Hermione and Harry?


Has smart and sexy Emma Watson waved Hemione’s wand and conjured up a ginger prince? Or is it all a bit of rubbish? |Image: Glyn Lowe/Wikimedia Commons

The big old rumor mill is all atwitter — as is Twitter — with the salacious gossip that Hollywood royal Emma Watson may possibly be dating English royal Henry Charles Albert David.

He’s of House of Windsor fame, you know, of course — the cheeky 30 year-old chappy who’s the son of the Prince of Wales and the late Princess Diana and fourth — soon the be fifth — in line for the English throne.

There’s no confirmation yet and, frankly, I would rather like this to be false because the “news media” is so ridiculous these days.

Still, we all know Hollywood and we all know that real life comes directly from the movies, so what’s the one thing that we can determine? That’s right: Hermione loves herself a ginger.

The Rumor That Emma Watson And Prince Harry Are Dating Has Shaken Muggles Everywhere.

Care to Have Independence? Anyone? Scotland? No, Okay

This is a pretty good analysis about how and why the pollsters got it wrong, courtesy of our favorite bunch of quants over at FiveThirtyEight:
Why Pollsters Think They Underestimated ‘No’ In Scotland | FiveThirtyEight.

The final numbers are fascinating and I am particularly enamored of the “Shy Tory” argument, which basically says they want to side one way but don’t want to be seen siding that way because of all of the passion on the other side. It’s a very good argument. Anyone who has ever been around elections understands it. Nate Silver expands the thought.


The Scottish Parliament building, a fascinating piece of modern architecture that stands out like a sore thumb against a backdrop of old Edinburgh.

In the aftermath of the Scottish vote, I feel compelled to roll my eyes at all of the “fake Scots” in the U.S. who are such dedicated separatists, who blame the English for the tragic history of the Scots peoples, who beat their breasts about the terrible oppression at the hands of the English overlords for so many years.

And then they quote Burns. And have a wee dram and toast to “The Forty-Five” and refight the Battle of Culloden and vow that they will take up arms in the next Jacobite rising.

But here’s the thing: isn’t that just a bunch of romanticized twaddle? Haven’t there been two or three too many viewings of “Braveheart” in this camp?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Scotland. Edinburgh is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. I would go back any day of any week, if I could. But, I’m also a practical Unionist and a lover of London as well.


Your faithful correspondent, mugging for the camera on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, in 2010. From my attire and from the sky, can you guess it is the middle of summer?

It seems to me that in 2014 the world is so intertwined that to separate one part of a major power and become a small power unto yourself seems a disaster waiting to happen. What about currency? And border patrols? What about taxes, the national health scheme, compulsory education, state-sponsored higher education, bank regulations, environmental regulations, the Navy, the power grid, elections, separation of powers — or not, weights and measures, language? The list is endless.

And, ultimately, that’s what those “Shy Tory” voters realized. It sounds good in a ripping good speech, but when you have to live it, well, let’s be prudent about it. To those abroad that are “sad for Scotland,” I say this: the people of Scotland voted. Overwhelmingly they said “nay.”

And, of course, I will remind those American Scots, pining away for a life in a motherland that they do not know and probably have never set foot in, of some other words of Robbie Burns: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

Robbie Rogers – U.S. Soccer Player Comes Out

Robbie Rogers Gay: U.S. Soccer Player Comes Out, Steps Away From Sport.

Robbie Rogers. Photo: Wilson Wong/Wikimedia Commons

Robbie Rogers. Photo: Wilson Wong/Wikimedia Commons

Okay. Well, good on Robbie. The next trick is for a pro athlete to come out and people shrug their shoulders and go, “Okay. Whatever.” The victory truly comes when it’s a non-issue.

Still, this is great. I only wish him the best, though I do feel a bit sad that he felt he had to retire to come out.

MP’s Heartfelt Speech on Marriage Equality in the UK

Here’s a clip of Mike Freer, a Tory MP, in the House of Commons with a common sense, no nonsense defense of marriage equality. Americans should listen to Mr. Freer and contemplate his message. To me what it really all boils down to is “some in the church don’t like it, so we shouldn’t do it.” And I say to that, “Bloody bollocks!”

H/T Andrew Sullivan, on whose site I first saw this.

400 – 175 For Marriage Equality In Britain « The Dish

400 – 175 For Marriage Equality In Britain « The Dish.

February 5, 2013 in London, England.

February 5, 2013 in London, England. Image: The Dish.

Sullivan dishes on the House of Commons vote today on marriage equality and a few additional issues we could learn a thing or two about from his home country. I posted this on my Facebook page today and said, “It it passes the Lords, how does one immigrate?” Several friends chuckled, one suggested it would be closer to move to Iowa, but, well, no.

If I could swing it — need to work unless I win the lottery — I’d jump ship in a New York minute. Liverpool minute. Northumbrian minute. Whatever.

God Save the Queen.

Plantagenet Frenzy as Bones Confirmed as Richard III

Richard III. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Richard III. Image: Wikimedia Commons

A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III.Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarchs family.Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: “Beyond reasonable doubt its Richard.”

via BBC News – Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are kings.

The link above from BBC News Leicester is chock-a-block with info about the dig, about the bones and about Richard, the last Plantagenet King of England.

Honestly, I don’t know much about him, just Shakespeare’s version. I saw Ian McKellen do it onstage in the 90s, then on film. Terrific. It’s a cracking good play.

I studied the early Plantagenets in college. Henry I and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, being particularly mesmerizing subjects. A great modern American play (and, like everything else, subsequently a film) about the first Plantagenets is The Lion in Winter. Henry is “the lion,” but the best lines are Eleanor’s. In fact, in history, Eleanor is one of the most fascinating women of the last millennia, I believe.

P.S. — Headline courtesy of an American friend of mine who lives in the U.K. I told her “Plantagenet Frenzy” sounded like a new bistro dish. Comes with crisps. Rotten old bones extra!