Saturday, August 12, 2006


In addition to our core business which is English language and literature, members of the English section engage in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, sometimes with excellent results. Here's a textbook example: little Agathe, accompanied by her proud parents. Doesn't she look delightfully pink, not unlike this blog! Congratulations from us all, and the best of luck!

It must be love (love, love)

A true British classic by Madness, who took the crowd at the "Lokerse Feesten" 2006 by storm -- incredible really, for a band that had its hits (including Our House, One Step Beyond, House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, and many more) in the first half of the eighties. If you like this clip, be sure to try Youtube for more!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Everything sounds like Coldplay now

Doesn't it just! Watch the video brought to you by Mitch Benn and the Distractions.

P.S. All you screaming James Blunt fans: be sure to check out Mitch Benn's I May Just Have To (Murder James Blunt) from his myspace site ("...he's the only man alive who is his own rhyming slang").

Change the world from 9 to 5

If you want to change the world, start with yourself. At this saying is taken seriously: the site encourages people to change the world with simple but significant actions, and allows them to register online what they've contributed to bettering the world we live in. Here's just a few examples of the type of feasible actions suggested by We Are What We Do:
  • Read a story with a child
  • Take public transport when you can
  • Plant a tree
  • Have a bath with someone you love (or: how saving water can be fun -- see the accompanying wallpaper to brighten up your computer's desktop)
  • Learn one good joke
  • Have more meals together (see the accompanying BBC video here)
It may look a bit boring if you see it in a list like this, but check out the website -- it's all very cleverly and funnily done.

For a similar kind of organization operating in the Netherlands (and hence in Dutch), point your browser to (Stichting Ideële Reclame).

Sometimes even Stephen Hawking doesn't know

Stephen Hawking, probably the world's best known physicist and mathematician, recently turned to the internet to solve a particularly difficult conundrum. He wanted to find out what people thought could make the human race survive another 100 years "in a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally". After reading through about 25,000 responses on an internet forum (including "maybe we shouldn't survive: we suck" alongside "it will work out: lighten up!"), the professor formulated his own response, admitting first that he didn't know either, but adding essentially that we should put our hopes either on going into outer space, or (failing that) on genetic engineering to weed out our destructive impulses. The full text of his response is available from Guardian Unlimited.

The zeroes? The nillies? The aughts? The noughties!

Perhaps you like the melodious jazz of the roaring twenties, maybe you listen to golden oldies from the equally golden sixties (well, okay, not very likely), or possibly you get your kicks from the best of the eighties (which, according to some, includes Duran Duran)... But should you prefer the likes of Beyoncé and 50 Cent, then, apart from pitying you, I wonder how you might refer to the decade we're currently living in. According to Wikipedia, who also refer to a BBC News article, the wordhunt has been settled in favour of The Noughties (or The Noughts), at least in the UK and Australia. And indeed, on the very last Top of the Pops about a week ago on BBC television, after the hits from sixties, the seventies, the eighties and the nineties came those from the noughties. Not so for the US, however, where the word 'nought' is apparently never used to refer to zero...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fry and Laurie about language...

One in a series of brilliant parodies of TV interviews featured on A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Incidentally, you can find many more excerpts from this and other Britcoms via


Recently the DVDs of the first two series of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (tagline: 'with bits of Stephen Fry... and bits of Hugh Laurie') came out. Coming soon to a "Version originale" screen near you ;) Here's one appetizer already... Enjoy :)