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London's Names

London's Names. [more inside]
posted by dougrayrankin on Jan 26, 2011 - 43 comments

Interesting profile of a unique person who somehow negotiated a life that fitted them in this world.

Transgender lawyer killed under tube train in London last year bravely created her own life.
posted by maiamaia on Jan 9, 2011 - 37 comments

Look at (Vintage London) Life

IN Gear, swinging London of 1960s and SOHO bohemian Coffee Bars of London, 1959. These are a few of the 500+ vintage documentary shorts called "Look at Life" that ran at the Odeon and Gaumont cinemas during the 50s and 60s. (via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 29, 2010 - 15 comments

The worst riots since...1990?

Protesters clashed with police and attacked Prince Charles's limousine as riots raged in the heart of London after MPs voted to triple university tuition fees. Video's here.
posted by QueerAngel28 on Dec 9, 2010 - 193 comments

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

In Hoxton, there's a shop. Run by the Ministry of Stories (and funded by the National Lottery), the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop provides a free space to stimulate creative writing with workshops, publishing projects and one-to-one mentoring. [more inside]
posted by jim.christian on Nov 28, 2010 - 18 comments

The mystery van

The mystery police van During Wednesdays London protest against student tuition fees a police van was driven into a 'kettled' crowd of protestors. Many news reports focused on the subsequent vandalisation of the police van. [more inside]
posted by Lanark on Nov 26, 2010 - 70 comments

Is London Bridge Falling Down?

Here is an 80-gigapixel panoramic photo of London made from 7886 individual images. This panorama was shot from the top of the Centre Point building in central London, in the summer of 2010. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 16, 2010 - 48 comments

The Joy of Cycling

The Joy of Cycling, "Unfortunately [Transport for London] didn’t go for our take on the classic 70’s illustrated sex manual."
posted by furtive on Nov 14, 2010 - 17 comments

Plans for UK's Tech Future

Prime Minister David Cameron set out his plans for making Britain more innovation and startup friendly. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Nov 4, 2010 - 41 comments

Crossbones Graveyard

Crossbones Graveyard (YT) is a disused graveyard in Southwark, London. Lying outside the old city walls, it became the last resting place for 15,000 paupers and prostitutes (the latter known as the 'Winchester Geese' because they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester). The history of Crossbones is being rediscovered by local playwright John Constable, and is becoming a place of pilgrimage to remember the outcasts in London society (audio/slide). A ritual is held there every Halloween.
posted by carter on Oct 31, 2010 - 8 comments

Protect the London rabbit

A 3.5m picture of a rabbit is going to be painted over in two weeks, if Hackney council get their way (a slightly clearer picture). The street artist ROA painted the picture with the permission of the building's owners last year, but the local council have said that it's a blight to the local area. ROA has done lots of other pictures of large animals around the area. [more inside]
posted by DanCall on Oct 28, 2010 - 52 comments

Smartest Cities?

The Daily Beast attempts to identify America's Smartest Cities. Rather more seriously, Nature ponders the Best Cities for Science worldwide, as part of its special on Science and the City. (The podcast segment on cities is a nice overview.)
posted by philipy on Oct 25, 2010 - 33 comments

Streetcar-Mounted Film Cameras (and more)

San Francisco 1906, Barcelona 1908, London 1927. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 19, 2010 - 49 comments

Murther Most Foul Mapped

The London Murder Map. A project-in-progress to map the variety (by gun, by knife, by bomb, by blunt object) of homicides that committed in London from the 19th century to now. Populated so far with only the last few years, Murder Map will eventually incorporate data from the oft-linked The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913. impressions so far? "Richmond, The City and Hampstead stand out as murderless pockets in an otherwise homogeneously dense circle of homicide."* (Somewhat Previously)
posted by grabbingsand on Oct 14, 2010 - 16 comments

Build anything.

Lego in the city. This is an advert I made for Lego. It uses pieces from the stash my brother and I used to play with when we were younger, so perhaps it looks a bit dated compared with modern day Lego. Dated, but still great. Temujin Doran makes a short film. (More from Doran.)
posted by shakespeherian on Oct 14, 2010 - 8 comments

Englishmen's homes are still castles, with prices to match

Depressing million-dollar London property. Even in the economic crisis, £635,000 doesn't get you much inside the M25: you can take your pick of a worker's cottage near a football stadium, an Australian backpacker-style apartment near Earl's Court, a 2-bedroom house right near the ring road or various other similarly dispiriting residences.
posted by acb on Oct 12, 2010 - 52 comments

A Destination for the Incurably Curious

The Wellcome Library Blog is the accompanying blog to London's Wellcome Collection.
Each post examines new acquisitions or existing holdings of this fascinating and eclectic collection. This week's post is about Graphic Medicine - the intersection of Graphic Novels and Medicine. Interesting posts in just the past few months include Japanese colour printing, Do the English really have bad teeth?, A hot night in Bengal, Murder - He telegraphed and a post on Early Cycling.
posted by vacapinta on Sep 30, 2010 - 5 comments

Welcome to the funhouse

Anish Kapoor turns the world upside down
posted by Artw on Sep 27, 2010 - 21 comments

New York's "Ring of Steel"

They call it the "Ring of Steel" The NYPD is tightening surveillance in New York's subways by installing a new surveillence system modeled after London's so called "Ring Of Steel" . The $200 million system, paid for with federal funds and mismanaged by the MTA and Lockheed Martin, is part of what will one day be a 3,000-camera network of "public and private-sector cameras." London, feeling it's title as the most surveilled city in the world threatened, is now considering using unmanned drones for covert aerial surveillance, security, or emergency operations.
posted by SpaceJazz on Sep 25, 2010 - 47 comments

So how was the omelette, honey?

The National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize shortlist for 2010 has been announced. Among the entries, and causing a small ripple of controversy, is Panayiotis Lamprou's Portrait of My British Wife, which is reopening up where mainstream sensibilities of the border between art of and voyeurism lie. The photo features Lamprou's wife Christina looking directly at the camera. Wearing no knickers. [Links are SFW. NSFW links appropriately flagged on the pages themselves] [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Sep 20, 2010 - 72 comments

Auf wiedersehn, jet

On the 19th of October, a Deutsche Bahn ICE3 train will travel from Germany to London through the Channel Tunnel. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 20, 2010 - 60 comments

Enticing beyond measure the eyes of the beholders

On the 18th June 1912 workmen burst through the floorboards of a disused London tenement at 30-32 Cheapside and discovered "Probably the most remarkable find ever recovered from British soil." The stock of an early Stuart goldsmith - the most astonishing array of precious and semi-precious stones from around the world - hidden c.1630, The Cheapside Hoard is the finest collection of Elizabethan jewellery in the world. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings on Aug 28, 2010 - 15 comments

MI6 employee murdered in London

A man believed to be a MI6 employee has been found murdered in a flat in Pimlico. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 25, 2010 - 84 comments

Going (London) Underground

The London Underground. Every Londoner has used it, but has everyone really seen it? The old map is looking a bit dusty. Perhaps its time for Geographic precision or maybe 3D projection. If we add bicycles to the map, is it still an underground? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Aug 13, 2010 - 33 comments

London, 1845

A two-part panorama of London originally made in 1845 by the Illustrated London News, later updated with text descriptions. Other formats can be found on the blog post. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 11, 2010 - 8 comments

You're gonna go up the street 12 pixels, hang a left, then straight 44 pixels to 77th street...

8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
posted by BeerFilter on Jul 9, 2010 - 17 comments

Like, OMG Baby

San Francisco-based DJ Earworm is best known for his end-of-year "United State of Pop" Billboard top 25 mashups: 2007, 2008, 2009. But in the "off season" he continues to mash popular songs into fun concotions. His latest, "Like, OMG Baby" is a reinvention of Justin Bieber's "Baby," and was shown at Wembley Stadium in London for Capital FM’s 2010 Summertime Ball , where all fifteen of the artists featured on the track performed on June 6th. His official website has videos and free, downloadable MP3's. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 5, 2010 - 27 comments

The first ever field recording.

Nearly 122 years ago, The first field recording was made. In the Crystal Palace, London, 4000 voices were recorded singing Handel's Israel In Egypt. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Jun 26, 2010 - 44 comments

Training Day

Live Google map of trains running on the London Underground, created using the Transport for London API. From the makers of the highly-useful accessible, bookmarkable UK train timetables.
posted by grouse on Jun 21, 2010 - 32 comments

Too Many Crooks

Recent work in London's Notting Hill station uncovered original advertising posters untouched since the late 1950's (via).
posted by jontyjago on Jun 20, 2010 - 17 comments

Serenading the Streets, or Because New York Isn't Noisy Enough

At 9am on Monday the 21st June, 60 pianos will be distributed and then unveiled across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with.

Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. [Previously] You can get piano locations as well as upload videos, photos and stories of you and your friends tickling the public ivories on the official site. The project will be concurrently mounted in London.
posted by Lutoslawski on Jun 17, 2010 - 25 comments

The Viewer As Voyeur

Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera is an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London which examines voyeurism through the medium of photography. In addition to works from professionals such as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller, Shizuka Yokomizo, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe, it includes amateur and CCTV "stolen" images taken both with and without the knowledge of their subjects -- all intended to "explore the uneasy relationship between making and viewing images that deliberately cross lines of privacy and propriety." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2010 - 7 comments

Plebeian Lives and the Making of Modern London

London Lives 12 London archives – digitised, marked up and tagged – to "create a comprehensive electronic edition of primary sources on criminal justice and the provision of poor relief and medical care in eighteenth-century London". The Lives page is a good place to start browsing. [related]
posted by unliteral on Jun 8, 2010 - 8 comments

Chasing Light, a photography blog

Between the art nudes and fashion shots, Doug Kim's Chasing Light photography blog (front page mildly NSFW, archives more-so) is fast becoming a secret museum of photography with examples and insightful quotes from great photographers. One need go back only as far as December for posts on Dennis Hopper's photography, Cartier-Bresson, Mary Ellen Mark's on set photography, Annie Liebovitz on Hunter S. Thompson, Jousef Koudelka on The Soviet invasion of Prague, Robert Frank's visit to London and Wales, and Akira Kurosawa's group compositions in Seven Samurai.
posted by nthdegx on Jun 1, 2010 - 11 comments

I, for one, welcome our new metallic cyclops overlords

Meet Wenlock and Mandeville - the official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots... the press are talking them up... but there are some objectors Previous design work for 2012 has not gone down well. Past Olympic mascots.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 19, 2010 - 89 comments

The School of Life is a new social enterprise offering good ideas for everyday living.

How to be cool? How to stay calm? How to have better conversations? How to make love last? The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about these and other concerns. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on May 18, 2010 - 12 comments

The sun never sets on the British Empire; it sets on me.

Who are the grandfathers of noise music? The Nihilist Spasm Band formed in 1965 when eight men, using homemade instruments, began creating noise together in London, Ontario. None of these men were traditionally trained musicians, yet they are often credited as being the major influence behind modern noise music, inspiring Japanese noisemakers like Hijokaiden and Masonna, as well as western artists like Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. [more inside]
posted by threetoed on May 4, 2010 - 28 comments

Awesome Outsider Cartography

OMG it's a huuuge hand drawn map of London. And with psychogeographical annotations too! [more inside]
posted by Monkeymoo on May 2, 2010 - 22 comments

Magnificent Maps

The Klencke Atlas of 1660 (video), the world's largest book.
Grayson Perry's Map of Nowhere (video)
Many more maps and videos at the BBC's The Beauty of Maps site.
Would you like to see these maps in person? The British Library has just opened their exhibition Magnificent Maps where you can see these among 80 treasures from their map collection, many never seen before.
posted by vacapinta on Apr 30, 2010 - 12 comments

A Wild Nobility

Something very strange has been happening across London clubland this Spring. The Antsignal has gone up over the city, and the Antpeople have crawled out from their mounds to hail the unexpected return of their insect overlord. An Adam Ant Exclusive by Simon Price [more inside]
posted by a.steele on Apr 28, 2010 - 27 comments

Sam The Wheels's films of Brixton

Pentecostal minister Clovis Salmon, known in Brixton as "Sam The Wheels" due to his wheel-making skills, came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s. From the 1960s to the 1980s he used his Super-8 camera to film Brixton daily life and church scenes, including the aftermath of the 1981 riots.
posted by criticalbill on Apr 28, 2010 - 7 comments

Bully rocks:- impudent villians kept to preserve order in houses of ill fame

The Victorian Dictionary: A motley collection of primary source documents and reference materials about Victorian London by historical thriller author Lee Jackson. Read the 1841 Census, browse peroid advertisements, zoom in on the 1881 Pocket Guide to London or just learn some dirty words.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 19, 2010 - 17 comments

Welcome, delicious friends!

Echo Bazaar is a place where you can play The Greatest Game, or seek your Ambitions, or, what the heck, just Seduce an Artist's Model! Ever since London was dragged one mile below the Earth's surface -- and one mile closer to Hell -- by a huge flurry of billions of bats, finding your fortune in the city has been something of a different beast. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Apr 14, 2010 - 44 comments

Short urban exploration documentaries

Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 comments

John Strype's Survey of London (1720)

LONDON, the Metropolis and Glory of the Kingdom, was anciently the Seat of the British Empire; and since, stiled commonly, the Royal Chamber of our Kings. The Kings Chamber, the Heart of the Commonwealth, and a Short Draught of the whole Kingdom: As it was once described by Sir Edward Coke, sometime Recorder of this City. It may boast it self to be the largest in Extent, and the fairest built, the most Populous, and best inhabited (and that by a Civil, Rich and Sober People) of any in the World. And for a general Trade throughout the Universe, all other must give her the Precedence. [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Apr 3, 2010 - 6 comments

All That Mighty Heart

To accompany collections of posters and photographs, the London Transport Museum has recently added a number of short films to its website, including All That Mighty Heart (autoplay) showing a day in the life of London's transport in 1962. (previous 1, 2)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 1, 2010 - 13 comments

Not too milky, not too frothy

If you're in London these days and are serious about your coffee, then you'll know what a Flat White is. It is part of the emerging coffee scene in London, host of 2010's World Barista Championship and home of last year's winner - Gwilym Davies. Here's a guide and map from London's TimeOut to the city's best coffee shops, many of them staffed by antipodean baristas.

Predictably, Starbucks in the UK wants a piece of the action.
posted by vacapinta on Feb 27, 2010 - 123 comments

Bed Bugs, Dust Mites and Dirt. Oh, my!

"Half a million dirty Britons wash their bed sheets only three times a year, a survey discloses laying bare the disgusting bedroom habits of the nation. One in six people also admitted waiting at least a month before washing their bed sheets." "Londoners have the dirtiest bed sheets in the country." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 17, 2010 - 238 comments

London Calling

'A site dedicated to songs about London. The only rules are that the songs must be brilliant and that the blindingly obvious numbers are excluded.' The London Nobody Sings takes you on a musical tour of the capital, by bus, train and tube, via Camden Town, Parliament Hill, Portobello Road, Shepherd's Bush, Southall, Tottenham and Tooting Broadway. And if it's too late to take the Underground? Don't worry, the trams may have gone, but you can always catch the Nightbus home.
posted by verstegan on Feb 14, 2010 - 14 comments

Johnson vs. Johnston

London's transport system has a visual identity instantly recognised (and often imitated) around the world, of which a key part is Edward Johnston's typeface, originally designed for the London Underground. (Previously.) However, this may not be the case for much longer; the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has revealed plans to give all official London bodies a unified identity, based on that of the Visit London tourism campaign. There is already a Facebook group protesting the proposal.
posted by acb on Feb 13, 2010 - 36 comments

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