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Wednesday 18th December 2013


They're making bank notes out of plastic from 2016 onwards. They'll be wipe-clean. I think a lot of sexist men are suddenly regretting objecting to having women on the back of their fivers and tenners. They could have had a parade of historical lovelies, but now they're going to have to try and crack one off to Winston Churchill. Ha ha, take that. What a victory for feminism.

Luckily for me I find powerful women attractive and so I will be able to flip my bank notes over and make merry with the Queen. Knowing my luck she'll die in 2015 and I will be stuck trying to conjure up erotic fantasies about Prince Charles. If they can just do a picture of him imagining Lady Di in a thought bubble then I should be OK.

And I am still attempting to kickstart my weight loss plan, even in this difficult time of the run up to Christmas. I haven't really lost much weight, but I haven't put any on so that's something! I tried out theNike Fuelband over the summer and found it a bit wanting. It motivated me to do lots of walking for a while, but it is very expensive and mine did not prove to be very hardy. It broke when I attempted to adjust it (partly my fault I think, but I superglued it together) and then after about three months the button stopped working (and I figured I probably couldn't take it back now that it was superglued together, though the superglue was not responsible for the fault). But I've found an alternate and much cheaper app that seems to do the same job and works as long as you have your phone with you (which I always do). It's called Moves. I've had it a couple of days and been quite impressed so far. it distinguishes running from walking and also knows when you're on transport. Plus it still registers when you're on a running machine (I am not sure the Nike Fuel Band did as well). Given it's only £1.99 that's quite a saving (presuming you already own a phone) and it also provides a map of where you've been in the day, which is good, unless you're doing something illegal or dodgy and the police/your partner get hold of your phone. It does eat up a bit of battery power though and the battery on my iPhone is so shit that that is a slight worry.

I find for me that stuff like this does incentivise me to do a bit more walking and I like turning my life into a video game and my diet into a battle between calorie consumption and burning. So if you're like me this might be a cheaper alternative to the the new bands.

This reads a bit like an advert, but it's an unsolicited testimony that I have not been paid for and I paid for the app too. That's part of the reason I don't want to ever get paid to recommend anything in an advert because it makes anything you ever say meaningless and suspect. Mainly in this case I am just amazed at the power of technology. That this can work so well just from your phone is both amazing and slightly sinister. If people wanted to turn this over to evil then it would be quite easy, but I am glad that I live in a world where it's mainly being used to make lazy, fat people a bit less lazy.

I am not the biggest fan of Will Ferrell (though I love him in this awards ceremony clip with Kristen Wiig - I love comedy when people badly trying to front something out when they haven't done any actual prep and Wiig is amazing at this. Also check out the folk singers bit that she does on Saturday Night Live if you get the chance), but I loved this bit from the interview he did with the Guardian which demonstrates why executives should trust comedians to know what is funny:

"Just over a dozen or so years ago, when Will Ferrell was still a cast member of Saturday Night Live and starting to think of a future full-time film career, he met up with the head of a major Hollywood studio."The thing with comedy characters," the head honcho said to him, "is that they have to be likable."

Ferrell thought about this for maybe two seconds, looked up and replied, "You are absolutely wrong."

"And the two development assistants standing by the studio head just went … " Ferrell makes a rubber-faced look of Munch-like horror..."

But this speaks volumes about the way comedy is commissioned. Someone who knows nothing about comedy looks at things that have been successful and decides they know what makes a hit. Whatever you think of Ferrell he did show that comedy characters don't have to be likable. And kudos to him for daring to say that to the face of someone who held his future career in his hands.

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