Licence to grill
Anyone looking for a fun time who is free for lunch on Wednesday 12 February, could do worse than spend £19.50 on a ticket to that day’s meeting of The London Grill Club. The club is the brainchild of David Selves, whose idea is to “put people who matter to the flame – while enjoying good food [a mixed grill, naturally] and company”. It’s a great concept, but the real fun to be had is in the fact that the guest that day is Respect Party MP George Galloway, who stormed out of a debate at Christ Church College, Oxford, last year when questioned by the Israeli student Eylon Aslan-Levy. Mr Galloway, you will recall, will not debate with Israelis, but the Grill Club, is – according to Selves – a “platform for open discussion where all are welcome”. Israelis in London, prepare your questions now (thelondongrillclub.co.uk).
It’s all Greek to me
Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spotted a creepy-crawly in his bathroom, photographed it, and posted its picture overwritten with the question: “What kind of spider is this and is it okay to let it keep living in my shower?”. He could do this using Jelly, a new app created by Biz Stone, co-inventor and co-founder of Twitter. But just as the early adopters and marketing people were trying to discover what Jelly might be good for, one man rather undermined its potential usefulness by answering every question “feta cheese”. That man was Lee Stacey, an “engagement consultant” for a digital advertising agency (nope, me neither). “I had been noodling with Jelly for a couple of days and noticed most of [the questions and answers] provided little value,” Stacey says. “Just for fun, I thought I would join the party and asked (using the app), what would happen if I responded to every question with ‘feta cheese’. Some people found it fun, others seemed to get rather peeved.” And Stacey’s thoughts on the future of Jelly? “One day it could be useful. Maybe it will become a community of feta cheese advocates.”
Much has been written about the chapter in Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book titled “In Praise of Pubes”. In search of an angle, one widely reported element was the fact that Diaz “devotes 367 words to her below-the-belt grooming habits”. Which means some poor intern had to sit and count the words of the chapter in question. And seeing as they have, it would be remiss not to report on the coincidence (and this will appeal to anyone who has tried to watch The Wizard of Oz while listening to Dark Side of the Moon) that is an unreleased song by the American rock band Weezer called, spookily, “367”. The lyric? “I studied the words you wrote down/And picked them apart to check your style/And as I was doing all this/You never forget to hide your smile”. Uncanny.
Mightier than the keyboard
At a time when we can communicate in a million ways through a multitude of devices, it seems odd that a simple piece of paper with some writing on it can still be as powerful as it was when Bob Dylan first held up cue cards to accompany “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in 1965. Last week, a North Carolina mum posted a photo on Facebook of her daughter holding up a sheet of A4 that read: “I am a kind, caring, smart girl but I make poor choices with social media. As punishment, I am selling my iPod and will be donating the money to the charity Beat Bullying.” Here are five other recent statements made the old-fashioned way ….
1. “Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important” (Benedict Cumberbatch to the paparazzi, 2013)
2. “God hates no one” (boy standing next to “God hates fags” sign, 2012)
3. “I am the 99 per cent” (Occupy, 2011)
4. “They cut, we bleed” (bedroom-tax protester, 2013)
5. “Can you see as much as white people? You know, because of your eyes” (Asian student photographed as part of New York photographer Kiyun’s project on acts of “racial microaggression”, 2013)
If you’ve been to see The Wolf of Wall Street and came out thinking that you’d like a bit of Jordan Belfort’s lifestyle (minus the drugs, dwarves and dodgy deals, natch), take a look at the Nest Seekers website (nest seekers.com). For there, anyone with £4m to spare can buy the three-bedroomed penthouse apartment that Leonardo DiCaprio calls home in the Scorsese film. It’s in the Milan Condominium, overlooking the Hudson river, and the building boasts a doorman, concierge, residents’ garden, fitness centre and parking space. Stripper stampedes and naked marching bands are, presumably, optional extras.
Villain of the week
One of the more shared articles last week was Alex Proud’s piece for The Telegraph, “Why this Shoreditchification of London must stop”. Although Proud raised some fine points, his “I hate the stupid beards and skinny jeans” rant was undermined by his assertion that “Camden was cool in 1994 and is still cool”, an observation that (perish the thought) has nothing to do with the fact that Proud has many of his business interests in that part of London. Even more intriguing is the fact that Proud’s brother, Hector, has just opened an “east London gallery, bar, restaurant, café and events space” called The Proud Activist. And why did Hector choose Shoreditch? Because of its “unique eco-system of creative companies and can-do attitude”. “I wish every hipsterprenuer who dreams of opening a pop-up restaurant (backed by Pop’s money) would just pop off,” wrote Alex. Ah, brotherly love.
For no rhyme or reason
Another in an occasional series of limericks based on recent events:
Be gone, chocolate fountain of youth!
You are worse than sweet rotter of tooth
Because sugar’s now seen
As ‘the new nicotine’
What a bitter, unsavoury truth