Crappy Chicken

My former flatmate and I, many years ago, loved spotting risible uses of “n” as a substitute for “and”, especially in shop signs. So much so that we started taking photos of them (“Duckin’n’divin” was a favourite). If we’d had the internet in those days, we’d have put our photo gallery online and become an inexplicably popular cult site. On another theme altogether, but with us in spirit, is this site, which made me laugh like a drain*. Yep, it’s photos of really crap fast-food chicken restaurants, mainly in the UK. You’d have to be very, very drunk at the time…
* They do, you know!

One Thousand Reasons

Let’s face it, not many of us have much of an interest in politics outside our own country, but it’s astonishing how the forthcoming US election has galvanised the world’s attention. I doubt if any US president in history has made his country so disliked by the rest of the world, enemies and (reluctant) friends alike. If the whole world could vote in this election, Bush wouldn’t pick up 5% of the vote. But we can’t. Even in so-called friendly countries, like here in the UK, the only people who have any respect or admiration for Bush are opportunistic politicians like Blair. Here are a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t vote for Bush. I’ll admit I’m now regretting voting for Blair in our last election. In November, the world will be watching, and hoping, that enough Americans who voted for Bush last time are big enough to realise what a mistake they made too.

HR-V: top marks from me

Honda HRV
Got a new car today. But the picture above is the old one, for posterity. Alex was heartbroken. Three-year-olds don’t realise that people change cars. And they hate change. He’s never known another one. I took a tip from a colleague and hid “a present from the new car” in the back seat when he first saw it. Now he likes the new car, because it gives him chocolate. But I’m sure he’d still like the old car back. It was pretty striking …and strikingly pretty, in my opinion. I remember my neighbour, on first seeing it, commenting: “Honda HR-V? Looks like an Allegro Estate to me”. And do you know? The more I looked at it, the more I realised he had a point. But in four years it never so much as squeaked, never mind went wrong. Good work, Honda fellas.

Visiting websites without typing

I like this. How do you get web URLs from paper (or other physical media) into
people’s PCs, phones, TVs or whatever, when they just won’t type them in?
Enter the 2D barcode. It’s easy to represent web URLs in this format. And
guess what? Every self-respecting teenager is now walking around with their
own barcode scanner (a very sophisticated one, it’s true!) in the form of
their camera phone. Put the two together and you can get the public to visit
websites without them already being on the web to follow links.
If this takes off, expect to see lower-tech applications follow. For
example, I’d have thought a 2D barcode scanner could be added inexpensively
to your PC mouse, so you just wave it over a 2D barcode representing a web
URL and up it pops on your screen. Just remember me when you
make your first billion pounds.