11 October, 2006

Back pain rocks!

I love this story:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has created a Virtual rock band called Bäackpain to promote wider public awareness of back pain. The band has done well on MySpace and is getting mixed reactions from the press and media so far.

And as VNUnet.com says:
To add authenticity to the whole spoof, there are connections from the site to a Bäackpain entry on MySpace, and you can even buy Ben Yourney's spandex outfit on eBay.

What a fantastic burst of rare creativity from what I have always viewed as rather stuffy part of government. I know I'm usually cynical about all this kind of thing, and the more I think about it the more I think I should be. But credit where credit is due and the eBay touch is a lovely one.

It is perfectly pitched at the children of the eighties, those who are enjoying the Hoff's return (also through the medium of Internet and social media - interesting), and the slight revival of the fashions and 'rawk' attitudes and who are most likely to know and understand all the quirks of the social media (but not too much - lets not pretend that MySpace is massively cutting edge - just youthfully exclusive enough).

Anyway, this is an interesting, good example of how even unsexy, haggard back pain can be put through the harley street school of promotion by Internet, and emerge a pneumatic, and beautiful specimen. And the best example of one I can think of just now.

Now, I wonder if they will start touring?

09 October, 2006

So who reads?

Richard Bailey recently asked this, and yesterday the Observer asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005 and tomorrow is the Booker Prize. It seems you can't turn today without some very credible source telling you you must be reading.

And, as credible sources often are, they are right. We should, I should and everybody should. But we don't.

While I was at school I was a bit of a bookworm (to be fair my house was always filled with literature), I read recreationally constantly throughout my degree. It does improve your writing, it gives you a wealth of different linguistic stylings, points of view and allows you relax for a while.

But these days I am stuck in a rut and reading has taken a back seat to other activities. So I have decided to run a little survey and see what people can recommend to me. What have you read in the last few months that I could learn further from. I'd rather not be lugging textbooks but in the same breath no Mills and Boon. Something I can learn from, be it through beautiful prose or a relevant storyline.

What do you think? What makes a good book?

08 October, 2006

Second Life

Months after first hearing about it and commenting that this was probably the future of the whole MySpace/blogging phenomenon, I have finally joined Second Life.

I am of course rather coy about the fact that I am coming to the party a bit late. But the reason I write is that as soon as I join Second Life the bloody thing crashes. Maintenance issues or something.

I'm trying not to take it personally.