Londoners were no doubt overjoyed to read the splash headline in the Evening Standard earlier this week. "Threat to key Tube lines" it yelled, before revealing that Metronet and Tube Lines were considering closing whole stretches of the network to expedite renewal work. Sound familiar? Well, Monday's piece followed up a story in The Independent on Sunday, which had followed up a smaller story in the Standard two weeks ago, which was taken from … Building's front-page three weeks ago, which revealed that entire lines may close to expedite renewal work.
A bit of a trial
Amec's work was being scrutinised by the supreme court of Belize, aka the Privy Council, last week. The firm is accused of producing a dodgy environmental impact assessment for a dam in that country. Amec denies this, but witnesses still had to spend an entire morning listening to a barrister telling three law lords about precedents, cross-party undertakings and so forth. In the afternoon, another barrister did the same. An American ecowarriorin town for the proceedings was philosphical about the longeur: "It was pretty slow going in there," he said, "but I guess that's okay – you guys watch cricket."
Pearl Fire and Security have come up with a novel way of giving to charity without it coming off their bottom line. Their initiative, called "2nd Class Friday", is based on the somewhat optimistic theory that mail posted first class on Friday will arrive on Saturday, when nobody is around to read it. If mail is posted second class on Friday it will arrive on Monday, in good time for the week ahead, and save the company a princely 8p a go. The idea is that the savings are tallied up and a cheque posted off to Pearl Fire and Security's charity of choice, the NSPCC. If postal workers vote to go on strike they might as well get really generous and donate the whole 28p.
News reaches us of the world's tackiest development in (you guessed it) Dubai. First we had "the Palm", an island tourist resort in the shape of a palm leaf that is visible from space. Now, they're planning to build another in the shape of the entire world. Take a look at the picture if you don't believe me.
Once round the spin cycle
One of the problems of selling prefab houses is that the definition of "prefab" in the public mind is "flimsy structure, possibly built out of cardboard, that is about to explode". Okay, well how about "off-site manufacture". Hmm, doesn't really get the pulse racing. John Prescott's preferred handle is "modern methods of construction", which he uses at every opportunity, but which doesn't really mean anything. Perhaps the spinners should have consulted developer Urban Splash, which has christened its upcoming Manchester modular housing scheme, MoHo – simple, trendy and John Prescott would have no trouble saying it.