Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category

Brexit: Reading the Tea Leaves

June 22, 2016

Brexit: Reading the Tea Leaves

With Thursday’s referendum looming, it looks like even money that the UK may leave the European Union. Even the tragic murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a pro-Brexit assassin hasn’t changed that. There’s much at stake, but British nationalism and xenophobia are running high, and it can be hard for those not directly involved in finance or trade to discern the benefits of EU membership and the high costs of Brexit.

And your normal British bloke just doesn’t feel very European. He might like bit of pastry and a cuppa for brekkie, but he can’t even butter a crescent-shaped croissant. The UK’s Tesco supermarkets finally gave up and stopped baking traditional curved croissants and straightened them out for the native-born. Can those even be called “croissants,” “cornettos”, or “cuernos”? Shudder. Could this be a sign of impending Brexit?

More:

“British Retailer’s Straight Croissants Leave Some Bent Out of Shape,” Dan Bilefsky, New York Times

“In a twist: Tesco’s decision to stop selling curved croissants sparks debate,” Damien Gayle, The Guardian

Straightened-Out Croissants and the Decline of Civilization,” Adam Gopniok, The New Yorker

“French mock Tesco over decision to only sell straight croissants because customers cannot spread jam properly,” Caroline Mortimer, The Independent

(more…)

Better Health Care Through Astrology

July 26, 2014

Better Health Care Through Astrology

“A Conservative MP has spoken of his belief in astrology and his desire to incorporate it into medicine.

David Tredinnick said he had spent 20 years studying astrology and healthcare and was convinced it could work.

The MP for Bosworth, a member of the health committee and the science and technology committee, said he was not afraid of ridicule or abuse.

‘There is no logic in attacking something that has a proven track record,’ he told BBC News.

He said he had studied the Indian astrological system Iahiri and the way it was used by that country’s government and recalled how Chris Patten, Britain’s last governor of Hong Kong, had an official astrologer, whom Mr Tredinnick had consulted while on a parliamentary delegation there.”

— “Astrology-loving MP seeks health answers in the stars,” BBC News

More:

“Astrology-loving MP David Tredinnick ‘convinced’ practise can reduce strain on NHS,” Kashmira Gander, The Independent

“Combining astrology and healthcare: your medical horoscopes,” Dean Burnett, The Guardian

“Tory MP says astrology is good for the health,”  Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph

 Related:

“Tory MP David Tredinnick claimed £755 for astrology software,” Polly Curtis, The Guardian

Medical astrology,” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

_____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jDZ

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Happy Birthday, Charlie Dickens

February 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, Charlie Dickens

Author Charles Dickens was born 202 years ago today. He was a peculiar person, being obsessive-compulsive, a practical joker and an egomaniac and all, and he was pretty odd as a writer, too. He published his novels in weekly or monthly installments before he finished them, which must have been nerve-wracking for author and editor alike.

Serial writing, one episode at a time, without a predetermined ending. Maybe we should think of Dickens as a sort of Victorian blogger.

Related:

“Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens: The Beloved Writer on Grief and How to Heal a Mourning Heart,” Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

The Dickens Project

___________________

Short Link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-iM3

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Keyboard Commandos

January 19, 2014

Keyboard Commandos

The British Ministry of Defence is escalating cyberspace combat capabilities by assembling a laptop army of computer nerd reservists. “The Cyber Reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyberspace,” said UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. “This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.”

The Defence Cyber Operations Group (DCOG) is under the MoD Joint Forces Command (recruitment info here). The UK is thought to lag far behind the USA, Israel, and China in militarizing the digital domain.

(more…)

British Newspaper Issues Apology

June 15, 2013

British Newspaper Issues Apology

Following last week’s publication of an article by Paul Sims reporting that flying saucers were seen to hover over British Scientology headquarters, The Sun newspaper issued this apology:

“In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ’, we stated ‘two flat silver discs’ were seen ‘above the Church of Scientology HQ’.

Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists.”

— “Aliens: An Apology,” The Sun

____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gOY

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here (free to all sentient lifeforms). Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

I Say, Those British ….

March 10, 2013

Home movie sketch show I Say I Say I Say (1964) by Peter Sellers, featuring Lord Snowdon (Antony Armstrong-Jones) and his then-wife Princess MargaretBritt Ekland (then Mrs. Sellers), and financier and publisher Sir Jocelyn Stevens and his wife Jane Stevens (lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret). The film was shot on the grounds of the Stevens residence.

h/t: Mike Springer

More:

“In search of the hidden Sellers, Jasper Rees, The Telegraph

“I Say I Say I Say: A Delightful Home Movie by Peter Sellers (1964),” Mike Springer, OpenCulture.org 

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Guy Fawkes Day

November 5, 2012

Guy Fawkes Day

November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day in England. Fawkes was a member of the Gunpowder Plot, a 1605 conspiracy to blow up the British Parliament Building. A stylized mask said to resemble Fawkes has been adopted by the Occupy! movement as its symbol. Previously, the mask had been used by the Anonymous computer hacker group. They got it from the Warner Brothers movie “V for Vendetta,” which is based on the comic book graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Just one thing. Fawkes wasn’t a revolutionary. He was a reactionary.

(more…)

Olympic Ceremony Symbolism

July 29, 2012

Olympic Ceremony Symbolism
“The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics was by turns spectacular and surreal,” observes Barry Neild. “It did a good job of stirring British hearts, but did the rest of the world have a clue what was going on?”

More:

“Did Olympics opener have hidden meaning?” Barry Neild, GlobalPost

(more…)

Romney Charm, Offensive

July 27, 2012

Romney Charm, Offensive

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sought to demonstrate his statesmanship with a trip to the Old World, but he seems to have an odd sense of diplomacy. As a guest in the United Kingdom he opined that London’s arrangements for the 2012 Olympics were “disconcerting” and “obviously is not something which is encouraging,” and “it’s hard to know just how well” the Games will succeed.

Having arranged snowball fights at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (population 190,000), Mr. Romney is well qualified to assess the 2012 Olympics in London (population 8,000,000). Certainly the organizer of London’s Games should have solved his logistical problems the way Mitt Romney did, by becoming a registered lobbyist and getting $1.3 Billion in earmarks from the national government. Ladies and gentlemen, that is superior business management.

(more…)

250th Anniversary of the Sandwich

May 9, 2012

250th Anniversary of the Sandwich
John Montagu (1718– 1792), Fourth Earl of Sandwich, was Britain’s able but corrupt First Lord of the Admiralty during the period of the American Revolution. An avid promoter of exploration, Captain James Cook named the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) after him. Due to his other enthusiasm, gambling, he lent his name to something else. One evening the innovative Earl requested a meal of cold meat between bread slices so he could eat at the card table, and thus the “sandwich” was born. Nice story, anyway.

The incident is said to have occurred in 1762, so the town of Sandwich, Kent is celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Sandwich this weekend. Surely the Earl of Sandwich lived in Sandwich, right?

No.

“Thank You Earl! England Toasts 250th Anniversary Of The Sandwich,” Tina Kaiser, Die Welt via Worldcrunch

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-d7R

Image (“Coat of Arms of the Earl of Sandwich”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine