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May the road rise up to meet you.

The Roader’s Digest is ‘the most complete archive of information on the British and Irish road networks on the web.’ from the A1 to the R999; from the B3306 to the B855, they probably have a description of it. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on May 6, 2014 - 20 comments

It matters to me

In March 1993 Bikini Kill toured the UK. "It Changed My Life" is a film about that tour, with openers Huggy Bear, & contributions by the Raincoats, Sister George, and Skinned Teen. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 26, 2014 - 14 comments

Lord Cobham was burnt alive, but I forget what for

15 year old Jane Austen wrote a satrical history of English monarchs and now you can read it.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 25, 2014 - 19 comments

American Deep Blues Touring 1960's Britain

The American Folk Blues Festival 1962 - 1966; Vol 2; Vol 3 - The festival was an annual event with dozens of classic blues greats like Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf playing to appreciative UK audiences. "Attendees at Manchester in 1962, the first ever venue for the festival in Britain, included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Jimmy Page. Subsequent attendees at the first London festivals are believed to have also included such influential musicians as Eric Burdon, Eric Clapton, and Steve Winwood. Collectively these were the primary movers in the blues explosion that would lead to the British Invasion." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 23, 2014 - 19 comments

STRENGTH YOUR BLOOD AND SHADOW

At first sight the search for peace and stability in Iraq, and the search for physical and mental fitness in the extreme contortions of modern Yoga seem to have absolutely nothing in common. But curiously they do. Both the terrible structural problems and distortions that underly Iraqi society today, and the strange, contorted poses that millions of people perform every day in things like Bikram's Hot Yoga, actually come from the fevered imagination of the British ruling class one hundred years ago. As they felt Britain's power declining they wanted desperately to go back into the past and create a purer and more innocent world, uncorrupted by the messiness of the modern industrial world - a new Eden forged both by strengthening and purifying the human body and by inventing new model countries round the world. And we are still suffering from the consequences of that terrible nostalgia. BODYBUILDING AND NATION-BUILDING
posted by timshel on Feb 4, 2014 - 11 comments

SPINE CHILLING

BRITISH "GHOST TRAIN" FACADES FROM THE 1970s AND 80s
(from the National Fairground Archive digital collection)
posted by timshel on Jan 16, 2014 - 12 comments

You'll probably want your winter wetsuit

Icy weather getting you down? How about a nice relaxing beach holiday? The same weather pattern bringing Antarctic temperatures to America is pushing Himalayan surf towards Europe. With storm swell battering coastlines from Portugal to Cornwall, big-wave specialists from around the world are flocking to the unlikely surf mecca of Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Apparently it's been pretty intense... "Down there was living repeatedly rabbit punched while diving in the deep!" [more inside]
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show on Jan 8, 2014 - 17 comments

Ask: did you know they have wi-fi and sushi?

How to write about the North
posted by mippy on Nov 28, 2013 - 63 comments

UK: there's a big storm, a 'hurricane', coming (possibly)

The 'worst storm since 1987' is due to hit the UK over the next few days. It may also hit 'northern France and the Low Countries'. It may be 'overwhelming' and 'there is a risk of some parts getting two inches of rain in a six hour period'. The Met Office has warned that 'England and Wales will be hit by a significant storm on Sunday night with winds of up to 80mph in some areas'. They also said the predicted storm was 'not one you would see every year' and that 'exceptional winds will batter Surrey'. Drivers are advised to 'at a minimum, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.' Some media outlets claim, however, the storm will only be the worst of the last five year, though in Bristol it'll be the worst in 'two decades'. Never the less, 'stay well away from trees'. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 26, 2013 - 164 comments

Who Sits On All The Money?

The Guardian presents an animated video explaining the distribution of wealth in the UK (and how it's getting worse).
posted by The Whelk on Oct 10, 2013 - 14 comments

"Your two o'clock appointment is here, and he's black."

Fifty years ago, another bus-centric race dispute took place. Despite "Just 12 miles away in Bath, black crews were working on buses. London Transport recruitment officers had travelled to Barbados specifically to invite workers to come to the capital" ...non-whites found it impossible to obtain employment working on buses in Bristol, England. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Aug 27, 2013 - 11 comments

Rupert Everett, Really Into Dead Victorian Dreamboats

In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer ( 2 3 4 5 ), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2013 - 52 comments

The Underpants Revolution and other stories from the past...

"Whereas yesterday's Cora Pearl was eccentric, charming and a little cold-hearted, today's Victorian courtesan, La Païva, is straight-up eerie. Like, so eerie that a lot of people thought she was a vampire. My hand to Baby Jesus, people actually believed she was a supernatural being. " Bizarre Victoria shares (what else) bizarre, scandalous, and noteworthy stories form the Victorian era (and more). What do you serve at a country club for fat men? Devil's footprints! Lola Montez: servant whipper, de facto ruler of Bavaria. Empress Sissi and her No Good Very Bad Life. Aristocratic marriage at gunpoint. Public pubic hair trimming. Specialties of the Victorian Brothel. Curing hiccups by setting your shirt on fire. Gilded Age Arranged Marriages.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 3, 2013 - 8 comments

His home is his castle

This St. George's Day sees news of the next attempt to redress Britain's superhero shortage: Englishman, who looks like Iron Man crossed with a mediaeval crusader. The series promises “brand new, quintessentially English characters, including Greenbelt and Dry Stone Wall”. [more inside]
posted by acb on Apr 23, 2013 - 119 comments

Meet The Edwardians

"This video has been dramatically enhanced in quality, using modern video editing tools. The film has been motion stabilized and the speed has been slowed down to correct speed (from 18 fps to 24 fps) using special frame interpolation software that re-creates missing frames." Watch corrected and cleaned footage of circa 1900s London and Cork (5 min 35 sec). (via)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 18, 2013 - 112 comments

There were four in the bed and the little one said "squeeze up"

From April 2013 all working-age housing benefit claimants will experience a reduction in their benefit if their home has what is termed a 'spare bedroom'. Some people have a problem with this, and it is believed it will plunge 95,000 Britons into poverty. Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the tax saying it is important to "get control of housing benefit". Some who voted for the tax claim to have never heard of it, even though there are some high profile cases in the media detailing how people will suffer. The Bedroom Tax might be targeting the poor, but there may be a Mansion Tax in the planning stages to help balance the scales -- or not. It's a modern Window Tax!
posted by Mezentian on Feb 3, 2013 - 121 comments

Henry the VIII's Wine Cellar

Who knew that Henry the VIII's wine cellar was preserved inside the Ministry of Defense building? [more inside]
posted by zzazazz on Feb 2, 2013 - 15 comments

Is antigingerism a hate crime?

In the New Statesman, Nelson Jones argues that prejudice against red-haired people in Britain should be addressed by hate crime legislation. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 15, 2013 - 114 comments

British Problems

A few select posts from the politest, most quietly despairing subreddit, r/Britishproblems (background)
posted by The Whelk on Jan 9, 2013 - 76 comments

That's me in the corner

The findings for England and Wales from the 2011 British Census have now been released. The BBC provides a handy guide to changes by area while The Guardian has a neat infographic and a set of Top 10 Charts. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 13, 2012 - 18 comments

Food History Jottings

Ivan Day has a food history blog. So does India Mandelkern. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Dec 12, 2012 - 5 comments

A tale of (the wage bills of) three English sports

Information on cricket salaries in England is difficult to find, though the amounts are acknowledged to be low; many cricketers take on a second job during the off-season. One of the top flight teams, Durham, is the first county fined for narrowly exceeding the total playing staff salary cap for the year. As a cross-sport comparison, the top flight football (soccer) team wage bills for 2010-11, and the team salary caps for rugby.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 9, 2012 - 12 comments

an enigmatic people dedicated to the life of the mind

'Bookish' Australians indifferent to Olympics success.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 8, 2012 - 68 comments

If only he would listen to their advice on how things should be run! It was such good advice.

A history of the English monarchy and how listening to "bad" advisors has gotten it in trouble.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 27, 2012 - 20 comments

Blessed Plot

What Britain used to look like from the air (Audio slideshow) From sprawling factory complexes to newly built suburban streets - by way of some of the UK's top sporting venues and seaside resorts. More than 10,000 images from one of the earliest collections of aerial photography are being made freely available on the web.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 25, 2012 - 10 comments

Libel protections for peer reviewed journals

Britain is considering legislation to protect scientific publications in peer reviewed journals from libel lawsuits, such as the Chiropractic Association's lawsuit against Simon Singh. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on May 17, 2012 - 24 comments

British Council Film Collection

The British Council Film Collection "is an archive of over 120 short documentary films made by the British Council during the 1940s designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played. Preserved by the BFI National Film Archive and digitised by means of a generous donation by Google, the films are now yours to view, to download and to play with for the first time." A couple of essays and case studies also already up, with more to come.
posted by Abiezer on May 3, 2012 - 7 comments

The Iron Man

UK Prime Minister David Cameron unveils plan to lease motorways in England. David Cameron will clear the way for a multibillion-pound semi-privatisation of trunk roads and motorways as he announces plans to allow sovereign wealth funds from countries such as China to lease roads in England. Guardian liveblog.
posted by panaceanot on Mar 19, 2012 - 127 comments

London is full of ghosts

"Everyone knows there’s a catastrophe unfolding, that few can afford to live in their own city. It was not always so." - China Miéville on Apocalyptic London
posted by timshel on Mar 1, 2012 - 58 comments

The sun is new each day. -- Heraclitus

Rupert Murdoch to replace the News of the World with the Sun on Sunday, meaning the Sun will publish 7 days a week. (Sun, BBC) In other News International news, Murdoch has reinstated the Sun journalists arrested for paying public officials, will pay their legal expenses, and has written to all of the Sun's journalists with a combative memo pledging support. The Guardian liveblogged the day.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 19, 2012 - 59 comments

VICTORIAN SEX MYTHBUSTERS

A Few Popular Misconceptions And Victorians And Sex
posted by The Whelk on Oct 18, 2011 - 28 comments

Riots in London

Riots have broken out in the Tottenham area of London Saturday night after a protest over a fatal police shooting on Thursday. A double-decker bus and several police cars have been set on fire, and one policeman is said to be in hospital. Shops have been looted, and several buildings have been set on fire.

BBC and Sky News camera crews have moved away from the scene for safety reasons, but LBC Radio is reporting live.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 6, 2011 - 1387 comments

No, you put your tea in a petrol can

Alex and Liam Do Walmart
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 4, 2011 - 109 comments

Brown And Also Blue

VE and VJ Day, in London. In Colour.
posted by The Whelk on May 8, 2011 - 14 comments

Westminster Abbey

How is abbey formed?
How is abbey formed?
How girl get regnant?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 27, 2011 - 256 comments

"a travesty of reality"

UK respite and foster parents may no longer be homophobic, even when it is due to religious belief. An English Christian couple acting as foster parents have been banned from further placements due to their statement that they could not tell children that homosexual relationships were of equal value, with judges stating that their claims that adoption should still be allowed as a "a travesty of reality". Reaction from the UK religious right (such as it is) is venomous. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 28, 2011 - 59 comments

Let England Shake

The Words That Maketh Murder/The Last Living Rose - Director Seamus Murphy introduces two of 12 short films he made for PJ Harvey's forthcoming LP, Let England Shake
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2011 - 19 comments

The English Mountain Bike

Geoff Apps has been building and riding his own distinctive cross country cycles since the late 1960s. Unlike the members of the Rough Stuff Fellowship, who traditionally used touring or road bikes, Geoff's designs come from his background in motorbike trials (previously). After more than twenty years off the market, his latest design will soon go into production: the Cleland AventuraTT.
posted by scruss on Dec 13, 2010 - 17 comments

"...with God's help, we shall prevail."

A new movie, The King’s Speech, (official site / trailer / clips) depicts King George VI of England's struggle to overcome his problem with stuttering and find his voice, in time to deliver the historic radio speech that prepared London for WWII. The film is being hailed as a potential Oscar-contender, for its unique, sensitive portrayal of stuttering -- a sharp contrast to the way movies traditionally present those who suffer from the disorder.. Slate offers a slideshow of ten video clips: A History of Stuttering in the Movies [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2010 - 38 comments

Is London Bridge Falling Down?

Here is an 80-gigapixel panoramic photo of London made from 7886 individual images. This panorama was shot from the top of the Centre Point building in central London, in the summer of 2010. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 16, 2010 - 48 comments

London, 1845

A two-part panorama of London originally made in 1845 by the Illustrated London News, later updated with text descriptions. Other formats can be found on the blog post. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 11, 2010 - 8 comments

Adoption Confidentiality Being Bypassed Through Social Media

UK adoption agencies are reporting "huge numbers of calls from 'deeply distressed' adoptive parents whose children have been contacted" through Facebook and other social networking sites, in violation of the traditional, confidential reunion process between birth parents and their offspring who have been placed with other families. Full report from Channel 4. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2010 - 45 comments

They Cut the Cheese (Roll)!

After 200 years, The Annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake at Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in England has been canceled due to health and safety fears. (Official site.) The BBC devotes a section of their site to the event, and both ESPN and The Big Picture covered it last year. Previously [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 14, 2010 - 31 comments

Secrets of The Great British Sex Clubs by Tony Perrottet

(NSFW) So Much For the Stiff Upper Lip. Slate writer gets jiggy wit the history of Georgian Britain's aristocratic sex clubs.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 14, 2009 - 38 comments

Strict Liability

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty". Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year. [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Nov 15, 2009 - 133 comments

Between the Wars

Worktown Between 1937 and 1938 Humphrey Spender took over 900 pictures of Bolton as part of the Mass Observation [Previously] project. Spender's "Worktown" photographs offer a fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary people living and working in a British pre-War industrial town.
posted by Abiezer on Feb 1, 2009 - 16 comments

Gasparcolor

Colour on the Thames is a 7 minute film shot in 1935 using Gasparcolor, one of the many early forms of tinting black and white film. Beside Colour on the Thames, which provides a wonderful view of 1930's England, the only film made in Gasparcolor I could find online was Colour Flight by New Zealand artist Len Lye, an abstract cartoon set to instrumental 1930's pop music. The story of Gasparcolor is in itself interesting, for instance touching on Nazis, Hungary between the wars and early color animation.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 27, 2009 - 12 comments

We won't be like that again.

Behind The Rent Strike [YouTube playlist; six parts of 50ish min. documentary] Nick Broomfield's graduation piece, a documentary on the 14-month rent strike by the people of Kirkby New Town, near Liverpool, which began in late 1973 in response (it wasn't the only one) to the Heath government's Housing Finance Act. Broomfield gets plenty of insight from local people and examines the social conditions behind the events. Great viewing of good film-making and an opportunity for a bit of nostalgia if you're a viewer from round that way.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 26, 2009 - 8 comments

"Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones!"

The Mercury Prize shortlist for 2008 is: Adele - 19 | British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? | Burial - Untrue | Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid | Estelle - Shine | Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim | Neon Neon - Stainless Style | Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep in the North Sea | Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns | Radiohead - In Rainbows | Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand | The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 22, 2008 - 45 comments

Product Placement Banned in U.K.

Product Placement Banned in U.K. Minister says it 'contaminates programs'.
posted by jeremy b on Jun 13, 2008 - 44 comments

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