Comedian Stewart Lee clarifies his view of comedian Michael McIntyre following a Jan Moir (the very same) article in the Daily Mail (itself a culmination of coverage elsewhere), which included for me the definitive out of context quotation... [more inside]
Weaponizing Mozart - "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
That was too close. RAF Tornado comes within 30ft of mid-air collision.
The sections of britishbattles.com about The First Afghan War have apparently been quoted verbatim in Al-Qaeda propaganda. Site author, amateur historian John Mackenzie, told the press "It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster," [more inside]
Allotments: how to get one, and what to grow in it once you've got it. Lots of people have allotments. Lots. Geddit?
It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
Lucky Soul's 'Lips Are Unhappy' isn't the likliest of contenders for the UK's coveted Christmas number one, but this is the track (from a shortlist) selected by listeners of Last.fm to receive Last.fm's backing. Profits go to charity, as is the norm for Xmas No. 1 entries.
Operation Banner [Wikipedia], the British Armed Forces' campaign in Northern Ireland that began in 1969, ended midnight on July 31, 2007. The period included Bloody Sunday in which 13 civilians were killed by the British Army. The Guardian have published a summary of significant events (and one going further back). In pictures: Guardian, BBC.
Examples of challenges faced: "Negotiating Hyde Park corner by bicycle. Outcome: survival." This and more from Boris Johnson's London Mayoral candidacy application [PDF] to the Conservative Party. thelondonpaper is not impressed that he submitted a handwritten form.
"Even the greatest cities have further greatness in them. I will stand for a greater London and for putting the smile back on London's face." Boris Johnson announces his candidacy for Mayor of London, though he is yet to be endorsed by the Conservative Party. Though decidedly right wing in his views (this clip, perhaps more than any other summarises his view on Europe, for example) his very English brand of buffoonery lends him unique appeal (though not universally).
Some commuters are nervous about London Underground drivers filming journeys on their camera phones and posting them on YouTube. YouTube links all. BBC Story.
Tony Blair's ex-Master of Spin and closest adviser is on a media whirlwind promoting his diary. Campbell's apparently straight talking nature gives the prospects of some tantalizing insight into the inner workings of number 10 for the majority of Blair's premiership. He's not getting it all his own way, though. BBC Radio 4's John Humphrey's on the Today Programme (Real audio) (MP3) was more interested in the failings of a government and political movement for which he was an architect and key player, and particularly Campbell's legacy of elevating the role of spin in British politics, even in the inner working of government, allegedly sexing up an intelligence dossier in order to make a more compelling case for war in Iraq (See 10 ways to sex up a dossier). The Guardian, in an article titled Did he mean me?, invited some of those named in his diaries to give feedback, or should that be biteback?
Youtube user davebones goes to London demos, protests and gatherings. His videos demonstrate the complexity of issues, calling into question the credibility of television news which tends to portray the same events in black and white terms. While his blog sets a clear agenda, his commentary-free videos are accessible to people regardless of their viewpoint.
"Families of soldiers killed in Iraq launch party to challenge ministers". Reg Keys, father of a British serviceman killed in the Iraq War, stood directly against Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency as an independent candidate (see Wikipedia for a brief summary of independent movements in the UK, USA and Canada) in the 2005 UK election, taking 10% of the vote. A founder member of Military Families Against The War, he is also at the centre of a new political movement, Spectre, that aim to stand up to 70 members of bereaved families directly against pro-war government and cabinet members in the 2009 election, and each by-election before then. See also the Guardian's Guide to anti-war websites.
A timetable of UK trains carrying nuclear waste. (PDF file). The related Greenpeace UK article. UK nuclear waste train route graphic. Mirror tabloid hack plants fake bomb on nuclear waste train. "The gate was open, there were no security guards. I walked up to the train and planted my bomb". The Guardian's take on the story.
Replacing Trident? Clare Short MP, former International Development Secretary for the UK Labour government, debates replacing trident and the UK's role in nuclear proliferation (and the world in general) with Michael Codner, Director of Military Science at the Royal United Services Institute. Scroll to the bottom for the mp3s.
5 mins of highlights from yesterday's epic FA Cup Final between Liverpool and West Ham. Read the West Ham and Liverpool player ratings for a good idea of how the players performed individually. This game had everything.
A House full of insults is an informal look at the history of parliamentary put-downs and their inconsistent consequences in Britain's House of Commons.
Tony's Blair's keynote speech to the Labour Party conference today [wmv]. Text summary from Channel 4 news.
"Before, during and after the upcoming [United Kingdom] general election campaign, Channel 4 FactCheck will provide the most reliable analysis of what the political parties and their leaders are saying. The site will scrutinise interviews, speeches and manifesto pledges - informing public debate by creating a popular resource for an information-hungry electorate." A UK cousin to FactCheck.org.
In-your-face shoot-em-up action by bedroom-coders/games designers. From Japan: Warning Forever; Perfect Cherry Blossom; Cho Ren Sha 68K; Bullet Philharmonic Orchestra; Score Soldier; rRootage; Every Extend; TKKN / Crazy Game; and Galshell: Blood Red Skies [NSFW]. Be attitude for gains! From the West: Deadeye; Strayfire; Warblade; Mutant Storm; Bugatron; Space Birdz; Spheres of Chaos; Battle of Yavin; Demonstar; 'Troid; Platypus; Gridrunner; Intensity XS; and Tsunami 2010. From the pages of Edge magazine.
Sherlock Holmes: the quotations; the pipes; the author (the public house named after him - the worst in Scotland, judging by the comments); the top ten lists; the vulcan; the city; the monographs; the magazine; the marvelous stories, of course; and more.
The Sorcerer's Scissors; Air Raid Practice, Knoll School Hove; and An Eye to the Future [wmv's all, I'm afraid]. These and other examples nonpareil available at the University of Brighton's Moving History: "A guide to UK film and television archives in the public sector".
The BBC is asking visitors of its news site to vote from a shortlist of the ten most embarrassing political moments. Visitors can watch a short film [real media] which shows all ten nominated moments (forgive the home-video moments style background muzak). There's some variety here: Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock in moments exhibiting a baffling degree of misguidedness, George W Bush and Kenneth Clarke in tight spots (figuratively and literally), while Charles Kennedy and John Prescott probably coming out of their situations looking better than they did beforehand. For me the most cringe-inducing clip is that of John Redwood, the then newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales, attempting to mime the Welsh national anthem. Genuinely difficult to watch.
As of October next year, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 comes into effect in the UK. Under this act, a disabled person may have rights to sue a service-providing company if they have difficulty accessing their website just as they might if they had difficulty accessing their headquarters. The Royal National Institute of the Blind website includes a "web access centre", which takes a good look at the issue of accessibility and provides sound advice to web designers whether they are legally obligated to tackle such issues or not.
The monstrous fauna of the cathedrals... although less polished than the prev. mentioned A Love of Monsters, this collection of gargoyle photographs - largely from British churches - more than makes amends with its enthusiasm for its subject.