Fruit machines set the scene at Chanel Haute Couture 2015

The Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2015/16 show which opened at the Grand Palais in Paris on July 7th took its inspiration from an Art Deco casino, complete with fruit machines and card tables.

As you might imagine, the show was heavily branded – to hit the jackpot on the fruit machines, you needed to line up three Chanel ‘double C’ logos, while the poker tables were personalised too.

In the absence of a ‘front row’ as you would get at a catwalk show, the VIP guests were instead invited into the room first, and seated around the gaming tables in the centre of the room.

Designer Karl Lagerfeld was the genius behind the casino-style setting, having previously staged shows in which the Grand Palais was transformed into an underwater scene and an ice palace.

But this is perhaps his most striking effort yet, capturing the Art Deco era while setting a perfectly ‘haute couture’ scene with muted lighting to cast everyone in their best light.

Regular guests were seated around the edge of the gaming floor, with the big-name celebrities at the card tables in the centre, and the Chanel-themed fruit machines flanked the main doors on an elevated perimeter circle.

Letterman’s ‘Quiz Machine’ ranked in top 5 tech

Chat show host David Letterman retired at the end of May, and to mark his departure from The Late Show, ITworld looked back at five of his greatest tech-related achievements – including the infamous Quiz Machine.

Other entries on the list include a suit of magnets, a camera strapped to a monkey, a remote-controlled hose to spray water on passers-by, and a show in which the camera shot slowly rotated through a full 360 degrees.

But The Late Show Quiz Machine is perhaps the most enduring image, thanks to its uncanny resemblance to many modern-day gaming machines of that type.

As each question was asked, three multiple-choice answers, labelled A, B and C, would be revealed – sound familiar?

These would then be hidden, before updating for the next question to be asked, while the fairly low-tech but gigantic machine also featured a one-armed bandit style reset lever.

“This big ‘device of knowledge and entertainment’ would provide answers to various questions with the help of audience members or celebrity guests,” ITworld explains.

As Letterman’s chat show career draws to a close, it’s amazing to think that a Monday-night feature dating back to the launch of Windows 95 – and which featured Bill Gates as its guest operator to promote that software – could be so close in basic design to so many modern-day quiz machine games.

How pool table hire can support healthy ageing

Our pool table hire services are not just for pubs and bars, by any means – we also provide pool tables to retirement homes, as our case study from Heyeswood Retirement Complex shows.

Keeping active is an important part of staying healthy in old age, and thanks to our pool table hire services, retirement homes can give their residents a social activity that helps them to keep fit, without being too demanding.

But you don’t have to take our word for it – research published in 2014 shows why pool tables work so well as a social activity for older people.

Danish anthropology researcher Aske Lassen published ‘Billiards, Rhythms, Collectives: Billiards at a Danish activity centre as a culturally specific form of active ageing’ in the journal Ethnologia Europaea.

Significantly, he noticed that the steady pace of cue sports means participants – including the elderly – can play for hours at a time without becoming exhausted.

“Active ageing policies create a hierarchy amongst activities, wherein constant physical activity is at the core of a healthy old age,” he wrote.

“But in billiards, activity and passivity are meticulously composed into a rhythm that enables the players to play for hours and produces a collective practice.”

This boosts the fitness benefits of cue sports like pool, snooker and billiards, as well as their social aspects too – something we’ve seen at Heyeswood, where some residents who were initially doubtful have now discovered a newfound love for pool.