Welcome to the latest On the Podium blog, highlighting the top three things that have amused and diverted us over the past seven days. We’ve been a bit deep and meaningful recently, so it’s a relief to place some slightly more lowbrow items On the Podium this week.

Also, it gives us great pleasure to introducing a new feature, the Podium SEO Word of the Week. As tempting as it was to make ‘spunk’ the word of the week (see below), we also learned the word ‘cucumiform’, meaning ‘that which resembles a cucumber’. The definition notes the importance of the tapering end.

Podium SEO word of the week: Cucumiform


Moving swiftly on, here are this week’s On the Podium entries:

Third place: Bill Murray

Erm… just because. Bill Murray hasn’t done anything special this week that we’re aware of, aside from continuing to be one of Hollywood’s coolest actors.

However, he’s in our thoughts for three reasons generally this month. Firstly, he is the star of one the all-time great Christmas films, Scrooged. If you’re not at least a tiny bit choked at the end, you’re basically dead inside.

Secondly, he is starring in a Christmas special on Netflix, which we’re very excited about. It may be terrible, but that’s possibly part of the charm. Also, I have a massive soft spot for any ideas that start with a pun and work backwards from there, as this one clearly did.

Finally, he is the subject of a new exhibition at the Baltic art gallery in Gateshead. Bill Murray: a story of distance, size and sincerity is an exhibition by Brian Griffiths, it’s free to enter, and it is running until the end of February 2016.

Second place: Mark Zuckerberg

If this blog was written on Wednesday morning, Zuckerberg would have been number one; sadly he was quickly ousted by our eventual winner. Either way, the decision by Zuckerberg to give an estimated $45bn to worthy causes, is an astounding one, and he deserves all the plaudits that come his way.

It’s easy to be cynical when it comes to multi-billionaires and everything they do, and, in typical fashion, many corners of the internet managed to find reasons to criticise the decision.

Look, the fact is, it’s his money. If he wants to use it try to build a scale replica of the planet Earth out of Lego, that’s his prerogative. But he didn’t; he’s giving 99% of his shares in Facebook to worthy causes.

Good work, and narrowly missed out on being on Podium’s top spot, to…

First place: Spunk

Looking for a brand name that’ll really stick? An Indian sportswear manufacturer thinks it has it cracked. The firm Futurebrands captured a lot of media attention this week launched a new range of clothing and footwear, called Spunk.

Yep. Spunk. As you can see, this shoe has spunk on its tongue:


Sadly, the original meaning of ‘spunk’ – gutsy, brave – has developed with time to become a euphemism for semen. This fact is lost on most folk outside the UK, which is what has led to this.

I was going to write extensively here about the perils of not carrying out thorough market research, of ensuring brand names translate well to a number of markets, etc… but I can’t. LOOK! IT’S CALLED SPUNK!

Off the Podium

There is little worse in life than people who can’t laugh at themselves, which is why the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is well and truly Off the Podium this week. He has been threatening to imprison people for sharing a meme which compares his physical appearance to Gollum, the split-personality character from Lord of the Rings.

It is therefore with great pleasure that we re-post the meme here. Come at us, Prime Minster Erdogan.