My Top Stuff of 2006

I’ve been thinking about doing a post on stuff I’ve liked in 2006, if you’ve got a blog it seems like you have to. But I didn’t know what to put in it or how to organise it. But I got re-inspired by The Design Conspiracy annual (a thing of much loveliness which you can download here). I liked their top 10s so I decided to use their format as a kind of template, but I’ve altered it a wee bit…

  1. Favourite Top 10 list of 2006 – The ones in The Design Conspiracy Annual – as you might guess I feel a little guilty in taking my inspiration from their hard work so I’m making sure I give them healthy credit ;-)
  2. Music: So This is Goodbye – Junior Boys. Emotional electronic music of the highest quality.
  3. Music Video: Gnarls Barkley – Crazy. It might actually be that it’s the song that makes it. But I reckon that the song and the vid just work really well together. Subtle and simple, I like.
  4. TV ad: Maybe it’s a sign of the times. Or maybe it’s just that my head is a bit fuzzy today. But I really struggled to remember an ad that I really loved in 2006. I’m really struggling. Hmmmm… I like the 3 ad for free messenger I don’t think that the insight is particularly amazing or anything. I just really like it as a little film (and I think it does a nice job of making something intangible feel tangible.
  5. Film: Little Miss Sunshine. If you haven’t seen it. See it. By the end I couldn’t work out if I was crying with laughter, or just crying and laughing at the same time. The whole cinema was properly laughing out loud. Genuinely funny and moving. Manages to navigate between sentimental and mental really well.
  6. Website: YouTube. Perhaps an ‘obvious’ choice. But think back to an time ‘BYT’. Can you remember it? It’s tough. How many links have you been sent to things on YouTube this year? I’d wager that it’s likely to be a similar number to the total number of links you’ve been sent to all other sites combined. Of course it’s not YouTube’s content. But without a doubt YouTube has changed the shape of the web immeasurably.
  7. Design Thing: Nintendo Wii. I got mine last week. My body hurts from playing it too hard. It’s a magical thing. It’s completely redefined the gaming agenda. Fuck polygon counts and blu-ray. Wii is all about fun. And it’s got shedloads of it.
  8. Person: Sophie.
  9. Item of clothing: Nike Air Force One Nordic Edition they look a bit nasty in these photos, but they’re lovely and comfy and warm, and they don’t look too shabby either. IMHO.
  10. Place: Brighton ;-)

I might also do a list of the blogs I’ve enjoyed over 2006. But it’ll take me a long time to pull it together. Perhaps until 2008…

Age Coins

I was in Holland on Monday and I had a very nice time.

One of the odd little things that caught my eye were Age Coins. I’ve never seen these before and thought they were a lovely, simple solution to a problem.

Vending machines are a really easy way for kids to buy cigarettes, which is a bad thing. So in Holland if you want to buy cigarettes from a vending machine, not only do you have to put money in, you also have to add an age coin (which you can get from a shopkeeper or a barman once you’ve proved your age).

Of course it’s not foolproof, but it puts a hurdle in the way.

And I liked the design too…

Last Night a Blog Post Saved My Life

I’ve been searching for ages for a way to manage all the music that I have stored on a second hard drive. Worrying about how I could manage more than one iTunes library and not end up with loads of duplicates, or worse still, losing stuff.

But it turns out iTunes has got the features I need built right in to it. All you have to do is click Alt/Option (on a Mac) or Shift on a PC when you click on the iTunes icon to launch it. You then get an option of which library you want to use (or to create a new one).

Thank you Allthingsmarked I love you. I really do.

This raises an issue that I have with quite a lot of Apple software. It’s normally great that they make it easy to do things for begineers.  But it’s not often clear how to unlock these slightly more advanced features. Or even knowing where to find them in the first place. I suppose I need to read the manual. But I don’t think I’ve done that in years. I guess that’s the challenge.

Powder Your Nose in Style

I like this. A luxury private washroom on Oxford Street. Brilliantly named WC1 (well I liked it anyway!).

A glamorous urban sanctuary, WC1 is the world’s first one-million-pound powder room. It has been designed with impeccable hygiene and the pursuit of beauty in mind.

It’s more than just a loo, with a space to chill, high end beauty products and more. £5 for a relieving break from the city sounds like quite a lot, but I’ve been in situations where I’d definitely have paid double that before ;-)

via urbanjunkies

I’ve always thought this is exactly the kind of things that brands should get involved with. And lo and behold… Asi writes about Charmin’s New York loo.

My Mini Adventure

I sort of wrote myself an unwritten rule that I wouldn’t blog this.

But when I did a search for Mini Adventure London and nothing came up, I felt a bit bad. Mini have obviously spent a lot of money on an awesome piece of experiential marketing. Actually I’m not sure it is. It was an awesome experience. But I’m not sure how good the marketing actually is, given that I couldn’t find any mention of it online. And I reckon they can only have managed to give about 100 or so people the experience per day.

I’m not going to give the whole game away as I’m sure that they’re touring this experience. If you see a bunch of new Minis that look like shrunken black cabs you should try to get a go.

Basically a guy asked us if we wanted to go on a Mini Adventure. We were on lunch break and said yes. We got taken on a test-drive around East London showing off all the features of the new Mini, in a fun way, lots of local history, chit chat, etc. Then at the end there was a section of freaky performance art/drama that culminated in a big surprise. I shall say no more… For now…

It was fun though. And I did quite like the car. Even if the dashboard did look a bit Noddy.

2 Interesting Blogs

It’s nice when people you know start good blogs. It’s sometimes an interesting way of finding out more about someone than you used to know.
Cookie has started up made-in-england.org (I really hope the title isn’t a reference to that crappy Elton John song with a blue Ford Cortina in it), and Tom’s started hostler.com.

Both are guys who I work with at Poke and both of them have interesting things to say or share. Go have a look if you’ve got a spare mo.