Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Russell Brand and the hemline test

The fuss over Russell Brand's and Jonathan Ross's concept of a good joke is perhaps symptomatic. wrote as follows at the end of last year. "The hemline theory was coined by American economist George Taylor in the 1920s. It suggested that when times were good skirts got shorter because women wanted to show off their expensive silk stockings. Times have changed but it does appear that hemlines will drop in 2008, judging by this autumn's fashion shows. "

Times turning hard seem to correlate with a puritan backlash, and it looks like it's going to be particularly bad. A tough call for BBC senior management to anticipate the "culture war" dynamics in the UK. However, if we lose "Little Britain" it will all be worth it.


Have you noticed that a heated house in the cold weather feels different to the way it felt - unheated - back in the summer? The air temperature is just the same (the miracle of central heating) but as you walk around, there are areas which seem just sort of ... chilly?

I think this is due to cold walls and windows, which act as sinks for the infrared we all radiate. Just as we bask in the heat radiation from a warm fire, we can feel cold even in warm air if we're near a chilly object.


A week away from the US election and I'm still not sure that the US heartlands are warming to Obama the way the pollsters suggest. A recent focus group had this to say.

He'll probably win, but it might be more of a lukewarm endorsement, driven by the awfulness of the opposition. He wouldn't have this trouble over here - Obama has always struck me as a rather European politician.