Battle is a town in East Sussex, England. Battle has a railway station. A pilfered road sign directing travelers to Battle Station is currently £23.95 on eBay. "This deserves a good home" writes Ben Goldacre. Read the rest
A Shetland pony wandered into a bar in England and had to be coaxed out with snacks after guzzling ale from pints left out on tables. This is completely normal in England, as the legal drinking height for equines was lowered after the passage of the Horses and Ponies in Public Houses Act (2004)
‘He is not a big drinker but he does walk around like he’s a bit drunk but he is very friendly and likes meeting new things and people.’
Pub regulars have a soft spot for 12-year-old Mocha, who has managed to sneak into the pub twice since his owner bought him five years ago.
Britain has one—God Save The Queen—as do Scotland and Wales, but England itself has no national anthem. After many years of talking about it, it might finally happen. Jerusalem, a much-loved and rather ambiguous song derived from a William Blake poem, is the popular and perfect choice. Above, Emerson, Lake and Palmer's classic rendition from Brain Salad Surgery.
Other songs with a shot are Land of Hope and Glory and, if they decide to hold a public referendum on it right away, Magic Dance.
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@Beschizza "You remind me of the Queen. What Queen? The Queen with the power? What power?"— Heather Beschizza (@hbeschizza) January 13, 2016
The hotel had no running water, miswired electrical outlets, and a contract with fine-print that said that they'd charge your credit card £100 if you posted a negative review on the Web. Read the rest
In Warriors and women: the sex ratio of Norse migrants to eastern England up to 900 AD, published in 2011 in Early Medieval Europe 19/3, Medievalists from the University of Western Australia survey the remains of fallen Vikings found in eastern England that had been assumed to be male, partly because some were buried with sword and shield. Read the rest
To clarify, the @HSCIC story that’s coming is, I believe, infinitely worse than patient hospital records being uploaded to Google BigQuery— ben goldacre (@bengoldacre) March 3, 2014
PA Consulting, a management consulting firm, obtained the entire English and Welsh hospital episode statistics database and uploaded it to Google's Bigquery service. The stats filled 27 DVDs and took "a couple of weeks" to transfer to Google's service, which is hosted in non-EU data centres. This is spectacularly illegal. The NHS dataset includes each patient's NHS number, post code, address, date of birth and gender, as well as all their inpatient, outpatient and emergency hospital records. Google's Bigquery service allows for full data-set sharing with one click.
The news of the breach comes after the collapse of a scheme under which the NHS would sell patient records to pharma companies, insurers and others (there was no easy way to opt out of the scheme, until members of the public created the independent Fax Your GP service).
The Oxford city council has ruled that every taxi must be outfitted with a CCTV for the express purpose of recording passenger conversations that are to be held for 28 days in case the police wanted to conduct an investigation in which the footage might prove useful. The idea that peoples' words should be recorded when they are in public places "just in case," is really troubling, as it's hard to see why, if it's justifiable to record taxi passengers in case they're criminals, you wouldn't also record restaurant patrons, park-goers, bus-riders -- why you wouldn't, in short, record every word uttered in public just in case someone committed a crime.
And, of course, this is a natural progression from the existing CCTV doctrine that says you should record every person's movements (though not their words), for the same reason.
A council spokeswoman said the "video and audio would run all the time within the vehicle".
She said police would only locate footage, stored on a CCTV hard drive for 28 days, if it was needed for a police investigation.
She added: "The risk of intrusion into private conversations has to be balanced against the interests of public safety, both of passengers and drivers."
Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles said: "Given that one rail route to Witney [David Cameron's constituency] is through Oxford, we'll be letting the prime minister know that his staff might want to avoid using Oxford cabs."