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Donnie Darko Graffiti

They Made Me Do It  is a collective of artists emerging from the UK graffiti scene...The first project,  from which the collective and name originated, was based around  [Richard Kelly's]  film  Donnie Darko...with each artist producing a canvas in 6 hrs 42 min and 12 seconds inspired by the cult film...
[...a little more inside.]

posted by Shane on May 2, 2003 - 18 comments

19 Princelet Street

19 Princelet Street, Spitalfields. A permanent celebration of London immigrant life.
'Described as the nation's answer to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, 19 Princelet Street in London's East End was refuge to hundreds of Jews fleeing persecution from the Nazis.
posted by plep on May 1, 2003 - 4 comments

Microsoft announces music service:

Microsoft announces music service: Apple roughed up in playground, candy stolen.
posted by aladfar on Apr 29, 2003 - 37 comments

Electronic voting in the UK

E-voting could counter apathy amongst the young on May 1st. Research published by HEDRA indicates that over half of young people would be more likely to vote if they could do so via the Internet. But is it secure and verifiable? They seem to have covered most of the bases. But the question remains, will voters trust such a system? Unfortunately, the discussion seems to have been prematurely terminated. Warning: pdfs!
posted by cbrody on Apr 28, 2003 - 34 comments

Cry God for Harry! England and Saint George!

Happy St George's Day. Patron saint of England, Portugal, skin diseases and syphillis amongst other things. Saint George may not have been English, or even have set foot in England, but a poll suggests many English people would like his day to be more enthusiastically marked. There's even an online petition you can sign in support of making St George's day a national holiday.The government shows little interest though. What's wrong with being English, and why shouldn't we celebrate our national day properly?
posted by squealy on Apr 23, 2003 - 28 comments

The life of Twine

My bet is no-one will care, but I'm marrying my fiancee six months today. Who cares, you say. But think about this... Current UK law means you can either be married by an Anglican minister or by a Registrar. Due to ecumenical fun we're getting married in an Anglican Parish Church with a URC minister and have to get a registrar to stand in the church. Why the religious difference? Does it matter?
posted by twine42 on Apr 5, 2003 - 27 comments

Blair a war criminal

Blair, the war criminal Tom Dalyell, a Labour MP with over 41 years of service in the House of Commons has voted with his Labour Party constitutency to call for Blair to reconsider his postion as party leader. He further states that he believes "[Blair] should be branded as a war criminal and sent to the Hague".
posted by lometogo on Mar 27, 2003 - 22 comments

Robert Fisk in the Independent

Robert Fisk in the Independent Today's front page of the UK broadsheet comprises solely of a text-only report of yesterday's bombing of a Baghdad marketplace, beginning: "It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car..." This is how war reporting should be.
posted by garyh on Mar 27, 2003 - 110 comments

Big Bomber: the reality TV hit of the summer

Big Bomber: the reality TV hit of the summer! Who will be the first to be evicted from the Big Bomber house?
posted by skylar on Mar 24, 2003 - 4 comments

Amazon UK taken down by demand in cheap PDAs

Amazon UK was taken down for over an hour today after a rush of orders caused by apparently mis-pricing Compaq HP iPAQ H5450 Pocket PCs and HP iPAQ H1910 Pocket PCs at £23 GBP and £7 GBP respectively (normally priced at over £200 GBP each)!! I know a few people who have ordered one or two ;) - Amazon is back up and running now but we're all a bit in the dark as to whether we'll get our cut-price goods or not. Logic and fair-play (and the Trades Description Act) dicatates that we should get our goods - but I wonder.... (see also here at The Register)
posted by andyHollister on Mar 19, 2003 - 37 comments

Sailing close to the flame

At what point does a government have to stop and wonder if it's judged the mood correctly?

The UK government manages to bribe a rebel with a cushy job, but not one, not two, but three other MPs walk away from the government in one day. Are things going wrong in the UK?
posted by twine42 on Mar 18, 2003 - 63 comments

Cook sods off

The resignation speech [Real, edited text] of Robin Cook, the ex-Foreign Secretary who led British troops into Kosovo, received a standing ovation in the House of Commons, something that hasn't happened in recent memory. The now leaderless House votes on the war tomorrow.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 17, 2003 - 45 comments

It's just not cricket

It's just not cricket - it would appear that the Cricket commentator at The Guardian is having a bad day.
posted by chill on Mar 14, 2003 - 24 comments

Big Brother Is Watching You...Idiotically

Nominate the world's stupidest security procedure. UK-based watchdog group, Privacy International, is accepting nominations until March 15th from the general public about the most annoying and invasive security measures with the lowest effectiveness in protecting individual safety. What would you nominate?
posted by jonp72 on Mar 6, 2003 - 19 comments

The Name Remains The Same

Get Your Own Name, Buster! It's doesn't get any sillier than finding out how many people in the U.K. are at this very moment walking about pretending to be you; the limey bastards. But it's humbling, to say the least - and a bit of fun too. [Via Linkmachinego and Plep.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 5, 2003 - 39 comments

When Washington writes Blair's autocue

When Washington writes Blair's autocue. For those of you outside the U.K. a very funny clip from Rory Bremner, about the only satirist left on U.K. television. (Real Video Stream - 'Blair & Campbell Autocue').
posted by rolo on Mar 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Living in poverty and fear of abandonment, the barely functioning state that trusted its saviours

"If the Americans think this is success, then outright failure must be pretty horrible to behold." something for US, British and world citizens to think about as we bang the drums for war on Iraq.
posted by specialk420 on Feb 24, 2003 - 30 comments

Loving the US

How to love the US is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here. I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
posted by jpburns on Feb 19, 2003 - 86 comments

390,000 Jedi in Britain

390,000 Jedi in Britain In a recent census 390,000 U.K. residents declared their faith in the Star Wars religion following an e-mail campaign that claimed 10,000 declared Jedites would make Jedi a 'legal and official religion.' So what happens now? Who will build the first Jedi church? (I reckon this says more about British attitutudes to form filling than attitutudes to religion).
posted by rolo on Feb 13, 2003 - 22 comments

king of stonehenge

The King of Stonehenge found in a 4,000-year-old grave near Stonehenge may have been from Switzerland and involved in its construction. It is the richest Bronze Age burial found in Britain "off the scale". ...it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad – probably modern day Switzerland – could well have played an important part in the construction of Britain’s most famous archaeological site.”
posted by stbalbach on Feb 10, 2003 - 16 comments

1953 floods

Delta 2003 Yesterday the 1953 floods were commemorated in the Netherlands and a day earlier in the UK. What happened in 1953?
posted by ginz on Feb 2, 2003 - 5 comments

London Vs. The Smog Monster

50 years ago last month, a dark cloud settled in over London. And stayed for four days. This fog, which was brought on by a lethal combination of high pressure, near freezing temperatures and London's pervasive coal burning, starting killing things. At first, the animals at a cattle show, then the elderly, or those prone to resperatory disease. By the end, over 4,000 people had died. Strangely, to this day the disaster retains a low profile, unlike more glamorous disasters such as the Titanic, or Bhopal. Stranger still, is that unlike those others, while the fog was at its most deadly, few realized there was even an epidemic occurring, with most viewing it as, at worst, a mild nuisance.
posted by jonson on Jan 22, 2003 - 22 comments

What's in a can of beans?

Children of the bean sing a catchy little ditty and have a theme park adventure. Something strange is going on at Edleston Primary School and I like it. Prepare for blastoff. (some links contain flash)
posted by snez on Jan 21, 2003 - 9 comments

Fake celebrity gossip in UK

As our own Royal Family slams them, can we be certain of anything reported in the British press? Celebrity gossip is king: if an unpopular public figure isn't ruined, then they're dragged through the gutter by an amoral PR guru. Celebrities mysteriously go out with other celebrities, until their single reaches number one (usually they're with the same PR company). It happens all the time. And models have sex videos 'stolen', only for one newpaper to 'find' out and charge people to look (and trailers suddenly appear on Kazaa). Is nothing real?
posted by wibbler on Jan 9, 2003 - 8 comments

The BBC's virtual monopoly must end (must it?)

Is the BBCi website far too big and monopolistic? Editorial from 'The Guardian' discussing whether the BBC's website, funded by the British license fee is taking the thunder away from commercial websites worldwide trying to achieve the same results in advertising run market place. There is some logic to the argument -- when e-marketing revenues are dwingling how can some sites compete with this bohemoth? On the other hand, if they were achieving the same results people would be going to them instead, and the BBC's website is very, very good in some places, indispensible in others.
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 6, 2003 - 23 comments

Girl to sue over detention

Girl to sue over detention "The family, who want compensation, will argue that the detentions were unlawful because they took place in Freya's free time. " If you can't give kids detention, how else are they going to be punished for breaking school rules?
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 28, 2002 - 88 comments

January Department Store Sales

"There Is Only One Sale" is the traditional January sales slogan of Harrods' department store in London, where the elbow-fest begins next Monday. With disappointing Christmas retail sales being reported more or less everywhere, it looks like the U.S. National Retail Federation's statement "What's going to be crucial now is the week after Christmas" is not the usual BS. Sales in Europe are still month-long extravaganzas where unique bargains can be had. In the U.S. they seem to be more frequent, shorter and somewhat diluted. Assuming you're normal (a stingy, somewhat gullible and opportunistic shopper like the rest of us), what are your post-holiday shopping objectives? Which department stores will you be hitting? Or is it all just a big con?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 24, 2002 - 10 comments

One-in, one-out: the nominations.

One-in, one-out: the nominations. "Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell on Dec 18, 2002 - 6 comments

Laughter capital of the world ?

Laughter capital of the world? "Declining audiences, dull material, complacent comics: a crisis is looming ....London suddenly appears to be in the grip of a recession for the first time since the alternative comedy boom took off at the beginning of the 1980s." From a nation exporting Bill Bailey(live in NYC this week) ,Eddie Izzard, Ali G, can this really be happening? (BTW I always thought Canada tried to lay a claim to this crown?)
posted by Voyageman on Dec 16, 2002 - 15 comments

Fame Academy comes to an end.

David wins Fame Academy! Mix Big Brother with Pop/American Idol and you get the Fame Academy, where 12 gorgeous under-30s are thrown into a glorified stage school for a few months, and only one emerges an idol. The prize? Supposedly the 'biggest TV prize ever.' A £1 million recording contract, a fancy apartment in London, a personal shopper, chauffeur, and more. All is not lost for the 'losers' though, as they've all gained professional management and Mercury Records is considering them all for solo careers. In contrast to the 'Idol' shows, being couped up for weeks on end has caused even the wackiest contestants to grow in their singing and songwriting abilities. So will this show reach the US? Probably, given these other crossover shows.
posted by wackybrit on Dec 13, 2002 - 8 comments

Entrances to Hell

Entrances to Hell abound throughout the United Kingdom. Who knew?
posted by staggernation on Dec 12, 2002 - 28 comments

Britain's rising HIV

"Immigration has overtaken gay sex as the main form of HIV into Britain" - that I never knew.
posted by robself on Dec 1, 2002 - 8 comments

UK millenium engineering projects

I recently rode the Falkirk Wheel, perhaps the least well known of a number of UK projects marking the Millenium, which fuse stunning design with ingenious engineering. [more inside]
posted by gravelshoes on Nov 30, 2002 - 17 comments

Great Britons

Winston Churchill has been voted as the Greatest Briton in a BBC survey. Yes, he gave some great speeches when he needed to, but who gave him the language to make them? Who is missing from the list?
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 24, 2002 - 65 comments

1901 Census up and running online

1901 Back on it's feet again... At last it's the 1901 show!(the date not the time) and the UK Public Record Office 1901 Census is up and testing again after having crashed due to overdemand earlier in theyear. And it works! I've discovered my great grandfather was a wheelwright and that his eldest son was a labourer at the gas works (I saw my first naked girlfriend in a bedroom in the shadow of that very gasworks!) and that I had a great great Uncle Percy!
posted by terrymiles on Nov 15, 2002 - 4 comments

Death of a killer

Moors murderer Myra Hindley is dead The serial killer was serving her 36th year behind bars at nearby Highpoint Prison, Suffolk. Hindley and Ian Brady, 64, were jailed for life in 1966 for the sexual abuse, torture and murder of three youngsters. In 1987 they confessed to two more child killings.
posted by tomcosgrave on Nov 15, 2002 - 13 comments

Fireworks in England

Fresh in from the 'perfect timing' department - not even 24 hours after the fire brigade goes on strike, the south west of England goes on flood watch and a Fireworks factory explodes. For some added fun, the army are banned from driving the modern fire engines and instead drive famous 'green godesses'.

Even ignoring the lack of cover (644 GGs replacing 4,311 normal engines) and lack of equipment the army fire teams have, should emergency services be able to strike?
posted by twine42 on Nov 14, 2002 - 27 comments

Badthoughts

Hate crime police raid 150 homes 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'
posted by kablam on Nov 13, 2002 - 14 comments

R.I.P. Squirrel 2002-2002

R.I.P. Squirrel 2002-2002 He lived a short, productive life. Some guy finally shot and killed him to end his reign of terror over Chesire. I'm sure that with a good taxidermist, he will be stuffed and live on in the hearts of all of England. He also spawned an unintentionally funny caption to a picture: "A squirrel, similar to the one shown in this file photo, is spreading terror in a Cheshire town where it keeps attacking people"

I dub thee "Chester the Crazy Squirrel". May he live his afterlife like he lived his life, by attacking people at random.
posted by RobbieFal on Nov 8, 2002 - 10 comments

"The oldest profession in the world"

"The oldest profession in the world" gains a whole new meaning with this 57-year-old woman's spirited account, in The Spectator (est. 1858) no less, of her successful new career as a prostitute. I must admit a part of me said "Hooray! There's hope for us thirtysomethings yet" but the rest remained highly suspicious or (to be honest) whispered "How pathetic!" Is this ageism or are (much) older women really more attractive nowadays?
posted by Schweppes Girl on Nov 7, 2002 - 29 comments

If being a student wasn't hard enough,

If being a student wasn't hard enough, now they want us to sit in a pub/bar, day and night, and all in the name of an education. Its a hard life, but someone has to do it!!!
posted by delboy_trotter on Nov 4, 2002 - 17 comments

Queen's intervention leads to acquittal in Regina v. Burrell.

Queen's intervention leads to acquittal in Regina v. Burrell.
Princess diana's butler, Paul Burrell - her 'rock' - is acquitted of theft from Princess Diana after Queen Elizabeth admits her knowledge of his 'caretaking' of Diana's property. This case has always smacked of a class divide - surely we shouldn't let the hoi-polloi be so close to their uppers and betters? Surely Diana wouldn't really let a mere butler have her precious momentos? Is this farce one more nail in the British Monarchy's coffin? Or, as the popular weakness of the movement towards the abolition of the uk monarchy attests, will the Windsors ride this out, as they did the opposition they encountered after the death of 'The Queen of Hearts'? [More republican links here]
posted by dash_slot- on Nov 1, 2002 - 33 comments

How gay panic gripped 1960s Royal Navy

How gay panic gripped 1960s Royal Navy One sailor reportedly picked up a prostitute who he believed to be female. Realising he wasn't who she appeared to be, the sailor reportedly declared: "Blimey, you're all there!" Nevertheless, he apparently became "infatuated". This kind of incident led admirals to argue that most of the men accused were only inadvertently homosexual, rather than dangerous "perverts".
Just-released documents from the UK Public Records Office show some interesting attitudes among the Navy hierarchy at the time. The rationalising of the various activities uncovered is actually quite creative, and weirdly more tolerant than that in subsequent decades, when gay activity got people summarily thrown out of the forces. Even this particular 'crisis' eventually triggered a new 'education' programme on the evils of homosexuality though. In this instance, the pendulum seems not so much to have swung as to have careered wildly in all directions. A bit like the sailors.... (sorry).
posted by jonpollard on Oct 31, 2002 - 11 comments

City of London Churches

City of London Churches 'The ‘Square Mile’ that constitutes The City of London is a world financial centre where 300,000 people work and nearly 500 foreign banks have an office. Less well known is that amongst the largely uninspired office blocks are hidden around 50 current or former churches and other places of worship, either complete, converted into offices, or in ruins. Once there were nearly 100 parish churches within the City boundaries but the Great Fire of London, the migration of residents to the suburbs, and Hitler’s bombs have done most to reduce that figure. Many of the surviving churches are, famously, Wren churches. After the Great Fire he had the unique opportunity of designing over 50 churches, and he gave full rein to his imagination ... '
A guide to 55 churches in London's financial district; best seen on a weekend, when the City is virtually deserted. Whilst the majority are Wren churches, there are some exceptions - St Bartholomew the Great, which dates back to Norman times; the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue in Great Britain; and the Dutch Church, which was drawn by van Gogh and important to the Huguenot community. Particularly worth a visit is St. Bride's, the journalists' church; the design of the wedding cake is based on the shape of its spire.
posted by plep on Oct 30, 2002 - 28 comments

Trial by Tabloid?

Trial by Tabloid? Top BBC presenter Angus Deaton has been sacked after a sex & drugs scandal. He has presented comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You for over ten years. So, is ti right for him to be sacked after trial by tabloid? Do we actually care what our T.V. presenters get up to after the cameras are turned off?
posted by prentiz on Oct 30, 2002 - 16 comments

Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes;

Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes; Big Brother goes retro. In the artistic tradition of classic London Transport poster art comes this sinister-looking campaign. Reminiscent of these parodies, but the art is better and they're not kidding.
posted by George_Spiggott on Oct 28, 2002 - 29 comments

One of Our Inflatable Tanks is Missing.

One of Our Inflatable Tanks is Missing. The UK has been returning to normal operation today after our latest storm (apart from the power, oh, and the trains but a state of disruption is 'normal' for the trains). The saddest story is of Christopher Vince, who died saving his brother. The silliest is that of the army and their lost inflatable tank.
posted by anyanka on Oct 28, 2002 - 12 comments

Actor Richard Harris dies

Actor Richard Harris dies "Don't let it be forgot - that once there was a spot - for one brief, shining moment - that was known as Camelot..." Such a sad day all around. R.I.P., Richard.
posted by dnash on Oct 25, 2002 - 21 comments

Centre of Great Britain

Centre of Great Britain The BBC (God bless 'em) are running a series of "Centre of ..." stories. No-one in the UK seems to care, do other nationalities care more about their country's centre of gravity?
posted by daveg on Oct 21, 2002 - 12 comments

"I've halved my motoring costs since I started running my diesel Subaru on cooking oil. The car runs just as well and even smells a lot better than diesel."

"I've halved my motoring costs since I started running my diesel Subaru on cooking oil. The car runs just as well and even smells a lot better than diesel."

The police 'Frying Squad' are on the case and "home in on any car smelling like a mobile fish and chip shop". Other than the dreadful puns, are there other reasons why we shouldn't all run our cars on Mazola?
posted by niceness on Oct 10, 2002 - 42 comments

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