Katie Rogers

This kid is just too much.

The cheeks! The hair! Prince George is already the most likeable royal and he won’t even know anything about what that means for at least another five or six years. Even the most staunch of anti-royals among us can’t bring themselves to loathe the tiny prince. Stu Heritage takes it away: 

Almost hourly, I have to deliberately remind myself that it’s not acceptable to hate this mute little pile of flesh. “He’s just a baby,” I tell myself. “He probably isn’t even forming memories yet. You may as well direct your fury at a Furby or a pile of sausages or whatever.” And yet I fear this is a battle I’m doomed to lose.

But just when it seemed like George was in the running to be the most popular infant on the planet, American royalty Chelsea Clinton went and announced to the world that she was with child. The special relationship will once again rear its head in the form of snubbed playdates and Who Wore The Onesie Best blog posts. 

Advantage: US, because by the time the wee Clinton is born, George will be nearing toddler age, one of the most horrible stages of being human. And also – have to say it – because we don’t actually have a royal family.  

(Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images) 

Welcome to English to English

Right, then. Prince Harry's visit to the USA is as good a time as any to point out that the mutual curiosity shared between British and American cultures is as intense as ever. It’s also a good time to launch this Tumblr. 

When Winston Churchill coined the phrase “special relationship” to describe the connection between the two nations in 1946, he was describing two countries whose commitments to similar ideals – for better or worse – have historically meant a keen interest in each other. “Special”, sometimes, doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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reader submission: The great moffat debate

First, congrats on tackling the enormous culture phenomenon that is Doctor Who! You’ll slowly slip into addiction.

More to the point, I’m not sure your Whovian friend has got it quite right. As misogynistic as Moffat may be–and I’m not convinced he intentionally is; I’m not sure it’s fair to judge someone’s character when you don’t know them personally–it’s absurd to think that gender or race is an indication of a “good” Doctor or a “better” or “more innovative” Doctor. Just like age and face don’t matter, gender doesn’t either; we love the Doctor because he/she is kind and brave and wonderful, and we love the actor because he/she can convey that well and with a unique flair. If you stop connecting with a hero simply because he is white and male, you’re doing the same thing that racists and sexists do.

Instead, we should judge Capaldi on his ability to make the Doctor different in his own way; in the past, we’ve ALWAYS been thrilled with how well the casting works out in the end. It’s time we had a bit of faith in our Doctor.

- Thanks for this. I’ll add it to my study materials. For those of you on the other side of the debate, here’s this.- Katie 

Katie Rogers

If you haven’t heard, the US government has been shut down for a week. Almost a million people are furloughed or working without the promise of a paycheck, ‘non-essential’ government agencies are shuttered, and generally pissed off Americans are waiting to see if their gridlocked Congress will let the US government default on its debt. (Spoiler alert: it’s not looking good.) 

So it’s nice to know in times like these that the US government is interested in the important stuff, like printing money. The new $100 bill arrives Tuesday, according to newmoney.gov, which is a website still in operation. The bill’s features will mostly just include a lot of new security functions – watermarks, security threading … stuff of that nature. 

Let’s revisit the British bank note redesign spree from earlier this year – £100 notes are rare, but Jane Austen will now grace the £10 note from 2017, replacing Charles Darwin, and Winston Churchill’s shiny white dome will be featured on the fiver in 2016, replacing Elizabeth Fry. 

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Advantage: Britain. Because, my fellow Americans, this is just really not the time. 

Who really, truly has the advantage?

- Katie Rogers

I know I promised hoenniswheretheheartis that I’d have a full list of E2E advantages tallied up by last Friday, but I missed my deadline by a few days. 

Without further ado, here’s where we stand after more than three months on the job: 

UK: 47

US: 32

‘No one’: 10

'Everyone’: 6

'Tie’ or 'Draw’: 4

Canada: 4

Germany: 1

Not the USA’: 1 

Bar owners’: 1 

Grandma’: 1 

We’re not done yet! Submit a translation or request a translation and we’ll do our best to get you a timely answer. 

Happy Almost-Fourth of July

We’re planning something a little special but need your help: 

What’s the most American cocktail?

(And PS: There’s a Museum of the American Cocktail. Who knew?)

Some answers from Twitter: 

.@GuardianUS The most American cocktail involves three ingredients: A glass, an ice cube, and a good bourbon. The end.

— Kayla Epstein (@KaylaEpstein)

July 3, 2013

@GuardianUS The Manhattan! (Made with Kentucky rye, of course) #AmericanCocktails #Happy4th

— Jon Preston (@JonMPreston)

July 3, 2013

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The gnome ban has been lifted! and other quotes from the Chelsea flower show

- Katie Rogers

Lifting a century-old ban on “brightly colored mythical creatures”, the Royal Horticultural Society has unveiled over 100 gnomes at the Chelsea flower show. This has of course horrified the poshest of British gardeners.

Here are just a few choice quotes from the New York Times account of the gnomification of the Chelsea flower show: 

  • “Gnomes?” I can’t comment on gnomes.”
  • “I’ve learned that there’s no place for gnomism in my life.”
  • “Jackie has had to overcome her poshness and confront her gnomophobia.”
  • “From a practical point of view, if you’re growing seeds in your garden you don’t need [gnomes], really. It’s more practical to put in something like netting or slug repellent.”

So entertaining. If you’re into bonus gnomes, Guardian readers are showing us theirs. Most are terrifying. Not kidding.

Advantage: US, long established as fervent supporter of garden gnomes

(Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA)

Chicken fried travels

- Katie Rogers

Since so many of you are interested in chicken fried steak, I decided to fly to Texas to see it in person.

Not really. But I did come across the dish while on a road trip from Austin to Albuquerque for Guardian Travel, and I thought of you guys.

So there’s no better time for an impromptu travel week here at E2E. I’ve been asking people here what the biggest misconception is about Texas – “we’re all rednecks” – and the biggest truth – “people are nicer here” – and thought it would be fun to hear from you about your own cultural misconceptions.

Texas is in many ways the epitome of America, but at the same time it lies outside of stereotype, with an energy, attitude and pride that is unique. What might people not know about where you live?

(Photo: Katie Rogers/Guardian)


Our special relationship.

- Katie Rogers

We’ve been covering Syria – specifically, the fact that the US appears to be increasingly lonely in its preparations to engage in military action against the Assad regime. But a line in US secretary of state John Kerry’s speech has touched a raw nerve – an area prone to rash that has been newly inflamed? – in US-UK relations.

Tom McCarthy observes: To some British ears, Kerry’s reference to France, “our oldest ally”, was a none-too-subtle dig at Britain, our less old, but still quite old, although recently rather delinquent ally. Kerry said: “Our oldest ally, the French, said the regime, quote, ‘committed this vile action, and it is an outrage to use weapons that the community has banned for the last 90 years in all international conventions.”

Here’s the Telegraph headline: Syria: John Kerry slaps Britain in face as he calls France 'oldest allies’

Actually the Obama administration has a history of referring to France as the oldest ally of the US – they didn’t invent the distinction in a fevered overnight brainstorm of ways to slam Ed Miliband.

So that’s that. 

Advantage: No one. 

(Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA) 


- Katie Rogers 

America’s two days out from Thanksgiving, which means Americans everywhere are a) mentally checking out from work, b) preparing their Thanksgiving recipe rundown and c) getting ready to observe the spectacle that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I know that the British think Thanksgiving is “another silly holiday they don’t understand,” to quote Emma Keller, but I had to ask: are parades themselves a big deal in the UK? 

Short answer: sort of. Long answer: in the video above. 

Advantage: US, because our parades come with a hefty helping of non-royal pop culture 

winterwrensandmms asked:

I heard that a billion in the UK is different than a billion in the U.S. Is this true?

Dear winterwrensandmms,

Thanks for asking. I did some research into the topic for you and, as luck would have it, some interested Guardian readers have already discussed the topic. Indeed, the UK billion measurement used to be different — the UK 1B would look like 1T by American standards. But the UK number has long been standardized to a global measurement along with the US.

For more detail, here’s Peter Thomas from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, UK with a decent explanation — and, of course, the requisite swipe at Americans: 

The British Billion was 1,000,000,000,000 until circa 1974 when American astronomers decided to de-value it to 100,000,000,000 as they said it was easier to calculate light years. Then someone adopted 1,000,000,000 as the new billion. This is all nonsense, what about all the books that have been written using the original British billion? Who is going to understand them? It seems to me that if a name has been allotted to a collection of numbers, then that is how it should stand. Why should we follow the Americans: They don’t speak English anyway, or do the same Maths!

- Katie