Food: when does an idea's time come?

I am struck by how rapidly food has become a major domestic political issue. When Demos published the Inconvenience Food report last summer and the collection of essays in Foodstuff last Christmas, it seemed pretty out of leftfield.But this year, the issue has continued to rise up the mainstream political agenda. In January, the Public Accounts Committee launched its report Tackling Obesity in England. Then in June the BMA echoed a call in Inconvenience Food for some kind of 'fat tax'...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 10 Jul 2003
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Model town?

Not sure whether it cuts the mustard under our definition but Bourneville in Birmingham is getting recognition as Britain's 'nicest place to live' today. According to researchers, "Bournville's success comes down to a seamless mix including quality homes, neighbours from different backgrounds, services and open space. Factors like these (and perhaps the sweet smells of a chocolate factory) encourage residents to more actively commit to an area's prosperity, creating ...

Posted by Paul Miller on 09 Jul 2003
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Introducing "Always On" People

Ever find yourself surfing the net on your WiFi-enabled laptop, watching digital TV, checking your schedule on your PDA, and texting someone from your mobile with your toes? Then maybe you're suffering from O.C.D. - online compulsion disorder."It's like a dopamine squirt to be connected," says Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard academic. "It takes the same pathway as our drugs of abuse and pleasure." Find out more here.

Posted by Paul Joseph on 07 Jul 2003
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The honorable member for cyberspace....

Pretty much every MP now has the obligatory website (the award for cheesiest has to go to Michael Portillo - visit with the sound turned up). Now a couple have even started experimenting with weblogs. My favourite blogging MP moment so far comes from Tom Watson who found himself on a train within earshot of another MP, Bill Cash, who was having a very interesting conversation on his mobile phone... you can find out more here.Vox Politics are doing an event next Monday to explore whether poli...

Posted by Paul Miller on 06 Jul 2003
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The World Comes to Canada

Announced last night, Vancouver will be host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Observers credit the strength of the bid corporation's commitment to urban development and sustainabilty as major factors in the city's success. Luge, anyone?Vancouver Winter Olympics

Posted by on 03 Jul 2003
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Strom, but not forgotten

As the UK government publishes plans to tackle age discrimination and encourage work beyond retirement age, sceptics should look across the pond to the example set by Strom Thurmond, the longest-serving US senator who died last week, aged 100.To put Thurmond's extraordinary career in perspective, he first ran for president when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were 2 years old.In many ways Thurmond was a deeply unpleasant man. He is most famous for staying on his feet in Congress for more ...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 03 Jul 2003
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David Goodhart was wrong...

and overgenerous when he famously said of Demos "I'm quite in favour - I give them 7 and a half out of 10".Our actual score is the slightly more modest figure of 7, according to the Page Ranking system devised by Google. Page ranking is now available to view on the Google toolbar and brings a satisfyingly smug dimension to web searching.It basically indicates how important Google thinks the page is on a scale of 1 to 10. We trump our nearest competitors; IPPR, SMF, Work Founda...

Posted by on 02 Jul 2003
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Welcome to a new Demos Associate

Yesterday, Melissa and I travelled to sunny Pittsburgh to see Richard Florida at his palatial university home (with pool). To get there, we had to take a 500 mile road trip in a chauffeur-driven limo. Fortunately, Allen, our driver, had a fine taste in music, so we whiled away the hours listening to his extensive collection of 80s indie music. Florida and his team were as charming as ever, and we've agreed an exciting programme of joint work for the year ahead. More about this at the team...

Posted by on 27 Jun 2003
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Mobilisation

The launch of Mobilisation last night was a great success. I'll try and post a real player video of James Harkin's speech when I can... in the meantime he had a bit in the Guardian today.

Posted by Paul Miller on 26 Jun 2003
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Escaping Flatland

"Escaping this flatland," Tutfe has written, "is the essential task of envisioning information, for all the interesting worlds (physical, biological, imaginary, human) that we seek to understand are inevitably and happily multivariate in nature."Indeed.His most recent booklet, The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint" will be arriving in our office next week.The Work of Edward Tufte and Graphics Press

Posted by on 26 Jun 2003
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