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Interesting Fact - The equals sign

The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equa...

Today

Alice in Wonderland celebrates her 150th birthday.

We will start reading the book in the English Book Club in Second Life.

Oh and it's Thanksgiving Day in the US.  

Interesting Place - Spain

According to the World Health Organisation, Spain is the noisiest country in Europe, and Madrid is one of the noisiest capitals.

(In fact Spain is the second noisiest country in the world, behind Japan. Most of the noise comes from traffic, such as cars, heavy lorries and noisy motorbikes and mopeds. This is closely followed by building works, discotheques and leisure activities in general; especially in summer.

Having been to Valencia during Las Fallas, I'm sure fireworks, which are more like army ordnance, don't help.)




Interesting Words - Welsh

Online review site Trip Advisor has banned all reviews written in Welsh.

(Trip Advisor is arguably the world's largest travel website, and supports languages from all around the world, but they have banned all submissions in Welsh. 

Allegedly, the ancient Celtic language, one of the oldest European languages with over half a million speakers in the UK, breaches their sites strict language guidelines.  Trip Advisor said that they were unable to integrate Welsh into their moderation and review policies. In other words no one speaks Welsh there.

Surely some enterprising Welsh speaker could set up their own review site.)

Today

21st November

World Hello Day.


Interesting Animal - The Hedgehog

According to a survey by The Wildlife Trusts, 4 in 10 British children have never seen a hedgehog in the wild in the UK.


(The same survey found that 71 per cent of British children have never seen a lizard in the wild, while more than half have not seen a flock of starlings in flight (called a mumuration).

Mrs Tiggiwinkle will be incensed.)  

Today

19th November

The Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge is hosting the World's Biggest Liar Championship

On This Day

20th November

1945 - The Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals began.

1992 - A major fire broke out at Windsor Castle.


1995 - Diana Princess of Wales admitted to having committed adultery in a TV interview.

 

Interesting Food - Tea

It looks as if black tea is no longer our cup of tea in the UK.  According to consumer analysts Mintel, retail sales of all brands of tea have sunk from 97 million kilos in 2010 to an estimated 76 million this year.

(Sales of ordinary tea bags feel 13%, whilst sales of green tea were up 50%. Seemingly people are moving towards healthier alternatives such as fruit and herbal teas.  They estimate that sales will fall to 69 million kilos by 2020.

I drink herbal tea, and green tea, but I still need my mug of good old Tetley to kickstart the day.)

Source: Mintel

Today

19th November

Have a bad day day.  (This isn't as mean as it sounds.  It's simply for all those people who have to say "Have a good day", because it's part of their job description.  So I hope everyone has a good day on bad day day.

Interesting Word - Word of the Year

The word of the year for 2015, as chosen by the Oxford English dictionary, is a pictograph:

(Officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, (I call it laugh till you cry) was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.

I wonder what Shakespeare would say.  Answers on the back of a postcard using 10 emojis or less.)















Interesting Fact - Plant Names

According to British scientists over half of the world's plants are misnamed.

(Scientists at the University of Oxford and the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh discovered that one species of African ginger has been called the wrong name for more than half a century. Recorded as Aframomum alboviolaceum by scientists in 1945, researchers last year correctly identified it as Aframomum lutarium.   A new species, first discovered this year, Ipomoea lactifera, which is a wild relative of the sweet potato, had been incorrectly labelled in collections as a different species, Ipomoea umbraticola. In yet another case, researchers found a specimen of Ipomoea lactifera which did not even have a name recorded to it.


Never mind guys, think of all the fun you'll have putting it to rights.)

Interesting Food - Garlic

Seemingly the smell of garlic on a man is irresistible to women. Not garlic breath though, it's the smell that comes from a man's armpits after chewing raw garlic. Eew!

(Scientists believe that the sweat of men who had eaten a bulb of garlic was more attractive to women because it suggested the man is healthy. Garlic is a bit of a superfood, it has antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties.

So, throw away the Lynx on Friday night, and get chomping.)

On This Day

12th November

1439 – Plymouth, England, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.

1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined.
1893 – The treaty of the Durand Line delineating the border between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan was signed by Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat in British India.

1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

1918 – Austria became a republic.

1927 – Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.

1933 – Hugh Gray took the first known photographs alleged to be of the Loch Ness Monster.

1956 – Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia joined the United Nations.

1956 – 111 people, including 103 refugees, were killed by the Israeli army in the Palestinian refugee camp of Rafah, in the midst of the Suez Crisis. The United Nations were unable to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

1968 – Equatorial Guinea joined the United Nations.

1969 –  Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the My Lai massacre story.

1990 – Sir Tim Berners-Lee published a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.

1996 – The deadliest mid-air collision to date took place when a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane collided in mid-air near New Delhi, killing 349 people.

2011 – Silvio Berlusconi tendered his resignation as Prime Minister of Italy, effective November 16, due in large part to the debt crisis.

Today

12th November

University Defection Day - The day when more freshers drop out of higher education than any other.

National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day - Yes there is practically a pizza day for every day of the year. This one is for people who don't like anchovies.

Do you remember when we looked at some alternative pizza toppings?

Pizza toppings photo 2014-11-12-pizza_001_zpsbc4d2066.png (I might even have an oven in time!)

It's also pneumonia day. So, if you have pneumonia, get well soon. 

Interesting Food - Beer

The Irish brewers of Guinness are going to stop using fish bladders as part of the filtration process for the first time in their 256-year history. 


(Vegans have been campaigning for this ammendment to the traditional brewing process for years.  I can only hope it doesn't change the taste (which was never fishy).)

Interesting Place - Liverpool

Britain’s first ever fast pedestrian lane has opened in Liverpool city centre.


(Following research that claims 47% of the nation finds slow walking the most annoying aspect of high-street shopping, the Liverpool One shopping centre is going to experiment with a "fast lane".   This seems to follow on from the introduction of "slow lanes" in cities in China. 

I wonder if all this means we will start having to indicate to change lanes.

Interesting Fact - Work

If you think you have a frustrating job, think again: A Tesco supermarket in Wrexham, North Wales, is advertising for a Christmas Lights Untangler.
Christmas is coming!

(The idea is that people will bring in any troublesome lights to have them unravelled.  The successful applicant, who must be passionate about Christmas, will be trained to unravel 3 metres of Christmas lights in 3 minutes, for £6.70 an hour.

I hope people will tip him or her, that's barely enough to buy a cup of coffee in the UK.)

Interesting Word - Poppygate

In the run up to November 11th most public figures in the UK will be wearing a red poppy in remembrance of the fallen. In fact people will notice if you don't. So much so that Number 10 have been ridiculed for photoshopping a poppy onto a photo of prime minister David Cameron.


(They really should have known better.  The Twittersphere doesn't miss much:-



Now the usual cliche has appeared as it is being named Poppygate. Ever since the infamous Watergate scandal in 1972 the suffix –gate has been used to describe any sort of scandalous event.)

Today

3rd November

Today is Cliche Day. Has it been a year already? Well you know what they say, don't you? Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Today

3rd November

World Cliche Day

Laughter is the best medicine.
The early bird catches the worm."
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

And this nonsensical one: "A watched pot never boils. (Yes, it does. It's called physics.)