The Consumer | Anorak - Part 43

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.

Call Of Duty And The Chinese Rare Earths Monopoly

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I’VE just realised that I was interviewed about the Call of Duty game back a while. They wanted to know how realistic was the plot point in the game where the Chinese exploited their monopoly of rare earths production.

Complete bollocks was my simple response. Here’s the set up:

Blockbuster video game Black Ops II last year enthralled gamers, with its premise that the world could be brought to the brink of war over China’s dominance of rare earth minerals (REM).

The premise is based on the scarcity of these minerals which are used for, among many other things, powerful batteries, camera lenses, MRI scanners, modern electronics, such as iPods, TVs and computers, and for renewable energies, such as solar panels and wind turbines, meaning they are integral to modern life.

Although obviously far fetched, at its inception Black Op II’s narrative didn’t seem so implausible. For many years, China had been responsible for producing 97% of all REMs. In recent years it has been known to use its monopoly of the industry as a geopolitical weapon, and to drive up the price of REMs. However, more recently China’s dominance has diminished and in November last year, the country closed its largest mine, Baotou Steel mine, in a bid to maintain falling prices.

As a direct result of China’s tactics, the exact opposite to Black Op II’s narrative has occurred – the world hasn’t fought China for its REM riches, but found its own.

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Posted: 6th, November 2013 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comment

Central London Record Shop For Sale On eBay

record shop

Ageing hipster with £300,000 knocking around your bank account? Well then why don’t you check out this little listing on eBay.

You could own your very own central London record shop, and as the current owners says hang out with interesting people and maybe even meet the odd pop star or two

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Posted: 6th, November 2013 | In: Music, The Consumer | Comment (1)

The Liberation Wrapper Means Japanese Women With Small Mouths Can Eat Burgers Without Shame

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USELESS Products For Women introduces the Liberation Wrapper.

With this handy device, women with small mouths, or ochobo, can eat a meaty burger without disgusting everyone else.

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Posted: 6th, November 2013 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

Shopping In The Lego Vinyl Store

The Vinyl Lego Store:

Ryan Howerter:

The use of 2×2 printed tiles as LP jackets is spot-on and the eclectic nature of album art is such that just about any tile would make a good jacket. I also love the speaker up in the corner, as it really anchors the shot. I also like the use of 1×1 tiles as CDs. I have to say I’m impressed. It is not often that a builder completely captures the essence of scene like this.

lego vinyl

Spotter: kraftfuttermischwerk

Posted: 5th, November 2013 | In: Music, The Consumer | Comment

‘Jesus, This Is What The Sunday Times Thinks Hipsters Look Like’

AS Gideon Defoe puts it: “Jesus, this is what the Sunday Times thinks hipsters look like”. It’s Johnnis Boden and The Bodenios:

sunday times hipsters

Spotter: Gideon Defoe

Posted: 4th, November 2013 | In: Fashion | Comment

False Black Widow Demands Chance To Eat A Celebrity Or Real Black Widow Dies


THE autumn has been marked by a series of panicky stories about spiders. The tabloid terror news runs in cycles: autumn: spiders; summer: sharks and foxes; winter: lice; and spring: Bill Oddie. Much has been written about the False Black Widow, a big spider that if you’re brave enough to look it in the eyes, pretends to be killer Black Widow, but is in actual fact just a domestic bug playing dress-up.

The location of the real Black Widow spider is not known. She’s missing. In the meantime, the impostor runs amuck, breaking into homes and giving the grieving Black Widow a bad name.

Adding to the spider panic, we read the story of the woman who spotted a gang of  spiders in her Sainsbury’s Fair Trade bananas. Consi Taylor, 29, husband Richard and their two young children were forced to abandon their house in Hampton, south-west London. She says the beasts were Brazilian Wandering Spiders, but we’d wager they were False Widows up to their usual tricks.

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Posted: 4th, November 2013 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

Man Who Pooed On Penzanze Pub Tables Placed On Restorative Justice Programme

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THE entertainment in Cornwall pubs is niche.

At The Sportsmans Arms at Heamoor, Penzanze,  the 9.30pm show features a man pooing on a table. It’s a travelling show and 30 minutes after the first performance the same man pooed on a table at Wetherspoons pub in Market Place.

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Posted: 4th, November 2013 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

Woman Repeatedly Ran Over Boyfriend Who Refused To Stop At McDonald’s

Crystal Greer Brooks

FILE under Low Blood Sugar this story of the Tennessee woman who wanted her boyfriend to stop at a drive-thru McDonald’s.

Crystal Greer Brooks, 33, was in 41-year-old Santiago Hernandez truck early on Thursday morning.

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Posted: 4th, November 2013 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment (1)

William S. Burroughs Sings Songs Of Poets From The Beatnik Book


WILLIAM S. Burroughs is known for his collaboration with rock musicians in the 1990s. But he had previous.

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Posted: 3rd, November 2013 | In: Books, Flashback, Music | Comments (2)

Selly Telly: Prize Island And Jonathan Ross For Guinness Milk ITV’s Stupid Viewers

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THE trouble with this Guinness advert below is the same problem facing product placement on British TV: treating the audience like idiots is not endearing. This hateful advert filled the space in Jonathan Ross’s tired ITV chatshow. Appearing in the same week as ITV’s gameshow Prize Island, the ad shows what ITV thinks of audiences.

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Posted: 2nd, November 2013 | In: The Consumer, TV & Radio | Comment

Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Debbie Harry Faked Lou Reed’s Death (Says My T-Shirt)

WHO was Lou Reed was David Bowie was Debbie Harry?  One Etsy has produced this epic T-shirt saluting the life of Reed, Pop and, well, insert your Seventies pop icon in the space below, in this example populated by Rod Stewart:


lou reed



Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: Music, The Consumer | Comment

Objects Of Desire: Pesto Sauce Served On Cheese Ear Buds

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OBJECTS of Desire: Dan Whalen’s crafted the ear-shaped bowl, mozzarella cheese and lollipop stick earbuds and pesto sauce gunk.

Spotter: DM


Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

Classic Toys: The 1960s Swing Wing Mars Communicator And Neck Muscle Developizer

swing wing

DID you have a Swing Wing in the 1960s? Did you dream of rotating your head so hard that you’d take off like a space boy? Did you develop chronic neck ache in later life? Is your next three times wider than your face? Then you DID have a Swing Wing.

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Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment

Banksy Is Now An Action Figure

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WHAT does Banksy gthe artist look like? Well, Mike Leavitt says he looks like a monkey in his “officially unauthorized” Banksy action figure.

You know you’ve made it when you become an action figure – just ask Donny Osmond, Karl Lagerfeld, Donald Trump, Princess Diana, Tori Spelling, Vanilla Ice and William Shakespeare.

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Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: Celebrities, The Consumer | Comment

You Can Now Buy Back To The Future Style Hoverboards

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PEOPLE have long moaned that, now we live in the future, where are our hoverboards? Well, glad you asked because some bright spark has decided to do something about it!

ZBoard have been inspired by the hoverboard in Back to the Future and manufactured a hi-tech weight sensing electric skateboard, which has the same design as the board Marty McFly rode.

The limited edition board uses a pressure pad on the front which allows you to move without ever needing to put your feet on the ground and can manage 20 miles of electrically-assisted skateboarding.

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Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: Film, The Consumer | Comment

Ladies Room Graffiti: A Video Exposé Of What Happens When Women Leave The Table

ladies room

LADIES Room is a flies-on-the-wall look at what goes on on the ladies’ room.

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Posted: 31st, October 2013 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

That’s Racist: The Outrage Of Marco Pierre White’s Knorr Advert

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THERE are times when the Guardian manages to out-Guardian even itself. The last time was over the idea that the meerkat adverts are in fact racist: something which even the readers of the paper didn’t think was a likely result. Today’s example comes in a column about an ad that Marco Pierre White did for Knorr. Basically making Jamaican chicken with peas and rice by adding a couple of stock cubes to some rice, chicken and peas.

OK, it’s a pretty dreadful version of the dish but still, this is the final verdict from The G on why this is so appalling:

Beneath the tears of laughter at the hilarity of the video was the palpable and justified anger at an attempt to disregard the expertise behind Jamaican cooking. The community’s outrage at the hot mess cobbled together by MPW as “Jamaican-style” is however not just about the misrepresentation of their culinary skills. The evident lack of respect, mingled with an intention to create a marketable product was another example of cultural appropriation for wider consumption.

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Posted: 31st, October 2013 | In: Celebrities, The Consumer | Comments (2)

Great Halloween Costumes: The Human Centipede

GREAT Halloween Costumes: The Human Centipede.  More on the film of the costume here.


Posted: 31st, October 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

Police Say Fight At Council Awards For Safe Wigan Pubs Never Happened

wigan bar awardsTO Wigan for the Best Bar None awards at the DW Stadium. Run by Wigan Council and the emergency services, the awards seek to make Wigan safer with awards:

Best Bar None is a national award scheme for licensed premises – rewarding pubs, bars and nightclubs that provide good management, a safe and enjoyable environment for customers…

It encourages licensees to act responsibly and take pride in their premises and surroundings and, in doing so, put something back into the town and their local community.

The biggest winners are residents and visitors to Wigan, who are able to reap the rewards of a town centre and borough that is more welcoming, attractive, lively and above all safe.

Inevitably, a fight broke out. There was not an award for the best fighting pub.

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Posted: 31st, October 2013 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment