Tuesday, June 23, 2009

During the recent days I've taken note of a few mentions of Britain in the news. Unfortunately, this morning's news wasn't very good. J.D. Power and Associates, known for rating customer satisfaction, recently released their 2009 Initial Quality Survey of car brands. Not surprisingly, the pricey Lexus was rated most favorably. What two brands were at the very bottom of the list? Mini and Land Rover. Although both companies are no longer British-owned, production of quite a few of the vehicles is still taking place in Britain. This would be bad news at any time, but in the current economic climate if customers are unhappy with the quality of the products, it really doesn't bode well at all for the future of those companies. Some serious work needs to be done in the British automotive industry (in the U.S. industry as well, but that seems to be under way!).

The delightful weekly podcast of the BBC's Friday Night News Quiz had two interesting tidbits of information last week. One was that the British government is considering getting rid of "sell by" dates on food in order to minimize waste. I think that is an idea that is long overdue. What ever happened to common sense? Apparently, people are just looking at the date on food packages and throwing away food without ever testing it to see if it is still good. With all the food safety issues we have in the U.S. with food that is supposedly OK (e coli tainted cookie dough, salmonella in peanut butter, cyanide in grapes, melamine in baby formula, hepatitis in green onions, etc.) we can't really afford to waste perfectly good food!

Another interesting fact that was mentioned in the podcast was that there are new questions in the case of Dr. Crippen, executed in 1910 for the supposed murder of his wife. Part of the evidence used against Dr. Crippen was some skin, apparently showing a scar his wife was known to have, which was found buried in his basement. According to this new information, DNA testing on the skin has shown that it came from a male. There have been suggestions that "Belle Elmore" (Mrs. Crippen's stage name) was alive in New York after her disappearance, and that the body parts presented at the trial were planted by the police. All very interesting! Dr. Crippen always was portrayed as such a timid, mild-mannered fellow, so it always was a bit difficult to believe that he could have murdered his wife. And why would he dispose of some body parts (like the head), but then bury others in the basement? It all makes for a very intriguing mystery! Perhaps, as in the case of Julia Wallace, the truth will come out one day.


About Me

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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