Anna Pickard has the great idea of collecting "made up" names for online social networking sites (Guardian TV and radio blog). Some of these are already in existing TV series, some she has made up and says "are available for future use". My favourites: FacePlace (Law and Order); B-Frienz (used, but she does not say where); Blibber (made up – perfect for a murder mystery set around microblogging); MeNet and Twatty (both made up, surprisingly). I'll have to have a go at this game – NetShare? Rosy Curtains? ChatterBlog? OK, I give up – I am sure others are better at this than I am – but not the commenters to Anna's post, who are mostly a puerile lot.
Two new (non-crime fiction) books out: Justine Picardie has written a chapter of In Bed With…., but like her fellow contributors, she has not signed hers. Apparently there is much fun going on among readers trying to match the authors to their work. And Brian Clegg's latest work of science, Ecologic, is now "on the shelves", as he puts it. Ecologic is about the reality behind the green police – examples include why plastic carrier bags are better than biodegradable ones, why carbon offsets will have no effect on the planet, and how a BMW 3 series is better for the environment than a Toyota Prius hybrid car. I can imagine a lot of people who are going to love this book, at least one of whom is no longer in office.
Bryan Appleyard is looking to his readers to identify "the best blogs in the world" – do go over and nominate one or two (he knows everyone will put their own first, so you are allowed two nominations). Please aim upmarket, he says. If this is a prelude to a newspaper article or book, I look forward to reading his synthesis. In the meantime, here's a gem from one of his commenters: "female blogs are for making friends and saying how nice everything is and talking about all the things you like and making it look like your life is idyllic; and male blogs are for arguing."
I'd love this if it wasn't so tragic. Daniel Finkelstein at Comment Central, the Times blog, is on the look out for an even more stupid idea than Elton John's suggestion of turning off the Internet. He has come up with a priceless police initiative: officers are visiting areas with high vehicle crime, identifying "vulnerable" vehicles, and putting a sticker on them to indicate the fact – with boxes ticked, telling the owner exactly where they are insecure. Tell me it isn't real. This information comes via the Inspector Gadget blog – apparently a real policeman, but for some strange reason writing anonymously. I might check it out for a bit if it is always this good.