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Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart
GAJ looking at her watch to help her decide if she wants a cup of tea. SO ANNOYING. Do you want one or not? It doesn’t matter what time it is. (This last one is big enough for . . .) 9. AND 10. Accidentally ending up watching a television sex scene with Mum and Dad. Oh, no, don’t worry: we have found a way around that one. It goes like this: MIRANDA, her MOTHER and FATHER on sofa, watching television. The nice BBC Period Drama has suddenly become unexpectedly racy. MOTHER: Oh. Right. I see. (PAUSE) SO! I thought we could all go on a lovely Boxing Day walk tomorrow. ME: Yes! Lovely! Do show me the route. MOTHER whips open the Ordnance Survey map. Shows MIRANDA the walk. Wild humping and groaning noises from the television. MOTHER: I thought this would be lovely. Such views! DAD: Oh, yes, lovely. MIRANDA: Oh, yes, lovely.
3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar
A single episode of the hit AMC cable show Mad Men costs approximately $2.3 million to produce.23 That cost makes good business sense for AMC, thanks to advertising and cable fees.24 To date, we simply haven’t seen an online video with the production quality, appeal, and intensity of popular television hits or blockbuster movies. Popular online shows like the Shaytards do enjoy large followings, but they lack the gripping appeal of a period drama like Mad Men—a production arguably too expensive for the economic dynamics of YouTube. The one entertainment genre that remains stubbornly in the age of big media is sports. No substitute exists for watching a live major league sports game on television or, even better, in person. The giant reach of professional sports shows no signs of slowing down or submitting to the audience fragmentation and revenue shrinkage other entertainment has seen.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
An older picture that she’d found in an attic stuffed with three decades’ worth of gossip magazines, taken before she was born: Arthur with his arm around the pale girl with dark curls who would soon become his first wife, caught by a photographer as they stepped out of a restaurant, the girl inscrutable behind sunglasses and Arthur blinded by the flash. 13 THE PHOTO FROM THE TABLOID: Ten minutes before the photograph, Arthur Leander and the girl are waiting by the coat check in a restaurant in Toronto. This is well before the Georgia Flu. Civilization won’t collapse for another fourteen years. Arthur has been filming a period drama all week, partly on a soundstage and partly in a park on the edge of the city. Earlier in the day he was wearing a crown, but now he’s wearing a Toronto Blue Jays cap that makes him look very ordinary. He is thirty-six years old. “What are you going to do?” he asks. “I’m going to leave him.” The girl, Miranda, has a recent bruise on her face. They’re speaking in whispers to avoid being overheard by the restaurant staff.
After this, I’d be able to write my own ticket! So Chris and I broke the story and I went off to write the script. When I was done, Tim and his producers went crazy for it. I’d never been showered with so many compliments in my life. They sent a gigantic fruit basket with a note that literally said, GREAT JOB! YOU DID IT! I was so emboldened by the prospects of Cabin Boy, I immediately sat down and started writing my next script—a 1950s period drama about an incestuous brother and sister that takes place down south on a worm farm. That’s not a joke; that was a real project. Anyway, everything was moving along just fine, and then I got a call one day saying Tim had changed his mind about Cabin Boy. He no longer wanted to direct it; he wanted to produce it. He felt it was more of a “Chris and Adam thing.” In fact, in an incredible moment of generosity and wrongheadedness, he’d decided that I should direct it.
England by David Else
active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, David Attenborough, David Brooks, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, period drama, place-making, sceptred isle, Skype, Sloane Ranger, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent
In Holy Trinity Chapel is the tomb of Ettricke, the ‘man in the wall’, a local eccentric who refused to be buried in the church or village and was instead interred in the church wall. Above the choir vestry is the famous chained library ( 10.30am-12.30pm & 2-4pm Mon-Fri Easter-Oct). Established in 1686, it’s filled with some of the country’s oldest medieval books, 12th-century manuscripts written on lambskin, and ancient recipes, including ones for making ink out of oak apples. KINGSTON LACY Looking every inch the setting for a period drama, Kingston Lacy (NT; 01202-883402; house & grounds adult/child £10/5, grounds only £5/2.50; house 11am-4pm Wed-Sun Mar-Oct) became home to the aristocratic Bankes family when they were evicted from Corfe Castle Click here by the Roundheads. This grand, 17th-century country mansion was later clad in stone by Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament Click here, but it’s best known for its resplendent Spanish Room, which is hung with gilded leather.
Here too is one of her sparkly evening gowns and famous handbags, as well as displays on Sir Isaac Newton. You can easily spot the part 13th-, part 16th-century parish church of St Wulfram’s ( 9am-4pm Mon-Sat Apr-Sep, to 12.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm Sat Oct-Mar) thanks to its pin-sharp 85m spire. It has an interesting crypt chapel, and hidden up a steep stairwell is a 16th-century chained library where a young Newton once pored over his studies. A dream location for English period dramas (several have been filmed here), serene Restoration country mansion, Belton House (NT; 01476-566116; A607; adult/under 16yr £9.50/5.50, grounds only £7.50/4.50; 12.30-5pm Wed-Sun Apr-Oct), stands in a 400-hectare park 3 miles northeast of Grantham. Built in 1688 for Sir John Brownlow, it shelters some astonishingly ornate woodcarvings attributed to the master Dutch carver Grinling Gibbons. In the beautiful gardens is a sundial made famous in Helen Cresswell’s children’s classic Moondial.
Direct trains run from London King’s Cross to Grantham (£28.20, 1¼ hours, twice hourly). Stamford pop 19,525 This handsome town has a sunny disposition all year round thanks to the warm honey-coloured Lincolnshire limestone of its buildings. Nestling against the River Welland and a lush waterside park, handsome Stamford’s tangle of streets are bursting with fine medieval and Georgian constructions. And if you feel as though you’re walking through a period drama, there’s a reason: Stamford has been used as a set for more drama productions than you can shake a clapperboard at. * * * A TALE OF LITTLE & LARGE Stamford guides are fond of telling the story of the unfortunate Daniel Lambert, who was born a healthy baby in 1770, but who soon began to tip the scales at ever more alarming totals. Despite just eating one meal per day, he ballooned to an astounding 336kg and was hailed by contemporaries as ‘the most corpulent man of whom authentic record exists’.
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, period drama, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia
He and Manci might go to a classical concert, or he might read a novel – Edgar Allen Poe mysteries, Le Carré spy thrillers and Hoyle’s science-fiction stories were among his favourites – or watch television with Manci in the family room, dominated by a painting of Judy when she was a child.11 Dirac watched most of the Nova science documentaries, but the programmes that he and Manci regarded as unmissable were period dramas: The Forsyte Saga – Dirac was spellbound by the leading lady, Nyree Dawn Porter – and Upstairs, Downstairs, dramatising the class divisions between the servants and their masters in an Edwardian household. On the night an episode of the programme was broadcast, the Diracs would accept dinner invitations with friends only if their hosts agreed in advance to watch it with them in silence. One dispute about the evening television schedule threatened to get out of hand, when there was a clash between Cher’s Sunday-night television show – a highlight of Dirac’s week – and the live broadcast of the Oscar ceremony, which Manci was desperate to see.
Great Britain by David Else, Fionn Davenport
active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Beeching cuts, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Attenborough, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mega-rich, negative equity, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, period drama, place-making, Skype, Sloane Ranger, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent
Here too is one of her sparkly evening gowns and famous handbags, as well as displays on Sir Isaac Newton. You can easily spot the part 13th-, part 16th-century parish church of St Wulfram’s ( 9am-4pm Mon-Sat Apr-Sep, to 12.30pm Mon-Fri & 10am-1pm Sat Oct-Mar) thanks to its pin-sharp 85m spire. It has an interesting crypt chapel, and hidden up a steep stairwell is a rare 16th-century chained library where a young Newton once pored over his studies. A dream location for English period dramas (several have been filmed here), serene Restoration country mansion, Belton House (NT; 01476-566116; A607; adult/child under 16yr £9.50/5.50, grounds only £7.50/4.50; 12.30-5pm Wed-Sun Apr-Oct), stands in a 400-hectare park, 3 miles northeast of Grantham. Built in 1688 for Sir John Brownlow, it shelters some astonishingly ornate woodcarvings attributed to the master Dutch carver Grinling Gibbons.
Return to beginning of chapter STAMFORD pop 19,525 This handsome town has a sunny disposition all year round thanks to the warm honey-coloured Lincolnshire limestone of its buildings. Nestling against the River Welland and a lush waterside park, handsome Stamford’s tangle of streets is bursting with fine medieval and Georgian constructions. And if you feel as though you’re walking through a period drama, there’s a reason: Stamford has been used as a set for more drama productions than you can shake a clapperboard at. The tourist office ( 01780-755611; firstname.lastname@example.org; 27 St Mary’s St; 9.30am-5pm Mon-Sat & 10am-3.30pm Sun Apr-Oct) is in the Stamford Arts Centre, and helps with accommodation. They can also arrange guided town walks and chauffeured punt trips. The Stamford Museum ( 01780-766317; Broad St; admission free; 10am-4pm Mon-Sat) has a muddle of displays on the town’s history including models of circus-performing midget Charles Stratton (aka Tom Thumb) and local heavyweight Daniel Lambert.
A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner
Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce
It’s summer holidays on the beach, huddled beneath the blanket, sheltering from the wind. Some memories are so vivid.’ It was easy to mock, but there was undoubtedly a part of the British psyche that yearned for the old certainties. Major’s creation of a cabinet post for national heritage (which didn’t outlast him, being reconstituted as the department for culture, media and sport) reflected not only the public taste for those period dramas of which Virginia Bottomley approved, but also the standing of the National Trust. Founded in 1895, the organisation had celebrated its fiftieth birthday at the end of the Second World War with 8,000 members; by the end of the century it numbered two million, far in excess of all the political parties put together. Major’s desire to wallow in the past was not unique to him. It was his reference to Orwell, however, that provided a field day for the prime minister’s critics.
Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet
active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, colonial rule, Google Earth, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, large denomination, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, period drama, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, white picket fence, women in the workforce
Finding the right guide – and, through them, the right longhouse – can mean the difference between spending a sleepless night with other sweaty, bored tourists, and having a spirited evening (double entendre intended) swapping smiles, stories and shots of rice wine with the locals. What to Expect When you arrive at a longhouse, don’t be surprised to find that it wouldn’t make a very good film set for a period drama about headhunters. The Dayaks have moved – for the most part willingly – into the 21st century and so have their dwellings. Remember, though, that a longhouse, more than being a building, is a way of life embodying a communal lifestyle and a very real sense of mutual reliance and responsibility. It is this spirit rather than the physical building that makes a visit special. Every longhouse is led by a headman.