Frisk #186

Holy hell, it’s Frisk #186! The A186 is the road that connects Newcastle-upon-Tyne with North Shields. Y’know, if you ever need it.


Instagram restaurant thing
Here’s an incredible stat for you: at a Cuban restaurant in San Francisco by the name of Media Noche, the average customer spends ten minutes taking photos before ordering food. Ten minutes. Average. Isn’t that nuts?
OK, I say ‘incredible’, but to Generation Y it really isn’t that odd at all. Today’s ultra-connected youth spend five whole days a year browsing food photos on social platforms and 30% say they’d actually avoid a restaurant that didn’t have a good Instagram presence.
Eateries, then, have to up their game. Not only does their food have to be presented perfectly, but the décor of the place needs to be tip-top too – people aren’t going to get likes and shares from limp fries and crumbling Artex.
At Bellota, another San Francisco eatery, they’ve installed adjustable lights to help their patrons get the perfect shot. Presumably their food tastes good too, although maybe that doesn’t matter.

USB spinner thing
I’ve tried to get on with Arcade Fire, I really have. On paper, there’s no reason for me not to like them, all the right ingredients are there – but it’s hard work sometimes, and music shouldn’t feel like work.
They’ve done something borderline unforgivable now, though. They’ve released their latest album on a fidget spinner. For reals.
Now, no-one wants to be made to feel old. When Radiohead recently reissued OK Computer (immediately filling up my Facebook feed with people saying ‘OMG I can’t believe that was released twenty years ago’ SHUT UP THAT’S HOW TIME WORKS), they included a mixtape, thereby making those of us who actually still listen to cassettes feel like ridiculous dinosaurs. But what Arcade Fire have done is even worse. I didn’t even really know what a fidget spinner was until my 5-year-old came home with one. Releasing an album on one couldn’t be any less appropriate for those of us who’ve somehow managed to live into our mid-thirties without crumbling to dust. And also, it doesn’t even work properly as a fidget spinner, as the USB bit pokes out too far. And it costs SEVENTY-NINE POUNDS.
This is a gimmick too far. You’ve lost me, Arcade Fire.

Rural social thing
Last weekend my neighbours and I had a street party. A real-world opportunity to actually get out and talk to them rather than just nodding as they pass on the way to work. And we didn’t organise it by knocking on doors or having a meeting – no, it was all sorted via WhatsApp. All the neighbours are in the group, so we could arrange a date, time, who’d bring a barbecue, who’d buy the beer, and so on. Modern, huh?
This, it turns out, is a wider behaviour that’s helping rural communities across the UK stay together and retain their village identities. Take the town of Buckingham, for example: over half of the residents are in a Facebook group that keeps them all connected like a digital bulletin board. They use it to discuss local matters, arrange events and get-togethers, buy and sell things, and basically reinforce a sense of community.
Sure, we may all be fiddling around with our phones and looking down a lot more these days, but it can be a conduit to increased human interaction. And that can only be a good thing.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

2nd August 2017