I like accents, I think they make language interesting and varied, but all accents are not equal, and it seems supermarket chain Morrisons agrees with me. They issued a callout for actors with northern accents to feature in a campaign for the supermarket, but they went on to specify that “nobody from Liverpool” should apply.
(The advert, which appeared on the Casting Networks International website, read:-
"These films will focus largely on people’s facial expressions. Therefore, it’s vital that their faces have character – something interesting and captivating that will make the film watchable, but nothing glaringly obvious, and we don’t want caricatures. We want quirks: freckles, bushy eyebrows, etc. They should all be warm and likeable. They should be proper working-class people, but not at all like the characters from Benefits Street. They should not sound or look posh, and we should skew towards northern accents."
It concluded: "And nobody from Liverpool, please.&quo…
According to a report by BARB, the official body for collecting TV audience figures, nearly 5% of British homes do not own a television.
(That's about 1.3 million UK households with no TV, but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't watch TV: Whilst some people prefer life without the gogglebox, changing viewing habits have led to many watching TV shows on their PCs, laptops or tablets.
Nearly half of the households without TVs are people aged 16 to 44. It seems that millenials are increasingly turning to other channels for their entertainment.)
Krivoy Rog aka Kryvyi Rih is the longest city in Europe.
(It is situated in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine with a population of about 660,000. The distance between the two furthest districts, Terni and Ingulec, is about 75 kilometers. Thanks to Liliana for sharing this fact.
The UK is about to introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks, which will add at least 18p a liter to sweet fizzy drinks.
(The tax will be levied according to how much sugar is added to a drink. According to the BBC, there will be two bands - one for total sugar content above 5g per 100 millilitres and a second, higher band for the most sugary drinks with more than 8g per 100 millilitres. Analysis by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility suggests they will be levied at 18p and 24p per litre.
It is estimated that it will raise around £520m a year, which the government has pledged will be spent on increasing the funding for sport in primary schools.
So, does this mean people will drink less sugary pop? Probably not, they'll just have less money to spend on fruit.)
The sugar tax has an interesting history:-
First they said they wouldn't, then they said they might, now they have: Talk about flip flopping:-
According to the Office for National Statistics, we Brits are no longer that keen on going to night clubs or buying CDs and DVDs.
(The inflation basket, which is used to calculate the cost of living in the UK, analyses the cost of 704 items. It is an interesting look into trends in the UK, and seemingly many nightclubs in the UK are facing closure, and more and more people download their music and films online so these items have been removed.
However, the inflation basket will now include coffee pods and downloaded software, along with women's leggings, and strangely, cream liquers like Baileys, which must be a sign of an ageing population with very little fashion sense.)
The balls used in men's and women's tennis are different.
(They are the same size, weight and pressure: between 2½ and 2 5/8 inches (6.35 and 6.67 cm) in diameter and weighing between 2 and 2 1/16 ounces (57.7 and 58.5 grams) but balls used by men have an extra-duty felt covering, which increases air resistance and slows the overall speed. Women players use regular-duty felt.
Professional tennis player Bob Bryan, who uses both kinds of balls on the men's and mixed doubles circuit, believes he can add around six mph to his serve when playing with the women's regular balls.
It is very difficult to write about this without sounding silly.)
I decided this one is perfect on International Women's Day: Acccording to the UK Government’s own figures, women working for the Conservative minister responsible for closing the gender pay gap are paid an average of around £2 per hour less than men. (The department, which is responsible for matters covering equality, recently announced plans to “name and shame” companies who did not pay men and women equally. In the UK male civil servants earn £22.30 a hour on average at the Department of Education but women make just £20.54.
Researchers may have discovered the ‘root of all evil’.
(Scientists, studying the brains of mice found that a distinct part of the brain fires up before premeditated acts of aggresion are carried out: A distinct part of the hypothalamus - the brain region that controls body temperature, hunger and sleep - is activated shortly before an attack.
So really, they have discovered the root of all evil in mice.)
According to research company Mintel, in the UK sons spend more on their mothers on Mother's Day than daughters. Over 40% more!
(Men spend an average of 41.15 on Mother's Day gift, whilst women send just 28.97.
Sons spend more on flowers for their mums than they do for their partners on Valentine's Day.
The only catch to all this benficance is, they have to remember. Only 57% of men remembered to buy a gift, compared with 62% of women. In addition 24% of men chose a present at the last minute, compared with just 18% of women. Guys, if you are reading this now, if you hurry you might find a garage open.
Apart from its great name, Miserden in Gloucestershire is interesting because, according to cable.co.uk, it has the worst broadband in the UK.
(The fastest place in the UK was Rickmansworth with download speeds of over 77Mbps, but Miserden is a digital black hole where only 17% of villagers are able to access superfast broadband, and the rest have to make do with average download speeds of 1.3Mbps. One poor resident recorded a "staggeringly low" speed of 0.12Mbps, it would be faster to send a letter!
At that rate the company worked out that it would take residents of Miserden 11 hours to download a high def version of the latest Bond film, Sceptre.
Amusingly, they would get faster broadband if they moved to Everest base camp!)
National Offer Day (around the beginning of March) is when parents across England are told by their Local Authority whether their children will be offered a place in their first choice secondary school.
(It is a fraught time for parents with children who are in their final year of primary school. In 2015 84.2% of children were offered a place at their first choice school, but that means quite a few missed out.
Increasingly parents whose kids don't get their first choice are spending thousands of pounds to try and secure a
place in their chosen school, in what is becoming an
increasingly competitive environment.)