rashbre central: April 2010

Friday 30 April 2010

pull the other one?

debate screen grab
I wrote my last post before the debate aired on television and then amused myself watching the HDP (High Definition Perspiration) as our three heros scuffled it out against a swirling acid-hazed Parliamentary backdrop.

We were told that the politicos had not been given the questions in advance, but it was clear that they had been given the topics of the questions as 'one worders' like spending /taxes /bankers /reconstruction /real people /immigration /housing /benefits /children so they knew which groove to play for a particular theme.

Some will have spotted that responses were deflected in some areas where the briefing and the question didn't quite align.

It was also interesting to see the debate tactics in use. Marginalise Clegg by ignoring his responses. Cameron to challenge Brown on everything. Brown to say its dangerous to switch captains when we are in the middle of the icebergs (He didn't say that but you get my drift).

I'm annoying myself though that I'm deconstructing the debate rather than analysing the content. I suppose that because there's so much time in negativism. I know we have the populist worm thing, but it would be more interesting if we had something like they do in soccer, where there's something about minutes spent saying something constructive and explaining agenda vs minutes attacking each other.

Still, its all good material for caption competitions.

Thursday 29 April 2010

open mike night

Duck House
I've been whizzing back and forth through Heathrow the last few days and not had much time for blogging activities although the little kerfuffle yesterday with unexpected open microphones reached my ears.

The "brown toast" headlines and similar are good at keeping the main agenda away from any proper debates and its almost as if the main parties have decided to stay away from anything too difficult or to brush it away in a non-auditable soundbite.

Is the economy is really all messed up? Is the public sector out of scale? Is the private sector struggling? Are the banks operating like pirates? Can the rich operate offshore for a modest payment to the political party of their choice? Could errant MPs retire with cash and free access to Parliament? Have house price changes created huge negative equity? Are there more people unemployed than at any time since 1994? Can new entrants to the job market get work?

We can all fill in our own answers to these kind of questions, but I'm not really seeing through the bickering to concrete examples of how anything is supposed to get fixed. It begs a question about who presided over us getting to the current position, but an equally important one about who could get us to a better place.

I'm out and about again tomorrow, so it will be a whole week since I've seen the rashbre duck house.

Monday 26 April 2010

chipping in

casino chips
Well, I said I'd use my novel royalties in a way that captured the spirit of the original writing experience. So I did decide to gamble the initial royalty cheque and to see what would happen.

I'm pleased to say I'm ahead at the moment. Let's say the original stake was extremely modest in any case and I've spread out its deployment over a number of weeks. The good, though hardly life changing, news is that I actually won some cash at the weekend.

It's a small amount, but still a three times multiple of the original royalty cheque. Thank you, lotto.

Sunday 25 April 2010

shoemending time

Time for some background computer tasks today. Hole prevention.

Its mainly my photo library which has become quite large so I've decided to split it into some smaller pieces. The simple reason is the manageability of it on computer disks. Modern cameras produce large images and my snapshot library is now about a third of a terabyte.

It still works but starts to make its management for backup and similar purposes rather lengthy. Making a full copy is about 4 hours and will only get longer. So its time to chop it into a few pieces. I think archival by year is the simplest and kind of operates at a human level.

Still, its turning sunny, so I can leave the computer to burble away whilst I head outdoors.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Melissa auf der Maur

Melissa auf der Maur
Turns out there's been quite a few people stuck in the Ash Cloud over the last few days. I was a day ahead of the Ash in getting back to UK, although I did momentarily muse that the Norwegian skies were pretty with streaks of unaccountable grey across them.

Others ahead of the curve managed to get back with long distance taxis (Amsterdam to Calais for one friend, a hire van from Dusseldorf to LHR in another case).

And it disrupted the music we were seeing earlier this week, when half the act couldn't get to the venue. Ironically, the skies over London have been crystal clear and sunny for several days, so I guess the Icelandic stuff is hiding somewhere.

Anyway, one of the acts we saw was Melissa auf der Maur. Her original gigs were cancelled when she became stranded in Helsinki, but when she did get to London she ran a great set on borrowed equipment.

So that's my picture above, from the gig, but below is a short video from earlier, in Helsinki, when the Cloud had grounded Melissa's tour ahead of Oslo and Cargo in London. The hastily assembled video shoot has come out rather well. Whoever had the camera by the bass bin has some intriguingly wobbly shots. All good and check Melissa's website here for some fine wood chopping.

MAdM FINLAND from MAdM OOOM on Vimeo.

so much you can learn, when you're on a pachyderm

I seemed to be awake extra early this morning after dreaming of elephants and frogs.

But I see from twitter that I was not alone.

Friday 23 April 2010

Have you seen my sister Evelyn?

Amanda Palmer
As I was explaining yesterday, the original objective of visiting the Koko was to see the Evelyn Evelyn act which requires both of the Evelyn sisters in the same place at the same time.

The trouble was, because of the aircraft delays as a result of the swirling clouds of ash, it meant that the second Evelyn was stuck on a 747 somewhere over the Atlantic.

Undeterred, this became an excuse for some complicated technology and so with the power of borrowed London equipment, some wet string and an improbably large aerial, a link was established with Evelyn (Jason Webley) sitting on the plane.

He reached up into the overhead and found a guitar and then, before you knew it, with Amanda Palmer in Camden and him elsewhere, there was singing and general merriment.

Evelyn Evelyn may not have been as together as they would normally appear, but there was still a way to make music. the little video below captures the general chaos of the moment. I do also have another when Jason found the accordion so that they could sing The Elephant Song, but that will be reserved for youtube.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Amanda Palmer at Koko - Volcanic

OTR032610_evelyn_mainA gang of us headed to Koko in Camden for the Evelyn Evelyn show yesterday, which was somewhat affected by the Volcanic Ash Cloud, because part of the act couldn't show up and appeared to be on a plane over the Atlantic - more of that later.

The situation created a brilliant and engaging alternative performance with Amanda Palmer mixing some Evelyn Evelyn songs with pieces from Dresden Dolls and WKAP.

I don't really have time right now to write in any detail about what was an excellent evening, with everyone on stage fully on form, Amanda borrowing instruments "does anyone have a nine-volt battery?" - someone did - (probably an effects pedal too). The borrowing later included a brace of ukelele finally tuning one to perform Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees'.

But enough for now, and here's my handheld capture of Amanda introducing and singing the somewhat spontaneous 'country' Volcano Ash Song during the gig.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

a fearful frail tour (anag)

3 stooges
"A future fair for all" seems to be the Labour slogan.

There's plenty of anagrams. Here's a few.

A Failure Flat Furor
A Tearful Fail Furor
At foul ruler affair
Our true fall affair
Area liar fluff tour
A fearful frail tour
For a fearful ritual

I know there are plenty more.

And one for Tony Blair:

A fruitful role afar?

Conservative?... vote for change or...

Changeover oft
Craven the goof
Gotcha for even
Hot Fever conga
Oft green Havoc
Arch event goof
Fat Chevron ego

And if they win then maybe...
Torch of Avenge?

And in the interests of balance and fairness I have excluded the Liberal Democrats. I know, too much Chateau de Surville this evening.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

quiet pint

Sometimes there's nothing for it but to sit down in the reddening evening sunshine and have a quiet pint.

Sunday 18 April 2010

vitamin D boost

bike ride
Out before much traffic today, for a spin around a few sunny lanes. There may have been sunshine, but my first few tee-shirt minutes felt distinctly cold until the general brilliance of the scenes took over.

There's still late daffodils and at home the garden is displaying yellow tulips which are just preparing for their main display. Most trees are still only hinting at spring, but in two weeks I suspect the scene will be very different. The blackbird nest in the jasmine is hardly camouflaged at all until more leaves grow.

In the adjacent fields, large machines were cutting the hedgerows or priming the ground and ahead of me a horse was being led, with two excited dogs attempting to keep everything shepherded neatly.

I've a busy day ahead of this early morning country snapshot.

Saturday 17 April 2010

eclectic dreams

A couple of television shows that I've watched during the week included the three-nighter called Electric Dreams about consumer technology progress from 1970-2000 and the remake of the originally influential series 'The Prisoner'.

I'm not sure if the first show was even advertised and it seemed to be badged as a BBC4 programme, but does have its own microsite and full iPlayer repeats. The premise was simple. Take a modern gadget-enriched family and propel them back to 1970, then take a daily update of their environment, based upon the technology of the year.

The program started by ejecting he family, reconstructing their home as a 1970s house (smaller rooms and tiny kitchen) retro wallpaper and furnishings and the most elaborate technology was probably a valve operated radiogram and a hosepipe based toploader washing machine. Cue return of family who observe their ancient but shiny Ford Cortina parked in the drive and surprisingly avant garde domestic decoration.

Along the daily chase through the years, more items arrive, with big resets every 10 days as a new decade creates an entire house makeover. Unlike the shows filled with repeats and recaps, there was enough content to keep it lively. A suitably enthusiastic backup technology team digging out and restoring the once commonplace artifacts from museums, collectors and eBay. "Let's cover it in sticky back plastic to make it look more seventies"...

Entertaining interchange between the family, forced again to talk to one another in the device barren early years. Even greater outdoor freedom for the children as the chopper bikes arrived before the electronic harnesses of mobile phones.

Some elements were a little contrived, like the shopping using pagers and payphones, but the ever increasing pace was interesting, with the mid 1980s providing many gadgets, but also many which didn't really work properly.

The mid nineties was where the connected world started to kick in again, with satellite TV channels, mobile phones, SMS texting and a fledgling modem operated world-wide web. And as it became more up-to-date (still some 10-15 years ago), the family became more separated into different rooms and timelines, some of which was impractical in the wintry 1970's house without its central heating.

A fascinating dip into some rather recent history and a glimpse at the acceleration.

Less so with The Prisoner.

Originally written in the days of black-and-white television and probably predating the era of the Electric Dreams, it has received a significant makeover, which included its Americanisation. I've visited the original Italianate whimsical village set in Portmierion, Wales (love that it has webcams nowadays!) and even got an old video of part of the series. Original, iconic, inventive, menacing, mysterious, manic. A few words that fitted the original.

Lost meets The Trueman Show (In the Desert). My quick explanation of the first episode of the new series.

simpsons_prisonerI can see there was a clumsy reference to the Patrick McGoohan character from the original (based upon the bearded chap with the white edged blazer being chased at the start). The Simpsons did it better.

I'm not sure I'd have killed him off though. Bad Karma for the series.

Will it invent or twist enough to sustain interest? I'm not sure - the main actor is a bit too interchangeable with a temporary male lead from desperate housewives. Maybe thats what a post modernist spy is supposed to look like?

Still, it gives an excuse for someone to reshow the old series to see if it makes any more sense to a modern audience.
the prisoner

political daleks

Spotted in WH Smiths...It looks as if even the daleks are joining in with election fever.

Friday 16 April 2010

advanced puppetry?

Like many, I watched the "leaders' debate" yesterday evening, but am not quite sure what to make of it. Puppetry or Politics?

I wonder if Brown and Cameron are quietly spitting nails that they allowed Clegg to get equal airtime and turn into a 'proper person' on television. They probably both realise that the best he can expect is to be co-owner of a shared parliament.

I started watching the debate on normal television, but there seemed to be a slight sound problem, so the speech was ahead of their lips moving, which made it all a bit distracting and not a good advertisement for ITV. When I switched to HD it seemed better, but then I could also see the lip tightening, grimaces and sheen of moisture of the unexpectedly wound up looking Cameron more easily.

We have an American format for the debate, and there was a little clock whirring theoretically offscreen to ensure they were all given equal times for their statements - no doubt in the interests of balance. Perhaps we can make the subsequent shows less like a knockout quiz show.

The Brown 'three - lists' and 'two - lists with a repeat' were fairly evident as was the rather clunky rehearsed mini speeches and the researcher constructed anecdotes about how they's all been chatting with sundry minorities in their extensive time with real people.

I'm not sure whether most of it really informed the debate though. If I read any of the regular newspapers online today I can see long trails of comments from party die-hards re-inventing the dialogue and polemic.

And the mysterious cartel arithmetic of the voting system means that a remarkable swing to another party of at least 12% would be needed for any change from the usual two.

And whether its puppetry or politics, we need to work out who is operating whom.

can only an expert deal with a problem?

Aside from work and travel, I've been editing that Edie Sedgwick Factory movie over the last few weeks and its hard to not get a immersed in the era and some of the characters, hence some of my recent posts mentioning Andy Warhol, Nico and similar.

There's a linkage from the Factory and Nico, to the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed and then to Laurie Anderson (they're married).

Circumstances have conspired against me seeing Laurie on Saturday at Rough Trade off Brick Lane, where she performs a short excerpt from her upcoming album 'Homeland'.

Fortunately, I've seen her perform the whole piece at the Barbican, and it's finally about to come out on CD - I've also figured out its not possible to wriggle into my schedule to get along.

So the video above is Nico smoking over a Bowie track in a tiny British club as a substitute for not attending the Rough Trade session, and the one below is Laurie, from Homeland, describing problems, experts and media, which somehow fits the current election run-up.

Thursday 15 April 2010

a handful of dust

a handful of dustWell, I made it back to Blighty before the whole Icelandic gods thing kicked off.

The pictures of the smoking volcano look pretty spectacular (especially this one from *ice, which combines the volcano and the Northern Lights) but its salutary to know in advance that some superheated 2mm specs could glue jet engines together.

TS Eliot is famous for the handful of dust quotation, although the Evelyn Waugh book about the trading classes, divorces, money and double standards has an interesting resonance at the moment. I think Waugh was asked to change the story for the American version because it was too gloomy.

Lets hope tonight's politician television spectacular produces something more than a handful of dust.

I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

losing track of time whilst high

It really is Wednesday now, but strangely I found myself counting the days from the weekend to work out which day it was.

Alongside travel I've been mainly in hotels and meeting rooms at least several stories above the ground. I call it 'white boxing' when I move from one type of principally corporate accommodation to another. And being aloft can also cut one from the immediate environment.

My own daylight time has been limited to ten minutes I stole for a short walk around a city block when I was early for an appointment. It was sunny and I could become a part of this city for a moment.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

i come from the land of the ice and snow

viking ship
A couple of upgrades today, one of which was officially 'Involuntary'. As I flipped across to Norway, I was gently taken to one side on the way into the airport lounge.

An upgrade so that I could sit at the very front of the plane.

Then the journey, and an embarrassing book to read during the flight. I'd intended to take Norwegian Wood, but couldn't find it. Instead I found Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart but before I'd left, the latest copy of Granta popped through the front door.

"Perfect", I thought, as I substituted the new stylish silver overprinted softcover into my densely packed rucksack for the journey.

The chap sitting adjacent to me in the spacious seats was Norwegian and had just been to the UK to visit some friends and attend a soccer match. He'd even got a tattoo of the team and its only afterwards that I'm wondering if it was one of those fake tattoos. It certainly looked realistic enough whilst we were chatting.

But it's a couple of hour flight duration and I soon ran out of things to say about Harry Redknapp and decided to move to reading my book. My new friend had a soccer programme to read.

That's when I noticed the cover of my book in more detail. Most Grantas are themed (the last one was Chicago, I think). This one displayed its theme quite conservatively under an interesting picture.
"No problem", I thought, as I curved the front cover around to make the reading choice a little less obvious.

Then the first story. Called 'The Unwriteable', it was a little like something from that Stanley Kubrick movie with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, except this was a rather explicit male-only version of just a part of the proceedings. The problem was that it felt as if certain words on every page were written extra large and in that type face called "Noticable Bold".

I got through the first article and looked at the map in the plane. We were only at Cambridge...

This was going to be a long flight.

The next story was relatively straightforward for the first 10 lines, with just the illustration to hide by curling it around like I'd done with the cover. The the full story began to unfold and the Noticable Bold was once again evident.

The next couple of stories were relatively 'plane friendly' and the Fig Tree and the Wasp was positively a good story, as was the 'The Spa'.

Of course, my colleague was occasionally looking across and chatting as we were served beers and later food, so I managed the page turning with some care to reduce any unfortunate side effects. I was doing so well until the main course arrived. The stewardess and my new friend looked at me as I fumbled the book, which fell open at...

"Empty Porn Sets" - a collection of photos.

Oh Dear. And before the ravioli.

Well, there was nothing for it but to read on after this, although the collection of illustrations by Dave Eggers probably raised a subsequent eyebrow from my adjacent soccer fan.

But I'll admit that by the time I got to 'The Blue Zoo' I decided to stop. The book was beginning to struggle as there were so many pages bent around to mask the content. I was concerned it would explode and scatter paper throughout the fuselage.

Instead I started to look out of the window, which above Norway is no bad thing.

I always marvel at the amazing scenery of Norway. Its like there's an invisible scenic field around the whole country and as you enter its airspace everything has to look extra magnificent. Douglas Adams wrote in a similar way when he referenced the crinkly bits in the Hitch-Hiker's Guide.

My personal soundtrack for the day switched to that Led Zeppelin song about 'we come from the land of the ice and snow' as I marvelled at frozen rivers and lakes and small twinkling settlements against a dramatic sunlight and distant mountains.

Then to land. To say farewell to my soccer colleague and to catch the 210km per hour train for the next part of the journey.

Now I'm in the rather pleasant hotel, which is where I received the second upgrade of the day, to a modern suite which seems to also contain its own banqueting table.

Time for some grapes.

Monday 12 April 2010

物の哀れ mono no aware

urban blossom
I couldn't help but pause today to watch the cherry blossom falling. A moving emotion from the sense of ephemerality as pink blossoms formed a gentle cloud outside my window.

The Japanese write of blossom as a symbol of transience and Murukami's "Norwegian Wood" describes some of the themes - apposite for me to add to my bag as I head today to...Norway.

Sunday 11 April 2010

electro revolt blues

after effects
I didn't make the bike ride I'd planned this morning, because the alarm failed and I overslept.

The clock radio is only a few months old, but I've noticed its operating system will occasionally jam. It's done it a couple of times since I've had it, which doesn't fill me with confidence for its primary role to wake me up.

Sure, it has all manner of options but maybe the engineers got a little carried away and technological embellishment has triumphed over base functionality. It suffers from what I consider 'unnecessary moving parts' in that theres a little pop out gadget where an iPod can plug in. I remember my dismay when I unpacked it and discovered the little 'feature'.

And in an attack of the machines moment, the kitchen radio has been progressively losing its ability to receive BBC radio channels. I don't know why, but the signals seem to be getting weaker. Or maybe the amount of other frequencies crackling around are attenuating the FM channels. Anyway, this weekend, there was little to discern above a loud hiss from the one time crystal clear reception.

Oh yes, and then the electric kettle stopped working.

So part of today has been spent replacing parts of the domestic infrastructure, so that I can drink a cup of tea whilst listening to the radio.

Saturday 10 April 2010

ingesting, logging, cropping, editing, transitioning and rendering

A bright Saturday, but many household tasks to perform involving garden, groceries, laundry and similar.

In the background I've been working on some video edits in support of a project and today will set the re-rendering of the nearly complete video sequence, which is around 40Gigabytes in size although not very long in runtime.

There's over 400 cuts in the full sequence, so the workflow for the rendering needs some care. I guess it will take at least an hour of solid computer time to process into its completed high resolution format, so that we can use it on a big screen.

Friday 9 April 2010

artist reconstruction of sandwich eating incident

My second solo al fresco dining within a few days, although this time it was a brief pause on the way back from Leamington Spa.

The first time, I was simply a little early for a meeting and had decided to walk to the edge of the River Thames, clutching a hastily purchased cheese and pickle sandwich. There was something surprisingly pleasing about this simple sandwich, the freshness of the air and watching a quiet late afternoon London world go by. In my pocket was a small camera, but I'd noticed that I'd not replaced its battery, which was quietly recharging elsewhere.


Close by me was Grosvenor Bridge and I could hear the rumble of trains crossing and then an increasingly loud engine sound. Something was odd about it. Yes, a steam locomotive. I watched as a handsome malachite green steam locomotive slipped across the bridge towards Victoria, puffing white smoke and pulling shiny Pullman carriages.

It would have been a photo opportunity, but it's one for the head instead.

"Clan Line", it said on the side of the engine.

It looks as if Hornby make a model of it.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

political bingo for the innocent smoothies

GB needs help
I've been watching and listening to some of the early coverage of the electioneering and already there are a few patterns emerging. Such fun to see Mr Brown at the Innocent Smoothies factory in Hammersmith today. Their choice of signage might have been unfortunate however and worse than the example from Southampton, above.

It makes me think its about time to bring out one of those bingo chart/checklists. Presenting the rashbre-o-meter of political gestures Version 0.1 - "Photo opportunities".

Using my rather unscientific initial checklist, it would seem that Gordon has a resounding initial lead, which makes me think there is a complete PhotO-Op Play Book (PoopBook) in the background.

Photo Opportunities

Tuesday 6 April 2010

wash-up or spin cycle?

my beautiful laundrette
The usually hidden turbo button on the Parliamentary system has been revealed. It looks as if the remaining bills under consideration are all to be processed within the next 2-3 days before Parliament is dissolved.

Harriet Harman can preside over this last minute spin cycle as part of the so-called wash-up process. The bills make an interesting laundry list, with the bribery bill, financial services bill, developing countries debt relief bill and the equality bill for starters.

There's plenty of others too, and it raises all sorts of questions about the time these normally take, the number of ostensibly significant bills that have not been processed and what happens when they all get bundled through in a couple of days.

The one drawing a lot of internet attention has been the digital economy bill, which has had almost a whole day to itself and is being rushed through despite extensive lobbying requesting delays for various reviews.

I can't help wondering whether this bundling of bills will really engage MPs, because of the imminent dissolution and electioneering.

Quite a laundering operation.

Sunday 4 April 2010

hopping hare

hopping hare
We'd decided to go for a wander in the woods as the skies changed from grey to blue and it was a way to make the most of the sunny springtime weather.

The woodland route involved creating large wooden staffs from fallen branches and striding purposefully whilst looking like extras from a hobbit movie. Inevitably we fell upon a pub and decided to sit outside in the sun.

My simple task was to buy the drinks, but whilst still choosing the ale, the others arrived inside the bar, shaking ice from their hair. Spring was being playful and the skies had again darkened whilst handfuls of hailstones bounced to the grounds.

We sipped the Hopping Hare before returning for a rather late Sunday lunch.

Friday 2 April 2010

iPad arcade cabinets in Topeka and Cadie

Ipad Arcade Cabinet
A tough decision to decide the best of the April pranks for 2010, but I decided I quite liked this one, the iPad Arcade Cabinet, provided amongst a whole collection of ideas from ThinkGeek.

The also produced the star-trek breakfast cereal (Tribbles and Bits), the screaming kitchen knife (your choice of 50 sounds) and even the child friendly "tell me your secrets" bear featuring a digital recorder. The toy 2001 monolith action figure with no moving parts was accurately portrayed with its squared primes ratios of 1:4:9.

None of this could be googled yesterday afternoon though, because Google.com had renamed itself as Topeka, after the Kansas capital which renamed itself 'Google' for a while to try to persuade Google to run some development there.
google goes to peka
And finally, a brief hat tip to one of last year's best, the Cadie Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed Intelligence Entity.

cadie.jpgThis was artificial intelligence based upon the brain of a 12 year old Japanese girl.

Note the groovy music, rainbow colours and pandas on the website. Click the icon for an explanation and to marvel at the gmail autoresponse generator.

Thursday 1 April 2010

vein based electronic cash

Hand operated Kit-Kat vending machine.

Finger vein Coca-Cola vending machine.

Sony digital camera vending machine

iTable and OhMiBod with bluetooth

I was planning to write a post about the iTable today, but I see that several other people have beaten me to it. The version we had invented heard of had iLegs as well and could be configured in various ways. Unfortunately, even the most bizarre iPrefix products have been conceptualised and the words reserved.

iTable 1Instead its better to look at the progress of the iTable as a concept.

The first one was pretty basic and rather obvious.

It didn't really have a purpose other than to take up space.

Not a survivor.

iTable 2 Then came one that tried to pack a punch.

Large and purposeful, but could it really do much more than display different place settings on the kitchen table and maybe provide a helpful online newspaper or two?

iTable 3 The latest generation have screens to the very edge.

This means they can be repurposed into other devices.

The one illustrated is switched off, although it is currently configured as a grand piano.

You'll see it also has a foldaway section (the optional iFold) for storage.

don't ask
But of course, striving for technological greatness continues and there will be another generation, I'm sure.

Just like the other *ahem* well-known product the OhMiBod, which attaches to an iPhone or iPod to provide musical love. Even this has evolved from the earlier versions with the so called freedom cord, to the latest generation which positively buzz with bluetooth connectivity.

BMW political car badge

bmw roundel
The scoundrels with the roundels have done another topical advert this year.

I still remember the Rim Impulse Power from a couple of years ago, invented by Dr Hans Zoff.
bmw canine repellant

And the Today programme's section about Shakespeare being French had a spurious plausibility, less so the left handed sandwiches and the WD40 aftershave, although whoever did the odour combatting miracle shirts had done a great job. For the technically minded fourwalls could be taking over from foursquare ("I remember when it only had 3 sides back in 2006 etc.")