For Oscar Wilde it was temptation. For me, it’s Pringles. One of the few truly irresistible things in the kitchen, it’s a little too often that I’m tossing another empty tube towards the bin. Or should that be the recycle bin? Have they joined the Green revolution? I would imagine that it’s conundrums like this which the Pringles Helpline exists to solve. If only they were open beyond five of an evening, I’d have the answer for you right now. I wonder if anyone ever calls that number in an unstoppable face-stuffing panic, having eaten too many crisps. It really wouldn’t surprise me.
Recycling was on my mind this week after listening to that rather infuriating song which combines Sweet Home Alabama with that seventies number, Werewolves of London. Kid Rock’s remix raced to the top of the charts this summer as he sang about being ‘caught somewhere between a boy and a man’. I’m not sure of the identity of the two gentlemen in question, nor am I sure of how one divvies up the royalty payments in a smash-hit-mashup. What I do know is that these ‘mashups’ are all the rage in cyberspace at the moment. The combination of two sets of data to form a slightly more interesting sum of the parts is even getting the government excited this month, with the results of their ShowUsABetter way competition. From crime maps to plotting the location of your nearest school, technologists all over the UK are imagining how public information could be used more interestingly, with their favourite cooking ingredient often being the trusty Google Maps.
I’ve even got Google Maps on my Blackberry these days. Sadly this was of no use whatsoever when the darned thing was pinched out of my hand in nearby Clapham several months ago. Before you cast your faith in human nature into the Pringle Dustbin, you’ll be pleased to hear that the device was returned safely just three days later, thanks to the fact that I’d cunningly filled out the owner information, complete with my email address. Let this be the lesson, reader, rather than deciding to avoid sunny south London after dusk. My saviour, the takeaway shop owner, is to be congratulated and thanked, for returning my beloved possession quicker than you could say AbraKebabra.
My bolder Blackberry confession is that there is one little function which I have yet to re-enable on my latest handset, sent to me two weeks ago. That function is none other than email. Yes, technically, I can still go online to read my messages (once you WAP, it turns out you can, just, stop), however the constant drip-drip-dripping of messages has, for now, been turned off. And let me tell you, just between us, it’s been amazing. More creativity, more spontaneity, more enjoyment of the simple pleasures of time to myself during the day. I’ve not yet decided on whether the tap will stay off for good. But I thoroughly recommend a Blackberry holiday at the very least. Go on, treat yourself.
Confessions are not what tend to make a business networking site like Linkedin tick along. In common with its younger, more casually dressed relative Facebook, members register in their own name. Which makes me wonder; where is all of the anonymous venting, ranting and plotting taking place? Be it the off-the-record advice or the job-hating cathartic diatribe, is there a FacelessBook waiting in the wings? One which will echo to the sounds of credit-crunched execs letting off steam? At the very least, I think that a hotline should be created. Perhaps it could run from five in the evening until nine in the morning. I know just the people to run it.