Archive for great britain

Retailer Tesco "very sorry" (again) for their latest "amusing" product: "The Inflatable Gay Best Friend"

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tesco gay best friend dollProduct description, in case you can't read the teeny font:

"Inflatable g*y Best Friend if SEX in the City and Will & Grace taught us anything, it's that g*y best friends are in this season."

The description goes on to say, "We've had the manbag, we've had leg warmers and iPhone fever, now it's time for the new craze. Although not much can be said for his own attire, your Inflatable g*y Best Friend is ready to give you fashion advice, tell you if your bum looks big and b**ch about everyone who doesn't wear Jimmy Choo's."

tesco gay best friend doll description

Gee, that's not stereotypical at all.

Common sense rule of thumb, generally speaking: Know when to stop. Or in this case, know when to never start in the first place.

Apparently British retailer Tesco doesn't have much common sense, or business sense for that matter. They already got in hot water and apologized for selling offensive "Psycho Ward" Halloween "mental patient" costumes which reinforced stigmatization and misconceptions of mental illness. But, hey, they were "really sorry for any offence caused."

Now they're "very sorry" about their latest offering, an inflatable "g*y best friend." They added the asterisk, I didn't. Yes, they censored the Evil G Word as if it were a vulgarity.

Via Sky News:

It comes a day after the retailer was forced to remove a Halloween costume called "Psycho Ward" from its shelves after it sparked widespread criticism.

On its website Tesco said "The Inflatable g*y Best Friend" was suitable for children aged three to four and was an "amusing gift".

To put it in the Queen's English, we are not amused.

Tesco claims that the doll was "uploaded to the website by a third party seller but was removed from sale immediately because we found it offensive." Offensive? Why, whoever would find that offensive? I mean other than anybody with a functioning brain and sense of decency.

According to the article, the "amusing gift" is still on sale on Amazon.

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500 Years Dead King On The Move.

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Richard III recreated head

I've gotta say, I find this story ghoulishly amusing. Where to bury the late king of England? Consider this-- he's been resting for the past 528 years, the last 20 of them under a paved parking lot, in Leicester England and nobody gave a hoot. He was, for lack of a better description, spot 22 in a 300 vehicle mall parking lot.

Richard III bones

Let me capsulize for you. We're talking about the late, great King Richard III, the same one Shakespeare wrote his famous play about. Not a complimentary overview of his life but hey, he was renowned enough to be immortalize by the bard himself.

During his reign there was a civil war in England known as the War of the Roses. No, not the Kathleen Turner/Michael Douglas/Danny DeVito pic. This one played out for real. The final victory went to Henry Tudor, who defeated the last Yorkist king, Richard III. Henry then married Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth of York to unite the two houses. The House of Tudor subsequently ruled England and Wales. Had Richard III won that war, we might have York style homes instead of  Tudor. But that's another story.

According to The World Report:

Richard was deposed and killed in a battle near Leicester in 1485, and quickly buried without a coffin in a now-demolished church in the city, which is 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of London. A skeleton found under a Leicester parking lot last year was identified as the king through DNA tests, bone analysis and other scientific scrutiny.

I guess the discovery of a long-lost ancestor could stir up some emotions, but really now, enough to start of a War of the Roses part Deux? Well, this true tale has the makings of such a battle.

Progress has its obligations, and nothing can take the place of a new parking lot so something has to be done with the old king's remains. The city of Leicester wants to build a museum and capitalize on the money making potential of displaying his majesty's bones, perhaps a little less majestic than in his day of rule.

Richard's closest relatives differ on what should be done.

The government gave Leicester Cathedral a license to rebury the king, but the relatives' group wants him interred in the northern England city of York, claiming it was Richard's wish.

Yes, Richard's wishes must be taken into account. Now who is this close relative and how does he know the late king's wishes? Why, he's:

Michael Ibsen, the 17th great-grandnephew whose DNA was matched to the skeleton found under the parking lot. He said the case "involves the remarkable, and unprecedented, discovery of remains of a king of England of considerable historical significance, who died fighting a battle which brought to an end a civil war which divided this country. The obvious duty to consult widely arises from this singular fact alone."

I guess it doesn't get much closer than a 17th great-grandnephew for knowing Richard's wishes. Hmm, I'll just have to say that the good/bad king didn't leave a will or he would have been taken back to the family plot after the war.

So what's really at stake here other than history? Money.

The University of Leicester, whose scientists led the search for the king's remains, said it was "entirely proper and fitting that the remains of Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, be buried in the magnificent holy setting of Leicester Cathedral, near where his remains had lain for centuries."

Of course. Why not keep him near the parking lot where he was paved over years ago, long after he was forgotten? After all, Leicester was such a fine guardian of the deceased since his passing.

Leicester is hoping for a tourism boost from its association with the king, and is building a 4 million-pound ($6.3 million) visitor center near the spot where his remains were found.

The city is hoping to rake in some money with curiosity seekers willing to pay to see the old king. All that stands in their way is the Plantagenet Alliance (the King's relatives) who are threatening to take this case to court based on the tentative finding that Richard III can stay in Leicester.

The alliance had no immediate comment on the ruling. The Ministry of Justice said in a statement that it would "vigorously contest" the legal challenge (by the family), if it goes to court.

Well, only time will tell. But it just goes to show you that you must always keep your eyes open when you go shopping. You never know when or where you'll be parking your car on top of some king or queen. They say along with royalty comes privileges. Say, come to think of it, King Richard III was the hunchback King. Does that mean his spot in the parking lot was "Handicap Parking Only?"

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Always Keep Your Eyes Open

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You never know what you may find in a parking lot, beyond the typical, cars, trucks, bikes and people. Maybe even some lost coins. If you're in parking lot in Leicester England, you might just have found a king.

No, not the newborn heir to  the throne. He's only third in line. We have William, the heir, Henry, the spare and now George Alexander Louis, the spare to the spare . No, I'm talking about a real king. King Richard III, the same one Shakespeare wrote about. What's he doing in a parking lot?  Or better yet, under one. Shades of Jimmy Hoffa or Judge Crater.

King Richard III's remains
King Richard III's remains Summer, 2012

Well, it seems, according to Live Science (where better to learn about a long dead king than Live Science?) the final resting place of poor King Richard might have been discovered a year ago during excavation of a parking lot last summer. While clearing away the space to make room for a new shopping center, remains were unearthed that led archaeologists to swoop down on the spot like ants to a P 'n J sandwich at a summer picnic. Together, they declared, "Long dead, the King.

Richard III, the last king of the House of York, ruled England from 1483 to 1485, when was killed in battle during the War of Roses, an English civil war. He received a hasty burial at the Grey Friars monastery in Leicester as his defeater, Henry Tudor, ascended to the throne. Grey Friars was destroyed in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation, and its ruins became somewhat lost to history.

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And now it seems that evidence proves that this parking lot is actually the original site of Grey Friar Priory. KR III's burial site. Imagine how many people must have parked and walked all over the old dead king. And recently they discovered he had company.

Well, it seems that along side Richard's resting place is another neighbor. This one was lying in a stone house, unusual considering the king's remains were just dumped into a hole. This guy got the royal treatment above that of the king. So is he the king of kings?

Archaeologists are set to lift the lid on a stone coffin discovered at the site of the English friary where Richard III's remains were found.

Excavators suspect the tomb — billed as the only intact stone coffin found in Leicester — may contain the skeleton of a medieval knight or one of the high-status friars thought to have been buried at the church.

A knight or a friar? Boy, that's a letdown after you found a King. Well, time will tell. But the moral of this story is to keep your eyes open. You never know when you're going to be walking all over royalty. I just hope when they open the stone coffin, they find something really interesting -- or John Boehner's soul. Both would be welcomed right about now. And regardless of what they find, good ol' John McCain will get on the floor of the senate and remark, "Ah, yes, I knew him well."

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Video Mid Day Distraction- Summer Solstice: What happened as sun rose at Stonehenge

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I don't know why, but I thought Stonehenge would be treated more like a historical monument, not open for scads of people to dance in! Via.

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Video Overnight Thread: The Difference Between the UK, Great Britain, and England

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I've been watching a Netflix series recently called 'World Without End'.  It's very well done and represents, more or less, the early years of King Edward III's reign (1327-1377) as seen through events in the (fictional) town of 'Kingsbridge', and in London and on the battlefields of France.

I highly recommend it.

http://dvd.netflix.com/Search?v1=world+without+end&ac_abs_posn=-1&fcld=true&ac_rel_posn=-1&ac_category_type=none&raw_query=pina

A few years back my brother sent me a link to this video which explains the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England.

Hold onto your hats ! (It's so fast you have to listen very carefully!

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"Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher" / The Wicked Witch is Dead

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Margaret Thatcher may be a hero to Quitter Sarah, who couldn't make it through even one term as Governor of Alaska with its 731,499 people, but she was no hero to millions of her fellow countrymen and countrywomen, at least of whom (if the accounts are true) danced in the streets upon hearing of her death. Apparently 'The Wicked Witch is Dead' is a major iTunes hit at the moment I read earlier today.

This account of life in Margaret Thatcher's Britain by someone who actually lived there when she was prime minister mentions Thatcher's decision to stop the school lunch program, something she apparently was very proud of, hence the name 'Milk Snatcher'.

From the 'Red Molucca' blogpost: "Tramp the Dirt Down"

The old saw that one shouldn’t speak ill of the recently dead cannot possibly apply to controversial figures in public life. It certainly didn’t apply to President Hugo Chavez who predeceased Margaret Thatcher amidst a blizzard of abuse.

The main reason it must not preclude entering the lists amidst a wave of hagiographic sycophantic tosh of the kind that has engulfed Britain these last hours is that otherwise the hagiographers will have the field to themselves.

Every controversial divisive deadly thing that Thatcher did will be placed in soft focus, bathed in a rose-coloured light, and provide a first draft of history that will be, simply, wrong.

More here:

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Video Overnight Thread- Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

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MMM, burning gingerbread... Via.

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