Please mind the gag

Paul Raven @ 04-05-2011

Continuing my fascination with the non-destructive redecoration of urban public spaces, here’s something very Brit-centric – indeed, very London-centric, though I expect similar culturehacks would (and probably already do) take place in other metropoli. Stickers On The Central Line does what it says on the tin, using the familiar names and iconography of tube maps to poke fun at topical issues [via Duncan Geere]. Some of the gags may be a bit too Brit for non-citizens to grok, but some of them are pretty universal:

Central Line tube map sticker hack

I’m going to be heading to London a lot more frequently in the near future, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for these. If anyone knows of similar satires in other cities around the world, please pipe up in the comments! Might be fun to do a compilation post…


Busted: guerrilla stem-cell crackdown?

Paul Raven @ 08-08-2009

Via the girls and boys of grinding.be comes a report that police have raided and closed down an underground Budapest clinic offering unspecified stem cell therapies of a dubious nature. Legitimate stem-cell researchers are speaking out in response, calling for proper controls but trying to de-emphasise the “they do scary weird stuff with dead babies OMGZ” angle:

“Many of us have been deeply concerned about some of the clinics that are offering untested, and often illogical ‘stem cell’ treatments,” he says. “They take advantage of desperate individuals or their family members, charging them large sums of money for procedures that are unlikely to work, may in fact be dangerous, and may use cells of dubious origin.”

Lovell-Badge advises people to seek help from doctors, patient groups, disease societies, and charities, and to “thoroughly check the clinic and the procedures on offer before gambling away your money and hope.”

Yeah, because it’s easy to stop people doing that, isn’t it? You only have to look at cosmetics advertising to see that people will believe whatever they want to believe, and the facts be damned; the cult of youth and health will ensure clinics like this are a viable business for a long time yet to come, I suspect.