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June 03, 2012



Having lived most of my life near Glastonbury and being filled to the bloody back gills with bloody Arthur and general airy-fairy pseudo mystical Glastafarianism, could I just say that our real king - as you say Alfred - lived a few miles down the road in a mud hut on the mud island of Athelney and - despite the hen-pecking of farmers wives like out of a Nell Leyshon play - managed in moments of quiet to work out the basics of England - law, democracy, learning and literacy, the navy and a working Christianity - and no one ever takes the least bloody notice of the greatest Englishman of them all and his weed overgrown monument is a bloody disgrace.

If ever we need Alfred's justice its now!


Of course he'd never have got anywhere on Celebrity Chef so was really pretty useless, but his attitude towards bankers - Off With their Heads - was admirable.

john b

They named a uni after him. That's not a bad testament.

chris y

work out the basics of England

Import the Carolingian model lock, stock and block, that is. Admittedly that model owed a fair amount to an Englishman, Alcuin, but he was Northumbrian, not West Saxon.

Ken MacLeod

I had Hangul explained to me by a couple of enthusiastic young Korean robotics students who'd developed a neat educational toy based on building blocks in the shape of the letters (the clever bit being that each correct combination of the blocks then formed the appropriate sounds).

On understanding the explanation, my mouth formed an 'O'. The system is so rational that you begin to wonder if it was given to us by a friendly alien Culture.

(Magyar and Finnish, on the other hand, are widely suspected to be creoles that arose from an episode of quite incomprehensible alien contact.)

So - hail Sejong!


Not hail The Hall of Worthies?


Ken: as Enrico Fermi explained when someone asked him where all the aliens were, "They are already among us! But they call themselves Hungarians."

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