Posts from date: March 2011
We have had trials, we have had tribulations, we have experienced joy and we have experienced pain but nothing compares to this week’s emotional rollercoaster. It was Emily’s week. She has never baked. We weren’t even sure she would bring anything in. Behind her back we would whisper ‘underdog’ and I personally had her down to be the loser of Maxus cake club. After my disastrous week last week, I was miserable but I always thought, ‘Hey! Don’t worry, Emily will be last.’
How wrong could one baker be.
She brought in honey cake. Little cakes tasting like heaven. We were all secretively crest-fallen. Not too sweet, but just right. Moist in the middle, a slightly crunchier exterior and an after feeling of wanting more. I hate to say it, but Emily is now one serious contender. She is the most opinionated of us all in the club and I am ashamed to say, I was hoping she would fail. She didn’t.
She called our bluff. She played the game.
Next week, the inventor of Cake Club one would say – Mr. Luke Hills. Things are hotting up - I can’t wait. Can you?
From an American girl just studying at University to an Intern at Maxus, I have definitely experienced a lot of change in the past few months. I go from Tennessee, which contrary to popular belief is not just a bunch of hillbillies drinking whisky on the front porch, to London, England, which really doesn’t have as bad of weather as Americans tend to think. All of this change that I have experienced has definitely helped me learn a lot so far; I have learned to always make sure to look both ways at least twice before crossing the street just to make sure I don’t look the wrong way, I have learned that if I want to blend in with the locals wearing a North Face jacket and Sperry’s might not be the best idea, and I have also learned that the not so pleasant looks I get on the tube aren’t anything personal, I might just want to be more conscious of how loud I am letting my conversation get next time.
My first two months in London were great, but the real London experience and the real learning that Maxus is giving me are even better. My first week at Maxus was full of jumping on to projects hoping I wouldn’t mess anything up too much while also getting to know everyone I work with. I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming company, everyone has been so nice to me and has made me feel as if I have been here for months. I also really enjoy all of the projects I have been helping with. All of these projects have been very eye opening and are helping me understand so much more about the media world than I ever thought I would know.
Maxus is making me love the media world, the people are fun, the work is interesting, and the social life is great! After the next few weeks of interning, I am not going to want to leave.
Joining the Maxus team has been a great new stage in my London experience and I am very excited to see where it takes me.
So it’s that time of year again when the nations’ tattiest briefcase is paraded around with a reverence more befitting the crown jewels.
So what’s in store for us all this time around? Here are the highlights:
* Let’s start with some good news – alcohol duty is to remain the same!
* Tobacco duty is set to increase by 2% above inflation, that’s up to 50p per pack of 20
* April’s inflation rise in fuel duty has now been postponed until 2012 and the annual 1p ‘fuel escalator’ rise has been scrapped until 2015 – a start but is it enough?
* More good news – no personal tax increases and a long term plan to merge income tax and national insurance
* Council Tax to remain the same or be reduced in 2011 across the board – given the general reduction in Council services this seems the least they can do!
* 10% inheritance tax discount……but only if you give 10% to charity
* Road tax will rise in line with inflation
* Air passenger duty to be frozen for 2011 – thumbs up, cheap fights may actually remain cheap!
* Private Jet users will have to pay a levy for the first time – looks like the Maxus Senior Management Lear Jet might have to go on the back burner!
* Corporation Tax is dropping by 2 rather than the planned 1% - nice to see the new Government isn’t biting the hand that feeds it….
* In fact Corporation Tax will be cut 1% each year for the next three, but bank levy will be adjusted so they don’t pay less tax as a result – umm, maybe not!
* And finally, possibly the best news of the day – for those of us that cycle anyway - £100m for repairing potholes…whoop!!
So overall it looks pretty good for small business and there is at least some movement in the right direction for your average consumer. I did a straw poll of the Mercedes Team to see whether the Government has done enough to reduce escalating fuel costs, and well the answers varied from ‘I don’t have a car so don’t really care’ to ‘I don’t know but there should be tax breaks for those whom speak Latin’ and ‘Chatsworth Estate rules - give things [alcohol, tobacco, petrol] to us cheaper and we’ll kill ourselves quicker and be less of a burden on society, colourful bunch…..and who says you can’t get a straight answer out of media people!
Caught out by Facebook: Why ‘Checking In’ sucks and what I really want from a location sharing serviceBy Un-named User on 23/03/2011
Last Saturday a few of us managed to book a small table in our favorite pub for the rugby. It was a 5pm kick off but we had to be there for lunch in order to have the table, so we’d said to everyone else to come down in time for kick off. Fair enough right? But inevitably there’s always someone you forget to tell. Usually this is not a big deal and more often than not goes unnoticed.
Enter Facebook Places. Whilst waiting for our food my phone pings with an email, I’ve been ‘checked in’ to the pub in question by one of my mates at the table. I think nothing off it until a while later when, yup you’ve guessed it, a friend bowls in and straight off the bat has a go that they weren’t invited and only found out we were watching the game around the corner on Facebook. An innocent mistake and I get a grilling, not after the event but during the event. Rubbish!
I want to be able to share my location but I want to have complete control over it and I really don’t want to have to remember to manually share it, especially not on a social network. Sure I could have a massive cull of who I’m ‘friends’ with on Facebook so it’s more like my phone book, sure I could probably turn off Places but why isn’t it so much easier and controllable for all of us? Why can’t I just set up groups from the contacts on my phone and select those I want to share my location with, then when out and about my location (via the GPS we all now have on our phones) is available for those I’ve selected to view, and vice versa.
Easy, controllable and useful. Not to mention the obvious benefits of being able to market offers based on real time GPS rather than manual, probably out of date, ‘check ins’.
Well, the tickets for the Olympics went on sale this week so thought it was only natural to get involved in the atmosphere and see how China started the Beijing Olympics in style. Let's hope that London lives up to such high standards.
Following Tara's fantastic heart shaped chocolate and banana cake last week, this week saw Alice's turn to cheer everyone up with a Monday cake. Or rather cakes as she turned things on their head and went for a cupcake formation. Interestingly they were banana flavour (I use that term loosely) which was a surprise considering she berated Tara for exactly that last week. Anyway thanks for the cakes Alice and who knows you might be Come Cake With Me Winner*
On Tuesday the 8th of March it was National Women’s day. Hurrah!
As we all know, the Suffragettes campaigned for women's right to vote and International Women's Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women's success, and reminds of issues still to be redressed.
The first ever International Women’s day was held on the 8th March 1911, so this year the Metro decided to run a poll of who the British public think has been / is the most influential LONDON women over the last 100 years. The competition was tough. You had Princess Diana, Tracey Emin, Emmeline Pankhurst (leader of the Suffragettes) Dame Judi Dench and Margaret Thatcher. Any one of these women undoubtedly could be called the Century’s Most influential woman but who did we pick? With a staggering 70.9% of the votes, we picked Leona Lewis, 2006 X Factor Winner.
As a slight feminist (when I say slight, I like a man to open a door for me but hell no, he shouldn’t get paid more than me) I find this disgusting. Disgusting that the Metro even put her in and disgusting that we voted her the winner.
So, although I am very proud to be a London women, I am very ashamed that Leona Lewis is at the top of our lists. My heart is bleeding – Baboom.
This was done with a digital SLR camera at over 2,000 frames a second, production doesn't always need to be expensive for amazing results.
As we were having a quick cup of tea the other week, someone (um Luke) came up with the fantastic idea to start a Maxus Monday Cake Club. After all, who likes Mondays and who doesn't like cake?
In true, Come Dine With Me style, we meet at 11.30 for a quick sampling and are anonymously voting each week based on the two criteria of taste and appearance. Votes go into a sealed envelope and at the end the winner is revealed. Prize is TBC - but it might involve cake.
Kate Milligan was up first with a fantastic white chocolate and raspberry number, which had only fallen apart slightly. Still it tasted great. This week was Tara's turn and she outdid herself with a chocolate and banana cake, shaped into a heart! Alice wasn't too keen on the banana element but hey it's her turn next week so we're expecting big non banana-ry things.......we'll keep you posted!
Is this the future of smartphones and tech, if so start forming an orderly queue...