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Spider-Man "too violent for kids"

Spider-Man "too violent for kids" The British Board of Film Classification has given the Spider-Man film (which opens here in the UK today) a '12' certificate because of its violence, meaning no one under that age can see it. Some local authorities have exercised their power to reclassify it as a 'PG' to open it up to younger viewers.
The BBFC's argument runs that "The violence is set in a modern urban setting with a clear message that the use of violence is the normal and appropriate response when challenged." In fact, I'd say, the film suggests that an appropriate response when challenged is to put on an armoured exo-skeleton and fly around on a jey-powered glider. How can the BBFC not get the concept that this is a fantasy?
posted by jonpollard on Jun 14, 2002 - 45 comments

"British Liberty, RIP"

"British Liberty, RIP"
A leader article on the danger represented by the British Government's new Statutory Order and the need for Parliamentarians to step in and resist. (The Order will allow a wide range of organisations access to phone and internet records - The Guardian's own story with details is here.)
Ben Franklin has been quoted here many times before, but I have no hesitation quoting him again: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
posted by jonpollard on Jun 11, 2002 - 10 comments

The Queen's Golden Jubilee in the UK

The Queen's Golden Jubilee in the UK - did anyone see it? If you were in the UK, it's likely you would have seen at least some of the amazing celebrations of the Royal Family - four days of partying, including a huge pop/rock concert with loads of famous names, a classical concert, pomp and pagentry in a 4 ton gold chariot and a huge carnival drew 14 million TV viewers a night, and millions more went to see the royal knees-up, knocking the royal critics for six. Even Ozzy Osbourne sang a number, bless him. The final royal flypast rounded off the most amazing scenes I've ever seen. Brits - does this show of affection make your bosom swell with pride? Others - are you jealous, or thankful you weren't there?
posted by wibbler on Jun 5, 2002 - 54 comments

UK Kids to Get £40 a Week to Stay in School.

UK Kids to Get £40 a Week to Stay in School. Schoolchildren are to be paid £40 a week to stay on at school as part of a multi-billion-pound revolution in secondary schools in England and Wales.
posted by ncurley on Jun 2, 2002 - 37 comments

Stephen Byers resigns

Stephen Byers resigns (finally). Here is a profile of the man. Do politicians have to fall into the same pattern everytime something like this happens? Press: You've done something wrong. Politician: No I haven't. I'll admit to no impropriety on my part. Prime Minister: I'll stand by my minister. Press: But we can prove he did something wrong. The Public: I'll go with what they say, and he should resign. Prime Minister: Look mate, it's about the voters. Politician: I still don't believe I've got anything to hide but save the government embarassment, I'll resign.
posted by feelinglistless on May 28, 2002 - 7 comments

Mystery Illness

Mystery Illness such a mystery? Help needed! (old news, new information?) OK, I'm going to try and do this without naming names... The British troops in Afghanistan have been struck down by a mystery illness recently, with an investigation finding that the illness was just a "winter vomiting" bug.
I've heard different. The source may have been an Al Qaeda terrorist who had been captured. The 'mystery illness' may have been caught when the British or US government used biological warfare to make it easier to find and capture members of Al Qaeda. Can anyone help verify this? I should stress I only have word of mouth from a friend of a friend. All very speculative, but I've not been able to find anything else on this... yet...
posted by snowgoon on May 21, 2002 - 13 comments

Man cleared after taking pig's head into court.

Man cleared after taking pig's head into court. Also a garden gnome. Sadly, the article doesn't actually say what he was doing there in the first place. I'm glad your back Metafilter. It's been strange without you.
posted by feelinglistless on May 19, 2002 - 4 comments

Web Snatcher - when Web users go mad

Web Snatcher - when Web users go mad Andrew Wiseman began investigating someone called Dave Van Staveren when he ripped off his 625 Television Room site and several other TV fan sites. What follows is a descent into absolute lunacy. Who is Van Staveren? What does he want?
posted by Summer on May 17, 2002 - 5 comments

BBC funds ad-free, porn-free search engine.

BBC funds ad-free, porn-free search engine. Fueled by UK television license fees and Google search technology, the engine doesn't kick out results from paying advertisers. News article here.
posted by CosmicSlop on May 15, 2002 - 6 comments

Is It Racism If You Admit You're A Racist But Decry Racist Behaviour?

Is It Racism If You Admit You're A Racist But Decry Racist Behaviour? Geoffrey Sampson, Professor of Natural Language Computing at the University of Sussex in the UK is likely to be sacked from the Conservative Party for his defense of "racialism" as a legitimate human emotion. In an interview on this morninn's BBC Radio 4's "Today" programme, he said recognising people's racial prejudices is a scientific fact has nothing to do with espousing discriminatory behaviour. The Observer coyly shrank from linking Sampson's offending article but it wasn't difficult to find: here it is. Judge for yourselves.[My two cents and a question for UK Mefis: as a conservative, I'm quite impressed with Ian Duncan-Smith's(the new Tory leader's)efforts to dissociate himself from the Tory Party's reactionary bastions(e.g.The Monday Club) and attitudes. Is it just a pose, electioneering or is there something to it?]
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 13, 2002 - 33 comments

Mother jailed for girls' truancy

Mother jailed for girls' truancy A question for our British gang, is truancy such a problem in the UK now that this is really necessary? When I went to school in England, lo those mumblemumble years ago, I don't remember it being this bad. For the rest of the world, do you think truancy in your country would justify locking up the primary caregiver or is this punishing the wrong person? Can parents be held responsible for everything a child does? And better said, should they? When should we grant children the priviledges and penalties of their own autonomous actions?
posted by dejah420 on May 13, 2002 - 27 comments

'Three dead' in train crash

'Three dead' in train crash The day after our beloved Transport Secretary Stephen Byers apparently 'saved his job', the British rail system experiences another fatal accident. That's around 70 people killed on British railways in the last three years according to this chronology.
posted by jonpollard on May 10, 2002 - 13 comments

Backstabbing your coworkers via email --

Backstabbing your coworkers via email -- In a British survey almost 40% said they used email to further their own careers at the expense of colleagues.
posted by palegirl on May 8, 2002 - 9 comments

"Women Empowering Women".

"Women Empowering Women". This pyramid scheme is spreading like wildfire in the UK, with huge amounts of money involved. Basically you get a lot of people to put up say £100. The more people you attract to add money to the pyramid, the better chance you have of moving up and becoming entitled to many times your initial outlay. However, no investment occurs; this is simple cashflow juggling. Someone I work with gained £12000 on it in under a month - now everyone wants in the act. But (and I've pleaded with these people) the participants don't seem to appreciate the sheer idiocy of such schemes. Their attitude is "my husband goes to the betting shop, it's just my bit of fun". In the end, if you gain money, you're taking it directly from another participant. This is exploitation of people (normally hard-up, heavily mortgaged parents, it seems), is morally wrong and should be illegal - but it isn't in the UK. Here's a link to a BBC feature on pyramid schemes (aka trading schemes). This really boils my piss, but it carries on because individual participants can benefit from the fraud themselves. I understand women are targeted in this case as men are more likely to get in fights when they realise they've lost large amounts of cash.
posted by boneybaloney on May 3, 2002 - 18 comments

Nazis alive and well in England

Nazis alive and well in England Far-right extremists have sent a "chill factor" across the country after they claimed a symbolic victory in English local elections
posted by scotty on May 3, 2002 - 14 comments

It looks like that the British network einstein.tv and the FIDE may open negotiations this month for a reunified world chess championship. The championship was split in 1993 when Garry Kasparov left the FIDE to start his own failed league. Kasparov claims the world championship left with him, while the FIDE claims he abdicated by refusing to play nice with others. Kasparov lost the championship last year to Kramnik. Einstein.TV is milking the publicity while the FIDE says we are meeting but no comment. Wood pushers like me are probably better off leaving the politics to the people who can't stand each other and sticking to the internet chessclub, the free chess servers or simply email chess.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Apr 30, 2002 - 2 comments

Time for a change of business strategy focus?

Time for a change of business strategy focus? Nokia and VolksWagen are the examples given,
'the heart of productivity growth is what happens inside the firm, and firms are first and foremost organisations of human beings'
positive role models to lead us from downturn alley?
posted by asok on Apr 29, 2002 - 2 comments

I have a bad feeling about this.

I have a bad feeling about this. The UK government has urged employers to be leniant to staff who want to watch the World Cup when they should be working. Isn't this instantly discriminating against people who happen to like football (Soccer) all that much? For example, I'm sure I know what would happen if I broached the idea of turning up for work late on May 16th after I've been to the first showing of this thing.
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 29, 2002 - 15 comments

An Algerian defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi on Apr 24, 2002 - 14 comments

Britishness at its absolute bloody best

Britishness at its absolute bloody best I watched the whole Queen Mum procession thing yesterday, complete with "frantically filling BBC commentators", and this Brains Trust article was the perfect antidote. My favourite though is Die Sissons Die
posted by Summer on Apr 6, 2002 - 5 comments

Another trip into TV Hell.

Another trip into TV Hell. In the UK we're much kinder to bad television -- shows will go on for weeks without an audience and often get comissioned for second series before someone releases they're awful (yes you 'Let Them Eat Cake' -- if that French and Saunder monstrosity had been on UStv it would have been cancelled after two episodes -- if it had been comissioned at all). 'Off The Telly' considers all the things prospective television producers need to avoid if they're going to create something they're proud of. Does anyone else have any bad examples?
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 4, 2002 - 18 comments

The Falkland Islands are ours and we'll get them back, says Argentina.

The Falkland Islands are ours and we'll get them back, says Argentina. Argentina celebrates the twenty-year anniversary of their invasion of the Falkland Islands. Britain won the Falkland War in 1982, but Argentina now boasts that they'll definitely conquer the islands in the future. Since the majority of islanders are of British descent, does Argentina stand a chance? And shouldn't Argentina be focusing on rebuilding its own economy instead of whining about some insignificant islands in the Atlantic ocean?
posted by wackybrit on Apr 2, 2002 - 38 comments

you gotta love 'em scousers

you gotta love 'em scousers and here we have possibly the best website I can find paying homage to all things scouse (guffaw).
posted by johnnyboy on Mar 27, 2002 - 11 comments

oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched.

oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched. (flash) the phones (called "instruments" in vertu-speak) are okay, but the real meat seems to be the one-touch vertu concierge: allows one to find theatre tickets, make reservations, or (assumably) order KFC. and, as promised, they are indeed clutch-the-pearls expensive: €6000 to €24000. golly.
posted by patricking on Mar 27, 2002 - 12 comments

Professor becomes world's first cyborg

Professor becomes world's first cyborg Surgeons have carried out a ground-breaking operation on a cybernetics professor so that his nervous system can be wired up to a computer. It is hoped that the procedure could lead to a medical breakthrough for people paralysed by spinal cord damage, like Superman actor Christopher Reeve. Prof Warwick believes it also opens up the possibility of a sci-fi world of cyborgs, where the human brain can one day be upgraded with implants for extra memory, intelligence or X-ray vision. The medical possibilities with this are amazing, so why does it make me feel so uneasy?
posted by Tarrama on Mar 22, 2002 - 24 comments

AOL's UK tax break to end...next year?!!?

AOL's UK tax break to end...next year?!!? To those that hath, shall be given. For some years now, the worlds largest online service (now part of the worlds largest media co.) has been allowed a $30m./year exemption from Value Added (sales & services) Tax - VAT. This has been blamed on European Union legislation by Customs & Excise, who await the Brussels behemoths decision - as we all do - with baited breath. Is it just a case of sour grapes by their rivals, especially Freeserve, now owned by one of Europe's largest media companies - Wanadoo - or was there a real distinction between ISP and Content Provider? Surely, there must be a defence for this - 'Devil's Advocate', anyone? From TheRegister.co.uk
posted by dash_slot- on Mar 19, 2002 - 0 comments

Britain is now at War - US request the support of 1,700 Marines

Britain is now at War - US request the support of 1,700 Marines "These troops are being deployed to Afghanistan to take part in warfighting operations. We will be asking them to risk their lives. Their mission will be conducted in unforgiving and hostile terrain against a dangerous enemy. They may suffer casualties." A lot of people, including the media, were stunned by this announcement. Speculation is starting to become rife as to why the US need our troops? SAS, fair enough, but why our Marines? This is the largest deployment of British troops since the Gulf War, and arguable in far more dangerous circumstances. Most thought we were just going to lend a hand, now it appear that we will be playing a very serious part. Has there been much comment on this over in the US? Specifically on why these troop have been requested?
posted by RobertLoch on Mar 18, 2002 - 43 comments

The Eden Project

The Eden Project celebrates its first birthday today. Happy birthday.
posted by homunculus on Mar 18, 2002 - 3 comments

Triple Palindrome set for tonight.

Triple Palindrome set for tonight. For those that follow British time, tonight, at 2 minutes past 8 your clock will read 20:02 20/02/2002
posted by Lanternjmk on Feb 20, 2002 - 17 comments

This

This might be taking the war on terrorism a little to far. Royal Marines get lost or should I say vamos. (Parden my french).
posted by FidelDonson on Feb 19, 2002 - 8 comments

A Chronological History of English Glam Rock! (baby)

A Chronological History of English Glam Rock! (baby) presents "a biased history of UK glam rock" from 1970 through 1975. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play my Sweet, T. Rex, and Slade albums REALLY LOUD. Talk amongst yourselves. (Warning: this site contains a rather bizarre pornographic image)
posted by MrBaliHai on Feb 16, 2002 - 31 comments

Taking a swipe at celebrity cause-fests:

Taking a swipe at celebrity cause-fests: The ever-witty Pulp (whose latest album, "We Love Life," might finally be seeing a Stateside release come spring) enlists a host of celebrity impersonators (how many can you point out?) for the video promoting their newest single, "Bad Cover Version."
posted by maura on Feb 13, 2002 - 6 comments

Manic Miner

Manic Miner Believe me when I say that suddenly every British reader who had a computer in the 1980s has started to grin. Well here it is, just one click away. What the heck was that yellow thing in the 'Central Cavern'? Also at this Java ZX Spectrum Emulator site, see the sequel Jet Set Willy. [via linkmachinego]
posted by feelinglistless on Feb 11, 2002 - 5 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

Lo! Behold the power of the internet!

Lo! Behold the power of the internet!
That'll teach the guy to put sharply-worded messages on his own property. The nerve of some people.
posted by phalkin on Feb 10, 2002 - 7 comments

Will wins Pop Idol

Will wins Pop Idol - the contest to win a recording contract finally comes to a conclusion. To me, this programme just about showed how easy it is for anyone to end up in the charts. Now it's time for them to find out what the music industry is really like...
posted by robzster1977 on Feb 10, 2002 - 7 comments

The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations.

The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations. Ah, what would the silent animals do without we oxy-moronic humans looking after their welfare. Pity they taste so good.

Some giblets to chew on: "No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any mechanical apparatus to kill any surplus chick unless the apparatus contains rapidly rotating mechanically operated killing blades or projection...any person who slaughters by a religious method any animal which has not been stunned before bleeding shall ensure that each animal is slaughtered by the severance by rapid, uninterrupted movements of a knife, of both its carotid arteries and both its jugular veins...no person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, a water bath stunner to stun any bird unless appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the current passes efficiently, in particular that there are good electrical contacts and the shackle-to-leg contact is kept wet...no person shall bleed any bull, cow, heifer, steer, calf, sheep, goat or pig in a slaughterhouse, knacker's yard or lairage within sight of any other such animal."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Feb 5, 2002 - 17 comments

Seatbelts save lives

Seatbelts save lives. Nineteen years ago today wearing seatbelts in cars became mandatory in the UK. Almost everyone agrees that they save lives but still many people don't bother, especially in the back seat.
posted by nedrichards on Jan 31, 2002 - 49 comments

The building of this

The building of this has kept the average car driving commuter of my fair city enraged for 18 months. Not one person who complained to me, the token non-driver, knew that they were going to be wind-powered musical bus stops. Aren't they going to be happy when they find out? :) There's also an audio (RM) link here.
posted by vbfg on Jan 30, 2002 - 16 comments

Eighties' design guru goes all Naomi Klein on us. Deeply impassioned screed from Neville Brody, original designer of the UK style'n'music magazine the Face, on the responsibility of designers (and creatives in general) in an age of extreme economic inequality. From a very interesting conference a few months ago called Superhumanism.
posted by theplayethic on Jan 29, 2002 - 15 comments

Privatizing Censorship

Privatizing Censorship "The Official Secrets Act (in the UK) will soon be unenforceable, and the internet already makes absolute control of information impossible, says Northern Irish web journalist Newton Emerson. What worries him is the changing nature of censorship. Over the past 20 years, mostly by accident, he argues, censorship has been privatised." And Emerson should know: his satires have caused an uproar in Northern Ireland.
posted by brookish on Jan 28, 2002 - 4 comments

English amnesiac may be porn star.

English amnesiac may be porn star. "Philip Staufen" tried to convince Canadian authorities that he was an English citizen who suffered from amnesia as a result of a beating. As it turns out, he may be George Lecheit, a French gay porn star. Authorities aren't ready to close the case yet, but even his lawyer doubts the amnesia theory. In a previous MeFi thread, a few people took the Canadian government to task for not helping Staufen return to the UK. In light of recent developments, did Ottawa make the right decision?
posted by likorish on Jan 21, 2002 - 8 comments

NDb -(60% x Nc/Nt +40% x Dc/Dt) x 17,585

NDb -(60% x Nc/Nt +40% x Dc/Dt) x 17,585
"Mathematicians called in by the Metropolitan Police think they have worked out the best way to beat crime in the capital."
Are there any UK mathematician/cops out there that know what the variables actually are?
posted by badstone on Jan 17, 2002 - 8 comments

Stephen Downing

Stephen Downing, aged 17, was arrested and interrogated for 8 hours by the police without caution and without legal counsel. Despite having the reading age of an 11 year old, he was allowed to sign a confession to the brutal slaughter of typist Wendy Sewell. 27 years later at the UK Court of Appeal, he became today the victim of the longest miscarriage of justice in the Britain's history.
posted by dlewis on Jan 15, 2002 - 7 comments

Poor Prince Harry

Poor Prince Harry Drug rehab clinic it is. Also chips thumb playing football and puts foot through a glass door at party. Wonder if its all connected. PS Rehab for weed and alcohol only? Fishy.
posted by Voyageman on Jan 12, 2002 - 18 comments

Britain's strict gun laws not really working.

Britain's strict gun laws not really working. While Britain has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, the recent spate of gun murders in London has highlighted a disturbing growth in armed crime. Could the NRA be correct? Should the Bobbies now be required to carry guns, something they have never done before?
posted by Rastafari on Jan 8, 2002 - 43 comments

The 1901 UK Census in online

The 1901 UK Census in online including the records of Tolkien, Florence Nightingale and Charlie Chaplin No Jedis in 1901 though. Non-PC descriptions include "imbecile", "lunatic" or plain "feeble-minded".
posted by brettski on Jan 2, 2002 - 4 comments

Was Christmas TV really ever all that special?

Was Christmas TV really ever all that special? 'Off The Telly' reviews three decades of Christmas Day television in Britain. "It's funny...that Christmas time is actually an excuse for some of the worst TV atrocities of the year to be inflicted upon us. Christmas telly does not equate with quality. And yet, never does TV become a more integral part of our own family or personal routines and traditions. And never are we so receptive to a gathering of disparate middle-of-the-road celebrities and their stale party pieces." And for the ultra-cynic, TV-Go-Home's Charlie Booker presents an alternative schedule.
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 24, 2001 - 17 comments

Queen to issue spam.

Queen to issue spam. Since 1932 the UK monarchy has broadcast a christmas message (on TV since 1957). From next year, it may also be sent in "shortened form", by SMS. Meanwhile SMS usage has increased more than double in the last year, and British companies are considering banning unsolicited text messages to mobile phones. I've never received an SMS spam, but I'm not looking forward to it.
posted by walrus on Dec 14, 2001 - 14 comments

Great 'The Prisoner' site -

Great 'The Prisoner' site - I just recently got into this BBC sci-fi/paranoia classic on my local PBS affiliate, so I was glad to find this lovingly done fan site. Anyone else have a pet obsessive fan site for a favorite TV show? SNPP.com comes to mind, of course, but I'm interested in the less famous and less frequented places.
posted by GriffX on Dec 5, 2001 - 18 comments

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