Life is full of little rituals. There is a certain order in which you have to dip the fish – first into the flour so it sticks to the batter, then in the batter, then gently, gently into the oil – before pressing the green button and frying it for seven minutes. Some rituals, like this, are designed so we don’t poison the customers. Others are a result of our broken brains. As a 17-year-old recovering anorexic working in a fish and chip shop, I had a favourite ritual. Every evening the owner would pack me a box, sometimes two or three, of leftover food that didn’t sell. I would take it home, rip off a corner of fish, a quarter of a battered sausage, put six or seven chips onto a plate, and sit down to watch Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny. Fronted by dimple-chinned Dr Christian Jessen, from 2008 to 2014 the show documented overweight and underweight people trying to change their bodies. There were a number of tropes in each episode. First, each … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight How “triggering” Noughties show Supersize vs Superskinny is troubling a new audience
Watching television is good or bad
For instance, it was no sooner than France's lifting of the trophy had been missed by most of the planet via one of the great television direction mistakes – as the camera chosen for the feed was zoomed in on the gut of a drenched steward - that many felt the need to call this out as the best World Cup ever and the best World Cup final ever. Maybe it is basic recency bias. Or maybe it's this modern scream for attention whereby what just happened has to be described as bigger and better, as faster and higher. At this juncture it won't be long before music critics rate a gig by how loud the band is. Let's be clear, the urge to compare World Cups is an odd one as frankly they are all wonderful at a surface level, and all reek of political corruption when you drill down a little, with the stench and scale of this vileness not truly understood by many. But let us look at this last month coldly for a moment and let's not confuse entertainment with quality, let's not confuse goals with … [Read more...] about The good, the bad, the beautiful and the bizarre
Newcastle United’s tough start to the new season has now been placed firmly under the microscope after both BT Sports and Sky Sports opted to televise all FOUR of the Magpies’ opening games between them. It means trial by TV for Rafa Benitez and his players with the home clash with Tottenham Hotspur and the trip to Cardiff City set to take place in front of the cameras for lunchtime showdowns in the first two weekends of the campaign. A Super Sunday clash with Chelsea follows to round the month off and September will kick off with an away game at the champions Manchester City for a 5.30pm kick off. Much will be made about Jonjo Shelvey’s red card in the same fixture last season but whether Dele Alli is even involved this time around remains to be seen. The longer England are in the World Cup, the more chance there is of Alli not being involved as he will be behind on pre-season fitness. Given that Spurs still had 10 players in Russia for the tournament going into this … [Read more...] about Newcastle United will have no hiding place as all FOUR opening games are televised
There’s a moment, in practically every Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot TV series or film, where a maid discovers a dead body. 9 times out of 10 the servant in question will be tasked with delivering breakfast – on a silver tray, overflowing with Full-English goodies – to the bedroom of someone hideously wealthy (they’re usually hideous in other ways too). The maid hums cheerfully as she climbs the stairs. She knocks smartly at the door, there’s no answer. Undeterred, she opens the door and walks in. There she discovers a scene of devastation – usually a toff murdered in some hopelessly impractical way, often involving an ancient druid dagger or cursed but priceless jewels. It’s then that the maid must fulfill her function. There is only one thing she can do. Something she MUST do. Time and again, all maids in murder mysteries act in exactly the same way – it’s as if they’re contractually obliged. The maid must: Repeat the name … [Read more...] about How Much TV Is Too Much For Kids?
Scientists haven’t rendered a verdict on whether coffee is good or bad for you but a California judge has. He says coffee sellers in the state should have to post cancer warnings. The culprit is a chemical produced in the bean roasting process that is a known carcinogen and has been at the heart of an eight-year legal struggle between a tiny not-for-profit group and the coffee industry. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics wanted the coffee industry to remove acrylamide from its processing – like crisp makers did when it sued them years ago – or disclose the danger in ominous warning signs or labels. The industry, led by Starbucks, said the level of the chemical in coffee isn’t harmful and any risks are outweighed by benefits. Read more Only a levy on disposable cups will break a nasty national habit Government failure to back ‘latte levy’ condemned by charities London coffee chain run by homeless people goes global A … [Read more...] about Judge orders coffee sellers to put cancer warnings on their products over inclusion of carcinogen