Month: December 2009

Taped Together

The lovely Mel Exon (@melex) invited me to be a part of her Christmas crowdsourcing music project with Maria Popova (@brainpicker): Taped Together. This is how they describe it:

Each day of December, we’re uploading one season-inspired song, curated by a different person. On December 31, we’re putting the compilation together as the world’s first crowd-curated holiday playlist for anyone who wants one.

Mine is today, and it’s All Over the World by the Pet Shop Boys. The project is shaping up beautifully. Some of my personal favourites so far are Here’s To You (Ennio Morricone and Joan Baez), Big Jumps (Emiliana Torrini), The Star of a Story (Heatwave), Hands in Pockets (Laura Gibson), and Happy Christmas (John Lennon and Yoko Ono).

It’s a great collection of songs in general – you should go and give it a listen.

Mango & Paulo Coelho

I was walking by Mango the other day and spotted a sticker on their window mentioning a collaboration with Paulo Coelho. I couldn’t think of any other collaboration between an author and a high street brand off the top of my head, so I was intrigued enough to walk in to check it out.

Mango is selling T-shirts emblazoned with quotes from Paulo Coelho’s works for a limited period, the proceeds of which are going to the Paulo Coelho Institute which supports underprivileged Brazilian people. The box in which they are packed looks like a book (nice design touch), and I can see them being quite popular with most women who’ve read Coelho – I remember I went through a phase when I was younger, when I faithfully wrote down my favourite Coelho quotes in a notebook as I was in the process of reading his books.

Nice one.

And the mountain gets higher…

Another tweet that caught my eye the other day.

Lately, I have been feeling this way too. Boing Boing is just one of those blogs that have a lot of posts every day, but there are quite a few others. I don’t know if the people who run those blogs are aware that sometimes it is just too overwhelming. Similar to the way you can miss others’ tweets on Twitter if you are not logged in at any given point in time, excessive posts on a blog in a day result in me allowing them to pile up in my feed reader, and then eventually hitting the ‘mark all as read’ button just to get back to the starting line again (I’m one of those people who has to have a clear inbox everyday). I’m not sure if this is something the editors/writers of those kind of blogs even consider, but surely they must? Or do they know about it, but ignore it because of a business need to stock up the posts to get advertising revenue?


The long and short of it

Spotted this on Learn Something Every Day. I was intrigued to know there was actually a war that lasted all of 38 minutes, and fairly easily found out which one it was – the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, the shortest war in history. From Neatorama:

The whole thing started when the Sultan of Zanzibar, who had willingly cooperated with the British, died on August 25, 1896, and his nephew Khalid bin Bargash seized power in a coup. Thinking that another candidate would be easier to deal with, the British delivered an ultimatum to force the Bargash to abdicate.

…and so a war began, which wrapped up fairly soon, as we know now.

The longest war lasted 335 years, on the other hand! That is just crazy!

Thanks, British Airways

You cannot imagine my amazement when I saw this email in my inbox today. I’ve booked to fly with British Airways over the Christmas holidays, and when the whole brouhaha about the cabin crew strike came up last week, everyone and their brother was advising me to cancel my booking. I didn’t.

Everyone knows BA has been in a lot of trouble lately, but it’s nice to know that they’re taking the time to show that they value their customers in the midst of what is clearly a big financial and business mess.

I appreciate this, British Airways.

Brand delight

I was down to the last slice of bread in the bag the other day as I was making some toast for breakfast. When it was ready and I started to eat, I got a phone call. As I was speaking on the phone, I suddenly looked at the slice of toast on my plate. I had completely serendipitously placed it face down, and I made out the word ‘Hovis’ stamped on the other side. For a minute I stopped speaking, and just looked at it in wonder, as if it had appeared by magic. I didn’t even know companies stamped their bread – which is silly because there’s no reason why they shouldn’t, sort of like labelling a bottle. 

It sort of made my morning. I love those moments of delight. Like a virtual easter egg.