Longform Best-of, Picnic Butler, Green Ikea, FB Threat, & Costume Drama

1. Regularly updated Instapaper best-of: Give Me Something To Read

2. Picnic Butler Service, for Amsterdam Park, via Springwise

3. Brands Steering Everything Social Through Facebook Will do Themselves More Harm Than Good. Contagious opinion

4. Men Dressed As Penguins Try to Fill Buckets With Water, on a Moving Roundabout. From 1974. I nearly wet myself laughing.

5. Ikea: Green Tech Investment & Retail Clout. From FutureThink.

FA Cup Suggestions

The Cricket World Cup is coming to an end. Four years ago, in the West Indies, it was slated as dull and drawn out; this time, the verdict so far is more positive. Other than moving to the  knockout stage a little earlier, not much has changed. Fuller stadiums, passionate fans and a few close games seem have done the trick. But that could all change given a one-sided, India-free final.

The FA Cup is in a similar position, and is undergoing review. Attendances are down and it’s slipped from must-see to might-see. Unlike the Cricket World Cup, it has continuous competition from domestic, European and international football. One good year won’t buck the downward trend. Time for some drastic changes:

  • Lower ranked teams are always given home field advantage
  • In event of a draw, penalties to decide venue of the replay
  • In event of a drawn replay, teams are reduced by one man for extra time. Opposing managers decide which man to take off. Teams reduced by a further man for second period of extra time. Then penalties
  • Match ticket prices are same as price of admission to a local cinema
  • Away fans are offered 20% of the ground
  • Clubs can sell shirt sponsorship for each match, separate to their League sponsorship deal
  • Semi-finals played at nearby neutral ground – no schlepping down to Wembley for northern teams
  • Final to include Superbowl-style half-time show; pre-match to include penalty taking/Total Wipeout-style competition for one supporter from each of the last 64 teams, with £1m prize for winner
  • For the final, the goal is 10% larger than standard; goal-line technology is used and managers are allowed to challenge a maximum of 3 decisions with instant in-game video review

The FA have these, gratis.

 

Bike Tracks

This morning’s bike blast – the sun coming up, not a breath of wind, and the Mersey all to myself, was soundtracked by:

The Contours, Just A Little Misunderstanding
Frank Wilson, Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Jackie Wilson, Higher & Higher
MGMT, Time To Pretend
Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now
The Source/Candi Staton, You’ve Got The Love

Perfect.