British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their, English country scene

November 19, 2014



We note in passing that while we would never dream of discussing a scientist's shirt, particularly when he had just landed a probe on a distant comet, Thomas Hood's sartorial elegance, purchased on a poet's income, might well inspire you.

Thanks to Sarah Hawkins for sending us a brief summary of recent weather.

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds -

Thomas Hood, 1799-1845

November 15, 2014

Reading the Rosetta mission


"A probe has travelled for 10 years, crossed 4bn miles, landed on a comet speeding at 34,000mph and done so within two minutes of its planned arrival. . ."

Jonathan Freedland rejoices. Others are less enthused.

The failure of Philae’s anchor harpoons to fire, so the little probe fell into the dark and expired from lack of sunlight, offers some readers a less than positive metaphor for the EU.

The mission is a tribute to British and European scientists and nations working together. It's not an ode to the EU.

Scientists and nations have often worked together outside a political union--the development of penicillin and aid to tsunami and earthquake victims spring to mind.

Can't wait to hear about the comet data that did survive.

November 11, 2014

On the eleventh hour


of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. . .

we remember.

The last poppy was planted outside the Tower of London this morning as Britain fell silent in tribute to the fallen.

Harry Hayes, a 13-year-old cadet, planted the final flower as thousands gathered quietly outside the castle to pay their respects.

Nearly a million of the ceramic flowers have been placed outside the Tower, each representing a life lost during the First World War.

November 08, 2014

Winston Churchill Still Stands Alone

From Boris Johnson, the flamboyant mayor of London, who led the Olympics, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History.