Archive for the ‘BBC’ tag
Even as someone who got a BA in history and focused on the 20th century, I admit I was surprised by this when I learned this recently:
3. Men lived in the trenches for years on end
Front-line trenches could be a terribly hostile place to live. Often wet, cold and exposed to the enemy, units would quickly lose their morale if they spent too much time in them.
As a result, the British army rotated men in and out continuously. Between battles, a unit spent perhaps 10 days a month in the trench system, and of those, rarely more than three days right up on the front line. It was not unusual to be out of the line for a month.
Steven Levitt points to a rather absurd study: scientists used Google Earth to determine that cattle — and other large herbiovores — are more likely to graze while standing in a north-south direction. They think it has something to do with magnetic fields.
A very cool short video from “the Beeb.” My favorite is probably the view of London taxis during a day, but they’re all pretty good visualizations.
(via Gems Sty)
For the first time in years, China has taken Mao off a denomination of currency (and — it being a commemorative Olympics bill — replaced him with the “birds nest” stadium). Despite relevant historical and cultural issues, my only comment is that it just looks wrong to me.
At least on the Peruvian side of the border, the plan is being changed to leave them alone.
It sometimes feels like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is following my program a tad too well.
A convoy carrying the Movement for Democratic Change leader was stopped at a police roadblock at 1000 GMT, party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
The MDC leader and his entourage were taken to a police station in the far west of the country, said Mr Chamisa.
“It appears they want to disrupt our campaign programme,” he said.
UPDATE (06/04/2008): He has been freed.
Where Bolivia’s indigenous women meet the WWE. (The link is to a video story.)
(via Passport, who have some breathtaking images of the sport)
Speaking of language, Portugal has given in and accepted Brazilian spellings of words. (Also, congratulations to the BBC employee that came up with the title: “Reform spells change for Portugal.” Get it?)
The agreement standardises numerous spellings and adds three letters - k, w and y - to the alphabet.
A large majority of lawmakers backed government proposals to phase in the changes during the next six years.
In case you haven’t been following along:
In January, athletics’ governing body the IAAF banned the 21-year-old South African from able-bodied events.
It was claimed Pistorius’ prosthetic limbs give him an unfair advantage, but he disagreed and went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).
“I hope this silences the crazy theories circulating about my having an unfair advantage,” he said.
Cas said in a statement that the IAAF had not proved competition rules had been contravened.
“On the basis of the evidence brought by the experts called by both parties, the panel was not persuaded that there was sufficient evidence of any metabolic advantage in favour of the double amputee using the Cheetah Flex-Foot,” the statement said.
This is a few days old, but it’s point is still valuable. Though many would like to see China as a country as backward as Burma’s present or it’s own past, Bridget Kendell points out that it’s treated it’s disaster much better than Burma has.
Whether because the eyes of the world are upon it in this Olympic year, or because the Chinese themselves, particularly the increasingly affluent and empowered urban middle class, demand more of their own government, these days in China - unlike in Burma - there seems to be a greater sense of the need to be accountable.