War on Transport

The ‘attack on the motorist’ is fading into the shadows as rail and bus fares soar. Public transport in the capital is 1% above inflation and there are proposed plans to increase it to 3% above inflation. Making it ‘the fourth above-inflation annual increase in a row’ since the Mayor came into power in 2008. The proposal has caused some ministers who are against the proposal to spark.  

Londoners are facing increased living cost due to a reduction of houses being built, increased rent prices and now even more increases in public transport. Is this how we are going to carry on living, even when we are faced with extra costs? With London being the ‘least car independent city in the UK’ a lot of people are going to be adversely affected. Gone are the days when as a child a single bus journey cost 40p and an adult fare was less than a £1. The real issue is that the price of normal goods such as: transport is rising whilst disposable income is not necessarily following the same pattern.

An astonishing fact remains that the cost of driving over the past ten years has actually fallen whilst there has been a systematic increase in rail fares. If the government is trying to encourage people to use public transport then they should have a second thought regarding pricing. Some ministers are in favour of a 3p levy on fuel duty up from 1p. Action needs to be taken to ensure that those who use public transport are not stretched beyond their limit.

Toilet Paper

“Don’t rush. Look before you flush.” may be a phrase soon to be commonly used on the streets of London – or more appropriately in the bathrooms of London.

Advertisements are now reaching where the sun doesn’t shine and myths that it is difficult to find advertising space are being flushed down the toilet – literally. With the mind work of two young, entrepreneurial brains, Jordan and Bryan and their newly commenced firm Star Toilet Paper are being proactive with advertising on toilet paper, an unchartered and innovative way to reach out to a wider audience. Coupons are also being printed on toilet paper.

Jordan Silverman of the Jordan Bryan duo admits that their business entices people and produces repeated chuckles.

In spite of enormous humour and innuendo opportunities, Star Toilet triumphed as one among five finalists for College Entrepreneur of 2012 contest, and as part of their triumph to continue their success, the company will be providing complimentary toilet rolls with printed ads on them to stadiums, offices, restaurants and various other places.

Another beneficial selling point is that the two-ply quality toilet paper is made from 100% recycled materials with the promise that the soybean based ink

leaves no harm to the genital area. With advertising prices as cheap as $99  (approximately £57.00) for 20,000 ads, the toilet paper looks to be a favourite amongst both consumers and advertising agencies. In a skewed way, this new innovation bares similar attributes to marmite. Although one is edible whilst the other deals with the by-product of eating, they both reach the same conclusion: you either love it or you hate it.

 

 

 

 

 

Working Remotely

Sporting summer may spell end of British office culture, as we know it.

The summers sporting events have boosted appetite for flexible working according to a survey undertaken by Vodafone UK.

Following their working experiences over the last two weeks, over 50% of workers in London have stated that they want and with would choose to work flexibly more often.

Almost a quarter of employed Londoners altered their normal working arrangements during the period, achieving better productivity. Over half of employers either already enable flexible working, or now appear to be more open it.

This legacy of the London 2012 Olympics may be responsible for a fundamental shift in British office culture. Employers are becoming increasingly open to allowing various and new ways of working.

Peter Boucher, commercial marketing director at Vodafone UK, commented, “It is not surprising that the events of the last two weeks are emerging as a turning point in the way Britain is working. For employers and their staff, this has been a taster for a different way of doing business, many will have found that this can be just as effective – and often more so- than the traditional nine-to-five at your office desk.”

However, even though many of the 24% of employees who changed their working habits claimed that working from home during the Olympics increased productivity, a smaller share complained of distractions and disruptions and struggled with technology and information access.

But many employees, even those who decided not to work from home, noted during the Vodafone UK survey that they felt that they had given all the equipment needed to work effectively while away from the office. The gap was more pronounced in the Public Sector than the Private Sector. 19% of all respondents stated that they use their own hardware to wore remotely, but more than one in five said they have to be present in the office to work.

Peter Boucher concluded; “with the cost of mobile ad broadband technologies coming down and initiatives such as “bring your own device” offering further cost and management advantages, there are fewer and fewer reasons for businesses to tie staff to their office chair. Productivity is best measured by results achieved, rather than by the amount of time spent in the office each day.”

Kindness UK

The London 2012 Olympics was the epitome of patriotism, sincerity, pride and British culture and attitude. When something big happens, we all come together and share the experience.  And we are sure that Great Britain will share this enthusiasm for the upcoming Paralympics also!

The legacy is the next topic of discussion, and whatever is decided, the London 2012 Olympics and the British attitude should continue, and Kindness UK are making sure that it will.

Kindness UK, a non-profit humanitarian organisation with the sole endeavor of sharing, promoting and uniting kindness, are soon hosting a General Assembly of the World Kindness Movement at their Cricklewood Headquarters from the 18th – 20th September 2012. The conference will bring together kindness movement from across the world including Australia, China, Dubai, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, the USA and obviously the UK. Chosen members of the public will join the delegates and Dr. David R. Hamilton PhD, a world expert in Oxytocin (the Happy Hormone) will be presenting.

David Jamilly, founder of Kindness UK said; ‘we are incredibly excited that London can once again be the forefront of developing a brighter and kinder future.”

 

 

Step to the Beat Generation

Jack Kerouac created an entire generation; an explosion of new thinking, freewheeling and experimentation and exploration. Kerouac’s classic fifties novel On The Road defined the iconic and captivating beat generation of writers and poets and singers. Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase “Beat Generation” to characterise a perceived underground, anti conformist youth movement in America. Many thought that the use of the adjective beat reflected the tired and beaten feelings of the younger generation, but Kerouac expanded the meaning to include the undertones of upbeat, beatific and the musical association with being on the beat.

Central elements of the cultural phenomena included experimentation with drugs, exploring sexual orientation, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism and the idealising of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being, all of which were documented and inspired many of the artistic interpretations that developed from the Beat Generation.

As well as On the Road (1957), William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (1959) and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl (1956) are among the best known examples of Beat Literature. Both Howl and Naked Lunch were the focus of obscenity trials that ultimately led to the liberation of publishing in the USA.

The members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists who celebrated and thrived off spontaneous creativity.

In the mid 1950’s the original Beat Generation writers who met in New York, ended up together in San Fran Cisco where they became friends with members of the poignant San Fran Cisco Renaissance. Then, in the 1960’s elements of the expanding Beat movement were incorporated into the Hippie counterculture.

Now it has been given the Hollywood treatment bringing the beat into the 21st century, inspiring a new wave of beat. Kerouac originally wanted Marlon Brando to play the leading man, and wrote a letter asking him to take on the role. However, Brando didn’t respond and Kerouac died before seeing his masterpiece adapted to the screen. In the seventies, Francis Ford Coppola bought the rights to the film, and over the years there has been a great speculation to which actor will play the lead. Now, fifty-five years after it was published, On The Road has finally been adapted to the big screen by Brazilian director Walter Salles. Starring Sam Riley as Sal and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, the film is reintroducing the beat to a new generation.

Today’s beat artists include Patti Smith, Gabby Young and Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny all inspired by original beat member Janis Joplin.

Museums are also paying homage to the beat, with Andy Warhol and Richard Avedon – a fashion photographer who documented the Beat Generation – displays in museums across the world.

So strum that guitar, dust of your Dylan record and open your mind. The beat is back!

Success all round for Team GB!

This previous weekend was a monumental one for Team GB! Now with 16 gold medals, 11 silver medals and 10 bronze medal as well as being third in the medals table, Britain are putting Great into the Olympics. Saturday was especially prodigious with three gold medals achieved by Olympic and nation sweetheart Jessica Ennis, Tennis pro Andy Murray and Olympic hero Mo Farah.

Jessica Ennis triumphed in the last stage of her heptathlon and Andy Murray recovered spectacularly from his final defeat at Wimbledon and Mo Farah proved his weight in gold and was congratulated by his heavily pregnant wife and young daughter for his 10,000m win.

Great Britain was overcome with sincere emotion and the champions were commended and praised with overwhelming applause and cheers. Tears were shed from both the athletes and the audience and the country united over the athletes accomplishments. Records were smashed, personal bests were beaten and athletes were placed at the top of their game and we cannot wait to see team GB continue to prosper in the London 2012 Olympic games.

Pork for Thought

Bacon jam is pushing the possibilities of pork, weird but definitely wonderful, Through the Door Promotions have fallen for this delicious product. Invented in Walthamstow the fun flavoured food is now being sold in supermarkets across the UK after Tesco discovered the product.

Staff at restaurant Eat 17 created the curious concoction last year and has since been featured on Jonathan Ross’ ITV chat show. The idea was developed after chef Chris O’Connor combined and experimented with burger toppings of onion, jam and bacon, which created a unique flavour.

After customers requested buying jars of the bacon jam, and it rose in popularity, Tesco approached the restaurant and signed a deal to stock it in 280 stores.

Bacon jam and similar condiments has been widely available in the USA for years, however, Eat 17 has created an innovative recipe using secret ingredients that separate it from competitors. Maple syrup and freshly brewed coffee are two of the main ingredients used.

Whilst the jam is proving popular amongst consumers, not everyone is convinced; Janet Street Porter voiced her opinions regarding the condiment last April. “I don’t know if taste buds atrophy as you enter postal codes with double figures, but this bland goo is neither jam nor chutney — and I can make both.”

To which Chris O’Connor responded; “I know it’s not to everyone’s tastes, which is fine.”

Mixing sweet and savoury tastes together is a growing trend within the food industry, but nothing has quite been developed to this standard. The tastes combined together create an exclusive flavour and compliments the classic cheeseburger and similar dishes perfectly. Place on pancakes with syrup for the ultimate get up and go breakfast.

Chris O’Connor is currently working on follow-ups including chorizo jam and Mexican chilli.