The world's first multinational
I found this informative piece via Arts&Letters. "Corporate greed, the ruination of traditional ways of life, share-price bubbles, western imperialism: all these modern complaints were made against the British East India Company in the 18th century. Nick Robins draws the lessons...
posted by Postroad
on Dec 10, 2004 -
A new newspaper for London.
The first edition of The Line
comes out today - apparently, despite its size, the UK capitol lacked an independent paper until now (please feel free to correct this if it is wrong). It's still thin, but does provide an interesting alternative look at issues both local
posted by jb
on Sep 1, 2004 -
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal
(NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal
ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups
became world famous. Others only big in Europe
. Some great ones missed stardom by just
. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
posted by jonmc
on Dec 17, 2003 -
Fix Up, Look Sharp
With stateside hip hop in an unprecedented doldrum, the torch has been snatched up on this side of the Atlantic by 18-year-old Eastender Dizzee Rascal. He's recovering from a stabbing carried out rival fans of a rival garage collective in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The attack took place a few days before being nominated for the Mercury Music prize.
Guaranteed not to be everybody's cup of tea, but he's an interesting character and challenging music make it, and his album, worth a look.
posted by hmgovt
on Jul 29, 2003 -
Kelly warned of 'dark actors playing games
Dr David Kelly's recent death has the British press in an uproar. Kelly was the former head of biological inspections in Iraq for the UN mission, Unscom, former deputy head of Porton Down and the Ministry of Defence's senior adviser on biological defence. In July 2002. According to reports the Carlyle Group took a 34% stake in QinetiQ which was splitoff in 2001 from the Porton Down research lab and is now a private company according to this story
The Carlyle Group is profiled here in this explosive explosive Dutch expose (note the first 1.48 minutes are in Dutch the rest is in English Since David Kelly was himself a micro-biologist in the past connected to Porton Down does he have any connection (as some have claimed: including a radio show I heard this evening) to the 11 or so micro-biologists that have died mysterious deaths after the 911 event? These deaths and there timelines are are extensively documented around the web.Including the following web page----(http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/)----
Is this is an area some creative journalists need to investigate?
posted by thedailygrowl
on Jul 20, 2003 -
How Dodgy Are You?
I'm in the clear. No years in prison and no fine. Safe and boring. Let's see the Mefi criminal element emerge shall we? [Imagary may now be work safe and the quiz is based on UK law ...]
posted by feelinglistless
on Jun 10, 2003 -
24/7 webcam pointed at a phonebox somewhere in UK, dial 01926 424110 or 0044 1926 424110 to see for yourself who answers the phone (I guess a videophone)
(it's night in UK right now so you won't see much)
posted by bureaustyle
on May 3, 2003 -
: "Hello police"
Caller: "My wife's left me two salmon sandwiches which was left over from last
night... and I'm a sat in the chair here and she's out there decorating. She
won't put any food on or anything for anybody, I don't know what...."
Communications operator: "I'm sorry but I really can't take this. It's not an
emergency because your wife won't give you anything to eat."
posted by Mwongozi
on May 3, 2003 -
Robert Fisk in the Independent
Today's front page of the UK broadsheet comprises solely of a text-only report of yesterday's bombing of a Baghdad marketplace, beginning: "It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car..."
This is how war reporting should be.
posted by garyh
on Mar 27, 2003 -
"There Is Only One Sale"
is the traditional January sales slogan of Harrods'
department store in London, where the elbow-fest begins next Monday
. With disappointing Christmas retail sales
being reported more or less everywhere
, it looks like the U.S. National Retail Federation's statement "What's going to be crucial now is the week after Christmas" is not the usual BS. Sales in Europe are still month-long extravaganzas
where unique bargains can be had. In the U.S. they seem to be more frequent, shorter and somewhat diluted. Assuming you're normal (a stingy, somewhat gullible and opportunistic shopper like the rest of us), what are your post-holiday shopping objectives? Which department stores will you be hitting? Or is it all just a big con?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Dec 24, 2002 -
One-in, one-out: the nominations.
"Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell
on Dec 18, 2002 -
1901 Back on it's feet again...
At last it's the 1901 show!(the date not the time) and the UK Public Record Office 1901 Census
is up and testing again after having crashed due to overdemand earlier in theyear. And it works! I've discovered my great grandfather was a wheelwright and that his eldest son was a labourer at the gas works (I saw my first naked girlfriend in a bedroom in the shadow of that very gasworks!) and that I had a great great Uncle Percy!
posted by terrymiles
on Nov 15, 2002 -
"The oldest profession in the world"
gains a whole new meaning with this 57-year-old woman's spirited account, in The Spectator (est. 1858
) no less, of her successful new career as a prostitute. I must admit a part of me said "Hooray! There's hope for us thirtysomethings yet" but the rest remained highly suspicious or (to be honest) whispered "How pathetic!" Is this ageism or are (much) older women really more attractive nowadays?
posted by Schweppes Girl
on Nov 7, 2002 -
City of London Churches
'The ‘Square Mile’ that constitutes The City of London is a world financial centre where 300,000 people work and nearly 500 foreign banks have an office. Less well known is that amongst the largely uninspired office blocks are hidden around 50 current or former churches and other places of worship, either complete, converted into offices, or in ruins. Once there were nearly 100 parish churches within the City boundaries but the Great Fire of London, the migration of residents to the suburbs, and Hitler’s bombs have done most to reduce that figure. Many of the surviving churches are, famously, Wren churches. After the Great Fire he had the unique opportunity of designing over 50 churches, and he gave full rein to his imagination ... '
A guide to 55 churches in London's financial district; best seen on a weekend, when the City is virtually deserted. Whilst the majority are Wren churches, there are some exceptions - St Bartholomew the Great
, which dates back to Norman times; the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue
, the oldest surviving synagogue in Great Britain; and the Dutch Church
, which was drawn by van Gogh
and important to the Huguenot community. Particularly worth a visit is St. Bride's
, the journalists' church; the design of the wedding cake is based on the shape of its spire.
posted by plep
on Oct 30, 2002 -
Stalin, Hitler, Guilt, Finger-Pointing And Friendship: Timothy Garton-Ash
reviews, a trifle superciliously but fairly, a very lively and soul-searching polemic between two consummate, consuming and irresistible writers, Martin Amis
and Christopher Hitchens
- who also happen to be old friends. Funnily enough, I'd suggest reading Hitchens's review in the Atlantic Monthly first
; then the three
] extracts from
] Amis's book
] and, finally
, Hitchens's reply to them. All in all, it's that rare thing: a long, juicy, well-written and passionately argued polemic with plenty of insights into how generations come to terms with the honest indiscretions and oversights of their youth. Oh and there's a lot about communism, nazism, totalitarianism and the Sixties too...
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Sep 5, 2002 -
The British Empire in Colour
-- a three-part documentary series from the producers of the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award-winning Britain at War in Colour
will air this month. The series is supposed to include "a treasure-trove of early colour movies filmed before 'technicolour' transformed film making in the 1930s. Unique colour footage of the Edwardian splendour of 1906 British India, soldiers of the First World War and class divided Britain in 1926 as seen for the first time by a modern visually sophisticated audience."
Apparently, it also includes Horrifying footage of last days of Raj
posted by Bixby23
on Sep 2, 2002 -
Big Brother is here!
Close to a thousand Brirish schools have collected their student`s fingerprints via library scanners; all this without the consent or knowledge of the parents. Please commend my success in refraining from oversentionalizing the story. YES!
posted by ( .)(. )
on Jul 23, 2002 -
"Women Empowering Women".
This pyramid scheme
is spreading like wildfire in the UK, with huge amounts of money involved. Basically you get a lot of people to put up say £100. The more people you attract to add money to the pyramid, the better chance you have of moving up and becoming entitled to many times your initial outlay. However, no investment occurs; this is simple cashflow juggling. Someone I work with gained £12000 on it in under a month - now everyone wants in the act. But (and I've pleaded with these people) the participants don't seem to appreciate the sheer idiocy of such schemes. Their attitude is "my husband goes to the betting shop, it's just my bit of fun
". In the end, if you gain money, you're taking it directly
from another participant. This is exploitation of people (normally hard-up, heavily mortgaged parents, it seems), is morally wrong
and should be illegal - but it isn't in the UK
. Here's a link to a BBC feature on pyramid schemes
(aka trading schemes). This really
boils my piss, but it carries on because individual participants can benefit from the fraud themselves. I understand women are targeted in this case as men are more likely to get in fights when they realise they've lost large amounts of cash.
posted by boneybaloney
on May 3, 2002 -
It looks like that the British network einstein.tv
and the FIDE
may open negotiations this month for a reunified world chess championship. The championship was split in 1993 when Garry Kasparov left the FIDE to start his own failed league. Kasparov claims the world championship left with him, while the FIDE claims he abdicated by refusing to play nice with others. Kasparov lost the championship last year to Kramnik. Einstein.TV is milking the publicity
while the FIDE says we are meeting but no comment.
Wood pushers like me are probably better off leaving the politics to the people who can't stand each other and sticking to the internet chessclub
, the free chess servers
or simply email chess.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Apr 30, 2002 -
Time for a change of business strategy focus?
Nokia and VolksWagen are the examples given,
'the heart of productivity growth is what happens inside the firm, and firms are first and foremost organisations of human beings'
positive role models to lead us from downturn alley?
posted by asok
on Apr 29, 2002 -
I have a bad feeling about this.
The UK government has urged employers to be leniant to staff who want to watch the World Cup when they should be working. Isn't this instantly discriminating against people who happen to like football (Soccer) all that much? For example, I'm sure I know what would happen if I broached the idea of turning up for work late on May 16th after I've been to the first showing of this thing
posted by feelinglistless
on Apr 29, 2002 -
defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey
of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi
on Apr 24, 2002 -
Another trip into TV Hell.
In the UK we're much kinder to bad television -- shows will go on for weeks without an audience and often get comissioned for second series before someone releases they're awful (yes you 'Let Them Eat Cake' -- if that French and Saunder monstrosity had been on UStv it would have been cancelled after two episodes -- if it had been comissioned at all). 'Off The Telly' considers all the things prospective television producers need to avoid if they're going to create something they're proud of. Does anyone else have any bad examples?
posted by feelinglistless
on Apr 4, 2002 -
oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched.
(flash) the phones (called "instruments" in vertu-speak) are okay, but the real meat seems to be the one-touch vertu concierge: allows one to find theatre tickets, make reservations, or (assumably) order KFC. and, as promised, they are indeed clutch-the-pearls expensive: €6000 to €24000. golly.
posted by patricking
on Mar 27, 2002 -
Professor becomes world's first cyborg
Surgeons have carried out a ground-breaking operation on a cybernetics professor so that his nervous system can be wired up to a computer.
It is hoped that the procedure could lead to a medical breakthrough for people paralysed by spinal cord damage, like Superman actor Christopher Reeve.
Prof Warwick believes it also opens up the possibility of a sci-fi world of cyborgs, where the human brain can one day be upgraded with implants for extra memory, intelligence or X-ray vision.
The medical possibilities with this are amazing, so why does it make me feel so uneasy?
posted by Tarrama
on Mar 22, 2002 -
Taking a swipe at celebrity cause-fests:
The ever-witty Pulp
(whose latest album, "We Love Life," might finally
be seeing a Stateside release come spring) enlists a host of celebrity impersonators (how many can you point out?) for the video promoting their newest single, "Bad Cover Version."
posted by maura
on Feb 13, 2002 -
NDb -(60% x Nc/Nt +40% x Dc/Dt) x 17,585
"Mathematicians called in by the Metropolitan Police think they have worked out the best way to beat crime in the capital."
Are there any UK mathematician/cops out there that know what the variables actually are?
posted by badstone
on Jan 17, 2002 -