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Comedian Linda Smith dies of cancer

British comedian Linda Smith dies of cancer. Linda Smith, president of the Humanist society and a regular on BBC Radio 4's flagship comedy shows such as The News Quiz and Just A Minute, plus her own A Brief History of Timewasting, her wonderfully deadpan style and the ability to transform moaning into an art form will be missed by many.
posted by ceri richard on Feb 28, 2006 - 31 comments

For when a brazillian has left you cold

With the growing trend (at least among the porn stars & strippers I sleep with) of complete genital hairlessness, it's refreshing to see that the centuries old tradition of the Merkin has been reborn for a new generation.
posted by jonson on Jan 29, 2006 - 40 comments

Intelligent Design goes overseas...

BBC News: British unconvinced on evolution "More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey. Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in school science lessons." Nice to know that the maxim for the UK being five years behind the US still holds true, more or less.
posted by badlydubbedboy on Jan 26, 2006 - 63 comments

The Austin-Rover web resource

The Austin-Rover web resource A complete resource of the cars of British car manufacturer Austin Rover. Read the history of such design classics as the Morris Marina, the Austin Maxi, and my own first car, the Austin Allegro. No wonder Britain no longer has much of a car industry.
posted by salmacis on Jan 17, 2006 - 16 comments

Where do all the teaspoons go to?

Where do all the teaspoons go to? A scientific study published in the British Medical Journal about where all the teaspoons in a works canteen go to.
posted by hardcode on Dec 24, 2005 - 34 comments

The Fenian Raids

During the middle of the 19th Century, a series of factors combined to create a new Irish patriotic movement. This organization was a revolutionary group dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland. It had its roots in both the United States and Ireland and was popularly known as The Fenian Movement, in honour of the Fianna, the ancient Irish warriors.
posted by Shanachie on Nov 19, 2005 - 8 comments

Don't believe the hype?

"I bet you look good on the dancefloor" is the new single by a hitherto unknown Sheffield band called the Arctic Monkeys. [warning direct QT link] Media hype has meant demand for their London gig is so high they have moved from playing a pub to playing the London Astoria. Their observations on northern culture have drawn comparisons with Oasis and Kaiser Chiefs - or will they go the way of other bands picked up then dumped by the media? (anyone remember Gay Dad?) Whether or not they last, you will probably be hearing them quite a lot in the next few months.
posted by greycap on Oct 1, 2005 - 46 comments

Crap Post of the Day

Is this the cream of British humo[u]r, or just a pile of crap? Crap jobs, crap towns, and crap holidays, described with that classically British self-deprecating wit. And for those who prefer a more serious Britishness, try Crap Arrest of the Week on this week's edition of the excellent Schnews radical news site.
posted by cleardawn on Aug 15, 2005 - 24 comments

'The Only Man Stalin Ever Feared'

Alexei Sayle's writing for the Independent in the Motoring section. Occasionally it's about motoring, too! Also found was his "Imitating Katherine Walker" [html/pdf] and an excerpt from his book of short stories 'Barcelona Plates'. more inside
posted by Zack_Replica on Jul 30, 2005 - 10 comments

Haggis in Pyongyang

"The haggis was pronounced excellent by all that ate it, foreigners and Koreans, including the Vice-Minister." A diplomat describes opening the British embassy in Pyongyang. Direct link (rtf) here.
posted by stonerose on Apr 26, 2005 - 16 comments

Brian Eno's next big thing?!

Brian Eno's next big thing?! Politics, it appears. Brian Eno, an outspoken opponent of Tony Blair's administration in Britain, has started up http://www.libdemthistime.org, encouraging prominent Brits to show their support for the Liberal Democrats. If that isn't enough, he's helping bankroll the father of a British soldier killed in Iraq to run against Tony Blair in his constituency, in the hope of unseating him. Could Labour win and Tony lose?
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 29, 2005 - 47 comments

Plague burier, spitboy & leech collector: worst jobs in history

The worst jobs in history. Channel 4 takes you on a journey through 2,000 years of British history and the worst jobs of each era for minions like you and me. If you are curious whether you are best suited to be an Anglo-Saxon guillemot egg collector or a Georgian loblolly boy, take the career guide quiz. (via Malbec.
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 20, 2005 - 21 comments

The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton.

The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton. Known in the UK for his quirky and melancholic card designs, and sometimes compared to David Shrigley, Edward Monkton is the creator of the Toast with No Ears, the Ninja Biscuits, and most famously, the Penguin of Death which even has its own spinoff site.
posted by wessatong on Mar 5, 2005 - 10 comments

Collect Britain

Collect Britain 'presents 90,000 images and sounds from the British Library, chosen to evoke places in the UK and beyond.' Dialects, gardens, sketches, stamps, and all kinds of stuff.
posted by plep on Mar 4, 2005 - 4 comments

British Portrait Miniatures

British Portrait Miniatures at the V & A. 'These pages developed to compliment the Miniatures Gallery tell the story of the portrait miniature in Britain, from its first appearance in the 1520s, at the court of Henry VIII, to the height of its popularity in the early 19th century.'
posted by plep on Mar 2, 2005 - 5 comments

Everybody needs a Ghost, a Ghost of a Chance...

AppreciationFilter: Edwyn Collins --Scottish Britpop Master--from Nu-Sonic as a teen in the 70s, Orange Juice ("Rip It Up") in the early 80s, to "A Girl Like You" and "Magic Piper," and still going strong decades later. He even created a British sitcom, West Heath Yard, and now supports up and coming bands. Even if you've never heard of him, you've heard at least one of his songs, whether in Austin Powers or elsewhere. More history here, from his old site. (and you can hear 18 streaming songs of his on the main link, above.)
Edwyn is now in the hospital after suffering a serious brain hemorrhage.
posted by amberglow on Feb 26, 2005 - 13 comments

OH! Canada

Canada, a 13+ link whistlestop glance at something from all the provinces and territories...Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, NWT, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, PEI, Quebec, Saskatewan, Yukon. Not to mention the talk about Turks and Caicos?
posted by edgeways on Feb 15, 2005 - 28 comments

The Continuing Adventures of a Total Wank Stain

Trashbat.co.ck. From the twin serpents of Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris - both men linked and discussed here before - comes their latest experiment. It's a series on one Mr. Nathan Barley, and while it's hard to tell precisely what it shall be, the pedigree screams quality.
posted by Sticherbeast on Jan 29, 2005 - 16 comments

Hacker or Lynx user?

Boing Boing says he's a Lynx user, but British Telecom declared him a hacker and that's what the BBC is carrying. There's no way to tell who's right yet, but I'd say the Bloggers are betting on Lynx user. Anyone got an update?
posted by krisjohn on Jan 27, 2005 - 30 comments

Britain's Abu Ghraib. (NSFW, but soon to be seen everywhere.)

Britain's Abu Ghraib. (NSFW, but soon to be seen everywhere.) With Iraqi elections just days away and the next British elections scheduled tenatively for May, pictures have been released of British soldiers torturing and abusing prisoners in a style shockingly similar to Abu Ghraib. Soldiers are already being charged. Their defense? "I was just following orders..."
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 19, 2005 - 35 comments

Naïve in Thailand

Naïve in Thailand: The misadventures of an unprepared 43-year-old Brit who drops everything to try and help with tsunami rebuilding. Pet peeve? "The only real irritation has been the American Christian volunteers."
posted by NortonDC on Jan 16, 2005 - 88 comments

A proper gander indeed...

Cool collection of British WWII era propaganda posters (apologies if this has been posted before, search didn't find it). Includes recruitment posters & general morale building posters, among other categories, including some that the U.S. may wish to license for repurpose in the future.
posted by jonson on Jan 4, 2005 - 17 comments

Graffiti that a Queen Mother-#*@!%^ can love!

Black British Style at the V&A. Now with Create-a-tag!
posted by Dick Paris on Nov 15, 2004 - 3 comments

World Conker Championships

World Conker Championships
posted by Mwongozi on Oct 10, 2004 - 9 comments

Darling!

No Air-Kissing Please, We're British [via artsjournal]
posted by kenko on Sep 21, 2004 - 14 comments

Daily links to lefty internationalist articles with a British bent

Selves and Others. Daily links to leftist internationalist articles, with a British bent. One neat thing is that the site builds pages for its contributors. You like Naomi Klein? Arundhati Roy? Sidney Blumenthal? George Monbiot? Andreas Whittam Smith? Michael Moore? Mickey Z? Seymour Hersh? It's like they've each got their own newspaper.
posted by iffley on Sep 2, 2004 - 5 comments

PikerFu.

British Kung Fu ! // We don't want any of that Jackie Chan Bollocks ! QT - some swearing.
posted by srboisvert on Aug 20, 2004 - 9 comments

You're either with us or against us? Ok then...

You're either with us or against us? Ok then... Two British citizens have travelled to Najaf to serve in Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. "We went to fight last night. It was quite fun, actually . . . It was dangerous," however. Reuters raw video has an interview with one of the two British on their site.
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 10, 2004 - 124 comments

About English schools

A guide to the English school system. From the BBC. This certainly explained a few things for me. (And remember, private school = public school)
posted by iffley on Jul 29, 2004 - 7 comments

My dad is cleverer than your dad!

Top 100 British...Intellectuals? Rock bands, schmock bands. Who are currently the cream of British Intelligentsia? Prospect names 100 of (supposedly) the UK's finest and asks you to vote for your top 5, plus a write-in. The list is discussed further here. Some entrants may make you wonder, some may make you gasp, most you just won't have a clue about!
posted by biffa on Jul 1, 2004 - 22 comments

The world of double entendre

The recent post that revived the rude ‘Rainbow’ kids show sketch reminded me of the our (that is, British) obsession with comic double entendre - the ability to accept the filthiest things as long as there is a parallel innocuous interpretation. I think it is something to do our love for wordplay and subtext, our innate hypocrisy and the belief that sex is, in fact, rather naughty. Perhaps the prime example are the Julian and Sandy sketches that ran on the BBC Radio show ‘Beyond Our Ken’ from 1964-69. Over Sunday lunch, millions (there was ONLY the BBC in those days) listened to two very camp characters saying outrageous things in Polari (underground gay slang). A much earlier prime example is the great dirty joke (it’s the one in blue at the bottom of the page) that got comedian Max Miller (died in 1963) banned from the BBC for 5 years. A more recent case of innuendo is, of course, Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy. Of course the double entendre can also be unintentional.
posted by rolo on Feb 27, 2004 - 8 comments

NWOBHM!!

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups became world famous. Others only big in Europe. Some great ones missed stardom by just a notch. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
posted by jonmc on Dec 17, 2003 - 17 comments

This is how they treat a man

This is how they treat a man
This man has been arrested yet again for his ongoing attempt to walk the length of Britain naked. Is he right to be arrested, or should he be allowed to continue?
posted by johnny novak on Nov 29, 2003 - 16 comments

Inland Review letter

Apparently genuine reply to a letter sent to the Inland Revenue. "I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand". This is how we, at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents." [via Orbyn, via Cal]
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 28, 2003 - 9 comments

Get bombed, 67% of the time.

That makes four bombings in the last six days in Turkey. Pro-intervention or anti-invasion, I can't tell what I think anymore.
posted by Leonard on Nov 20, 2003 - 105 comments

Anti-British Feeling In The United States

Kick A Brit In The Nuts: We've heard enough about anti-Americanism. What about anti-British feeling? Check out the USian website. Is there still a lingering, post-colonial resentment in the U.S., Australia and South Africa? Why not, apparently, in Canada or New Zealand? Is it anti-British, i.e. including the Scots and the Welsh, or just anti-English? Finally, is Usian the best collective noun for citizens of the U.S.A.? Will American eventually become politically incorrect, even though no one calls a Canadian an American? Sorry about so many questions. Me confused European!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 16, 2003 - 64 comments

mmm... chocolate covered scorpions...

tibetan yak butter, reindeer hash, crocodile paté, and smoked cobra. All this and more at edible.com.
posted by crunchland on Sep 5, 2003 - 8 comments

Britain's Small Wars

Britain's Small Wars since 1945. India, Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Suez Canal Zone, Kenya, Cyprus, Suez 1956, Borneo, Vietnam, Aden, Radfan, Oman, Dhofar, etc. Iraq and East Timor not featured, as yet.
posted by plep on Aug 20, 2003 - 4 comments

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

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots (warning: music) is one of British royalty's most adored and most reviled figures, putting her in the select company of arch-rival Elizabeth I (sigh: music again) and Charles I. (The latter is an Anglican saint, although not everybody is quite so enthused.) Wince at the description of her execution, read some poems about her--or, indeed, some of her own poems--or visit her grave in Westminster Abbey.
posted by thomas j wise on Jun 14, 2003 - 3 comments

Jerry Springer: The Opera

Jerry Springer: The Opera? You know, whenever I happened to have this misfortune to watch Springer, I too thought "It's got tragedy. It's got violence. There are people screaming at each other and you can't understand what they're saying." but I didn't quite make the leap that "It's perfect for opera."

But now on an operatic journey that takes us the tv studio to hell, the British National Theatre is realizing this vision.

To quote from the libretto: "This is a Jerry Springer moment!" sing the chorus. "We don't want this moment to end, so cover us in chocolate and throw us to the lesbians."

Skeptical? Read the reviews!
posted by jearbear on Apr 18, 2003 - 1 comment

Separated By A Common Language And All That Jazz

Do Most Of You Yanks Really Understand What The Brits Here Are On About? Although the cultural mistranslations are probably more a question of tone and habits of irony and understatement, Jeremy Smith's online American·British British·American Dictionary, to be published next September, might be of some assistance. Although I still prefer Terry Gliedt's older but pithier United Kingdom English For The American Novice and even Scotsman Chris Rae's English-to-American Dictionary. Here's a little BBC quiz to test your skills. It seems that Canadians, Australians and [another cute quiz coming up!] New Zealanders are the only Metafilterians to completely capture all the varieties of English usage here. Perhaps it all comes down to the fact that non-U.S. users know much, much less about England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand et caetera than vice-versa? Does anyone else get the occasional feeling we're not exactly speaking the same language here?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 5, 2003 - 66 comments

Blue on Blue Blues

"A cowboy who had gone out on a jolly" British soldiers talk about surviving friendly fire, and call for the US pilot who attacked them to be prosecuted for manslaughter.
posted by brettski on Mar 31, 2003 - 32 comments

The Turner Prize

The Turner Prize nominations are out. Britain's culture minster Kim Howells calls it "cold, mechanical conceptual bullshit". indeed a couple of years ago, Chris Ofili's pictures using dried elephant dung won? (He's the guy who caused a fuss with Rudy Giuliani.) So the annual debate in the british media has begun - "yes, but is it art?"
posted by brettski on Nov 1, 2002 - 17 comments

MOD Selects The Carlyle Group as Preferred Bidder for QinetiQ. In a move that seems to be going ahead with very little coverage, Britain's military research agency is being sold off to a foreign company. Given the important role Qinetiq plays in Britain's Defense, and the type of business The Carlyle Group is, this is perhaps surprising...
posted by chill on Sep 8, 2002 - 12 comments

The British Empire in Colour -- a three-part documentary series from the producers of the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award-winning Britain at War in Colour will air this month. The series is supposed to include "a treasure-trove of early colour movies filmed before 'technicolour' transformed film making in the 1930s. Unique colour footage of the Edwardian splendour of 1906 British India, soldiers of the First World War and class divided Britain in 1926 as seen for the first time by a modern visually sophisticated audience." Apparently, it also includes Horrifying footage of last days of Raj.
posted by Bixby23 on Sep 2, 2002 - 17 comments

How To Say Yes (Or No) To British Food:

How To Say Yes (Or No) To British Food: Apart from the language barrier (ably demolished by Mike Etherington's magnificent online dictionary), British food has a dreadful reputation all over the world. Yet people who try it, whatever their nationality, often find they enjoy it. If it's properly made, that is. Enter Helen Watson's impeccable and ethnically correct recipes. And those who can't be bothered to cook can always plump for the many ready-made goodies (and some real stinkers) now offered by internet mail order firms. The most promising has got to be, with over 2,500 goodies, the FBC Brit Shop. Unfortunately it's based in Japan and will only start delivering in September. The best of the rest is probably yummy British Delights. My mother's English so I'm obviously biased, but aren't a lot of people missing out on the unique gastronomic charms of the good old United K? Oh yes![FBC link pilfered from the Boing Boing larder.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Aug 3, 2002 - 63 comments

Best British Blog.

Best British Blog. The Guardian has launched a competition to find the best British weblog. Is this another case of the mainstream media not really understanding what blogging is all about?
posted by crayfish on Jul 18, 2002 - 18 comments

British papers

British papers seem to be the only place we can find out what goes on in the US these days. Probably has to do with the liberal media, wouldn't you say?
posted by nofundy on Jun 18, 2002 - 36 comments

The brouhaha that erupted in Britain

The brouhaha that erupted in Britain last month when it was learned that the prestigious Booker Prize might be opened to American writers by 2004, displays a British inferiority complex and underscores the remarkable persistence of preconceptions that Britain and the United States hold about each other. But it's about ideas and styles and even language being swapped and appropriated across the globe. It's about artists picking from a smorgasbord of techniques and influences to try to get a handle on an increasingly fragmented and cacophonous reality, and in doing so creating a new wave of writing that is richer for its multicultural mingling of styles and voices, its voracious mixing of the high and low, the cerebral and street-smart, the old and the new. Just like in MeFi.
posted by semmi on Jun 14, 2002 - 17 comments

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