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The Saturday miscellany: Dots app; house music; how to fake your own death; instant ethics


The digested fad: Addictive Hirstian app hit

By Will Dean

Dots is the latest iPhone game to catapult its creators into the dog-eat-dog world of overnight success. Let's hope it fares better than Draw Something.

Dots opens with a quote from furniture designer Charles Eames ("eventually everything connects") and wears its arty pretensions on its sleeve looking, as it does, exactly like Damien Hirst's spot paintings. It is essentially, then, Abalone Acetone Powder crossed with Tetris as you join coloured dots at right-angles to make them disappear. It was downloaded a million times in its first week.

Fantastic, save for the fact that after six games it gave me a migraine.

A brief opinion I hold

By Memphis Barker

Like some people don't get art, I don't properly 'get' house music, which is a shame as most of my friends do and so I often end up paying to go to nightclubs I don't particularly like. It's not so much the music itself. It's the dancing.

What's the purpose of a dancefloor? There can only be one answer: shaking booty; zig-zagging; telling strangers the truth with your hips. But what do you see when there's house music playing? Rows and rows of troops standing dead-straight doing an impression of a wind-up mechanical toy (lift left leg; replace. Lift right leg; replace. Pump fist).

If I wanted to dance in the same small square for hours, I'd just go do it in a toilet cubicle. For free.

Memphis Barker is Assistant Editor of Independent Voices

How to: Fake your own death

By Liam O'Brien

Are your family becoming something of a drag? Got a life insurance policy you'd like to cash in on? Faking your own death could be the answer:

1. Your husband's killed your cousin, and now your family is forcing you to marry someone else. Concoct a plan with a friar to knock yourself out with some powerful medication and then escape from your tomb. Be warned: this didn't work so well for Juliet.

2. Timothy Dexter, an 18th-century US businessman, staged his own funeral to see how people would react. He judged his wife's grief to be insufficient and interrupted the ceremony to complain. This option may lead to resentment.

3. In 2002, John Darwin disappeared in a canoeing accident. In fact, his wife drove him to a station where he went into hiding and was later hidden inside their home. A nice idea, but difficult to sustain. Upset their kids, too. They were each jailed for six years for their £250,000 fraud.

Instant ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. I'm worried my neighbours can hear me having sex through the walls. Should I bring it up?

A. Please don't. Assuming your poor neighbours can hear you, they may interpret any such conversation as you inflicting your sexual exhibitionism on them yet again. Rein it in before you get a sex ASBO.

@MsEllen E Jones