Archive for April, 2013

Pizza hut app pic

Pizza Hut and Microsoft have teamed up to create a Pizza Hut App for Xbox, which allows video game players to order pizza via Xbox Live.  This means you can order dinner without having to abandon your beloved games console for a single second.

On a technological level this is a big achievement – it’s the first time an entertainment app has allowed for the purchase and delivery of goods. The app even connects to your Facebook account, allowing you to post details of your dinner order for your family and friends to see.

But Rumblechatters, the question I want to bellow at the top of my lungs is….WHY?  Is it possible to get so disconnected from reality that you think this is a good thing?  And don’t worry that this defines you as a total loser?  It’s a slippery slope after all – if cooking your own tea, or even picking up the phone to order it in, become too much bother, surely showering and the benefits of fresh air become completely obsolete?

Reassuringly this collaboration is only available in America at present.  But where the mighty US of A lead, Britain invariably skuttles behind. As UK couch potatoes rejoice, I can’t help but worry that this is taking slothdom to a new and disturbing level.

I’m having flashbacks to David Fincher’s Se7en.  Kevin Spacey’s nefarious John Doe character would have a (justifiable?) field day with this app.  He’d have to dream up a whole new world of pain to punish these slothful gluttons (2 deadly sins in one sitting).

Cue another media flashback, this time from the small screen. (I know I’m in danger of jeopardising my whole argument, given my points of reference reveal my eyes to be on the square-ish side, but bear with me please).  Do any of you remember a kids program called Why Don’t You?  It ran from the late 70s to the early 90s and ignited the careers of such celebs as Ant McPartlin, Pauline Quirk and Andy Crane (of Broom Cupboard fame….no? #showingmyageagain).

Its full title was Why Don’t You Just Switch off The Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead? Clearly they weren’t inciting you to turn your telly off until the end of the show (when, handily, the kids programming stopped), but the ideology was sound.   We could learn a lot from the #goodolddays.

The sun is shining (for the moment) and the birds are singing….picnic anyone?

butterfly flowers

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think Spring might have finally sprung.  Yay! Time to discard woolly hats, don sunglasses and soothe those arcadian rhythms by waking up to daylight and the real life tweeting of feathered friends.

So Rumblechatters, what does spring mean to you? Traditionally it’s a time of rebirth and renewal. The snows of winter melt away, flowers bloom, and all the world seems new again. In the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘Nothing is so beautiful as spring’. His words seem even more poignant in 2013, when winter seems to have lasted an eternity.

We love a bit of culture, but how do we translate GMH’s musings into our real, modern lives? Well, if your interiors are in need of more than a little spring clean, then how about a décor rebirth to achieve the ‘juice and joy’ of spring in a 21st century style.  Spring interiors are all about Colour, Pattern and Texture.  Click here for further inspiration.

So Rumblechatters, have any of you had a recent interiors makeover?  If so, we’d love to see the pics.  Tweet us @Rumblechat #springinteriors

cupcakes

As a nation, last year we bought 110 million cupcakes. That’s nearly 2 each for every single member of the population.  And that stat doesn’t include all the cupcakes we whipped up at home – probably considerably more than that, given that 58% of us tried baking in 2012, a 27% increase from 2011.

I’ve just done a Google search for ‘cupcakes UK’ – it turned up over 46 million results.  So what exactly is this national obsession all about?

Cupcakes have become a symbol of hope amidst a backdrop of economic misery.  Where once hemlines were an indicator of financial prosperity (or otherwise), the humble cupcake flies the flag for affordable luxury. This bite-sized confection provides a comfort-food distraction from the economic rollercoaster (quadruple dip, anyone?)

Cupcakes are also emblematic of the rise of the small food producer. Start-up cake-making businesses have doubled in a year and sales of bakeware and ingredients have also shot up. Baking is becoming synonymous with the ‘make, do and mend’ psyche of a frugal modern Britain.

TV execs aided the cupcake’s rise to iconic status.  The launch of The Great British Bake Off in August 2010 fuelled our national obsession. A whopping 7 million viewers tuned in to watch the amateur bake-off at its peak. To contextualise it, that’s more than Eastenders gets these days.

It’s not just our taste-buds cupcakes are tickling. Their uplifting visual effects are being felt outside the food arena.  You can buy cupcake wallpaper, duvet covers, cushions and notepads, but to name a few.  The humble cupcake has its own range of licensed product – surely the ultimate sign of celebrity?

cupcake duvet cover

April Fools day image

It took my lazy bank holiday brain a few seconds to realise that the article promoting Virgin’s introduction of glass-bottomed planes was in fact a hilarious April Fools’ jape.

Cue instant flashback to secondary school, where the morning of April 1st was spent in fear of humiliation at the hands of merciless 5th years (I believe they’re called Year 11’s nowadays. #showingmyage).

These days, falling momentarily for a media deception does not fill me with the same sense of fear, but I am still deeply lacking in April Fools’ Day spirit.

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1st is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. Funny.

In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages….so, let’s face it Rumblechatters, it could be worse. I’m thinking that joke would wear thin pretty quickly.

So, did you fall for any seasonal pranks this year? As you know, Rumblechat are all about the digital world, so we were delighted to spot some virtual corkers:

• Google were feeling particularly mischievous, announcing that Youtube has actually been an 8 year competition to choose the best video of all time and the site is now ready to announce the winner and shut down. Google also announced the launch of Google Nose, providing smells for whatever you type into the search engine – just bring your nose close to the screen, press enter and inhale.
• Google were clearly on a roll as they also turned Google Maps into pirate treasure maps for the day – tee hee.
• Twitter announced that they were going to start charging tweeters to use vowels, but wouldn’t charge for consonants or ‘y’s.
• Mumsnet offered a one day course (1/04/2013) on the theory and practice of vajazzling
• Hotels.com ran an advert in the express offering overnight stays at Buckingham Palace

…and so the mirth continued. Did any such jests have you suckered / rolling in the aisles? If so, please do share.

My favourite story of all this bank holiday was the one about Freddie Mercury smuggling Princess Diana, disguised as a man, into a gay club…unbelievably, it turns out this one’s true!