427 posts tagged with britain.
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"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

"I look up to him, because he is upper-class. But I look down on him, because he is lower-class."

In Britain: Upper class, Upper middle class, Middle class, Lower middle class, Working class. An American on class.
posted by Aloysius Bear on Mar 30, 2007 - 93 comments

"Gee, I just love your accent."

BBC News: "Gee, I just love your accent." The American nation may be more wary of crossing borders, but their love affair with the British accent continues unabated. Despite the fact that there are multiple variants therein, and what may be considered a "low-class" accent in the UK is still considered a "high-class" posh accent in the US. Naturally, the Brits will play this up to the hilt - and it may help in getting them jobs, credibility, Oscars and Emmys, by no less an authority than Stephen Fry.
posted by badlydubbedboy on Mar 21, 2007 - 178 comments

Studies in Scarlet

Studies in Scarlet: Marriage & Sexuality in the US & UK, 1815-1914, courtesy of Harvard University, features digitized trial narratives for over 400 cases--some famous, most not. (Harvard also has a more general collection of trial narratives here.) There are earlier trial narratives at Rictor Norton's Homosexuality in Eighteenth Century England: A Sourcebook and Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports; see also CrimeCulture's Rogue's Gallery and a Victorian anthology, Curiosities of Street Literature (originally published in 1871). Albert Borowitz has a brief history of true crime narratives here. For more historical criminality from the investigator's point of view, check out the Forensic Medicine Archives Project at the University of Glasgow. (Main link via VICTORIA.)
posted by thomas j wise on Mar 15, 2007 - 13 comments

Are upper lips the only things allowed to be stiff in Britain?

Sorry lads - Wank Week is cancelled. Channel 4's planned series on masturbation, which would have come this month and which was to feature such illuminating documentaries as "I Can't Stop Wanking" and "Masturbation for Women" (ukguard@mailinator.com/tester), as well as a portrait of the UK's first masturbate-a-thon, has been pulled as a result of the recent Big Brother controversy. Would-be viewers feel stiffed and wonder why 4 is being so hard on its viewers, who are now left to entertain themselves.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 2, 2007 - 22 comments

Borag Thungg Earthlets!

30 years of thrillpower! British weekly comic 2000ad celebrates it's 30th aniversary. Previously discussed here, current Tharg Matt Smith interviewed, special birthday Prog. Splundig vur thrigg!
posted by Artw on Feb 26, 2007 - 20 comments

The strangest election ever

There's about to be an election (pdf) in the British Parliament's second chamber, the House of Lords. Not an election where the public can choose their lawmakers: that's still a matter of debate. No, one of the 92 hereditary Lords has died, and those of his party colleagues that remain get to choose another hereditary peer to take his place. So the election, in which only hereditary peers registered as Conservatives can stand, will be decided by the votes of the 47 Conservative hereditary peers still clinging to the twig. And just to make sure it's properly democratic - the vote is by proportional representation.
posted by athenian on Feb 18, 2007 - 40 comments

Films from the Homefront

'Films from the Homefront' is a (new) collection of amateur documentaries, newsreels, government films, and home movies documenting life for the ordinary people in Britain during World War II, with background text descriptions/explication. Browse the themes. The films are QT and wmv format. I found it both poignant and funny, for instance, seeing kids don gasmasks during air raid drills then attempt to continue writing in their lessons. [via Glasgow School of Art Library]
posted by peacay on Feb 16, 2007 - 4 comments

Agent ZigZag

James Bond eat your heart out - the name's Chapman, Eddie Chapman. A German spy who was awarded the Iron Cross and a yacht. A British spy who probably saved vast chunks of London from bombs. But above all, a conman with a penchant for "prostitutes, cognac, gambling, Savile Row tailoring and fast cars" according to his spymasters (warning - PDF). Read the book. Or the other book. Or see the biopic he reportedly didn't like. He died aged 83, in case you're wondering.
posted by MuffinMan on Feb 15, 2007 - 12 comments

Child migrants

A moving, four-part audio documentary tells the story of as many as 150,000 children of the British poor, sent to populate Australia, Canada, and other colonies with "good, white stock".
posted by serazin on Feb 1, 2007 - 5 comments

Whooooooooooo-Tube

Ghosts of the London Underground - a documentary. More here.
posted by greycap on Jan 31, 2007 - 7 comments

Bollywood Vs Bigots on UKs Big Brother

The UKs Celebrity Big Brother provokes a diplomatic incident after bullying and alleged racism in the Big Brother house. At the center of the furor are Shilpa Shetty, massive bollywood film star, and Jade Goody, a previous Big Brother content famous for being a previous big brother contestant and her odd views on geography. Both Jade and Shetty are now up for eviction, with the formerly popular Jade being widely expected to be evicted. She could face trouble on the outside, where already an anti-bullying charity she represents has dropped her. Meanwhile Shetty has become favorite to win.
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2007 - 136 comments

Vive la revolution sa majesté Elizabeth!

1956. France is losing Algeria. It’s lost Indochina. Sure, it’s culturally very productive, with Nouvelle Vague cinema at its height and existential philosophy gaining ground in the world at large. But to the nation of Napoléon and to one that preferred to emphasise the Résistance in its more recent history, that wasn't enough. What to do? Why, propose political union with Britain, of course.
posted by Aidan Kehoe on Jan 15, 2007 - 53 comments

A London Provisioner's Chronicle, 1550-1563

Henry's Machyn's sixteenth-century Chronicle was nearly destroyed in an eighteenth-century fire, but editors Richard W. Bailey, Marilyn Miller, and Colette Moore have just published a new online scholarly edition, comprising both a reconstructed text (thanks to the very posthumous assistance of John Strype) and images of all the pages. There are several other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century diaries and chronicles online, including Dana F. Sutton's edition of William Camden's Diary (in both Latin and English), J. G. Nichols' Victorian edition of the Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London, and the Earls Colne project's transcription of the diary of clergyman Ralph Josselin. (Machyn link via the very handy Textual Studies, 1500-1800.)
posted by thomas j wise on Dec 11, 2006 - 4 comments

The Pied Marksman of Surrey

The Memorial Gardens in Surrey has a pigeon problem, and has hired a marksman to come to town & conduct a three year program of pigeon sniping to resolve the issue. The people of Surrey respond, via some of the funniest letters to the newspaper I've ever read (letters published at the bottom of the article).
posted by jonson on Dec 6, 2006 - 33 comments

Nutwood chum

Rupert Bear has been given a makeover so that he'll have more appeal to today's audience. Invented by Mary Tourtel in 1920 and appearing in the Daily Express newspaper, he also stars in the Rupert Little Bear Library and in a long-running set of annuals - which also championed the art of paperfolding (origami). [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Dec 5, 2006 - 23 comments

Stephen Irwin Movie

Bows and Arrows is an innovatively styled but bleak short movie. Don't make the same mistakes the Caretaker did! [via]
posted by tellurian on Nov 27, 2006 - 2 comments

Toob to Beeb

"I feel guilty because I have friends that are working really hard to get into television or acting and I'm just sitting here having not done anything more than enjoy playing with gadgets."

Susi Weaser (24) makes little one-minute gadget reviews and posts them on YouTube . The BBC must have liked them - because they hired her.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 18, 2006 - 18 comments

quirky slice of life

Peter Dench is a London photojournalist whose portfolio features work on some fun and quirky themes. He won the 2004 World Press Photo for his series called drinking of england. Some other series, like nudestock, are NSFW.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 18, 2006 - 19 comments

Serving humanity soon

Now that he's left the Ministry of Defense, he wants to warn us how very concerned he is about that huge triangular UFO police and military personnel (and hundreds of civilians) witnessed flying over RAF bases in Shropshire in 1993.
posted by Twang on Nov 11, 2006 - 75 comments

Percy Grainger and the Orchestra

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is one element of 'The Sound Exchange' by the Philharmonia Orchestra. It was conceived and written by Andrew Hugill who has also developed this online Random Round [flash] based on the work of Percy Grainger.
posted by tellurian on Nov 6, 2006 - 6 comments

20th Century London Project

The Exploring 20th century London project draws on some 8000 items from the Museum of London, Transport Museum, Jewish Museum and the Museum of Croydon. Material includes photos, drawings, posters, artefacts, sound files etc. Browse/search by theme, timeline and location. [sitemap]
posted by peacay on Nov 4, 2006 - 3 comments

Penguin Book Cover Design

Penguin Books is an all too brief Flickr Photoset of Penguin Book cover designs from decades past. For those interested, this book is highly recommended.
posted by jonson on Oct 24, 2006 - 9 comments

JM's World War One Sketchbook

A World War One sketchbook from an unknown soldier. Some of them are quite enigmatic.
posted by tellurian on Oct 11, 2006 - 18 comments

Politics for adults

18DoughtyStreet Talk TV - 'the home of anti-establishment TV' launches today (they do seem to have fallen a bit behind on their blog though). [trailer] The two main presenters are Tim Montgomerie and Iain Dale. Anti-establishment?
posted by tellurian on Oct 10, 2006 - 6 comments

My analysis of this is somewhat tongue in cheek, please don't flame.

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen in line, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain.
posted by thirteenkiller on Sep 5, 2006 - 30 comments

Romanes Eunt Domus.

After the Romans left Britain was divided into a number of Celtic kingdoms that fought with each other and, increasingly, with the Germanic invaders we know as "Anglo-Saxons." The most famous alleged defender of Celtic Britain, of course, is King Arthur, but he's more myth than history. What catches my imagination is The Gododdin (Welsh original, by Aneurin), an epic lament for the band of men who gathered at Eiddyn (Edinburgh, main town of Gododdin) around the year 600 and headed south for a last-ditch battle against the Saxons at Catraeth (probably Catterick in northern Yorkshire), where they were wiped out. One contingent was from Elmet (Elfed in the poem), a kingdom that had been holding the line against the invaders in what's now Yorkshire; once Elmet was conquered, there was no stopping them. And all of this history was basic to the poetry of David Jones, one of the best unknown poets of the previous century, and important to one of the best known, Ted Hughes (book with photos). "Men went to Catraeth, familiar with laughter. The old, the young, the strong, the weak."
posted by languagehat on Aug 31, 2006 - 31 comments

uh-oh, prejudicin' trials

The New York Times doesn't want people in Britain to read this article (try to access it from a British IP address and you'll get an error message). Of course, this is the web, stupid (scroll down to read it).
posted by reklaw on Aug 29, 2006 - 42 comments

Aciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid

Raves not dead! The British subculture the government tried so hard to kill is alive and well in Cornwall and Essex.
posted by Artw on Aug 27, 2006 - 74 comments

Historical medical instruments

Phisick - Beautifully presented historical medical instruments. Check out the French Nasal Rectificateur. Take a look these ear trumpets too: 1, 2, 3, 4. [Click on the images in the top strip for alternate views and close-ups]
posted by tellurian on Aug 18, 2006 - 19 comments

Prints by Michael Burghers

Large scans of plates, largely for Robert Plot’s Natural History of Staffordshire (1686). You can view more of Burghers work here.
posted by tellurian on Aug 9, 2006 - 6 comments

Oranges and lemons

Love's guide to the church bells of the City of London (with sounds, peals and pictures).
posted by tellurian on Jul 26, 2006 - 11 comments

I have a rendezvous with Death, at some disputed barricade

90 years ago today, whistles blew around the river Somme in France as British troops prepared for an attack on German trenches. By the end of the day they had suffered 57,470 casualties. By the battle's end in November, there were over 600,000 Allied casualties, with perhaps the same number of German casualties. The Imperial War Museum has launched an online exhibition, where you can find out more about how the battle was planned, personal stories of those involved, and myths about the attack. Elsewhere you can find copies of Army reports on the first day, look at film of the attack, diaries and letters home from the troops, go on tours of the trenches, listen to contemporary songs and music inspired by the battle, and see some more modern responses.
posted by greycap on Jul 1, 2006 - 38 comments

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