Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Mistletoe and Wine

December 28, 2017

Mistletoe and Wine,” written by Jeremy PaulLeslie 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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Richard III’s Parking Lot

December 26, 2017

Richard III's Parking Lot

In 2013, Richard Plantagenet of the House of York, better-known as King Richard III, was discovered under a parking lot in Leicester, England, where he had been since 1485. He was quite dead, so authorities made no attempt to collect 500-years-worth of parking fees.

The scruffy lot, site of Greyfriar’s monastery when Richard III entered long-term parking, was recently declared a national historic site. It’s convenient to the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which notes: “Despite King Richard III being known as the car park king, there is no parking available at the Visitor Centre.” Park at ye olde Holiday Inn or the Highcross Shopping Centre.

More:

“Leicester car park where Richard III was buried given protected status,” Maev Kennedy, The Guardian

“English Car Park Where Remains Of Richard III Were Found Declared A Monument,” Scott Neuman, NPR

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What’cha Gonna Do About It

August 20, 2017

“What’cha Gonna Do About It,” by The Remo Four, on Bremen TV’s “Beat Club,” 1966.

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“Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud”

June 18, 2017

“Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud,” by The Remo Four, on Bremen TV’s “Beat Club,” 1967.

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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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Put a Pin In It

November 17, 2016

Put a Pin In It

You may have noticed people wearing safety pins on their shirts, blouses and lapels. People who object to the Trump election are using the fastener as a symbol of tolerance and solidarity with minorities. The symbol was borrowed from the UK where it was worn to show disapproval after the xenophobic Brexit vote. Like many British expressions, it doesn’t quite translate here:

“Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing,” Christopher Keelty, Huffington Post

“Safety pins: Solidarity symbol or emblem of ‘white guilt’?” By Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

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Money

November 6, 2016

“Money” written by Kassa Alexander, Alastair O’Donnell, and Rukhsana Merrise, recorded by Ms. Merrise earlier this year.  Mr. O’Donnell plays guitar. Video directed by Matt Hopper. There’s a “making of” video here.

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

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Road to Hell

October 16, 2016

“Road to Hell (Part 2),” written and performed by Chris Rea. 1989. Said to have been inspired by the frustrations of rush-hour traffic on the M25 motorway. Or maybe it was the A19 near Middlesbrough. Whatever.

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UK: Drink Tea, for the Love of God!

October 14, 2016

Mark Rittman of Hove, East Sussex, spent 11 hours trying to make his morning cuppa with a Wi-Fi tea kettle, live-tweeting his ordeal because of course he would. As an Englishman, he required his morning tea; as a 21st-century man, he wanted to brew it by voice command through his Amazon Echo and iPhone.

Mr. Rittman is a data specialist and not unfamiliar with things digital, but the “Internet of Things” needs work. The connection between the kettle and the Wi-fi base station was problematic; a“mandatory recalibration” caused the iWifi base-station to reset; the Hadoop cluster in the garage went barmy, saturating the network and blocking MQTT integration with the Amazon Echo. Or something. He finally boiled water in a saucepan and made tea by hand before writing code to integrate and debug the system.

Video: “Drink Tea (for the Love of God!)” by  Kula Shaker, 2008. George Orwell narrates. Animation by Model Robot.

Kula Shaker website

Related:

Tea Making Tips,” 1941 (i.e. wartime) film by the Empire Tea Bureau (10:00).

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Brits Are Eating Bambi!

September 20, 2016

Brits Are Eating Bambi!
British diners are eating venison faster than Scotland can raise it. Maybe they’d like to nibble on some of the fresh whitetail deer roadkill from America’s annual vehicular deer harvest.

More:

“Brits are eating venison faster than Scotland can produce it,” Chris Baraniuk, Quartz

“Diners game for wild meat as ‘Bambi effect’ fades, says chef,” Rod Kitson, Evening Standard

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Image (“Brits Are Eating Bambi, apres l’atelier Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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