe, he stands up straight, squints his eyes, and brings one wing around him like Dracula’s cape.
Trust me, you’ll say “Whoa.”
Transformer Owl, I choose YOU!
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Sorry about the lack of regular updates here. I know it’s been a bit sporadic.
Work’s been mega busy. One major headline is that glue London is now called glue Isobar so we’ve been having fun with email addresses, business cards, logos, website updates, social media, servers. Sexy stuff eh.
At the end of last week I also landed a new MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard and it’s taken a bit of time to get it set-up properly.
I have this whole workflow thing for all the blog / posterous stuff which I don’t really like to do any other way. But when I get the chance to do a clean install it’s great to take the opportunity to start fresh. There’s something so nice about clean whizzy system, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and noodling here. Feel free to ignore it if it’s not your thing.
A BIT OF HISTORY.
I had my previous machine for nearly 3 years and it got so caned so hard that it was literally falling apart at the seams. Before that one I had a MacBook Pro, and before that a Powerbook. I’ve not always a Mac head though. I started out having 286, 386 and 486 processors PCs. I remember a few trips back to the computer shop because I’d been messing around in DOS and deleted something I shouldn’t have. How times change. Having a Mac and Cloud services has made my digital life much easier.
NEW SPEC. NEW LOOK.
MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 processor w/ 4GB memory
15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1440 by 900 pixels
500GB 5400-rpm hard drive
Intel HD Graphics w/ NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor with 256MB GDDR3 memory
Precision aluminum unibody
Two USB 2.0 ports / One FireWire 800 port
SD card slot
MOVING STUFF OVER.
One thing I that really stood out this time was how I moved the majority of stuff over using the cloud. I hadn’t realised how much I was using them until it come to shifting everything. Here’s the lowdown:
Exchange / MobileMe:
Work email is handled by Exchange Server. All pre-configured by glue IT. Personal email, contacts, calendar, and bookmarks are handled by MobileMe. Put your username and password in and hit sync.
250Mb of assorted files, application databases, iTunes scripts, some custom settings and other odds and sods were handled by Dropbox. For me it’s a killer app. Grab it, put my username and password in, and Dropbox downloads and syncs all your files on the cloud. It’s brilliant.
Last up was Google which has my shared documents, rss feeds, email backups and other assorted stuff I use everyday for work.
Once that was done the majority of the work was complete. The only 2 things I had to copy across using “cables” were the iTunes and iPhoto libraries. Weighing in at 300Gb it’s a bit heavy for any cloud service at the moment. But even that was painless. I booted my old laptop in “Target mode” and copied the 2 directories straight over. I’m also taking the opportunity to seriously trim iTunes. I’m deleting any stuff I don’t like or don’t listen to. A lean mean iTunes awaits when I’m done. Plus Spotify is finally starting to become a useful music app.
I’ve got bad habit of installing stuff to see what it’s like then removing it, so my Application Support folder gets clogged up with all sort of crap. This time I’m starting with a “minimum” application install and lets see what I can live without. I have Appzapper at the ready too.
// Here’s the essential apps that made it back on:
1Password – keeps your logins, usernames, and passwords safe – syncs with iPhone app
Adobe Creative Suite – Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign – plus Dreamweaver and Fireworks
Apple iWork – Mac-friendly alternative to Office: includes Pages, Keynote and Numbers
Appzapper – remove unwanted app and preferences
BusySync – sync iCal to Google Calendars and vice-versa
Dropbox – store, sync, and, share files. Absolute genius – syncs with iPhone app
Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, Powerpoint. Old school
MobileMe – keeps my email, contacts, calendars and bookmarks up to date – syncs with iPhone
Onmigraffle Professional – drawing and wireframing app
Quick Search Box – search for information and launch apps
Perian – free, open source QuickTime component that adds support for more video formats
Spotify – search and stream music
Things – task management. I swear by this – syncs with iPhone app
Transmit – ftp client, recently improved and updated
Tweetie – my Twitter client of choice
Xtorrent – torrent client with slick features and a nice ui
// And here’s the apps I’m trying to live without:
AddressBookSync – copies Facebook profile pictures into Address Book
Adium – sweet IM client for MSN, AIM, Jabber, Bonjour but I really don’t use IM anymore
Bookdog – sort and sync bookmarks across browsers
Bytecontroller – small iTunes menubar controller
Caffeine – stops your Mac from going to sleep great for presentations
Cooliris – snazzy media browser
CSSEdit – a CSS editor, because my code is poor
Delibar – a Delicious.com client that sits in the menubar
Ecto – desktop blog editor for WordPress but I’m writing this in the browser
Evernote – digital notebook to save ideas, things you see, and things you like
F.lux – changes the colour temperature of your display depending on the time
Handbrake – video transcoder
iScrobbler – sends the song you’re listening to in iTunes to Last.fm
Live – kickass music software from Ableton for writing, producing and performing
Merlin – project management for the Mac
Monolingual – removes unnecessary language resources
Name Mangler – rename files in bulk
Quicksilver – killer interface for working with apps, contacts, music, and other more
Skitch – screen capture, commenting and sharing
Switch – converts audio from one format to another – supports loads of formats
VLC – open source media player
Webkut – capture section or entire webpages as png and jpg
So that’s it. A bit of a monster post about something very small.
Anyway.. I LOVE my new machine.
Because there’s a chance that @markcridge might read this and give me some hassle, here’s a list of stuff that was wrong with Bertha.
Screen broken / colour issues
Superdrive broken and chewing CDs
Finder hangs / crashes
Wouldn’t wake from sleep mode – needs rebooting
Battery lasts around 30minutes from full charge
Trackpad intermittently stopped working
Ethernet and external drives keep disconnecting
I also get these kind of emails from IT:
“Do you think we should set up an automated email to order a new machine for Andy every 6 months? – Useless *#!*”
“I can’t believe it hasn’t been ‘stolen’ from a pub in a while”
Proper comedians eh.
If you like this kind of stuff. there’s a Flickr set of me messing around with an iPad and my Macbooks here.
That’s the end of the most tragic post I’ve ever written. Normal service will now be resumed.
Interesting film about intellectual property and remix culture.
“Walking on Eggshells” is a 24-minute documentary about appropriation, creative influence, re-use and intellectual property in the remix age.
Worth a watch.
Full details here.
Only in England can you find a gorgeous Georgian church like this renovated into a home.
It’s a bit special.
Type of house: Converted five-bedroom Georgian church
Location: Kyloe, Northumberland
Purchase price: £92,000
Money spent: £300,000
Ultimate job? Probably.
Watch Lewis and Jenson put McLaren’s new MP4-12C through its paces at Goodwood race circuit.
McLaren revealed the performance of its 1300 kg sportscar with the following figures; 0-200km/h in under 10 secs, 1/4 mile in around 11 seconds and top speed over 200mph.