Key Posts

Key Posts Category

The coolest Wrapping Paper on the web

Over at the Flashbak Shop, they’ve got what might be the coolest wrapping paper ever. With designs by the likes of Ernst Haeckel, Louis Wain, Gustav Klimt and Wassily Kandinsky, your gift will never look better. Never buy boring wrapping paper again. Check out their full range of wrapping paper.

They also have great deal on their gorgeous fine art greeting cards and postcards – buy any 10 or more and get 20% off your total order. Postcards come with a craft envelope, so you can make art part of any gift.


Check out the Flashbak Shop for the coolest wrapping paper ever and much more.

Posted: 8th, June 2022 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

William Nicholson’s London Types

William Nicholson designed his ‘London Types‘ in 1898. Printmaker William Nicholson worked in partnership with his brother-in-law James Pryde, under the pseudonym the Beggarstaff Brothers.

Spitalfields Life

Although not strictly “Cries of London,” some of these characters are familiar from earlier series of prints stretching back over the previous century and, recognising this, Nicholson portrays them as quaint curiosities from another age. In each case, the ironic doggerel by W.E. Henley that accompanied them poked fun at the anachronistic nature of these social stereotypes, through outlining the ambivalent existence of the individual subjects – whether the street hawker displaced in Kensington far from his East End home, or the aristocratic lady at Rotten Row challenged by her suburban counterparts, or the drunken Sandwich-man displaying moral texts, or the fifteenth generation Bluecoat boy at Charterhouse School in Smithfield now moved out to Horsham.

See the full set of prints at Flashbak.

Posted: 5th, January 2022 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

Lost pinhole camera takes world’s longest exposure photograph

Longest Exposure Photograph Ever

The beer can pinhole camera spent eight years capturing a solargraph at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory. The final image records the sun’s movement in 2,953 light trails.

Regina Valkenborgh set up the camera in 2012. And then forgot about it. It was found in September principal technical officer David Campbell tied to one of the observatory’s telescopes. He told Valkenborgh, who says:

It was a stroke of luck that the picture was left untouched, to be saved by David after all these years. I had tried this technique a couple of times at the Observatory before, but the photographs were often ruined by moisture and the photographic paper curled up. I hadn’t intended to capture an exposure for this length of time and to my surprise, it had survived. It could be one of, if not the, longest exposures in existence.

If you love pictures, check out the Flashbakshop.

Posted: 14th, December 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment

The best vegan-friendly, fair wear organic cotton T-Shirts

These organic cotton -T-shirts from Flashbak are environmentally safe, fair wear and vegan friendly. The organic T-Shirt carries the The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) label, the leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. They’re approved by the Fair Wear Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories. They’re certified Peta-approved vegan. And they are also certified by STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, one of the world’s best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. And they’re cool T-Shirts.

Get organic cotton T-Shirts here.

Posted: 9th, December 2021 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

The apostrophe is dead – again


The apostrophe is to become extinct, says the Telegraph, as language becomes less formal.

The Apostrophiser should find more work. The language fan been correcting the misuse of apostrophes in Bristol. He reacted to such horrors as ‘Open Monday’s to Friday’s’, ‘Amys Nail’s’ and ‘Cambridge Motor’s’.

We’ve been here before many times. The Telegraph has pressed f9 on the keyboard and couched up a regular filler:

Have we murdered the apostrophe? – BBC Culture – 2020

“Why the Apostrophe Protection Society has closed in disgust” – Guardian, 2019

“Do apostrophes still matter?” – BBC News, 2019

“Lets get rid of the apostrophe” [sic] – ABC News, 2018

“The apostrophe isn’t dead yet” – The Atlantic, 2014

“What is happening with the apostrophe is that it’s just dying out” – Globe And Mail, 2005

The apostrophe will die out when editors can find something to replace the news of its dying out. And when Waterstone’s bookshop – founder: Tim Waterstone – become Waterstones, the clock is ticking.

Posted: 15th, November 2021 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

‘Boris Johnson look-a-like’ jailed for theft in Yorkshire

Boris Johnson ‘look-a-like’ Jason Watson has been jailed. Unless Jason is running the country and the Prime Minister is now giving her Majesty no end of pleasure for the next ten months…? No.

Watson, 43, a serial burglar, was found with 1,280 in cash stashed down the front of his trousers. He’d burgled the House of Panini in Hull, East Yorkshire, grabbing a handbag containing £1,280.

Watson and his accomplice Adrian Awty, 45, also stole keys, bank cards and a pair of Vivienne Westwood earrings on September 28.

Watson then made his escape by concealing the money down the front of his trousers. However, he and an accomplice were later identified and arrested by police.

Posted: 4th, November 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment

Zac Goldsmith – look out, another elite posho wants to save the planet

Zac Goldsmith is the UK environment minister. He’s chuffed to bits about the “unprecedented” conservation deal by more than 100 world leaders to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030. Sounds good.

“The market has been blind to the value of the environment,” he tells the Guardian. “The [current economic] incentives to deforest are 40 times bigger than the incentives to keep healthy forests, so changing that is difficult.”

It’s about the money, right? People need to eat and live. So trees get felled for farming and mining. Which brings us to Zac and how he got to be Lord Goldsmith and minted.

He’s the son of billionaire businessman and financier James Goldsmith. In 1998, his uncle Edward Goldsmith made him editor of The Ecologist magazine, a position he retained until 2007.

And he’s just the latest extremely wealthy posho to tell us how to live. Why are all these elites so keen to be friends with the Earth? Well, it is where you source diamonds and gold, right.

Prince Charles told the Cop26 climate summit that Earth is in “the last chance saloon” and that “the future of humanity and nature herself are at stake”. We should be on a “war-like footing”, says Charles who employed a man to squeeze his toothpaste. Harry and Meghan take time out from their occasional use of aviation fuel to tell us about the urgent need to be carbon neutral and why having more than two children is wrong. The Queen wants us to cut down and protect the children – no, not from her son’s now-dead former friend Jeffrey Epstein – but from excess. We’re being lectured by the extremely wealthy to behave better by accepting less. If you could harness the power of eye rolling, we’d be carbon neutral by Friday.

Posted: 3rd, November 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Royal Family | Comment

The most batshit insane European Commission video ever

Did you already watch the video above from the European Commission? If not, look on and see if you can guess what it’s for before reaching the end. The European Commission’s role is to instigate and implement the EU’s policies, one of which seem to be create batshit insane adverts.

Posted: 27th, September 2021 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment

Georg Bartisch’s fabulous eye surgery illustrations from the 16th Century

In 1583, Georg Bartisch (1535–1607), a German physician, produced the first Renaissance manuscript on ophthalmic disorders and eye surgery. The book, Ophthalmodouleia Das ist Augendienst, discusses ocular diseases, surgical techniques and instruments, and contained an ophthalmic atlas of 92 woodcuts depicting diseases of the eye. The pick of those illustrations are featured here, and be bought as prints and even T-shirts in our shop.

Posted: 13th, September 2021 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

The Kilroy supercut is must-see TV

In 1986, Robert Michael Kilroy-Silk (born Robert Michael Silk; 19 May 1942) left the House of Commons, where he’d served as a Labou a MP, to present a new daytime talk show, Kilroy, which ran until 2004. Kilroy Loops is must-see TV:

Posted: 13th, September 2021 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, TV & Radio | Comment

After Afghanistan and the War on Terror: US State Department works hard for US State Department

Fox News says the US State Department is blocking private rescue flights from leaving Afghanistan. Well, the government would, no? After all, it makes them look looks as though they’re in control and reinforces the need for bureaucrats. Why would the wonks let private companies do what they cannot?

As for the bigger picture, the War on Terror has been far from successful. If terror is the ability to foment mayhem, then the war achieved it better than the enemy ever could. What 9/11 did was to give the US a job – a mission. In 2002, then US vice president Dick Cheney said the War on Terror was a “single, immediate, global threat that any roomful of experts could agree upon.” His boss, George Bush, would “rid the world of evil”. So off went the US on its mission to Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. Bush said it “begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. [The War on Terror] will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

And then America tired of occupation and proxy wars and went home.

Posted: 7th, September 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment

Jean Paul Belmondo – ‘Everyone wants to say he’s flattened Belmondo.’

À bout de souffle, or Breathless in the English speaking world, shot Jean Paul Belmondo to international stardom along with the whole genre of the French New Wave movies. When Belmondo accepted the role that made him famous he was given a note by the 26 year old director Jean Luc Godard – it read: ‘He leaves Marseille. He steals a car. He wants to sleep with the girl again. She doesn’t. In the end, he either dies or leaves — to be decided.’ ”

Godard’s movie was almost made up as it went along (from an original idea from Francois Truffaut) and it confused many contemporary critics who had seen nothing quite like it. Bosley Crowther wrote in The New York Times:

It goes at its unattractive subject in an eccentric photographed style that sharply conveys the nervous tempo and the emotional erraticalness of the story it tells. And through the American actress, Jean Seberg, and a hypnotically ugly new young man by the name of Jean-Paul Belmondo, it projects two downright fearsome characters.

The so-called ‘hypnotically ugly young man’ (a short career as an amateur boxer helped cause the distinctive, idiosyncratic visage) put the French New Wave genre on the map and he went on to play many ‘anti-heroes’ or tough guys over the next few decades. In France his ‘air of insouciance’ became known as “le belmondisme” but the gangster type roles caused problems in his real life:

“Lots of times, I’d be out with a chick and some kid would want to give me a bad time, I used to fight it out with them. It’s the same now. Everyone wants to say he’s flattened Belmondo.”

Jean-Paul Belmondo (9 April 1933 – 6 September 2021)

Posted: 7th, September 2021 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment

When and why Charlie Watts punched Mick Jagger, by Keith Richards

Charlie Watts has died. The coolest and best looking Rolling Stone by far. In Keith’s autobiography, we get a bit of Charlie we can admire:

Spotter: Andrew Beasley

Posted: 24th, August 2021 | In: Books, Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, News | Comment

20 years of nailing it Afghanistan – watch four culpable US presidents bullshit the world

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan has been led by the US-led retreat from the country ruled by the Taliban, just as it was when the US went in. It’s been 20 years of waste, thousands of lost lives, many more damaged ones, hope destroyed and the dawning realisation that America is good at one thing: picking a president on the strength of their abilities in marketing. George Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden – you’d not want any of them in your corner in a fight. Now – get your war on!

Posted: 24th, August 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment

Cool Cats & Red Devils – brilliant photographs of British football fans in the 1970s

Manchester football fans

Iain S P Reid’s fantastic photos of British football fans in the 1970s are going to be in our new book. You can back Cool Cats & Red Devils at the Kickstarter. Please do – it’s a great project and 15% of all profits from both the prints and the book go to Melanoma UK.

Rewards are cool – with a choice of any of these great, very high-quality prints.

Cool Cats & Red Devils – the book.

Posted: 10th, July 2021 | In: Books, Key Posts, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Prints of Kawanabe Kyōsai’s erotic Japanese scrolls

Kawanabe Kyōsai Prints (1831-1889) was a Japanese artist born into the age of feudalism and maturing into the Meiji period, when the country became a modern state. Nicknamed “The Painting Demon”, he became a caricaturist, lampooning the great and good, and later painted ‘makimono’, aka ‘battle of the farts’. He co-created what many consider to be the first manga magazine in 1874, Eshinbun Nipponchi, and later a scroll depicting sex scenes, nudity and people with enormous genitalia. You can buy prints of these and more at the brilliant flashbak shop.

Buy Kawanabe Kyosai prints here.

Posted: 30th, June 2021 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

Matt Hancock hot take – Brexit did it

MAtt Hancock affair

Matt Hancock has gone. They waited and waited until Covid was under control then defenestrated hapless Hancock from the health ministry. His sex-life made headlines. But his private life is his own affair, literally.

Although one Guardian columnist who writes about mental health and maybe even body-shaming is one of many to have cast judgement on Hancock:

Hancock was not done for because his sexual style evokes suicidal thoughts, but for his failure to observe social distancing rules, the very thing he thrust on the people. Although looking for a hot take, Will Hutton thinks Brexit is to blame:

After five years, the biggest casualties of Brexit are in plain sight. Integrity and decency in public life are crumbling. Because so much of the case for Brexit is false, the political modus operandi of the Brexiters, now dominating our political culture, has become a refusal to accept responsibility for mistakes, overclaiming, deceit and sometimes outright lies to justify the unjustifiable. Once the electorate can no longer trust what they are told, democratic debate is denied. We have been robbed of a core right of citizenship.

Hancock is shagging his aide and old uni chum because of Brexit.

Posted: 28th, June 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment

Rudolph Kalvach prints and T-shirts

Rudolf Kalvach (1883-1932) was the Austrian artist whose youthful expressionism made him a mainstay of the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), the group established in 1903 by graphic designer and painter Koloman Moser, the architect Josef Hoffmann and the patron Fritz Waerndorfer. The avant-garde Werkstätte was a composite blend of architects, artists and designers working in ceramics, fashion, silver, furniture and the graphic arts. Kalvach the most vibrant, quirky, satirical postcards, which you can now buy as T-shirts and prints at Flashbak.

Rudolph Kalvach prints

More at Flashbak Shop.

Posted: 5th, June 2021 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

Good Morning Britain eats itself: Tony Blair mouthpiece interviews Tony Blair

blair front pages chilcot

Having sacked Piers Morgan, Good Morning Britain invited Tony Blair’s old spin doctor Alastair Campbell to replace him. This morning Campbell interviewed Blair. They talked about Labour. And looking on you wondered if all it takes to be on telly and in frontline politics is an ability to act?

In unrelated news, the BBC is running a terrific documentary series on the Iraq War. Blair and Campbell both feature. See it here.

Posted: 12th, May 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment

The fake ‘John Lewis furniture nightmare’ and Dubya’s plastic turkey

This April you could read Tatler’s story on the fiancée of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 32-year-old Carrie Symonds, “the most powerful woman in Britain, reportedly shaping her partner’s thoughts on the environment, animal rights and other issues at the front and centre of politics today.” And scatter cushions. Tater’s Anne McElvoy looked at the decor in the couple’s flat above Number 11 Downing Street and noted the “John Lewis furniture nightmare”. They would turn “Theresa May’s John Lewis furniture nightmare into a high-society haven”.

The new lodgers overhauled Theresa May’s “John Lewis furniture nightmare” with a pricey makeover modelled on the work of eco-interior designer Lulu Lytle.

The flat is news because Johnson’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, alleged the Prime Minister once planned to have donors “secretly pay” for the work on his flat. Labour wants the prime minister to reveal the full amount spent and who paid. The Times notes:

The Conservative chairman faces fresh questions about how the refurbishment of Boris Johnson’s flat in Downing Street was funded after leaked emails suggested that a donation to the party was set aside for the project.

Ben Elliot, a nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall who has run the party since Johnson became prime minister in 2019, was told last October that a big donation should be used to fund a redecoration of Johnson’s residence above 11 Downing Street.

But rather than talking about alleged sleaze, greed and a clubby elite running the country, nodding heads at opining about how if John Lewis merchandise is good enough for them and May, it’s damn well good enough for Symonds. But Symonds never called it a “John Lewis nightmare”, a writer did. Never mind the facts. The story is out.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds: “I think a lot of people would look at what’s taken place here with the Prime Minister’s flat really with incredulity. I have to say I really like John Lewis myself, I don’t really see a big problem with John Lewis.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth: “We know he [Mr Johnson] wanted to upgrade his flat because he didn’t think John Lewis furniture was good enough. I think John Lewis furniture is pretty good actually, pretty posh stuff.”

The Indy‘s Kate NG just misquotes:

The Indy in “13 of the best reactions to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symond’s ‘John Lewis nightmare’”: “Wait? John Lewis a “nightmare”? We could scarcely believe it either, and neither did these commenters.”

Such are the facts.

Meanwhile, the media is still tucking into George Dubya Bush’s plastic turkey?

Posted: 28th, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment

Brands not fans killed Super League

Super League

Super League had a naff name and an agenda based on greed. Told the billionaires had been plotting the heist for years, you boggle at how ignorant so many mega-rich people can be. They ignored the fans but didn’t even get Amazon on side. Aside from the greedy club owners, who was backing the big project? The fans rebelled. And the narrative is that fan protests the got the horror show shut down. But the clubs owners’ big failure was in not selling Super League to broadcasters and huge brands. Where was the feature length Nike ad with Lionel Messi and Ronaldo extolling the virtues of Super League and how it would improve the planet / climate change / BLM and whatever noble causes the money machines can latch on to to give their quest for profits some soul? Grace Robertson makes the point:

If you were listing important commercial partners to top European clubs, you’d put Nike pretty high on the list, right? Right. Nike are pretty damn important to the football industry.

Take a look at how Nike’s big splashy ad of the past year, titled “You Can’t Stop Us”.

Let’s read that monologue, delivered by Megan Rapinoe, in full:

“We’re never alone. And that is our strength. Because when we’re doubted, we’ll play as one. When we’re held back, we’ll go farther. And harder. If we’re not taken seriously, we’ll prove that wrong. And if we don’t fit the sport, we’ll change the sport. We know things won’t always go our way. But whatever it is, we’ll find a way. And when things aren’t fair, we’ll come together for change.

We have a responsibility to make this world a better place.

And no matter how bad it gets, we will always come back stronger. Because nothing can stop what we do together.”

…The message is very obvious: “We are a caring company that shares your values. So buy our shit.” …

If a corporation decides to put itself front and centre on a sponsorship deal with the Super League, what brand values is it communicating? Not the values they all seem to want to go for. It’s the brand values of the early 90s and the Premier League. It’s that of greed and wealth. It’s exactly what they don’t want to be associated with.

For years big clubs wielded their power to get what they wanted. Do as we say or else we will leave. Well, they tried it. And – boy – did they fail. In the longterm, football fans could be big winners with better competition and the rise of mid-ranking sides.

Read it all.

Posted: 22nd, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Sports | Comment

The European Super League is a FTSE for Football – bring it on!

On the telly, the latest Tory housing minister and a Labour MP whose name escapes everyone are lamenting the new European Super League, a new tournament featuring most of the continent’s richest football clubs. The politicians harp on about “grass roots football”, the fans being the game’s true lifeblood and the joy of a less fancied side doing well.

You might roll your eyes. Governments support a made-for-TV Premier League, open football to foreign owners, suck up to repressive regimes, tell fans to sit down and shut up, big up globalisation and then are aghast and outraged that the game develops into a European Super League – a FTSE for football. From bubble matches, to all-seater stadia and the policing of language, governments have tried and tested new methods of control on football supporters.

Football fans are portrayed as race rioters-in-waiting. You can kick racism and sectarianism out of football, wear your rainbow laces and elevate the women’s game, but show me a black editor on a national newspaper title, a border down the Irish Sea and the figures on domestic violence and we’ll see who really matters.

Lead image: Sheffield F.C. (here pictured in 1857, the year of its foundation) is the oldest surviving association football club in the world.

Posted: 19th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Key Posts, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment

Making Japanese prints – a lovely video

Japanese prints

Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) are routinely gorgeous. But how are they made? Master printmaker Keiji Shinohara shows us how in this great video.

Lead image: Eight Shadow Figures, c. 1842 by Utagawa Hiroshige; colour woodblock print , Publisher Jōshūya Jūzō. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Buy this print.

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 17th, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

The Glorious 12th: Metro tabloid creates contender for worst front-page headline of all time

There’s been rioting in Northern Ireland. But not to worry because you can get some noodles in a cafe on Monday. It’s the ‘Glorious 12th’ in The Metro. Yeah, really. Who writes The Metro’s front page? Who edits the thing? Mind blowing. Surely it’s time to let the paper’s staff have access to the Internet.

For anyone not au fait with what The Glorious 12th is – especially if you hang those words beneath a picture of violence in Northern Ireland – here goes. Wikipedia:

A contender, then, for the worst front-page headline of all time.

PS: If only there were some sort of library open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, where hapless journalists could find stuff out.

Posted: 8th, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment