July 21, 2019

Britain’s Brexit Crisis

The first task of our new prime minister will be to try to solve Britain’s Brexit crisis. But how did we get here? For the first time, the politicians and negotiators on both sides of the channel tell the story of the key events, the mistakes and the miscalculations that made Theresa May postpone Brexit and forced her from office. As the final candidates in the Tory leadership race battle it out, this film is a salutary warning of what lies ahead for the winner.

A fantastic behind the scenes documentary on the process thus far.

July 12, 2019

Apollo in 50 numbers

“I’m not that interested in space,” John F Kennedy told the head of Nasa, James Webb, in a private meeting at the White House in 1962. “I think it’s good, I think we ought to know about it, we’re ready to spend reasonable amounts of money but we’re talking about these fantastic expenditures which wreck our budget.”

July 9, 2019

The British Banking Dynasty That’s Even Older Than the Rothschilds

In the U.K. there’s old money, really old money and then there’s C. Hoare & Co.

The London firm was started in 1672 by Richard Hoare and has tended to the affairs of diarist Samuel Pepys, poet Lord Byron and novelist Jane Austen. That’s almost a hundred years older than the famous Rothschild dynasty, which was founded in the 1760s. After more than three centuries of continuous operation, the family still runs the show, overseeing about 4.4 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) of deposits and sticking to a traditional way of doing business.

July 4, 2019
June 18, 2019

How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained

If you were to go to southern Italy, you wouldn’t find people saying “gabagool.” But some of the old quirks of the old languages survived into the accents of Standard Italian used there. In Sicily or Calabria, you might indeed find someone ordering “mutzadell.” In their own weird way, Jersey (and New York and Rhode Island and Philadelphia) Italians are keeping the flame of their languages alive even better than Italian-Italians. There’s something both a little silly and a little wonderful about someone who doesn’t even speak the language putting on an antiquated accent for a dead sub-language to order some cheese.