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It's not often you see a battleship about to be rammed by a giant swan.

The Smallest Manned Navy in the World [more inside]
posted by bokeh on Mar 12, 2009 - 17 comments

British jobs for British workers?

British jobs for British workers? Workers at a Total refinery in north Lincolnshire walked out in protest over an Italian firm importing Italian and Portuguese workers to complete an expansion. Since Wednesday, the walk out at the Lindsey refinery has snowballed into a mass industrial action across the UK. The majority of the strikes and protests have been by energy workers, though some in other sectors (steel) hit by closures and vulnerable to job offshoring have joined the action in solidarity. Brown's government is trying to respond, without much success.
posted by Grrlscout on Feb 1, 2009 - 112 comments

Deep Troubles

The Consultative Group on the Past released its long awaited report today, discussing strategies to build trust and dialogue between communities and heal wounds in Northern Ireland. Part of the strategy was compensation and inquiries to be funded jointly by the British and Irish governments, to the tune of £300K. The report's presentation was interrupted by deeply angry protesters. Some were upset at the idea of financial compensation for the loss of human life. Some were incensed that families of paramilitary members killed in the Troubles were to receive equal compensation to bystanders caught in the crossfire. Some comments on the report from public figures, and from the Program Director of Amnesty International's NI office.
posted by Grrlscout on Jan 28, 2009 - 9 comments

The secret in the safe deposit box

The Letter of Last Resort. At this very moment, miles beneath the surface of the ocean, there is a British nuclear submarine carrying powerful ICBMs ... there is a safe attached to a control room floor. Inside that, there is an inner safe. And inside that sits a letter. It is addressed to the submarine commander and it is from the Prime Minister. In that letter, Gordon Brown conveys the most awesome decision of his political career ... and none of us is ever likely to know what he decided.
posted by veedubya on Jan 22, 2009 - 65 comments

Speaking of sports...

The Guardian is knocked for six by American sport references in British media Creeping cultural imperialism? The effect of internet media from foreign news outlets? Or just Guardian handwringing about something no one else notices? Is British media alone in this trend?
posted by Grrlscout on Jan 20, 2009 - 111 comments

Fly me to the Moon

At the time of its production, it was the most expensive British TV series ever made. In addition to highly regarded special effects, it had one of all-time great theme songs.(previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 16, 2009 - 45 comments

The Doctor Who of Junk Food

The Great British Sandwich is a 'collaborative web project' to build the world's tallest sandwich, one ingredient at a time. It began picking up inedible layers early (20th from the bottom is Cat Hair, 38th is an iPhone 3G) and is now almostover 400 layers including the Higgs Boson, Child's Tears and All the Turtles. via the Ridiculant
posted by wendell on Jan 5, 2009 - 19 comments

Soupy twist!

Before moving on to House (Laurie) and being bloody awesome (Fry), even before Jeeves and Wooster, but after Blackadder I think, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry appeared in an amazing sketch show called A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Fry, in particular, has a way of taking any bit of linguistic madness at all and turning it into something that sounds almost respectable.
To start off, these are calculated to make your brain explode: Tricky Linguistics and Part 2, Buying an Engagement Ring, and The Haircut [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 24, 2008 - 46 comments

A legend takes the Rainbow Bridge

The great British guitarist Davey Graham died Monday at 68. Every aspiring acoustic guitar player who came of age during the 60s knew of Davy Graham, composer of Anji and inventor of the DADGAD tuning. His own records were never commercial smashes, but his influence was felt by all his contemporaries in the world of folk music and by legions who came after who knew nothing of him personally. The Guardian has a brief obit and assembles a fine video tribute .
posted by rdone on Dec 16, 2008 - 18 comments

For my sugar spun sister

The Stone Roses are set to reform. It's almost 20 years since they released their extremely fine album creatively titled The Stone Roses. The band that was a big part of the Madchester movement have been bumping into each other at Manchester United games and no doubt seeing the money that the footballers are making decided it was time to regroup. The rumours are not certain, but some say it is 75 percent likely and media reports everywhere indicates it is probably happening. [more inside]
posted by sien on Dec 15, 2008 - 54 comments

Wait - there was life before motorways?

A less glamorous anniversary passed with little fanfare yesterday: 50 years since the opening of the first stretch of the humble British motorway, the 8-mile two-lane Preston Bypass, which now forms part of the M6. The occasion was celebrated by the official opening of an 5.8 mile M6 extension, closing the "Cumberland Gap", allowing commuters to make the entire 400 mile journey between Glasgow and London by motorway. The total length of motorways in the UK totals around 2200 miles.
posted by HaloMan on Dec 6, 2008 - 34 comments

Class War on the Dancefloor

As laddish 'landfill indie' bands take over the British charts and the previous vanguard of art-school bands trouble the mainstream less, the old debate on class in pop music rears its head once again.
posted by mippy on Oct 28, 2008 - 41 comments

To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery of life

"No other country could have produced the Specials. Terry Hall grew up with Jamaican culture as well as English culture, that’s the only way The Specials could have happened. If you listen to American ska bands, they don’t sound authentic, it's like surf music with reggae mixed with it." Tricky talks about Englishness.
posted by parmanparman on Oct 24, 2008 - 84 comments

Lord Love a Duck!

Ever wonder what a quocker-wodger was? Just what did they mean when they said that you were all kippers and curtains? Worldwidewords.org has the answer. "More than 1600 pages on the origins, history, evolution and idiosyncrasies of the English language worldwide." Word geeks, say goodbye to the rest of your afternoon.
posted by freshwater_pr0n on Oct 20, 2008 - 17 comments

Photography of British Sci-fi fans at home dressed in character.

Land of the Free, home of the geek. Steven Schofield takes photos of british sci-fi fans, dressed in character in their homes. He treats it as 'found' photography, which seems to illustrate the subjects vulnerability. The title of the work is Land of the Free - and illustrates how American culture infiltrates, with the ironic edge of questioning the idea of the freedom of choosing to copy the look of these fictional characters. via kottke
posted by filmgeek on Jul 14, 2008 - 36 comments

Caring Too Much

Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar, has won her discrimination case after refusing to conduct same sex civil partnerships. " Islington Council cared too much about the "rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual" community, the panel ruled. "
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 11, 2008 - 333 comments

stavrosthewonderchicken's home is dying

Canadian expatriate (and Metafilter member) stavrosthewonderchicken has a detailed and depressing look at the impact of the mountain pine beetle in Northern British Columbia, where a perfect storm of "forest fire suppression, clearcutting (and subsequent replanting), [and] global warming" has led to the destruction of over 130,000 square kilometers of forest.
posted by gen on Jul 9, 2008 - 51 comments

42 days and a resignation

42 days and a resignation. The day after the British Labour government narrowly won a parliamentary vote to extend the time that the police can hold people for questioning without charge from 28 days to 42 days, Tory frontbench MP David Davis has resigned his seat. David Davis is a senior member of the main parliamentary opposition party - who strongly opposed the 42 day bill - and has stepped down to fight a by-election for his own constituency to start a debate over "the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government". [more inside]
posted by ArkhanJG on Jun 13, 2008 - 39 comments

Sir Norbert Smith - A Life

Sir Norbert Smith - A Life. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jun 8, 2008 - 2 comments

British Literature Blogs

British Literature Blogs is the brainchild of six British literary bloggers. Each working hard at bringing readers to forgotten or overlooked books, our BritLitBloggers decided that combining their latest blog entries together in one place would highlight the breadth and depth of British literary blogging.
posted by Fizz on Jun 2, 2008 - 2 comments

The midnight ride of Sybil Ludington

Listen my children and you shall hear, Of the midnight ride of Sybil Ludington - While most Americans have heard of Paul Revere, many have not heard of Sybil Ludington and her midnight ride. 231 years ago today, she rode 40 miles at night to warn the colonial militia that the British were burning Danbury, Connecticut.
posted by Argyle on Apr 26, 2008 - 15 comments

Hospital Radio! We still love you!

What's one of the best ways to break into UK radio? Hospital Radio of course! There are over 408 radio stations in the UK that originate from hospitals. Fully staffed and loaded with volunteers, they are a lifeline to patients and produce modern, original programming. Who got their start on hospital radio? Hundreds of legends in the UK radio industry! Including Chris Moyles, Scott Mills, Jacqui Oatley, and Heena Tailor.
posted by parmanparman on Apr 9, 2008 - 16 comments

And you thought discrimination was a thing of the past...

Say you do a job and retire in or before 1996. Your coworker retires after 1997. Coworker gets six times more pension and you're asked to leave the country. Sounds unfair? Not to the British Government. [more inside]
posted by krautland on Mar 19, 2008 - 14 comments

Linux radio show

LugRadio is a fortnightly British radio show that takes a relaxed, humorous look at Linux and open source.
posted by finite on Mar 11, 2008 - 2 comments

James Hewitt Jr

The 'bullet magnet' is back. I can't believe that the British press kept a secret for so long (10 weeks is a miniature eternity in journalist time). It was supposed to last six months... I also can't believe that the odious Drudge has broken yet another big story. Was it all just a PR stunt? [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Mar 3, 2008 - 117 comments

Video Chronology of The History of British TV Comedy

For the past 50 years, The British have made some of the funniest Comedy TV Shows. Come inside for A Video Chronology of The History of British TV Comedy. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 24, 2008 - 96 comments

Political correctness drives me around a twist.

God's Waiting Room is a British documentary about the daily struggles of Haji Taslim Funerals, the first European Muslim Funeral Directors, and how they work to honor the requirements of ancient faith while cutting through the red tape of modern death. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Nov 26, 2007 - 6 comments

Virgin? I don't think so, you saucy little wench... oh, that's the spot I like, right there.

Virgin Trains embarks on a new campaign. Richard Branson takes a new direction in getting people to think about global warming and using British rail. More here.
posted by parmanparman on Nov 1, 2007 - 40 comments

hahaha hoo hoo hehehe ha ha ha hee hee

A collection of vintage British Comedy Clips. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 22, 2007 - 41 comments

Wear your pants high, Simon!

Channel 4's Star Stories! exposes the truths behind the rising & falling of some of your favo(u)rite celebrities: Madonna, Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, George Michaels, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta Jones, Posh and Becks, and Take That. Partial episodes: Brad/Jen/Angelina and Jude Law. Occasionally NSFW (language/simulated sex)
posted by miss lynnster on Aug 20, 2007 - 25 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

Blood? Blood. His blood. Blood.

Garth Marenghi (previously), horror writer, director, and actor. Star of the popular 80's series Darkplace which chronicles the trials a hospital staff must endure when working on the gates of Hell, now available for your viewing pleasure. Or pain. Gripping. Terrifying. Bloody. With bits of sick. (See more episodes on Google )
posted by kindle on Jul 28, 2007 - 25 comments

Let Slip The Badgers of War

Dateline Basra: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."
posted by WPW on Jul 12, 2007 - 75 comments

Interactive British Game Shows at wedigtv

Are you a fan of Channel 4's venerable game show Countdown, but never had the chance to play? Check out this well-made Flash version. It's just one of the classic British game shows made interactive at wedigtv.com, which also features The Price is Right, Family Fortunes, and Blockbusters. Caution: Heavy Flash video, commercial breaks, and some of the UI takes a bit of practice. Via.
posted by milquetoast on Jul 1, 2007 - 17 comments

Iran has shown the British what kind of people we really are: without honour and without shame, writes David Cox in The Guardian.

Our shameless culture, by David Cox (The Guardian): Iran has shown the British what kind of people we really are: without honour and without shame. The Sun, the now officially approved disseminator of British military information, notes that navigator Arthur Batchelor was "tormented" by being called "Mr Bean". Understandably, he had to cry himself to sleep. Perhaps President Ahmadinejad feared that the goody bags might just prove a step too far. But no, they were gratefully received, in a response that aptly captures the infantilisation of a people that once ruled much of the world. Navigator Batchelor has however since complained that the quality of his own bag's contents was not what he had hoped.
posted by hoder on Apr 10, 2007 - 94 comments

Arrested British sailors were gathering intelligence on Iran while on UN mandate?

Releaed British navy commander: We were gathering intelligence on Iran (Watch the interview)
Tony Blair: The sailors were on a legitimate UN mandate
The Observer: The MoD confirmed last night that the Iranians had made the claim that they had become interested in Cornwall's activities after learning about it on British television, but denied the decision to allow the ship's crew to be interviewed while on active duty had jeopardised the mission.
posted by hoder on Apr 8, 2007 - 30 comments

Photo: Seized British sailors after release

Photo: Seized British sailors after release
posted by hoder on Apr 4, 2007 - 153 comments

Is Byyuudua-pessst fahhh?

Some movie villains aren't necessarily bad, they're just accented that way. But what criteria do we use to determine a truly, uniquely bad film accent? Obviously, it helps if an actor or movie annoys you to begin with, but some bad accents are simply indisputably painful to watch. Kind of like a mashup of everything in The Speech Accent Archive with a little bit of Received Pronounciation thrown in here and there. Yes it's true, even the average American enjoys trying to rock a ridiculously fake British tone once in a while (there are dialects?). But believe it or not, there are average people in this world actually trying to learn how to sound American too! OK well, on second thought, it's more likely that they're just trying to sound less "foreign" while they're here so we don't mock them.

Now here's the obligatory Fun Quiz portion of the post: what American accent do YOU have? Previously.
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 24, 2007 - 96 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

"But there was no cheese. Jeeves died a little inside"

Monkey Fluids --20th century book and magazine illustrations with new text. ; >
posted by amberglow on Mar 19, 2007 - 10 comments

Funny ha ha and Funny queer

The Open Secret. "They were a light in the dark ... This is who and what I am; this is my tribe — and, look, I’m famous and life is fun". Matthew Parris sings the praises of those old British poofs, the camp, safe, funny gays that your mum liked. All together now I'm Free! more more
posted by grahamwell on Mar 18, 2007 - 35 comments

English ? Scottish ? Irish ? What's the difference ?

...Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different peoples: the Irish from the Celts and the English from the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the country’s western and northern fringes. But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. The implication that the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh have a great deal in common with each other, at least from the geneticist’s point of view, seems likely to please no one.
A United Kingdom? Maybe
See also Myths of British ancestry
In the words of one well known Basque cultural icon: HA Ha!
posted by y2karl on Mar 9, 2007 - 40 comments

Mr. Humphries has measured his last inside leg.

John Inman, RIP --better known as the campy stereotype Mr. Humphries on Are You Being Served? (a gay icon?)
posted by amberglow on Mar 8, 2007 - 93 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

Spotted dick will never stop being funny.

No spotted dick until you finish your bubble and squeak! An American girl eats her way through the UK, detailing her adventures tasting such traditional delicacies such as haggis and scotch eggs.
posted by SassHat on Feb 6, 2007 - 138 comments

Keep Burberry British !

Keep Burberry British. The 150 years old very british brand is now under a new management that decided to ...*surprise* move production to China closing Treorchy plant, firing 310 workers , despite a 25% increase in profits ! Celebrities from Prince Charles to Tom Jones are supporting the protest.
posted by elpapacito on Jan 28, 2007 - 72 comments

Scenes from 'Withnail & I' on the YouTube

Withnail & I on the YouTube:
Drinking the Lighter Fluid
In the tearoom
Withnail and Danny argue about drugs
Withnail and the Telephone Box
Monty and I
Withnail's monologue in the rain
Withnail & I - A review, Sanjek on Withnail and I
Concerning film maker Bruce Robinson
Withnail & I - The Screenplay
Withnail & I  locations, Withnail and I  quotes and picturesand...
Kids, don't try this at home!--Regarding the Withnail & I drinking game
posted by y2karl on Nov 24, 2006 - 49 comments

Remember, remember

It being the 5th of November and that… here's a bit of fireworks nostalgia.
posted by tellurian on Nov 5, 2006 - 19 comments

The real James Bond

The real James BondSidney George Reilly, the shadowy 'Ace of Spies' and inspiration for Ian Fleming's 007, was born Shlomo/Sigmund Georgievich Rosenblum in Ukraine/Poland in 1874. Perhaps illegitimate, dapper Sidney was a tireless self-promoter, patent-medicine chemist, world traveller, and high-stakes gambler (not only at the tables: he married four women but divorced none.) A Czarist Okhrana informer as a Parisian student, he was hired as an undercover agent in the late 1890s by M of Scotland Yard. Reilly worked both sides of the Russo-Japanese War, influenced British oil interests in Iran, brokered World War I arms sales, and volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps in Canada. Sent to Russia by C of Britain's SIS in 1918, he joined a plot to overthrow the Bolsheviks: it failed, but he escaped to London. Returning to Russia in 1919 to help the White Army, he was later awarded the British Military Cross. A staunch anti-Communist, Reilly schemed against them throughout his career. Lured back to Russia by agents of the 'Trust' — an anti-Bolshevik trap set by the Soviet OGPU — Sidney was arrested, interrogated, and shot in 1925.
posted by cenoxo on Oct 18, 2006 - 14 comments

A soldier speaks out

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt has given an interview to the Daily Mail in which he says that the presence of British troops makes the security problems in Iraq worse . The General won the MC aged 22 in an action in Northern Ireland, so he presumably knows a thing or two about insurgency, never mind courage. Mr Blair has agreed...
posted by A189Nut on Oct 13, 2006 - 36 comments

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