7 posts tagged with UK by filthy light thief.
Displaying 1 through 7 of 7.
Not just any rock: curling stones' special granite comes from Scotland
From the study of his run down house, David B. Smith pointed to where the sea crashed against the west coast of Scotland. "Out there," he said, "is Ailsa Craig." Not even a dot on the horizon could be spotted, but the 73-year-old retired judge and curling historian extraordinaire knew the exact location of the island that supplies the granite for the Olympic curling stones.Ailsa Craig is where curling stones are born, but also a protected bird sanctuary, and home to a historic light house and golf course. [more inside]
It all started on Christmas Eve 1965 (Google books preview), as a cold and wet Michael Bond was doing some last minute shopping. He had missed a bus, and ducked inside a department store to get out of the sleet. It was there that he saw a small bear, all alone on a shelf. On a whim, he picked it up as a stocking stuffer for his wife. The couple named him after the Paddington railway station that was near where they lived at the time. A few months later, Bond turned to Paddington to break his writers block, and the Paddington books were born. Paddington was turned into the UK's favorite animated character thanks to the 56 five-minute long episodes and three longer specials that were originally aired in the 1970s and 1980s, and are online in one form or another. [more inside]
In the United Kingdom, many brass bands were started by colliery owners, and funded in part by the coal miners themselves. Some of those bands live on, after the coal pits have been closed for years. These bands are facing hard times, with limited funding and waning interest in the music, but some youth join bands to continue family traditions, and the government provides some funding to numerous bands. If you'd like to know more about brass bands in the UK and around the world, Internet Bandsman's Everything Within (IBEW) has tons of material, links to bands in the UK and elsewhere as well as a list of extinct bands and vintage brass band pictures, local events and radio shows, recordings, and plenty more.
Smash Hits! was a UK music magazine, first published at the end of 1978. It charted the progress of pop styles, including the rise of 2-Tone, and included a number of freebie discs, first as flexi discs, and later on CDs. The magazine faltered in the 1990s, and closed shop in 2006. Since then there have been a few one-off "special editions," first a 2009 tribute to Michael Jackson, and then a Lady Gaga special in 2010. 30 years after the first issue went on sale, a fan posted the first issue online. So far, new scans have been posted fort-nightly, following the original release schedule. 73 issues are online to date, each three decades after they first were sold. (via MetaChat)
Stonewall is a UK-based European charity founded as a response to the controversial Section 28 (which prohibited local authorities and teachers from intentionally promoting homosexuality) that was enacted in the UK in 1988. In the decades since being founded, the charity has become well-known for lobbying for gay rights. In 2005, Stonewall started Education for All, a campaign against homophobic bullying and for an inclusive learning environment for all. The charity has included support from famous people before, and now includes Sir Ian McKellen and others going to secondary schools to talk with kids and teachers about homophobia. (via TheophileEscargot on MetaChat)
The Home Office, the UK government department responsible for immigration control, has initiated a program to test the DNA from of potential asylum seekers in an attempt to confirm their true nationalities. The initial program is a six-month pilot limited to claimants arriving from the Horn of Africa. The program, currently using forensic samples provided on a voluntary basis, could potentially expand to other nationalities if successful. The Home Office spokeswoman said ancestral DNA testing would not be used alone but would be combined with language analysis, investigative interviewing techniques and other recognized forensic disciplines, but many are decrying the "deeply flawed" program, from refugee support groups to scientists in the genetic forensics fields (via). [more inside]
Matthew Robson, aged 15 years & 7 months, was asked to describe how he and his friends consume media by the London research branch of Morgan Stanley, where he is a summer work intern. The teenager spent a day on the briefing note, after polling some friends by text message. His write-up impressed the right people (direct link to pdf report). "Without claiming representation or statistical accuracy, his piece provides one of the clearest and most thought provoking insights we have seen. So we published it." After being published, the note had generated five or six times more feedback than the team's usual reports. Lauded by professionals, his claims were met with disagreement from some peers. (via)