The Edmondson Blog

London Elects

Summing up what the candidates offer

Hat tip: Garbo

I'm Moving to the Midlands

In the late 1970s, several of the UK's major cities were the stars of B-movies the so-called 'Quota Quickies'.

The cities tried to make themselves appear exciting to a captive cinema audience through the medium of a travelogue.

One such classic is called Telly Savalas Looks At Birmingham. It has the American actor extolling the virtues and history of Birmingham. His narration is unintentionally funny and wonderfully kitsch.

The director of these quota quickies, the late Harold Baim, seemed to have an obsession with multi-storey car parks, concrete shopping centres and motorways in his attempt to catapult the city into the 21st century. Others in the Harold Baim series include Telly Savalas Looks At Aberdeen and Telly Savalas Looks At Portsmouth.

The Quota Quickies were shown in cinemas before the main feature because of a law which meant that cinemas had to show a British film for every American film.

Inspector Gadget / Axel F

Beatboxing is taken to the next level


One of the best songs ever written?

Written by Ray Davies and performed by The Kinks, it details a romantic encounter between a man and a transvestite he meets in a Soho club. The song originally contained a reference to "Coca Cola", but the BBC refused to play it as this was considered a violation of their advertising policy. The single then had to be hastily re-recorded with the offending line changed to "cherry cola".

Japanese Railways

Japanese railways are among the most punctual in the world. The average delay on the Tokaido Shinkansen in 2007 was only 0.6 minutes. When trains are delayed for as little as five minutes, the conductor makes an announcement apologizing for the delay. Japanese passengers rely heavily on rail transit and take it for granted that trains operate on time. When trains are delayed for an hour or more, it may even appear in the newspaper. However, some argue that railway staff are under too much pressure from the public. These stringent standards are considered contributors to the cause of serious accidents such as the Amagasaki rail crash in 2005.

Cazenove vs. China

Well done to George for standing up the world's next superpower single-handedly. He gave Beijing one in the eye as he takes on one of the world's worst human rights abusers. George is ringed, taking centre stage and he tries to wrestle all the Chinese minders to the ground. As George informs me:
A few minutes later, I was eating breakfast in the Electric cafe where I rejected Chow Mein with Schezchwan beef for a full ENGLISH fry-up. Would wish that our political leaders could show such British spunk.

Eurotunnel Makes a Profit!

Eurotunnel has reported its first annual profit, boosted by its huge programme of debt restructuring.

The company that runs the tunnel between Britain and France reported a net profit of 1m euros ($1.6m; £795,000) in the whole of 2007.

I have 1500 shares, bought for me by my father when Eurotunnel floated in 1989. I'm reminded of my father telling me in 1990 that by 1998 the ferries would be out of business and we'd be making £12000 in dividends a year. I might hand in my notice tomorrow...

The Wedding

The best video by the best band in the world?

I've been advising my brother how he can recreate the church scene at his wedding in August. I have offered to play Slash, dangling fag and the cowboy boots over jeans look. All we need to do is for Jools to wear the wedding dress. Botty already looks like Axl Rose and has the tight shorts on standby.

My Mentor

A few more for the haul...

Keith A Hard married Jennifer A Cocks, Surrey 1989

George Fuchs married Alice Allot, Thurmaston, Leicestershire, 1764

Jeremy King married Rosalyn L Kong, Sodbury, Gloucestershire, 1989

Yuan Y Wang married John G King, Kensington and Chelsea, 1997

Hat tip: Pa

Be Careful Hyphenating Your Name!

Man Dies Eating Cakes

An inquest is to be held on a man who died during a contest to see who could eat the most fairy cakes.

The man, thought to be from Birmingham, collapsed at a Swansea nightclub during the event at the end of a party to raise funds for an art exhibition.

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances following the incident at the city's Monkey Cafe and Bar early on Friday.

The coroner has been informed and the family has been told.

It is believed attempts were made by staff and customers at the nightclub to revive the man.

In a statement, club owners Amanda Davey and Paul Dyke said: "We are all devastated by this tragic accident.

"We are all in shock.

"It was a tragic accident and very sad and should serve as a cautionary tale."

I better rethink my weekend.

Hat tip: Roly

Feeling Underrated?

The Continental Divide

I remember years ago, on the way back to Denver Airport after a family ski holiday, passing over the "Continental Divide". I didn't take much notice of my father as he explained its significance (nothing changes...) but I thought I'd find out more about what the divide is now.

The Continental Divide or Great Divide is the name given to the North American portion of the mountainous ridge which separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from:

1) those river systems which drain into the Atlantic Ocean (including those which drain via the Gulf of Mexico)


2) along the northernmost reaches of the Divide, those river systems which drain into the Arctic Ocean.

A secondary, non-mountainous divide further separates other river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean (including those which drain via Hudson Bay, James Bay, and Ungava Bay) from those which drain into the Atlantic Ocean (including those which drain via the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway).

Twelve-Mile Circle

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The Twelve-Mile Circle is an arc that makes up most of the boundary between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware in the United States.

It is a circle with a twelve-mile radius, with the center of the circle in the center of the town of New Castle, Delaware. In 1750, the center of the circle was fixed at the cupola of the courthouse in New Castle. The Twelve-Mile Circle continues into the Delaware River. A small portion of the circle, known as the "Arc Line," also forms part of the Mason-Dixon line, separating Delaware and Maryland. The Twelve-Mile Circle is the only territorial boundary in the United States that is a true arc (excluding all boundaries defined by latitude and longitude, like much of the border between the US and Canada, which—when viewed with the North Pole as the center—are all also arcs).

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog