Monthly Archives: January 2013

Should have worn a belt!

And so to my picture of the day!

Here is a photograph of a masked protester in Egypt, caught quite literally with his trousers down yesterday as he hurled rocks at riot police in clashes near Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

I do not condone the violence in any way – I just wanted to show how this ridiculous trend of wearing low-slung jeans can have the most embarrassing of consequences, namely his picture splashed across websites and newspapers worldwide – at least it looks as though his blue boxer shorts are clean, his mum will be so proud!!!

Protester

 

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Why you should never be in a “tearing” hurry!

If you’re a high-profile movie star, there are few things more embarrassing than turning up at an event in the same dress as someone else and giving the paparazzi a field day and plenty of column inches.  However, this weekend, Jennifer Lawrence managed to create headlines with her dress in a different way with an unfortunate incident when standing up to receive her Best Female Actor in a Leading Role statue for her role in Silver Linings Playbook at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Jumping up from her chair and hugging the people around her, she failed to notice that someone had planted the leg of their chair on her navy Dior gown.  Keen to get on stage and accept her award, the actress attempted to run off, tearing her dress in the process.   Not so much a wardrobe malfunction as a wardrobe catastrophe!!!

SAG Awards

Naturally the cameras were also on the other nominees in this category, Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman, who both managed to create suitably shocked expressions, presumably while laughing hysterically on the inside and eternally grateful that it hadn’t happened to them!!!

SAG awards

Jennifer almost hadn’t attended the ceremony as she is thought to have been suffering from pneumonia and has missed various red carpet occasions in recent weeks.   You can bet that she woke up this morning wishing she’d stayed in bed a bit longer!!!

Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh!!!

This week’s headlines would have been a gift for Frankie Howerd who, for my younger readers, was an English comedian and comic actor who died in 1992.  Famous for several catchphrases, I have used artistic licence to tweak one of these as a headline for this post – I’m sure he would have approved!

You must have been on another planet if you haven’t heard about the outrage of the revelation that the beef content in one Everyday Value burger sold by Tesco was actually 29 per  cent horse meat.Tesco article

There are of course many countries that find eating horsemeat totally acceptable [across Europe and South America for example], but in the UK we seem to find it abhorrent – but the main reason to be scandalised is not that Tesco was selling burgers containing horse, but that they weren’t labelled as such.  It’s not illegal to sell horsemeat in the UK, but it is illegal to sell food containing ingredients that aren’t listed on the label.

Of course the Social Media networks had a field day and the jokes were coming thick and fast.  However, no-one expected Tesco’s themselves to score such a spectacular “own goal” as they did last night when they tweeted this:

Tesco tweet

Despite claims that they had scheduled the tweet before the scandal broke, I can’t help but think this could come back and bite them on their proverbial backside [trying desperately not to succumb here to the temptation of a quip about a horse’s ass].   It may on the other hand prove to be the best marketing strategy ever … only time will tell.

So I leave you with my own favourite tweet on the subject … have a great weekend!

Food allergies are a pain … dairy products make me sneeze and #Tesco burgers make me a little hoarse!!!

Where is he now? Should have stayed there …

David Bowie Pin UpsI used to be a big David Bowie fan in my teenage years.  A favourite album, featuring a young Twiggy with David on the album cover, was Pin Ups.

The story goes that her then boyfriend, Justin de Villeneuve, heard Twiggy’s name come up in the song “Drive in Saturday” (Bowie mentions her as “Twig the Wonderkid” in the song), and arranged a photo shoot.  He’d originally offered the picture to Vogue Magazine but on realising that Bowie had access to millions via his records and Vogue’s circulation was in the region of 80,000, he gave the photo to David, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In my opinion, the 70’s were when Bowie was at his best, although some of his later stuff is also pretty darn good!  It was with a fair amount of anticipation, therefore, that I heard rumours that he was releasing something new, for the first time in 10 years.   Unfortunately, the song released this week “Where Are We Now”, coinciding with his 66th birthday, is quite simply awful, dark, depressing and makes no sense whatsoever – and the video that accompanies it is not any better.  I actually think he would have been better not bothering and just taking the royalties from the good stuff from way back!

Don’t just take my word for it, have a listen here and make up your own minds!

Going Underground

Collages

Happy 150th Birthday to the London Underground!  The first journey taken on the Tube was on the 9th January 1963 on the Metropolitan Line, a distance of 3.5 miles between Paddington and Farringdon stations on a steam train!

To mark this event, the Royal Mail has released a London Underground stamp set featuring lithographs, illustrations and photographs of the development of the transport network from 1863 to the present day and the Royal Mint have issued a commemorative £2 coin bearing the “roundel” logo which first appeared on Underground station platforms in 1908 and featuring an edge inscription heralding the famous advice: MIND THE GAP.

Three little factoids (my new favourite word) for you are:

  • The nickname “the Tube” comes from the circular tube-like tunnels through which the trains travel.
  • The busiest station is Waterloo with 82 million passengers a year, and
  • It is the 3rd largest metro system in the world after  the Beijing Subway and the Shanghai Metro.

MoleThat said, whilst I appreciate that the Underground is a very good way to get around, avoiding traffic jams, road closures etc., it is actually my least favourite mode of transport – if God had wanted us to travel underground, he would have made us all moles!

A mother’s love

We could learn a lot from Ozala the Gorilla at Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire.   Her latest baby was born on 2nd January as a result of a successful primate breeding programme but so far keepers have been unable to determine the sex of the newborn since the 16-stone Mum won’t let anyone near her precious infant.

This is the 4th baby for 18-year old Ozala, and it may well be that she is over-protective since her 1st offspring, Matadi, born in 2003, was taken away from her and is now being cared for at Paignton Zoo in Devon.  Her 2nd, a female called Ndoki  sadly died aged 3 months in 2007  and her 3rd, a male called Okanda was born in April last year.   Okanda survived after some initial health problems and is now being cared for in Stuttgart Zoo in Germany.

I do hope she is allowed to keep this new addition.  It seems extremely cruel to me that she should be parted from her babies when she so clearly has extremely strong maternal instincts.   I accept that Gorillas are a critically endangered species, but come on!  How could you separate these two?

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Hashtag #hashtag

NewsweekSo it’s official!  Hashtag has been voted ‘word of the year’ by the American Dialect Society.

While the word has been around for decades, hashtags initially became popular on Twitter, where users would put them within tweets to make a larger comment or joke.   From there, it spread onto Facebook and everyday speech and a tipping point came when the only three words used on the cover of Newsweek magazine’s final print issue were preceded by a hashtag, making the cross over from web to print complete.

Twitter hashtags are a great way to organize tweets for common subjects or events, but people also use them as a way to connect to others over a good laugh. Once the twitterverse starts putting in their two cents, you get crowd-sourced, viral comedy. I’ve put together what I think are five of the funniest hashtag PR disasters that I’m sure will make you laugh:

  1. #Susanalbumparty:  Susan Boyle’s PR people are probably wishing they had re-read their promotional hashtag after missing its alternative message to Twitter users.  Causing great mirth on the social network, the unfortunate hashtag spawned a deluge of mock invites to the party until it was hastily renamed #SusanBoylesAlbumParty.
  2. #McDStories: Back in January, McDonald’s #McDStories hashtag backfired when instead of offering “good news stories” about the fast-food chain, users began flooding the tag with claims of fingernails in burgers and other nasties.
  3.  #WaitroseReasons: When the supermarket asked shoppers to complete the sentence: “I shop at Waitrose because …” using the hashtag #WaitroseReasons in September, it perhaps should have expected the subsequent tirade of jokes about the brand’s posh image – though many have said the way Waitrose responded turned the campaign from disaster to success.
  4. #MadeMeSmile: Vodafone was left bemused when Twitter users redeployed the PR #mademesmile tag to publish tax avoidance allegations directly to the company’s website.
  5. #QantasLuxury: Airline Qantas won the accolade of PR disaster of the year at the end of 2011 after opening up their promotional hashtag #QantasLuxury at a time when thousands of passengers were stranded overseas.hashtag

Purists will of course say that hashtag isn’t in fact a word but a symbol (like exclamation mark or question mark) and that the real name for this symbol is octothorpe – not quite as catchy though is it?

Celebrity Stalkers?

I always thought that the reason I preferred to buy new-build properties was because I rather liked the idea of no-one having used any of the facilities before me.  A blank canvas which I can then make my own with colours and textures and creative thinking.  It looks as though I was wrong!  I must have decided on this course of action to prevent previous occupants turning up, uninvited and unannounced, wanting to look round my humble abode and then making a cheeky offer to buy the property back from me!Hannibal Lecter

Yes folks, this has actually happened and the culprit, none other than Hollywood actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins!   The star arrived at the semi-detached home in  Port Talbot (his childhood home) in a chauffeur-driven car with his wife and two bodyguards, and asked if he could look  around.   The bemused couple invited the actor and his  group inside and he stayed for 30 minutes, posing for pictures before asking if  the home was for sale.

The owners apparently admitted to being a little starstruck but pleased he’d had the opportunity to revisit the place he was born.   I’m not sure I’d have been so amenable had I opened the door to find Hannibal Lecter standing on my doorstep – some fava beans and a nice Chianti anyone?????

You’ll probably think I’m quackers!

ducksAnyone who has paid a visit to my bathroom will know that I am particularly fond of a rubber duck!   I used to have a much larger collection but an episode with a cleaner and a plastic carrier bag meant that the originals were lost to the bin men!  That said, I now have another 6 wee friends taking pride of place beside the bath!

My collection is small fry though!  Duck in LondonDid anyone see the story of the huge rubber duck that “swam” under Tower Bridge in December?  This was a stunt organised by an online bingo site to publicise its £250,000 “bursary” to help make more Britons have fun.  The giant 50ft-tall rubber duck went along the River Thames, past HMS Belfast, The Tower of London and under a raised Tower Bridge, much to the amusement of tourists along the riverbank.

duck in darling harbourAnd this week another specimen has been spotted floating through Darling Harbour in Australia to mark the opening of the Sydney Festival.  Looking very similar to the London visitor, but with more plastic coverage over the hovercraft-like platform.

The organisers of the Festival say that the duck has been popping up in various sites around the world since 2007, although this is the first I’ve read about it.  If it wants to join us on the Clyde in Glasgow next as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations, that would be ducking marvellous!

If you’ve got Seoul you’ll enjoy this!

A beautiful video showing the fireworks in Seoul, celebrating the start of 2013 – enjoy!

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