Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

Minister of Loneliness

January 18, 2018

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a”Minister for Loneliness,” Tracy Crouch. Ms. Crouch is a Conservative MP and FA-qualified football coach whose cabinet portfolio also includes sports gambling, the National Lottery, and horse racing.

A Loneliness Minister might sound odd to American ears, but it’s just a British way of saying Ms. Crouch is responsible for helping UK residents who feel excluded from society.

More:

“U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness,”  Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times

Related:

“Loneliness is a ‘giant evil’ of our time, says Jo Cox commission,” Anushka Asthana, The Guardian

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Manchester’s Rainbow

June 5, 2017

One Love Manchester benefit concert, June 4, 2017.

More:

“Why ‘Over the Rainbow’ was the perfect closer for Ariana Grande’s Manchester tribute,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

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EU to UK: GTFO!

June 29, 2016

EU to UK: GTFO!
After an ill-advised referendum last Thursday, British citizens woke up horrified to learn they had voted to exit from the European Union. United Kingdom politicians are hemming, hawing, stalling for time, and even calling for a do-over vote. EU members aren’t having it. Their message to the UK: Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

It’s going to be a messy divorce, really ugly. Expect a custody battle over Scotland, Gibraltar, and Northern Ireland. And the UK can forget about being a Norwegian-style “friend with benefits.”

More (NSFW):

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Beautiful Thing

February 13, 2016

“Beautiful Thing,” performed by Liverpool’s Eva Peterson.

More:

“Eva Petersen: From Little Flame to Femme Fatale,” Jade Wright, Liverpool Echo

Eva Petersen website

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New Year

January 1, 2016

“New Year,” written and recorded by Sugarbabes (Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan) in 2000. Video director: Alex Hamming.

New Year lyrics.

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Mistletoe and Wine

December 20, 2015

Mistletoe and Wine,” written by Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan, performed by British pop singer Sir Cliff Richard, who had a big UK hit with it 1988. The song was originally written for a musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” and emphasized harsh British class inequality. A re-write turned it into a more conventional holiday song, heard ad nauseum in the UK each yuletide.

More:

“Mistletoe and Wine’s political beginnings,” John McKie, BBC News

“Why Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine is really a socialist Christmas song,” The Guardian

“The Little Match Girl,” 1986 HTV

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Can’t Find My Way Home

June 9, 2015

Steve Winwood performing his song “Can’t Find My Way Home” in front of a snapping fireplace. He originally performed it with the “supergroup” Blind Faith in 1969. Notable versions have been recorded by Joe Cocker, SwansBobby McFerrin, and Alison Krause.

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Ten-Ton Fatberg

April 28, 2015

Ten-Ton Fatberg

A 10-ton mass of congealed fat and wet wipes was recently removed from the London sewer it destroyed. The 130-foot-long “fatberg” was under the streets of Chelsea, home to posh restaurants, all of them pouring cooking grease down the bunghole, and prestigious residences flushing wet wipes down the loo. It will take four months and $600,000 to repair the sewer.

This is far from a UK record. In 2013 a 15-ton fatberg was removed from  a sewer in Kingston.

Update:

“Wet wipes could face wipe-out in plastic clean-up,” BBC

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

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Geriatric Brits to Invade North America

April 2, 2015

Geriatric Brits to Invade North America

The British pensioners known as the Rolling Stones will visit sports arenas in the United States and Canada this summer. The elderly musicians are reissuing their classic 20th century gramophone recording, Arthritic Sticky Fingers. It’s the one with the cover by Andy Warhol (see the model here).

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A Brand New Old Magna Carta

February 12, 2015

A Brand New Old Magna Carta

A 1300 AD edition of Magna Carta has been found in a scrapbook in the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, Kent, UK and belongs to the town of Sandwich. The document is ripped and damaged, and a third of it is missing, but it was paired with the companion Charter of the Forest, and the two may be worth $15 million dollars (£10m).

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