As you turn eyes to London to watch this year's Olympics, you might be surprised to find out that the City of London
has a population of about 11,000 and is only one square mile. [more inside]
posted by eye of newt
on Jul 26, 2012 -
Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq.
In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got."
The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq
, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone.
Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness
with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers.
In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war
. Huge increases in newspaper sales
were seen throughout his global media empire
, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up
posted by markkraft
on Jun 16, 2012 -
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep"
and the success of sophomore record The Bends
, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead
were under pressure to deliver once more.
So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor
and got to work.
What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity
-- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology
-- through a mosaic of challenging
, eerily beautiful
music unlike anything else at the time.
Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes
, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments
, the band finally settled on OK Computer
, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed
harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review
for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy
for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown
. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 16, 2012 -
Welcome to the world of Britain's working poor.
The Rowleys belong to a section of society not much mentioned in ministerial and media dispatches. They are neither the very wealthy affected by the 50p tax nor the "squeezed middle" expressing anxiety about child benefit and this week's budget; nor are the Rowleys representative of the long-term unemployed or one of the 120,000 "troubled families" in which the government is investing £448m over the next three years. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad
on Mar 18, 2012 -
Network Rail virtual archive
Original drawings and plans of Britain's railway infrastructure from Network Rail, including the Forth Bridge, Bristol Temple Meads station, the Tay Bridge and lots more.
posted by Helga-woo
on Mar 4, 2012 -
"Everyone knows there’s a catastrophe unfolding, that few can afford to live in their own city. It was not always so." - China Miéville on Apocalyptic London
posted by timshel
on Mar 1, 2012 -
Argentina will take Falklands claim to the UN Cristina Kirchner warns of 'grave risks to international security' and states intention to prevent war over natural resources. (Argentina) has mobilised much of South America and the Caribbean in a diplomatic and commercial squeeze. Ships flying the Falklands flag are barred from the region's ports, depriving the islands of bananas and other fresh fruit. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Feb 7, 2012 -
India tells Britain: We don't want your aid According to a leaked memo, the foreign minister, Nirupama Rao, proposed “not to avail [of] any further DFID [British] assistance with effect from 1st April 2011,” because of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”. But officials at DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, told the Indians that cancelling the programme would cause “grave political embarrassment” to Britain, according to sources in Delhi. Further embarressment ensues
. Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is incredible that ministers have defended the aid we send to India, insisting it is vital, when now we learn that even the Indian government doesn’t want it.”
posted by infini
on Feb 5, 2012 -
The Reel History of Britain, a BFI/BBC co-production, brings archive film into the nation’s living rooms. The footage shown in the series has been selected from the hundreds of thousands of films and programmes preserved in Britain’s film and television archives. We are complementing the series by making many of the films featured in The Reel History of Britain available online in their entirety, alongside expert commentary from the nation’s archive curators.
posted by Trurl
on Oct 17, 2011 -
Although the sculptor Hiram Powers
(1805-73) enjoyed considerable success with his portraits
and more allegorical works
, he is now almost entirely remembered for one of nineteenth-century America's most hotly-debated sculptures: The Greek Slave
. Powers was a little vague
about the inspiration for the statue--longstanding dream, or response to the Greek War of Independence (see previously
)? Understood at the time
as a major leap forward in establishing America as a serious force in the art world, the statue was an international hit (appearing at the Great Exhibition
of 1851), and was endlessly copied
. (Some of the copies turn the statue into a much more ambiguous bust
, or hark back
to one of its major influences, the Venus de Milo
.) However, some observers, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning
and, much more pointedly
, the illustrator and caricaturist John Tenniel
, suggested that an American sculptor might wish to think about other
posted by thomas j wise
on Aug 17, 2011 -
"Using pejorative terms like "handouts" and "doling out", some parts of the media are mounting a campaign to suggest Britain should be embarrassed by our level of aid giving. But the idea that aid is generous is absurd. Some families, inspired by religious tradition, think it is appropriate to give 10% of what they have to charity, £10 in every £100 of earnings. In 2010, the UK gave not £10, not £1, but 56p ($0.91) in overseas aid for every £100 ($163) we earned as a country. On average, since 1990 we have given even less, 35p ($0.57).
" [Giving aid to poor countries is hardly a great act of generosity
] [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Jun 14, 2011 -
Coalition health reforms will spell the end for the NHS and lead to U.S. style system, claim researchers.
'Prof Allyson Pollock, from the Barts and The London School of Medicine, and David Price, senior research fellow at its Centre for Health Sciences, write in a paper published on BMJ.com that the legislation “amounts to the abolition of the English NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly accountable, tax funded service, free at the point of delivery”. They say the Government “has repealed the health secretary’s duty to provide or secure the provision of comprehensive care” in order to create a commercial market in care. Instead, under the new system the state "finances but does not provide healthcare", in “equivalent to Medicare and Medicaid schemes in the US”'. Meanwhile, Dr Kim Price, claims 'the UK coalition government's planned NHS and welfare reforms, and their use of 'nudge' theory, hark back to ideas on welfare and recession from the end of the nineteenth century
, according to studies by a University of Leicester historian whose research paper has recently been published in the Lancet'. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 23, 2011 -
The snowpocalypse has hit Britain, again, and you've still not bought a snow shovel. Naturally, all the shops have sold out and have no idea when they'll get more. Let the Internet help you by sending you a reminder
for next year...
posted by mr_silver
on Dec 23, 2010 -
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 -