The silver tongues of the industry have been a-wagging of late, and would have you believe that the Titanic is unsunk, Paul is John and the RICS never changes its mind

And I quote …

The RICS may be gearing up to part ways with the Construction Industry Council, but it was not so long ago that its senior officers were singing the praises of the umbrella body. In a publication launched to mark CIC’s 20th birthday last year, the then RICS president Peter Goodacre lauded the organisation as the “acknowledged voice of the construction industry”. He went further: “In the current turbulent economic times CIC’s future role as a cohesive and informative body ensures that it will remain centre stage.” How short memories are – and how helpful written records.

And next: the iBore x 102

Mott MacDonald wins Hansom’s prize for being the most “down with the kids” firm in the industry. The engineering consultant truly arrived in the digital age this week when it launched an iPhone application, trendily named iHop>2, which aims to give road users real-time traffic and travel information in England and Wales. Tellingly, the firm referred to it as “the consultancy’s first ever application for iPhone”, so I assume more are in the pipeline. I wonder what will be next – real-time updates on Crossrail? It would take a seriously trendy name to make that one sound interesting.

The ship that launched 1,000 careers

The ship that launched 1,000 careers

If you have ever dreamed of your name written in lights, look no further. Twenty Twenty Television is seeking construction industry professionals to take part in a primetime TV event: the reconstruction of the Titanic. A team of eminent architects, designers and engineers are wanted to rebuild parts of the infamous vessel. No background in shipbuilding is required, but I fancy a number of our readers may have other appropriate experiences to draw on – that is, of the sinking kind. Colleagues in Dubai, take particular note.

Gary Sharpps, MP

If shadow housing minister Grant Shapps was trying to make an impression on the green building sector, he could have done better than getting the name of its most powerful operator wrong. Throughout his address to Building’s Making Sustainable Development Happen conference, he referred to UK Green Building Council chief executive, Paul King (with whom he has shared a platform several times) as “John”; cue the sound of 500 sets of toes curling within sandals throughout the hall.

And despite the moderator, shadow energy minister Greg Clark, clearly addressing King by his real first name later on in the event, Shapps didn’t learn from his error: seeing King’s PR guy, John Alker, backstage, he asked him: “Where’s the other John?”

I saw the sign

“That’s Asda” might be the food giant’s favourite phrase, but it’s not always strictly accurate. Apparently its head office in Leeds, located near the city centre, has done such a good job of projecting the brand of late that members of the public are often tricked into thinking it is an actual store. Office staff are regularly forced to deal with confused and sometimes irate would-be shoppers looking for the food aisles. Some bemused individuals have even been known to vault over the security barriers in their quest to find the fruit and veg …

Vote of no confidence

Conversation in the engineering department at Cambridge university must be pretty bleak. “The last thing I thought I would hear today was technological optimism,” said Peter Guthrie at a conference on the future of cities last week. The thing is Peter Guthrie is professor of engineering of sustainable development at one of the world’s most important universities. If he can say that he has no faith in the ability of engineers to solve society’s problems for future generations, we are certainly in a bit of a pickle.