Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Buzz Words of 2016

Run as fast as you can to stay in the same place

6 Jan First instance of “There are Easter Eggs in the shops already!!!” spotted.

Lefty architects vilifying Jane Jacobs and Alice Coleman (co-opted by Tories) in wake of Cameron’s plans to demolish sink estates.

11 Jan RIP David Bowie By lunchtime the backlash tweets have arrived. “Famous person you didn’t know blah blah”. Columnists seize the opportunity to have a dig at Twitter, including the hoary old “tweeting about your breakfast to 1,000 people you don’t know” slur.

So far I've seen 4 journalists ticking off the rest off the public for being upset about death of a public figure. Is there a competition? (Pam Smith ن ‏@revpamsmith)

It’s “grief porn”, apparently.

Twitter's wild cycle of public emotion, backlash, counter-backlash, counter-counter-backlash, assorted Hot Takes etc is getting predictable. It's the constant second-guessing and outflanking that wearies me, specifically. It's all in such bad faith. But also Takes of the manner "What mattered is not obvious, much-celebrated A, but obscure B, which no one else has mentioned". (Will Wiles And you have to instantly take sides, and find a pejorative epithet for the “others”.)

The meaningless uplift ascribed to Gandhi fad has mainly passed.

Blokey competitive snowfall culture has started – not snow unless blizzard or 15ft drifts.

tribes: We’re talking about the Labour party.

Cue middle class whingeing about Blue Monday.

millionaire shortbread (It’s a thing and I’m eating some.) (Forgotten what it is now, Aug.)

FB/Twitter is populated by right-wingers, baby pictures, and morons, unlike Twitter/FB. Twitter has an update – Twitter users wail that it’s “turning into Facebook”. (And FB users complain FB IS turning into Twitter.)

ن (Arabic letter nun expresses support for Iraq's persecuted Christians.)

safou
– it’s a fruit. Or a vegetable. Or something.

Intelligent, educated people are coming up with silly reasons for not getting married, again. “At last somebody’s said it!” Historical, patriarchal associations, apparently. And costs too much. (£100 too much?)

They’re also claiming that life was “simpler” before smartphones and computers. (It wasn’t “simple” to type out the same letter 20 times. Or go to the library and look up something in an encyclopedia. And what did you do if you turned up to the rendezvous and the other person wasn't there?)

tastemaker
harsh on (verb)

thin gruel – heard twice week of 19 Jan. Odd when nobody has eaten gruel since Oliver Twist.
"The thin gruel has been further watered down, Mr Speaker." (James Delingpole)

bracing for a lot of grumpiness about the Queen’s birthday (and what will the middle classes do when she dies?)

Deadly blizzards in US, snow panic panic here.
Pffft! is going out – I hope.

drop for release or publish

Vegans are the new legitimate hate figures (remember the fuss over vegetarians in ooooh, 1975?)
And Times journalists are recycling old anti-lefty jokes by crossing out “lentil” and inserting “quinoa”.

When people say “faux outrage”, do they mean “misplaced outrage”?

waist trainer, base layer (corset)

RIP Terry Wogan – bracing for middle-class backlash against “outpouring of grief”
They’re just comparing the length of his and Bowie’s news coverage so far.

The winner goes on to face Princess Diana in the final... (On DM head: Wogan moved Britain in a way Bowie couldn’t) (Dave Jones ‏@WelshGasDoc)

The gluten-free diet is being sold as a slimming and fitness diet. It’s all about vanity and it has gone mainstream. Docs say: won’t give you superpowers.

Has the positive affirmations fad faded?

How quickly drones have become part of our lives. And smartphones.

When people say “granular” they mean something like “fine grain”, or “fine detail”. “The fairly grainy detail that David Cameron brings back from Brussels.” (Tim Farron, Andrew Marr Show)

desk envy (another girl got a bunch of red roses)

There’s an anti-Ai Wei Wei backlash.

Air miles are now Avios.

This year’s zeppelin is the Airlander 10, built at Cardington. Originally intended as a surveillance vehicle for the US military.

What to Say About Conservation: But you wouldn’t want to live in a museum!

Dear [writer]: Why did you choose that terrible headline? (Writers don't choose their headlines. Or write them.)

tribalism: supporting the policies of left or right, however loony

21st century chain letter: “Copy and paste this onto your page, PLEASE DO NOT 'share'. This is a little test, just to see who reads and those who share only without reading! If you have read everything, select 'like' and then copy and paste into your profile, so I can put a comment 'smile.' To copy just touch the post and when the word copy pops up, touch it and go to your status and tap till it says paste then touch paste.” (This is a like-farming or phishing scam – click on FB's grey down arrow, top right of the post, and follow the options.)

Feb 15 Lot of actor hatred. Are actors the new legitimate hate figures?

Spirit animals
are everywhere.

Words I'm already sick of hearing in the EU ref campaign: "Control". "Sclerotic". "Ever-closer". "Brake". "Red card". & most of all: "Mojo". (@StuartJRitchie)

‏It's getting to the point where I spend the first half hour of every working day unsubscribing myself from mailing lists trolls put me on. (@JonnElledge)

On FB: “We're having a little argument over here. Which number bread is toasted perfectly? FRIEND or FOLLOW ME! I am always posting awesome stuff on my timeline!" (Scam as before. Delete and select "See none from xxxx".)

Have cat pictures and coffee shops saturated the market yet?

Metal detecting has become cool.
Fuss over selfie sticks has died down.

Procrastinating is popular – but it seems to mean “Not doing that thing you said you’d do or that you set out to do at all ever”, not “doing it tomorrow”. Lack of sticktoitiveness.

Is “wedging” “driving a wedge between groups”?

Are we living through a narcissism epidemic? asks Zoe Williams (The Wrong People wanting attention again.)

Men worrying whether their snow was deep enough to count as “snow”.

Ruth Davidson (Scottish Conservative leader) coins the term Corbynitis: "A disease identified last summer among millionaire, latte-supping, croissant-scoffing socialists."

Guardian asks “Should exclamation marks be banned?” (Some idiot wants to ration them in schools.)

People are outraged that Soundcloud’s profile pictures are now circular.

clean eating, March 12 2016

Oh god, the 'why do atheists celebrate Easter?' tweets have begun. Because pagan goddesses, chocolate eggs and bunnies are so scriptural. (Helen Pluckrose ‏@HPluckrose, March 12 2016)

Bridgeblogger?? Off-ground? On-ground? And what’s this “cushion” in weboggle?

Bracing for silly reasons for not voting, and silly reasons for voting for Trump (Well, obviously I can’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman.)

Fizzy drinks are the only foods that contain sugar.

Somebody says that Trump is “trash talking”, and the blue-collar voters love it.  (Aggressive, cruel, attacking opponents. There used to be an option for “trash talk” on online Scrabble games – it became a chat option.)

Twitter is 10 years old,
despite its imminent death being predicted every year of its existence. And despite the people still saying “You see, I can’t DO Twitter”.

Bleeding-heart is back as a pejorative epithet.

Post the Brussels attacks, Josh Spero is more worried about people copying other people than about being blown up: "It is sad, alarming & problematic that we are developing a post-terror grammar: a significant cartoon, colouring the lights, common hashtags." (@joshspero)

Lots of businesses starting up that will deliver you a selection of stuff (matching clothes, ingredients with recipes) in a box once a month. Will they go the way of the office sandwich sellers who were forced to wear a humiliating “Edwardian” uniform?

Graffiti of a “muted posthorn”. Anybody?

“You can’t say Easter any more!”
Whatever happens, people carp about the way other people react. Like Harry Enfield character “You didn’t want to do it like that!”

blue tick (A disease of sheep?)

Exorcism is back. (It never quite goes away.)

Spelling “eh” as “ay”. (Also “yay or nay”.)

The sublime narcissism of getting offended on other people’s behalf. (@kenanmalik Caring about other people is narcissim, oh I see.)

cultural appropriation (You mean like menus in French? Pashminas? Italian opera? Baguettes?)

Pollyanna having a moment first week of April, used rather broadly where Candide or ostrich might be more appropriate. Pollyanna was “glad” about everything, however terrible. Candide naively saw the good in everything, and ostriches hide their heads in the sand to avoid seeing anything.

The useful "heinous" has gone out again.

Stewart Lee (Whoever he is. You have to love him or loathe him.)

We have bred a generation who [insert anything you like here, and then wring your hands].

[Absolutely anything] is a symptom of [how uniquely awful life is now]. (But I suppose the media wouldn’t pay me to write “exactly the same thing happened in 500BC, the 18th century etc.”)

There are already drone clubs. (Can Bertie Wooster join?)

I’ve got no skin in the game. (Isn’t that “no dog in this fight”? All over the place late April.)

Woot has vanished.
Why Recreating the Palmyra Arch in London Was Smug, Hypocritical and Tacky vice.com (All the newspapers called it “3D printing” when it was actually machined... and there’s always some reason why we can’t do the same for the Euston Arch.)

April 30 Oh no no THAT’s not anti-Semitism and THAT’s not anti-Semitism and... (SEE “That’s not sexism”, and “That’s not bullying”.)

Chapeau! for “I tip my hat to you” popular week of May 1.

Bien pensant for hipster, middle-class leftie etc (Because middle class people really ought to vote in their own interests.)

“London isn’t English any more.”
May 9 Some folks are still very aeryated over others photographing their food. Apparently that’s why people are buying more bowls and fewer plates. (Could they be eating the kind of food that’s easier to eat out of a bowl?)

SATs are frying our children’s brains, putting them under unbearable stress etc.

You cannot see my cat. (Pic not containing cat. Well, really.)

Hyperloop (this year's futuristic transport system that may or may not happen)

We eat too much soy, says... Gwyneth Paltrow? (Some use it as shorthand for “Society has become feminised and men are too soppy how are we going to fight wars?” Or is it “Everybody is too left-wing”?)

Ads for alternatives to email. (Can’t see how an alternative to email isn’t email. Can’t see how a heterosexual civil partnership – once civil partnerships gain the same rights as marriage – isn’t a register office marriage, either.)

“The Finns have the best education system and their kids don’t go to school until they’re 7.”
The earth is flat, therefore God and we didn’t evolve. (Some seem to think “evolution” is an evil, amoral philosophy, not a description of how biology works.)

First the cat café, now the cat wedding...
Shoulder bags are now “messenger bags”.

Tata Steel – Tatter or Tartar? Nobody has called it “taTA!” yet.

Outrage is still with us, mainly outrage at outrage.

flanby, crue week of June 1 Seine floods (Is Flanby François Hollande? Yes – it’s a brand of potted caramel custard.)

placemaking (Architects say it means “creating a public space where people can meet” – next to your big ugly private building.)

asexuality (What we used to call “frigidity”. Doesn’t it still mean “ignorance, inexperience and inept men”? Or “late developer”?)

instrumentalise (What we mustn’t do to the murder of Jo Cox. Seems to mean “view through lefty glasses”, or “mention that a right-wing extremist murdered a socialist female MP”.)

deorbit burn 18 June
pushback
South coast fascists now called the Pie and Mash Squad.

school debating society (June)


Post-vote: Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, can’t we all get along? Don’t be a sore loser! Stop weeping into your latte! Man up! (Why is that not an Americanism? They're still at it in December. If they want to change the laws on free speech I suggest forming a protest or lobby group, or standing for Parliament.)

Victorious Leavers are very, very upset at the hurtful things everybody is saying about them! And the BBC is biased, as usual. We should “heal divisions” and “take this opportunity” to “move forward”. (This means "the other side should shut up". June 2016-06-30)

And anybody who is upset about Brexit should practice mindfulness, see a therapist and just will themselves to be happy.


Nobody can mention Jeremy Corbyn without using the word “beleaguered”. (2016-07-01)

unicorn – not sure what people mean by this. That thing I thought I’d never find? (“Unicorns and rainbows” is shorthand for New Agery and possibly utopian socialism.)

yet re blair and iraq people are all "nah time flows forwards not back m8 how can you judge in hindsight" (Martin Waplington ‏@hmclandress You can often judge better in hindsight when you possess facts you didn’t at the time...)

Popup fan zones are a thing.

kitten heels (on Theresa May – but not all mid-height heels are kitten heels)

poutine (I gave up at garlic cheesecake. Thought poutine was how the French spell Putin. Poutine is cheesy chips with gravy, per an orthodox priest.)

interpretive dance

“If only there was a centrist party...”
(July 13 16 A bit like “If only heterosexuals could have civil partnerships.”)
 
Theresa May “sounding scarily socialist” as she mentions the poor. (It didn't last.)

Atrocity in Nice – thoughts, prayers, ribbon – immediate mean-minded, self-righteous sneering about how useless all this is.

false flag (Dear Snopes – are there any real false flag operations?)

Brexiteers still having conniption fits (“They’re /criticising/ us! Mummy!”)

“Deterrent” heard again.

If you come from somewhere hot, sneer at the Brits for going to work “dressed for the beach” in a heatwave. Look, it rains all the time here – we haven’t got any heatwave workwear. And Boris buses don't have windows that open.

headbangers (for “members of the other party, movement or tendency”)

SpAd (special adviser)

Some Americans having trouble understanding what “slaves” are,
July 2016. (Is there “slavery denial”? Oh no, there is.)

Notopia (“Industrial bleach” over any character, identical high streets with identical shops, identical business districts with identical blocks, identical residential areas with identical tin can flats.)

be your best self (This means "change yourself to fit into society".)

Week of Aug 1 lots of people using “mental health” to mean “mental illness” or “mental ill-health”. Neuroscientist has to say “sound mental health” when he means “mental health”.

Serious discussion of “internet addiction” on BBC Breakfast how many years after its invention? (Oh, ah, “the internet” is what comes through your phone.)

People finding pejorative synonyms for “love one another” (political correctness, kissing up, mollycoddling...)

“When I grew up, these things weren’t called racist.”


bringbackery
Google-fu (and others on this template)
useful idiot (A red flag, like “sheeple”.)

Be like Bill – do X! (Is it something they do in American schools? Hold up the good children as models?)

some grumbling that “medal” and “podium” are verbs

command and control (how most organisations are run, despite a lot of waffle about democracy and positivity)

instant opining about Charlotte Dujardin’s boyfriend proposing with a message on his teeshirt (whingeing male, pushing himself forward)

Are “unicorns” rare, talented people?

manbabies
plebiscite


Pfft! Back Sept 2016.

First “Christmas starts earlier every year” spotted: “Mince pies already on sale in the Co-op” September 16 (Plus moaning about how nasty they are anyway.)

scourge popular week of Sept 1. “The horror of sewer floods...”

September 13, a snide interview by Simon Hattenstone with Nick Clegg, full of comments about NC’s appearance at various stages (“You were fat and pasty, weren’t you?”), and prodding NC to say that his family sang the “I’m so sorry” song in a supermarket.

In the same week, an interview with Rowan Atkinson’s actress daughter that consisted entirely of “Yes, but Rowan Atkinson’s your dad, ineee? Ineee? Is he funny in real life?”

A few weeks later, a long meandering interview with Trinny Woodall who doesn’t have much to say apart from “I am now going out with Charles Saatchi”.


What to say about Twitter debates: It's all about ego and getting RT’d by your followers (If that was so, ideas wouldn’t be dangerous, but they are. Perhaps people are trying to say that ideas have no power. But they have. Or that those putting forward the ideas don’t really believe them. But they do.)

Whenever anybody says “Hey guys! It’s 2016! And [insert name of antiquated illiberal practice] is still going on!”, riposte wittily with “It's still the current year!”

Rod Liddle is laying into Emma Watson for being a UN ambassador because she’s a “luvvie” and actors are always pretending, right? So they can’t possibly be sincere ever.

Now lefties being accused of eating quinoa (“Don’t choke on your quinoa, Corbyn fans!” Jolyon Maugham QC)

lots of “weaponisation” last week of Sept

pumpkin spice latte
Several people complaining that comedians should tell jokes, not talk about politics – especially not when they criticise the right.

“Elite” used to mean “those other people, the ones I don’t like, who have too much power and influence, and whose opinions can be discounted, don’t say ‘democracy’ to me...” The elite also live in a “bubble” which is not the real world.

“That’s a keeper” seems to have gone.

Bremainers are now “arrogant” (ie “disagrees with me, won’t do what I want”)

Complaints about Nobel-winner Dylan’s voice being “gravelly”. It was never gravelly, more whiny after listening too many Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

When did the “challenge” thing start? With Challenge Anneka?

snowflake has gone from “You’re a unique snowflake!” to “Ah, you poor little snowflake, can’t stand a little robust humour, racism, sexism, exclusion, mistreatment, abuse, violence, rape, hate preachers on campus or you’ll melt!” (Projection,)

Gary Lineker a “luvvie”? The word now means “anyone who cares about refugees and doesn’t want to send all brown people somewhere else”, and has lost all connection with actors or Private Eye’s collection of their pretentious quotes.

precarity

16 thousand people have liked this Twitter “joke”: Hannah's printed Claire's boarding pass out on A1 am sobbing hahahaha state a that (It’s printed out on a big piece of paper. Oh, there’s something called an A1 boarding pass? Must be the American “upgraded to business class” culture.)

I’m not racist/anti-Semitic because [reasons]. In fact I don’t have a racist bone in my body!

Hashtag games are mostly over.

Avocado is still “hipster”. Does it have magic properties? And now we’re “obsessed with aubergines”, according to people who are too young to remember the 70s and tomato, mozzarella and aubergine “bake”, the Seven-Layer Pie of its day.

Mass whingeing about Halloween (those ghastly hyperactive narcissistic children!), bonfire night (in danger of dying out!), and poppies (Hypocritical! Army underfunded!). Halloween, Guy Fawkes and Christmas must be preserved exactly as they were when I was eight. Other people do traditions wrong!

And Halloween is only for the Irish? May be a US thing.

street food (I don’t think this means hot dogs or caramelised peanuts.)

People enjoying getting very cross about poppies for various reasons, and throwing brickbats at those of the opposite party. “The jingoism of the poppy police” – what form does this take, exactly? Do they have a uniform? Do they march about singing “We don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do” while pinning poppies on people? Now people are fretting about HOW to wear a poppy – large petal down, leaf at 11 oclock...

Latest Brexit meme: “Anything’s better than this uncertainty!”

Have holdouts stopped sneering about “twitface”? (Oh no they haven’t – still whingeing about Farcebook and Twatter.)

Trump myth Day One: “We must join together and solve the obvious problems.” (Like removing all people of colour, cancelling all anti-climate-change programmes...)

“Lefties live in an echo chamber” – projection. It’s righties who live in an echo chamber and can’t bear dissent. But they also want the chance to talk lefties out of their erroneous beliefs, and they can’t do that if the lefties keep blocking them for threatening to kick brown people out of the country and worse. It’s always the other side who live in an “echo chamber”. (They talk to people who agree with them. And they ALL disagree with me!)

“The rise of the far right is all the fault of social media!” “Yes, it’s that terrible Farcebook and Twatter!” (Actually reddit and worse.)

Synecdoche is popular week of Nov 7, to mean all kinds of things that aren’t synecdoche. (Fascism became a synecdoche, that is, a word that could be used for different totalitarian movements. Umberto Eco)

Also “false consciousness” (or “false conscience”), sometimes used to mean “disagrees with me”.

“I wish they’d stop using the word ‘misogyny’ – it’s so boring!” (Give us equality and we’ll stop using the word.)

Nov 14 It’s Armageddon, and opiners are complaining about use of the term “alt.right”. "Let’s stop calling them the alt.right and call them neo-Nazis!"

overthink, meaning “argue against Trump or Brexit”

The alt.right are accusing the left of “claiming moral superiority”. (Plus the usual virtue signalling and claiming the moral high ground.)

“I see people in restaurants, both on their phones, they’re talking to other people, they’re not talking to each other.” (How do you know they’re not checking a fact on Wikipedia, booking a theatre ticket, looking for reviews of the restaurant, checking rail ticket prices or even buying a book?)

Facebook full of the oddest people supporting Trump and attacking liberal elites and a “spoiled” generation. Basically, “everyone who disagrees with us should just shut up”. (And saying “But isn’t Breitbart parody?”)

Americans think that all social problems are caused by damaged relationships with fathers.

I'll take "Snowflake" or worse, but then "White Supremacist" must be the term. Not a coddling hip term like "alt-right". No more using it. (Guillermo del Toro ‏@RealGDT “Alt” has been around for about 20 years, so not exactly “hip”, and many “alt” groups were far from cuddly. It’s short for “alternative” and is from usenet newsgroup terminology.)

The people who claim we're going to hell in a handcart because Britons use a few Americanisms have gone quiet. (They may shortly be reminded what a police state really looks like.)

“Man-baby” has gone but they’re still here in force.

Jacobin being used for extreme lefty (see the French revo).

I refuse to accept that Black Friday is a real thing!
There’s no difference between Right and Left!

There are people talking foreign in the street!
Lefties “sip” pretentious drinks.

People are laughing at a GIF of someone falling over.

What's happened to GET IN THE SEA? (He turned it into a book.)

Happy Holidays!

More here, and links to the rest.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Received Ideas (in Quotes) 3



Whenever you work in an area that challenges people’s wrongheaded, cherished beliefs, it can be difficult. But sometimes it can also be a matter of life and death. (Elizabeth Loftus on false memory)

You can’t tell a word processed novel from one dictated from the couch or typed on a vintage Olivetti. (Brian Dillon, Guardian July 4 2016 Word processors were going to corrupt our prose circa 1985.)

I must follow the people, for I am their leader. (That, or something very like it, has been attributed to Disraeli, Bonar Law, Gandhi, and Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, but I can't find a convincing source – and Harold Wilson.) (AG)

Not the Truth with a capital T, an omniscience, but truth that is the same as reality. (Hanna Segal quoted Guardian September 5, 2008 What is truth? That is.)

When you talk about things like dowsing most people only hear what they want (or expect, I'm not sure which) to hear. (RJ)

Karl Marx sarcastically critiqued the bourgeoisie yet was addicted to the trappings of their lifestyle. (Andrew Billen Times 2016-06-17 Conservatives have decided that all socialists should be poor.)

Does Ulm cathedral sport a sparrow statue? Martin Lampprecht: Well, it's one of those "can you believe how stupid the inhabitants of XYZ-ville are" stories. No idea how it originated, but it is very well-known, at least in the Ulm region and Southwest Germany. According to the legend, when the good people of Ulm built the cathedral (begun in the Middle Ages, but completed, like almost all Gothic cathedrals in Germany, only in the late 19th century), they once had to get a huge wooden beam in. But the portal was too narrow. But suddenly they saw a sparrow carrying a straw through a little hole, because the bird carried it lengthwise, unlike the stupid masons. (So they put a statue of it on top of the cathedral. The statue is actually a dove carrying an olive branch, but it’s so small the Ulmers called it a “sparrow”, and so the legend grew up.)

In Germany, it's a clear indicator of the religious history of a place: if the big church in the village has a cross, the village is traditionally Catholic, if it's a cock, it's Lutheran. (Martin Lampprecht)

Flying the Union Jack upside down is a covert distress signal
, so that if for instance your vessel had been captured by pirates and was being sailed into port you could signal to other British ships that something was amiss. Theory being any naval man would know the Union Flag was upside down but a pirate wouldn't notice. At least that's what we were told in the Scouts. If a Scout flew the flag the wrong way up he was asked “Are you OK? Are you in distress?” until he got the message. (Don Constance)

It is said that the Caryatids on Highpoint Two were added to the design by Berthold Lubetkin although they are not necessary structurally, since the cantilevers are self-supporting; however, the planners were unconvinced that the whole edifice would not collapse. In a witty response, Lubetkin added two Caryatids but did not actually attach the canopy to them, i.e. when first installed there was a nearly invisible gap between the two. (londongardenstrust.org)

This reminds me of that thing about cake that Marie Antoinette famously never said: Housing minister says first-time buyers should rely on inheritance from their grandparents. (M. v. Aufschnaiter ‏@mva_1000)

One of the most common theatrical superstitions is that green should be avoided at all costs. The tradition began in the days when stages were lit by limelights, which burned lime, producing a greenish light that made anything green nearly invisible. (goodlucklysmbols.blogspot.co.uk)

Surprisingly few "I've never been polled", "it's only 2k people", "polls got 2015/#EUref wrong", "lizard propaganda" or I've muted them all. (@JohnRentoul)

Jovan Jovanovič: Chemopetrol (today Prague Social Security Administration), 1974–1979 Originally the design had been a Yugoslav project for a complex of hotels in Saudi Arabia which was never realized. After an agreement between the Yugoslav and Czechoslovakian governments parts of the original design were built in Prague as office buildings for Chemopetrol. The pronounced concrete protrusions are remnants of the original need for sun protection. Because of the placement of the building and the exterior locals have nicknamed it "Vampire House". Special thanks to Oskar Helcel. (sosbrutalism.org)

Sculptor Alfred George Stevens spent most of his life and energy creating the Wellington memorial in St Paul's Cathedral. The railings with lions (also by Stevens) around this were originally, 1852, part of the British Museum boundary but some 1895 pavement improvements caused them to be removed.  Some of Stevens' BM lions also ended up on the railings outside the Royal British Society of Sculptors, 108 Old Brompton Road.  Others, possibly smaller copies are outside the Law Society in Chancery Lane. (londonremembers.com)

Does a section of the wrought-iron fence from St Paul’s surround a tomb for John and Jemima Howard in Toronto? (It was retrieved after the boat carrying it sank in the St Lawrence.) Some are also at Hoathly Town Hall (where they were originally made).

“There are amphorae full of oil and wine... with pointy bottoms to fit between the ship’s boards... Grotesque sculpted heads... might have been made by an apprentice [and] used as ballast.” (Nancy Durrant Times June 2016-06-17 on Storms, War and Shipwrecks at the Ashmolean. Amphorae were stacked on their sides in racks.)

Sir, Jonathan Sacks and the four intellectuals he quotes follow a long tradition of seeing only decline and collapsing discipline; Aristotle grumbled that the youth showed no respect. (“Bin Laden saw that the West was in decline”, Opinion, Sept 8).

Thank goodness for the Normans, who apparently dragged poor benighted Anglo-Saxon England out of the Dark Ages one day in 1066. (Eleanor Parker ‏@ClerkofOxford)

There's a tale about a young man from the south who was put in charge of a Glasgow department store. He noticed, with surprise, that there were no ladies' umbrellas on sale, and his staff didn't like to tell him that, at that time in Glasgow, the umbrella was regarded as the tart's advertisement, which was why the store didn't sell them. So he ordered several hundred of them -- and they sold out within a few days. (WS)

A belief widely held in Tory circles: the social sciences... lacked rigour as a discipline, producing results “everybody knew”. (London Review of Books, May 2016)

The commonly held notion, as Szalavitz describes it, “that people with addictions must ‘hit bottom’ before they can recover — and that harsh and humiliating treatment facilitates this process, while ‘enabling’ or being loving and kind is counterproductive.” (Unbroken Brain, Maiya Szalavitz)

It's little-known that France also gave the US statues of fraternity and equality but they were considered un-American and were hidden away. (Karl Sharro ‏@KarlreMarks)

More here, and links to the rest.