The end of the year sees some dabbling in the unknown, as Building hacks poison themselves, rappers turn into architecture buffs and ex News of the World journalists turn to construction

The Shard strikes

When Building set the challenge of a Great British Bake Off-style cake baking competition for our Christmas issue, we expected a certain amount of chaos. But in the end the stand-out drama of the day was unexpectedly provided by one of my reporters. The cake-loving hack - who happens to be allergic to certain nuts - unwittingly grabbed a handful of nougat from one of the walls of Sellar’s towering 3ft-tall Shard cake and proceeded to have a minor but fairly alarming reaction. A precautionary trip to the hospital later and the red-faced hack was given the all-clear … giving Bake Off competitors, including Make’s Ken Shuttleworth, licence to joke that Sellar had tried to poison one of the competition judges. Did the mishap affect the judge’s deliberations? Click here to find out.

New beginnings

Is there life after the News of the World for the scurrilous tabloid’s former journos? It appears so if the example of ex-NOTW political editor Ian Kirby is anything to go by. Kirby was the unlikely main speaker at property surveyor CBRE’s annual press lunch last Tuesday, speaking on topics such as journalism standards and the phone hacking saga. What next? Could Rebekah Brooks take a place as one of the Stirling Prize judges next year?

Hot offer

It is not often a story about a rapper is the most read article on Building’s website. But for five days last week our story about rapper Ice Cube outing himself as an architecture buff was the most popular story on Building. In a Youtube video Ice Cube revealed he studied architecture and was a big fan of legendary architects Charles and Ray Eames. Naturally, given his popularity with our readers, Building attempted to contact Mr Cube to offer him the opportunity of a one-off column in the magazine. Undeterred by his agent’s enquiry form - which stated all offers of less than $50,000 for Mr Cube’s time would be rejected - we opened the bidding with a conservative $100,000,000 offer. His agent got back to us almost instantly - to question the sincerity of our budget. The cheek!

Appy Christmas

Anyone in the construction industry who has been entertained by the Christmas cards of construction comms firm Liz Male Consulting over the years now has an opportunity to revisit five years of festive fun on their iPod or iPhone. A free app includes classics such as last year’s construction austerity ration book, complete with xmas recipes for such tasty delights as a zero-carbon soufflé and timber frame tarts. Other highlights include the design details of an eco-stable and the nativity, as told by Twitter. Search for Liz Male Consulting Christmas Showcase at the app store, made by Woobius.

Statement clothing

After the shock outcome of a successful climate change summit in Durban, in which the world’s three biggest polluters the US, India and China agreed to legally binding carbon targets for the first time, analysts were left wondering: was it the tie that clinched it? The tie in question was one sported by the UK’s energy secretary Chris Huhne on the first day of the South African conference. The tie, emblazoned with “I (heart) KP” or “I love the Kyoto Protocol”, was photographed by sustainability website BusinessGreen’s Durban blogger Jane Burston. Can we now expect more ministers to wear their policies around their necks? This column would like to know.


Source: Phil Disley