Showing posts from January, 2013

Interesting Fact - Sport

According to a survey carried out by the Public Religion Research Institute, 27% of Americans believe God plays a role in the outcome of sporting events.

(53% think that faithful athletes are rewarded with good health and success on the field. If this is true, I must have been a very bad girl, I was always last to be picked for the netball or hockey team.)

Interesting Fact - Transport

The original Batmobile car, used by actor Adam West in the TV series of Batman, has been bought for £2.6m ($4.2m) at a US auction.

(56-year-old, Rick Champagne, who bought the car, said it "was a dream come true". Funny that, my dreams are a lot cheaper.)

Interesting Fact - Makeup

According to a study commissioned by, the average value of the contents of a woman's make-up bag is £172.

(This valuation doesn't even take into account the cost of the make-up bag, just the contents. It was worked out using the following:-

lipstick, £14
eyeliner, £11
mascara, £23
foundation £27
concealer £11
eye-shadow £16
blusher £11
bronzer £11
eyelash curler £5
eyebrow pencil £5
lip-liner £5
lip-gloss £11

Funnily enough, the women surveyed admitted having quite a few products in their bag that they rarely used, but they took them out just so they could be ready for every eventuality. The only make-up in my handbag is lip salve.  Cost? 1 pound.)

Interesting Invention - The Etch-a-Sketch

Etch A Sketch was invented by André Cassagnes.

(Sadly the former electrical technician who developed this hugely popular toy in the 1950s, died in Paris today, 16th January, aged 86.)

Interesting Fact - The Law

In the UK it is a crime to insult someone through words or behaviour.

(Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act currently means that "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" might be deemed a criminal offence. The law was used to arrest a student who asked a police officer whether his horse was gay. Probably as a result of ridiculous arrests like this, the law is to be amended, removing the word "insulting". 
I wish I'd known it was a crime when I was at school. I could have had half my teachers arrested, they really knew how to insult your intelligence.)

Interesting Place - Castelnuovo Rangon

Castelnuovo Rangon, Italy has a bronze statue in the town square.

(Nothing unusual here you might think, but this bronze statue is of a pig. Why? Because it is the home of Parma Ham, so the humble pig has probably done more to put it on the map than any generals or politicians.

Parma Ham is protected by law, and can only be produced in the Parma region using pigs born and bred in Italy. Only hams that have been aged for a aminimum of 12 months are given the Ducal Crown and allowed to be sold as Parma Ham.)

You can view the little porker here.

View Larger Map

Source: BBC

Interesting Fact - Flags

The national flags of Indonesia and Monaco look identical.

(The flags are equal stripes of red on top and white on the bottom, which funnily enough is also the flag of the state of Hessen in Germany.  I guess that's what comes of having such a simple flag.)

Interesting Fact - Waste

According to a report published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, up to 30% of vegetables in the UK are not harvested because of their physical appearance.

(Wonky carrots and blemished fruit don't sell, and so they are left to rot.   I guess that since the end of That's Life we just don't know what to do with them.)

Source -

Interesting Fact - Televisions

According to the TV Licensing authority, the UK still has 13,000 black-and-white TVs.

(London had the highest number of monochrome licences, at 2,715, followed by Birmingham and Manchester.

Or maybe I should say there are 13,000 households with a black-and-white TV license. You see, a black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, but a colour licence costs £145.50.  You do the math.)

Interesting Fact - Waste

According to a report published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, between 30% and 50% of the world's food goes to waste.

(This means around two billion tonnes, of the four billion tonnes of food produced around the world each year, ends up not being eaten, and half the food bought in Europe and the US is thrown away.

The reasons seem to range from poor engineering and agricultural practices, inadequate transport and storage, best before dates on food, and those notorious BOGOFF (buy-one-get-one-free) offers, that encourage consumers to buy more than they need.

I would say that in Europe it could be down to weekly shopping too.  Once upon a time we bought food fresh from markets, but nowadays we do a weekly shop, and something is bound to go off in that time.  My worst culprit is salad items.  The number of half eaten cucumbers I've thrown away...)
You can read the report here.

Interesting Fact - Music

A piece of music called Weightless, by Marconi Union is meant to be the most relaxing music ever written.

(It's meant to be so relaxing that you're not supposed to drive whilst listening to it. It's meant to be more relaxing than a massage, a walk or a cup of tea. Seemingly the band worked with sound therapists on how to make the most effective use of harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, and according to a study commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa, listening to it results in a slowing of the heart rate, reduced blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

It sounds perfect for the post Christmas / New Year period, or maybe I should have listened to it before Christmas. You can listen to it on Soundcloud. But if you suffer from low blood pressure, maybe you shouldn't.)

Interesting Fact - Depression

According to a study by Dr. Honglei Chen, an investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, there is a link between soft drinks and depression.

(Participants in the study who drank more than four servings of fizzy drinks per day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than participants who didn't, but it's not just fizzy pop, people who stuck with fruit squash had a 38 percent higher risk than people who didn't drink sweetened drinks.

And it's not just sugary drinks, the research also showed that people who drank low-calorie diet drinks, iced teas, and fruit squash were at a slightly higher risk of depression too, and the artificial sweetener aspartame may be to blame.

It does make me wonder though: do sugary drinks cause depression, or do depressed people try to cheer themselves up with a sweet drink?

The good news is that drinking unsweetened coffee can lower the risk of depression. I'm a happy go lucky person, guess what I dr…

Interesting Fact - Tourism

According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, London is the most popular destination
city for overseas travellers.

(Unsurprisingly it also heads the league table in the average amount each visitor spends. According to the London Development Agency, visitors to London spend around £20 billion each year.)

Interesting Food - Pasta

Vermicelli translates into ¨little worms¨ in English.

(No wonder Italian restaurants don't translate.)

Interesting Date - Marriage

Friday 4th January 2013 was a popular day to get married in China.

(Seemingly the date was booked well in advance by thousands of couples who hope that marrying on this date would bring them lasting romance. Why? Well according to Daniel from the forum, if you say 4 January 2013 it sounds similar to the phrase "I will love you all my life". The day has been named "nicknamed "love you forever day".

I wonder if anyone will keep track of the couples who got hitched on this day and see if they do love each other for ever.  The romantic side of me hopes that they do.)

Interesting People - George III

King George III of England and his wife Charlotte had 15 children.

(Imagine if they had started fighting for the throne!)

Interesting People - James Bond

Ian Fleming named the character James Bond after American ornithologist James Bond, a Caribbean bird expert and author of the definitive field guide Birds of the West Indies.
(Fleming was a keen birdwatcher himself, had a copy of Bond's guide and he later explained to the ornithologist's wife that "It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born".

I guess James Bond the spy was a bit of a bird watcher too.)