Daily catch-up: overcome with punning business names and the passage of time

Everything you need to know, including the German for ‘into-the-groundening’

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The Independent Online

1. Another fine contribution (above) to my series of Genuine Shop Names, now rather more than a Top 10, from Tim C. More to be found in Listellany: A Miscellany of Very British Top 10s, from Politics to Pop, out now.

2. I have a column in today’s Independent reviewing yesterday, the first day of the election campaign. The short version: repetitive, depressing, completely fascinating.

I also have this note in the print edition about the passage of time:

“I was brought up twice by the illusions of time over the weekend. First Tracey Follows said: ‘It’s the Olympics again next year. Time flies.’ Which, if you pause for a moment’s thought, you realise is true. Then Ian Leslie drew my attention to an article in The Spectator about Bob Dylan and modernity, in which Christopher Caldwell wrote: ‘Blood on the Tracks is now closer to the reign of George V (1910–36) than to our day.’ Blood on the Tracks came out in 1975, so this turns out to be true too.

“Caldwell also points out that Martin Amis’s The Rachel Papers (1973) is closer to Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931) than to novels now at the printers.

“These little shocks produce a strange sensation, part loss but part a gaining of perspective. I was jolted by one a few years back when someone pointed out that the Sex Pistols were closer to the Second World War than the present day. Last year, the same became true of Margaret Thatcher’s election as Prime Minister, the first election in which I could vote (I voted for Sunny Jim Callaghan). And when the Rolling Stones played Glastonbury in 2013, someone pointed out to the young people rushing to see them that it was as if young people in 1964, when the Stones had their first UK hit, had clamoured to see a band that was first big in 1915.

“I don’t know why, but there is something pleasurable in the shock of realisation in comparisons such as these.”

3. Lovely survey method breaks the chicken-and-egg question of whether you choose media with which you agree, or agree with media to which you are exposed. An American study exploits people's tendency to watch low-numbered TV channels and the random US allocation of channel numbers in different media markets to find that watching Fox makes you more like to vote Republican and watching MSNBC makes you more likely to vote Democrat. Via Robert Ford.

4. Droll. Alan Beattie challenges the SNP to buy Brent crude oil on the futures market for £67 for delivery in March 2016, by which time the SNP is sure it will have gone back up to £110. “Never need a fundraiser again.”

5. Useful German lesson via Max Roser:

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6. And finally, thanks to David G for this:

“Art critic at the bar: Draw me a pint.”

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