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Showing posts from July, 2015

Interesting Fact - Crime

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As part of an experiment to save money,  a police force in the UK has decided to stop investigating attempted burglaries - at odd-numbered houses.

(Leicestershire Police said the pilot scheme had had no adverse effect on crime rates, or public satisfaction.  Try asking people who live in odd-numbered houses!)

Today

31st July

Harry Potter's birthday

Purely coincidentally JK Rowling's birthday too. Oh, and Harry is 35!  

Interesting Fact - Housework

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According to a survey conducted by money saving website VoucherCodesPro, the average British man doesn't learn to cook until he's 27, and is 22 before he figures out how to make the bed.

(It doesn't stop at cooking either; over 50% said they had not bothered learning as they did not need to know how to do the housework, and 39% said they had someone to do it for them. 
It looks as if men are turning into Tamagotchis.)


Interesting Fact - Advertising

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Shock horror!  According to research published in the Journal of Global Fashion and Marketing,
82% of claims made in adverts for cosmetics are bogus.

(Researchers found that only 18% of all claims made in commercials for cosmetics prove to be true.  They classified each claim as vague/ambiguous, an omission, an outright lie, or as acceptable.
Every category of beauty products was looked at, including makeup, skincare, body and bath products, fragrance, along with hair, and nail care.

Claims like:-
"award-winning product"
"clinically proven"
"your skin feels softer"
"your face looks younger"
"dermatologists recommend this"
"all you need for a day of confidence"
and even:- “no testing on animals”
Just to prove you can't believe them, here is a famous advert which definitely deserves a #fail:-



What were they thinking?)



Today

29th July

Lasagne Day

Rain Day

(I hope my lasgne doesn't go soggy.)

Interesting Words - Slang

A Secondary School in the UK, the Harris Academy Upper Norwood, has received  top Ofsted Marks after banning slang like "coz", "woz" and 'innit'.

(A whole list of words were outlawed including:-

“coz”, “aint”, “like”, “we woz”, “you woz”, “innit”, along with “bare” – slang for “very”, and “extra” – which means “over the top”

Students are also barred from starting sentences with “basically” and ending sentences with “yeah",  in an attempt to make students more employable after leaving school.

Students heard using slang including “ain’t” - a word that originated in the 18th century - were asked to “reflect” on its use.

"Well ain't that just bare amazin`?  Yeah! I mean, it ain't like we woz learnin' extra slang on t' Network innit?  Wicked!"  Actually I always say, "Don't use slang until you can use English proficiently".)

Interesting Fact - Property

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At least £122 billion worth of property in England and Wales is owned by companies registered offshore.

(The problem is that some of the world's most notorious criminals are buying Britain's luxury homes to launder crooked cash, and at the same time pushing up the price of property. Especially in the area of London.

It all came to light in July 2015, when it emerged that the ownership of 221b Baker Street, home to the fictional super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes, was linked to a brutal former secret police chief accused of murder and money-laundering.
What would Mrs Hudson say?)British HousesSource

Today

24th July

Tell an old joke day.

Interesting Fact - Advertising

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According to Professor Brad Bushman, a psychologist of Ohio State University, the old adage, "Sex Sells", may no longer be true. In a recent study researchers found that people pay so much attention to the graphic material their minds are distracted from what is actually being promoted.

(Prof Bushman said, 'Our findings have tremendous applied significance, especially for advertisers. Sex and violence do not sell, and in fact they may even backfire by impairing memory, attitudes and buying intentions for advertised products.'

The study found viewers were less likely to remember ads when they were shown around films and TV programmes with explicit sexual or violent content and more likely to remember them during more family friendly material.

Violence had an even more negative effect, and brands advertised during programmes or films in this genre were remembered less often, evaluated less favourably and less likely to be bought than products plugged alongside other…

Interesting Words - French

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If you ever needed proof that remembering lists of words doesn't mean you can speak the language, here it is.

48-year-old New Zealander, Nigel Richards, is the French-language world Scrabble champion, but he can't speak French.
(He is 3 times world Scrabble champion, 5 times US champion, and has won 12 titles in the King’s Cup championship in Bangkok, but became world Champion of Francophone Scrabble, after memorizing all possible words in the official French scrabble dictionary, with two to 10 letters.

Throw those vocabulary lists away.)

Interesting Fact - The Moon Landings

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Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent a total of 21 hours on the Moon, two-and-a-half of them outside the landing module.  They left a plaque, which read, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."


(The astronauts, including Michael Collins, returned to Earth on 24th July, where they spent the next 21 days in quarantine at an American military base - a procedure dropped in subsequent missions since no alien organisms were found.)

Today

15th July

St Swithin's Day - Will it rain, or won't it?

More about St Swithin's Day

Interesting Words - Sir and Miss

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According to the chief inspector of schools in the UK, Sir Michael Wilshaw, secondary school pupils should be forced to refer to their teachers as ' Miss' and 'Sir' and stand when the teacher enters the classroom.

(Sir Michael told The Sunday Times that he had been left with his 'head in his hands' after watching reality television programmes set in schools in which children misbehaved without risk of punishment.

According to the Times Educational Supplement, the honorific Sir was first used in 16th century classrooms when male teachers of a lower social standing were attempting to reinforce their authority among largely upper-class boys, whilst Miss is largely a throwback to the late Victorian era when pressure was put on women to give up work after they married, with a number of schools only hiring single female teachers.

Jennifer Coates, emeritus professor of English language and linguistics at Roehampton University also pointed out, “Sir is a knight. There …

Interesting Fact - The Vikings

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The vikings didn't wear horned helmets.
(They probably wore headgear in battle, but it was more likely made of leather, perhaps iron, and there were certainly no cow horns sticking out of each side.

We can blame Scandinavian artists from the 1800s, and Wagner for this historic innacuracy.   Seemingly, Wagner's costume designer, Professor Carl Emil Doepler created horned helmets for the Viking characters in “Der Ring des Nibelungen” opera cycle in the 1870s.

Someone needs to tell Vicky the Viking!)
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Interesting Fact - The Budget

In George Osborne's first budget since the UK election he has announced:-

Child tax credits will be restricted to 2 children.

Public sector pay rises will be limited to 1% a year.

Corporation tax will be cut.

(
Q. What are child tax credits? A. These are state benefits that provide extra money to people responsible for children.

Q. What is the public sector?
A. The part of an economy that is controlled by the state.

Q, What is corporation tax?
A. Tax levied on companies' profits.
Q. What did the budget really mean? A. Less money for the poor. More money for the well off.  )

Interesting Fact - Money

For everyone who was in today's Skype session.  Who does Greece owe money to?

In Euros

Germany - 68.2bnFrance - 43.8bnItaly - 38.4bnSpain - 25bnIMF - 21.4bn  (International Monetary Fund)ECB 18.1bn  (European Central Bank)The Netherlands 13.4bnThe US - 11.3bnThe UK 10.8bnBelgium 7.5bnAustria - 5.9bnFinland 3.7bn (I told you everyone needs to start learning big numbers nowadays.)

Interesting People - Alice Liddell

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The character Alice, in Alice in Wonderland, was based on a real-life little girl named Alice Liddell. 

(She wasn't a blonde as illustrated in the books but a brunette.)

Today

3rd July

Stay out of the sun day - (stay in the shade, drink plenty of water - it's 35°C here right now)

and

Disobedience day - (Sunbathing anyone?)

Interesting Fact - Regrets

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According to a study carried out by the British Heart Foundation, Brits spend about 19 minutes a day on regrets, which means we waste 2 hours a week dwelling on things we wish we had (or hadn't) done.

(The average Brit seemingly has six major regrets.  The most frequent are not travelling enough and failing to keep in touch with friends.  Here are the top 20 regrets:-

1. Not travelling more and seeing more of the world
2. Not keeping in touch with more friends from the past
3. Taking too little exercise
4. Not saving enough money
5. Taking up smoking
6. Not working harder at school
7. Choice of career
8. Wasting years with the wrong partner
9. Eating unhealthily
10. Not asking grandparents more about their lives before they died
11. Not learning to speak a foreign language properly
12. Not spending enough time with family and friends
13. Not telling a relative who’s now dead that I loved them
14. Drinking too much alcohol
15. Not undertaking a once in a lifetime challenge
16. Not…

Today

1st July

Canada Day

Women's World Cup Semi-Final - Japan vs The UK

More Interesting Stuff