Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Commercial: Graphic designer vs Client

I have been up since 3am, which is perhaps why when I saw this I was left in tears on the floor. Substitute the words 'copy' in as needed, and it's still true.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

A voyage in epicuriosity

Epicurious voyage 17

Now, while I didn't learn 'why hardly anyone eats faggots any more but quinoa is suddenly all the rage', yesterday's maiden Voyage in Epicuriosity from The School of Life was jolly good fun. Along the way I did learn that:

- the secret of roasting your own coffee beans is a hot air gun from B&Q

- 'cheddar' can be a verb, and that you can also get 'session' cheeses and '10-mile' cheesses

- there might have been a sixth taste grouping discovered (hello Calcuim!) and that I am in no way a 'supertaster'. In fact, I suspect I lack the even the basic 10,000 tastebuds we on average possess

- I can shave a mean nectarine petal, and that canapes are best produced by many hands.

You can see some more images here, and many thanks Jenny Linford to expertly leading us round Gastronomic London; and to Caroline and Angharad from the School for looking after us so well.


26 recommendations

for what's left of September, can be found here.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetry: Theseus' ship

Is this the first Sugababes-related triolet? I do hope so. Maybe there's a market for high-speed poetry, reacting to the day's headlines.

Theseus’ ship
(a triolet for Keisha)

The last first babe left today
on board Theseus’ ship.
She's sailing far, far away.
The last first babe left today.
A new sugagirl has joined the fray;
let’s hope she enjoys the trip.
The last first babe left today
on board Theseus’ ship.


Commercial: Brand as band

While the news that there are no original Sugababes left in said band poses an important philosophical dilemma, as raised by Blarty this morning, I'm more intrigued by the notion as to whether there's ever been a band that has carried on - successfully - without any of its founder members. And by carrying on, I mean not having broken up and then returned for a comeback. I genuinely can't think of any. Ideas?

Oh, and for the record:


Commercial: Three tongues for joy

Three tongues for joy
Originally uploaded by SgtRock333
Wow. We want. New Jeremy Scott trainers for adidas.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Open House London

Yes, it's that time of year again, when you can indulge in the nation's two favourite pastimes: looking round buildings that don't belong to you; and queuing to get into said buildings.

This year for Open House, Ms Beta and I are planning the following demanding schedule:

Channel 4 Television, Horseferry Road
The Government Art Collection (can't tell you where)
Centre Point, New Oxford Street

(and maybe lunch at Lantana and a peek at talkbackThames on Newman Street)

Trellick Tower, North Kensington
Finsbury Town Hall, as guests of The Urdang Academy, where we'll be on duty in the afternoon

(and yes I am aware that we really have scooped the golden ticket when it comes to three of those year)

Do hope to see you out and about this weekend.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In case you need cheering up

I know I did. But then my afternoon was made better by this:


The 26 Annual Lecture

It's that time of year again. Quoth he:

When: 08 October 2009, 6.30pm
Where: The British Library, Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Tickets are now on sale for our second Annual Lecture, presented in association with The Storytellers, with this year's speaker Oona King.

The event is supported by the International Association of Business Communicators and booking is essential – please let us know if you book a ticket and subsequently can't make it.

Oona King was recently appointed the first ever Head of Diversity at Channel 4. She will be speaking about the Channel 4 approach to diversity, what this means for on-screen portrayal, and how writers should think about diversity in all aspects of their work.

Oona was elected Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in May 1997. She campaigned on issues ranging from anti-social behaviour and domestic violence to comprehensive education and a fairer international trade system. She published her diaries ''House Music'' in 2007 before becoming advisor to the Prime Minister on equalities and diversity.

Buy early, buy often etc etc.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

26 Exchanges

As you're no doubt aware, this year's London Design Festival is kicking off very soon indeed.

26 has long had a relationship with the festival, and this year's no different. Indeed, what we're undertaking this year might be one of our most ambitious projects to date.

26 Exchanges, one of our collaborations as part of this year's Free The Word festival, is coming to life.

Earlier this year, in association with International PEN, a number of writers around the world were teamed with members of 26. The pairs were then asked to develop a correspondence, a translation, and perhaps a relationship on the page and screen.

We then posted the results on the festival's blog.

The idea caught the attention of Harry Pearce of Pentagram, who in collaboration with Sankey at All of Us, will be bringing the exchanges to life in three dimensions and digitally.

You can see the results next week, between Monday 21 and Friday 25 September, at an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Its free, and open Monday to Friday, 9.30pm to 5.30pm for one week.

There's a book too, called 26 Exchanges, which will be on sale at the exhibition. Inevitably, there's also a twitter feed.

A big thank you to UNESCO and International PEN for helping us to bring it to life. And hope to see some of you there next week.


Poetry: Praga

I've had another piece, 'Praga', published at Incantations in Blue. Or, if you prefer, above.

It makes a bit more sense when viewed with this image.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Commercial: Me flogging The Economist

Yes, I was lucky enough to have something I said about The Economist chosen to be used on various marketing material they're currently using to promote the newspaper. This stand is at Liverpool Station (with others like it to be found at branches of WHSmith in other mainline railway stations.)


Friday, September 04, 2009

A meme dies

Rare that it does. But the Downfall one is officially over. This has killed it:

Now that you've stopped laughing, there is nothing more to say.

(Hat tip: Jon Swaine)


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Commercial: Google's not perfect

Certainly not when it comes to its own adverts. Whatever happened to letting the product do the talking?

Google, you've changed.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Commercial: Uberpup at Heathrow

Another advert for the talent in clan Dastidar. If you happen to be travelling through Terminals 3 or 5 at Heathrow, en famile, keep an eye out for Uberpup's illustration for BA's children lounges.


Commercial: Liverpool brand stories - a coda of sorts

So, what have we learnt from our sojourn on Merseyside? Well, for brands:

- wit is worth risking

- aiming for fame isn't necessarily a bad idea

- darkness can be more rewarding experience

- symbols can be in competition with each other, but still work together

- if you steal, you should hide it well

- being opportunistic can be a good thing

...all of which sounds like a DNA-print of the city too.