April 19, 2010

I have to say, apart from all the insanity that the Icelandic volcano is causing for people wanting to get to and around Europe, I’m pretty excited that there’s a volcano in the news. I like volcanoes. They’re exciting and unpredictable and change landscapes and are slightly less common than earthquakes. I also just really enjoyed making model volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar for science class as a kid.

This is all to say, watch this video all the way through. It’s mezmerizing and fascinating, and there’s some really cool stuff at the end.



Europe: Cradle of Camp (Another guestpost from our British Correspondent)

March 23, 2010

My name is Alfie. I’m 23 years old. And I’m a Euroholic.

I am, more precisely, a politics-obsessed Europhile: two causes which have rarely been less popular in my homeland, but which go together hand-in-hand.

Combined, they mean that this May I will be reduced to a quivering heap of nerves. On the 6th May Britain goes to the polls for a general election – a contest which is very likely to go badly for my team, and leave me wanting to drink a ballot box of gin. On 29th May Europe goes to the phones to select its best-worst song of the year in the annual lycra-wrapped camp-fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest – a contest which is still more certain to go badly for my team, but will nonetheless leave me wanting to climb onto the roof and sing ‘Dancing Queen’ while downing bad sangria.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stereotypes are Adorable

March 16, 2010

My friend Benny, who I may have mentioned here before, is a bit of a genius.  He’s created for himself the life we all wish we had (he just got back from 3 months in Thailand, and will soon be moving to Berlin), he speaks I think six languages at this point, and he’s learning more.  What’s more – he’s incredibly happy to tell you how he did it, and teach you to do the same on his website.

He was awesome when he was 19, and he remains awesomer today.  I saw him about five years ago in Paris, and always sort of wanted to catch up with him again.

And then, a couple days ago, he put up the following video.

So now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to fly across the ocean, find him, and give him a huge hug.

– Willa

Victoriana (or, a Guest Post from Old Blighty)

February 24, 2010

For this, an inaugural guest-post from the Old World, I wear my British hat. (A bowler, in case you wondered. You know – one of those round ones that bankers wear. Wore.)

O! Britannia. This Blessed Plot, this Earth, this Realm, this Land of Hope and Glory. How it does draw out the clichés. Three more: tea, gin, and digestive biscuits. Yes! These potent elements wield a fierce force over my melancholic island soul. Try them together, in the rain, and you may come to understand. There are few surer ways to straighten the spine of any honest Briton.

Indeed the only other way that comes to mind – thanks to the inspiring and excellent British Pathé Film Archive – is a medicinal-strength dose of Victoriana. The Raj! William Gladstone! Tiny doilies and other lace fripperies! Hurrah!

Suck on this retroporn.

Gosh, didn’t people walk quickly in the Nineteenth Century?

Now, there’s some hot beachware footage in Pathé’s ‘Let Us Now Take a Trip to the Seaside’ that I highly recommend…


“Best and wurst” of Berlin

December 15, 2009

Oooh!  Kitschy museums and Germany!  Two things I can get behind.  This article is also making me really crave a currywurst right now…