Digital publications should be consulted on the future shape of media regulation, the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post
I am a huge fan of Christmas. If I had my way, we'd have Christmas at least twice a year, if not more. I even like Christmas pudding. And Christmas cake. And mince pies. (Although not sprouts, I don't get the point of sprouts.)
The cold snap this week may have upset those of us who have to wait on freezing cold train platforms for delayed trains (three times this week, three times!), but retailers were thanking their lucky Christmas stars as finally the mountains of scarves, gloves and triple-knit jumpers - slightly dusty given they've been there since at least September - finally started to shift. In years gone past, the British high street has collectively blamed snow, wind and hail for keeping shoppers at home, but you could practically hear the sigh of relief along Oxford Street as the chill drove people in through shop doors not just in search of Christmas presents, but winter clothes for themselves, too.
Hackgate, riots, the Eurozone crisis...it's hardly been the most uplifting of years, which is why I'm delighted to announce the launch today of two new Huffington Post UK sites - Celebrity and Culture - both of which are guaranteed to lighten and brighten your day. Whether you're after a quick-fix of Hollywood gossip, or some more high-brow cultural musings (or perhaps a bit of both?) these new additions to the HuffPost UK family will be providing news, views, blogs and features to entertain, make you laugh, and ensure you have plenty to talk about at your next dinner party.
The last time a Benetton advert was shocking, I was still at school and the height of sophistication was having one of the brand's brightly coloured T-shirts, emblazoned with the company logo, for non-uniform days. Back then it was naked, screaming newborns making headlines. This week, kissing world leaders thrust the fashion brand back into the limelight and reminded us that, in some areas at least, we are still capable of being taken aback by pictures alone, albeit in this case ones that have been manipulated and photo-shopped to within an inch of their lives.
Is any one of the (nearly) seven billion of us getting on right now? Whether you follow the money markets, keep an eye on Westminster, or just disagree with your other half over whether X Factor is better or worse this year, disagreements have been high on the agenda over the past seven days. For David Cameron at least, the week didn't get off to the best of starts with his backbenchers in revolt over Europe - even if he finally got the vote he needed to stave off that referendum decision for another day.
After watching Occupy Wall Street from afar since mid-September (and being kept up-to-date on Twitter thanks to HuffPost US senior editor Craig Kannelly's constant stream of tweets), last weekend saw the protest move to London. We had editors there throughout the week (Business Editor Pete Guest even turning photographer for us while on the scene), but unsurprisingly many of our bloggers had opinions to share on the topic, too.
Twitter has been a slightly quieter place this week, thanks to those Blackberry users amongst us being cut off from our means of 24/7 access. I think I actually used the phrase "it feels like I'm missing an arm" on Monday afternoon (don't worry, the person I was speaking to told me to get over myself). By Thursday, there were people in the office coming round to the altered way of working. 'I left mine on my desk last night. And went home. Without it. I haven't checked my emails in over 12 hours!' Someone admitted to me, incredulous at their own behaviour, on the tube travelling in. Plenty more, it should be said by this stage had simply traded their handsets in for something else.
I was reading American Elle last weekend (there's an advantage to reading fashion magazines from overseas: I'm physically unable to access most of the clothes they tell me I should buy), however, for once it wasn't the shopping pages that stopped me in my tracks, it was the editor's letter. In it, editor-in-chief Robbie Myers had suggested that rather than use the word feminist, women should start referring to themselves as feminine-istas. I can see where she's coming from, fashion it up and perhaps we'd all be less embarrassed about labeling ourselves as such. But why should we feel embarrassed in the first place?
One of my Twitter followers, @CallumJonesBlog, suggested that instead of writing my blog this week, I could possibly get away with. "Carla is away drinking Pimm's in the sun". Which, right now, sounds a rather fantastically brilliant idea. Instead I want to blog about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which kicked off yesterday and, if you're a woman, you probably identified by all the pale pink beauty products flooding the shelves of your local Boots, promising a percentage of profits to such-and-such a charity.