Archive for March, 2009

Building Art

OK, I don’t know why this central London building (occupied by the FilmLight digital film technology company) was covered in giant black-and-white stickers. And the pictures are gone now. But I thought it was cool enough to post photos of anyway…

London imposes de-facto 9PM curfew on under-16s

BoingBoing has a great posting from London resident Cory Doctorow here.

Basically, if you’re under 16,  in a public place after 9pm, and a police officer decides they don’t like the look of you and your mates, they can tell you to go away. Even if you are doing absolutely nothing wrong.

London and the UK’s inexplicable slide into a half-arsed, amateurish Orwellian future continues.

I can’t wait to vote in the next General Election.

Actually – can we skip that and proceed straight to the revolution?

London is now street viewed! Cue tabloid panic!

You may have noticed the weird little Google street view camera cars trundling the streets of Londinium over the last year. At long last the pics have been processed (Boots the Chemist, I expect) and put online.

Yay! Of course this is extremely cool. A modern wonder: fabulous, fascinating, useful, funny etc etc.

And how does the crap press react?

Evening Standard:

You’ve been framed by Google’s Street View

GOOGLE today removed dozens of pictures from its new Street View service because of privacy concerns…

Daily Mail:

Google forced to black out thousands of Street View photos after privacy protests.

…followed by, from the “not hypocritical at all” Mail?:

Have you spotted any quirky pictures on Street View? Email us a link to the image at stories@mailonline.co.uk

THOUSANDS of privacy protests in a day? Really? I doubt it. I smell journalistic licence (commonly knows as “making up numbers out of thin air”)

The London Paper:

Google privacy protest

Google forced to black out new service after London sex shop pics outrage

What a load of crap. There’s nothing in these pictures that you couldn’t get by going outside and walking around with your eyes open. As if we have anything to worry about, with about 15 CCTV cameras for every citizen.

Anyway – have a look around on Street View – it rocks!

In the meantime, here’s screengrabs of 2 of my favourite local shopfronts.

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^^ I like this one  because of the lovely old advertising paintings on the walls.

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^^ And this one, because it’s so cheeky and naff.

WESTMINSTER COUNCIL BULLY BOYS CLOSE DOWN OPPOSITION FORUM

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Westminster Council is trying to sting motorbike and scooter commuters for up to £400 a year for parking. A forum was set up to give people a voice to challenge this. A few people got riled up and said Really Bad Things, such as:

– anyone who supports motorcycle parking “must accept the consequences of their actions”

– and is time for “the gloves to come off”

OMG! It’s a “hate campaign”!!!! Revolution! Terrorists!

The tiresomely predicable reaction from the apparatchiks at Westminster is to sic their lawyers on the forum, and get it closed down. They throw around unsubstantiated allegations, out-of-context comments and issue threats – including “up to six months in prison or a fine of up  to £5,000.”

Is this responsible government? Is this a council that listens to its people? No – of course it isn’t. It’s as cynical and ignorant as the original idea of the parking charges. Westminster are opportunists, playing the system. You might expect this kind of stuff in China, maybe. But not London in 2009.

One would have thought that Westminster Council would be able to see that reacting to a few robust bits of rhetoric on an internet forum with legal threats would be a REALLY BAD IDEA. But no.

They have done just that.

http://forum.notobikeparkingfees.com/ has been closed down.

All this, of course, is just Westminster throwing a hissy fit because there was a pretty large demo outside (and indeed within) their doors a few weeks ago. One of the main councillors responsible for the new charges got shouted down, and he ran away in panic with his pants round his ankles.

Here’s a link to details of the next demo:   PROTEST!

Its time for Conga Conga !!!

………From the bringers of the Undie 500, International Optimism Day , and Happy Wednesdays

Group aim to set new “Conga Line World Record” in support of Red Nose Day
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http://www.justgiving.com/congaworldrecord
Optimists to raise money by dancing through central London

On Red Nose Day, Friday 13th March, a group of Optimists Society members will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for a Conga Line, by distance travelled. They’ll be doing it to raise money for Comic Relief, get some exercise, have fun and cheer up Londoners along the 17km route.

\Its not to late to take part mail James @ – james@eternaloptimist.net
The attempt has already been “accepted as a New Record Category” by Guinness World Records, who await details of a “Suitable Claim”. Society members will use Guinness standard rules for endurance dance routines. Bringing together a lead “Conga” and 10 team members to follow. Of course the public will also be welcome to join at the back wherever they like along the route.
The route takes in many of Londons top tourist sites. It will start in London Bridge, take in the sights of the Southbank, head past Comic Relief’s offices on Embankment then head up through Westminster into the Royal Parks, through St James Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens turning down Notting Hill to Shepherds Bush, through the new Westfield Shopping Centre and ending at BBC Television Centre in the early evening. The proposed distance will be 17km. It will take an estimated 5 hours to complete. Though we might continue to conga into the night if people sponsor us to…

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The Optimists Society, is a social-action group promoting positivity and helping people make a difference to themselves and others through simple actions.

Please visit our fundraising page… http://www.justgiving.com/congaworldrecord

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Engrish, as spoken in Dalston

So – I took this pic of a pair of jeans in the window of a clothes shop in Dalston.

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WTF??!!

One gets used to seeing mangled English on T shirts and jackets of cute Japanese tourists.

But what local English-speaking person would want to be seen wearing this load of bollocks? You’d do better to print out some Spam and wear that instead.

Ride a motorbike or scooter in London? Clear your diaries…

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Major demo, on Tues 31st March. Protesting against Westminster Council’s cash-grabbing and opportunistic fees. The scheme to make you pay to park your bike isn’t permanent yet. If enough people kick up an inconvenient fuss, they will quietly bin the scheme. So – protest!!!

Meet in Trafalgar Square at 5.30ish, Tues 31st March.

It’ll be noisy, shouty and fun!

Full details here

Ewwwwww

How gross… theres even some hairs stuck in it!

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Pay Attention, phone-using pizza orderer!

Ha! This sign, by the counter in Soho’s best pizza place, Maletti, in Noel St.

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I’d love to see some inattentive customer get “humiliated” by one of the staff. Preferably some git in a suit.

I wanna go!

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