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SexCCTV.

Giles Walker created fully animated robot pole dancers to see if it was possible to make CCTV cameras sexy using simple mechanics. Part of the “Mutate London” exhibition at the Behind the Shutters Gallery. SFW
posted by gman on Dec 16, 2008 - 16 comments

Everybody's hugging!

Of what purpose is a lap dance? Is it about alcohol and leisure? Is it an exercise in objectification? Is it a question that requires a lap-dancing body (phwoar!) to decide? Or Parliament? Should someone hold a seance and ask Paul Raymond? (previously) [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on Nov 26, 2008 - 89 comments

The right to live well leads to the right to die well.

Hannah Jones is a terminally ill 13 year old who has won a court battle in Britain allowing her to die peacefully instead of undergoing the major surgery that could prolong her life.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Nov 13, 2008 - 111 comments

Wreckers of civilization

Who's wrecked Britain? A three part list from the Daily Mail. [more inside]
posted by debord on Oct 14, 2008 - 47 comments

The other kind of free trade

Smuggler's Britain tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers like Isaac Gulliver, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 9, 2008 - 7 comments

Lyonesse - shadow island of the Atlantic

In Tennyson´s epic poem Idylls of the King, Lyonesse is the place where the final, epoch-shattering battle between Mordred and King Arthur takes place. In the older Arthurian romances, Lyonesse is the birthplace of Sir Tristan, and it is supposed to have bordered Cornwall in the southwest of England. No historical evidence of Lyonnesse has been found, and the academic consensus seems to be that the French author of the Prose Tristan got his British geography catastrophically wrong, and that he really meant Lothian in Scotland. There are, however, those who believe that Lyonesse was a real realm which once reached from the Scilly Islands to Land´s End. The people of Penzance and southwestern Cornwall certainly seem fond of stories about sunken lands, church bells in the deep, and drowned forests. According to family legend, the ancestor of the local Trevelyan family was a sole survivor who rode across the causeway to Cornwall as Lyonesse crumbled into the sea behind him.
posted by the_unutterable on Sep 27, 2008 - 14 comments

The Who we never knew

The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
posted by Artw on Sep 18, 2008 - 30 comments

Life in a Northern Town

Policy Exchange, the same British conservative think tank who brought you reports such as the tastefully titled The Hijacking of British Islam (previously), have released a new report, Cities Limited (pdf), which states that the only solution for people living in the North of Britain - where unemployment and poverty are high - is to abandon their homes and move south. Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, minced no words in his response: "This report is rubbish from start to finish. I think the author himself said it might be a bit barmy. It is barmy. I gather he's off to Australia. The sooner he gets on the ship the better." Conservative bloggers have been very quick to distance themselves from the report, some going as far as to blame it on Liberal Democrats. Co-author of the report, Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, defends his position.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Aug 14, 2008 - 32 comments

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire, France and Great Britain, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium and Persia and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg, Monaco and Montenegro. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry, Spanish military musicians and 1830's Belgian ambulance.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 4, 2008 - 11 comments

he could bear to wait no longer

Last Year I Killed A Man, by Vaughan Thomas. Published Saturday July 19, 2008 by The Guardian.
posted by ZachsMind on Jul 20, 2008 - 117 comments

Truly Brutal

The Birmingham Central Library, one of the largest and most important public libraries in Europe, has often been vilified as one of the ugliest buildings in Britain. A prime example of Brutalism, English Heritage has (controversially) recommended that the structure should be listed. Others want it to go the way of Portsmouth's hated Tricorn Centre. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 7, 2008 - 89 comments

Super Jesus!!!

Jack English American presents I Hate Britain Day.
(Just pretend it's yesterday, ok? And ignore the Baywatch chick.) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Jul 5, 2008 - 19 comments

Product Placement Banned in U.K.

Product Placement Banned in U.K. Minister says it 'contaminates programs'.
posted by jeremy b on Jun 13, 2008 - 44 comments

Old Weird Europe

German newspaper Der Spiegel decided to take a look at Europe's oddest folk traditions and festivals. Perhaps you can have a metaphorical hard-on for the phallus festival of Tyrnavos, Greece. Maybe you're hungry for how a small Belgian town celebrates the practice of swallowing live fish. Or, alternately, you can look down on those bizarre practices... while chasing a giant wheel of cheese down a hill. [more inside]
posted by huskerdont on Jun 3, 2008 - 20 comments

Decoding Stonehenge

If the Stones Could Speak: Searching for the Meaning of Stonehenge.
posted by homunculus on May 31, 2008 - 22 comments

Hitler defaced

Jake and Dinos Chapman have bought a stack of Adolf Hitlers paintings for £115,000 and defaced them with rainbows and butterflies for their new show, "If Hitler Had Been a Hippy, How Happy Would We Be". The show also recreates "Fucking Hell", a huge swastika shaped diorama of tiny plastic nazis torturing and killing each other, which had been destroyed in a fire.
posted by Artw on May 31, 2008 - 72 comments

Can Two Engineers and Some Elbow Grease Save The World?

Planet Mechanics Dick Strawbridge and Jem Stansfield have been travelling Europe (for National Geographic UK) on a mission to lower energy consumption (and make interesting television). Air Propelled Sandwich | Cow Power | Lake District Dilemma | Solar Paella | Electric Water Taxi | Surf Power | Heavy Metal House | Tree Powered Truck
posted by chuckdarwin on May 27, 2008 - 32 comments

Script-Doctorin' the TARDIS

As of 2010 Steven Moffat will be replacing Russell T. Davies as lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who. In 2005 Davies revived the series, which had been dormant (bar the odd US co-production or audiodrama) since 1989, for BBC Wales. It won awards and was successful enough to spawn the spin-offs Sarah Jane Adventures and the popular-in-America Torchwood. He is replaced by Moffat, one of the regular writers on the show, whose highly acclaimed episodes have won a number of awards and nominations. "I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best - and the toughest - job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."
posted by Artw on May 20, 2008 - 103 comments

A completely revised edition of the Masseian corpus with all the flaws taken out

Masseiana - Containing the three major works of Gerald Massey and his minor work commonly titled: The Lectures. Published here in their entirety, fully revised and amended, with additional material by the editor.
posted by tellurian on May 13, 2008 - 3 comments

Dan Dare and the Birth of Hi-Tech Britain

Dan Dare, pilot of the future, scourge of the Venusian Mekon menace, and modernist architectural inspiration?
posted by Artw on Apr 28, 2008 - 12 comments

See? Forts!

Britain's Maunsell Sea Forts [wiki] were built during WWII as part of the coastal defense system. They were decommissioned in the 1950's, but many of them remain in use for non-military purposes (this is arguably the most famous). Some great photos here. [previously on metafilter]
posted by dersins on Apr 25, 2008 - 13 comments

Time Has Not Been Kind To Curses

"Curse Tablets are small sheets of lead, inscribed with messages from individuals seeking to make gods and spirits act on their behalf and influence the behaviour of others against their will. The motives are usually malign and their expression violent, for example to wreck an opponent’s chariot in the circus, to compel a person to submit to sex or to take revenge on a thief. Letters and lines written back to front, magical ‘gibberish’ and arcane words and symbols often lend the texts additional power to persuade. In places where supernatural agents could be contacted, thrown into sacred pools at temples, interred with the dead or hidden by the turning post at the circus, these tablets have survived to be found by archaeologists."
posted by amyms on Apr 12, 2008 - 20 comments

One flavor of socialism just... got... marketyer.

Britain's National Health Service has unveiled a plan that would allow citizens to choose where they are treated. I found that I had to refer to the NHS wiki page to refresh my understanding of the British system. The Telegraph has also published an interview with the Health Secretary and is inviting reader response. [more inside]
posted by prefpara on Apr 3, 2008 - 8 comments

Lords a-blogging

Lords of the Blog is a collaborative blog written by Members of the House of Lords for the purposes of public engagement - a pilot project. [more inside]
posted by Phanx on Apr 1, 2008 - 17 comments

Inflicting a historical atlas on the world

Physicist Howard Wiseman has a hobby, history. On his website he has three history subsites, filled with lots of information: 1) Ruin and Conquest of Britain 2) 18 Centuries of Roman Empire 3) Twenty Centuries of "British" "Empires". Especially informative are his many maps. As he says himself: "Drawing historical maps of all sorts has been a hobby of mine since my mid teens. Now I can do it digitally, and inflict it upon the world!"
posted by Kattullus on Feb 19, 2008 - 18 comments

178 years old and still going strong

"There's a place that sells these motorhomes on the road to Newton Abbot, and one day we were going past and James said: 'Let's buy one of those. Then we can go wherever we like, whenever we like, and no one will be able to stop us.' "

Britain's oldest honeymooners (combined age 178) hit the road - with a love story that'll warm your heart.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 8, 2008 - 11 comments

Polygamy pays (in more ways than one).

It's been going on in Britain for a while. Now hundreds of men in Toronto are receiving welfare for each wife. Is this what Rowan Williams has in mind?
posted by gman on Feb 8, 2008 - 46 comments

Britain: we discovered the queue

Oh, I say old chap--do you mind not going all "immigrant" on me, and spitting all over the place? Thank you very much. (how Britain proposes to solve the problem of integrating its migrant population)
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 6, 2008 - 109 comments

Are we there yet?

The Gough, or Bodleian map is surprisingly accurate considering it dates from the 14th century. The Map is considered the first true map of Britain. Some say the red lines cris-crossing the map are roads, however, some disagree. You be the judge, because the map is available for interractive viewing at Queens University Belfast.
posted by mattoxic on Jan 31, 2008 - 8 comments

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

The Return of a Clockwork Orange - Writers, artists, directors, UK film censors and starring actor Malcolm McDowell discuss Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 28, 2008 - 121 comments

The subterraneous 5th Duke of Portland

A Brief Biography of William John Cavendish-Bentinck-Scott, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879) - keen horseman and 'peculiar to many - but certainly not mad' owner of Welbeck Abbey.
posted by tellurian on Jan 14, 2008 - 4 comments

Who Makes the Nazis?

"By the time I cut his balls off," one settler boasted, "he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket." The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked "provided they were black".
posted by nasreddin on Jan 11, 2008 - 74 comments

"One sheds one's sickness in books." D. H. Lawrence

Books that heal: bibliotherapy banishes vexations of soul. Maybe.
posted by anotherpanacea on Jan 8, 2008 - 3 comments

Post-War Brit Lit

The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. A few interesting choices here... the 'novelist's poet' at #1 seems fair enough, but this one, this one and this one?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 7, 2008 - 107 comments

To be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial.

Morrissey makes some controversial remarks to the NME. Defensive explanations by the interviewer, attempts at defusing the situation and threats of legal action ensue, as does satire.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 1, 2007 - 53 comments

BBC Podcasts to learn about bakery fresh British popular music

BBC Introducing is an excellent way to keep tabs on what's fresh in the British popular music scene without having to live in a rainsoaked armpit. There are four podcasts for you to download, the flagship Best of Unsigned Podcast, Homegrown Mix with Ras Kwame, Scotland Introducing and BBC Radio Northampton's Weekender. All feature bands that are either unsigned or just recently signed and the music ranges from hip hop to punk rock to what sounds awfully like the soundtrack for a NES game with half-hearted chanting over it. This is an excellent resource whether you're casual searcher for new songs or the kind of anorak who knows which British indie band was first to use an 808.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 5, 2007 - 9 comments

If you like it so much why don't you go live there?

Scary and amusing in equal measure, If you like it so much why don't you go live there? is a compendium of bigoted opinions, idiocisms and zenophobic remarks posted on the BBC's Have Your Say site. [more inside]
posted by hnnrs on Nov 2, 2007 - 37 comments

JMW Turner - Broadening the landscape

If you like 'fantasy' art (as opposed to comics :) and you're in DC I'd highly recommend checking out the JMW Turner exhibit at the NGA! [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 20, 2007 - 11 comments

Abroad with Jonathan Meades

"Britain is the most censored country in the developed world, which is bad enough. What is worse is that most of Britain does not object." Ladies and Gentlemen, for the truth about the British Isles, I put it to you that there is only one source worth consulting- Jonathan Meades. (Youtube linkdump ahoy...) Abroad in Britain (1990), Further Abroad (1994), Even Further Abroad (1997), Abroad Again In Britain (2005), and Abroad Again (2007). (and more besides).
posted by robself on Oct 6, 2007 - 21 comments

Lyon's Electronic Office

In October 1947, the directors of J. Lyons & Co (think - teashops, nippies, bakeries, ice-creams, steakhouses, hotels, Wimpy Bars and Dunkin' Donuts), decided to take an active role in promoting the commercial development of computers. In 1951 the LEO I computer was operational and ran the world's first regular routine office computer job.
posted by tellurian on Oct 1, 2007 - 13 comments

What has the BBC ever done for us?

For those of us who thought the BBC's mammoth self- marketing campaigns were one of the symptions of modern marketing excess, a trawl on the Internet has turned up this John Cleese-presented advertisment on What Have the BBC Ever Given Us?. And it being the BBC, Spitting Image have the right of rebuttal... [more inside]
posted by electriccynic on Sep 10, 2007 - 28 comments

I don't know how to be a wife, I'm only 16!

The British documentary Britain's Youngest Brides follows five teen girls on their paths to the altar. My personal favorite is Catrina and her 308 pound wedding dress.
posted by miss lynnster on Aug 18, 2007 - 66 comments

"I've never got over it"

"Henry John Patch would be notable simply by virtue of his 109 years on earth... But Harry Patch is more than a gerontological phenomenon. The man arranging his medals and sitting up straight for a photograph in the conservatory of a nursing home in Wells is the last British man alive to have served in the trenches during the First World War."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 12, 2007 - 26 comments

Confessions of a former jihadist

I was a fanatic...I know their thinking. If a British former muslim jihadist is to be believed, "the engine of [their] violence" is not western foreign policy, but certain fundamental tenets of islamic theology. Hassan Butt's previous MeFi appearance was two years ago (before he left the jihadist network in February 2006). Also, a video and transcript of a 60 Minutes interview.
posted by lifeless on Jul 3, 2007 - 42 comments

Unpopular premier slams popular press

The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2007 - 21 comments

The hounding of David Oluwale

David Oluwale arrived in Britain in 1949, one of many African immigrants. By the close of 1969, he was dead. Two years later, two police officers were charged with his murder, although they got away almost scot-free despite a massive amount of evidence against them. Although it caused a national scandal at the time, more because of police malpractice than racism, Oluwale's sad story has been forgotten since (apart from a play, written by Jeremy Sandford, a few years later). However, it deserves to be remembered not just because of a tragic and unnecessary death, but because it was the first recorded death of a British black person as a result of police racism. A new book, Nationality: Wog, The Hounding of David Oluwale is helping bring Oluwale's plight back into public consciousness. Via the BBC's Thinking Allowed.
posted by humblepigeon on Jun 6, 2007 - 8 comments

The Future: Apparently It's Much More 80s Than You Anticipated

The British Olympic Committee unveiled the logo and branding for London 2012 today, at a cost of £400,000 (USD796,000). Reaction has been swift - a petition to change the logo or go back to the old one has already reached 10,000 signatures.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jun 4, 2007 - 149 comments

Pain free hardness

Do you want to look hard but can't stand the needle? Detachable Tattoo Sleeves are the answer. Unfortunately, small is out of stock at the moment.
posted by tellurian on Apr 18, 2007 - 50 comments

WWII Close-Quarters Combat

Gutterfighting - any means, fair or foul, to save your life. Including The Kengla/Styers Short-End Technique. [tip o' the hat to Warren Leonhardt's 007 post] [related]
posted by tellurian on Apr 2, 2007 - 33 comments

Big Brother is Watching You. On CCTV.

George Orwell, Big Brother is watching your house. With CCTV. Perhaps the Surveillance Camera Players could put on a performance there. It looks like Britain really is becoming a surveillance society. [Via Digg.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 2, 2007 - 44 comments

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