Ammon Shea who read the Oxford dictionary from A to Z – Times Online

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A dictionary has all the qualities of a great book, just not in the same order.

Ammon Shea who read the Oxford dictionary from A to Z

Quote by BBC business editor Robert Peston, ‘face of the credit crunch’ | Media | The Guardian

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A house is somewhere to live in. It’s not a source of wealth.

Interview: BBC business editor Robert Peston, ‘face of the credit crunch’ | Media | The Guardian

Neal Ascherson on how terrorist collective Baader-Meinhof terrorised West Germany in the Seventies | World news | The Observer

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Neal Ascherson on how terrorist collective Baader-Meinhof terrorised West Germany in the Seventies | World news | The Observer

Quote by James Donaghy talks to Bryan Cranston about his new TV series Breaking Bad | Culture | The Guardian

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With shows like The Wire and Dexter there are no more cookie-cutter characters about. It just won’t be accepted any more; the audience is too sophisticated. I really think we’re in another golden age of television right now; the quality and standard of work is much higher than it has been in the past couple of decades.

James Donaghy talks to Bryan Cranston about his new TV series Breaking Bad | Culture | The Guardian

Review: The Big Necessity by Rose George | Books | The Observer

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Mention Agincourt and English hearts stir with pride. The victory on 25 October 1415, by a ragged army of around 10,000 soldiers over a French army vastly superior in numbers, still evokes profound nationalistic feelings.

What is not often recorded, however, is the fact that half of England’s archers fought while naked below the waist. Henry V’s army had been ravaged by dysentery. Thus Voltaire concluded England had ‘taken victory with its pants down’. Shakespeare, of course, makes no reference to this ailment among the medical complications that were ‘had on Crispin’s day’. It is not the most delicate of subjects, after all.

Most estimates suggest modern drains, sewers and lavatories have added 20 years to the average lifespan in the West and have brought more benefits than antibiotics, anaesthetics or the Pill.

Review: The Big Necessity by Rose George | Books | The Observer

The interview: Richard Serra | Art and design | The Observer

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Serra’s ‘big epiphany as an artist’ occurred when, on a fleeting visit to Spain, he saw Velazquez’s astonishing painting Las Meninas for the first time. It is a group portrait, in which the artist has placed himself in the background, poised at his easel, his gaze directed back out at the viewer. ‘I was still very young and trying to be a painter, and it just knocked me sideways,’ he says. ‘I looked at it for a long time before it hit me that I was an extension of the painting. This was incredible to me. A real revelation. I had not seen anything like it before and it made me think about art, and about what I was doing, in a radically different way. But first, it just threw me into state of total confusion.’ For a while afterwards, he made some very odd installation pieces deploying a variety of stuffed animals and, in one instance, a live pig. He was lost, he says, but on his way to reinventing himself as an artist whose work would hinge on the idea of ‘the viewer being the subject of the piece’. He says he is still grappling with to that idea today. ‘In my later work, the person who is navigating the space, his or her experience becomes the content. So, the whole subject-object relationship is reversed. The content is you! If you don’t walk into the work and engage with it, there isn’t any content. That’s really what I’ve been dealing with ever since I saw the Velazquez painting.’
The interview: Richard Serra | Art and design | The Observer

Quote by Roberto Saviano (The Observer).

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What is so fascinating about torturing a girl to death or shooting an innocent teenager? What I want to do is recognise the fantasy, take hold of it and take it apart.

Quote by Roberto Saviano (The Observer).

Old Town Clothing – classic British workwear – Holt, Norfolk, England

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Old Town Clothing - classic British workwear - Holt, Norfolk, England

Culture on the cheap: Value-for-money arts – Times Online

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Culture on the cheap: Value-for-money arts - Times Online

Firms as arts sponsors (Times Online).

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Firms as arts sponsors (Times Online).

Not that interesting and does Saatchi need a sponsor?

Angela Merkel: the woman who saw the crisis coming – Times Online

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The German stance should not come as a surprise. When Gordon Brown claims
nobody saw the crisis coming, Germans could reasonably take that to mean he
wasn’t within earshot of Merkel.

At the Davos World Economic Forum in 2007 Merkel said: “We want to minimise
the structural risks in the international capital markets through greater
transparency.” Nobody listened. Davos that year was more about celebrating
the benefits of free-market globalisation. She repeated the message shortly
afterwards in Berlin. Months later, at the G8 summit in Heiligen-damm,
Germany, Merkel was rebuffed by the UK and US when she actually put
proposals on the table. Free-market liberalism was sacrosanct.

Angela Merkel: the woman who saw the crisis coming - Times Online

Peter Mandelson joins richest Russian on his superyacht – Times Online

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Peter Mandelson joins richest Russian on his superyacht - Times Online.

European commission spokesman for Mandelson said last week that he went only to a drinks party on the yacht. But after The Sunday Times was told by an authoritative source that he had been an overnight guest on the boat, the spokesman said: “He exercised his role as commissioner despite his friendship with Mr Deripaska.”

Well done, Peter.

The man who famously said he was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich” is now instead found relaxing intensely with the filthy rich.

Bank of England seeks Deputy Governor, Financial Stability

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Bank of England seeks Deputy Governor, Financial Stability.

Via The Sunday Times’s business section (and a Google News search reveals that the Guardian has also picked this one up),

This is a high profile and influential role at a time of significant change in financial markets. It is an opportunity to put in place robust longlasting frameworks to deal with stresses in the system and in individual institutions.

I would say.

Initialisms are neither initials nor acronyms.

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This has bugged me for a while (it’s from the bottom of Stephen Fry’s Dork Talk — it started out as acronyms (NATO is an acronym, NHS is not) and now the header is “Initials of the week”. The term is “initialisms”, not “initials”.

Record growth in DNA database (The Independent)

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Record growth in DNA database (The Independent)

Many of the 722,464 new samples were taken by police from people who have never been convicted of – or even charged with – a criminal offence.

electrofunkroots.co.uk

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electrofunkroots.co.uk.

DJ, Greg Wilson, looks back at the impact and influence of this pivotal 80’s underground movement which would sow the seeds of the UK dance revolution.