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Plunka-plunka-plunk, plunka-plunka-plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs the theme to "Shaft" (SYTL). Really, is any description needed? [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Oct 4, 2008 - 46 comments

London Transport Museum

The Future Generator at the London Transport Museum is a forecasting look at the effect of transport on climate change in London. But you can get a sense of history as well. The museum's collection originated in the 1920s, when the London General Omnibus Company decided to preserve two Victorian horse buses and an early motorbus for future generations. They moved to the present location in 1980. Londoners can take a trip back in time on the Metropolitan line and enjoy a special day out in Metro-land as two historic electric trains run special excursions on Sunday 14 September 2008. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 2, 2008 - 4 comments

Cramp Free

They're everywhere; languishing on doorsteps, hanging out in the middle of the road, dangling off street signs, peeking out of piles of garbage, reclining in the middle of the sidewalk, riding the bus for free. London Bananas.
posted by netbros on Aug 29, 2008 - 28 comments

"Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones!"

The Mercury Prize shortlist for 2008 is: Adele - 19 | British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? | Burial - Untrue | Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid | Estelle - Shine | Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim | Neon Neon - Stainless Style | Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep in the North Sea | Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns | Radiohead - In Rainbows | Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand | The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 22, 2008 - 45 comments

"A valley frozen in time."

In November 1943, the village of Tyneham in Dorset, England, received an unexpected letter from the War Department, informing residents that the area would soon be "cleared of all civilians" to make way for Army weapons training. A month later, the displaced villagers left a note on their church door: Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly. Residents were told they would be allowed to reclaim their homes after the war, but that didn't happen, and Tyneham became a ghost village. Though most of the cottages have been damaged or fallen into disrepair, the church and school have been preserved and restored. Photo galleries 1, 2, 3, 4. Panoramic tour [Java required]. Video: Death of a Village [YouTube, 9 mins.]
posted by amyms on Jul 10, 2008 - 20 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

"How wonderfully Gothic!"

Heated controversy over cousin marriages in Britain. The Guardian argues it's fine, legal in the UK for centuries, done by Darwin, HG Wells and Queen Victoria; and a 2002 study (prev) found little increased risk. But in Bradford, England, where half of babies born are to ethnically Pakistani parents, cousin marriage is very common -- as high as 70% in that community. Bradford, with 1% of British population, has 70 youths with terminal disorders which lead to dementia-type illnesses – eight per cent of the UK total. Should the government ban cousin marriage? Encourage genetic testing? Or keep its mouth shut? [more inside]
posted by msalt on May 23, 2008 - 26 comments

HM The Queen v Associated Forces of Xenu

A 15-year-old in London is being prosecuted for holding a sign calling Scientology a "cult", during a peaceful demonstration (0:55-1:40). The teenager refused to back down, quoting a 1984 high court ruling from Mr Justice Latey, in which he described the Church of Scientology as a "cult" ... The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology. The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for "raising the spiritual wealth of society" during the opening of its headquarters in 2006. Last year a video praising Scientology emerged featuring Ken Stewart, another of the City of London's chief superintendents via
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 21, 2008 - 128 comments

Get down with the Kersal Massive

As previously mentioned on Metafilter, in 2006, the Kersal Massive, 3 English chavs from Kersal near Manchester made a 44 second rap video on a cell phone (click this one first).
Once it hit YouTube, it inspired parodies and mashups ranging from heavy metal to alternative to dancefloor, an acoustic cover version, a conspiracy theory video, a Kevin Powder interview , and best of all this version. But this one is my favourite. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat on May 17, 2008 - 36 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

If this young fellow be right, then we have all been wrong

David Garrick (1717-1779) revolutionized acting technique in the eighteenth century. One of England's most influential actor-managers, he operated the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and exerted a profound influence on Shakespearean texts and performances alike; in fact, Garrick's Jubilee Celebration of 1769 is the ancestor of the modern Shakespeare festival (and inspired some fakery as well). [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise on Apr 3, 2008 - 8 comments

If only the Japanese could build a car like Jaguar. If only the English could build a car like Honda.

From 1987 until 1992 Britain's Austin-Rover Group exported the Rover 800 to America and called it the Sterling. Jointly developed with Honda, the Sterling was a bit of a flop in contrast to Honda's Acura Legend. Of course, every car has its fans. One more thing, if you need a part for your Sterling, you better call this guy.
posted by punkfloyd on Apr 2, 2008 - 10 comments

Minty Fresh

The Royal Mint revealed their newly designed currency today. Looks pretty sharp. [more inside]
posted by zeoslap on Apr 2, 2008 - 95 comments

So, you thought Cricket was for sissies, aye?

First, a bit of an introduction to the game of Cricket (youtube) for those of us who may not be familiar with the sport. Next, a few clips (1, 2, 3, 4) on how awesome the Gentleman's Game can be (and you thought we didn't do anything but roam around in our white pants and cotton shirts...). But, if that wasn't enough for you, then here's a taste of Twenty20 Cricket (the fast, fast paced version of the game), and the new DLF Indian (pdf) Premier League. (This is in addition to the One Day Matches, which were instituted to bring in a bit more excitement into the game during the 1970's, prior to which the match only consisted of Tests. However, some purists still maintain that the game would've been better served had it not been commercalized to the extent that it has, and still prefer the leisurely pace of the original format to its current incarnation.) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 20, 2008 - 56 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

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

to morocco

One Last Journey. "Cars these days, they're like washing machines." (Not Clarkson...)
posted by parmanparman on Jan 24, 2008 - 13 comments

Dispossess the swain

Wharram Percy [1996 vintage Web] was a Yorkshire Wolds village that survived for more than a millennium before being suddenly depopulated. Was it plague, Viking raids or William the Conqueror's Harrying of the North that drove the people from the land? No, it seems it was the sheep. The main link provides an overview of some of the findings about the village and medieval English peasant life [BBC radio programme] emerging from the decades of archaeological research into Wharram Percy.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 22, 2008 - 16 comments

"This is the third time; I was a player here too."

"Geordie messiah to return - Kevin Keegan is returning to Newcastle United as manager". Thus read the official statement issued by Newcastle United heralding the improbable return of Kevin Keegan to be manager of the club, the perennial under achievers in English football. [more inside]
posted by iboxifoo on Jan 17, 2008 - 30 comments

An Excellent Woman

Barbara Pym’s books focused on women who rarely make it into any spotlight, literary or otherwise: quiet, sensible, independent women of a certain age. Like the spinsters who populate her novels, her genius has been too often overlooked, but she does have her devotees. [more inside]
posted by freshwater_pr0n on Dec 27, 2007 - 26 comments

Cry "Havoc!"and let slip the cats of war

Cats in Wartime on land, at sea, and memorialized. (With discussion of some of the most famous-- like Simon and Oscar.) Also, What Cats Know About War, previously on metafilter. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Dec 7, 2007 - 13 comments

Cholera and Epidemiology

Sick City - Maps and Mortality in the Time of Cholera [print version] reviews Stephen Johnson's "The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic"*. Dr John Snow became the acknowledged modern father of epidemiology by identifying water as the transmission vehicle of a cholera outbreak in Victorian England. [more inside]
posted by peacay on Nov 15, 2007 - 10 comments

A grave situation

ukgraves.info has thousands of photographs of cemeteries and gravestones all over the UK, from City of London to the Kirk of Lammermuir, and random points in between.
posted by dersins on Nov 14, 2007 - 11 comments

The Flatter the Landscape the Flatter the Accent

How The Edwardians Spoke :: BBC documentary via Google Video, about an hour [more inside]
posted by anastasiav on Oct 19, 2007 - 23 comments

In China, it is a common thing to stumble over the bodies of dead babies in the streets.

In the 19th century, English author Favell Mortimer wrote several books describing various countries to children. Apparently she didn't travel much. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 2, 2007 - 34 comments

Pre-Videogame Era Toys

Before there were videogames, growing up in England in the late 1960s though the 70's we had Action Transfers. The Letraset company branched off its division of hand set rub-on transfer fonts into full blown action scenes, with Cowboys & Indians, famous historical battles, Vikings, natural disasters & more. This collector has dozens of sets, scanned in high resolution & never used.
posted by jonson on Sep 30, 2007 - 50 comments

It's gonna be multiple choice, right?

Think you're smart? Apply for a Prize Fellowship at Oxford's All Souls College. [via adrianhon]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 12, 2007 - 24 comments

Art to Go

The Grand Tour. Until August 31st, the National Gallery in England is putting reproductions of famous paintings on the streets of London, with MP3 audio guides and maps available for download. The reaction has been good.
posted by djgh on Aug 5, 2007 - 22 comments

Global Warming, Strange Attractors...

Remember all that talk about the Gulf stream turning south and England entering an new Ice Age?
Well, better take a look at this one: (at the bottom)... Ok, this is the Jet stream, not the Gulf stream, but turbulence is turbulence and chaotic systems have a way of quickly migrating to new attractors, often first displaying a kind of turbulence during the transition phase. Here's a link to a .pdf that may be helpful (or not...)
I tell you - Winnipeg (Canada's Global Warming Success Story) just keeps lookin' better and better! But, hopefully, never this good...
posted by sporb on Jul 24, 2007 - 11 comments

"Yes, I've been jailed on six continents. All I have to do is kill a penguin."

Hey look, the Cerne Abbas giant has a buddy. Unamused pagans wish for rain.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 17, 2007 - 44 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

'Officially, the church doesn't condone breaking the law'

England is now the largest nation in the world by population to have a complete indoor smoking ban. Some people aren't too happy about it, though. The Reverend Anthony Carr walked into a police station and lit up his pipe. "I said to the officer 'I want to report a crime'..." Video [Previously] via rhodri
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 5, 2007 - 284 comments

Where is Tatsuya Ichihashi?

In late March the body of Lindsay Ann Hawker was found in a bathtub on the balcony of a Chiba apartment. This week, with the help of UK officers, the Hawker family has returned to Tokyo, to seek help to find the main suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has been missing since the discovery of the body.
posted by gomichild on Jun 28, 2007 - 48 comments

Third Battle of Newbury

During the infamous anti road protests at Newbury, England in the mid 1990s, Mark Carroll made a short film called 'The Wild Horses of Newbury' .
posted by Sailormom on Jun 12, 2007 - 14 comments

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and more...

The Internet Library of Early Journals :: A digital library of 18th and 19th Century journals
posted by anastasiav on May 31, 2007 - 23 comments

A Healthier England

As the smoking ban in England looms ever closer, some are considering its possible unintended consequences. Who will be the unintended winners? Wine merchants, chefs, online bingo sites, paparazzi, and people who make outdoor heaters. [Previously]
posted by chuckdarwin on May 23, 2007 - 75 comments

Church Locking in England

Church Locking: shattering the myth that "all churches are locked". With the aim of visiting every church in England and recording whether it is kept locked or unlocked, this ten-year-old 'side project' now has statistics by county and diocese, county maps, and a map of the country showing their progress.
posted by chrismear on May 16, 2007 - 29 comments

"I originally set out to try and save the world, but now I’m not sure I like it enough."

Pinning down the elusive Banksy. "The art world is the biggest joke going," he has said. "It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak." Yet the stencilist/graffiti writer's pieces regularly sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds at places like Sotheby's--not bad for a man who still remains cloaked in complete anonymity. The New Yorker gets a rare e-mail interview. [Previously: 1, 2, 3]
posted by dead_ on May 15, 2007 - 33 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

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

Whooooooooooo-Tube

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

Loss of manliness and effeminacy

Victorian Turkish Baths - "Can the active, fox-hunting, cricketing, boating Englishman bear the same kind of treatment that benefits and gratifies the indolent, languid, luxurious Turk?"
posted by tellurian on Jan 17, 2007 - 12 comments

Bird Droppings

They shut down part of Austin last week, thousands did it in Esperance, Western Australia, record numbers in England and thousands more along I-84 in Idaho. Conspiracies abound; could it be poison, or testing EM weapons, "some kid with a BB gun" or drunk on hackberries or maybe it is global warming?

Sometimes the explanation is pretty simple but mostly, scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what is causing bird to drop dead out of the skies all over the globe at an alarming rate.
posted by DragonBoy on Jan 15, 2007 - 43 comments

Australia regain Ashes : 3 ummm .... zero.

Less than 16 months after England claimed the Ashes, Australia reclaim them in three straight test matches. With England's main opening batsman pulling out of the contest due to "stress", and their captain refusing to delay a knee operation so that he would be available, it never really appeared to many that they wanted to face a rematch. Questions must now be raised about what happened to their astounding reverse swing. Chin up lads - at least you and your world-touring Barmy Army can all play with your trumpets again.
posted by DirtyCreature on Dec 17, 2006 - 61 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

Sir Malcolm Arnold - 1921-2006

R.I.P. Sir Malcom Arnold
posted by persona non grata on Sep 26, 2006 - 20 comments

The United Celtic Kingdom.

The United Celtic Kingdom. A new study shows that most British are decended from the Celtic tribes that crossed over from Spain 7,000 years ago. Only 20% of the English are decended from Viking stock, even fewer are Anglo-Saxons.
posted by empath on Sep 21, 2006 - 42 comments

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Victorian Workhouses
I sometimes look up at the bit of blue sky
High over my head, with a tear in my eye.
Surrounded by walls that are too high to climb,
Confined like a felon without any crime...

posted by Miko on Sep 18, 2006 - 14 comments

Any fule kno that this is jolly good

St Custard's is an English preparatory school set in bracing downland country. Find out more about its teachers, the headmaster and his predecessors, the discipline, and its star pupil Nigel Molesworth. As a bonus you can find out more about how Kennedy captured the gerund and led it into captivity. If you're still confused, click here, here and here for the background to Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle's satire on a certain part of 1950s England.
posted by greycap on Sep 16, 2006 - 17 comments

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