Friday, 30 April 2010

East London gets a monorail

The new shiny East London line is open! It extends the one that semi-existed about 10 years ago, linking Whitechapel to New Cross. Now we can board further north at Dalston and stop via Haggerston and Hoxton (note: this is nowhere near Hoxton) and Shoreditch High Street (not on the high st but near enough for a cigar). Eventually Hackney people will be able to travel all the way to Croydon, oh dear.

I rode it yesterday and it was truly a unique and revolutionary experience, if only because I saw at least 2 pairs of strangers involved in content conversation, not just any pair but each a happy passenger and a Transport for London staff member - something special was definitely in the air. Encouraged by this I engaged in my own chat only for it to descend into a pracical exchange about running times (7am-8pm Mon-Fri).

At the time of writing the surroundings are clean in a way that stations only retain in the embryonic stages of their lifespans. Aesthetically they bear similarities to the Norman Foster-designed Jubilee Line extension - bright open spaces and minimalism except above ground and with added perpex.

With recent reports of photographers in public spaces being harrassed by the police I asked permission to take the photo below. The lady consulted with her colleague and decided it wasn't a matter of global security which is just as well because I would've taken one anyway.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Possibly the only thing that is going to make me join Twitter is the potential that it could in a miniscule way affect the outcome of who governs this country. That is, if I start ten different accounts, befriend every registered voter and tweet in a eloquent factual way once every half an hour.

Also there are some good smear campiagns that Twitter can help quell or incite, like the one against Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. It was orchestrated by the right wing press over money that even these self-appointed prosecuters concede is free from scandal.

Newspaper The Daily Torygraph's deputy editor Benedict Brogan on his blog:
The likelihood must be that it is evidence of disorganisation, nothing more, but don’t know that yet.
So why do these cynical wannabe-tabloid rats make it the lead news story in their paper. Ok, you can tell I'm slightly partisan here so in future I will be sure to provide evidence of manipulation by the lefty press. For the record, I'm not necessarily voting Lib Dem though.

The real issue is the decline of journalistic standards due to the need to sensationalise and sell news rather than tell news - especially in the face of competition from the web, but that's a whole different can of worms.

Anyway, the election is exciting for political nerds like me because you get to watch the recently introduced leader's debates and look important down the pub when you discuss proposed tax bandings and proportional representation

Finally check out the link below - credit to my brother for this. The results are for where I live in Hackney North & Stoke Newington but you can type your own in and see how much power you don't have ... so VOTE.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Advertising ruins your health - the proof

This was stuck to a bus shelter near Liverpool St tube. 

It seems too good to be true. Are Transport For London seriously saying that the source of a huge amount of their revenue is under review because they fear it is harmful to their customer's health? Have there really been studies that can measure how materialistic people are? How do we decide what constitutes 'materialism'? Can we then link that to depression and addiction? Unlikely.

The grammar mistake on the very last line gives it away. Other tell-tale signs are that it is not laminated and open to the 'authorities' trying to remove it, see bottom-left and top-right corners. Good hoax though and I applaud the debate it raises.