Vaguely Interesting Round-up | 14 April – 20 April 2012

  • The Economist’s Bagehot column this week considers whether Britain could become a Cutty Sark Nation – free wheeling, independent and nimble? Interesting point that most nations preserve great war ships whilst the most visited ship in Britain is a former tea clipper (of course we have plenty of great navy flagships preserved for posterity as well).
  • Diamond Geezer has a wander around the Olympic site in Stratford and explains why you had better visit soon if you want to have a close look. He sets out all of the areas that will be shut down in a ring of steel within the coming months.
  • Celebrating Quasimodo Sunday with the Inky Fool, as he considers the origin of this quirkily named church festival and the source of the most famous bearer of the name, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
  • Sobering reading from the Economist’s Graphic Detail blog which charts the amount of ‘lost time’ the advanced economies have suffered in the deepest and most prolonged recession of the last hundred years. Britain comes off fairly lightly – losing the equivalent of 5.5 years and the equivalent of $4,774 in GDP per person. Ireland has been sent back over 11 years with an eye-watering GDP per person impact of $11,857.
  • Meanwhile, as China continues to grow and invest in increasingly outlandish property projects (did anyone say bubble?), plans emerge for an astonishing hotel near Shanghai – China’s first ‘groundscraper’.
  • New lifts for the Greenwich Foot Tunnel – shiny, steel and glass. But are they an improvement? And will anyone else join IanVisits in missing the bored, solitary lift operator?