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kottke.org posts about UK

Matthew Dent

posted by Jason Kottke   May 01, 2008

Interview with Matthew Dent, the chap who designed the fantastic new UK coinage.

There were plenty of technical issues I had to come to terms with in conjunction with the distribution of metal across the coin and the high-speed striking process. At one point I considered suggesting that half the 20 pence’s border — where it met the shield — be removed. It would have still been a rounded heptagon, only its border wouldn’t completely surround the coin. There were potential issues with this; I learnt that the distribution of metal wouldn’t be balanced, thereby possibly affecting the striking of the coins and the acceptance of them by cash machines. Oh well… this competition was a learning curve. And as someone who was unfamiliar with the technical aspects of coin manufacture - you have to ask don’t you?

(via quipsologies)

The new design for UK coinage is

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 02, 2008

The new design for UK coinage is fantastic.

As you can see in the image to the right, the Shield of the Royal Arms has been given a contemporary treatment and its whole has been cleverly split among all six denominations from the 1p to the 50p, with the £1 coin displaying the heraldic element in its entirety. This is the first time that a single design has been used across a range of United Kingdom coins.

This is my favorite bit of design so far this year. (via we made this)

Update: Jonathan Hoefler compares the new UK coins, designed by a first-time currency designer, to the new US five dollar bill.

Below, the new five dollar bill, introduced last month by the United States Department of the Treasury. The new design, which features a big purple Helvetica five, is the work of a 147-year-old government agency called the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It employs 2,500 people, and has an annual budget of $525,000,000.

It looks like Purple Modernistan is invading the US from the southeast.

It’s worth sitting through the first several

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 18, 2007

It’s worth sitting through the first several minutes of this documentary on the speech patterns of Edwardian-era Britons to hear Joan Washington, the host and an accent expert, speak with several different British accents.

The line of succession to the British

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 28, 2007

The line of succession to the British Throne, which has on it 1286 members. AKA, the thing you should show someone should they ask you the definition of “thorough”.

Top 50 designers in the UK.

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 16, 2007

Top 50 designers in the UK.

Nice interactive timeline of British history.

posted by Jason Kottke   May 21, 2007

Nice interactive timeline of British history.

Photos from a meal at L’Enclume in

posted by Jason Kottke   May 11, 2007

Photos from a meal at L’Enclume in the UK, where chef Simon Rogan is practicing molecular gastronomy at a high level. “I don’t think there’s a more exciting meal than this anywhere in the whole world, even [at El Bulli]. This was 24 flawless brilliant courses by a chef who is not just ‘at the top of his game’, but somewhere out in front of his rivals.” More photos and information at L’Enclume’s web site.

The Fat Duck, one of molecular gastronomy’s

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 24, 2007

The Fat Duck, one of molecular gastronomy’s main outposts, recently offered a course complete with its own soundtrack served up on iPods shuffle. “Heston Blumenthal, the chef, said he wanted to experiment with using sound to enhance a dining experience. Hence the iPod, playing the soothing sound of the sea breeze and waves gently caressing the seashore.”

The British government is installing talking CCTV

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 04, 2007

The British government is installing talking CCTV cameras in public places…the control center staff will be able to yell at people they see on the camera to stop littering and the like. “Smith! 6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade.”

Former bitter rivals in Northern Ireland, the

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 14, 2007

Former bitter rivals in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionists and former IRA leaders, are set to form a government coalition to work together on increasing the region’s economic growth. “After decades spent fighting each other to the death, these two movements will now share power, spending the next year or two arguing about school admissions and local water rates. Their long war is over.” (thx, elaine)

When the UK gambling industry is deregulated

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 19, 2006

When the UK gambling industry is deregulated next year, it will be legal for gamblers to use a tiny device to cheat at roulette. The device works by listening to the wheel and how the ball bounces to predict roughly where the ball will land, reducing the odds from 1 in 38 to something a bit more manageable. (via spurgeonblog)

Dateline: Saigon

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 21, 2005

We’ve arrived safely in Vietnam. Saigon is by far the most European stop on our trip, which makes sense because Thailand was never colonized by a European power[1] and Hong Kong was British and therefore not European[2]. There are cafes, French restaurants, European architecture, public spaces like squares and parks, etc. It feels like Europe here.

And there are a lot of dongs here. The Vietnamese currency is the dong[3]. Our hotel is just off of Dong Khoi. I’ve seen several restaurants and shops with “Dong” in the name. Beavis and Butthead would love it here; I myself have been making culturally insensitive jokes pertaining to the currency and my pants pocket all afternoon.

[1] The only SE Asian country never to have been so colonized.

[2] Hello, angry Brits! Of course you’re European, but you know what I mean. For starters, you’ve got your own breakfast, as opposed to the continental.

[3] The 50,000 & 100,000 dong notes are plastic and see-through in a couple spots. US currency is so not cool.

The memoirs of Winston Churchill’s bodyguard have

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 31, 2005

The memoirs of Winston Churchill’s bodyguard have been recently discovered. “Why, Thompson, did they allow the president [FDR], almost dying on his feet, to be there? All Europe will suffer from the decisions made at Yalta.”

Everything and Nothing rounds up a list

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 06, 2005

Everything and Nothing rounds up a list of searchable versions of the work of that most famous of English wordsmiths, William Shakespeare. The public domain rocks.

The origins and common usage of British

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 06, 2005

The origins and common usage of British swear words. “Both Oxford and London boasted districts called ‘Gropecunte Lane’, in reference to the prostitutes that worked there. The Oxford lane was later renamed the slightly less-contentious Magpie Lane, while London’s version retained a sense of euphemism when it was changed to ‘Threadneedle Street’. Records do not show whether it was a decision of intentional irony that eventually placed the Bank of England there.”

Art experts choose 10 of the worst paintings hanging in Britain.

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 26, 2005

Art experts choose 10 of the worst paintings hanging in Britain.

A series of explosions in London this

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 07, 2005

A series of explosions in London this morning during rush hour; at least 2 dead and 160 wounded. The explosions were coordinated and officials have shut down the tube and central bus service.

London wins right to host 2012 Olympic Games

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 06, 2005

London wins right to host 2012 Olympic Games.

Google Maps launches in the UK with

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 19, 2005

Google Maps launches in the UK with London Tube stations right on the map. Google, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please do the same for the NYC subway. Please?