The Loop: Duran Duran and those natty ties
- 22 November 2013
Welcome to The Loop, the Magazine's letters column, including the best of your thoughts from Twitter and Facebook.
To cut a long story short... Gary Kemp (yes, "Gold" Gary Kemp) tweeted the BBC Magazine's Tie Rack obituary, written by Ben Milne, adding: "So Spandau are Sock Shop and Duran Tie Rack. White towelling, in that case." Now there's a boast.
Ian Beckett tweeted: "State Of The Nation Obituary - R.I.P. Tie Rack - got it in the neck from austerity & open-collar workers."
Earlier in the week, BBC Magazine's Sam Judah looked at eight of the most radical solutions suggested to improve cycling safety.
Phil Furneaux from Brampton, Cumbria, thought the solutions were too "car driver orientated". He emailed: "You missed the big one and the one most important especially in the wake of the London carnage. Enforcing lorries and buses to install sensors and cams for the sides of the vehicles so drivers can check for cyclists and pedestrians when turning."
Les Pearson, from Gateshead Tyne and Wear, thought cyclists should hold a licence - like other road users. He thought they should have an "MOT-style test for their cycle and MUST have insurance like other road users. This is law for motor cycles so why not for pedal cycles?"
"Pedal pusher" from London, thought the solutions weren't radical enough. "Wow, banning headphones, how radical. It's so bold it's breathtaking! Clearly without headphones none of those 15 cyclists would have been run down!" he emailed.
"How about something genuinely bold rather than incredibly safe political point-scoring," he went on. "What about requiring that in order to get a driving licence, every driver has to cycle for three miles along a dual carriageway. This seems to me the best way to make drivers realise that cyclists have a right to use the road and not to be squeezed into the gutter. Most cyclists are drivers, too, or have been at one time, but most drivers have no experience of what it's like to cycle in traffic and don't seem to believe that cyclists have any right to be on the road."
A ban on headphones got the thumbs up from Graeme Allan, who emailed, "Wearing them on a bike (or jogging on a road) is sheer stupidity". But he didn't agree with some of the other offerings: "Most of these are red herrings," he emailed. "Registration, body armour, multi-million elevated routes... Get real, folks. From a police point of view, I'd regard registration as more trouble than it's worth. Most cyclists involved in accidents are the losers, so end up stuck, waiting for help or an ambulance - not hard to find. As for catching law breakers, it hasn't been an absolute success with motorists, has it?"
Anjalika Baier says she stopped cycling when she moved to the UK 20 years ago because she considered it too dangerous. "I am absolutely shocked that nobody suggested a network of cycle paths with its own traffic lights etc. It is time that some of the UK population drop their 'island' mentality and look at how other places deal with cyclists - such as Germany and the Netherlands."
On Thursday, William Kremer wrote about yoga, and whether it still has specific religious and spiritual associations. "For many people, the main concern in a yoga class is whether they are breathing correctly or their legs are aligned. But for others, there are lingering doubts about whether they should be there at all, or whether they are betraying their religion," he wrote.
We posed the question, "Does doing yoga make you a Hindu?". It prompted these responses:
"Hahaha! As much as eating McDonalds makes you American," Rosie Jones wrote on Facebook. "Does eating a knish make you Jewish?" asked Hatuey Rodriguez, while the Young Entrepreneurs of Today and Tomorrow tweeted: "Does smoking weed make you a Rastafarian?"
For CharlieFPG, the answer was simple - "No, it actually makes you awesome".
At the beginning of the week, BBC journalist Ray Furlong gave readers 10 insights garnered from Mass Observation, the social research organisation dedicated to recording the minutiae of British life. Guess which particular quirk readers engaged most with? Pint drinking - specifically that it took an average of 7.3 minutes to drink half a pint of beer in a pub on a Saturday night in Brighton in 1938.
The study of pubs in Bolton, Blackpool and Brighton in 1938 found that people drank their pints slowest on a Tuesday evening and fastest on a Friday evening.
Edwin Anthony emailed: "I have to wonder after the accuracy of time taken to drink half a pint... 7.3 minutes. That may differ from the first to the second pint. I'd say that that rate of consumption would be highest with the first pint as people are enthusiastic with the first drink, and toward the end when people are high, but not between. Just a thought."
Fay Brown on Facebook suggested that the Tuesday-Friday findings were because "It's less busy on a Tues than on a Fri, which has more excitement."
"Maybe they drank it slower on a Tuesday to make it last longer, due to lack of money, whereas they got paid on a Friday so obviously drank quicker," wrote Lynne Venables.
The Magazine will be making its very own drinking observation at the weekend. All welcome.