will be a one-night event in which a glowing "cloud" of mobile phones and helium balloons is released into the air so that people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the sky.
The cloud will be made of one thousand large helium balloons each responding to the electromagnetic environment (created by distant storms, mobile phones, police and ambulance radios, television broadcasts, etc.) with coloured blue, red and yellow lights.
posted by schoolgirl report
on Apr 9, 2004 -
Clueless about History Britain is a nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey.
A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place.
Sadly, it gets worse. Apparently the Battle of Endor actually happened in some people's minds.
posted by Coop
on Apr 5, 2004 -
The recent post that revived the rude ‘Rainbow
’ kids show sketch reminded me of the our (that is, British) obsession with comic double entendre
- the ability to accept the filthiest things as long as there is a parallel innocuous interpretation. I think it is something to do our love for wordplay and subtext, our innate hypocrisy and the belief that sex is, in fact, rather naughty. Perhaps the prime example are the Julian and Sandy
sketches that ran on the BBC Radio show ‘Beyond Our Ken’
from 1964-69. Over Sunday lunch, millions (there was ONLY the BBC in those days) listened to two very camp characters saying outrageous things in Polari
(underground gay slang). A much earlier prime example is the great dirty joke
(it’s the one in blue at the bottom of the page) that got comedian Max Miller (died in 1963) banned from the BBC for 5 years. A more recent case of innuendo is, of course, Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy
. Of course the double entendre
can also be unintentional
posted by rolo
on Feb 27, 2004 -
is a sculptor of nightmares, is the only person you'll ever meet who has written more books than he has read. Now you can see the return of his Cult '80s TV show.
If you only get to see one TV series from the UK this year, and if you dare, then vist the Dark Place.
posted by seanyboy
on Jan 30, 2004 -
Trusting The Redcoats:
How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service
) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian
. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 14, 2004 -
for conspiracists with time on their hands... But can square-jawed MeFites figure out what happened here?
Remember, Captain Scarlet is indestructible...
posted by klaatu
on Jan 5, 2004 -
Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?!
Alan Tudball was supposed to marry his fiance Claire McCombe in April of this year, but unfortunately Iraq -- and friendly fire
from two U.S. A-10 tankbusters
(video) -- spoiled the wedding plans. Tudball would have died if not for brave Christopher Finney
, who rescued the grievously wounded Tudball, even as the U.S. planes circled around for another strafing run.
refused to pay the wedding's cancellation fee, and the Leasowe Castle Hotel
-- not knowing of Tudball's circumstances -- initiated a lawsuit, but after media attention and several concerned phone calls (mine included), I am pleased to announce that the management of the Leasowe Castle Hotel has announced that they are not only dropping the lawsuit, but that they will host the wedding of Mr. Alan Tudball and Miss Claire McCombe free of charge. It's worth noting that when our leaders seem to only be capable of serving up plastic turkeys, the action of ordinary people working together can still bring about honest-to-goodness Christmas miracles.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Dec 23, 2003 -
Take This Honour And Shove It Up Your Arse:
Some, like JG Ballard
and Benjamin Zephaniah
, want the UK Honours System abolished; others want it reformed
want it left as it is. The recent leaking
of a distinguished list of refuseniks, coming just after Sir Mick Jagger got his ya-yas out
in Buckingham Palace, reminds us of Groucho Marx's
famous comment that he'd never join a club that would take members like him. It's certainly an archaic and complicated system
but, it seems to me, no more open to abuse than other countries' systems. And, arguably, no less ridiculous or hypocritical either. But is it (symbolically, culturally, whatever) useful enough nowadays, simple political expediency apart, to be worth hanging on to?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Dec 22, 2003 -
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal
(NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal
ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups
became world famous. Others only big in Europe
. Some great ones missed stardom by just
. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
posted by jonmc
on Dec 17, 2003 -
UK bans controversial charity ads
In recent weeks, UK newspaper readers have been opening their newspapers to find full-page, colour pictures of a cockroach crawling out of the mouth of a baby. Now the adverts, for children's charity Barnardo's, have been banned. Barnado's maintain
that the pre-Christmas ads were justified as "a way of cutting through the apathy."
posted by TheophileEscargot
on Dec 10, 2003 -
The BBC is asking visitors of its news site to vote from a shortlist of the ten most embarrassing political moments
. Visitors can watch a short film
[real media] which shows all ten nominated moments (forgive the home-video moments style background muzak). There's some variety here: Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock in moments exhibiting a baffling degree of misguidedness, George W Bush and Kenneth Clarke in tight spots (figuratively and literally), while Charles Kennedy and John Prescott probably coming out of their situations looking better than they did beforehand. For me the most cringe-inducing clip is that of John Redwood, the then newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales, attempting to mime the Welsh national anthem. Genuinely difficult to watch.
posted by nthdegx
on Dec 5, 2003 -
BFI presents screenonline
| The British Film Institute
announces the launch of screenonline
: "This new site features an unrivalled collection of archive film and television footage from the bfi
National Film and Television Archive.... [It] is the first time the bfi
has given the public access online to its comprehensive collection of film and television material, giving teachers, students and film enthusiasts an exceptional opportunity to investigate British history, culture and society through cinema. "
posted by jacknose
on Dec 1, 2003 -
The State of Britain today.
of it's citizenry. ID cards. Making criminals of teenagers who snog
(!) And a bill to rival the USA Patriot Act
removing property & human rights at a minister's whim. With men being imprisoned in UK jails for over almost 2 years, without charge or trial (ala Guantanamo) it looks like the partnership between Bush and Blair is a little more than simple expediency.
posted by Blue Stone
on Dec 1, 2003 -
“We fear the government using the current climate of fear and uncertainty about the future as a means to allow itself sweeping powers without an appropriate consideration of proportionality"
......no-go zones ........ power to ban peaceful protest ...... destroy private property without compensation ........prepare for the introduction of compulsory identity cards .... The climate seems to be changing.
posted by JohnR
on Nov 26, 2003 -
Why is it when men reach a certain age they get a hankering after a garden shed, somewhere they can escape to, to potter or mend things or just smoke and read? Well I'm glad it's not just me. And is this a particularly British thing?
posted by rolo
on Nov 15, 2003 -
The BBC introduces
it's new grass-roots political website iCan
. After research showed (surprise surprise) that "many people are very disillusioned and cynical about politicians and local civic institutions
" moves were made to set up iCan, to enable people to get information on and engage in local and national political issues. With search tools to find actions on local issues, message boards, and the ability to create a website for your cause, "iCan aims to make politics accessible to ordinary people confronting a problem.
" It's also one of the things Rupert Murdoch and The Guardian would like to squash.
posted by Blue Stone
on Nov 4, 2003 -
As of October next year, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
comes into effect in the UK. Under this act, a disabled person may have rights to sue a service-providing company if they have difficulty accessing their website just as they might if they had difficulty accessing their headquarters. The Royal National Institute of the Blind website
includes a "web access centre
", which takes a good look at the issue of accessibility and provides sound advice to web designers whether they are legally obligated to tackle such issues or not.
posted by nthdegx
on Oct 22, 2003 -
Have more sex
says the Conservative party in the UK, procreate for the good of the economy and solve the looming pensions crisis. "Europe's real demographic crisis is not longevity but birth rates". Research says, apparently
, that most women want more children than they have, but could it also be the case that a growing number of people just don't see the attraction?
posted by jonvaughan
on Sep 24, 2003 -
Breaking the silence
Last night ITV1 in the UK ran a documentary that is unlikely to be shown in the USA. It is by a respected journalist called John Pilger and amongst other tidbits it shows Colin Powell saying in 1991 that Iraq poses no threat and also Condoleeza Rice confirming the same thing. It also quotes some US officials that the current bunch who seem to be running US foreign policy were known during the administration of Bush senior as "the crazies". Plus much more.
posted by donfactor
on Sep 23, 2003 -
A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79.
"Featuring an A-Z of punk bands from Adam and The Ants to The Sex Pistols to X Ray Spex, fanzines, punk girls, rare record sleeves, audio clips, fashion, punk rock lyrics, interviews and loads of pictures." It's not all about the Sex Pistols.
posted by archimago
on Sep 18, 2003 -
Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC
at the beginning of July, he has spent over £111.15m on eleven new players
prior to yesterday's transfer deadline. Some think that attempting to buy success in football (soccer) in this way is tantamount to cheating. This has really shaken things up in the genteel world of football - but is football still 20-30 years behind US sports? (salary caps, etc.)
posted by daveg
on Sep 2, 2003 -
Hippie Atrocities and Beautiful Freaks -- Oz Magazine
was, for a ten year run during the Sixties and Seventies, Australia's, and later England's, premier underground satire 'zine. Featuring contributions from (among others) Lenny Bruce and Germain Greere, and subject to two obscenity trials--one in Australia and another, more famous one following the editors' exile to England
--it evolved, in its English incarnation, a wicked
and of course, thouroughly psychedelic
design aesthetic. There are galleries of cover art here
and a Shockwave adaptation of the infamous School Kids issue here.
[warning: some images NSFW.]
posted by arto
on Aug 26, 2003 -
but few people catalog the fragments of conversation that they overhear. This guy
travels on the London Underground
regularly...and posts some of those one sided exchanges that make you wonder what the hell people are talking about.
(its my first FPP - play nice...)
posted by mattr
on Aug 25, 2003 -
Staffordshire Past Track.
History and images of an English Midlands county : old photographs
on historic churches
, serial killers
(and the 1984-85 strike
Related sites :- the
Museums of the Potteries
, the area around Stoke-on-Trent which played a major role in the Industrial Revolution; thepotteries.org
, including postcards
Search of Agenoria
, black and white photographs of the post-industrial Black Country landscape; A Miner's Son
- more mining history in the Midlands (with more on the 1984-85 strike, possibly the most divisive political event in recent British history); save Bethesda Chapel
, a historic Methodist chapel in Stoke; panoramic views and history of Lichfield Cathedral
posted by plep
on Aug 25, 2003 -
Britain's Small Wars
since 1945. India, Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Suez Canal Zone, Kenya, Cyprus, Suez 1956, Borneo, Vietnam, Aden, Radfan, Oman, Dhofar, etc. Iraq and East Timor
not featured, as yet.
posted by plep
on Aug 20, 2003 -