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General Election called in the UK

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for an election on the 6th of May. Parliament will be dissolved on April 12th. [more inside]
posted by iso_bars on Apr 6, 2010 - 105 comments

Is the Tea Party phenomenon good for (American) Democracy?

Naomi Wolf (previously) in her essay "Tea Time in America", wrote: "...concentration of executive power has threatened America’s system of checks and balances and given the Federal government the authority to spy on citizens, withhold information, and aggressively arrest and even Taser protesters – or to hire private contractors to do so. In these circumstances, the Tea Party activists’ focus on supporting states’ autonomy – and even on property rights and the right to bear arms – can seem like a prescient effort to constrain overweening corporate and military power in national government." [more inside]
posted by blue funk on Apr 5, 2010 - 136 comments

Quizarray by Monkeon

Flash Friday: Quizarray by Monkeon
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 2, 2010 - 10 comments

I blame Obama and his terrible gift giving. An iPod and some DVDs? Seriously?

The Special Relationship between the US and the UK is over... Perhaps it never really existed outside of the UK anyway.
posted by Artw on Mar 28, 2010 - 86 comments

What happens if David Cameron loses?

Most people assumed the Tories would walk the coming election. But with their poll lead evaporating, what would a Conservative defeat mean for Britain – and David Cameron? What happens if David Cameron loses? [more inside]
posted by Len on Mar 26, 2010 - 70 comments

on 1 April

UK Space Agency launched with a logo that "looks uncannily like the logo for the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who." It's mission is to develop British space technology, "[b]ut this will have to be done through unmanned space activities, because for the foreseeable future the UKSA will not have enough resources to reverse the decision, taken by the Thatcher government in the 1980s, that Britain will not pay for manned space flights... planned expeditions to the International Space Station will be funded by the country's partners in the European Space Agency."
posted by kliuless on Mar 24, 2010 - 35 comments

It's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove!

Odd pronunciations of proper names (in the UK and Ireland). See also this Wikipedia list, assuming Wikipedia recovers sometime in the near future. Sadly, neither list helps with the pronunciation of Raymond Luxury Yacht. (Inspired by the poll and a recent episode of QI).
posted by kmz on Mar 24, 2010 - 104 comments

"Toffs" and "Toughs"

In 1937, the London News Chronicle published a photograph of five boys at the gates of Lord's cricket ground; two stood aloof in top hats and tails, with their backs to a group of three working-class lads. The resulting photograph became famous as a metaphor for the class divide in Britain, appearing in newspaper stories about school reform, inequality and bourgeois guilt and on the covers of books. The photograph appeared in the Getty Images archive as "Toffs and Toughs", and even was printed on a jigsaw puzzle in 2004. The identities of the three working-class boys were unknown until a journalist tracked them down in 1998; here is an article on the history of the photograph and the lives of the five boys in it.
posted by acb on Mar 23, 2010 - 36 comments

NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines

The NHS Behind the Headlines site gives the scientific facts behind the medical stories making the news.
posted by chorltonmeateater on Mar 22, 2010 - 24 comments

They Cut the Cheese (Roll)!

After 200 years, The Annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake at Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in England has been canceled due to health and safety fears. (Official site.) The BBC devotes a section of their site to the event, and both ESPN and The Big Picture covered it last year. Previously [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 14, 2010 - 31 comments

Too skinny? Try Super Wate-On!

Gypsy Creams is dedicated to 1960's women's magazines - particularly the advertising - and is a fascinating insight into the issues of the day. Need to gain weight? Are you too hairy? Tired and depressed? Maybe you want to make your burnt finger worse. The answers are here, selected from the pages of magazines such as Woman's Own and Woman's Weekly. Gypsy Creams biscuits? Sorry, they're pretty rare these days.
posted by liquidindian on Mar 12, 2010 - 18 comments

Music!

Music! - A 1968 documentary by the National Music Council of Great Britain, featuring folk singing, The Beatles, and even early electronic music produced by tape splicing. Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.
posted by Artw on Mar 7, 2010 - 8 comments

The next age of government

While much is being made of dysfunctional government [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] and hung parliament [1,2,3,4,5], David Cameron's pitches for a fairer society [1,2,3], smarter policy [1,2,3] and employee ownership [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] have been positively, uh, Obamanian.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 5, 2010 - 26 comments

Goodbye Footie.

Michael Foot, leader of the British Labour Party from 1980-83 and principally responsible for the longest suicide note in history, is dead at 96.
posted by unSane on Mar 3, 2010 - 58 comments

All That Mighty Heart

To accompany collections of posters and photographs, the London Transport Museum has recently added a number of short films to its website, including All That Mighty Heart (autoplay) showing a day in the life of London's transport in 1962. (previous 1, 2)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 1, 2010 - 13 comments

Weaponizing Mozart

Weaponizing Mozart - "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
posted by nthdegx on Mar 1, 2010 - 88 comments

The Big British Castle

BBC Radio 6 Music, home of amongst other things the Adam and Joe show, is facing the axe. Phil Jupitus on why this sucks. (Previously, previously, previously, previously)
posted by Artw on Feb 26, 2010 - 36 comments

Bed Bugs, Dust Mites and Dirt. Oh, my!

"Half a million dirty Britons wash their bed sheets only three times a year, a survey discloses laying bare the disgusting bedroom habits of the nation. One in six people also admitted waiting at least a month before washing their bed sheets." "Londoners have the dirtiest bed sheets in the country." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 17, 2010 - 238 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

This is not the time to send out a signal like this in some personal fucking sodcast

For quite some time, I’d wanted to make a screwball comedy. A fast-talking, wildly acclerating ensemble comedy that gets stupider and stupider. I never imagined it would be about a war, and inspired by a very recent war at that. But Simon, Jesse, Tony and I all felt that the more we found out about the dysfunction in Washington and the naivety in London leading up to the Iraq invasion, the more obvious it was that the only way to deal accurately and fairly with this topic was as a screwball comedy. - The Oscar nominated script for In The Loop, with an introduction by writer Armando Iannucci.
posted by Artw on Feb 13, 2010 - 33 comments

Popular: The UK's #1 Hits Reviewed

Popular: Every UK #1 single since 1952, reviewed in chronological order by Tom Ewing. He's up to 1987.
posted by staggernation on Feb 10, 2010 - 20 comments

The People's Manifesto

Comedian and activist, Mark Thomas, has been touring the UK over the past year, compiling a set of policies that his audiences want to see implemented in Britain. As part of the publicity for the resulting book, The People's Manifesto, his publishers are offering to pay one lucky applicant's £500 deposit and campaign expenses to stand for public office at the upcoming general election, on the condition that they will base their campaign on the policies gathered in the book. [more inside]
posted by idiomatika on Feb 9, 2010 - 35 comments

By amfibus across the Clyde

Originally developed for military tasks, amphibious buses have found a niche running tourist services in various cities around the world. But now, Scotland is about to get the first timetabled amphibious bus passenger service, replacing a ferry route in Glasgow and extending it inland to a nearby town and a shopping centre. [more inside]
posted by acb on Feb 8, 2010 - 49 comments

World Government Data

Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 25, 2010 - 13 comments

Sleepwalking into Oblivion

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on paywalls and the future of journalism.
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2010 - 14 comments

There Is

Sean Freeman is a UK-based illustrator and designer specializing in typography. For example, this piece, collaborated with fellow illustrator Pomme Chan. Don't miss the archive, including a little fish.
posted by netbros on Jan 24, 2010 - 4 comments

"Ahhh!" "No, not 'Ahhh!'"

Stewart Lee's Special Parable, The Story of The Prodigal Son, and more irreligious fun from the Sunday Heroes: Woman of sinful life, Ian, The Last Supper, Judas, Thomas.
posted by Artw on Jan 21, 2010 - 25 comments

Not quite labour

Make your own David Campbell poster. Like so. Or just read a post about the posters.
posted by kenko on Jan 20, 2010 - 139 comments

Ambient

On gospel, Abba and the death of the record: an audience with Brian Eno
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2010 - 134 comments

The Big Chill

What Britain looks like without the Gulf Stream.
posted by Artw on Jan 7, 2010 - 134 comments

Landrovers, country manors, back combed hair and synthesisers...

Disintegration - Memories of making the album...
posted by Artw on Dec 29, 2009 - 22 comments

"Three pounds forty and some tobacco"

The complete archive of International Times, which launched a revolution in underground publishing in the UK and paved the way for Oz (of the School Kids special fame) (previously) and a whole string of british underground zines, a heritage that Alan Moores new zine Dodgem Logic very much calls upon.
posted by Artw on Dec 27, 2009 - 8 comments

Rethinking organ donation policy

In response to shortfalls in organ donation, policy is undergoing a serious rethink in several countries. In Australia, the government has just lifted a ban on animal-to-human transplants. In the UK, the Chief Medical Officer has called for presumed consent, while in Israel a new law gives donor card carriers a legal right to priority treatment if they should require an organ transplant. Many are looking to Spain, which leads the world, having seen the number of deceased donors per million people - a commonly used benchmark - increase from 14 in 1989 when a new system was put in place to 34.2 last year. Interestingly, people committing suicide have a higher rate of donating organs than average.
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 21, 2009 - 99 comments

Rage Against the Machine up for Christmas No.1 in the UK

Rage Again against the Machine's Killing in the name is up for Christmas No.1 chart song in the UK due to a Facebook Campaign In a campaign against the usual reality show X-Factor Christmas No.1, a group on Facebook has managed to persuade people in the UK to buy Killing in the Name by Rage against the Machine this week. So far they have managed to hold onto the the top spot.
posted by amil on Dec 18, 2009 - 122 comments

Secrets of The Great British Sex Clubs by Tony Perrottet

(NSFW) So Much For the Stiff Upper Lip. Slate writer gets jiggy wit the history of Georgian Britain's aristocratic sex clubs.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 14, 2009 - 38 comments

Private and Confidential

Bush and Blairline-dancing, The Queen on the loo, Marilyn wanking (nsfw). The phototgraphy of Alison Jackson blends the real and the irreal.
posted by Artw on Nov 27, 2009 - 25 comments

Do Not Try This At Home

You can see that things gradually become more terrifying : Five of the six alkali metals and their reactions to air and water. Learn more at the Periodic Table Of Videos. Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium (Caesium), and the elusive Francium.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 18, 2009 - 29 comments

Opening the Ordnance Survey

The British government has announced plans to make Ordnance Survey map data freely available online. The Ordnance Survey is the government-funded agency which maps the country at high resolutions. Unlike the US Geological Survey's public-domain data, Ordnance Survey maps are proprietary, and licensed only under restrictive terms and for hefty fees, including to local governments; setting the data free is said to produce a £156 net economic gain. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by acb on Nov 17, 2009 - 37 comments

Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion of your Nightmares

The 21 Scariest Doctor Who Moments Ever, according to SFX magazine. Waters of Mars, which aired in the UK this weekend and airs in the US on December 20th, may add to that list. Meanwhile, in other formats, Michael Moorcock is writing a Doctor Who novel.
posted by Artw on Nov 17, 2009 - 84 comments

Strict Liability

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty". Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year. [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Nov 15, 2009 - 133 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Cryonics in the UK

"I don't mean to be rude, but I try everything out on Sylvia, and if she can do it, anybody can." Fortunately, Sylvia is in the kitchen making another cup of tea. In sleepy Sussex is a group of dedicated cryonicists who believe they hold the secret to eternal life. Simon Hattenstone joins them for a demonstration – but first they need to make sure the hosepipe isn't too leaky.
posted by veedubya on Nov 9, 2009 - 50 comments

"More than one American has offered to buy up our Tower and erect it on Palm Beach as a bungalow!"

The Open Road London pioneering colour footage from 1927 (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 9, 2009 - 15 comments

Brilliant folding power plug

A brilliant industrial design (IMO) for a slimline UK power plug. The UK plug is an exceptionally chunky and large lump; a real pain in the computer satchel. This video shows what appears to be a manufacturable design that turns it into an elegant device. SLYT. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish on Nov 4, 2009 - 103 comments

Radio Is A Sound Sensation

Comparemyradio.com analyses the playlist data from all the major UK radio stations. If you want to know who's playing the current number one, what's the overlap between Radio One & Two or whether you should bother checking out Radio Six, this is the site for you.
posted by Hartster on Oct 27, 2009 - 6 comments

The Guardian's Review of the Decade.

The Guardian's Review of the Decade. "It all started 96 hours after 9/11". [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Oct 17, 2009 - 38 comments

SWEDEMASON

The Works of Swede Mason: "Jeremy Clarkson," "Get in the Back of the Van," "Jungle All The Way," "Bill Wyman's Metal Detector," "Put the Lotion in the Basket, *" "Got The Sucka," "The Gobshite, *" "Squashed Thingy," "Spare Me The Madness," and the pair of tracks based on Neighbors deaths "Coffee And Croissants" and "Todd....Dead." [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Oct 13, 2009 - 14 comments

HP15 0TH

The British postcode system, one of the things which Britain arguably does better than anyone else, is 50 years old. The system divides the entire UK into alphanumeric postal districts organised in a hierarchy, with the first one or two letters denoting a postal area (typically a city or the environs of one, though London has several). Unlike systems elsewhere (such as the US, Australia, and most of Europe), it doesn't stop at the neighbourhood level, with each 5-to-7-character full postcode denoting a segment of a street. This makes it useful for applications other than addressing mail, such as navigation; as such, you can enter a postcode into Google Maps or a satellite navigation unit and be shown exactly where it refers to. [more inside]
posted by acb on Oct 3, 2009 - 126 comments

UK Asylum Seekers: Let The Right Ones In

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 30, 2009 - 55 comments

Skip to the end

Spaced is 10. Fried gold!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 24, 2009 - 72 comments

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