Things I wish existed: No. 1

(An occasional series of stuff that I think should be made)

I’m not normally one for brand-loyalty, but every time I go travelling, I wish I could take Marmite with me… I admit to preferring it over all other yeast extract products. So why don’t they make something like this:

travel marmite
Travel Marmite

I’d buy it for the sidepocket of my laptop bag, let alone for my rucksack on longer excursions. Come on Marmite… make it for those of us that love your product (a bit too much).

Who’s common round here?

The Millennium Dome: thorn in the side of governments, the laughing-stock of the people. And one huge conundrum. We have an alternative suggestion to the current crop of proposals.

It seems so obvious…

The Dome as Parliament
The Dome as Parliament

It may be a cliche to say that our institutions are shaped by their physical surroundings, and that the debates which take place are a reflection of that architectural form, but it seems to us that the old adversarial system embodied in the current House of Commons (sic) does not allow modern consensual politics to be conducted. The world has moved on, yet our institutions have not.

We suggest that the site of the Dome is ideal for a circular debating chamber; a form already in use at institutions such as the UN, the new German parliament, and so on.

Futhermore, we suggest that a glass structure, with high-speed data-links and a public access policy akin to the Tate Modern, would come to symbolise ‘open government’ to the many people currently disillusioned with politics and with politicians.

We now have the perfect opportunity to upgrade the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ to one which would be the envy of the world.

(written with Richard Higgs)

First Words

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetaur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The text above is “Lorem Ipsum” in its 16th century original form. It struck me as appropriate that these should remain the first words in my blog, as I’ve been staring at them for the last week or so while I’ve been designing this site.

The Guardian recently published an article about the Booker Prize website slipup – the site named the winner (correctly, as it turned out) a week before the decision was supposed to have been made. The article stated that “the announcement on the website also quotes the chair of the judges, Professor Lisa Jardine, speaking an incomprehensible form of Latin. One of the few bits that made sense was “dolore magna”, which translates as “in great sorrow”.“. It amused me that the authors seemed unaware of “Lorem Ipsum”

Oh dear, if only they had done a quick search on Google, they’d have found Lorem Ipsum pretty much top of the list. And there they’d have found all they ever needed to know about this particular piece of ‘bad’ Latin. I guess it wouldn’t have made as good a story, though.


Q: Why am I doing this?

A: I’ve no idea. I just wanted a place to put all the different ideas I’ve been playing with over the years. This is the place I’ve chosen. Make of it what you will, though I hope you enjoy what you find here.