The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in north-western Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland. Otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The total area of the United Kingdom is 93,628 square miles (242,500km2).
Creatures of Impulse is a short story by EnglishdramatistW. S. Gilbert, which he later adapted for the stage with music by composer-conductor Alberto Randegger. Both the short story and the play concern an unwanted and ill-tempered old fairy who enchants people to behave in a manner opposite to their natures, with farcical results. The short story was written for The Graphic's Christmas number of 1870, and the play was first produced at the Court Theatre on 2 April 1871. It originally included six songs, but three were eventually cut, and some productions dispensed with the music entirely. While the lyrics survive, the music was never published and is lost. Reviews of the play were mostly positive, though it was criticised for the lack of a significant plot or superstructure to support its comic premise. Nonetheless, reviewers found it enjoyable, and it was a modest success, running for 91performances and enjoying revivals into the early part of the 20thcentury. Gilbert had already written a considerable body of stories, plays, poems, criticism and other works before writing Creatures of Impulse and would go on to write the libretti to the famous Savoy operas (composed by Arthur Sullivan) between 1871 and 1896. (Fullarticle...)
Image 20King Alfred the Great statue in Winchester, Hampshire. The 9th-century English king encouraged education in his kingdom, and proposed that primary education be taught in English, with those wishing to advance to holy orders to continue their studies in Latin. (from Culture of the United Kingdom)
The name derives from its original location on a street off Whitehall called Great Scotland Yard. The exact origins of this name are unknown, though a popular explanation is that it was the former site of the residence of the Scottish kings or their ambassadors when staying in England.
World War I was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70million military personnel participated, making it one of the largest wars in history. An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the war with losses exacerbated by technological developments and the tactical stalemate caused by trench warfare(pictured). The war is also considered a contributory factor in a number of genocides and the 1918 influenza epidemic, which caused between 50 and 100 million deaths worldwide. Unresolved rivalries at the end of the conflict contributed to the outbreak of World War II about twenty years later.
The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath, Somerset. It is a well-preserved site dating from Roman Britain once used for public bathing. The Roman baths themselves are below the modern street level. There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and the museum which holds finds from the Roman town. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century. The Baths are a major tourist attraction and, together with the Grand Pump Room, received more than 1.3million visitors in 2018. Visitors can tour the baths and museum but cannot enter the water.
This picture shows the Great Bath of the Roman Baths complex, with Bath Abbey visible in the background. The entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is of later construction.
A diagram of movement within a roundabout in a country where traffic drives on the left.
A roundabout is a type of road junction, or traffic calming device, at which traffic streams circularly around a central island after first yielding to the circulating traffic. Unlike with traffic circles, vehicles on a roundabout have priority over the entering vehicle, parking is not allowed and pedestrians are usually prohibited from the central island.
The Song of Los is an epic poem by William Blake first published in 1795 and considered part of his prophetic books. The poem consists of two sections, "Africa" and "Asia": in the first section Blake catalogues the decline of morality in Europe, which he blames on both the African slave trade and enlightenment philosophers, whereas in the second section he describes a worldwide revolution, urged by the eponymous Los.
The illustration here is from the book's frontispiece and shows Urizen presiding over the decline of morality.
The United Kingdom eases its quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and European Union countries other than France where most of them are in the "amber list" category in order to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad. Travellers will still need to take either a lateral flow or PCR test before their departure, and a PCR test on the second day after their arrival. (BBC)