Recent quotes:

Queuing to riot

“One of my favourite pictures was taken at one of the riots in London where there were looters going into a store. About 13 looters were queued up outside and they let one looter go in at a time, take whatever he or she wanted – and as soon as that looter comes out, the next looter goes in,” says Richard Larson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and a world expert on queues. (Thanks to his research focus, his academic peers have nicknamed him ‘Dr Queue’). “I can’t even imagine any place else other than London that looters would be so civilised to queue up.” Even the amid the chaos of the London riots of 2011, looters adhered to the principle of ‘first come, first serve’

Marina Abramovic's odd jobs

“We milked the goats in Sardinia to get sausages and bread. … We made [sweaters] and sell them on the market,” says Abramovic. For one month, Abramovic even worked as a mail carrier in London—which didn’t end well. “First it took me so long time to deliver all the letters,” she says. “And I decide that every letter who was written with typewriter machine must be bad news or a bill, and I throw them away. And I only deliver letters written by hand and become much faster. Only beautiful letters. After four weeks working, they could not prove anything, but they asked me to give back uniform, which I did.”

Chaucer's day job

Chaucer’s London job was always a precarious one. The king’s own advisers and allies in the City of London colluded to put him there, as their fall guy in a major profiteering scheme. His job as controller of customs was to certify honesty of the powerful and influential customs collectors – including the wealthy and imperious Nicholas Brembre, long-term mayor of London – and to ensure the proper collection of duties on all outgoing wool shipments. This sounds routine enough, until we realise how much was at stake: in the 14th century, wool duties contributed one-third of the total revenues of the realm. What’s more, the collectors of customs whose activities Chaucer was expected to regulate were themselves wool shippers and wool profiteers on a grand scale, taking advantage of their positions to accumulate immense fortunes at public expense. Their wealth enabled them to become donors and lenders to the king, and to multiply their privileges and profits. As lone watchdog of customs revenues, Chaucer was hardly likely to bring them to heel. His job was, essentially, to look the other way.

Duchess Kate Outs Herself As A Member Of The Beyhive At The Nets Game Last Night

The mistake that led to purple dye

In ancient times, purple chairs were virtually priceless. […]But that all changed in 1856, with a discovery by an 18-year-old English chemist named William Henry Perkin. Tinkering in his home laboratory, Perkin was trying to synthesize an artificial form of quinine, an antimalarial agent. Although he botched his experiments, he happened to notice that one substance maintained a bright and unexpected purple color that didn’t run or fade. […]He patented his invention — the first synthetic dye — created a company and sold shares to raise capital for a factory. Eventually his dye, and generations of dye that followed, so thoroughly democratized the color purple that it became the emblematic color of cheesy English rock bands, Prince albums and office chairs for those willing to dare a hue slightly more bold than black.
As with any conversation in Britain, the longer it goes on, the probability that Margaret Thatcher will be mentioned increases inexorably towards 1. You should get there first. This line has the advantage that it can mean anything.
The birds were permitted for those serving life sentences with tariffs which mean they are unlikely ever to be released.But currently no prisoners serving the 'whole-life tariff' have a bird, according to the MoJ.It is understood the pets are allowed to be kept under the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme, which is designed to encourage responsible behaviour.