Monday 25 June 2012
All you need is self-esteem and confidence – or you might try joining an activity and working on your strategy. And be yourself (scroll down).
Self-esteem has been directly connected to an individual's social network, the activities they participate in, and what they hear about themselves from others. Wikipedia
Confident people don't whack away at the air with their eyes closed. They evaluate risk and danger and decide if the potential reward is worth their effort. When they decide it is, they make a conscious decision that whether they win or lose, they get points anyway. everything2.com
How to avoid poverty: finish school, avoid teenage parenthood, get married before having children, says Clinton adviser.
I noticed that a lot of older people seemed to resent the young and welcomed the opportunity to bully them. Age of Uncertainty March 2012
From cosmic numerology to the ambience of a cheesy 1970s nightclub: this book aims to teach online-dating singletons how to flirt in person. The female student must "give clear, unambiguous messages" to a suitor, such as "the head toss and hair flick", or "fondling a cylindrical object". Steven Poole, The Guardian March 2012 on The Body Language of Love by Allan & Barbara Pease
In your forties it seems Friends with Benefits is the default position. Liz Hoggard Evening Standard March 2012
Don't feel the need to be intelligent, however. This reminds men of school and leads to expectations of note-taking and a later quiz. everything2.com
"Men who are really attractive tend to be able to pursue whatever mating strategy is best for them," she added. "They are more likely to prefer short-term relationships. More feminine men tend to be better providers." Lisa de Bruine, Aberdeen University March 10
Players (both male and female) tend to say things to flatter the person or people they are currently interested in. He may keep several people on a line by saying he’s "afraid of his feelings", "isn't ready for a relationship" and other various bullsh*t lines. wikianswers
A casual relationship is a physical and emotional relationship between two people who may have a sexual relationship or a near-sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more formal romantic relationship. A casual relationship differs from casual sex, which has little or no emotional element, and different from a one-night stand, as the relationship extends beyond a single sexual encounter. A related term is having a fling. wikianswers
Women should have the “courage to be themselves and wait for the right person” – which means "don’t get off with people at parties and have one-night stands". Prof Tanya Byron, The Times Mar 2012
Inspirational Quotes Part 14
Inspirational Quotes Part 13
Inspirational Quotes Part 12
Inspirational Quotes Part 11
Inspirational Quotes Part 10
Inspirational Quotes Part Nine
Inspirational Quotes Part Eight
More here and here and here. And here. And here too. Yet more here.
Sunday 24 June 2012
Trying to use Google Translate on a Ukrainian document – the result reads like a Japanese VCR instruction manual from the 1980s. @ianvisits
Along the rainy boulevard the palm trees waved like dish mops (paraphrase). Jilly Cooper
At times it verges on the tacky, like a futuristic air-freshener advertisement with the colour contrast turned up to the max. Wendy Ide reviews Avatar Times December 09
Dinosaurs – they were as dumb as posts. (Wild TV)
French TV presenters look like aliens after too much plastic surgery. Daily Mail
Her locks had been so frequently and so drastically brightened and curled that to caress them, one felt, would be rather like running one's fingers through Julienne potatoes. Dorothy Parker
I collect "it's like a (banal object) on (drug of choice)" hilarity! @Boredstoopid
Impossible tasks are like: fighting with a wet sheet, or trying to eat candy floss in a wind tunnel.
It looks more like an endless phalanx of forbidding government ministries than a holiday resort. Spiegel online on Nazi-era resort Prora. July 2011
My only problem with the Shard as an object is that the top of it looks like an icing nozzle. @hughpearman
Regulations are like a Swiss cheese. Speaker on Five Live re scrap metal regulations Nov 2011
Strong, scalding coffee made in a machine resembling a carburettor from the Titanic’s engine room. @politicsworld
The tuba ensemble “sounded like a pas de deux for cement mixers”. straightdope.com
This book makes Ken Hanke's book on the Charlie Chan films seem like Seven Types of Ambiguity. (Web review of book on the Mr Moto movies)
Walking in this dry grass is like walking on cornflakes – no good if you want to keep quiet. Steve Backshall on CBBC
More similes here.
Thursday 21 June 2012
Wednesday 20 June 2012
More here, and there are some good ones at the Military Officers Association of America.
What is truth? said jesting Pilate, but wouldn’t stay for an answer. (Francis Bacon, not the Gospels. People tend to say it when losing an argument from lack of data.)
When Jesus said “the poor are always with you” he meant there’d always be rich and poor. (Actually he said "For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.")
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. (It’s “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” What was Horatio’s philosophy? Was Horatio a Protestant who didn’t believe in Purgatory? Or did Hamlet just mean “philosophy”? People used to quote it in support of New Age beliefs, but it’s just a line in a play.)
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. (The quote has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein and Rita Mae Brown. The earliest verified source is Narcotics Anonymous, 1981. - Wikipedia)
When I hear the world “culture” I reach for my gun. (Neither Mao nor Goering, but Nazi playwright Hanns Johst wrote "When I hear the word “culture”, I release the safety catch of my Browning.")
A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure. Margaret Thatcher (Attributed to her in Commons debates, 2003 and 2004. According to a letter to the Daily Telegraph by Alistair Cooke on 2 November 2006, this sentiment originated with Loelia Ponsonby, Duchess of Westminster, who said "Anybody seen in a bus over the age of 30 has been a failure in life". In a letter published the next day, also in the Daily Telegraph, Hugo Vickers claims Loelia Ponsonby admitted to him that she had borrowed it from Brian Howard. There is no solid evidence that Margaret Thatcher ever quoted this statement with approval, or indeed shared the sentiment. - Wikipedia)
If t’were done when ‘tis done, t’were well it were done quickly. (Macbeth meant “If it’s over when it [the murder] is done, it’s better to do it quickly”. It’s dramatic irony – see the rest of the play.)
to the manor born (It’s from Hamlet and it’s “manner”.)
ignorance is bliss (“Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise” is the last line of Thomas Gray’s Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. He watches the boys and ponders “Alas! regardless of their doom, The little victims play”, foreseeing the pains and sorrows adults can’t avoid. He didn’t mean that ignorance is a good idea in all situations.)
chrome yellow, green and tomato
French navy, old rose, jade and mustard with a dash of primrose
apricot and grey
pink and grey
black, white red and grey
red and green tulip prints on chrome yellow
all-over giraffes, stars, bears
roses, frills, pink, lace
German (Poggenpohl) rustic wooden kitchens
woodwork stained dark browny-red inside and out
lamps in the shape of old movie cameras or movie lights
tulip wall lights
quarter-globe uplighters on the wall
replica 30s bankers’ desk lights
optical fibre lamps
Hotels and cafes
wallpaper in jade, mauve, pink and silver
fake marble tiles with fake marble tile dadoes, mugs printed with fake marble tiles
Tasteless but lovely
mirrors printed with breweryana
glass-topped chrome tables
black hexagonal plates
large framed sepia photographs (of country scenes or small girls in white pinafores)
rag rolling and sponging
“artisanal” beige tiles
Redouté rose prints in forest green mounts
narrow mugs with flared brims
dark green china with thin gold line
tulips in Chinese vases
yellow walls and an antique globe
More 80s decor here.
Wednesday 6 June 2012
Now in mini e-book form:
manufacture jester hats for celebrations, football matches, festivals etc
pageant master (there's only one and he's called Adrian Evans)
teach nail art
give theremin lessons
run breadmaking classes
rehearsal stand-in for Queen
dresser for Queen/Kate Middleton/other royals/celebs/rich people
Queen’s shoe breaker-in
manufacture life-size Tyrannosaurus statues for (large) gardens. Repeat with other large species.
give “clubbing” lessons (they’re called “club dance” lessons)
sign writer/window graphics
chalkboard artist (for pubs and restaurants)
run agency for doormen (Gunnebo: the UK’s leading entrance control service provider)
sell packages of “great quotes by great thinkers” to Tweeters
sell begging letters/stories about how you’ve been mugged and need precisely £3.87 to get back to
equine sports masseur
remove Tudorbethan features from houses and modern up the interior (see Times May 11, 2012)
replace Tudorbethan features that have been scraped off
add Tudorbethan features to modern houses
music adviser for cafes and restaurants (produce the mixed CDs)
be assertive on the phone on behalf of others (energy, the council, banks, suppliers of shoddy goods who don’t deliver on time, “you are being held in a queue”, “press six to listen to this menu again” etc etc)
manufacture garden watering systems for getting round the hosepipe ban
new perennials master (at Scampston Hall Walled Garden)
run crime news agency (@CourtNewsUK)
run an agency for graffiti artists
sell the predictions of a “stock-picking robot”
traveling eyelash technician
design clothes for people who’ve had boob implants
source or manufacture natural, biodegradeable, sustainable, vegetable dyed garden string (or wool) in different colours with that handmade look
dig up dinosaur fossils in Montana and sell them
hire out vintage china for cupcake parties (someone doing it)
design and make one-off luxury beds - in the shape of swans, Viking ships, sarcophagi. Ditto baths carved out of a single crystal etc
set up a delousing service (and rebrand an ordinary nit comb and sell it for £15 - regular ones cost less than £1.)
invent a sure-fire headlice cure
open a stage school
make divorce cakes for divorce parties
farm rhinos and sell their horns for Asian medicine
proofread spam to make it look real
Write a novel about teenagers. May include vampires and future dystopias, but make sure you get in a lot of sex and violence.
run the library on a cruise ship and get a free cruise
run courses in decorative towel folding (swan, lily etc)
make designer chocolates with fair trade/local ingredients
build a medieval-looking chapel in your beautiful park/garden centre/arboretum and hire it out as a wedding venue
grow poisonous herbs
grow medicinal herbs
offer a tinyurl type service to turn sentences into 140 chars of Twitter speak
import reclaimed industrial lighting from the former east bloc
manufacture wedding table confetti
collect Chinese assembly line art (one day it’ll be worth - nothing)
Don’t bother forging old masters, the Chinese do it better and more cheaply in Dafen art village
If you find yourself doing anything interesting or unusual (trying to make it as a standup, languishing in a TB sanatorium, working as a prostitute, nurse, factory hand) keep a detailed diary noting verbatim conversations, what everybody was wearing etc. It will need very little work to turn it into a gripping book like Enter Talking, In My Skin, The Plague and I, One Pair of Feet or The Common Years.
Write a novel using another author’s character(s)
Take a long, discursive, unreadable, unread and forgotten 18th/19th century novel and turn it into a modern scifi drama/detective story.
open boutique restaurant/cinema which screens b/w movies to patrons seated in “pods”
open cinema which screens black and white movies 24/7
oyster farmer with outlet in London
start a company “helping people back to work” and sell your services to the government.
buy a Scottish island and invent an extreme sport to fit the scenery. Build a [insert extreme sport here] centre and run courses. (Nude otter dancing, cliff horse diving, scree ski-ing, alp zorbing, eagle-assisted islet hopping etc etc)
painter of harpsichord tops
coach/mentor for entrepreneurs
coach/mentor for coach/mentors
bike butler (with wheel-through bike wash)
provider of astroturf services
supplier of decorative gravel for landscaping
set up a nail bar (doing well in recession)
set up a tattoo parlour (they seem to be doing well too)
ghost reader Posh Elizabethans used to pay someone else to read a book for them and underline any interesting bits. (@DaintyBallerina)
advise people on how to get CBEs, Damehoods etc
fake boyfriend In China, young people hire boy/girlfriends to take home for New Year to impress their folks.
More jobs you never knew existed here. More here and here. And here.
Tuesday 5 June 2012
flaneur, dérive (a flaneur is someone who wanders round an area observing it and drawing conclusions and probably taking photos – this is called a dérive)
beholden popular first week Jan 12
bifolding doors still popular – for any kind of folding doors (trifolding, quadrifolding, cinquefolding…)
retro has now lost all meaning
long-form everywhere (since December) Apparently we should read more long-form, er, stuff.
piece de resistance popular first weeks of Jan, variously pronounced
cede (to their demands) becoming popular (that's "concede")
fill your boots now used for fill your pockets (why would you put money in boots?)
boutique farm (producing something niche like edible snails, frog’s for frogs’ legs, nettles to turn into yarn, St John’s wort ect)
adventure (Julian Fellowes’ acceptance speech “The whole Downton adventure…”)
People very fond of thus week January 18, 2012
It’s a thing.
oh noes, the internets, laters etc.
venomous popular week of Jan 23 2012
sock puppet (mouthpiece, or yourself under a pseudonym pimping your books on Amazon)
trough popular in context of bankers’ bonuses (troughing, troughers, “only mix with the other trough guzzlers”, “gulps of swill from the trough”, “snouts firmly buried in the greed trough”) January 29, 2012
In truth popular week of Feb 1
as far as X is concerned popular Feb 2012
cede still popular
Never a dull! Good enough to go before the general, etc. See words fail, I’m losing the will
Can I add 'iconic', 'landmark', 'lurve', 'for the minute' instead of 'for a moment' and acronyms like TOWIE. Steerforth
Is that even legal/true/possible? What does that even mean?
posturing popular February
simply popular early March
bindle (Australian for hobo bundle - but what do they look like?)
not-a-feminists are back (“I’m not a feminist but this is unjust and women should have equal rights.”)
rocky road (used to be biscuit cake)
et al. popular early March
bod for person has made a comeback early March
and so has rumbustious
rein in/back popular early March (try “restrain”)
I’m not a fan of for I don’t like
lift Guardian talks re “lifting of personal allowances” rather than raising, week of the budget, March 2012
preloading getting drunk on cheap booze before you go out
the Twitter, the Facebook, the Internets, the ebay, the bbc iplayer (in parody of tech refuseniks). And even “the Church Street”, “the Channel 4”, “the Spain”. And “the Jesus”!
rammed for packed
a cradle is now a connector for an electronic device (iphone ect)
ownership “University ownership of the exams must be real and committed, not a tick-box exercise.” Michael Gove April 3, 2012
odd that a time bomb is now a ticking time bomb when surely bombs haven’t used clockwork for years
steel-cut oatmeal (used to be pinhead oatmeal – and what else would you cut it with? Flint?)
crock pot (was casserole or casserole dish)
vitrine has taken over from display case, glass case ect
blates (blatantly – Twitter)
scarf print (fabric printed with the kind of pattern you might find on a scarf – think 80s uniform blouse. You can get a scarf print bralet on Amazon.)
the New Aesthetic “Some architects can look at a building and tell you which version of Autodesk was used to create it. The world is defined by our visualisations of it. (Someone who makes such things told me: what they put in, even as place-holders, always ends up getting built.)” booktwo.org April 13, 2012 Artifact of computer use, also rebellion against hipster retro, fogeyish, distressed industrial aesthetic. Which is an attempt to save old stuff from being obliterated by the New Aesthetic - which nearly always has money and power behind it.
non-nerds have discovered the word troll, and are using it to mean anybody who does nasty things on the Web
scobleize: To act in a egotistical, longwinded and self centered manner; to fill the air with loads of blustery obfuscation… Urban Dictionary
garb is popular week of 16 April
hopey, changey, bibley continued When needing to write, switching all your internet-y connective-y programmes on at once is not going to help. @entschwindet / food at Restaurant Tristan is a bit cheffy and weddingy says Zoe Williams in the DT April 2012 “Let's begin our afternoon of podcasty video gamey love…” Twitter May 15, 2012
early-bird tickets, tiered tickets
ugly for nasty, unpleasant (it would send an ugly message) Ghastly Americanism.
back in popular week of May 1 (especially “back in 2011”)
bolthole now means second home
little one is Stoke Newington speak for kid
NQR (not quite right - or is this just Australian?)
records are not broken any more, they’re smashed
smug for left wing (Mark Steele on QT is not wrong, he’s smug; that girl who rejected Magdalen is smug etc
guardianista = socialist (no longer has much to do with the newspaper)
internet diet (move AFK)
massive is having a moment week of May 7
More sunshine that will lift those temperatures. Alex Deakin May 9, 2012
drubbing now means you’ve done badly in the polls
builders are now called tradesmen
reshoring = bringing manufacturing home
reignite for revive popular early 2012, especially week May 14
lot of people nurturing feelings, fears etc instead of just having them
salad dodgers week of June 1
so, so, so Once the Thames was a forest of masts, and it will be so again tomorrow – headline in Guardian 2 June 2012. “It will be again tomorrow” is enough, the "so" is unnecessary.
2012 Part IV here
2012 Part III here
2012 Part II here
2012 Part I here
Buzz words of 2011 Part II here.
Buzz Words of 2011 here and here.
Complete Buzz Words of 2010 here.
Buzz Words of 2009 here.
Buzz Words of 2009 Part Two here.
Buzz Words of 2006 here.
Buzz Words of 2002 here.
More here (90s, 2000, 2001).
Buzz Words of 2004/5 here.
Monday 4 June 2012
Sorry if you've heard them before.
Man in crowd menaced by King Kong: Run! Run! It's - Oh God, I'm terrible with names! (cartoonist Bill Tidy)
Morning, doctor, I only came to see you to see if what I came to see you about was worth coming to see you about.
Are you sure you’ve lost an electron?
Yes, I’m positive.
Theatrical anecdotes are nearly all made up, and nearly all unfunny. Apart from:
At the panto auditions:
1st theatrical child: [dejected] No luck! You get anything?
2nd theatrical child: [preening] Third raspberry in the fruit scene!
(May be an old music hall joke.)
A flustered admirer runs up to Julie Andrews with an autograph book: “Oh, Miss Andrews! This is amazing! You’re my biggest fan!”
Mrs Patrick Campbell visits a friend backstage: “Darling, that was a tour de force! Whereas I, alas, am forced to tour!”
Actor: [anguished] Could you see my wig join?
Fellow actor: [soothingly] Perfectly, dear boy, perfectly!
Shop assistant selling broom: Shall I wrap it? Old woman: No, thank you, I’ll ride it home. (Charles Addams)
Sergeant: I didn’t see you at camouflage practice!
Private: Thankyou, sir. (Frank Carson)
A visitor turns up at a progressive school run by philosopher Bertrand Russell. A naked child opens the door.
Visitor: “Oh, my God!”
Child: “We don’t believe in Him here!” (slams door)
A man rings beautifully spoken art critic Brian Sewell. A woman answers:
Could I speak to Brian Sewell, please?
No! E ain’t ’ere, ’e’s aht!
I see – do you know when he’ll be back?
Not a clue, mate!
And to whom am I speaking, please?
I’m ’is Mum! Tara!
Visitor: I say, lad, does it always rain here in Norway?
Lad: I don't know, sir. I'm only seven. (Rupert Goodwins)
There’s an old tale about a great wine expert who was asked to blind taste a bottle, and he sniffed it and swilled it and sipped it and eventually he said, “Well, it’s a Chateau Xxxx, 19nn, and the grapes are from the south western section of the estate, and they were picked in the last week in September, and the wine was crafted by M. Xxxx. And isn’t it nasty!” (commenter on Ed Yong’s blog Jan 2012)
Diner: Waiter! What’s this fly doing in my soup?
Waiter: The backstroke, sir./Swimming for dear life, sir./Don’t worry, sir, it’s included in the bill./Escaping from the spider on the bread./Don’t shout, sir, or everyone will want one.
Professor Spooner of Oxford University was known for garbling his words. It's claimed he said:
It’s easier for a camel to pass through the knee of an idol...
You have hissed all my mystery lectures, you have tasted two whole worms, you must leave at once by the town drain! (Up trains went to London.)
When he asked: Are you occupewing my pie?, a wit replied: No, I was sewn into this sheet.
Three cheers for the queer old dean!
More ancient jokes here. Probably the same ones. Corny religious jokes here.
Friday 1 June 2012
Padlocking computers to desks
Rows of hooks in kitchens for hanging up pans, cups, utensils etc
External keyboards for iPads. Rack so that you can stand them up. Make laptops touch screen.
Widget that blocks mobile signals in theatres, classrooms. Or make students turn them off.
Stop parents doing their children’s homework by not giving children homework. Or make them do homework at school.
Ban mobile phone use from classrooms.
Bring mining back to Cornwall (may happen)
Make pub glasses out of shatter-proof glass (been done)
Sight and Sound (has become Web typing tutor)
Typing on a touchscreen is an improvement that isn’t.
All dark passages to be painted white, with bright lights installed.
New houses to be built with rainwater tanks – like they were in the 30s (though how do you stop mosquitos breeding?)
Geothermal power (mining companies working on it in Devon and Cornwall for 30 years)
Basic open cars requiring “waterproof dog blankets” – the Twizy (reinvention of original cars from 1900)
Urban escalators, urban staircases
Bijou size washing machines, washing up machines, cookers, fridges and kettles for single people (You still need a full-size bath and room to store cooking equipment. But you could have two rings and a half-size oven. And half-size casseroles, frying pans and saucepans.)
Aqueducts ([In 2011] Boris Johnson called for the resurrection of a 1942 plan to build canals to bring water from the wet hillsides in the north and west to the dry plains in the south and east. The Week April 2012)
Gathering rainwater in water butts – oh, it has been
Horse and cart (item in Times about family using cart to take children to school to save on fuel April 4, 2012. They could also move nearer the school/send their children to a local school.)
Windows in gable ends (gable made entirely of glass)
Seating nooks with built-in banquettes and a pull-down table as in a caravan
Asylums for the mentally ill
Factories. We stole cotton manufacturing from India, they took it back. Can we take it back again? Or at least start making things again.
New uses for bookshelves once all your books are on an e-reader
Bookcases/shelves with a curtain (you can stash lots of stuff out of sight and cheer the place up with some red gingham)
Soup kitchens and British Restaurants
Post-modernist architecture (it’s “universally reviled” according to strangeharvest.com)
Handbag packs of loopaper
A simple cellphone is a very powerful dissolver of old-fashioned hierarchies. My best example comes from the Kenyan hairdressing salons in Nairobi, which can be quite medieval and run by a madame to whom you are effectively indentured. She guards all her clientele closely. Once cellphones came in, the hairdressers would take the numbers of their clients and that was the end of the old system. Paul Mason, NS Feb 2012, in article re social media and revolutions
Room plan with divan round walls (or round smaller separated area). Popular from 50s-70s, replaced by Victorian revival.
Large room on several different levels, separated off by railings, room dividers (upright canes, trellis with climbing plants, wall unit with inbuilt tropical fish tank)
The Midnight Movie. Actually, all film companies should put out their entire back catalogue on DVD, for a flat price. The sales of blockbusters would pay for the the obscure stuff.
The closed-plan office: Backbone Entertainment, a video game development company in Emeryville, Calif., initially used an open-plan office, but found that its game developers, many of whom were introverts, were unhappy. “It was one big warehouse space, with just tables, no walls, and everyone could see each other,” recalled Mike Mika, the former creative director. “We switched over to cubicles and were worried about it – you’d think in a creative environment that people would hate that. But it turns out they prefer having nooks and crannies they can hide away in and just be away from everybody.” New York Times Jan 2012
Bob-a-Job week - back this May.
Lectures are back (TED talks, IQ2) They’re big 2012, also salons and literary festivals
Shotgun houses (no corridors or halls, rooms open out of each other)
Remove ugly public art (except the post-Hepworth shopping centre kind now looks nostalgically quaint)
Houses in woodland a la Frank Lloyd Wright
How about using empty shops to take deliveries for people out all day who don't want online shopping at work. Then could also sell stuff... @archifreelance Ruth Slavid
Boarding houses (like a B and B, but with permanent residents)
Reinventions 4Reinventions 3Reinventions 2