Culture

Category:Culture

Yes Scotland or Better Together: Trying to Make Sense of the Scottish Independence Referendum

In less than one week, the Scottish public will be going to the polls to make a very important decision about the future of their country; whether to remain a part of the United Kingdom or leave to become an independent country.

If you haven’t heard about the impending Scottish Referendum, here’s a short informational video the BBC put together last year which covers the basics, in less than sixty seconds, followed by our attempt to break down what’s going on. 

Category:Culture

Witness a Record Breaking Gathering of Sherlocks, All for a Good Cause

For being a fictional character and all, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective Sherlock Holmes sure does seem to be involved with a lot of real-world records and record attempts.  Holmes already holds the Guinness World Record for most frequently portrayed literary human character in television and film – note the human quantifier because otherwise he’d lose out to Dracula – and has now been involved in a very different sort of record in Yorkshire, of a slightly greater order of magnitude.

A group of fans in Leeds decided to attempt to gather the most Sherlock Holmes-es in one place at the same time, in order to break the world record for doing so (you get a cookie if you would have ever even guessed there was a world record for that) and, more importantly, to raise money for the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre at St. James’s Hospital, Leeds.

And so, that’s how over four hundred people turned up in nearby Temple Newsam to participate on August 31, dressed in their best deerstalkers and scarves, and armed with pipes, magnifying glasses and violins. 

Category:Culture

‘Sherlock’ Waves the Flag for British Telly at 2014 Primetime Emmys

With over two dozen British actors, writers, directors and productions nominated for Emmys this year, less than a handful brought home the gold earlier this week during the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. A disappointing result for an telly addict like me to be sure, but with the rising popularity of UK television in the States you’d expect a little bit better showing from our talented performers across the pond.

Well, with one notable exception, anyway. Read on for a full report and highlights of how our favorite nominated Brits did this year. 

Category:Culture

A Field of Poppies Marks the Anniversary of WWI at the Tower of London

A gorgeous new installation opened today (August 5) at the Tower of London, to make the centenary anniversary of the start of World War I.

Called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the display by ceramic artist Paul Cummins will feature hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies – the ceremonial flower traditionally used to remember war veterans in Britain – arranged in and around the Tower’s moat.

The official Twitter account for the Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that oversees locations such as the Tower, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and others – has been sharing photos of the event this week, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how such a massive undertaking will be completed. Take a look at some of the most impressive below.

Category:Culture

Watch the Queen’s Guards Play the ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Song at Buckingham Palace

So, Queen Elizabeth probably doesn’t have a Ser Barristan the Bold of her own outside Buckingham Palace, but the Queen’s Guards are apparently big fans of fantasy drama Game of Thrones anyway.

We know this because during a recent Changing of the Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the band suddenly burst into a rousing rendition of the HBO series’ incredibly recognizable theme tune. (For those that don’t know the band traditionally performs a song during the ceremony, which takes place daily in the summer at 11:30am.)

It’s awesome. And thankfully a quick bystander recorded it and put it on YouTube

Category:Culture

'Downton Abbey', 'Sherlock' Lead British Invasion as 2014 Emmy Nominations Are Announced

The 66th Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning (July 10) so I thought it a good time to take an inventory of how some of our favorite actors from the UK fared with the Television Academy. If you're curious - the answer is - quite well, and in a few unexpected categories to boot! Let's take a look. If you’d like to see the complete list of nominees, regardless of their nationality, click here.

Category:Culture

Celebrate Independence Day by Imagining If The British Had Won

As every American knows, on July 4 the United States celebrates its independence. We watch fireworks, eat barbecue, go to baseball games, and basically spend the day generally rejoicing in our Founding Fathers’ successful thrashing of the British Empire.

I never know what to write about on this particular day here on the blog – it’s such an American holiday and we cover all things British and it’s probably not best to cross the streams and all that kind of thing. But luckily, the marketing team at beer manufacturer Newcastle has helpfully provided us with the perfect post topic this year.

Category:Culture

Hugh Bonneville, Benedict Cumberbatch and More Read Children’s Stories at Hay Festival

Last week, BBC Radio 2’s The Chris Evans Breakfast Show ran a special competition meant to encourage children to write short stories. Called 500 Words, the annual event challenges children to compose a complete short story in – you guessed it – just five hundred words.

(Which is a task that, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, we all know I would fail. Badly.) 

Category:Culture

Sherlock Holmes: The Theme Park is a Thing That Might Happen in Portsmouth

Now that we’re all back to our regularly scheduled programming of waiting for new Sherlock episodes following the conclusion of eries 3, the natural progression of life as a Sherlockian is to start looking for interesting Holmes-related things to pass the time until we get to Series 4.

And this is certainly one of the more interesting Holmes-related things we’ve seen in a while.

Would you visit Sherlock Holmes: The Amusement Park? Because that’s something that’s actually in the works right now. No, really. That’s not a typo. 

Category:Culture

Celebrate Robert Burns Night with Some Scottish Telly

You don’t have to be a poetry fan to be familiar with the work of Scottish national poet, Robert Burns. In fact if you’ve ever sung Auld Lang Syne at a New Year’s Eve party, you have performed a piece of Burns’ work.  

So beloved is Burns to his fellow countrymen that he was named the greatest Scot of all time in a STV poll in 2009. In fact, Burns’ birthday is celebrated as an unofficial Scottish holiday with suppers held in his honor on or around January 25th. These traditional gatherings are organized around the world, in people’s homes and in swanky halls. No matter where it’s held or how fancy the event, however, there are certain elements that are a part of all Burns’ suppers.

Just a quick look around YouTube will demonstrate the range and scope of these celebrations in honor of Scotland’s favorite son. 

 

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