Saturday, 20 December 2008

Punk politics

Brown vs Cameron - the Sex Pistols remix (2 minutes):

Bankrupt the Ministry of Truth

How and why not to pay the TV licence fee. (Far be it from me, &c.)

Sand wit

Hat tip: My salad dressing days


Neuroscience loses its
best-known amnesiac.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Pre-decimal transport

A spontaneous, through-the-car-window interview with a man riding a penny-farthing round the world (90 seconds):

The minimalist version (16 seconds):

Background here:

End of the world as we know it

An exuberant musical montage of the Bush Presidency. Don't miss the special guest in the closing moments (3 minutes):

Admiral who fathered a rock god

Bronze Star winner George Morrison wasn't too happy about young Jim.

Bad taste

Click to enlarge:

Who do you think you are - Stirling Moss's granddad?

Five minutes of photos of the first ever car trial, in 1900:

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Life skills in Bangladesh

Number One: stacking 22 bricks on your head and walking down a gangplank (45 seconds):

He worked for 93 years

No holidays, either: Dorset landmark Jim Webber dies at 105.

Is your cat a preening narcissist?

Then appease
him/her with
Kitty Wigs.

Carry the wounded

A scorcher from Matthew Norman on the benefit reforms favoured by James Purnell and David "Become-an-expert-in-three-weeks" Freud.

Monday, 8 December 2008


In 1899, a year before his death and after many years of illness, Friedrich Nietzsche sits in front of a movie camera (1 minute):

Innocent OK

A friend stands up for
Claus von B├╝low.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

What, like genocide?

Karen Matthews is "pure evil", scream the tabloids. Dave Osler disagrees.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Consider Phlebas

…or "Let him gel an inch thick, to this favour he must come…"

Yup, last week's mystery foetus grew up to be Toby Young of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People infamy.

His serious thoughts on meritocracy and celebrity culture are here.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Same streets, different planet

A tram ride through Belfast in 1901; the same route retraced in 2006 (4½ minutes):

Homeless at 89

It's the price you pay if you live on the QE2.

Tower of Power

What can Christians do to increase global warming? How do you cook a Wiccan? Do unsaved kids deserve presents this Christmas?

Give thanks for Landover Baptist Church - never afraid to confront the real issues.

"We'll bleed to death"

Pull out of Afghanistan, urges Peter Hitchens.

Sounds of my childhood, #1

Nancy Sinatra slinks her way through "These Boots Are Made For Walking" (2½ minutes):


Nick Clegg is overheard slagging off his own front bench.

77 years a priest

And Canon Reginald Fuller's still at it.

Family Christmas cards can kill

Bless them, they meant well. They don't look like unpleasant people. But I mean, seriously

Hat tip: StyleCrunch

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Social realism

This is exactly what Scotland is like (30 seconds):

Mind the fumes

Photographing Brunel's legacy with an 1850s-style camera (3-minute slideshow).

Jenny lives with Spink and Taylor

(…as in "I'm living with cancer")

Politicians have a new punchbag.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Pitch perfect

Victoria Wood does Brief Encounter (4 minutes):

Five a day

Not a piece of health advice, but the current death rate of British pubs. Fight back with the Axe the Beer Tax campaign.

Name that pup

This diminutive Eighties gel-muffin is a famous fellow these days. But who is he? Answer (if needed) next week.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Completely the same

Announcing the Monty Python YouTube channel (2½ minutes):


Elitist Obama talks in proper sentences.

He that plays Yorick

A Polish concert pianist achieves his dream.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Uncalled for

Tom Mabe's bravura response to a cold-calling salesman (3½ minutes):

The man who saved a palace

Forty years of hard graft - free of charge for the last twenty.

Hamper of tortures

When Hradyesh Namdeo bought a Royal Enfield Bullet motorbike, his troubles began.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Enjoy Kevin Bacon

…in the privacy of your own home - if you dare (2 minutes):

Hat tip: A Welsh View

Let patriarchal capitalism die

Penny Red glimpses Ginger Spice on the acute anorexia wing.

Renaissance Prince

Bruce Anderson salutes Prince Charles, "much the most important British public intellectual of the present day."

Trust your spellchecker?

More fool you.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

One o' the Foightin' O'Bamas

Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys raise a glass to the President-elect's Irish roots (3½ minutes):

What's not to like?

Five minutes from Gabriel Pascal's 1945 version of Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra: Pothinus (Francis L Sullivan) warns Caesar (Claude Rains) against Cleopatra (Vivien Leigh) who promptly sends Ftatateeta (Flora Robson) to kill him:

C S Lewis was my supervisor

Alastair Fowler's detailed account of an enriching experience.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

High wire act

Stewart Lee, doing stand-up in Glasgow, has fun with the concept of Scottish national identity (2 parts, 12 minutes in all):

Best, worst and in between

A league table of US Presidents.

Never kill an enemy, but…

…always take very good care of Him or Her. Remember! you need them for target practice.

The artist Arabella Crum-Ewing - a dear friend for twenty years - has a new website.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Boxing's greatest loser

All hail Peter Buckley, who came off worse in 256 fights.


Same-day service within the M25.

Make 'em wait

Marilyn Monroe serenades President Kennedy on his birthday in 1962 (4 minutes):

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Very much a Londoner

Watercolourist Phyllis Dimond, who has died aged 96, is new to me, but if this painting is typical I'd like to see more. The only other image I can find online is a print on eBay, though the V&A has a page about the Recording Britain scheme of which she was part.

Mediterranean seed-spreaders

Might you have Phoenician DNA?

One kicks ass

With the US in turmoil, Her Majesty intervenes.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Radical approach

John Cleese takes a firm line (20 seconds):

"I'll have what she's having"

That single line immortalised Estelle Reiner.

Rat slippers

They're big in Japan.

Old folks ham

At 78, Colin Dexter makes yet another cameo appearance in a TV show derived from his work. But can you remember the previous ones?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

"He just gave up on society"

Two thousand people call for a plaque in memory of David Mee, who sat in Derby city centre for more than thirty years.


Unnerving British public information films from the Seventies (5 minutes):

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Orwell the blogger

His diaries go online in real-time, exactly seventy years after each entry was written.

(Samuel Pepys got there first though.)

Sealing sewer entrances

We used to; we don't now; but we should.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Strictly Cwmdonkin

Dylan Thomas's childhood home has a makeover, 1914 style.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Seen and not heard

Two Japanese acrobats - one surprisingly youthful - do extraordinary things for Edison in 1904 (2 minutes):

Banned in Hackney

This monster dared to criticise the Olympics.

Friday, 24 October 2008

I Went To A Marvellous Party

…fluted Noel Coward, little dreaming that one day his song would be noisily reworked by The Divine Comedy and given this suitably unhinged retro video (4 minutes):

Best Obama Facts

Walking on water ain't the half of it.

Icelanders aren't terrorists

Yeah, yeah. Who are they kidding?