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kottke.org posts about UK

The Fat Duck, one of molecular gastronomy’s

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 24, 2007

The Fat Duck, one of molecular gastronomy’s main outposts, recently offered a course complete with its own soundtrack served up on iPods shuffle. “Heston Blumenthal, the chef, said he wanted to experiment with using sound to enhance a dining experience. Hence the iPod, playing the soothing sound of the sea breeze and waves gently caressing the seashore.”

The British government is installing talking CCTV

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 04, 2007

The British government is installing talking CCTV cameras in public places…the control center staff will be able to yell at people they see on the camera to stop littering and the like. “Smith! 6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade.”

Former bitter rivals in Northern Ireland, the

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 14, 2007

Former bitter rivals in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionists and former IRA leaders, are set to form a government coalition to work together on increasing the region’s economic growth. “After decades spent fighting each other to the death, these two movements will now share power, spending the next year or two arguing about school admissions and local water rates. Their long war is over.” (thx, elaine)

When the UK gambling industry is deregulated

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 19, 2006

When the UK gambling industry is deregulated next year, it will be legal for gamblers to use a tiny device to cheat at roulette. The device works by listening to the wheel and how the ball bounces to predict roughly where the ball will land, reducing the odds from 1 in 38 to something a bit more manageable. (via spurgeonblog)

Dateline: Saigon

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 21, 2005

We’ve arrived safely in Vietnam. Saigon is by far the most European stop on our trip, which makes sense because Thailand was never colonized by a European power[1] and Hong Kong was British and therefore not European[2]. There are cafes, French restaurants, European architecture, public spaces like squares and parks, etc. It feels like Europe here.

And there are a lot of dongs here. The Vietnamese currency is the dong[3]. Our hotel is just off of Dong Khoi. I’ve seen several restaurants and shops with “Dong” in the name. Beavis and Butthead would love it here; I myself have been making culturally insensitive jokes pertaining to the currency and my pants pocket all afternoon.

[1] The only SE Asian country never to have been so colonized.

[2] Hello, angry Brits! Of course you’re European, but you know what I mean. For starters, you’ve got your own breakfast, as opposed to the continental.

[3] The 50,000 & 100,000 dong notes are plastic and see-through in a couple spots. US currency is so not cool.

The memoirs of Winston Churchill’s bodyguard have

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 31, 2005

The memoirs of Winston Churchill’s bodyguard have been recently discovered. “Why, Thompson, did they allow the president [FDR], almost dying on his feet, to be there? All Europe will suffer from the decisions made at Yalta.”

Everything and Nothing rounds up a list

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 06, 2005

Everything and Nothing rounds up a list of searchable versions of the work of that most famous of English wordsmiths, William Shakespeare. The public domain rocks.

The origins and common usage of British

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 06, 2005

The origins and common usage of British swear words. “Both Oxford and London boasted districts called ‘Gropecunte Lane’, in reference to the prostitutes that worked there. The Oxford lane was later renamed the slightly less-contentious Magpie Lane, while London’s version retained a sense of euphemism when it was changed to ‘Threadneedle Street’. Records do not show whether it was a decision of intentional irony that eventually placed the Bank of England there.”

Art experts choose 10 of the worst paintings hanging in Britain.

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 26, 2005

Art experts choose 10 of the worst paintings hanging in Britain.

A series of explosions in London this

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2005

A series of explosions in London this morning during rush hour; at least 2 dead and 160 wounded. The explosions were coordinated and officials have shut down the tube and central bus service.

London wins right to host 2012 Olympic Games

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 06, 2005

London wins right to host 2012 Olympic Games.

Google Maps launches in the UK with

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 19, 2005

Google Maps launches in the UK with London Tube stations right on the map. Google, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please do the same for the NYC subway. Please?