For Graham Greene he was "unquestionably our best thriller writer". John le Carré once called him "the source on which we all draw". With the six novels he wrote in the years leading up to the second world war - five of which have just been reissued by Penguin Modern Classics - Eric Ambler revitalised the British thriller, rescuing the genre from the jingoistic clutches of third-rate imitators of John Buchan, and recasting it in a more realist, nuanced and leftishly intelligent - not to mention exciting - mould.
- The writing of Eric Ambler
posted by Artw
on Jun 6, 2009 -
Standard & Poor’s changed the UK's credit outlook from stable to negative
a few days ago, and warned that there is a chance the UK could lose its AAA rating. Meanwhile, Moodys, another of the big 3
rating agencies, has warned that the US might also eventually lose its AAA rating
. The UK announcement caused sterling to drop by 1% and the FTSE by 2%
. However, many blame
the same rating agencies for their part in triggering
the subprime crisis. The irony of this is not lost on the Wall Street Journal
, who note that "After all, those governments are jacking up spending, in part, to bail out the financial firms who gobbled up those 'AAA' asset backed securities duly blessed by the credit ratings firms." [more inside]
posted by memebake
on May 26, 2009 -
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald
has new evidence. Previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on May 12, 2009 -
(Previously: 1 2
the Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture on Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm UK time.
You can (hopefully) watch it on Parliament TV
If you want to have a good look at UK / US complicity in torture, this
might be a good place to start...
Please note he has said "There is absolutely no way I am going to kill myself. Just thought it might be wise to get that out in public!". Hopefully statements like that won't be necessary.
posted by debord
on Apr 28, 2009 -
place the number of CCTV cameras in the UK at 4.2 million, but how can these images all possibly be watched? Researches in Turkey have an answer
: an eye-gaze tracking system placed on the CCTV operators themselves
which can "then automatically produces a summary of the CCTV video sequences they have missed during their shift". [more inside]
posted by tybeet
on Apr 15, 2009 -
"The editor's guidelines are as follows: First, remember the reader, and respect demands that we should not casually use words that are likely to offend. Second, use such words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes. Third, the stronger the swearword, the harder we ought to think about using it.Finally, never use asterisks, which are just a cop-out." - Swearing in The Guardian
: A chart
posted by Artw
on Apr 3, 2009 -
On British TV
last night, Gail Trimble
, a Classics scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, singlehandedly trounced
the opposing team in University Challenge
. To some a smug
know-it-all, to others a role model
. Cue the fightback and lots of questions
about whether we, as a society, actually like really clever people and specifically, clever women
posted by MuffinMan
on Feb 24, 2009 -
"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory
" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics" [more inside]
posted by doobiedoo
on Feb 15, 2009 -
The Tax Gap
- "The Guardian will examine the extent of tax avoidance by big business, day-by-day over two weeks. We are naming more than 20 major British companies, and analysing their secretive tax strategies to ask: are they paying their fair share?
posted by Gyan
on Feb 4, 2009 -
Extreme pornography illegal in Britain since Monday, 26 January, thanks to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
. Aside from changes to custodial sentencing guidelines (and early release guidelines to ease overcrowding), the most controversial aspect of the law relates to the legal definition of extreme pornography.
An image is deemed to be extreme if it "is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" and "it portrays in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following
(a) an act which threatens a person’s life,
(b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals
(c) an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse
(d) a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive)
BDSM groups, among others, have campaigned and protested against the law.
Aside from concerns about the legality of kink, some have pointed out that some comics and graphic novels would also fall afoul of the new law
posted by Grrlscout
on Jan 29, 2009 -
shadow of its former self
, a waste of money
dominated by champagne socialists
, a victim of media fragmentation
, a political pawn
or still the trusted heart
of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal
threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform
, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem
, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts
On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online
and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
posted by MuffinMan
on Jan 29, 2009 -
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 -
'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.'
That film has been made
. The story behind it
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Jan 25, 2009 -