Normally when I’m on holiday, I’m far more inclined towards trash TV than anything remotely brain-taxing, but this Christmas I’m going to tune into a Radio 4 special about the economy (Today programme, 31 December).
The fact that this particular radio show is being edited by Jarvis Cocker – who I’ve seen in concert, oh, about a trillion times – has absolutely nothing to do with it; I simply am that dedicated to anything work-related. Ooh, look: Rudolph and Santa just flew by in a silver sleigh.
The slight flaw in my plan is the programme’s ridiculously early kick-off time – six o’clock in the morning, for pity’s sake – that’d be a struggle even without the yuletide festivities; however, I reckon it’d be worth it to catch Jarvis’s musings on economic matters.
Here’s what the man himself has to say about the various topics he’ll be pondering on the programme:
(click to watch BBC iPlayer clip)
Here’s a little Christmas game to waste 5 minutes …
Shoot snowballs at Santa! But watch out for the evil snowmen (and the turkeys).
(courtesy of the nice people over at www.scenta.co.uk)
We’re easily amused here at Winging It – a picture of a monkey or a YouTube video of a dancing cat is usually enough to have us chortling happily.
But it takes something a bit special to make us howl so dementedly that we’re in danger of rupturing major internal organs.
So be warned: this stupendous spoof of recent housing market woes via footage from the very fine – and actually very serious – film Downfall should be avoided by people of a delicate disposition.
You’ve just been to the office Christmas party. You snogged Ingrid from accounts, called your boss a fat fool, and set your face on fire with a badly aimed flaming Sambuca.
It hasn’t been your finest hour, and now you’re wandering the cold and frosty streets with a dead mobile, half a bottle of Pernod, tinsel in your hair and streamers round your neck.
There’s no sign of a bus, taxis seem to have vanished from the face of the earth, and the nearest station is a long old hike (let’s face it, in your bladdered condition everywhere is a long old hike).
You sit in a doorway and are just about to nod off next to a tramp when a three-wheeled vision floats out of the freezing fog.
You’re trying to remember if there’s a production of Bugsy Malone on at the local theatre when the driver invites you into the back seat, talks to you, for some mad reason, about Yogurt, and pedals you to the station.
You, my friend, have just encountered the future of city centre transport: three-wheeled, battery-and-pedal powered and sponsored by companies like Yoplait, 7-Up and, hopefully, Alka-Seltzer.
It’s called an Eco Cab, and it whisks people round cities free of charge while they listen to some speil about the sponsor from the driver. Which, I guess, makes a nice change from, “I had that Mervyn King in the back of the cab last week…”
The Eco Cab was invented in Berlin, and has been adopted by my compatriots over in Dublin. There are also eco cabs running in Chicago, NY, Toronto and Liverpool.
It’s such a simple and clever idea that it’s surely only a matter of time before you’re slumped in the back seat mournfully singing “Good King Wenceslas,” all the while learning fascinating facts about probiotics.
If I was a city centre developer looking for eco brownie points, I’d be talking to these guys pronto.