Sarah Britten

What makes somebody interesting? (Or boring?)

Do you consider yourself interesting? A good conversationalist, perhaps? Someone others enjoy talking to? The other day I was bemoaning the relentless dullness of so many of the people I meet — especially young women — and I started to wonder what makes people interesting. Dinner party-worthy, say. Or not. I work in an industry…

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Would reducing the legal limit save lives?

So the AA — that’s the Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous — is calling for the legal blood-alcohol limit to be reduced to the equivalent of one beer an hour, effectively halving it. This was in response to the tragic deaths of two Outsurance pointsmen who were on their way to the 702 Walk the…

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The enduring mystery of mascara ads

All right, I’ll admit it. I’m stumped. There’s a mascara ad on TV. Revlon or L’Oreal or Max Factor, I’m not sure, they all look the same, but it features that actress from Desperate Housewives, who tells us that this product gives lashes 12 times more volume. Twelve times! Imagine that. How do they measure…

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Are you ashamed of your cellphone?

Until very recently, I was ashamed of my cellphone. The iPhone I brought with me from Australia wouldn’t work here, so I was forced to use a Nokia 66somethingorother from 19voetsek. It was terrible. No ability to surf the web. No GPS. Clunky design. Terrible sound, so that I wondered whether I was going deaf…

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Are you a workaholic?

Hi everyone. My name is Sarah, and I am a workaholic. This is nothing new; I always was a workaholic. My life and outlook always has been dominated entirely by the notion of Getting Things Done. Oh, there was the day job (which, in advertising, is frequently a night job too). I consider my books…

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Do you have moments of shopping madness?

Have you ever bought something and wondered why? Ever known you are about to pay far too much for something and not cared? Found yourself reaching up to take something off the supermarket shelf despite yourself, as if trapped in a waking dream? I devote quite a large proportion of my time to understanding why…

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Should South African newspapers be grateful to Telkom?

The other morning on 702 I heard the news that the parent company of the Independent Newspaper Group is deep in the dwang, scrambling for funding to keep going in the wake of crashing advertising revenues. The same report noted that Independent’s newspapers in South Africa are still very profitable. So South African newspapers seem…

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Be honest. Are big boobs better?

The other day, while checking the news on the Sydney Morning Herald website, I happened across this story. It’s about how a spectacularly tasteless Greek wedding in Sydney, spread to Facebook and then across the world, passed on by those of us who treasure chav* culture in all its rich and varied forms. Have a…

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Could Twitter be a tool for nation-building?

The other night, as I checked up the news on Twitter and added a tweet of my own (from which David Bullard has mercifully been shielded) something struck me. So many of the people I follow on Twitter had made comments about the Bafana Bafana/Brazil match. There was a real sense of shared experience, of…

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Pedestrians and other road hazards

“The people in this town only know the pace of the cow,” said my aunt, who lives in Pietermaritzburg. She was responding to my husband’s moans about the way the locals took as long as possible to cross the road, so that they were still strolling along the tarmac long after the lights had turned…

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