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All these worlds are yours...

An open letter to all fans of Science Fiction from Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award - The Arthur C. Clarke Award, the yearly award for best Science Fiction novel published in the UK, could be in trouble.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2010 - 26 comments

Football Mascots, English Democrats And Shadow Mayors

The Local Government Act 2000 brought directly elected mayors to the UK. Take up was limited and success was mixed. If you were lucky you got Stuart Drummond. If you were unlucky you got Peter Davies. Davies, the mayor of Doncaster, is widely seen to have exacerbated existing problems in the town.

This week, the Localism Bill was introduced to Parliament promising referenda on directly elected mayors in the twelve largest cities in England. In advance of this, council leaders are being turned into 'shadow mayors'. The problem? The leaders don't actually want these new powers.
posted by ninebelow on Dec 16, 2010 - 9 comments

Hanging around longer than you might have thought

In 2002, the Hartlepool United F.C mascot, H'Angus the Monkey (so named because local fishermen once hanged a monkey in the mistaken belief it was a Napoleonic spy), was elected to the office of Mayor of Hartlepool with promises of free bananas for schoolchildren. In 2010, the man behind the monkey suit, Stuart Drummond, was elected for his third term and has been voted among the ten best mayors in the world. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 15, 2010 - 16 comments

The English Mountain Bike

Geoff Apps has been building and riding his own distinctive cross country cycles since the late 1960s. Unlike the members of the Rough Stuff Fellowship, who traditionally used touring or road bikes, Geoff's designs come from his background in motorbike trials (previously). After more than twenty years off the market, his latest design will soon go into production: the Cleland AventuraTT.
posted by scruss on Dec 13, 2010 - 17 comments

Zarjaz!

Prog 1 to Prog 1500- Every cover of the British science fiction comic 2000AD from the years '77 to '06 in 3 and a half minutes. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 13, 2010 - 28 comments

"...with God's help, we shall prevail."

A new movie, The King’s Speech, (official site / trailer / clips) depicts King George VI of England's struggle to overcome his problem with stuttering and find his voice, in time to deliver the historic radio speech that prepared London for WWII. The film is being hailed as a potential Oscar-contender, for its unique, sensitive portrayal of stuttering -- a sharp contrast to the way movies traditionally present those who suffer from the disorder.. Slate offers a slideshow of ten video clips: A History of Stuttering in the Movies [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2010 - 38 comments

The worst riots since...1990?

Protesters clashed with police and attacked Prince Charles's limousine as riots raged in the heart of London after MPs voted to triple university tuition fees. Video's here.
posted by QueerAngel28 on Dec 9, 2010 - 193 comments

Words of Warcraft

This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special (UK only link, YouTube links here and here) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and EDGE, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
posted by Artw on Dec 8, 2010 - 20 comments

Some weeks I'm lucky to make £500

As the UK coalition government plans swingeing cuts and students take to the streets to protest, one mother asks us to remember the 'Nouveau Pauvre'. Some commentators react unfavourably to her impending 'austerity Christmas'. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Dec 5, 2010 - 58 comments

the bird is the word

Excuse me, have you heard the word? (SLVimeo, Possibly NSFW or sanity)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 4, 2010 - 48 comments

My pointe shoes are brown because my skin is brown.

'I couldn't find one black woman working in ballet and that stunned me. I decided to do something about it myself.' What she achieved was ballet company Ballet Black and its associated school.
posted by rodgerd on Dec 3, 2010 - 29 comments

One million books to be given away

One million books will be given away for free in the UK & Ireland as part of World Book Night. Any adult can apply to receive a box of 48 copies of their favorite from a list of 25 titles, by the likes of John le Carre and Toni Morrison, and give them away as they please. The ambition is to roll out the idea worldwide in future years if it proves a success in the UK.
posted by philipy on Dec 2, 2010 - 27 comments

In which our heroes chat entertainingly.

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunite for a 90 minute TV special to mark the 30th anniversary of their partnership. The programme sees the former double act reminiscing about their friendship, careers and sketches. Parts I II III IV V
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 28, 2010 - 37 comments

Bootiful

Millionaire Norfolk farmer Bernard Matthews became an unlikely minor celebrity in the UK, after appearing in his own adverts. He specialised in turkey production and ironically died yesterday on Thanksgiving. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 26, 2010 - 44 comments

(Almost) Frozen in Time

"In all my slow-motion work so far, I’ve used a static camera to capture a high-speed event. But, I wondered, what would happen if the camera was the fast-moving object? For instance, if you use a 210fps camera at 35mph, on playback at 30fps it’ll seem to the observer that they’re moving at walking pace- but everything observed will be operating at 1/7th speed." [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 25, 2010 - 44 comments

The Warlocks of Firetop Mountain

An Illustrated History of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy - Jackson and Livingstone - audio, sans illustrations. The story of how Steve Jackson (not that Steve Jackson) and Ian Livingstone kickstarted tabletop roleplaying in the UK and founded a gaming behemoth that is very different today.
posted by Artw on Nov 25, 2010 - 42 comments

A G.I.'s WWII Memoir

Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2010 - 7 comments

"A scene that celebrates itself has nothing to celebrate"

Cartoonist John Allison of (Bobbins, ScaryGoRound, and Bad Machinery fame) has posted his take on the current state of webcomics in the UK.
posted by Lentrohamsanin on Nov 18, 2010 - 33 comments

Whatever happened to the heroes?

Dear Everett True, NME and Q don’t love music any less than you do… a revealing blog entry on the music press. From Collapse Board, who also do an awesome song of the day.
posted by Artw on Nov 17, 2010 - 49 comments

Is London Bridge Falling Down?

Here is an 80-gigapixel panoramic photo of London made from 7886 individual images. This panorama was shot from the top of the Centre Point building in central London, in the summer of 2010. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 16, 2010 - 48 comments

You think it’s cuddly but it will tear your insides out

Pulp's Common People - the great class-based song of the 90s?
posted by Artw on Nov 11, 2010 - 119 comments

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Up against Take That's new single, the Royal British Legion are hoping that the recent support for all things Remembrance will translate into best-seller sales and funds to support serving and ex-service personnel. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Nov 9, 2010 - 6 comments

HIT POST AND FLAME OUT

FREAK OUT AND BREAK THINGS A poster-maker toy for you.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 9, 2010 - 76 comments

Hankies not guns

A new urban dance craze is sweeping across the UK, taking it back to old skool. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 8, 2010 - 45 comments

Great banter

First episode of Alan Partridge's brand new series, Mid Morning Matters from North Norfolk Digital (SLYT) (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 5, 2010 - 20 comments

Swiftboating considered harmful.

UK (ex)MP Phil Woolas has indicated he will seek a judicial review of the decision today to void his election victory of earlier this year. He was found guilty of "knowingly making false statements about [rival candidate] Mr Watkins in campaign literature". Woolas claims the ruling will "inevitably chill political speech", whereas the Justices' ruling found that his Election Literature breached UK laws.
posted by samworm on Nov 5, 2010 - 35 comments

Plans for UK's Tech Future

Prime Minister David Cameron set out his plans for making Britain more innovation and startup friendly. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Nov 4, 2010 - 41 comments

We must find out the truth of this situation.

For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a very strange dialogue with the two noble Lords, in the course of which I have been trying to bring to their attention the willing availability of a strange organisation which wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the economy in this country. For want of a better name, I shall call it foundation X. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Nov 3, 2010 - 65 comments

Newspapers and paywalls, some data from The Times

Some data on newspapers and paywalls, as The Times reveals some of their numbers and chooses to look on the bright side of the data, while others are more skeptical. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Nov 2, 2010 - 48 comments

No creaking gates, no gothic towers, no shuttered windows...

Broadcast on Halloween night 1992 Ghostwatch - a live investigation into a haunted house - was one of the most controversial and terrifying programs the BBC has ever shown. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 31, 2010 - 36 comments

Potentially sinister

Security alerts have been declared at Airports in the US, UK and Middle East after the discovery of suspicious packages originating in Yemen. The packages, modified toner cartridges, have been described as "definitely not a complete bomb" but being "potentially sinister".
posted by Artw on Oct 29, 2010 - 291 comments

Steam Punk

Captain Sensible travels on the historic Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch steam railway to Dungeness [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 28, 2010 - 18 comments

The thirteenth floor didn't exist... and yet it was there... filled with unknown terror!

"Greetings, I'm MAX, the computer. Maybe you've heard of me, I'm superintendant here!" - Welcome to The Thirteenth Floor!
posted by Artw on Oct 26, 2010 - 14 comments

UK Spending Review

The Chancellor of the UK coalition government has announced the details of the Comprehensive Spending Review, setting budgets for government departments to 2014/15. Total savings will be £18 billion. Local government funding will be cut 7% each year for the next four years. The Arts Council budget will be cut by 30%. 490,000 jobs are forecast to be lost over the period in the public sector. The average cuts for each government department will be 19%. The speech. HM Treasury Spending Review pages. Guardian summary. Independent article. Nick Robinson's blog for the BBC. Make your own cuts with the Guardian's interactive tool. Graphic showing 09/10 government spending (that is, before the cuts).
posted by paduasoy on Oct 20, 2010 - 91 comments

Greater Manchester Police posting 24 hours of incidents to Twitter

Greater Manchester Police are posting every single incident they deal with over a 24-hour period to Twitter. Due to the high volume of incidents, they're posting them over three different Twitter accounts: one two three. [more inside]
posted by chorltonmeateater on Oct 14, 2010 - 31 comments

I'm really not happy, I'd like to make a complaint please...

Man phones Asda to complain about a pizza. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 13, 2010 - 30 comments

Englishmen's homes are still castles, with prices to match

Depressing million-dollar London property. Even in the economic crisis, £635,000 doesn't get you much inside the M25: you can take your pick of a worker's cottage near a football stadium, an Australian backpacker-style apartment near Earl's Court, a 2-bedroom house right near the ring road or various other similarly dispiriting residences.
posted by acb on Oct 12, 2010 - 52 comments

Gallifreya

Back in the 80s when Doctor Who was mired in a creative and ratings slump, the programme's creator Sydney Newman was asked how to revive it. His answer - regenerate the Doctor as a woman. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 12, 2010 - 102 comments

The Tories' favourite Lib Dem

Good news for Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats: he's more popular than the Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron. Perhaps not so good news for the Liberal Democrats' image: that's with Tory party activists. Meanwhile, Cameron has professed his love of Macs and iPads in an interview, undoubtedly causing Apple to become instantly uncool in much the way The Smiths and Paul Weller did a few years ago.
posted by acb on Oct 4, 2010 - 54 comments

Equality Act 2010

"As of today, I am no longer a woman." [more inside]
posted by ArmyOfKittens on Oct 2, 2010 - 96 comments

Welcome to the funhouse

Anish Kapoor turns the world upside down
posted by Artw on Sep 27, 2010 - 21 comments

So how was the omelette, honey?

The National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize shortlist for 2010 has been announced. Among the entries, and causing a small ripple of controversy, is Panayiotis Lamprou's Portrait of My British Wife, which is reopening up where mainstream sensibilities of the border between art of and voyeurism lie. The photo features Lamprou's wife Christina looking directly at the camera. Wearing no knickers. [Links are SFW. NSFW links appropriately flagged on the pages themselves] [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Sep 20, 2010 - 72 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

Sticks and stones ...

The War Within [more inside]
posted by Megami on Sep 4, 2010 - 4 comments

Z for Zine Editor

The early days of british comics fanzines, by Dez Skinn, one time head of Marvel UK and founder of Warrior.
posted by Artw on Aug 26, 2010 - 3 comments

YouTube Cat Lady has been identified.

This past Saturday evening a woman dumped a rescue cat into a garbage bin on the side of a residential street in Coventry, U.K. Fifteen hours later owner Darryl Mann: "I came down to feed Lola on Sunday morning but couldn’t find her anywhere. It was really hot day outside and I searched nearby alleyways but suddenly heard a tiny meowing coming from the bin. I looked inside and I found her in the bin, she was terrified and covered in her own mess....At first I thought she’d somehow climbed inside the bin herself but when I checked the CCTV I was gobsmacked to see some a woman had done it deliberately." Mann posted the video to YouTube and Facebook in an effort to find the perpetrator. As a result, the woman was identified by this morning. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Aug 24, 2010 - 249 comments

The Scorsese of the Midlands

This is England '86, the television series sequel to the film This Is England by director Shane Meadows will broadcast in the UK next week. Meadows started his career with a number of ultra-cheap short films on borrowed equipment, a couple of which have found there way onto the internet. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 22, 2010 - 22 comments

London, 1845

A two-part panorama of London originally made in 1845 by the Illustrated London News, later updated with text descriptions. Other formats can be found on the blog post. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 11, 2010 - 8 comments

He likes to keep himself to himself

After years of "If You Suspect It, Report It" (the more Big Brotherly British equivalent of "See Something? Say Something."), it has been finally been determined what level of encouraging people to turn in their neighbours is just too much.
posted by 256 on Aug 11, 2010 - 47 comments

The Prince Of Post-Pub

A pioneer of UK late night television The Word is twenty years old. From the sublime (Television debut of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit') to the ridiculous (Snoop Dog vs Rod Hull and Emu) to the down-right disgusting (The Hopefuls) it was always memorable. (Much NSFWness) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 11, 2010 - 29 comments

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