Daily nuggets of inspiration from the good folk
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It’s Christmas Day (not today – we’re just imagining here). Aunty’s asleep in the chair next to a glass of sherry; Dad’s considering tackling the mountain of washing up; the kids have lost interest in their toys and are being brain-washed by Mary Poppins; and (if you’ve got around to it) next to the front door will be two or three bin bags of ripped up wrapping paper.
The UK alone is responsible for 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year – enough to stretch around the earth 9 times – which makes Lush’s new Vivienne Westwood Knot Wraps/ neckerchiefs/ headscarves such a beautiful alternative: the wrapping is as much of a gift as the present inside it. (And you can reuse it next year if you want, just make sure you wash it first.)
The Knot Wraps are made with 100% organic cotton and cost £15, with all profits going directly to Climate Revolution Fund.
Ever wondered how much energy you’re using sat at your desk? Or making a sandwich? Or filling the car with petrol? Then Nike’s FuelBand is for you. The original version was sold out within hours when it launched last year, but the recently released FuelBand SE adds a little luxury to the whole experience.
The overall design is much sleeker than its predecessor, and it’s available in a range of bright colours, but it’s the Rose Gold version that’s caught the eye of the fashionistas. Available in limited quantities worldwide, the clasp, bezel and screws are all made with hand-polished 316 series stainless steel.
The bands will set you back to the tune of £139 ($227, but it’s retailing at $169 in the US) but if bling’s your thing then just do it, as they say.
It started with books. Then came films. And games. And toys and toiletries and clothes and pretty-much-everything-you-can-think-of-except-groceries. Until now. In Seattle and LA, at least. Yes, online giants Amazon have taken a second bite at the cherry by launching their grocery service in Los Angeles. (Hats tipped towards Em.)
Admittedly, it’s been available in the company’s hometown of Seattle for a few years now, offering a range of fresh dairy, meat, fruit and veg direct to people’s doors in one or three-hour slots (depending on your own personal time vs money priorities).
It’s already a crowded marketplace and with margins notoriously low it will be interesting to see how long they stick it out for. But if you fancy some salad to go with your Fried Green Tomatoes (at the Whistlestop Café) then it’ll be right up your street.
Earlier this year (April to be precise) a story hit the UK’s headlines of a 4-year-old girl who was ‘addicted’ to her iPad. Whilst many of us may have scoffed and thought ‘I’d never let that happen to my child’, it turns out that in Japan they’re taking the problem incredibly seriously.
The Japanese Ministry of Education is proposing an ‘Internet Fasting Camp’ to help cure some of the estimated 500,000 adolescents who are believed to suffer from internet addiction. The condition is being held responsible for a number of sleeping and eating disorders, and even cases of depression and deep-vein thrombosis (normally associated with long-haul flights).
It’s a problem that’s not just unique to Japan – it’s a global issue that’s most likely to get worse before the rest of the world start to take notice. (Don’t worry, the irony of us sharing a Poke about the dangers of social media isn’t lost on us.)
“It’s only words,” Barry, Robin and Maurice told us in 1968. But it seems words have stirred up a whole hornets’ nest over in Sydney where the Museum of Words has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Or right reasons, depending on what your take is on all this.
Initially set up, in the words of curator, Charles Firth, “to encourage people to spend time reflecting on words outside of their everyday use,” events took a turn for the worse/ better when he later described the museum as a scam. It appears Mr Firth’s intentions were to highlight the lack of Arts funding for his own project the Sydney Writers Room. (The museum received a $30,000 cultural grant from the city of Sydney for the exhibition.)
Words were ‘loaned’ by a variety of Australian public figures, including Julian Assange (‘consent’), Gina Rinehart (‘perseverance’) and Lord Mayor Clover Moore (‘sustainability’), with an audio tour that explained the etymology of each word.
Ironically Firth’s word was ‘love’ – there doesn’t seem to be much out there for him at the moment.