This question offends me. Every time I hear it. It's insulting and insidious, and here is why. It comes from the self-checkout machines at Sainsbury's supermarket, if you try to pay without scanning your Nectar card. The machines at Tesco have a different strategy. They entreat, "Please scan or swipe your Clubcard." There is the same intent, the same insistence, the same assumption that I wish to be a part of their covert market research campaign and have simply forgotten. And this, I don't mind. Because I am part of the system, I do carry both cards, I will willingly surrender my shopping history in exchange for a minuscule (to the point of being imaginary) discount. But there is a subtle difference between the two. Both of these only ask for my identification in the event that I have not already tendered it. And yet J Sainsbury's have decided to phrase their request in the form of a question. Not "Do you have a Nectar card?" or "
"Snickers" (still often referred to in my house as "Marathon", no matter how long ago they rebranded) are currently running a competitive promotion. They're producing two variants, named "More Nuts" and "More Caramel"; you can probably take an educated guess at the difference between them. It's probably more apparent from the labels than it is from the contents, both of which taste like ... Well, like a Snickers bar. The "More Caramel" variant is packaged in an easily-identified tan wrapper. "More Nuts", on the other hand, is either the standard Snickers brown or so close as to be indistinguishable. Certainly shop staff appear unable to tell the difference as several times now I've seen them mixed in with the standard bars. At first I had assumed both variants differed from the standard bar. However I'm no longer certain this is the case. It's possible the wrapper colouring is intended to indicate that
Guardian headline: " This is a war and we are soldiers on the front line " BBC headline: " Tensions rise in Missouri " (Edit: Since this morning the BBC headline has changed to "Anger at crackdown on protests".) There is certainly such a thing as local bias - a riot in your back yard will naturally get more coverage than the same thing on the other side of the world - and, yes, on occasion, local media will blow a local story out of all proportion because making news is what they do. I also know that following people in a certain area on Twitter will distort your channels of communication such that distance becomes less meaningful, you become more directly aware in things that aren't necessarily as significant to you, or in a global sense, as they might be. I mean far be it from me to imagine that what happens in the USA is inherently more important than, say, the cease fire in Gaza or Russian convoys advancing on the Ukraine. If we judged glo