Genius moments: November 2008

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Some mothers do hate 'em

Not strictly a moment from this year – the outburst in question took place in the early-1990s – but nonetheless one too piquant to pass over. On the publication last month of his book It's a PC World, the Today programme presenter Ed Stourton recalled a conversation with the Queen Mother about the European Union: "'It will never work, you know... It will never work with all those Huns, wops and dagos...' The words were delivered with the eyes on maximum tiara-strength twinkle, but I am afraid I froze. The nation's favourite grandmother was, I thought, in fact a ghastly old bigot."

To Mandy, with love

You can't accuse The Spectator of lacking a sense of humour: it played host to a meeting between Tory front-bencher George Osborne and Peter Mandelson, the Government business secretary – the first meeting since a spat between the pair that was prompted by a summer holiday they shared in Corfu. Osborne had leaked details of Mandelson being not-too-positive about Gordon Brown to the press. In response, a friend of Mandelson's dropped Osborne in the soup by claiming the Tory had used the trip as a chance to court party donations from a Russian billionaire. Osborne was presenting Mandelson with the Political Newcomer of the Year prize at the magazine's annual awards. "You know how it is, the only other English guy at the resort – you swap stories about work, how it is back home and you think you are never going to see them again," Osborne quipped as he handed over the gong.

Till Second Life do us part

They met in an internet chatroom in 2003 and celebrated their marriage in 2005 by throwing a "wedding" in the online world Second Life – so it made some sort of sense that the marriage of Amy Taylor and David Pollard should fall apart in cyberspace. Earlier this year, Amy caught David "cuddling a woman on a sofa in [Second Life]... I demanded to look at his chat history."(She had previously found her husband dozing at his keyboard while his online avatar Dave Barmy was having sex with an online call girl.) Dave had no answer, and their divorce was finalised a few weeks later. Still, Amy no doubt took a crumb of comfort from the fact that the Second Life courts had managed to process their online divorce months earlier, in May.

Rick Astley: bigger than the Beatles

The geeky internet joke that is "rickrolling", whereby recordings of the 1987 number one hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley are played at public events or via internet links as a prank, reached a climax at the MTV Europe Music Awards. "Rickrollers" hijacked a popular vote at the awards to name Astley "Best Act Ever" ahead of acts including U2, Britney Spears and the Beatles. The retired singer, who is 42, was not at the ceremony to collect his award. "I'm really happy with the life I've got. I'll just leave it at that," he told The Independent on Sunday.

Get the picture?

Credit crunch-beating gesture to warm the cockles of your aching heart! The street artist Adam Neate and a team spent a Friday leaving 1,000 of his screenprints on the streets of London, to be taken by anyone who found them. Within hours several of the prints were on eBay. "It has always been a dream of mine to do a show around the whole of London," the 30-year-old said. "I want everybody to be able to see it, but once the pieces are out there I don't mind what happens to them."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits