Archive for the ‘green’ Category

Countryside Code Animation

Friday, May 1st, 2009

This is fun: an Aardman animation to promote the country code.

Download it from here.

From the government’s countryside access site.

(Look out for that seagull with the carrier bag!)

What Does Jade Goody’s Death Tell Us About Humanity?

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

This is a blog post I wrote about a few weeks ago, right after her death, but decided to postpone publishing till a short while after. So forgive me for being out of date.

The Princess Diana reaction has already started. The Prime Minister has, inevitably, made a statement. And all the lovies such as Stephen Fry are issuing their tributes. And the tabloid press has gone mad of course. OK Magazine even issued a tribute magazine (issue 666) before her death!

Let’s face it: she’s best known for Being Stupid and for Being A Racist. I’m sorry, and I know how this comes across, but that’s really not something worth celebration.

Latterly, she’s considered brave for Having Cancer. This is a ludicrous stance to take. Bravery always involves some sort of choice: doing the difficult, dangerous thing rather than taking the easy option. If she’d chosen to be infected with cancer that would be a different matter. The fact that we have sympathy with her does not mean she is brave. (cf. John Diamond’s incessant writings on the subject)

If I met her, I seriously doubt I would have found her interesting or charming; though the fact that we’d have nothing in common doesn’t, obviously, make her a Bad Person (though I’m willing to be proved wrong: Stephen Fry, for example, found her compelling and fun!).

But you see… We don’t need to accord greatness to a person to believe they deserve respect and humanity. I believe every human being deserves to be treated properly – with respect, dignity, humanity, fairness – and this is unconditional on whether I’d like them or agree with them.

vote out the pig

Can we just take amoment to remind ourselves (see illustration) how utterly despicable the press was in its treatment of Jade Goody when she was alive? That is not respect. that is not humanity. Princess Diana: déjà vu?

There are bombers and murderers who I’d have no hesitation in describing as despicable people, but I would still demand they were treated fairly by any justice system, and given the opportunity of free speech etc. Or for instance not to be executed by the state. The point is: I don’t have to like people to believe they should be treated like human beings. If we start to feel we can pick and choose who gets treated with dignity, that’s where the rot sets in. And that’s what (inversely) this attempt to portray her as Something Great is symptomatic of.

[As an aside I'm reminded of the difficulty the environmental/animal rights movement has in raising money or awareness for animals that are not cute and fluffy. There may be some slimy slug that is crucial to the balance of the ecosystem; but cute baby seals are always going to get more public sympathy. Again - our concern and respect should be unconditional and go beyond our aesthetic judgement.]

The Devil Wears Primark?

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Panorama has revealed that Primark has used child labour to produce its ultra cheapo clothing: Guardian’s report. Yeah, well, of course it has!! Did anyone really think otherwise? Are we in such a state of denial about how things are produced?

So… Primark is acting all shocked and firing the firms that have done this – see BBC report.

Am I just too cynical? I find this funny: http://www.ethicalprimark.co.uk/

And this highlights a much wider debate regarding what we really think we should pay for things… whether music, food etc. And how we need to get out of the way of thinking of things as being disposable. Just today, Gordon Brown’s been telling us to Stop Wasting Food! Quite right, but shouldn’t that be obvious?

We must stop thinking of things as being throwaway… i’ve heard people talk about Primark as “use-once clothing”… or even – just buy a selection, doesn’t matter if you never wear it at that price. This is horrible in a world of finite resources.

Earth Day logos

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

earth day logosGoogle has been doing these (mildly) entertaining variations on their logo for many years. A fun way to play with a logo styling while retaining the brand identity. You can see some here, and Google’s previous Earth Day logos here.

Even Yahoo (usually slow to follow trends) has changed its logo today – to a fairly irritating animated one.

So far, aside from Christmas, I’ve not seen much evidence of companies doing this kind of thing. Maybe not worth the effort for short periods (Google’s are frequently a day). Who knows what value it has as a talking point…?

Anyone spotted any other logo variants?

Oh! And before I forget – the reason behind all of this – Earth Day.