Category Archives: Europe

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Israel But Were Afraid To Ask

After a summer break, another episode of International Edition with Levy and Counsell is up at [iTunes link to follow.] Here’s the Ricochet blurb: TV news shows often only turn up in distant countries when the shooting starts. This approach can scare off, or simply puzzle, intelligent and curious viewers who would prefer more backstory […]

Cross In Box

Continuing the theme of suffrage, if you were unfortunate (and nerdy) enough to listen to Today In Parliament yesterday evening, you will have been treated to our law-makers displaying the sort of ignorance of the basics of the law and of European institutions that makes you embarrassed to be a British citizen as they debated […]


Further to my most recent extended comment on That Bigoted Woman, I note The Mirror reports that Gillian Duffy, who wondered during the UK General Election where all those Eastern Europeans are flocking from, has come out in support of David Miliband for the position leader of the Labour Party. David Miliband is the offspring […]

National Stereotypes

I have just searched Google News for “Afghanistan”. The top three stories are, in order: 500 more British soldiers will go to Afghanistan—[report] Italians bribed the Taleban all over Afghanistan—[report] France will not send any more troops to Afghanistan—[report] Like this:Like Loading…

Jew Do You Think You Are?

Whenever someone implies that anti-Semitism isn’t racism, I point out that it’s one of the few examples of discrimination that really is racism (unlike, for example, the invented thoughtcrime “Islamophobia”1 ) because the Ashkenazi Jewish population is as close as you can get scientifically to the common (and deeply flawed) notion of what a “race” […]

Ooh, That’s A New One

Last year, Newsbiscuit ran a spoof “NEWSPAPERS RUN OUT OF ‘LORD LEVY IS JEWISH’ EUPHEMISMS” story [requires free registration] I was reminded of it when I read this from the latest statement by “the neo-Nazi North German Action Office”, as reported in the Wall Street Journal: Inasmuch as it is a determined opponent of the […]

Marching Across Europe

If you are scared of spiders then please don’t follow this link [requires Flash]. Like this:Like Loading…

Another One Of Google’s Smirks

If you type “Gaullism” into Google correctly then this what you see: If you omit an ‘L’, you get this: Like this:Like Loading…

Bear With A Big Head

KNUT the polar bear has turned from a cuddly cub into a publicity-addicted psycho, one of his keepers has claimed. Markus Roebke said Berlin Zoo’s celebrity animal was obsessed with the limelight and howled with rage when denied an audience. “Knut must go and the sooner the better,” he said, insisting that the bear should […]

Amateur Video

While I’m recommending films, I notice that The Amateurs [aka The Moguls] is being advertised on the Apple trailer site as on theatrical release in the States. This is odd because I’ve already seen it cheaply in the UK via Amazon’s DVDs-by-post service. Perhaps it went straight to video here because it had stinking reviews. […]

That Awkward Post-Match Dinner

“Meysterr McClaren, you hyev harrdly touched your sushi.” Like this:Like Loading…

Sex-Starved African In Steamy Hotel Room Action With Brazilian Maid

Sorry about the silence. I’ve been working hard in Portugal and working hard here. Stevie Wonder says I look just like him in these shades My exact ethnic background isn’t immediately obvious from my appearance. Most Sierra Leoneans would call me “white”; most Brits wouldn’t. To a large fraction of the people on this planet […]


This has been online for so long and is so funny that it’s hard to believe that no one has sent me a link to it before. Perhaps this is because it’s a German health and safety video and, for the first minute or so, is exactly as entertaining as that description suggests. But it […]


To my immense amusement, I am quoted in a national Dutch free daily newspaper today, saying (of the Euston Manifesto): “We had no idea it would get so big”. Like this:Like Loading…

Life, Art, Chocolate

When I was in Belgium last week, I was surprised to discover that it was just like the movies: Like this:Like Loading…

The European Confession

During the dying months of my doing bioinformatics for a living, I attended a scientific conference in Scotland. I helped to run a few of the seminars there, but had nothing to do with their planning. At one, I marched to the front during a student’s presentation and told a member of the audience to […]


Talking of recycling, it looks like producer Timbaland has some explaining to do to a Finnish computer musician about a backing track that Mr Land laid down for Nelly Furtado. [The previous link goes to YouTube, but you can follow these links to MP3s of the tunes.] There’s something amusing about a deep-voiced multimillionaire hip-hop […]

Concept Album

Germany has the lowest birthrate in Europe. Luckily, help is at hand. Like this:Like Loading…

Making A Connection

According to The Times: [DAVID] IRVING ATTACKS AUSTRIA AFTER BAN Surely he knows enough history to have arranged for some of his far-Right friends inside the country to organise a peaceful takeover instead? Like this:Like Loading…

Parisians Rude. Japanese Surrender.

It’s true, I tell you. Like this:Like Loading…

Tri-band Mobile

If you are familiar with the official French attitude* to the use of English in academic (and other cultural) settings, the appearance of a state-funded TV station, “France 24″, with an English-language feed might surprise you. It did me when I watched one of their online English-language video ads a few days ago. They also broadcast […]

Not German Efficiency

I am notoriously sensitive to people revealing the plots of television series and films. As pharma geek Anthony correctly diagnosed, I watch things long after their broadcast/release, often via Amazon’s cheap and cheerful rental-by-post system, and I don’t have a TV. A side-effect is that many of my reviews here are out-of-date, but at least […]

Overheard In New York

Someone at Harry’s Place comments that Until now, I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was Welsh.” which reminds me of being in a video rental store in NYC in the late 90s with a local. An old Tom Jones song starts playing. “Well, I never,” says I to my native companion in my conspicuously British way, “This […]

Physicists Walk On Water

Beat this, Jesus of Nazareth. [thanks to Liam] Like this:Like Loading…

Waffly Good

Regulars will know that I am not a lover of art house cinema. (I have been meaning to slag off the execrable Volver here since I saw endured it a few weeks back.) But yesterday evening I watched a grim, documentary-style Belgian film and enjoyed it. Hilariously, the plot, such as it is, centres almost […]


Those of you who didn’t know it already will not be surprised to learn that there is a Finnish symphonic rock outfit called Nightwish. They have recently sacked their soprano lead, so, if that’s your bag, now’s your chance to put on your horned helmet and boob-armour and record a demo for them. This YouTube […]

The Channel Is Narrow But Deep

On my way to have my teeth checked yesterday morning I was listening to BBC Radio 4. Woman’s Hour was recounting the forgotten history of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The best bit was when one of the experts recited the original French words to the tune of the nursery rhyme and reminded us of how […]

Test Drive The New Volkswagen Pantheon

One of PooterGeek’s current side projects is The New Uxbridge Encyclopedia Of The Classical World, a vital and relevant guide to what has often been dismissed as a dead discipline, specifically designed to appeal to comprehensive school pupils. Just like the compilers of the OED, the staff of the NUECW welcome submissions from the general […]


Coca-Cola Germany’s customer care service is called the “Coke Line”. Like this:Like Loading…

The Stupider Party

Today’s Economist reveals that one of the few Conservative parties in the European Parliament prepared to line up with David Cameron over the creation of a new Right grouping is the Polish Law and Justice Party, known by the acronym “PiS”. Its leader recently tried to stop a gay rights march in Warsaw. It wants […]

%d bloggers like this: