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Wired Love

“It would be dreadfully unromantic to fall in love with a soiled invisible, wouldn’t it,” Clive Thompson reviews Wired Love, a novel about romance over the network, in this case, the telegraph network, circa 1880. [more inside]
posted by zabuni on Jul 29, 2013 - 7 comments

Occupy Westminster In Reverse?

Conservative MPs have drawn up an “Alternative Queen’s Speech” with radical policies - "The 42 bills also include legislation to scrap wind farm subsidies, end the ringfence for foreign aid spending and rename the late August Bank Holiday “Margaret Thatcher Day”. Britain’s relationship with Europe features prominently in the action plan, with draft laws setting out how the UK would leave the European Union and a Bill to prevent Bulgarians and Romanians winning new rights to work, live and claim benefits here from next year. All of the proposals were laid before the House of Commons last night after the Tory backbenchers hijacked an obscure Parliamentary procedure by camping out in Westminster for four successive nights." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jun 21, 2013 - 63 comments

RIP Nina Bawden, 1925 to 2012

Nina Bawden, writer of novels for adults and children, born in 1925, died on 22nd August 2012. “As a child, Nina said, she had felt wicked because the children in the books she read were all so good, and she was one of the first writers for children to create characters who could be jealous, selfish and bad-tempered” (Guardian obituary). [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Aug 27, 2012 - 10 comments

Pick your side. Pick your history.

"Some date the crisis to August 9 2007, the day it became clear that Europe’s banks were up to their necks in US housing debt. The ECB flooded markets with €95bn of liquidity. It seemed a lot of money then. The term “trillion” was still banned by the Telegraph style book in those innocent days. We have since learned to swing with the modern dance music from central banks." [Five years on, the Great Recession is turning into a life sentence]
posted by vidur on Aug 13, 2012 - 101 comments

'like a sort of soul-compass after I was dead.'

Last November, the Mayor Gallery had an exhibit of Sylvia Plath's sketches. (via)
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 20, 2012 - 5 comments

"Say, old man, we are stopped and surrounded by ice".

One hundred years ago, a network of Marconi wireless operators documented history's most famous shipwreck. Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, the RMS Titanic's radio officers, were usually tasked with sending personal communications for first-class passengers. But on April 14, 1912, they turned their tapping fingers to the CQD distress signal (and, later in the evening, the relatively new SOS call), using the distinctive slang of their fellow operators to report the wreck, call for help, and indulge in a bit of gallows humor. [more inside]
posted by mynameisluka on Apr 13, 2012 - 43 comments

"...obituaries are about the juicy stuff of life..."

“Obituaries are not about death. They are a celebration of life." The Art of the Obituary [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 30, 2012 - 14 comments

150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Telegraph

150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA. "Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired. Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War. Americans soon saw that a breakthrough in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives."
posted by homunculus on Oct 23, 2011 - 49 comments

First they came for the tea drinkers...

Hot on the heels of the stunning revelation that Twining's had changed the 180-year-old recipe for Earl Grey tea, the Telegraph continues its reporting on the decline of British civilization with word that HP Sauce -- condiment of choice in millions of bacon butties around the United Kingdom -- has been brought "in line with changes in consumer tastes."
posted by villanelles at dawn on Sep 13, 2011 - 75 comments

Acquaintances made by the telegraph key

From 1890: The First Text Messages I’m not sure what “Wl hrs a fu” is supposed to mean. But it sounds like “min pen” is an 1890 equivalent of today’s instant messager’s “afk brb." [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Aug 4, 2011 - 29 comments

4 Gallons Per Minute At Full Chat

Some 10 minutes after driving Chris Williams's Packard-engined Behemoth my hands were still shaking, my voice was croaking and the cool autumn wind was chilling my sweaty overalls. My face was cherry red from the infernal heat of the engine and my eyebrows singed from its 24 flaming exhaust stubs. In my entire career I have never driven anything as visceral, as physical or as sheer bloody terrifying as Mavis, the 42-litre Packard-engined Bentley.
posted by veedubya on Dec 20, 2010 - 47 comments

Dr Evan Harris - The Liberal Democrat's Dr Death?

The new focus on the Liberal Democrats sees the Daily Telegraph's Cristina Odone profiling Dr Evan Harris. That's "profiling" in the sense that the FBI might profile a criminal. A criminal the papers are calling Dr Death. [more inside]
posted by DNye on Apr 20, 2010 - 71 comments

Everyday I Take The Bus...

Trending Now: Bus Thievery On The rise.
posted by Xurando on Feb 19, 2010 - 42 comments

The Bicycle Diaries

The Bicycle Diaries - UK cyclist Douglas Whitehead rides from England to India. He just left Uzbekistan.
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 17, 2009 - 17 comments

They sure don't make nostalgia like they used to anymore.

Punctuality, privacy, dead time, concentration: all dead or dying at the hands of the Internet, according to this list in the Daily Telegraph.

Only at festivals with no Wi-Fi signals can the gullible be tricked into believing that David Hasslehoff [sic] has passed away. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 5, 2009 - 55 comments

Steamtwitter

The wonderful Ben Schott (previously on Mefi) has posted an awesome excerpt from the 1891 Anglo-American Telegraphic Code, showing how folks got around (economically-induced) character and word limitations over a century before Twitter. Too wacky to be true? Gleam tus!
posted by ericbop on Aug 3, 2009 - 36 comments

Bantoro = Henry Ford

Museum archivist, exploring Henry Ford's office records, stumbles into the interesting world of commercial telegraphic code.
posted by Miko on May 27, 2009 - 15 comments

A little piece of Middle England

More than 20 years ago, Matt Pritchett, the son of a newspaper columnist, began his daily cartoon in the Daily Telegraph. Generally accepted as the best daily cartoonist working today on these shores, he actually wanted to become a cameraman originally but failed to find the work. Always wry, understated and pithy, Matt's cartoons typically summarise the absurd and the humdrum in modern day Britain, often at the same time. Here's his effort for today. Some of his classics here, here and here.
posted by MuffinMan on Jan 21, 2009 - 19 comments

"the precious jewels of Jao-chou"

In 2006 in the Fitzwilliam Museum three enormous porcelain vases from seventeenth or eighteenth century China were smashed by a museum visitor who fell down the stairs. This presentation "follows the vases' progress from scattered fragments to their redisplay in the Fitzwilliam Museum. The site includes slideshows, film clips of the conservation process and a timelapse of one of the vases under reconstruction". [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on May 5, 2008 - 20 comments

The World's Fifty Best Works of Art?

The World's 50 Best Works of Art (and how to see them) in the opinion of critic Martin Gayford. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Mar 9, 2008 - 39 comments

Hugh Massingberd joins the majority.

"Hugh Massingberd, a celebrated former obituaries editor of The Telegraph of London who made a once-dreary page required reading by speaking frankly, wittily and often gleefully ill of the dead, became the recipient of his own services after dying in West London on Christmas Day." The linked NY Times obit (by Margalit Fox; print version) contains many good quotes, like "The Telegraph’s send-off of one Lt. Col. Geoffrey Knowles, 'who as a subaltern was bitten in the buttocks by a bear — he survived but the bear expired'"; The Telegraph's own obit is much longer (and, of course, unsigned) and contains, along with more good zingers, a well-written account of his life ("The inevitable consequence of his bingeing proved another triumph of style, as Massingberd, a tall, slim and notably handsome youth with hollowed-out cheeks, transmogrified into an impressively corpulent presence whose moon face lit up with Pickwickian benevolence"). [more inside]
posted by languagehat on Dec 30, 2007 - 21 comments

RENDITION = reply by private code immediately

ADMIX COCKADE SIGNATION EXPERTS SEPTUAGINT [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 17, 2007 - 21 comments

Must-See Web Clips

The Daily Telegraph's 50 must-watch web video clips features this classic Attenborough-narrated clip of a lyre bird perfectly imitating a chainsaw.
posted by milquetoast on Aug 1, 2007 - 35 comments

No rest for the dead...

My post-mortem to-do checklist, so far: 1. Study marine biology. 2. Accessorize my hot, wealthy widow. 3. Relay a few spooky telegrams to my spooky new friends. 4. Try to look as suspicious as possible. And that's even before rigor mortis sets in!
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 8, 2006 - 37 comments

If I could talk to the aliens...

Call the aliens using first intentional intergalactic communication system. Just $3.99 a minute, though prospective callers should know that they aren't really breaking new ground. Do you need inspiration about what historic message to send? The first commercial telegraph message was the poetic "What hath God wrought?" The first telephone call was the famous "Come here Watson, I want to see you." The first email, rather boringly, announced the availability of email. Stuck on the first word? Follow the path of Edison, who coined the word "hello" as a telephone greeting over Alexander Graham Bell's "Ahoy Ahoy." (Audio version) Just hope that you don't receive a collect call in return.
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 18, 2005 - 14 comments

Is the president not expendable?

The U. S. Secret Service is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure the safety of George W. Bush's visit to London - including some not insignificant structural changes to the Palace (which have not as of yet been approved). The article claims that "There will be more armed men on the streets of London this week than at any time since the end of the Second World War." British security officials further describe operations as has having been "hijacked by the US secret service."

Everyone knows there's a possibility of violence against the president, especially in light of recent events. A measure of security is thus justified. However, are economic concerns being considered? Now, I have the utmost respect for the president's life - as much as I do for just about anybody. I hate the callousness of associating any sort of price on human life. But when security measures require 5,000 police officers and £4,000,000 (that's merely the cost footed by UK taxpayers, mind you), have we not yet reached the point where that money would have been better spent? -especially when the U. S. executive branch has a very robust official policy of succession in place. It's not like the government will suddenly evaporate if the president were to be killed.
posted by SilentSalamander on Nov 16, 2003 - 115 comments

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
posted by ericost on Mar 22, 2003 - 32 comments

A story of village life

A story of village life A witty analogy for the current world situation. Here is another one. If anyone has a good justification for war I would like to hear it, come on convince me!
posted by cohiba on Oct 1, 2002 - 23 comments

Pork chop shoes

Pork chop shoes results in a lawsuit in Australia. A man who slipped on a grease trail left by pork chop shoes in a pub is awarded £23,000. I guess Nike better think twice before they release their filet mignon basketball shoes. What would be their marketing campaign?
posted by percine on Jun 30, 2002 - 8 comments

Katarina Witt's Stasi connection.

Katarina Witt's Stasi connection. SECRET police files on Katarina Witt have revealed that the most glamorous and popular sporting figure in the former East Germany was so close to the Stasi that she considered them a "partner".
posted by skallas on May 12, 2002 - 9 comments

The America-Hating British?

The America-Hating British? In the UK's Spectator : "And this time it’s not just the usual America-haters at the Guardian and the BBC, but the likes of Alice Thomson, Stephen Glover, Alasdair Palmer, Matthew Parris, my most esteemed Telegraph and Speccie colleagues...many people over here had no idea quite how ridiculous you are. You’re shocked by us, we’re laughing at you. In fairness, instead of coasting on non-existent diseases and wild guesses at the weather, the always elegant Matthew Parris at least attempted to expand Guantanamo into a general thesis. ‘We seek to project the message that there are rules to which all nations are subject,’ he wrote in the Times. ‘America has a simpler message: kill Americans, and you’re dead meat.’ This caused endless amusement over here. As the Internet wag Steven den Beste commented, ‘By George, I think he’s got it!....’ PS What is an internet wag anyway?
posted by Voyageman on Feb 11, 2002 - 19 comments

Naughty Children to Be Registered as Potential Criminals in the UK

Naughty Children to Be Registered as Potential Criminals in the UK UK police are to set up a secret database of children as young as three who they fear might grow up to become criminals. What next, DNA testing on embryos to find out if they have a genetic leaning towards criminal behaviour? Link courtesy of Backwash.
posted by Jubey on Nov 26, 2001 - 14 comments

The stuff from which Myth is made.

The stuff from which Myth is made. A recent discovery of a meteor impact crater in the middle-east, dating around 2300BC, is shedding new light on the decline of many cultures and the rise of many legends.
posted by mkn on Nov 15, 2001 - 19 comments

Bin Laden: Yes, I did it

Bin Laden: Yes, I did it "In a previously undisclosed video which has been circulating for 14 days among his supporters, he confesses that "history should be a witness that we are terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents". In the footage, shot in the Afghan mountains at the end of October, a smiling bin Laden goes on to say that the World Trade Centre's twin towers were a "legitimate target" and the pilots who hijacked the planes were "blessed by Allah". The killing of at least 4,537 people was justified, he claims, because they were "not civilians" but were working for the American system." (via lgf)

Evidence enough? Will this cause any in opposition to reconsider? (it's even from a British newspaper...)
posted by owillis on Nov 10, 2001 - 47 comments

Women Fear attacks more than Men

Women Fear attacks more than Men More Women fear terrorism are the men afraid to say so
posted by timetostepback on Sep 28, 2001 - 9 comments

Thousands take maths A-level sold for £400 on black market

If im paying £400 for these A level papers - i want the answers as well, not just the questions..
posted by monkeyJuice on Jun 15, 2001 - 2 comments

"Mr. Dyson, I'm pleased to inform you that your grandmother didn't sleep around."

"Mr. Dyson, I'm pleased to inform you that your grandmother didn't sleep around."
posted by lagado on Jun 10, 2001 - 8 comments

Death toll from nCJD passes 100.

Death toll from nCJD passes 100. Is it me, or were we expecting a lot more than that? SEAC called for more post mortem examinations to be conducted on elderly people who die with suspected dementia, in case vCJD is being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's or senility. Seems unlikely that a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or dementia could be made *without* a postmortem, but there ya go.
posted by methylsalicylate on May 25, 2001 - 2 comments

One for the Darwin Awards me thinks....
posted by monkeyJuice on May 4, 2001 - 4 comments

"These Wall Street stunners are what truly spur aggressive growth,"

"These Wall Street stunners are what truly spur aggressive growth," teases Playboy in their latest attempt since failing miserably at luring a TV Analyst to bare all. [Via: The Daily Telegraph (Friday, April 06. Page 37.)]
posted by tamim on Apr 9, 2001 - 2 comments

Euro-court outlaws criticism of EU,

Euro-court outlaws criticism of EU, and thus demonstrates what inevitably will happen when most European governments have communists(or "former communists") on board. PS: beware that any reply to this tread could be seen upon as additional critisism against the Holy Union...
posted by frednorman on Mar 7, 2001 - 11 comments

Telegraph Codes.

Telegraph Codes. Was doing some searching the other day to remind myself what code traditionally goes at the end of a wire story (it's "-30-" of course) and stumbled upon this gem. Best of all, it's not political.
posted by kindall on Jan 23, 2001 - 4 comments

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