In the UK, "super-injunctions" can prohibit the press from reporting a story on privacy grounds and from reporting that any such injunction has been issued. Newspapers are occasionally quite playful in getting around these increasingly unpopular injunctions. The Telegraph famously pointed its readers to the then-trending twitter campaign against Trafgura and, today, the Daily Mail appears to be playing a similar game. More prosaically, The Independent has simply reported a Tory MP's comments in Parliament that a currently sitting MP has taken out a super-injunction. [more inside]
Red kites; slow motion; bacon. What's not to love?
Today, the UK is voting on a series of national and local elections along with a referendum on whether to adopt the Alternative Vote system. The referendum has caused fierce rows within the Coalition, with accusations of lies flying around, including the supposed high cost of an AV system. Most polls indicate that AV will not be adopted, spelling yet another potential disaster for the Liberal Democrats.
It's an odd thing that libraries – by tradition temples to the unfleshly – can sometimes seem such sexy places. The Secret life of libraries.
Australian comedy troupe The Chaser (best known for breaking into the APEC summit in 2007) have been banned from reporting on the Royal Wedding by the Royal Family. The Chaser respond. [more inside]
How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
The Jeremy Kyle Show has been described as 'human bear-baiting', but the programme itself makes great claims about the good it does. So what happens when the cameras stop rolling? At the end of the day... Previous
Benjamin Darvill, a.k.a. Son of Dave, is a one-man band of sorts, combining harmonica, vocals, beat-boxing, a rattle and foot-stomping to create his own infectious form of blues. Darvill, a Canadian formerly with Crash Test Dummies, has released four albums to date as Son of Dave, his latest and best being 'Shake A Bone', recorded and mixed by Steve Albini in Chicago, the title track used briefly in an episode of Breaking Bad. [more inside]
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)
Years after its final broadcast, the award-winning, pond-hopping, cult comedy hit Whose Line is it Anyway? is returning to television! Sort of! Tonight in just a few minutes, Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza (promo, sample segment) makes its debut on GSN, reuniting Carey with popular "Whosers" Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, and many more. Though the show will air every weekday, you don't have to wait around for new episodes to get your improv fix -- in spite of the lack of DVD box sets, there's a veritable treasure trove of past content available free from multiple online sources, including the complete run of the American Whose Line on both YouTube and fansite WatchWLIIA along with every episode of the original UK run from Channel4's official YouTube channel and their streaming video site 4oD. Too much content? Look inside for selections of the show's most hilarious moments as sampled from the show's burgeoning TVTropes entry. See also: Fan guide - American episode guide (UK version) - List of game types [more inside]
Indian prison authorities in Hyderabad have opened up a call centre inside the jail with hopes of servicing customers from the UK.
Recent research on children. (1) Brothers and sisters who argue a lot can improve their language, social skills and outcomes: Guardian article; paper on part of the research (pdf). (2) First findings from Understanding Society. Conclusions include: the unhappiness of children’s mothers with their partners affect children’s happiness, but this is not the case if children’s fathers are unhappy in their relationships; having older brothers or sisters doesn’t appear to affect children’s happiness, but having younger brothers or sisters is associated with less happiness; not living with both natural parents has a greater negative impact on a young person’s life satisfaction than their material situation. (3) A longitudinal study on people now in their forties has found that for these people reading is linked to career success, though not necessarily to better pay, whilst playing computer games and doing no other activities was associated with less likelihood of going to university. In particular, those who owned a ZX Spectrum or Commodore C64 were less likely to go to university. thinq interview with researcher. Guardian article. Telegraph article. (4) Poll about children’s attitudes to losing in sport. Press release. Data from children’s survey. Data from parents’ survey. (All three are PDFs.)
The Independent (UK) proposes a list of fifty books that every eleven-year-old should read. [more inside]
Of the two hundred and forty photographs Horace Warner shot in 1912 of the Spitalfields Nippers, only 30 are around today. [more inside]
Embarassing Bodies, your one-stop clinical revulsion shop! Is it painful? And does it ooze? Pus and blood? Yep, that sounds nasty. [warning: NASTY] [more inside]
In the dim and distant past before video recorders, never mind DVDs and the interweb, the only way a Doctor Who fan could re-live old episodes of the programme was via the Target Books novelizations. The BBC is reissuing some of the classic stories with new intros by the likes of Neil Gaiman. [more inside]
Epidemiology: Study of a lifetime. "In 1946, scientists started tracking thousands of British children born during one cold March week. On their 65th birthday, the study members find themselves more scientifically valuable than ever before." [more inside]
"I almost can't believe I'm witnessing this. We're inside the fortress of terror, our very own Mordor..." [more inside]
Richard Peppiatt, a reporter for the British tabloid the Daily Star, has quit because of its "hatemongering" anti-Muslim propaganda. This is his resignation letter.
The "King of English", H.W. Fowler wrote A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. Although "modern linguists are almost by definition incapable of understanding the function of a book like Fowler’s Dictionary", the "half-educated Englishman of literary proclivities" who just wants to know: "Can I say so-&-so?’" may now buy the classic first edition of the Dictionary again. An earlier book, The King's English, is free for anyone seeking advice on Americanisms, Saxon words, the spot plague, archaism or split infinitives.
UK respite and foster parents may no longer be homophobic, even when it is due to religious belief. An English Christian couple acting as foster parents have been banned from further placements due to their statement that they could not tell children that homosexual relationships were of equal value, with judges stating that their claims that adoption should still be allowed as a "a travesty of reality". Reaction from the UK religious right (such as it is) is venomous. [more inside]
"‘Churnalism’ is a news article that is published as journalism, but is essentially a press release without much added." Churnalism.com is a site created by the British charity Media Standards Trust, which lets you input the text of a press release to compare it with the text of news articles in the British media. [more inside]
The number of young people taking drugs has fallen by 30% in 15 years How the British fell out of love with drugs
Pump Up The Volume - The History Of House Music was a three part documentary (1 Time To Jack, 2 Can You Feel It, 3 From Hardcore To Handbag) first shown in the UK in 2001, telling of House’s origins in the Chicago underground, it’s crossing over the Atlantic and evolving into illegal Acid raves before entering into the mainstream in Britain. (Some NSFW language) [more inside]
In February 2006, a group of criminals pulled off the biggest cash heist in the history of the UK, making off with £53 million pounds. To date, only £23 million of the money has been recovered. Police are understandably upset about the dead ends in the case.
The lemurs are hungry, a new food blog "in search of deliciousness from Malaysia to Mexico", features some great writing and photography, but more shockingly manages to obtain good Mexican food in the UK, something that has been previously hard to find or outright horrible, despite attempts to claim 'the Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine' as a Brit.
"Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind.... The name of this parallel universe is Britain." The UK's Progressive Tea Party.
Time Out's 100 best British films, as chosen by the film industry
Perhaps doing a live to camera from Andy Murray's local pub on the day he loses the Australian Open was not such a great idea. Especially since said pub had been open since 8am. (SLYT)
I imagine she put two and two together after her immigration-officer husband stopped answering his phone. "An immigration officer who worked for the UK Border Agency managed to get his wife out of his hair for three years by putting her name on the no-fly list while she was visiting the in-laws overseas [...] Airline and immigration authorities refused to explain to her why she was not being allowed to travel"
Crime maps have formally reached England and Wales, says The Spectator. Launched today, the crime map shows two mild anti-social orders for our sleepy UK villige. What's your crime level?
[SLYT] A brief video explaining the parts of the UK. This video explains the difference between Great Britain and The United Kingdom, and its various territories, and which countries form which political and/or geographical groups.
With kettling becoming a commonly deployed tactic by the London Met, students from the University College London are fighting back with Sukey, launched this morning. [more inside]
The top US presidents: First poll of UK experts. The full list plus ranks for Vision, Domestic Leadership, Foreign Policy Leadership, Moral Authority and Historical Legacy.
The Words That Maketh Murder/The Last Living Rose - Director Seamus Murphy introduces two of 12 short films he made for PJ Harvey's forthcoming LP, Let England Shake
Stony Stratford, outside Milton Keynes, is facing the loss of its library as a result of crippling local budget cuts. Local residents weren't too happy about this, so they decided to take some books out. All 16,000 of them.
176 Horn Lane, Acton, London, probably isn't an address you think of when it comes to death sentences in Arizona and California. It is the home of a small driving school. And Dream Pharma, a mom and pop pharmaceutical wholesaler. [more inside]
Jayaben Desai passes away. Ms. Desai came to national prominence in the UK for her leading role in the 1976-78 strike at Grunwick Processing's photo processing labs in North London, a dispute that shattered stereotypes about south Asian women workers in Britain, in the face of police violence, the antics of the McWhirter brothers and ambiguous support from the official trade union movement. [more inside]
The British Government wants to ban porn from the internet. The move would force ISPs to block all pornographic content unless users had 'opted in' (providing a handy list of people who wish to view pornography) and is said to be motivated by a desire to combat the early sexualization of children. There is no word on how 'porn' is to be defined.
A 3 hour podcast interview (part 2 here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law and numerous other comics. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton, being Irish-English, Sláine and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
But street football doesn't really exist any more, Cooper admits. "Many children have never played outside. And in some cases their parents haven't either." He cites a 2009 survey by the charity Living Streets which found that only half of five- to 10-year-olds had ever played in their street, whereas nine of out 10 of their grandparents had. How the increasing professionalisation of soccer at all levels in the UK has led to the death of park and street footie for ordinary kids.
"The message to [t]his generation is very clear: don’t get any fancy ideas about being an engaged citizen. Go back to your X-Box and X-Factor, and leave politics to the millionaires in charge." - Johann Hari of the Independent reporting on an unnerving trend in the UK. [more inside]