Showing posts from April, 2011

Interesting Fact - The Internet

According to internet firms, the royal wedding broke all records for the biggest ever live streaming audience online.

(The BBC site wobbled, but YouTube's live stream to over 400 million viewers, ran smoothly. For those who watched BBC1's coverage, which started at 8.00 am and ended at 4.00 pm, you will never get that time back.)

Interesting Fact - Marriage - Podcast

According to research from the University of Winnipeg in Canada, women are more likely to become bored in a marriage than men.

(Their research showed that while men are more likely to get bored with a partner outside of marriage, for those couples who had tied the knot the roles reversed. A relationship being ‘dull’ was the most common complaint along with lack of fun, lack of conversation and lack of romance, which all scored highly.

Writing in the journal Personal Relationships, Professor Beverley Fehr, of the University said, if a researcher were to approach people on the street and ask, “What is the major obstacle to lasting love?”, we suspect that the most frequent answers would be “conflict”, “betrayal”, “selfishness” and the like. ‘We would be quite surprised if anyone replied “boredom” and yet that may be the correct answer – or at least one correct answer.)

Source: Daily Mail

Interesting Fact - Toys

The Lego Show, which is being held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, has sold more tickets to grown men than to families or kids.

(Maybe they want to see the scale model of Westminster Abbey, complete with William and Kate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Queen etc. It is pretty amazing, but it was built by - adults.)

Interesting Fact - PS3

Sony's PlayStation Network has been hacked. Actually it's been completely compromised.

(It's estimated that about 77 million people are thought to have been affected by the attack. Most people only became aware there was a problem when the online service became unavailable on Wednesday 20 April.

They posted the following statement:-

The latest information on the PlayStation Network service outage.

Thank you for your patience while we work to resolve the current outage of PlayStation Network & Qriocity services. The following email has been sent to all PSN registrants; please read the help and support FAQ for more information.

Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off PlaySta…

Interesting Fact - The Typewriter

The first commercial typewriter was manufactured in 1873 by E. Remington and Sons.

(It pioneered the modern-day standard “QWERTY” keyboard. Over 100 years on, there is no longer any need for a QWERTY layout, but let's face it - we don't like change.)

Interesting Food - Beer

According to a survey by BM Savings, if prices continue to rise at their current rate the cost of a pint of beer in the UK could reach £8 by 2060!
(The idea of beer as a luxury drink is really terrifying to me.)

Interesting Fact - Easter Fact

The modern Easter Egg box was designed in the 1950’s by a couple of Americans who noticed how  light bulbs were packaged.

(Two designers, Bill Horry and John Waddington were inspired by the open cartons used for light bulbs. As they were cheap and easy to make and they provided space and protection for the fragile eggs. Their prototype was developed by Cadbury’s Design Office, and first used for a Roses Easter egg – it’s the origin of all the Easter egg cartons you see in the shops today. I'm afraid these boxes are wasted on me, as I make my own eggs - the only transport problem I have is from the mould to my mouth.)

Source: Cadbury's

Interesting Food - MaCDonald's Filet-O-Fish

According to USA Today, MaCDonald's Filet-O-Fish was created because of the Catholic observance of not eating meat on Friday or during Lent.

(In the early 1960s, a Cincinnati-based MacDonald’s franchise owner, Lou Groen, was failing as a business as a large number of Catholics who lived in his area would not eat meat on Fridays or during Lent. The founder of McDonald’s, Roy Croc, actually wanted Groen to serve a “Hula” burger – a meatless, pineapple sandwich between buns – but Mr Groen wanted to serve a fish sandwich, in his own words, "My fish sandwich was the first addition ever to McDonald's original menu," So, you can probably guess which sandwich was the most successful… 300 million served a year and counting.)

Interesting Fact - Drugs

According to the British Medical Journal the following drugs were named as the greatest medical advances of the century:-

Aspirin was chosen as the greatest medical advance of the century by cardiologists, chemotherapy by oncologists, antidepressants by psychiatrists, and penicillin by doctors in general practice.

(You see.  The result of any survey depends on whom you ask.)

Interesting Fact - Drugs

Prescription drugs that is. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, in 2010 U.S. Spending on medicines grew 2.3 percent to $307.4 billion.

(The most popular drug was Vicodin, an opioid prescribed to treat chronic pain, with a massive 131.2 million prescriptions!  I'm sure all those prescriptions were completely genuine of course.)

Interesting People - Prince Charles

Prince Charles is now the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

(The previous record belonged to his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, who had to wait 59 years, two months and 13 days. Charles has now been waiting 59 years, two months and 14 days. I bet it only seems like yesterday. Just another example of the abuse royals have to suffer - waiting for your mum to die.)

Interesting Fact - Bank Holidays

Over the next two weeks the UK will all but close for business.

(Why? Well, millions of us will be enjoying the ultimate ‘free holiday’ thanks to a late Easter break swiftly followed by "that royal wedding". That's the good news, unfortunately the bad news is that according to the Daily Mail it's going to cost £30bn in lost productivity! They've always got to spoil things, haven't they.)

Interesting Fact - The Weekend - Podcast

According to a poll by Travelodge, over 27% of British adults feel forced to lie when asked about their weekend activities.

(A poll of 5,000 adults found that the pressure to maintain the illusion of an active social life led to more than 27 per cent of adults being "economical with the truth". They have even coined a word for this, "Weekendvy".

The top five most popular activities Britons will pretend they did over the weekend, when they didn't are:-

* Painted the town red on Saturday night with their partner or friend

* Visited friends

* Went to a dinner party

* Went out for a romantic meal

* Took a short break – when really they just described a previous experience where they took a UK short break and made it sound like they went at the weekend.

By the way: I spent the weekend in the garden, planting potatoes. Honest!)

Interesting Fact - Age

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, more than one in four children alive in the UK today will celebrate their 100th birthday.

(A 16-year-old boy is expected to live until he is nearly 88, while a girl of the same age will reach 91. And it's not just the young ones, the same study says that there is a one-in-six chance of Brits reaching the landmark birthday across all age groups, and around 900,000 future ‘centenarians’ are pensioners over 65! Nearly 10 per cent of people over 65 will get to 100, rising to 12.3 per cent of people aged 51 to 65 and 18.5 per cent of people aged 17 to 50. I guess the Queen is going to be busy sending all those telegrams.)


Interesting Fact - Transport

Under a new system called continuous insurance enforcement, motorists in the UK who fail to renew their car insurance in time face having their car clamped in their own driveway, seized and destroyed.

(As of June 2011, the new system means cars must be insured at all times, and no longer have to be on the road in order to be seized. To get round it, drivers have to make an official declaration that the car is permanently off the road and not being driven.)


Interesting Fact - Twitter

According to a study by OKTrends, the more frequently you use Twitter the shorter your relationships tend to be.

(Too much time spent Tweeting about love and not enough time actually doing something about it, maybe?)

Source - News Feed Time

Interesting Food - Wine

According to a survey carried out at the Edinburgh International Science Festival by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at Hertfordshire University, found that expensive wine and cheap plonk taste the same to most people.

(The researchers categorised inexpensive wines as costing £5 and less, while expensive bottles were £10 and more.  In the survey, 578 (lucky) people tasted a variety of red and white wines ranging from a £3.49 bottle of claret to a £29.99 bottle of champagne.   The study found that people correctly distinguished between cheap and expensive white wines only 53% of the time, and only 47% of the time for red wines. The overall result suggests a 50:50 chance of identifying a wine as expensive or cheap based on taste alone – the same odds as flipping a coin.

So, an expensive wine may well have a full body, a delicate nose and good legs (wine buffs really do speak like this), but the odds are your brain will never know.)

Interesting Food - Wine

According to a study carried out by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh for Chilean wine company Montes, choosing the right background music could be crucial to getting the most out wine.

(Professor Adrian North, who led the research, explained that when a powerful piece of music such as O Fortuna from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana is played, a wine like Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60% richer and more robust than when no music is heard. Similarly, a style like Montes Alpha Chardonnay seemed 40% bolder and fresher when accompanied by pop.

Montes' recommended wine and music matches

Cabernet Sauvignon: All Along The Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix), Honky Tonk Woman (Rolling Stones), Live And Let Die (Paul McCartney and Wings), Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who)

Chardonnay: Atomic (Blondie), Rock DJ (Robbie Williams), What's Love Got To Do With It (Tina Turner), Spinning Around (Kylie Minogue)

Syrah: Nessun Dorma (Puccini), Orinoco Flow (Enya), Chariots Of Fi…

Interesting Fact - Education

According to the Sun newspaper, of the 3,200 students who started studying at Oxford University in 2009 only 27 of them were black.

(The reason that this has hit the news is because our illustrious leader, David Cameron (of Eton no less) said it was “disgraceful” that only one black student began studying at Oxford in 2009. However, a spokesman for the university said the figure only referred to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin starting courses in 2009/10. There were an additional 26 students who said they were of black origin, and another 14 of mixed black descent. wow! Oxford, what a diverse culture you must have - not.)

Interesting Fact - Communication

According to Billmonitor, an Ofcom approved bill-analysis service, UK mobile phone users are wasting around £5bn a year because they are on the wrong contracts.

(The overspend figure equates to almost half their spending every year on their mobile phone, or an average of £195, compared with an average spend of £439 annually.

Just over three quarters (76%) of people on monthly deals are paying too much, having signed up to tariffs after wrongly estimating how many minutes and text messages they use.

Maybe they just overestimated how many friends they have.)

Source: The Guardian

Interesting Fact - The Internet - Podcast

As many as 60% of online profiles are fake.

(This is especially common on dating sites, where member's profiles often feature stock images found on the internet, sometimes of pornography actresses or models.

But it's not always the person featured in the profile who lies. An Englishman was featured in a fake gay profile by a so called friend, but he had the last laugh as he was awarded $45,000 in a libel case he brought against the former friend.

Of course, I would never lie on my profile.)

Interesting Animal - Fish

Fish are being used to control malaria in India with remarkable success.

(They introduce species of fish that like eating mosquito larvae into the kind of ponds, rivers and wells where mosquitoes lay their eggs. The eggs hatch, and the fish eat the larvae. The mosquitoes which transmit malaria have virtually been eradicated from some areas and according to scientists who presented the results of these pilot projects at the Indian Science Congress in Chandigarh, the number of malaria cases each year in India is falling.)

Interesting People - Frank Hayes - Podcast

Frank Hayes, is the only deceased jockey to win a horse race.

(Yes, in 1923, Mr Hayes suffered a heart attack during a horse race at Belmont Park in New York, but he didn't fall off the horse, Sweet Kiss, who went on to finish first, making Hayes the only deceased jockey to win a race.)

Interesting Fact - Gaming

According to studies carried out by psychologist Bruce Bartholow playing violent computer games desensitizes people faced with violence in real life.

(He said, “As far as I'm aware, this is the first study to show that exposure to violent games has effects on the brain that predict aggressive behavior. People who play a lot of violent video games didn't see them as much different from neutral. They become desensitized.”

It's a bit of a no brainer really, but I wonder if Raving Rabbids is desensitizing me to hitting people over the head.)

Interesting Fact - Toys

According to Mattel, around the world three Barbie dolls are sold every second.

(That means 946,080,000, are sold each year, which makes $3.6 billion in annual sales.In 1959, the year Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair, 300,000 dolls were sold.)

Interesting Fact - Language

The Na'vi language spoken in James Cameron's new film Avatar took four years to write and develop.

(I wonder how many people have learnt it.  After all lots of people have learnt Klingon.) 

Interesting Fact - Transport - Podcast

When the Queen travels to Sandringham in Norfolk for her Christmas break, she travels by scheduled train.

(Appropriately, the train starts at King’s Cross, and it takes the Queen all the way to King’s Lynn.)

Interesting Fact - Communication

The mobile phone numbers 07700 900000 to 900999 are reserved for fictional numbers in TV and films.

(During an episode of Dr Who people spotted that his mobile number was 07700 900 461. Viewers who rang it received a recorded message saying the number was not recognised, at no charge. IMHO viewers who rang it should have received a recorded message telling them not to be so stupid next time, with a premium rate charge.)

Interesting People - Jane Austen

Jane Austen probably didn't die of Addison's disease, but of tuberculosis (TB) - commonly caught from drinking infected milk.

(Katherine White, the chair of the Addison's Disease Self-Help Group, said that "as Ms Austen wrote that she had a clear head and scarcely any pain, we can conclude that it is most likely she did not die from Addison's". In the UK in 1815, one in four deaths in England was from consumption (now known as TB).)

Interesting Fact - Taxes - Podcast

The higher rate tax threshold in the UK will be lowered in April 2011, from £37,000 to £35,001.

(This means there will be around 750,000 more taxpayers facing 40 per cent income tax on a portion of their earnings. That's the bad news. The good news is that half a million low earners will no longer pay any income tax. I guess how you react all depends on which end of the pay scale you are.)