Manchester, So Much To Answer For – How a boom ended Manchester’s bust.

A returnee’s view of Manc – myself, I get vaguely the same feeling when I pop back, the feeling that the reconstruction after the IRA bomb hasn’t really worked and that the little shmatty shops that filled the corn exchange (indeed, the location of the Arndale before the Post-war planners blitzed it) were what held the Manchester spirit; the scrubby endless Stockport market that runs over cobbles streets and iron bridges and through old market halls, that always knew more of what Manchester was about than the frankly souless city-centre. Albert Square, Urbis, and the new Marks ‘n Sparks – they all symbolise the absolute shittiness of the central town planners, who should have just left the place to develop the way New York did.

Toby and I have been discussing our genes. Unusually for an Indie-kid (perhaps because I’ve never really been a whole-hearted one) I’m quite looking forward to having sprogs. Yet most of the supposedly liberal set I know aren’t; in fact, most of them are dead set against it. Phrases range from “I wouldn’t inflict my genes on another generation” to “I loathe the little buggers.”

Whether this is a reflection of the increasingly hardened hedonism that afflicts our generation, with even the most vocally socially progressive having little real regard for world concerns, I’m not sure. It could simply be disinterest, though I’d opine it’s genuine selfishness. Of course, my motivation is also unclear; whether it’s the biological imperative, a genuine mookish liking for kids, a desire /to/ inflict my genes on the world, or just a cunning subliminal plan to get someone in the sack, the real motivation is shielded even from me.

Anyway, we found this excellent site, if you’re thus afflicted by the Indie apathy; Man Not Included takes away all the responsibility of having a child from the commitment-fleeing male, and let’s you donate your semen anonymously to a Lesbian couple, probably in Scandinavia. Personally, I’d only do it if there was a financial reward involved, not through greed but as a pay-off for the inconvenience involved for me. Anyway, if you’re looking for advice on sperm donation, the excellent MSN Slate site had a good article on it here.

Oxford Tops UK Air Pollution List

NOx Cigarette Equivalent

in 24 Hours

Oxford 61.4

Bath 46.8

Glasgow – Kerbside 44.7

London, Marylebone Road 30.0

Kensington & Chelsea, King’s Road 29.6

Exeter 27.7

Hammersmith Broadway 27.3

Bristol – City Centre 27.1

Sheffield – Tinsley 27.1

Brent 26.7

For a non-smoker, it appears I’ve unfortunately averaged a 50 a day habit over the past six years. What the headlines (and study) didn’t tell you, is that this is only nitrogen content; the carcinogenic tar adn nicotine aren’t tested for, making for a frankly useless study.

Anyway off to Monkeyworld. No, don’t ask why.