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Dizzee Rascal

Fix Up, Look Sharp With stateside hip hop in an unprecedented doldrum, the torch has been snatched up on this side of the Atlantic by 18-year-old Eastender Dizzee Rascal. He's recovering from a stabbing carried out rival fans of a rival garage collective in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The attack took place a few days before being nominated for the Mercury Music prize. Guaranteed not to be everybody's cup of tea, but he's an interesting character and challenging music make it, and his album, worth a look.
posted by hmgovt on Jul 29, 2003 - 25 comments

Teenagers find the internet very difficult to use ....

Teenagers find the internet a frustrating experience A survey in the north east of England finds that teenagers are increasingly being alienated in their online experience because they aren't being given the skillsets to cope with finding or using the information. Seems to be the old story of schools buying computers but the kids not being engaged enough on how to use them (which has been the case since I was stuck in front of an Acorn Archimedes fifteen years go). Here is a similar article from Australia which describes how their eductation system is coping with the issue.
posted by feelinglistless on Jul 23, 2003 - 14 comments

Mercury rocks

The Mercury Music prize has rolled around again. 12 top artists from the UK and Ireland are up for glory. Winning is no guarantee of long term success, so frankly,what's the point?
posted by ascullion on Jul 22, 2003 - 12 comments

The HRE was neither holy nor roman, talk amongst yourselves (about GMOs)

Today the British government released a major report on the safety of genetically modified foods. According to New Scientist, "existing genetically modified crops and foods pose a 'very low' risk to human health and are 'very unlikely' to rampage through the British countryside", but others disagree.
posted by turbodog on Jul 21, 2003 - 58 comments

David Kelly microbiologist and games death

Kelly warned of 'dark actors playing games Dr David Kelly's recent death has the British press in an uproar. Kelly was the former head of biological inspections in Iraq for the UN mission, Unscom, former deputy head of Porton Down and the Ministry of Defence's senior adviser on biological defence. In July 2002. According to reports the Carlyle Group took a 34% stake in QinetiQ which was splitoff in 2001 from the Porton Down research lab and is now a private company according to this story The Carlyle Group is profiled here in this explosive explosive Dutch expose (note the first 1.48 minutes are in Dutch the rest is in English Since David Kelly was himself a micro-biologist in the past connected to Porton Down does he have any connection (as some have claimed: including a radio show I heard this evening) to the 11 or so micro-biologists that have died mysterious deaths after the 911 event? These deaths and there timelines are are extensively documented around the web.Including the following web page----(http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/)---- Is this is an area some creative journalists need to investigate?
posted by thedailygrowl on Jul 20, 2003 - 48 comments

'Goyle and Trouble

The monstrous fauna of the cathedrals... although less polished than the prev. mentioned A Love of Monsters, this collection of gargoyle photographs - largely from British churches - more than makes amends with its enthusiasm for its subject.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2003 - 6 comments

NewsNewsFilter? Uh, OK!

It’s not a mass-produced American product. It's either "a turnaround in American publishing, or... radically wrongheaded" - but it looks like The Guardian may be launching a version in the USA soon. Could such a venture lead to the demise of the venerable old Fleet Street institution, owned by an independent trust? Is it overreaching ambition or a daring entry into niche market? More interesting to me, are there any similar non-profit media organisations in your part of the world (wherever that may be)?
posted by dash_slot- on Jul 7, 2003 - 13 comments

bicycling in the bog

Wales and sports. I'd not put the two together, being from across the Atlantic. But, as we approach next weekend's Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling Championship, I'm amazed the sport isn't better known in the States. Though, after reading about it from the 2000 Woman's champion, I think I'd rather participate in their horse racing marathon (there's a big bonus for crossing the finish before the horse) or bikeless bog snorkeling events. What sporting events are there where you're from that haven't yet gotten the world wide audience they deserve?
posted by bragadocchio on Jul 4, 2003 - 1 comment

Hilary Clinton parody by Craig Brown

Hilary Rodham Clinton Lets It All In: I couldn’t speak. I could hardly breathe. I was gulping for air. I couldn’t take it any more. There was only one thing left to do. I took it out of my mouth and bundled it back in his pants. A parody by Craig Brown, the man who dared follow in Auberon Waugh's steps, from Private Eye.
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Jun 11, 2003 - 17 comments

Putting some black in the Union Jack...

Take one flag. Add black marker pen. Instant Harmony! Does multicultural Britain need a flag makeover? Does this set a multi-colour precedent? Rainbow's taken isn't it? Is it maybe a plot by smaller flag makers to undermine market leaders? And what about Wales?
posted by klaatu on Jun 11, 2003 - 30 comments

How Dodgy Are You?

How Dodgy Are You? I'm in the clear. No years in prison and no fine. Safe and boring. Let's see the Mefi criminal element emerge shall we? [Imagary may now be work safe and the quiz is based on UK law ...]
posted by feelinglistless on Jun 10, 2003 - 49 comments

Crap Towns.

Crap Towns. 'We continue to be ... surprised at the dreadful quality of British life' writes The Idler magazine, in their on-going quest to disover 'the crappest town in Britain'. How many here have escaped from truly crap places to live, or are still trapped in them? (more inside)
posted by misteraitch on Jun 10, 2003 - 65 comments

Justizzle

"Fo shizzle ma nizzle" versus Her Majesty's Justice.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 6, 2003 - 15 comments

Cheese rolling anyone?

Cheese rolling Of all the weird and wonderful things I've read about this week, this really takes the cheese.
posted by lunadust on May 30, 2003 - 15 comments

ARGH! GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD!!

160 million people watched the gloriously kitsch Eurovision Song Contest this year. The UK's entry [Real] scored an astonishing nul points (i.e. none of the other 25 countries thought the British song was in the top 10 competitors). The singers blame the country's worst ever result on sabotage. What do you think?
posted by Pretty_Generic on May 26, 2003 - 37 comments

My Drugs Hell

Elliott could no longer bear the waste. He had six staff and a budget of £3.5m a year. He had a potential client group of 25,000 users ... but at the end of all his work and all that public money, the total number of detox beds he was able to provide was five. The Guardian reports from the front-line of the drugs war. (part two) You may have no interest in Drugs or the UK but read this superb piece for a profile of a bureaucracy in farcical, tragic, total collapse.
posted by grahamwell on May 23, 2003 - 5 comments

Marillionm remixes

Fancy yourself as a mixmaster? Marillion are offering you the chance to remix their last album, Anoraknophobia. Tracks cost £10 per song for the masters, or £60 for the whole album. Whatever you think of the band (like/hate/never heard) this is certainly an unusual opportunity. Feel creative? There's a prize of £500 per song for the best mix.
posted by salmacis on May 6, 2003 - 16 comments

Money makes you stupid

The more you earn, the lower your IQ. That's the clear but unexpected result from the second National IQ test broadcast by the BBC. The test is still online if you are curious. The first test was discussed here. For a higher IQ, be an unemployed Irish man and drink too much.
posted by grahamwell on May 5, 2003 - 44 comments

Ricky Gervais And Comedy Radio

The Funniest Brits Since Monty Python, The Fast Show And The League Of Gentlemen are definitely Ricky Gervais* and Stephen Merchant whose giggly, gloriously silly and shockingly juvenile improvised radio antics can be heard every Saturday on xfm. Radio is so often overlooked and underestimated as a vehicle for comedy that it hurts. This is probably more so in America than in the UK. [Don't know about Canada or Australia, although they produce so many excellent comedians.] Sooooo... What's your idea of radio comedy gold?
*Gervais, in case you've never to have heard of him, is the star of the magnificent The Office, recently aired on cable, along with Ali G, and returning to America in a bastardized version; already featured on MetaFilter.
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 4, 2003 - 34 comments

Phonebox cam

Phonebox cam 24/7 webcam pointed at a phonebox somewhere in UK, dial 01926 424110 or 0044 1926 424110 to see for yourself who answers the phone (I guess a videophone) (it's night in UK right now so you won't see much)
posted by bureaustyle on May 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Wasting the emergency services' time

Communications operator : "Hello police"
Caller: "My wife's left me two salmon sandwiches which was left over from last night... and I'm a sat in the chair here and she's out there decorating. She won't put any food on or anything for anybody, I don't know what...."
Communications operator: "I'm sorry but I really can't take this. It's not an emergency because your wife won't give you anything to eat."
posted by Mwongozi on May 3, 2003 - 15 comments

Donnie Darko Graffiti

They Made Me Do It  is a collective of artists emerging from the UK graffiti scene...The first project,  from which the collective and name originated, was based around  [Richard Kelly's]  film  Donnie Darko...with each artist producing a canvas in 6 hrs 42 min and 12 seconds inspired by the cult film...
[...a little more inside.]

posted by Shane on May 2, 2003 - 18 comments

19 Princelet Street

19 Princelet Street, Spitalfields. A permanent celebration of London immigrant life.
'Described as the nation's answer to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, 19 Princelet Street in London's East End was refuge to hundreds of Jews fleeing persecution from the Nazis.
posted by plep on May 1, 2003 - 4 comments

Microsoft announces music service:

Microsoft announces music service: Apple roughed up in playground, candy stolen.
posted by aladfar on Apr 29, 2003 - 37 comments

Electronic voting in the UK

E-voting could counter apathy amongst the young on May 1st. Research published by HEDRA indicates that over half of young people would be more likely to vote if they could do so via the Internet. But is it secure and verifiable? They seem to have covered most of the bases. But the question remains, will voters trust such a system? Unfortunately, the discussion seems to have been prematurely terminated. Warning: pdfs!
posted by cbrody on Apr 28, 2003 - 34 comments

Cry God for Harry! England and Saint George!

Happy St George's Day. Patron saint of England, Portugal, skin diseases and syphillis amongst other things. Saint George may not have been English, or even have set foot in England, but a poll suggests many English people would like his day to be more enthusiastically marked. There's even an online petition you can sign in support of making St George's day a national holiday.The government shows little interest though. What's wrong with being English, and why shouldn't we celebrate our national day properly?
posted by squealy on Apr 23, 2003 - 28 comments

The life of Twine

My bet is no-one will care, but I'm marrying my fiancee six months today. Who cares, you say. But think about this... Current UK law means you can either be married by an Anglican minister or by a Registrar. Due to ecumenical fun we're getting married in an Anglican Parish Church with a URC minister and have to get a registrar to stand in the church. Why the religious difference? Does it matter?
posted by twine42 on Apr 5, 2003 - 27 comments

Blair a war criminal

Blair, the war criminal Tom Dalyell, a Labour MP with over 41 years of service in the House of Commons has voted with his Labour Party constitutency to call for Blair to reconsider his postion as party leader. He further states that he believes "[Blair] should be branded as a war criminal and sent to the Hague".
posted by lometogo on Mar 27, 2003 - 22 comments

Robert Fisk in the Independent

Robert Fisk in the Independent Today's front page of the UK broadsheet comprises solely of a text-only report of yesterday's bombing of a Baghdad marketplace, beginning: "It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car..." This is how war reporting should be.
posted by garyh on Mar 27, 2003 - 110 comments

Big Bomber: the reality TV hit of the summer

Big Bomber: the reality TV hit of the summer! Who will be the first to be evicted from the Big Bomber house?
posted by skylar on Mar 24, 2003 - 4 comments

Amazon UK taken down by demand in cheap PDAs

Amazon UK was taken down for over an hour today after a rush of orders caused by apparently mis-pricing Compaq HP iPAQ H5450 Pocket PCs and HP iPAQ H1910 Pocket PCs at £23 GBP and £7 GBP respectively (normally priced at over £200 GBP each)!! I know a few people who have ordered one or two ;) - Amazon is back up and running now but we're all a bit in the dark as to whether we'll get our cut-price goods or not. Logic and fair-play (and the Trades Description Act) dicatates that we should get our goods - but I wonder.... (see also here at The Register)
posted by andyHollister on Mar 19, 2003 - 37 comments

Sailing close to the flame

At what point does a government have to stop and wonder if it's judged the mood correctly?

The UK government manages to bribe a rebel with a cushy job, but not one, not two, but three other MPs walk away from the government in one day. Are things going wrong in the UK?
posted by twine42 on Mar 18, 2003 - 63 comments

Cook sods off

The resignation speech [Real, edited text] of Robin Cook, the ex-Foreign Secretary who led British troops into Kosovo, received a standing ovation in the House of Commons, something that hasn't happened in recent memory. The now leaderless House votes on the war tomorrow.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 17, 2003 - 45 comments

It's just not cricket

It's just not cricket - it would appear that the Cricket commentator at The Guardian is having a bad day.
posted by chill on Mar 14, 2003 - 24 comments

Big Brother Is Watching You...Idiotically

Nominate the world's stupidest security procedure. UK-based watchdog group, Privacy International, is accepting nominations until March 15th from the general public about the most annoying and invasive security measures with the lowest effectiveness in protecting individual safety. What would you nominate?
posted by jonp72 on Mar 6, 2003 - 19 comments

The Name Remains The Same

Get Your Own Name, Buster! It's doesn't get any sillier than finding out how many people in the U.K. are at this very moment walking about pretending to be you; the limey bastards. But it's humbling, to say the least - and a bit of fun too. [Via Linkmachinego and Plep.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 5, 2003 - 39 comments

When Washington writes Blair's autocue

When Washington writes Blair's autocue. For those of you outside the U.K. a very funny clip from Rory Bremner, about the only satirist left on U.K. television. (Real Video Stream - 'Blair & Campbell Autocue').
posted by rolo on Mar 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Living in poverty and fear of abandonment, the barely functioning state that trusted its saviours

"If the Americans think this is success, then outright failure must be pretty horrible to behold." something for US, British and world citizens to think about as we bang the drums for war on Iraq.
posted by specialk420 on Feb 24, 2003 - 30 comments

Loving the US

How to love the US is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here. I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
posted by jpburns on Feb 19, 2003 - 86 comments

390,000 Jedi in Britain

390,000 Jedi in Britain In a recent census 390,000 U.K. residents declared their faith in the Star Wars religion following an e-mail campaign that claimed 10,000 declared Jedites would make Jedi a 'legal and official religion.' So what happens now? Who will build the first Jedi church? (I reckon this says more about British attitutudes to form filling than attitutudes to religion).
posted by rolo on Feb 13, 2003 - 22 comments

king of stonehenge

The King of Stonehenge found in a 4,000-year-old grave near Stonehenge may have been from Switzerland and involved in its construction. It is the richest Bronze Age burial found in Britain "off the scale". ...it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad – probably modern day Switzerland – could well have played an important part in the construction of Britain’s most famous archaeological site.”
posted by stbalbach on Feb 10, 2003 - 16 comments

1953 floods

Delta 2003 Yesterday the 1953 floods were commemorated in the Netherlands and a day earlier in the UK. What happened in 1953?
posted by ginz on Feb 2, 2003 - 5 comments

London Vs. The Smog Monster

50 years ago last month, a dark cloud settled in over London. And stayed for four days. This fog, which was brought on by a lethal combination of high pressure, near freezing temperatures and London's pervasive coal burning, starting killing things. At first, the animals at a cattle show, then the elderly, or those prone to resperatory disease. By the end, over 4,000 people had died. Strangely, to this day the disaster retains a low profile, unlike more glamorous disasters such as the Titanic, or Bhopal. Stranger still, is that unlike those others, while the fog was at its most deadly, few realized there was even an epidemic occurring, with most viewing it as, at worst, a mild nuisance.
posted by jonson on Jan 22, 2003 - 22 comments

What's in a can of beans?

Children of the bean sing a catchy little ditty and have a theme park adventure. Something strange is going on at Edleston Primary School and I like it. Prepare for blastoff. (some links contain flash)
posted by snez on Jan 21, 2003 - 9 comments

Fake celebrity gossip in UK

As our own Royal Family slams them, can we be certain of anything reported in the British press? Celebrity gossip is king: if an unpopular public figure isn't ruined, then they're dragged through the gutter by an amoral PR guru. Celebrities mysteriously go out with other celebrities, until their single reaches number one (usually they're with the same PR company). It happens all the time. And models have sex videos 'stolen', only for one newpaper to 'find' out and charge people to look (and trailers suddenly appear on Kazaa). Is nothing real?
posted by wibbler on Jan 9, 2003 - 8 comments

The BBC's virtual monopoly must end (must it?)

Is the BBCi website far too big and monopolistic? Editorial from 'The Guardian' discussing whether the BBC's website, funded by the British license fee is taking the thunder away from commercial websites worldwide trying to achieve the same results in advertising run market place. There is some logic to the argument -- when e-marketing revenues are dwingling how can some sites compete with this bohemoth? On the other hand, if they were achieving the same results people would be going to them instead, and the BBC's website is very, very good in some places, indispensible in others.
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 6, 2003 - 23 comments

Girl to sue over detention

Girl to sue over detention "The family, who want compensation, will argue that the detentions were unlawful because they took place in Freya's free time. " If you can't give kids detention, how else are they going to be punished for breaking school rules?
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 28, 2002 - 88 comments

January Department Store Sales

"There Is Only One Sale" is the traditional January sales slogan of Harrods' department store in London, where the elbow-fest begins next Monday. With disappointing Christmas retail sales being reported more or less everywhere, it looks like the U.S. National Retail Federation's statement "What's going to be crucial now is the week after Christmas" is not the usual BS. Sales in Europe are still month-long extravaganzas where unique bargains can be had. In the U.S. they seem to be more frequent, shorter and somewhat diluted. Assuming you're normal (a stingy, somewhat gullible and opportunistic shopper like the rest of us), what are your post-holiday shopping objectives? Which department stores will you be hitting? Or is it all just a big con?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 24, 2002 - 10 comments

One-in, one-out: the nominations.

One-in, one-out: the nominations. "Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell on Dec 18, 2002 - 6 comments

Laughter capital of the world ?

Laughter capital of the world? "Declining audiences, dull material, complacent comics: a crisis is looming ....London suddenly appears to be in the grip of a recession for the first time since the alternative comedy boom took off at the beginning of the 1980s." From a nation exporting Bill Bailey(live in NYC this week) ,Eddie Izzard, Ali G, can this really be happening? (BTW I always thought Canada tried to lay a claim to this crown?)
posted by Voyageman on Dec 16, 2002 - 15 comments

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