Month: January 2010

To the tune of: April March – Poor Lola You are browsing the second-hand books in a small town’s famous covered market, waiting for the other reader to finish whatever the other reader is finishing, when you happen across a book. It is amongst the Books You Normally Read and The Books You Like The Cover […]

Today, he announces to much fanfare, is the 65th anniversary of the creation of the briefs,those underpants of the first order. They were first sold by Coopers Inc of Chicago (now Jockey International) on January 19th 1935, designed by apparel engineer Arthur Kniebler as a replacement for the jockstrap, hence their name of jock-brief. (Briefs are known as jockeys to Americans, presumably because it reduced a man’s wotsits until they were midget-sized.) In England the traditional design meant they came be to be called Y-fronts – due to the unusual apeture at the front for extracting the wotsit.

(This post to the tune of…) Professional statistics-mangler Professor Cliff Arnell is conquering the news again today, for his yearly profile-raiser about this being the most depressing day of the year. As Ben Goldacre has pointed out, he was paid to produce this research by Porter Novelli, a PR firm, who pitched the idea and date […]

Order! Order! Following the Parliamentary Education Services release of their edutainment flash-game ‘MP For A Week‘, I’ve written a bit of analysis over at Nicholas Lovell’s GamesBrief of the title, covering its accuracy, education value and entertainment value. The axe that the commons authorities want to grind is razor sharp – this game makes the […]

At the start, chance happenings – two good brains happening on each other, meeting by renown and word of mouth. Nothing else, no writing. Then, with writing, papyrus passing from palaces of the kings as edicts, the only minds that were known. Then writing widens, concepts are allowed and others than the kings have raw […]

Dear Maria got up at 5am this morning, so she could get to work for 7. On a Saturday. That’s retail! I spent the afternoon with a plumber, getting our boiler fixed. Her work day done, at 4.30pm we met at Daunt Books in Belsize Park, to go and give Christmas presents to my auntie […]

Somedays you wonder if there’s any point opening your eyes. Despite the miracles of daylight saving, when I get up to go to work it’s dark. In our cramped flat trapped between the motorway, tube lines, and ‘retail parks’ (such a horrible word, evoking branded daffodils and planting gold to harvest tat), it’s brown outside […]