It's not just that the National Geographic documentary series Scam City is a pointless programme, it's that it's also a uniquely irritating one. Whereas most consumer watchdogs investigate scams at the instigation of aggrieved parties, in Scam City presenter Conor Woodman, travels the world looking for trouble and – what's more pitiful – often fails to find it.
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Friday 12 December 2008
In the depths of the last great depression Washington came to the assistance of struggling authors, funding the Federal Writers Project. Its greatest legacy was the 500-page-a-volume, 50 volumes, state by state, WPA guide to America. Almost 80 years later and here we are again. A new democratic President faces a global economic meltdown and intractable security problems. This time around we have a smaller, leaner literary response to this American moment; just one volume, a private sector publisher and 50 writers on the 50 states. But it is a bold and ambitious response by editors Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey.
Monday 01 December 2008
The leader of the Hackberry Ramblers for more than six decades, Luderin Darbone was a fine fiddle player and, more importantly, one of the great innovators in Cajun music.
Thursday 11 September 2008
Hurricane Ike gathered strength as it churned through the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters today on a track that would skirt the heart of the US offshore oil patch before hitting the Texas coast late tomorrow or early on Saturday.
Wednesday 03 September 2008
Workers mopped up New Orleans after Hurricane Gustav and officials told residents they could come home on Thursday to a darkened city still struggling to restore power and basic services.
Monday 01 September 2008
Sunday 31 August 2008
Residents were ordered to flee an only partially rebuilt New Orleans today as another monster storm bore down on Louisiana nearly three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina wiped out entire swathes of the city.
Sunday 31 August 2008
Friday 08 August 2008
Retailing for well under a tenner, this has to be the bargain of the year: a three-CD set doing exactly what it says on the sleeve, tracking the development of America's most fertile music city, from the hot jazz of Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, through the classic rock and R&B of the Fifties and Sixties, to the swamp-funk that has defined New Orleans' subsequent output.
Friday 18 July 2008
Swamp-rock auteur Tony Joe White is best known for "Polk Salad Annie", so it's surprising it's not on this set of revisitations.
Friday 27 June 2008
When Hurricane Katrina struck Burke's New Orleans patch, it was fated that the social disaster in its wake would breed a Dave Robicheaux mystery.
Saturday 17 May 2008
Friday 08 February 2008
It was the power of his smile. It shone a beam all the way to the back of the arena at Tulane University in New Orleans yesterday that none of us inside – all 4,000 seats filled – could miss. Outside, the overflow crowd of many more hundreds surely felt it too, even if they couldn't see it with their own eyes.
Friday 01 February 2008
Despite having been in existence since the days when music revolved at 78rpm, The Blind Boys of Alabama have never before recorded in New Orleans – and sadly, listening to this latest album, it's no surprise.
Sri Lanka 231 & 332 England 229 & 190: Muralitharan wizardry makes mockery of Ashes ambitions
Tuesday 06 June 2006
The scenes at Trent Bridge yesterday were far removed from those nine months ago, when Ashley Giles clipped Shane Warne through mid-wicket for two to secure a remarkable three-wicket victory over Australia. At the end of that unforgettable series, and after regaining the Ashes, England held ambitions of becoming the best side in the world.
Wednesday 05 October 2005
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales