Every year Legoland gets dirty and it has to shut down for some toothbrush scrubbing. Getting all that grime off those blocks isn’t easy, but neither is dusting the top of the House of Parliament. And while it’s quiet we might as well trim the hedges.
Read this for news on the world economy, or just enjoy the interesting words the Brits use to describe their unemployment: Jobseekers Allowance (unemployment benefits), shadow work (?)…
UK unemployment total falls to 2.58m
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1% in the period, down from 8.3% in the previous quarter.
The ONS figures showed that the number of people in employment rose by 181,000 to 29.35 million.
However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 6,100 to 1.6 million in June.
The number of long-term unemployed also increased, with those out of work for more than two years rising by 18,000 to a total of 441,000, the highest since 1997.
The shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “You’ve seen another big rise in the number of long-term unemployed… nearly half the people on the dole have been out of work for more than six months.”
Average total earnings were 1.5% higher in the year to May, the ONS said. When bonuses are excluded, regular pay rose 1.8% from a year earlier.
On average, UK workers earned £442 per week excluding bonuses.
Back in 2010 we added biking directions for users of Google Maps in the US and Canada. Helping cyclists navigate the bike trails throughout those countries proved hugely popular, so we’re wheelie excited to announce that starting today, we’ve also added extensive biking data to Google Maps for Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In many of these countries we are also enabling biking directions in beta mode.
We know how popular cycling is in many parts of the world, so we wanted to include as much bike trail data as possible to provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trips, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and busy roads and to customize the look of the cycling map to encourage people to hop on their bikes. So that’s exactly what we’ve done.
If you’re keen to start riding into work, or maybe just do your bit for the environment by swapping your car for a bike a couple of days a week, biking directions can help you find a convenient route that makes use of dedicated bike lanes and avoids hills whenever possible.
On the week of his 100th birthday, we celebrate the mathematician’s life.
June 23 marks the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. If I had to name five people whose personal efforts led to the defeat of Nazi Germany, the English mathematician would surely be on my list. Turing’s genius played a key role in helping the Allies win the Battle of the Atlantic—a naval blockade against the Third Reich that depended for success on the cracking and re-cracking of Germany’s Enigma cipher. That single espionage victory gave the United States control of the Atlantic shipping lanes, eventually setting the stage for the 1944 invasion of Normandy.
But even before this history-changing achievement, Turing laid the groundwork for the world we live in today by positing a “universal computing machine” in 1936. “It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” he contended. His proposed device could read, write, remember, and erase symbols.
Had you polled theater pundits in recent years about which they thought would be in better shape today, the Broadway musical or the Broadway play, it’s hard to imagine any of them choosing the drama.
Yet one of the unexpected developments of the past season is the robust showing of what used to be called “the straight play” — a designation that sounds vaguely apologetic for not featuring high-kicking chorus girls and 11 o’clock numbers.
Apparently, those mythological hordes of tourists with their insatiable appetite for franchise spectacles aren’t having the final say. Playwrights and the producers who love them have been putting up a sneaky defense against the theme-park takeover of Broadway.
…but just when you were ready to concede Times Square as part of the United Kingdom, lo and behold, the four nominees for best play are all written by Yanks: Bruce Norris (“Clybourne Park”), Jon Robin Baitz (“Other Desert Cities”), David Ives (“Venus in Fur”) and Rick Elice (“Peter and the Starcatcher”).