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Well I'll Go To The Foot Of Our Stairs

British subtitles
posted by The Whelk on Aug 20, 2014 - 32 comments

May the road rise up to meet you.

The Roader’s Digest is ‘the most complete archive of information on the British and Irish road networks on the web.’ from the A1 to the R999; from the B3306 to the B855, they probably have a description of it. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on May 6, 2014 - 20 comments

“It is good to see that NOEL EDMONDS has bounced back.”

On 1st November 1988, ITV dispatched over fifty crews to chronicle the production, reception and marketing of British television, at a time when, with satellite television yet to launch, the four main networks were your only viewing choice. It became the documentary One Day In The Life of Television, which you can now watch in full on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Oct 25, 2013 - 7 comments

TP-AJAX

In 2011, the CIA declassified documents admitting its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's elected government and installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, details of which were first first disclosed by the New York Times in 2000. Timeline. However, they refused to release them to the public. Today, the National Security Archive research institute has (after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit) obtained and made the 21 documents public. "Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 19, 2013 - 33 comments

'Ploughboy's Lunch, Harry, please'

'The ploughman's lunch is a UK pub meal who's core components are cheese, chutney, and bread. It can also include such items as boiled eggs, ham, and pickled onions, and is accompanied with beer.' [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Aug 12, 2013 - 92 comments

"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment."

The recent Netflix House of Cards series starring Kevin Spacey was a remake of a very popular British political thriller of the same name that aired during the 90's. The show begins by tracking the dark political machinations and skullduggery of an urbane Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, who is conspiring to become Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher's resignation. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 11, 2013 - 91 comments

180 Years of Saturdays

The Spectator Archive was announced today, with searchable, browsable content of the weekly U.K. (conservative-leaning) magazine, from 1828 through 2008. [more inside]
posted by steef on Jun 10, 2013 - 10 comments

The Rain in Westeros Falls Mainly in the Riverlands

What Is Going on With the Accents in Game of Thrones? Gawker beanplates the accents used on-screen by the actors in Game of Thrones. Like most fantasy television shows, Game of Thrones is largely populated by English actors speaking with English accents. This is because Americans are still unconvinced that England is a real country, and associate English speech patterns with kings and magic and sorcery and frequent stabbings. [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus on May 7, 2013 - 267 comments

Wet your whistle on these

What ho, dearest cousins in the Western Colonies. You appear to be increasingly using the vernacular of the mother country. Splendid! [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 17, 2012 - 180 comments

Tea should be hot.

A Guide to Writing Sherlockian-Tea Habits. In which EnigmaticPenguin (of death) schools fanfiction authors in correct English tea theory and practice. Follow up: Biscuits.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 29, 2012 - 158 comments

The allegedly amputated arm of the law

MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition. The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 15, 2012 - 26 comments

Gay helpline pioneer Rose Robertson has passed.

Before the Second World War, Rose Robertson did secretarial work. During the war, as part of her work for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in the UK, Robertson parachuted into occupied France to spy on German troop deployments and act as a courier. Her acquaintance there with a gay couple in the French Resistance, and, after the war, friendship with gay lodgers, led her to found Parents Enquiry, Britain's first helpline to support parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual children, an organization which she operated for many years. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan on Nov 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Syd Dale, Legend of Library

There is no questioning Syd Dale's [mid-60s UK NSFW] place amongst the legends of library music. ... his lavish big band inspired compositions were quickly brought to the public's attention through their use in countless t.v. shows and advertisements. Much of his work could be as classed as easy listening however Dale was also adept at incorporating elements of funk and spy jazz.* [The music of the 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series - to which he so memorably contributed - has been discussed previously.] [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 8, 2011 - 10 comments

A St. Bernard and a year's supply of whisky

"Little slices of glamour beamed directly into your home in half-hour chunks; a perky theme, flashy titles, charismatic host, inventive format, gags, quiz, games, raucous outro – the works! Incredibly plain people given a quick glimpse of the good life, to which the tanned, funny man in the nice suit held the door." The joys of the 1980s game show. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Aug 4, 2011 - 4 comments

"The Third Way of COIN: Defeating the Taliban in Sangin"

100 Firefights, Three Weeks: Inside Afghanistan's Most Insane Fight
"In its first three weeks in Afghanistan’s Sangin district, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines got into more than 100 firefights and sustained 62 casualties. The insurgents managed to negate the Marines’ night-vision gear, and rendered their traditional close-combat tactics useless. Things got so bad, the 3/5’s superior officers even suggested pulling their troops back. That didn’t happen. Instead, the 3/5 went after the militants, hard. When the 3/5 came home, they told counterinsurgency historian Mark Moyar all about their deeply unconventional approach to what was already an unconventional war."
This is an excerpt in Wired of Moyar’s 74-page after action report. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 12, 2011 - 23 comments

Brown And Also Blue

VE and VJ Day, in London. In Colour.
posted by The Whelk on May 8, 2011 - 14 comments

Happy 65th birthday to the MRC birth cohort of 1946

Epidemiology: Study of a lifetime. "In 1946, scientists started tracking thousands of British children born during one cold March week. On their 65th birthday, the study members find themselves more scientifically valuable than ever before." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2011 - 7 comments

JOG ON KITTIES

CATS, WITH THUMBS. (SLVP)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 9, 2011 - 37 comments

Probe Into Shock Tabloid Rumpus

Tabloid Watch and Daily Mail Watch (previously) keep a beady eye on what Nick Davies' Flat Earth News calls "churnalism" in British media. So, you can find out if PC Officials Tone Down Punch and Judy, if Councils Install Muslim-only Toilets or if Muslim Bus Drivers Turf Guide Dogs off the Bus.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jul 27, 2010 - 24 comments

And now, a choice of viewing

TV idents provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon on Jun 26, 2010 - 15 comments

on 1 April

UK Space Agency launched with a logo that "looks uncannily like the logo for the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who." It's mission is to develop British space technology, "[b]ut this will have to be done through unmanned space activities, because for the foreseeable future the UKSA will not have enough resources to reverse the decision, taken by the Thatcher government in the 1980s, that Britain will not pay for manned space flights... planned expeditions to the International Space Station will be funded by the country's partners in the European Space Agency."
posted by kliuless on Mar 24, 2010 - 35 comments

It's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove!

Odd pronunciations of proper names (in the UK and Ireland). See also this Wikipedia list, assuming Wikipedia recovers sometime in the near future. Sadly, neither list helps with the pronunciation of Raymond Luxury Yacht. (Inspired by the poll and a recent episode of QI).
posted by kmz on Mar 24, 2010 - 104 comments

Secrets of The Great British Sex Clubs by Tony Perrottet

(NSFW) So Much For the Stiff Upper Lip. Slate writer gets jiggy wit the history of Georgian Britain's aristocratic sex clubs.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 14, 2009 - 38 comments

SWEDEMASON

The Works of Swede Mason: "Jeremy Clarkson," "Get in the Back of the Van," "Jungle All The Way," "Bill Wyman's Metal Detector," "Put the Lotion in the Basket, *" "Got The Sucka," "The Gobshite, *" "Squashed Thingy," "Spare Me The Madness," and the pair of tracks based on Neighbors deaths "Coffee And Croissants" and "Todd....Dead." [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Oct 13, 2009 - 14 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dot-comservative party?

Webcameron. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party in the UK, reaches out to the Youtube generation.
posted by greycap on Sep 30, 2006 - 53 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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