October 18, 2020

BBC Sound Effects

It’s been around since at least 2018, but I only discovered the BBC Sound Effects archive today. It hold clips of pretty much any situation you can think of, including city-specific soundscapes, like those from London.

I’d wager most the sounds Londoners most associate with the city are those of the Underground, but for me, it has to be the Invitation to the Jellicle Ball from Cats. Something about that just screams London.

October 17, 2020

360 Panorama from The Shard

Will Pearson’s stunning gigapixel panorama short from the top of London’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard. You can make out many parks and the exclusive rooftop gardens most of us never get to see.

September 8, 2019

The Political Butterfly Effect: Did a drunken headbutt cause Brexit?

In episode one, Jim asks whether a Labour MP headbutting a fellow politician in the House of Commons led the UK to vote for Brexit. He traces the events that were set in motion by the fracas in 2012. Does the trail lead all the way to Britain’s exit from the EU?

The entire series is excellent.

August 9, 2019

The Baffling Origin of London Stone

As architects began reconstructing the city, surveyors found that much like an iceberg, the visible stone was only a small portion of a much larger structure. The ‘root’ of the stone extended around 3m down into the earth. It could have been “a kind of Obelisque,” noted Robert Hooke, from the Royal Society, the UK’s science academy, at the time of excavation.

August 3, 2019
July 27, 2019

Mudlarking: finders keepers

We quickly hit pay-dirt and we stop to examine the discovery more closely. Then, much to my dismay, Smith casually tosses aside our find, the sole of a Tudor shoe. “You get blasé,” he says. “You get to see a lot of things over the years. But finds like that do help point you towards other things.

The article is from 2010, by by all accounts, mudlarking on the banks of the Thames continues. You need a permit — currently at £85 a year if you wish to dig beneath the top soil.