Somewhat quietly within the past couple weeks, two major newspapers, on each side of the Atlantic, have opened up their data and content APIs. Last month, on their Open blog
, the New York Times introduced their Developer Network
. Then just yesterday, on their DataBlog
, the Guardian launched Open Platform
. [more inside]
Colour on the Thames
is a 7 minute film shot in 1935 using Gasparcolor
, one of the many early forms of tinting black and white film. Beside Colour on the Thames
, which provides a wonderful view of 1930's England, the only film made in Gasparcolor I could find online was Colour Flight
by New Zealand artist Len Lye, an abstract cartoon set to instrumental 1930's pop music. The story of Gasparcolor
is in itself interesting, for instance touching on Nazis, Hungary between the wars and early color animation.
The NHS at 60.
The National Health Service is 60 on July 5th. Take a look at documents, audio and video related to the birth and growth of this "radical plan."
Product Placement Banned in U.K.
Minister says it 'contaminates programs'.
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]
has thousands of photographs of cemeteries and gravestones all over the UK, from City of London
to the Kirk of Lammermuir
, and random
points in between.
Applications for UK visas are being denied for ridiculous reasons
, says an independent monitor report. Among the reasons: never having been on holiday before, "failing to complete pivotal areas of Section 6", and "plan[ning] a holiday for no particular purpose other than sightseeing. BBC readers contribute their stories
- from potential bridesmaids being told that they were only going to marry English men like their sister was doing, to not having good enough German.
The British Olympic Committee unveiled
the logo and branding for London 2012
today, at a cost of £400,000 (USD796,000). Reaction
has been swift - a petition
to change the logo or go back to the old one
has already reached 10,000 signatures.
Sadly, you will never be important enough to be invited to 10 Downing Street
. So take a virtual tour
"The German invasion of Britain took place in July 1940, after the British retreat from Dunkirk".
We see, documentary-style, members of the Wehrmacht trooping past Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral, lounging in the parks, having their jackboots shined by old cockneys, and appreciatively visiting the shrine of that good German, Prince Albert
, in Kensington Gardens. Kevin Brownlow
and Andrew Mollo
's film "It Happened Here
", with its cast of hundreds (.pdf)
, imagines what a Nazi occupation might have been like — complete with underground resistance, civilian massacres, civil strife, torch-lit rallies, Jewish ghettos, and organized euthanasia. Shot on weekends, eight years in production, made for about $20,000 with nonactors and borrowed equipment and Stanley Kubrick's help, "It Happened Here" was originally envisioned by Brownlow
as a sort of Hammer horror flick about a Nazi Britain
. Thanks in part to Mollo's fanatical concern with historical accuracy
, however, it became something else
. The most remarkable thing about this account of everyday fascism is that it has no period footage. Brownlow's 1968 book
about the film's production, "How It Happened Here
", has recently been republished
. More inside.
Don't Bomb Us.
In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar
on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues
, firsthand accounts of US attacks
on their offices, links to relevant reports
on the controversy
, Flickr photosets
of protests calling for an official investigation
, and al Jazeera's code of ethics
. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!
" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments
In 2001 America destroyed
the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed
the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar
in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
Baron Winston of Hammersmith in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham: Why do we believe in God?
Feed Me Better
Jamie Oliver (UK fat tongued food wizard) campaigns to ban the junk food and get fresh, tasty and, above all, nutricious food back on school dinners menu.
Young UK slappers. Then it gets out of hand.
So Clockwork orange
got it wrong, violent images wouldn't ruin it for you , you can relive the moment again and again...
Britain - Stamping Out Terrorism. One Peaceful Protestor At A Time.
"The Home Office proposes "to make it an offence to protest outside homes in such a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress to residents" [PDF
] This sounds reasonable enough, until you realise that the police can define "harassment, alarm or distress" however they wish. All protest in residential areas, in other words, could now be treated as a criminal offence. The government will also seek to "suggest remedies" for websites which "include material deemed to cause concern or needless anxiety to others"."
Medicines 'killing 10,000 people'.
A year. Only in Great Britain. "According to the researchers, 70% of these reactions could have been avoided". BBC reports.
Cannabis sweets on sale in UK
"He said he had sold almost 500 of the sweets in the last week alone" "They contain a hemp extract and I am perfectly within my rights to sell them."
If You See George W. Bush, Email or Text The Time and Location To... Chasing Bush
. "A special online diary, designed to track George W. Bush for the duration of his visit to the UK.... If he wants to make a state visit that isn't marred by protest, he should do it on another island. He's not welcome on this one; and we're determined to let the world see that."
Met by "howls of outrage" and questions about his sanity, Michael Meacher
, the ex-Environment Minister for the UK, known mostly for his opposition to GMOs, and revelations about the less than honest and upright behaviour surrounding the issue, has spent some time thinking, free from the constraints of Ministerial duties.
"the PNAC blueprint of September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force" is likely to be a long one in the absence of "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise have been politically impossible to implement.
- Commentary - Commentary - Commentary
The pictures that reveal UK's hidden history
For the first time the complex and sometimes harrowing history of immigration to the UK is being told, through rarely seen photographs, official documents, maps and personal papers. And it's all online
Diego Garcia islanders await call to go home.
'Cherry and thousands of other islanders were the victims of a brutal depopulation strategy by Britain in the 1960s and 1970s which sought to hand over an empty island to the United States for use as a key military base. The depopulation campaign ended in 1973 with the removal of the last islanders, who were dumped on the quays of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis ... 'The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale.
'The story involves "bribes" from the United States, racism among senior civil servants, and the UK Government deceiving parliament and the United Nations.'The Chagos archipelago: Decolonisation and human rights.
, by the Southern African Human Rights NGO Network, includes a brief history of the islands from original settlement by French settlers and African slaves. 'For a people as a whole to be actually victimised by the act of forced eviction from their homeland must be the most humiliating, supreme injustice and degrading treatment any people can be made to undergo. '
How to kill terrorists without anyone knowing.
into collusion between the British army and both loyalist and republican paramilitaries in Northern Ireland has revealed that undercover agents may have been responsible for several assassinations, including lawyer Pat Finucane. By creating army units immune from the usual checks and balances, the government kept its hands clean. This is an account from someone who was involved.
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".
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?
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.'
Will this comedy ever cross the atlantic?
The Office, now half way through its second series, must be the sharpest, funniest and most tragic t.v. comedy the BBC have made in a long time. A spoof documentary set in the office of a paper wholesaler whose manager, David Brent, is obsessed with his motivational bon homie and oblivious to the fact the rest of the world thinks he is a bumptious idiot.
The clips give some idea of the style but maybe the humour is too British to travel far.
In the new LRB
, a pretty good attempt to answer the pressing question - why do the Bush people want to attack Iraq so much?
Cooking the Books
The Office of National Statistics feels that the UK population is a little too small - so they're inventing one million people to fill the gap. Why did they do a census if they were going to make it all up?
The first world, or west
or any other generic term, is not the cosy alliance it once was according to this author. There is a growing schism which is becoming wider, is this a problem. Whilst on a lighter note the house of Sauds' representative
here in the UK maintains a war on iraq is madness, seems everything is just super.
Big Brother is here!
Close to a thousand Brirish schools have collected their student`s fingerprints via library scanners; all this without the consent or knowledge of the parents. Please commend my success in refraining from oversentionalizing the story. YES!
Speaking frankly about drugs,
the Economist all but concludes the war against some drugs' success a failure in the UK, saying that: "These figures
confirm that the increasing resources employed to disrupt the illegal drugs trade are having little impact." Considering the present path
is not working and broad swaths
of the public (from across the political spectrum!—excepting the tobacco, alcohol, cotton and drug dealer lobby of course :) aren't against decriminalization, then why can't I have my Bay Golds?
Besides, the pharmaceutical industry has a stellar record of raising prices :)
Who knows, they may want in!
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?
Science and technology in the developing world.
SciDev.net went online last month, with the backing of the UK Department for International Development. Its main goal "is to enhance the ability of all its users to engage in informed debate on ways of applying science and technology to social and economic development in an environmentally responsible way." Hopefully, a useful tool for globalisation discussions.
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
blair to declare state of emergency, suspend human rights
there is some scary stuff included in these proposals. including internment without trial
there are serious implications here, and i find it frightening.
US Right-Wing Cranks are behind the anthrax
the UK Independant 10/21/01 features this article
Planes over London will be shot down, warns government.
The UK government warned that any plane venturing into airspace over central London was likely to be shot down. All aircraft movements over the heart of the capital are banned until further notice. The flight path into London-Heathrow airport passes close to the Canary Wharf skyscraper in the east of the city and along the River Thames over the House of Parliament, the Guardian newspaper reports. (Down the page a ways.)
England vs. USA
Over the death penalty. Initially I felt like saying "butt out" but America tends to get involved in other countries when our citizens are in trouble (like that kid in Singapore way back).
I live in Bradford.
This summer we had a series of riots
which tarnished the image of a city which, whilst I might love the place, didn't exactly have a sparkling reputation in the first place. A major reason cited
for the riots was the devisiveness in the local community of schools that cater only to one community, typically of course the community in which any given school happens to reside.
The UK government today announced that it would be basing the future of British schools
on the successes of the Bradford model. The future is single faith schools.
When I was 13 and choosing which lessons I was to take from that point up until I was 16 I made all the wrong choices, had others imposed upon me, and screwed up pretty badly ending up leaving at 15 with no qualifications at all (this is why I write '15' instead of 'fifteen' BTW). The future is also, apparantly, specialisation.
Six-year-old kid goes to school, gets beaned with rocks. Class bullies? No. Protestants
. Doesn't it seem like there are some places in the world (Middle East, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Balkans, etc.) where people just insist on hating and killing each other until everyone's dead? Or is it just that the various media paint it that way?
More NMD to make you nervous.
If you're in an area about to be vapourised then you are safe. If you live anywhere else you are not. I live about half a blast radius away from one of the radar stations
in the UK (it doesn't look like that picture anymore - some of the golfballs are now pyramids). From direct assault I maybe won't be hit but the bombs falling out of the sky on their way from Iraq to New York are pretty much going to land on my head. Cool.
If im paying £400 for these A level papers
- i want the answers as well, not just the questions..
Labour Party WINS UK General Election
Tony Blair's Labour Party now officially wins the general election after getting the needed 330 constituencies. Not all the results are in yet, but it's not important. Labour are past the post. Well done Tony!