Anorak

The Consumer | Anorak - Part 2

The Consumer Category

We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.

Lying Mercedes mechanics captured robbing customer on dashcam

Do we trust mechanics? No, of course we don’t. When Daniel Sheikhan wnt to collect his Mercedes after a routine service, he marvelled at the invoice: $700 for ‘transmission work’. Sensibly, Sheikhan had left the Dashcam running. the video revealed that the mechanics had carried out no work on his car. But they had: put it on the ramp for 11 minutes, admitted to not having bothered reading the work order, driving it to buy ice-cream – a jaunt that involved one specialist hitting the curb cracking a rim.

Says Daniel on his YouTube video:

S63 AMG Transmission Service – Customer Dashcam Video Paid Over $700 for transmission service and it wasn’t even done! Car was on the Hoist for 11 minutes! And charges for Over 90 minutes labour!! MercedesBenz Service Scam!! They don’t do what they charge you for!

 

A BMW garage in the UK did pretty much the same to me, but this company had the audacity to produce their own video of “urgent” work carried out – work that involved a mechanic holding up a worn brake disc to the camera to prove all four were so bad they needed replacing immediately and without my permission. The estimate for the job they gave me: £340. The bill they hit me with: £1200. I refused to pay. Then one mechanic told me on the QT a former mechanic, spurned on by seeing so many dissatisfied customers being charged over the odds, had left the place to set up his own company. So next time I went there. And he’s great. Lets hope honesty and professionalism defeats the greedy big garage with the big branding.

Posted: 8th, April 2018 | In: News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Craigslist closes personal ads as internet restrictions bite

You can no longer browse the personals section of Craigslist in the US. The owners of the online classified ads site have closed personal listings in reaction to Congress’s passage of a law that makes websites accountable for users who “misuse” personal ads. A click on the “casual encounters”, “strictly platonic” or any other romance-seeking connection tabs coughs up this message from San Francisco-based Craigslist:

US Congress just passed HR 1865, “FOSTA”, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully. Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.

To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!

Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) aims to curb online sex trafficking.

Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, stating last month:

“Facing the threat of extreme criminal and civil penalties, web platforms large and small would have little choice but to silence legitimate voices. Platforms would have to take extreme measures to remove a wide range of postings, especially those related to sex.”

The fear is that only the the most moneyed platforms will survive. Forced to err on the side of caution and view users as suspects, platform owners will shut down accounts.

You can still use the personal ads on the UK site. But the impact of the new riling is spreading. Reddit has switched off a raft of its community pages. On Reddit’s r/announcements we learn:

As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including:

  • Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
  • Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
  • Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
  • Stolen goods;
  • Personal information;
  • Falsified official documents or currency

Gizmodo notes:

In the comments of the announcement, it was further clarified that relatively benign activities like beer trades and e-cigarette giveaways are also likely to fall under the purview of this rule, which encompasses not just purchases but transactions of any sort.

So much for freedom.

 

Posted: 23rd, March 2018 | In: News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Unilever be gone: Marmite maker leaving Britain don’t matter a damn

The maker of Marmite, Unilever, has announced that it is to give up its UK headquarters and move to Holland. This doesn’t matter a damn. No, really, it’s a triviality of no import at all. It’s also nothing to do with Brexit, They even say this themselves:

Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch group, said on Thursday that Brexit played no part in its decision to choose Rotterdam over London for its single legal base.

It’s always useful to take peoples’ word for such things.

 

Asylum seekers and economic migrants swear by it

 

Unilever has always been a slightly odd company anyway. It’s long been near half Dutch anyway. And it reports its results, does its internal accounting, in euros as well, something a bit odd for a UK company. But then no large multinational is really from or in any one country anyway. There’s some slight importance, mainly due to where the senior execs get to live, to where head office is. Other than that it doesn’t really make any difference.

The factories are going to remain where the factories are. That doesn’t change when HQ moves. The company will still have its shares listed in London. Because you don’t have to be a UK company to do that. In fact, there are FTSE100 members who don’t do any business at all in the UK, they just use the stock market as the place they’re listed and that’s it.

The change won’t even make any difference to taxes collected. Now, as it wasn’t in the past, we don’t tax foreign profits made by companies with an HQ in the UK. We tax only on the profits they make from business in the UK. And we tax companies without a UK HQ on exactly the same basis. Foreign profits aren’t taxed by us, profits made in the UK are.

Unilever moving HQ to Rotterdam makes very little difference therefore. Sure, a few wine bars will miss the spending of the top execs but other than that, pretty much nothing. No factories will move, tax collected won’t change, it’s all a bit of nothing in proper economic terms.

Shrug, have fun over there folks is the correct response.

Posted: 16th, March 2018 | In: Money, News, The Consumer | Comment


Salma Hayek dresses like a Daily Mail reader

The hard working Daily Mail Reporter was helping readers sat in their Comfi-Gowns and support stockings identify the “Worst dressed women” at the Oscars.

Eyes are drawn to Salma Hayek, who came as a “Shiny disaster”. Her “dress was baffling to behold… serving as more of an eye sore than a style statement”. What a horror show.

 

Salma Hayek daily mail horror

 

And you too can get the look because just one line down, the same readers are told: “Shimmer in sequins like Salma wearing a Gucci gown… Whoever said sequins can’t be worn all over on a maxi gown must’ve not seen how good Salma Hayek rocked this one at the 2018 Oscars.”

Who said it? The Daily Mail did a moment earlier.

 

Salma Hayek daily mail horror

 

Baffling stuff.

Price on application.

Posted: 14th, March 2018 | In: Celebrities, Fashion, News | Comment


Super Seducer: the Playstation on Stream game where you grope women

 

How sad are you around women? If you aspire to James Bond levels of sadness – all that precise drinks ordering, flash cars and innuendo – then Super Seducer is the game for you.

With Super Seducer, gamers “learn state-of-the-art seduction secrets from the master himself, Richard La Ruina, in this incredibly valuable live action seduction simulator.”

La Ruina is the kind of character you first wonder if someone made up and second why anyone would  bother. With his tutelage you can say such things as, “If you’re not good at cooking you better be real good at sucking dick then” and “‘I like big boobs,’ and try and touch her boobs.”

A shadow of the one salient point La Ruina makes is in his line: “In the game that’s cool, in real life it’s totally illegal.” Quite. Fantasy is not reality. In our pornified world, it might well  be the motto.

Spotter: BB

Posted: 4th, March 2018 | In: News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


The only stink worse than skunk is the UK’s cannabis policy

JeffSessionspapers

 

Cannabis is all but decriminalized. Walk down any high street in the UK and the sickly stench of skunk hangs in the air. It’s not legal, of course. But it should be, not least of all if it means that less potent forms of marijuana become more available. Skunk is brain rot for the unadventurous.

Researchers at GW Pharmaceuticals, which produces cannabis-based medicines, and King’s College London discovered that a whopping 94% of weed seized by police is a strain of high-potency skunk. Dr Marta Di Forti, one of the led researchers in the study, says: “This is actually worrying because if we do believe that there are types of cannabis that can be used more safely – because of the presence of cannabidiol – well, at least in this country, these are disappearing.”

This county’s remarkably leaden-headed attitude to drugs is narrowing supply towards the stronger, home-grown stuff that can be farmed in our colder climate. Why bother importing hash from north Africa when you can grow-your-own skunk in an indoor farm, with its guaranteed toxicity?

Anyone keen to try a bit of weed to stymie the pain of a medical condition is faced with the prospects of a life-changing criminal charge and a hit that leaves you goofed and mentally dull. If you fancy a toke and don’t want to break the law you can always invest in legal highs, like spice and other revolting man-made gunk fashioned from desiccated carrier bags.

Things are better overseas. In 1990 Donald Trump told us: “You have to legalise drugs to win the war.” In California you can buy weed legally. Colorado earns a fortune from drug taxes – just as out governments earns vast sums from other mind-altering substance, like tobacco and alcohol.

Not everyone is a convert. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is against legalization. At a Senate drug hearing in 2016, he opined: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Which begs the question: what do they smoke? And do they smoke it in General Jeff’s “Old Rebel” Session Papers? The people behind the Jeff Session’s papers write:

#JeffSesh is a campaign to tell Jeff Sessions:We’re not criminals, junkies or idiots. Regular Jeffs all over the country—good, responsible, patriotic Americans—have a sesh now and then… and it’s OK!

Lampooning the ridiculous ban on cannabis is a great idea. They won’t listen to reason. So let’s try satire. And you can drink to that.

Spotter: The World’s Best Ever

Posted: 4th, March 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


The Sun teaches football fans how to look like fools

The Sun’s website continues to break new ground. A series of articles by By Shiela Subyr teachers readers how to look like a young multi-millionaire seeking new ways to spunk his cash.

The other day, Neymar, the PSG star, “paired his snakeskin biker jacket with skintight leather trousers complete with racy lace-up sides.” Shiela tells readers where they can how much for get the look and how much for in the paper’s ‘Sports’ section.

 

By Shiela Subyr the sun fashion football

 

An there’s more. Lots more. And when Sheila’s gone through the wardrobe’s of player who look like extras from Rich Kids of Instagram, she’ll doubtless work down the leagues until we find out what Barnet’s substitute ‘keeper is wearing.

By Shiela Subyr the sun fashion football

 

By Shiela Subyr the sun fashion football

 

In other sports news: Arsene Wenger’s jacket unzips.

Posted: 14th, February 2018 | In: Fashion, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Man films ‘demonic child’ on 8-hour flight and uploads it to the internet (video)

demonic child plane

 

Shane Townley writes: “Watch as this kid runs and screams throughout the entire flight while the mother does little to nothing to stop him. Three years old on a 8 hour flight from Germany to Newark NJ. He never quits!”

The noise is appalling. The annoyance huge. The child’s energy impressive. And looking down on Other Parents is a simple joy.

But the story is incomplete. We’re the fourth wall, but the film’s maker was there. There’s no sign that the person behind the camera did anything to help quell the din nor find out if the child is suffering from some medical condition.

You just point, click and publicly shame.

 

 

And it looks as though there’s money to be made from filming other people’s children. On YouTube the video comes with the message:

This video is being managed exclusively by Newsflare. To use this video for broadcast or in a commercial player go to: https://www.newsflare.com/video/17020… or email: contact@newsflare.com or call: +44 (0) 20 3937 6280

Look, Damien, you’re famous.  Eat yer heart out, Linda Blair.

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 14th, February 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Doritos is making a new female version of its revolting snacks

There are women-only shortlists for books and art, and talk of women-only carriages on trains, so let’s have some women-only food, a light snack to got with the sherry. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, opined that the company is tasked with making Doritos less crunchy because “woman don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth”. For what it’s worth, my pet hate is anyone who licks their fingers, generously or otherwise.

Said Nooyi:

When you eat out of a flex bag – one of our single-serve bags —-especially as you watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth, because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavor, and the broken chips in the bottom. Women would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.

Maybe the women in Nooyi’s line of sight aren’t thrusting young blades looking to live the product and don’t much like Doritos, on account of them tasting like salted parrot droppings dusted with desiccated Saturday night telly hosts, or whatever that stuff is Donald Trump rains onto his face.

Nooyi went on:

It’s not a male and female as much as “are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?” And yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon. For women, low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse.

Well, you’ve got to hide the gun under something.

The whole design capability we built in PepsiCo was to allow design to work with innovation. Not just on packaging colors, but to go through the entire cycle, and say, “All the way to the product in the pantry, or how it’s being carried around, or how they eat it in the car, or drink it in the car, what should be the design of the product, the package, the experience, so that we can influence the entire chain?”

The New York Times followed up:

“The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate,” the company said in a statement released on Monday night. “We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day. At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve, and we’re always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers.”

The idea of Doritos evolving is interesting. They are not a fatty snack, but a life form, an entity that will  breed – hence the male and female strains – before mutating into a Twiglet.

Asked what Ms. Nooyi meant by “snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently,” a spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

“I can’t yet give any more details beyond what Indra relayed in the podcast,” the spokeswoman said. “However, I will be able to in a few months.”

Is that how long it takes to grow a spine?

Posted: 6th, February 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Labour speaks with forked tongue to Welsh teens

This week it became a criminal offence for under-18s in Wales to get a pierced tongue, nipple or genitals. The Labour-run Welsh Government heard from, among others, Dr Frank Atherton, the chief medical officer for Wales, who said “a third of young people with intimate piercings have reported complications following a procedure”.  The could be “child protection issues”.

Under-18s cannot care for themselves as well as over-18s. Over-18s do not always have under-18s best interests at heart. Although the Welsh Government notes: “A study in England found that amongst individuals aged 16-24 complications were reported with around a third of all body piercings.” So adults are just as likely to report complications with body piercings as under-18s. Why not ban it for everyone, then? Maybe the Welsh Government think one age group is easier to control than the other?

This week week we also learned that the Welsh government plans to allow 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in council elections. Sixteen-year-olds are too childish to wash their own tongues but smart enough to vote… well, to vote Labour, which is surely the local burghers’ forecast.

They’re not giving teens the vote because they think you’re whip smart or even want it. They’re giving you the vote because they think you don’t read the label and can’t grasp consequences.

Posted: 4th, February 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, The Consumer | Comments (2)


The eBay Bandit! Rob Wolchek and the great story of Kelly’s stolen camera

Great telly from the USA in the shape of Rob Wolchek of Fox 2 News Detroit. This is a great toy about professional photographer Kelly, who found the geezer selling her stolen stuff on eBay.

 

Posted: 29th, January 2018 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Teenagers and binge drinking: last orders at the pub of mum and dad

More miserabilism in the news that parents who give their children booze as part of a bid to promote considerate drinking produce more binge drinkers than parents who don’t. A story in The Lancet (“Association of parental supply of alcohol with adolescent drinking, alcohol-related harms, and alcohol use disorder symptoms: a prospective cohort study”) looks at Australian parents who respond to surveys and their children.

Researchers found that, on average, 62 per cent of teenagers who got booze from “other sources” went on to “binge drink” – against 81 per cent who got booze from their folks and other sources. Just 25 percent of those who got alcohol only from their parents binged. As ever, if you run out of policy ideas, just tell the mob your interventionism is about protecting the kids. You can come up with pretty much any from of prohibition if it is dressed up as protecting der kinder.

The report tells us:

In short, parental supply is not associated with any benefit (ie, reduction in drinking behaviours or harms). These results support the promotion of a precautionary approach to adolescent alcohol supply by parents; to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm, parents should avoid supplying alcohol to children. Non-supply appears to be the safest option (obvious in some ways), if the parental and societal aim is to protect the health of adolescents and young adults.

One issue with this story must be what is defined as binge drinking. It’s…4 drinks in “one session”. Is that a binge? The NHS says men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis – and that’s one of the lowest recommendations in those part of Europe that bother to cook up advice. That’s “six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine”, says the NHS. Given that the study included 18-year-olds, might it be that binging is actually drinking responsibly?

 

 

“While governments focus on prevention through school-based education and enforcement of legislation on legal age for buying and drinking alcohol, parents go largely unnoticed,” says professor Richard Mattick, from the University of New South Wales, who led the research. “Parents, policy makers, and clinicians need to be made aware that parental provision of alcohol is associated with risk, not with protection. We advise that parents should avoid supplying alcohol to their teenagers if they wish to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harms.”

No thanks, mate. Risk is part of growing up. I’ll have a pint of mother’s ruin – and a family ticket to Seville.

Posted: 26th, January 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Action on Sugar and the new Puritans know what’s best for the poor and chilled

You don’t need to share a big back of crisps of chocolates, you know, the small sacks of the stuff you can buy in cinema foyers. A friend of mine eschews the small packets and asks for the “fat bastard” popcorn bucket. He finds it just the right amount. But some people thinks he’s spending his money on too much nosh. They want a return to those halcyon says of less, when rationing was all the go. The Guardian says the country is gripped by an “obesity crisis” – which it isn’t –  and wants us to listen to the uncharitable charity Action on Sugar, which is demanding a 20% sugar tax on all sugar-enriched confectionery.

The poor will pay more for their sugary treats. The better off and thick won’t much notice. (Unless they add a new tax to wine, which is full of sugar.)

AoS also wants a ban on supermarket deals for “sharing” bags of treats like M&Ms, Maltesers, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Giant Buttons. The stuff’s being made too cheap. People are buying too much. There is too much freedom.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of Action on Sugar is outraged. “It is shocking that food companies are being allowed to exploit consumers by manipulating them into purchasing larger size bags of chocolate confectionery on the cheap,” he says. “Theresa May is letting companies get away with this despite pledging to help the socially deprived when she first became the prime minister. Companies must be held accountable and reminded to reconsider their ethical and corporate responsibility.”

It turns out you help the deprived by, er, depriving them of things they enjoy. And the easily manipulated should be manipulated not by Bertie Bassett but by anti-sugar campaigners. No money for a skiing holiday this year, but you’ve got a few quid for a big bag of Revels on the sofa in front of the telly. You get your pleasures where you can. But other people know what’s best for you. Step back from the Minstrels trough, fatso. Stop being chilled about your weight and diet. It’s panic stations time. (Call 0800TASTE4STRESS – Our therapists are waiting for your call.)

According to the data, the most sugary sharing bag is a pouch of Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate (198g), which contains 29 teaspoons of sugar in one bag – “four times the maximum daily limit for adults”. Maximum limit? It’s not a limit that if exceeded causes you to overdose. It’s a recommendation.

The Guardian doesn’t mention the reply from the Industry body the Food and Drink Federation. “There is no substantive evidence that they make any meaningful difference to obesity,” it says. “Instead of demonising individual nutrients, products or categories we should instead be promoting balanced diets.”

They all agree on one thing: the purpose of life is health and longevity. So wrap you and yours in cotton wool, avoid all risk and take your five a day. It might not be fun. But at least you’ll be miserable for longer…

NEXT UP: The Pension crisis and people living longer than ever!

Posted: 26th, January 2018 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, News, The Consumer | Comment


New Leeds United badge looks like an advert for Gaviscon

The news Leeds United badge – the one on which the club claims to have consulted 10,000 people (how many of whom are Leeds fans is not know but I’d guess none) – looks like…the design on a bottle of Gaviscon, the treatment for upset stomachs.

 

SLAL-leeds-gaviscon

Posted: 24th, January 2018 | In: Money, Sports, The Consumer | Comment


Take home a topless Jeff Goldblum love toy

Jeff-Goldblum-shirtless-Jurassic-Parktoy

 

Who wants a Pop! figure of a topless Jeff Goldblum? Who doesn’t? Goldblum was shirtless and wounded in the 1993 movie Jurassic Park. And now the “Wounded Dr. Ian Malcolm” love toy is yours to take home.

 

Jeff-Goldblum-shirtless-Jurassic-Parktoy

 

Spotter: Consequence of Sound

Posted: 24th, January 2018 | In: Celebrities, Film, The Consumer | Comment


Data proves that owning a bulldog is for idiots

Thanks to David McCandless we know which dogs make the best pals. Considering six facts – intelligence, costs, longevity, grooming, ailments, and appetite – McCandless crunched the numbers and concluded that bulldogs are not worth the effort an expense.

 

best dogs to buy and own

 

best dogs to buy and own best dogs to buy and own best dogs to buy and own

 

Spotter:  Knowledge Is Beautiful

Posted: 23rd, January 2018 | In: Money, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Minimum alcohol pricing is prohibition for the poor and mentally negligible

A strange burst of statistics in the Telegraph, which publishes words from a parliamentary debate on a minimum unit price on alcohol. We learn that “just 4 per cent of the population consume almost one-third of all the alcohol sold in England”.

Is that unfair – should booze be more evenly distributed; and should there be more alcohol so that we can all drink more?

Rosanna O’Connor, director of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco at Public Health England (PHE) aims to explain: “Around 4.4 per cent of the population are drinking just under a third of the alcohol consumed in this country. That’s around 2 million drinking just over 30 per cent of the alcohol.”

The greedy sods. More booze for everyone! No, no. This is about health. It’s also about preventing the poor from drinking as much as the wealthy by making booze more expensive. It’s prohibition for the mentally negligible.

The Scottish government thinks that by setting a minimum price for alcohol it will cut the amount consumed. The surcharge goes to the retailer. It’s not a tax. The cash will compensate the vendor for loss of sales. Here’s an example:

A lower limit of 50p per unit of alcohol would put the minimum price of a four-pack of 4% ABV lager at £3.52, while a bottle of 12.5% ABV red wine could not be sold for less than £4.69.

The middle-class drinker won’t notice the hike as much as the less well off drinker, who buys the cheap, high-strength alcohol. The poor and thirty drinkers will either have to drink less or raise more funds for their booze by, say, getting a job as a hedge fund manager, a football agent, engaging in some other nefarious activity or running a booze train to England.

Posted: 23rd, January 2018 | In: News, Politicians, The Consumer | Comment


Sex with a plastic doll in Gateshead cost twice as much as a London prostitute

How much does on-the-clock sex cost in the UK? You can get a shag for £4 in Liverpool; £25 in London; and alcohol and cigarettes in Newcastle. Grim stuff. Bug not as desperate as the blokes spending £50 shagging used sex dolls in Gateshead. The Daily Mail reports:

Businessman selling sex dolls offers customers a £50 ‘try before you buy’ scheme for a half hour session at an industrial estate in Gateshead Customers can ‘test drive’ sex dolls at the industrial site in Gateshead for £50
Service was launched in December and business has had a ‘few’ customer since

The owner tells BBC radio:

“We’ve sold used dolls for a long time, which may come as a surprise to some people, but each one goes through anything from a one-hour to a five-hour [cleaning] process. It’s as clean as can be.”

Spotter: Daily Mail

Posted: 21st, January 2018 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comment


Kazakh oligarch’s $179,000 wedding cake doubles as a starter home

To a wedding in Kazakhstan, where guests are touring the $179,000 wedding cake that doubles as a starter home for newly weds Amirzhan, grandson of Shymkent oligarch Serikzhan Seitzhanov, and Aruzhan, daughter of Kairat Satybaldy, a Kazakh businessman, nephew of the country’s president. Built by Renat Agzamov, a former Russian boxing champion, the cake is well appointed, with master bedroom, basement polo studio, games room and living quarters for umpteen servants.

 

Реализовали сложнейший международный проект🔥 диаметр торта 3 метра, высота 4,2 ( с тележкой) . Вес около 1500кг. С такими размерами доставить заготовки в другую страну – это ОЧЕНЬ сложно ! Но мы справились, потому что у нас самая сильная команда профессионалов в мире!🔥🔥🔥 Перед вывозом торта в зал – ровно 3 суток без сна, но результат того стоит! Благодарю свою команду за мощный рывок в космос 🚀 Просто ценю и уважаю каждого😘❤️. Благодарю принимающую сторону за очень тёплый и душевный прием🙏! Как приятно работать, когда тебя любят, ценят и уважают😘❤️. Ну и самое главное – счастья молодым и благополучия 🙏🙏❤️.

A post shared by RENAT AGZAMOV (@renat_agzamov) on

 

The icing on the cake is that, according to the World Bank, the GDP per capita for Kazakhstan is US$7,715.

 

Posted: 19th, January 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Andrea Dunbar: ghastly review of Rita Sue And Bob Too warps the story to support the narrative

In the Sunday Times, a theatre review of Andre Dunbar’s excellent 1982 play Rita, Sue and Bob Too, currently showing at London’s Royal Court. It was made into a film in 1987. Readers are told:

 

Rita, Sue and Bob Too is a prickly, thought-provoking and sometimes hilarious little period piece, but there is one huge elephant in the theatre. No one, surely, can watch a piece about underage schoolgirls being groomed for sex in Bradford and not think of more recent scandals. Perhaps the most sickening thing is how innocent Rita and Sue’s experiences seem compared to those of young girls in Bradford and Keighley over the past few years: girls as young as 12, drugged into a stupor, raped by five men or more at once, abortions at 13 and many worse details. Such things leave deep scars and lifelong trauma.

Andrea Dunbar drank herself to death in 1990, at the age of 29.

Tosh then. Dunbar’s play is better than some moralising guff. Much better. Dunbar (22 May 1961 – 20 December 1990) died from a brain haemorrhage.

Spotter: Mic Wright. For further reading on Dunbar, this is a better start.

 

Posted: 16th, January 2018 | In: Books, Broadsheets | Comment


If breadmaking was an Olympic sport this baker would win gold

Hail the bread maker and the paratha catcher.

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: The Consumer | Comment


Fight library closures and ignorance with this librarian action figure

Librarian-Action-Figure censorship

 

Libraries are in peril. Those places of leaning – dry, warm sanctuaries from the cut and thrust of life, where you can sit and think without any need to hand over cash – being closed. Struggling to balance the books, libraries are throwing them away.  It’s not been all bad news. Books are being saved by volunteers.  New libraries are opening. But the trend is towards less of them. In the last seven years one in six of all Wales’ libraries have closed.

Libraries need a hero. And here she is. The librarian action figure is based on Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl. She has “a removable cape that symbolizes how much of a hero a librarian really is.”

Spotter: Open Culture

Posted: 14th, January 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Woman divorces husband after he spent $50,000 on a great record collection

record collection high fidelity

 

On eBay the story of a broken marriage and a big record collection:

My ex-husband was a big jerk! While that’s the main reason that I divorced him, the final straw was that he spent just over $50,000 buying a stupid huge record collection. Even though it was a good buy, and a sound investment (no pun intended), I felt the money (which was all we had and half mine) should have gone to pay off our mortgage, or put the kids through college, or saved for our retirement, or at least spent on something we could enjoy together, like a second honeymoon (our first was a weekend in Cleveland at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).

While I honestly know next to nothing about records, he was thrilled and kept bragging about how these were all original pressings from the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s, that it was the most complete gathering of collectible Rock, Rockabilly, R&B, British Invasion, Motown, Acid, Psych and Folk he’d ever seen (over 5000 albums and over 1000 45’s), and how rare it was that most had never even been played once (why would anyone buy a record and never play it?).

So that’s why I was so nonplused that he left the entire collection to me when he died (maybe he honestly felt some remorse? Nah). Anyway, I don’t want it, so I’m offering them all to you (it will probably take me months to list them all). Please feel free to make an offer on the whole darn thing, or to ask if I have a particular record, or any other questions (which I’ll do my best to answer; though again, I don’t know much at all). All prices are flexible (I’m basing them on what others are selling for), and I would be happy to entertain any offers.

Spotter: ClashMusic

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: Music, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


H&M woo racist shoppers with black boy in a monkey jumper

How did you feel when you saw the H&M advert for a child’s top featuring the legend “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”? Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weekend, tweeted “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”

The photo? This one:

 

coolest monkey in the jungle h&m

 

And then Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku shared the image with his Instagram followers, adding his own logo-style caption: “You’re prince soon to be a king. Don’t let anybody tell you different.” Basketball star LeBron James used his Instagram post to add his own logo: “when I look at this photo I see a Young King!!”

H&M-endorsed rapper G-Eazy also called the child “coolest king of the world”, adding: “Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I’ve decided at this time our partnership needs to end. Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable.”

H&M duly begged for forgiveness. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended…We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken…We’ll thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”

Best tell the child and his parents that calling him a “little monkey” is racist, moreover accusing him of “monkeying around” or being a “cheeky monkey”.

 

h&m clothing racist

Also my H&M – more life-affirming slogan and locations

 

And, of course, politicians get involved. Labour MP Kate Osamor tweeted: “I was totally shocked, dismayed to say the very least, to find this online imagine. hm do you think this imagery is an appropriate representation of a young black boy?”

Maybe they only saw ‘the boy’? Maybe you have to be obsessed with race to spot the offence? Maybe we pick our prejudices, and being shocked and dismayed by a black boy in a top is more upsetting than Labour’s problem with anti-Semitism? Explicit racism is obvious. Was the child model paid less than the others? The implicit stuff is tricky. How do you go about defending yourself against accusations that your subconscious opinions are wrong? Is the safest option to accuse others of racism first and in their apologies and entrails find evidence of your own clean mind?

One Indy writer opines: “Their intention was clearly not to cause offence; it just obviously didn’t enter their minds to think seriously about their black customers.” So what’s the point of featuring black models – to appeal to non-black customers who don’t mind a bit of racism, or maybe even enjoy it? Well, yeah. A HuffPost writer calls it a “blatantly racist advertising campaign”. Klan members form an orderly queue.

The Indy writer adds: “A glance at their all-white board of directors tells you everything you need to know.” From being on the board of a Swedish clothing company, H&M directors are now suspects. As are well all…

 

Posted: 10th, January 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment