Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail.
Best known as the drummer for 1970s punk band The Damned, Rat Scabies grew up with a father interested in the mysteries of the French town of Rennes-le-Château
, which may or may not contain the Holy Grail and in the enigmatic priest Berenger Sauniere
. Conspiracy theories surrounding the town first popped up in the 1970s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail
and gained a certain amount of infamy in recent years from The DaVinci Code
Upon striking up a friendship with his neighbor, journalist Christopher Dawes, Scabies discovered common interests in conspiracy theories and all things paranormal and a shared hatred of the DaVinci Code
. Now the pair wrote a book about their alcohol-sodden quest for the Holy Grail that asks the question: What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?
posted by huskerdont
on Sep 16, 2005 -
You say bodyline
, I say leg theory
. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands
to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series
posted by nthdegx
on Aug 15, 2005 -
The Williamson Tunnels
"The explanation most commonly offered [for the construction of the tunnels] is that having risen from humble beginnings, the rich retired merchant was touched by the poverty which pervaded the Edge Hill district and offered construction labour to the unemployed as a gesture of generosity"
posted by dhruva
on Aug 2, 2005 -
Police evacuate Birmingham centre
West Midlands police have evacuated the second largest city in England tonight as a precautionary measure. Sky News are reporting
that a series of controlled explosions (I heard on Sky News TV that one of these was on a bus, but this may be innacurate) have been carried out in the Broad Street area.
I hope that any and all UK MeFi-ites in Birmingham are keeping sane through out all this.
posted by tomcosgrave
on Jul 9, 2005 -
Oh! that I were a T---d, a T---d,
Hid in this secret Place,
That I might see my Betsy's A----,
Though she sh--t me in my Face.
(Written under this in a Woman's Hand)
'Tis Pity but you had your Wish, E. W.
Boghouse (public toilet) poetry from 18th century london.
posted by Kickstart70
on Jun 26, 2005 -
(mostly pictures, slightly more info here
). One car, two men, three decades of rust. Guy buys truly hideous 1957 prototype car from junkyard, restores it to gleaming unsightliness. Conne_ticut?
posted by planetkyoto
on Mar 30, 2005 -
What do Norman Cook (AKA Fat Boy Slim), Lord (Richard) Attenborough, Aubrey Beardsley, Lord (Laurence) Olivier, Sir Winston Churchill, Magnus Volk, Dame Anna Neagle, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Rowland Hill
and Annie Nightingale,
have in common?
They've all had a bus named after them [full list here]
in the city of Brighton & Hove on the south coast of England. In Jamaica the buses are named a little more irreverently
but this whole naming tradition doesn't seem to be as popular as naming trains with the late Joe Strummer
one of the latest in a long line. Pix of the Stummer train here. [Scroll down a bit.]
Anyone live in a place where they name their buses? Or other inanimate objects?
posted by i_cola
on Mar 18, 2005 -
The Mitchell and Kenyon collection
consists of 800 rolls of nitrate film documenting scenes of everyday life in England between 1900 and 1913. This extraordinary archive, now painstakingly restored
by the British Film Institute, includes footage of trams, soup kitchens, factory gates, football matches, seaside holidays and much else besides. Here are some sample images
and a short clip of workers at a Lancashire colliery
, all astonishingly evocative and reminiscent (to me) of Philip Larkin's poem MCMXIV
: 'The crowns of hats, the sun / On moustachioed archaic faces / Grinning as if it were all / An August Bank Holiday lark .. Never such innocence, / Never before or since .. Never such innocence again.'
posted by verstegan
on Jan 7, 2005 -
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
is published today, in print and online: a biographical record of everyone who's ever been anyone in British history (50,000 individuals) and an astonishing feat of scholarly collaboration (10,000 contributors from all over the world). Access to the full database is fearfully expensive, but the official site gives you a good selection of sample entries
, with a new one added every day; and a feature in today's Times
gives you some more
, beginning with Mary Toft, the woman who gave birth to rabbits.
posted by verstegan
on Sep 23, 2004 -
English Accents and Dialects.
The British Library has compiled an online archive of northern speech dating back to the 19th century. The recordings range from from audio from Victorian cylinder dictaphones to 1950s football fans chanting.
posted by Masi
on Aug 1, 2004 -
Rude place names.
If you're in England then this is for you. Please bare with us rest of the world, this is what we really like in our humour (at least it in Kilburn). If you're not in England then feel free to use my postcode, NW2. Ooooo, titter ye not
(and who will be the first wag to post "not"?)
posted by ciderwoman
on Jun 28, 2004 -
The deportation of an English village to Australia. BBC article with links to other interesting articles on immigration and emigration on the page.
posted by plep
on Jun 20, 2004 -
It's time to send the team home:
"England has bred a contemporary culture of immoderation at every level, with particular reference to drinking and fighting. The recent Panorama
programme on weekend binge-drinking in city centres provided a wake-up call, as should the novelist Andrew O'Hagan's admirable essay
on current British attitudes to masculinity, reprinted in yesterday's G2." (via The Guardian)
posted by n o i s e s
on Jun 17, 2004 -
displays an exhaustive list
of little-known rock bands seen live by the proprietor. With photos and a near-functional guestbook. UK-centric.
posted by LionIndex
on Jun 15, 2004 -
'is an institution that often evokes the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist
, but its story is also a fascinating mixture of social history, politics, economics and architecture.'
posted by plep
on Mar 3, 2004 -
for conspiracists with time on their hands... But can square-jawed MeFites figure out what happened here?
Remember, Captain Scarlet is indestructible...
posted by klaatu
on Jan 5, 2004 -
Johannes Matthaeus Koelz: A Life Divided.
An artist who escaped to England from Nazi Germany. From the exhibition
'Koelz, a painter, was living in a small cottage in the Bavarian forest estate of Hohenbrunn. One morning he travelled to nearby Munich on a routine visit to police headquarters to renew his exit visa for a planned trip to Italy.'
'At some point during the following night Koelz instructed a young man from the local woodmill to take his major work - a triptych which had occupied him since the early 1930s and cut it into pieces. He left Hohenbrunn at dawn, arranging for his family to follow ... It was the first stop on a journey that would take them to England. '
'Meanwhile the state police had raided their home and interrogated family members left behind. They were searching for the painter and his triptych, a massive anti-war painting which not only questioned the horrors of war but also the rising power of the Nationalist Socialist Party and by implication, its leader, Adolf Hitler.''Thou Shalt Not Kill'
, Koelz's tryptych.Timeline
posted by plep
on Dec 12, 2003 -
'The museum was founded in 1882 when objects of local interest began to gather in the field where the museum now stands, due to the natural action of the wind and rain. '
'In 1886, visionary Whoft philanthropist, Manimal MacCorkindale proposed building some walls around the objects, forming Framley's first museum.
A door fitted in 1932 cemented the museum's popularity.'
Courtesy of the mighty Framley Examiner.
posted by plep
on Dec 3, 2003 -
Pick your poison: highbrow
(virtual tour of 10 Downing Street), or lowbrow
(virtual tour of the White House). Hint: one of these is funny.
posted by taz
on Oct 25, 2003 -
Forget British. Define English.
The perennial ex-pat and honorary Yank Christopher Hitchens
may not be the best Englishman to define it - though his embarrassingly reactionary brother Peter
is even less suited - but at least he has a go. For everyone else in the world, there are the Scottish, the Welsh, even the Northern Irish - all strong nationalities in their own right, each one older and more culturally solid than the slightly French, slightly German and slightly Dutch English. So why persist, in this post-imperialist day and age, in the myth of the Brit? If it is
a myth. Americans, whether from the U.S. or Canada, certainly continue to buy into it. Or is it, for the rest of the world, too dangerous for the English - with devolution raging - to find their own, muddied identity? Think of those football hooligans and their grotesque politics, St.George face-masks and flags. (Via Arts And Letters Daily.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Oct 17, 2003 -