Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The UK General Election: Street Art of the Week

Seems like whoever came up with this piece of street art, seen on a wall in Brighton a while ago, knew more than all of the UK's pundits and polling outfits put together.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Life Outside the Box passes a milestone and goes a bit Po-Mo

Or if you prefer, Post Modern. Because this is a blog post about this blog. Which feels a bit too self-referential, hence Post Modern. But passing the milestone of 100,000 page views feels significant: six figures, and all that. Is 100,000 page views a lot of page views? It depends on your benchmark, what you compare it with. Anyway, unless it’s one person who has taken 100,000+ looks at the site (I know it isn’t, I do check out the analytics), many thanks to you’all. And do keep on page-viewing. It would be great to hear more from you, in the way of comments. I can only assume that you agree with everything on here. If you do, then you might want to let me know. Same if you don’t, I guess. Anyhow, thanks again. Normal service will be restored very soon.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Backache? Don't pop a paracetamol…

....because the drugs don't work, according to this latest research published in the BMJ

It recommends you go for a walk instead.

Friday, 27 March 2015

“Boris” bikes for Brighton & Hove

After a false start a couple of years back, Brighton and Hove is now going to get a bike hire scheme, according to these reports in the Argus and in the Brighton and Hove News. Great stuff.  Not just because it means those of us who live, work, play and visit Brighton and Hove will be able to get around in a way that’s more easy, less polluting, keeps us fit and avoids the security problems of using your own bike (Brighton is very popular with bike thieves). Worth noting is the comment from Brighton and Hove City Council, which said, “Around 46% of households in the scheme area do not own a car. Yet research has shown a main reason people do not cycle is that they do not own a bike – about half of households do not have one.”  And, looking at things as a behavioural economist, the sight of all those bike hire stations is a major visual prime – it sends a message along the lines of  “here’s another way to get around, another transport option when you need to get from A to B. Now you don’t have to own a bike in order to get on a bike.” Not only that, but bike hire is consistent with the sharing economy that is becoming a major sector in its own right – a self-guided, self-propelled two wheeled version of Uber. 

Which brings us to the major question: what are we going to call our bike hire bikes? Barclays, who sponsored the original bike hire scheme in London, were no doubt less than chuffed with the two wheelers becoming universally known as ‘Boris Bikes.’  Which might be why a major Spanish bank has now assumed the mantle of sponsorship. But I can’t see ‘Santander bikes’ catching on. Bizarrely, it wasn’t even Boris who came up with the idea – he just got lucky by being Mayor of London when the scheme of his predecessor Ken Livingstone went live. So maybe they will just be known in our fair city as  ‘Brighton Bikes.’ After all, we don’t have a mayor. And it seems unlikely that they will be named after the Leader of the Green administration. ‘Kitcat Bikes’? Sorry Jason, it isn’t going to happen.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Just go for a walk. Go on. Just. Go. For. A. Walk.

That’s what the House of Commons Select Committee on Health have told GPs that they should be telling their patients, according to this report in the Telegraph. Because we are the some of the world’s most lazy people when it comes to physical activity. And because walking is good for health (who needs a gym?). And because practically anyone can do it. And because it’s free. And because you don’t need any special equipment. And because it’s good for the mind. And because you can start now, practically wherever you are. And because the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NIce) has said workers should be encouraged to stand up during meetings, and advised to walk or cycle to events outside their workplace. And because. And because. (Repeat ad infinitum).