Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Join me on the Dark Side...

by Rabbie Macintosh

My Fiancee and I went shopping over the bank holiday weekend, the sort of shopping that she loves and that I find completely pointless. Yes, dear readers, I am referring to 'window shopping', the act of shopping, without actually shopping.

Despite numerous conversations regarding the futility of it, window shopping appears to be on the cards to stay. So, in order to relieve the tedium that accompanies this, I took it upon myself to come up with some interesting little 'mini-games' to accompany the grand spectacle.

First on the list was the 'cosmetic hot-swap' - a simple game - try to completely modify the layout of a cosmetics display in any shop. This game provided both entertaining and exciting, after all, you're doing this in full display of shop staff. Thankfully, most people are too polite to question the chap with 5 lipsticks in his hands, and if you're quick, you can actually move most of the lipsticks around without being removed forcibly from the shop.

Two displays later, I decided I was a natural champion of this.

Second was 'obscure clothes placement' - simply the act of randomly placing clothes in a manner that makes it maybe a little inconvenient for shop staff to recover. As the funny looks I was receiving climbed rapidly whilst trying to partake in this activity, I decided it was best to bow out of the competition.

So, two events out of the way, I decided the final test was to be the greatest challenge of all.

I was to attempt to break my German Fiancee's resolve.

We'd been toying with the idea of maybe, just one day, some time in the future, picking up a Nintendo Wii - surely the console that's taking over the universe. However, it never got past the "Maybe, one day, but not now!" Statement - after all, already owning the PS3 and Xbox 360 tends to make justification for a new console a bit difficult.

However, not to be put off by such things, I valiantly set about my duty with aplomb. Seeing a deal in the local Zavvi shop, I began thusly:

"Oooh, look. A really good deal on a Nintendo Wii - take a look at this, it's quite something."

My beloved, being in full on window-shop mode dutifully comes and looks at said offer. Some umming and aaaah-ing occurs, and the expected answer materialises.

"No, not interested." - only this time, acceptance from me is not entirely forthcoming.

"But, you yourself have said that you'd quite like to have one, and besides, you're always going on at me to spend less time on my Xbox.... Well, here it is. We can both play on this together."

The look I received was a mixture of disgust and curiosity - but just enough curiosity to show a hairline crack in that granite block of resolve my beloved possesses. Thus began the process of whittling down that block of granite unto dust.

Surprisingly, it only took 2 days. In that time, we did have to find the absolutely best possible deal imaginable and go for it, but it turns out that she really wanted one, but could never justify buying one after the grief she gave me for spending as long as I do on the other consoles.

So, having picked up one Nintendo Wii, and super mario galaxies yesterday, I was party to something I didn't think I'd ever see from my other half - her play time on Mario exceeded mine, and when I asked if we could switch on the TV - I was met with what I can only describe as hostile snarling, and a look that promised death if the channel changed.

This is most alarming...

She may have joined me on the dark side, but I wonder if soon, her power of console will grow beyond mine?

Friday, 1 August 2008

Genius scientists discover global capitalism

by Charles Pooter

A new study has declared that the UK's claims to having cut so-called carbon emissions are bogus. If we take into account the carbon emitted during the manufacture of consumer goods imported into Britain, from countries such as China and India, our emissions have actually increased.

But why stop there? Surely the UK is also responsible for the emissions caused by mining for raw materials in Africa and South America, which are needed to manufacture the consumer goods in China and India. And surely the UK is also responsible for the emissions caused by raising cattle to feed the miners, who mine the raw materials in Africa and South America, which are used to manufacture the consumer goods in China and India. And, it only stands to reason, that the UK is also responsible for the emissions generated by the creation of infrastructure needed to grow and transport the crops in North America, which feed the cows in South America, which are fed to the miners, who mine the raw materials, which are used to manufacture the consumer goods in China and India.

In other words, the UK is responsible for almost all the carbon emissions on the planet!

It turns out that Capitalism has, shock horror, evolved into completely interdependent global market (albeit a highly cartelized one). As such, it makes no sense to treat nation states as completely separate economic units. We should thank the Stockholm Environment Institute and the University of York for this startling revelation.