Tag Archives | London

Chewing Gum Art Found Sticking To England’s Streets

Photo: DisillusionedBitterandKnackered (CC)

Photo: DisillusionedBitterandKnackered (CC)

One man’s flavorless gum becomes another man’s art, thanks to Ben Wilson. You can view some of his chewing gum art here. The New York Times reports:

When first exposed to the art of Ben Wilson, or to Mr. Wilson in the act of creating it, people tend to respond with some degree of puzzlement.

“When I first saw one, I thought it was a fruit sticker,” said Matt Brasier, who was walking through this north London suburb the other day.

A woman named Vassiliki, who was passing by, said that when she came upon Mr. Wilson, prone and seemingly inert on the sidewalk, “I thought he wasn’t very well.” She added: “I was like, ‘What is he doing?’ And they told me: ‘He’s painting the chewing gum.’ ”

That is exactly what he was doing. Mr. Wilson, 47, one of Britain’s best-known outsider artists, has for the last six years or so immersed himself in a peculiar passion all his own: he paints tiny pictures on flattened blobs of discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks of London.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

WikiLeaks Docs Reveal London As Al-Qaeda Global Hub

File-London_(European_Parliament_constituency)At least 35 terrorists incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated by extremist preachers in “Londonistan,” according to secret files obtained by the Telegraph via WikiLeaks:

Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, are identified by the American authorities as the key recruiters responsible for sending dozens of extremists from throughout the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan via London mosques.

The leaked WikiLeaks documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here.

Finsbury Park mosque, in north London, is described as a “haven” for extremists. United States intelligence officials concluded the mosque served as “an attack planning and propaganda production base”.

The files will raise questions over why the Government and security services failed to take action sooner to tackle the capital’s reputation as a staging post for terrorism, which became so established that the city was termed “Londonistan”.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Anarchist Groups Planning Major Disruptions To Royal Wedding

Royal WeddingHe says they are putting together a “shock and awe” campaign. “It will involve a lot of fireworks, it will involve a lot of people dressed in black, it will involve a lot of very, very loud music to try and hack all the mainstream media broadcasts of that day.” CNN reports:

London, England (CNN) — “God Save the Queen … the fascist regime,” sang The Sex Pistols to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Now, Britain’s anarchists are targeting the royals again.

According to one leading anarchist protester, plans are being drawn up for a demonstration using “shock and awe” tactics to disrupt Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton on April 29.

Charlie Veitch, a former City banker who was made redundant during the financial crisis, heads a group of colorful protesters called the “Love Police Academy.” He says that anarchists will put on a “disruption spectacular.”

“As an anarchist, philosophical and political anarchist, I cannot support the royal family, I cannot support this government’s actions,” he said.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Meet Jack Black, Rat-Catcher To The Queen

Jack BlackFrom “The Rats of London” at victoriangothic.org:

If you were a rat in mid-century London, [Jack Black] was your nemesis. “Moist as rabbits, and quite as nice,” was how he described the rats he cooked for his own consumption. Sewer rats, he insisted, were just as good as barn rats, if you gave them a few days’ chase before killing them.

Rat-catching was a regular profession among London’s poor, allowing one to leverage a childhood spent peeking under floorboards and playing with filthy animals into a full and rewarding career. Armed with quick dogs and well-trained ferrets, Black and his colleagues ’sterminated rats by the hundred, collecting their fees on a cash-only basis. It was  a “peculiar and exciting” line of work, according to Ike Matthews, who wrote the book on rat-catching; one where you could be own boss and turn long sojourns into the country with your hunting animals into a remunerative business.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Breast Milk Ice Cream On Sale Now

IceCream

Photo: Lotus Head (CC)

Thought you’d never have breast milk after your infant days? Matt O’Conner, founder of Baby Gaga, says it’s delicious! BBC reports:

A restaurant in London’s Covent Garden is serving a new range of ice cream, made with breast milk. The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from 15 women who responded to an advertisement on an online mothers’ forum.

One of the women, Victoria Hiley, 35, said if adults realised how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed. Each serving of Baby Gaga at Icecreamists costs £14.

Mrs Hiley’s donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest. Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor placed an advert appealing for breast milk donations and believes his new recipe will be a success.

“If it’s good enough for our children, it’s good enough for the rest of us,” he said.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Too Much Fat in London’s Pipes

Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story reports an interesting story about the London sewage system. A buildup of solidified cooking fat has become a hindrance in the flow of the city’s piping:

“A team of workers sporting breathing apparatus and carrying shovels has started clearing around 1,000 tonnes of fat from sewers around London’s Leicester Square, a water company said Tuesday.

Cooking fat being poured down drains under one of the city’s main tourist attractions is thought to be causing blockages.

Leicester Square borders London’s Chinatown and its bustling restaurants and cafes, as well as the West End and Soho entertainment districts.

The clean-up, which could take up to two months, is described as the biggest ever of its kind by Thames Water, the firm organising it.

Danny Brackley, one of those involved in the clean-up, said they could not even access the sewers at first as they were blocked by a four foot (1.2 metre) thick wall of solid fat.”

Read More: Agence France-Presse via the Raw StoryRead the rest

Continue Reading

New York City Studying London’s Surveillance Network

CCTV cameraNYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was supposed to show up at the CBS Early Show today, where my kid and others from his soccer team were invited to talk about the FIFA World Cup. We wondered why he wasn’t there, and now we know: he was in London learning all about the surveillance capital of the world’s methods of spying on its citizens. Via AP/Yahoo News:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in London to observe the network of security cameras on the city’s transport system.

Bloomberg was shown around a closed-circuit television facility at Westminster Underground station by London Mayor Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

There are 12,000 cameras on London’s subway system, and city officials tout their role in combating crime and terrorism.

Bloomberg has expressed enthusiasm for London’s network of security cameras, one of the world’s largest.

The surveillance “ring of steel” around London’s central business district was the inspiration for a 3,000-camera system in lower Manhattan.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Watkins Books Lives

As a quick and happy update to my recent post about London’s legendary esoteric book shop, Watkins, closing, Publishers Weekly now reports that a buyer has been found:

Just two weeks before it was to be liquidated American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld stepped forward and purchased the 113-year old institution, which stocks crystals, jewelry, and statues as well as books.

Ilfeld, who owns a nearby art gallery, Tenderpixel, plans to maintain Watkins’s identity as an independent esoteric bookstore. “It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to save a century-old business,” said Ilfeld. “I don’t believe that spirituality in London is dead and will do my best to ensure that Watkins Books will be sustainable and survive the 21st century.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Graffiti War In London: Robbo Versus Banksy

Banksy rat graffiti, City Road, London, UK.  Photo: LoopZilla (CC)

Banksy rat graffiti, City Road, London, UK. Photo: LoopZilla (CC)

Gabriele Steinhauser reports on a Banksy backlash in London for the Wall Street Journal:

In the predawn hours of Christmas morning, a 40-year-old shoe repairman who goes by the name Robbo squeezed his 6-foot-8-inch frame into a wet suit, tossed some spray cans into a plastic bag, and crossed Regent’s Canal on a red-and-blue air mattress.

Robbo, one of the lost pioneers of London’s 1980s graffiti scene, was emerging from a long retirement. He had a mission: to settle a score with the world-famous street artist Banksy, who, Robbo believes, had attacked his legacy.

The battle centers on a wall under a bridge on the canal in London’s Camden district. In the fall of 1985—just 15 years old but already a major player in London’s graffiti scene—Robbo announced his presence on that wall with eight tall block letters: ROBBO INC.

Read the rest

Continue Reading