Fight back against mundanity using the power of the iPhone. You can get a much-needed, laughter-fuelled release of endorphins from US satirical news outlet The Onion, whose free app for iPhone and Android dispenses choice headlines such as ‘Fully Validated Kanye West Retires to Quiet Farm in Iowa’. Also entertaining is FML Official (FML standing for ‘Fuck My Life’), a schadenfreude-satisfying app devoted to the worst misfortunes to befall other people. Lastly, pretend you’ve got a cameo in Tron: Legacy with the iDaft 2 app, which puts you in control of the vocoder for DIY versions of Daft Punk tracks ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’ and ‘Technologic’. List insider tip: do this with a serious face and people will think you’re reading work emails. All apps are free and available for iPhone and Android. (Jonny Ensall) Fancy developing your musical side? Both Glasgow and Edinburgh have Freecycle schemes in operation (see www.uk.freecycle.org for details), so pick yourself up a cheap/free unwanted instrument, then haste yourself along to Glasgow’s Blochestra (Bloc Bar, 117 Bath Street, contact craig@unionofknives.com) to play for free in a hotch potch (but surprisingly tuneful) rock ensemble every Monday night. In


Edinburgh give bric-a-brac haven Le Chariot Express (47 South Clerk Street) a try for a long-lost instrument, as well as almost

anything else you’d care to find.

(Niki Boyle)


There has been a noticeable craze for these little treats over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why: cupcakes provide an

instant pick-me-up for just a few pounds and pence.

Glasgow fans should head to Cupcake (70

Bell Street) where prices start from £2 for a basic individual

cupcake. In Edinburgh visit the newly opened

Bibi’s Bakery (37 Hanover

Street) where it’s

£1.50 for a single cupcake. (Barbara Adams)


By Donna Wilson, designer When I’m feeling glum I like to get in the car and drive out to the sea. My

absolute favourite spot is driving up and down the hilly, windy roads to Pennan in the north east of Scotland. It’s such a beautiful little fishing village, with a harbour and cliffs surrounding the tiny, brightly painted cottages. You can park the car at one end of the village and then walk along the beach to the other

end. On a good day the light is very special there, and I always find that the seaside breeze blows all your troubles away.


Ceremonial handshakes, bottom-spanking

initiations and goat sacrifices secret societies offer so much more than the pub quiz. Edinburgh has a particularly seamy history of clandestine clubs, yet Professor Richard

Wiseman and Dr Peter Lamont, gentleman psychologists and magicians, have revived the tradition to expand minds. With the audience maintaining anonymity behind

masks, the Edinburgh Secret Society has delivered talks on telepathy,

improving sleep patterns and how to

transform a tablecloth into a chicken. Inevitably, they’re reluctant to discuss February’s events beyond the expanding club exploring ‘the darker side of the human psyche’, suggesting you join the mailing

list at www.edinburghsecretsociety.co.uk. In Glasgow meanwhile, artists of every indiscipline will gather monthly to showcase new ideas and drink at The Not So Secret Society from Wed 16 Feb (www.rhymeswithpurple.net/secret). (Jay Richardson)

20 Jan–3 Feb 2011 THE LIST 11