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My identity is my creation

Sleaford Mods are an English Hip hop/Post-punk duo based in Nottingham. This year the NME asked them to record a Christmas Message (NSFW swearing) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 28, 2014 - 3 comments

The Sounds of Things to Come

Sound of Cinema - British Sci-Fi from the BFI Days of Fear and Wonder - BBC Radio 3 talks to film composer Stephen Price about The Shape of Things to Come, Alien, Gravity, and other science fiction soundtracks.
posted by Artw on Dec 27, 2014 - 2 comments

Never Mind the Baubles

Anarchy in Huddersfield: the day the Sex Pistols played Santa [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 24, 2014 - 5 comments

Millions of people in the UK were in germ war tests

Guardian: The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public. A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979. (This is an old article but didn't show up on preview.)
posted by marienbad on Dec 23, 2014 - 17 comments

Fanny at Christmas

Fanny Cradock makes Mincemeat out of an Omelette [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 22, 2014 - 20 comments

The Legend of the Free Labour Market

The Legend of the Free Labour Market. From the excellent HR/Economics blog Flip Chart Fairy Tales.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Dec 21, 2014 - 8 comments

Snap, Crackle and Pop!

In an area of London that already boasts a cat cafe and a 3d printer cafe, two bearded twin brothers have opened the Cereal Killer Cafe that serves only breakfast cereal. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 15, 2014 - 75 comments

"I made it so she wanted to sleep with me, which was totally a lie..."

She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College, that's where I caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded
I said in that case I'll have a rum and coke-cola.
She said fine, and in thirty seconds time she said,
I want to live like common people I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people I want to sleep with common people like you.
Well what else could I do – I said I'll see what I can do. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 13, 2014 - 53 comments

The Place for Royalty and The Right Sort of Young

When Mark Birley died at the age of 77 he left behind a legacy of London nightclubs for the aristocratic set ...and a highly contested $200 million dollar estate with last second will changes, phony ex-girlfriends, and feuding children. Maureen Orth explores the family life of the nightlife king.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 12, 2014 - 10 comments

Worse than a Defeat

The British army is back in Warminster and its other bases around the country. Its eight-year venture in southern Afghanistan is over. The extent of the military and political catastrophe it represents is hard to overstate. It was doomed to fail before it began, and fail it did, at a terrible cost in lives and money. How bad was it? In a way it was worse than a defeat, because to be defeated, an army and its masters must understand the nature of the conflict they are fighting. Britain never did understand, and now we would rather not think about it. (SLLRB)
posted by Jakey on Dec 11, 2014 - 47 comments

No Gloves, No Rounds, Plenty of Blood

Of all the forms of fighting known to man, one name strikes fear further into the hearts of those who hear it: Bare Knuckle. For hundreds of years, the men of Britain have rammed their unprotected fists into each others bodies to decide who was the hardest of them all. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 8, 2014 - 30 comments

What are you doing here? ... Physician, heal thyself.

The first 15 mins of all the episodes of classic Doctor Who at the same time. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 8, 2014 - 12 comments

UK's Premier Foods accused over 'pay and stay' practice

Premier Foods, one of the UK's biggest manufacturers, has been asking its suppliers for payments to continue doing business with the firm.
posted by marienbad on Dec 4, 2014 - 20 comments

Residents here decline emailed requests: Kensington Palace Gardens

"The signs on the doors are excessively polite, and use outmoded words such as 'kindly' and 'residing'. 'Kindly do not deliver items for Mr and Mrs [...] to this address as they are no longer residing here.' But it is the doorbell etiquette that is most enraging, and instructions that 'for all collections and deliveries please press the housekeeper's button only' incite a sudden surge of anarchic rage and a desire to ring all the other bells simultaneously – summoning the chef/kitchen, the residence and the caretaker." [SLTheGuardian]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 4, 2014 - 43 comments

the Ukips

“I don’t mind causing offence when I intend to, but I don’t like causing it accidentally” Interview with comedian Stewart Lee
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 3, 2014 - 28 comments

Tory shires join call for more cash and powers for England’s regions

Grauniad: "The huge list of signatories to the letter – which also calls for an end to savage financial cuts imposed by the centre – demonstrate growing all-party frustration at a system that leaves local communities at the mercy of a central government with little or no understanding of each area’s particular needs. The letter states: “There is compelling evidence that taking decisions closer to the people affected achieves better results and saves money.""
posted by marienbad on Nov 30, 2014 - 16 comments

"The Little Big Man of the London underworld"

RIP 'Mad' Frankie Fraser aka The Dentist, ex enforcer for the Richardson gang and declared Britain's 'most dangerous man' by two Home Secretaries, spending 42 years in prison. In his later years he found work as an after dinner speaker, television personality and tour guide (last year he received an Asbo after an argument in his old people's home over someone sitting in his favourite chair)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 27, 2014 - 21 comments

Hey you, don't watch that watch this!

This is the heavy heavy monster sound, the nuttiest sound around so if you've come in off the street and you're beginning to feel the heat, well listen buster you better start to move your feet to the rockinest, rock-steady beat of Madness... One Step Beyond!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 25, 2014 - 47 comments

British Breakdown

People that like Slugs are mostly males, aged 25-39, live in Northern Scotland, are far right politically and work in mining and quarrying. Favourite dishes are Spinach Risotto followed by Fidget Pie. They like bird watching and cycling. They describe themselves as alternative but on occasion silly. They are online for 36-40 hours per week and read the Guardian and New Scientist.
Whereas people that like Jellyfish are likely to be female, aged 25-39, live in the north east, are far left politically and work in research and development. Their favourite dish is Vegetarian Sausage Roll followed by Hunter's Stew. They like looking after their pets and archery. They describe themselves as idiosyncratic and on occasion withdrawn. They are online for 50+ hours per week and read the Guardian and New Scientist. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Nov 17, 2014 - 63 comments

You wanna understand America, don't come here — go to the movies

Rich Hall’s How The West Was Lost (What started with Red River mostly ended with Blazing Saddles; from 20th C. cultural behemoth to object of satire; the Western genre and the archetype of the cowboy.)

There’s a tradition of Brits coming to the US to explain this young country and expose the folks back home to America. From Charles William Janson and Thomas Ashe on through Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson, foreigners with funny accents and strange vocabulary have set foot on American soil in an effort to explore the place and its people. But for the Brits to truly understand America, two things might be necessary: an American expat and (more importantly) MOVIES! Because an insider’s take on Hollywood’s misportrayal, mythmaking, stereotypes, historical ignorance, misunderstanding, bullshit, and skewed lens through which we see (and are shown) ourselves as Americans can get pretty interesting as well as informative.

Stuff like: [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 16, 2014 - 19 comments

A pound of flesh for 50p

Artist Alex Chinneck has constructed a full-sized wax building which is slowly being melted from the top down. For the last twelve months the artist has collaborated with chemists, wax manufacturers and engineers to develop visually convincing wax bricks that transform in the most sculpturally effective way. The installation is part of the 2014 Merge Festival.
posted by showbiz_liz on Nov 15, 2014 - 19 comments

on a frolic of his own

‘You do not need to deliver the fatal blow or even be at the actual scene of the killing to be found guilty and sent to jail,’ Detective Inspector John McFarlane said after the conviction of 17 of the 20 young people jointly charged with the murder of 15-year-old Sofyen Belamouadden at Victoria Station in March 2010: ‘the law on joint enterprise is clear and unforgiving.’ [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Oct 25, 2014 - 24 comments

The Murderers Next Door

The Edwards were spooked. Christopher stole £10,000 from his employer and they ran away to Lille, De Gaulle’s birthplace. But they couldn’t access the Wycherleys’ account from abroad, Christopher couldn’t find work, and their money ran out. Instead of selling the memorabilia they’d brought with them, in desperation Christopher rang his elderly stepmother, Elizabeth Edwards, confessed to burying Susan’s parents and asked for money to save him and Susan from prison. If the memorabilia hadn’t mattered so much, no one would know today that the Wycherleys were under the lawn. It could have been the perfect crime. But Elizabeth Edwards called the police. The Murderers Next Door.
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Oct 25, 2014 - 17 comments

Woof.

A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
posted by michaelh on Oct 22, 2014 - 32 comments

\|/ \|/ \|/ \|/ practical (& fun) conservation in coppicing \|/ \|/ \|/

It is easy to think of woodlands as wild places, but in the UK and Europe, most have been carefully managed for centuries. If you visit an ancient woodland in Europe at this time of year, you may well see small areas where the trees are being cut down to the base, but the stumps left behind. This is likely to be part of a traditional woodland practice called coppicing. Until about 150 years ago, most deciduous woodlands in the UK were coppiced to produce wood for use in a variety of industries, but today coppicing is largely only practised for woodland conservation. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 22, 2014 - 22 comments

Tory Peer: "Pay disabled people £2 per hour"

A Conservative welfare minster has apologised after suggesting that disabled people are "not worth" the national minimum wage and some could only be paid "£2 an hour". Lord Freud, the Welfare Reform minister admitted the comments were "offensive” after they were disclosed by Ed Miliband during Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon. The Labour leader has called on the Tory peer to resign.
posted by marienbad on Oct 17, 2014 - 68 comments

Meet the Mumbles Train, the very first fare-based passenger train

Mumbles Railway, the first public railway On 25 March 1807, the very same day that the British Parliament passed a Bill to outlaw the transatlantic trade in slaves, Swansea took its place in history with the inauguration of the world’s first passenger railway. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Oct 7, 2014 - 6 comments

"The Twist was a form of therapy for a convalescing nation."

Music historian/nerd Neil Transpontine's blog "History is made at night" covers the "politics of dancing and musicking" -- from the riots at Lou Reed's concerts in Italy in 1975, demonstrations against the "anti-rave" Criminal Justice & Public Order Act of 1994 (UK) to present-day protests in New Orleans against a proposed noise ordinance. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Oct 5, 2014 - 7 comments

Cassetteboy - Cameron's Conference Rap

"I'm hardcore and I know the score And I am disgusted by the poor..." [NSFWish lyrics] [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Oct 1, 2014 - 24 comments

Cut square and stamped with a proper stamp of the happy union and baked

"Nowadays, we tend to eat biscuits with beverages like tea and coffee. But in the past they were an important element of the dessert course and were dipped into sweet wine." - Food History Jottings (previously) on the strange world of Regency biscuits. (Cookies to you US types.)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 9, 2014 - 25 comments

Twenty four days to go

The second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be shown across the UK tonight. After a lacklustre first debate, the final days of the referendum campaign are ticking down. There are signs of growing momentum for the Yes side, with undecideds moving to Yes in some polls and the 'Yes Declaration' recently hitting a million signatures. But the Better Together campaign still has some heavy hitters on side, with Sir Ian Wood recently casting doubt on oil extraction figures he had previously agreed with. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Aug 25, 2014 - 223 comments

Well I'll Go To The Foot Of Our Stairs

British subtitles
posted by The Whelk on Aug 20, 2014 - 32 comments

A Boy and His Dog

A young boy named Owen who has a very rare muscle condition called Schwartz Jampel Syndrome, as well as agoraphobia, had his life changed when his parents rescued a young Anatolian Shepherd named Haatchi who lost a leg after being deliberately tied to a railroad line in North London and hit by a train.
posted by gman on Aug 6, 2014 - 19 comments

to end all wars

First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers
"On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 4, 2014 - 27 comments

It's a truth universally recognized that you have no game

How to pick up genteel women in the 18th Century according to period guides.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2014 - 17 comments

Veto bunnies

Who uses their veto in the UN Security Council the most, and what for?
posted by tavegyl on Jul 31, 2014 - 16 comments

Morph is Back

Morph is a plasticine man, star of many short animated films made for the BBC from the 1970s onwards by Aardman Animations, who would later use the similar techniques for Wallace & Gromit. A Kickstarter campaign last year has paid for 12 new one minute episodes. [more inside]
posted by DanCall on Jul 22, 2014 - 4 comments

The Many Faces Of Commuter Fustration

Attention Tim O'Toole : You are the CEO of First Capital Connect and my train is late almost every day. I'm going to change your face every time my train is delayed. (SLTP)
posted by The Whelk on Jul 12, 2014 - 49 comments

By hook or by crook, we will.

A man wearing a dark blazer with white braiding steps out from behind what looks to be a giant white balloon. A penny-farthing sits in the foreground. Cheerily, he addresses the camera: "Hi, I'm Scott Apel, video critic for the San Jose Mercury News, and I'm here to welcome you again to The Prisoner, one of the most intriguing and most talked about television series ever made..." (YT) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 7, 2014 - 27 comments

'felt they are being blamed for their own marginalization'

FT: A Portrait Of Europe's [well, at least the UK's] White Working Class [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 16, 2014 - 29 comments

"The Clash would have KILLED to have come from Derry"

Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was a dangerous place to be in the late 1970s. With bombs, shootings, British Army Patrols, riots on the streets, and The Ramones and New York Dolls on the turntable, the most punk thing 5 Catholic lads could do was to sing upbeat songs about adolescent lust, girls, getting nowhere with said girls, and the general struggles of being young. In the bleeding heart of The Troubles, The Undertones escaped by dreaming of a life more ordinary. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jun 11, 2014 - 38 comments

Sunday Times Rich List 'wealthier than ever'

"Britain's richest people are wealthier than ever before, with a combined fortune of almost £520bn, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The total wealth of the richest 1,000 individuals, couples or families jumped 15% in a year, the survey said. Wealth expert Philip Beresford, who compiled the list, said he had never before seen such a "phenomenal" rise in personal fortune... Mr Beresford said: "The richest people in Britain have had an astonishing year. While some may criticise them, many of these people are at the heart of the economy and their success brings more jobs and more wealth for the country." - The total figure for the Rich List is equivalent to a third of the UK's gross domestic product."
posted by marienbad on May 18, 2014 - 44 comments

"..impale the arms of his husband with his own.."

At long last the College Of Arms has released offical guidelines on the effects of same-sex marriage on heraldry.
posted by The Whelk on May 6, 2014 - 108 comments

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

A message for the Secretary of State for Education

"Dear Mr Gove" - a poem by Jess Green.
posted by EndsOfInvention on Apr 4, 2014 - 16 comments

Your Culture Is Stupid And I Hate It

Transcontinental Yelling With Jo (An Englishwoman) and Mallory (An American)
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 15, 2014 - 89 comments

Tony Benn (1925-2014)

Acknowledged to be one of the few British politicians who became more left-wing after having actually served in government, former veteran left-wing campaigner Tony Benn has died at home aged 88. Tony was a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years, and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. His legacy can be seen in postage, in the powerful five questions, the speeches he gave, and his diaries.
posted by Wordshore on Mar 14, 2014 - 84 comments

Rest in power.

Arguably the most successful UK trade union leader of our time, the tireless Bob Crow, General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has passed away.
posted by Mistress on Mar 11, 2014 - 37 comments

"Page 3 v breast cancer"

The Sun's page 3 has been featuring nude women since the 1970s. Last week the British newspaper teamed up with CoppaFeel, a young charity for breast cancer awareness, to inspire women to touch their own breasts. The headline reads "Page 3 v breast cancer", next to a model in a pair of underpants who barely covers her breasts. Readers are encouraged to ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’ and post pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #checkemtuesday.

While some applaud the newspaper for putting an important women’s health issue on the front page, others are against the sexist representation of women and concerned it could trivialize breast cancer.

Not only due to the titillating images on page 3, The Sun's readership is still mostly male. So does this campaign exist for women?
posted by travelwithcats on Mar 9, 2014 - 53 comments

London Calling

Britain will betray the United States and Ukraine to keep laundering dirty Russian money. "The city has changed. The buses are still dirty, the people are still passive-aggressive, but something about London has changed. You can see signs of it everywhere. The townhouses in the capital’s poshest districts are empty; they have been sold to Russian oligarchs and Qatari princes."
posted by four panels on Mar 8, 2014 - 67 comments

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