Showing posts from September, 2014

Interesting Fact - Wildlife

According to research carried out by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London, the number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years.

(Since 1970 animals have been decimated across the planet as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, whilst at the same time polluting or destroying their habitats.

I wonder what our children and grandchildren will have to say to us?)

Interesting Fact - Careers

According to the UKRC's “European Engineering Report” the UK has the lowest number of female engineers in the whole of Europe.

(Only 9% of UK engineering professionals are women, compared to 18% in Spain, 20% in Italy, 26% in Sweden and 30% in Latvia.

I wonder how many girls are given engineering as an option in careers advice days at school.)

Interesting Fact - Furniture

The longest sofa measures just over 1 kilometre (3,302 ft 6 in).

(It was created in Saratov, Russia by furniture company Mnogo Mebeli, who created the sofa to mark their fifth anniversary. I wonder what they'll do to celebrate their 10th! It is already in the Guinness Book of Records.)

Post by The Learn English Network.

Interesting Fact - Science

Scientists have found that californium, a synthetic chemical element discovered in the early 1950s, shows potential for storing and even recycling radioactive waste into fuel.

(This sounds like great news, until you realise that five milligrams of californium costs a whopping $1.4 million.)

Interesting Video


Interesting Fact - Education

According to a report by Ofsted, pupils in England are losing an hour a day's teaching because of bad behaviour in class.

(Ofsted inspectors found that chatting, calling out, swinging on chairs, passing notes and using mobile phones are "very common" in English schools.  
That's fine, it will prepare them for the English workplace.)

Interesting Fact - Energy

The EU has already banned powerful vacuum cleaners, sparking a rush to buy the last remaining models with motors above the new EU limit of 1,600 watts, but now Europe has its sights on other domestic appliances.

(Toasters, kettles and juicers will have their power consumption reduced.

Other items under the spotlight include heated greenhouses, power tools, gym equipment, food mixers, rice cookers, blenders, deep fat fryers and believe it or not aquarium lights and filters.

I guess that's what you call pulling the plug.)

Interesting Fact - Transport

In 2000, Bogota in Colombia became the first city to restrict the use of private vehicles throughout an entire metropolis for a day.

(The Islands of Sark and Herm (in the Channel Islands) are car free 365 days a year. Herm has even banned bicycles!

I guess it's Shanks' Pony then.)
!Note -  Shanks' Pony describes using your feet as a means of transport. 


22nd September

World No Car Day.  Leave your car at home and cycle, walk, skate to work.

Intereting Place - Australia

The minimum driving age in Australia varies between States and Territories.

(It is 18 years in Victoria, 16 years and 6 months in the Northern Territory and 17 years in all the other states.

I want to know what happens if a 16 year old drives from the Northern Territory to Victoria.)

Interesting Animal - Hedgehog

The hedgehog got its name because it forages in hedges and undergrowth.

(As it moves through the hedges looking for slugs and snails it grunts, like a pig — thus, the name hedgehog.)

Interesting Fact - Piracy

According to a report conducted by the United Nations crime unit, Interpol and the World Bank.
Somali pirates and their peers hijacking vessels in the region made about $400 million in ransom over the past eight years.

(What did they spend their ill-gotten gains on?  Drugs (especially khat), alcohol, women, and believe it or not, real estate.

I wonder if they phone Kirsty and Phil?)


19th September

Speak like a pirate day.

Interesting Fact - Sport

The Scottish referendum isn't the only historic vote taking place today. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, in Scotland,  is set to announce whether it will admit women members for the first time in its 260-year history.

(At the moment men and women can play golf on any of the courses in St. Andrews, this is a more a 19th hole issue - women aren't allowed into the R&A club house - not even as guests.  It sounds like a 19th century issue.)


18th September 2014

Scottish voters will decide whether or not to remain part of the United Kingdom.  Aye or Nay?

Interesting Animal - Mosquitoes

Ports in the UK are on alert for the Asian tiger mosquito.

(This species of mosquito can transmit up to 23 infections - including West Nile virus and dengue fever. It is not native to the UK, and is believed to have stowed away in used tyres being shipped from the Far East to the UK for retreading.

It is slightly bigger than a native mosquito, and has distinctive black and white stripes. 
With another report that there are 800,000 illegal immigrants currently living in the UK, I don't think the port authorities will have much luck stopping illegal mosquitoes.)

Interesting Invention - Play-Doh

Play-doh was first manufactured to be used as a wallpaper cleaner. It was created by Noah McVicker of Cincinnati-based soap manufacturer Kutol Products.

(It was a putty made of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil, formulated to remove soot and oily residue from wallpaper, but children at a nursery school in Cincinatti school had been using it as a modeling compound to make Christmas ornaments. McVicker's nephew, Joe McVicker, joined Kutol with the remit to save the company from bankruptcy; and saw the opportunity to completely remarket the product, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Toy Industry Association named Play-Doh in its "Century of Toys List" in 2003.  I do hope they gave that nursery school a free supply.)


16th September

Is Play-Doh day.

Interesting Fact - Music

According to a study carried out by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, UK schoolchildren are taking up pop instruments due to the influence of reality TV shows like the X Factor.

(In 1999 the instrument plaed by most kids was the recorder, in 2014 it is the electric keyboard.


Recorder – 19%
Keyboard – 9%
Piano – 8%
Acoustic guitar – 5%
Drums – 4%
Violin – 2%
Flute – 2%
Electric guitar – 1%
Percussion – 1%
Bass guitar – 0%


Keyboard – 30%
Piano – 28%
Recorder – 28%
Acoustic guitar – 20%
Drums – 14%
Electric guitar – 13%
Violin – 12%
Flute – 7%
Percussion – 6%
Bass guitar – 5%

I would think that with synthesisers, the electric keyboard encompasses all the instruments.)

Interesting People - Tony Abbott

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott is going to spend a week living in the Outback with Aboriginal clans.

(As part of his pre-election promise to engage with Aboriginal society, Mr Abbott will spend the week listening to the concerns of Aboriginal elders.

I hope he doesn't get lost this time.


Interesting Fact - Driving

According to the South African government's Road Traffic Management Corporation, South Africa has one of the world’s highest road fatality rates in the world.

(The risk of dying in a car accident in South Africa is 28 people per 100,000, compared to just 3.1 in the UK.

Even worse is that almost half of RTAs (road traffic accidents) involve young pedestrians, with three children under the age of 15 dying on the roads every day.)

Interesting Food - The Milkshake

The word milkshake was first used, in print, in 1885, but milkshakes were originally sold in bars as a cure for hangovers. It was like eggnog, made with eggs, cream, sugar and whisky.

(The milkshake as we know it today didn't appear until 1922, at the Chicago Walgreen’s pharmacy. they whisky had gone and two scoops of vanilla ice cream were added to “malted milk”: a mixture of milk, chocolate, and malt powder designed for children and invalids. 
By the 1930s, milkshakes were a popular drink at malt shops in the US, which were the "typical soda fountain of the period. In the UK they were known as milk bars, and they were encouraged by the Temperance Society, as a morally acceptable alternative to the pub, which is ironic when you realise how the milkshake actually started.)


12th September

Chocolate Milk Shake Day.

Interesting Fact - Class in the UK

A report published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission in the UK says that a 'cosy club' of people educated at private schools and Oxbridge still dominates politics, the judiciary and media.

(The report calls for class to be given as much priority as gender and ethnicity in a 'national mission' to break open an elite 'formed on the playing fields of independent schools' and 'finished in Oxbridge’s dreaming spires'.

In his book, The Son Also Rises, Gregory Clark states that your chances of making a success of life are dependent on what your family accomplished 300 years ago. If your family were shopkeepers 200 years ago, the likelihood is you may be, too. I guess I'd better get down the mine.)

!Note - Oxbridge = Oxford / Cambridge university.

Interesting People - Cathy Price

Cathy Price, is a 53 year old mother of one, and what makes her interesting is she is on the longest pub crawl ever, visiting every pub in the UK called the Red Lion, allegedly the most common name for a pub.

(Her goal is to visit all 724 Red Lion pubs in Britain.  At each pub she visits, she poses for a photo and drinks half a pint of beer.

Her longest trip to date was from her home in Preston to the Red Lion at Penzance, Cornwall - a 750-mile round trip, and so far she has clocked up 7,000 miles.

Unfortunately some of the pubs she wanted to visit have already closed for business, about 10%, she calls them Dead Lions and crosses them off her list.

Once she has conquered the UK she intends to continue her tour abroad; she has already visited a Red Lion in Dubai and New York.)

You can follow her on Facebook.

Interesting Fact - Pub Names

As we informed you a long time ago, The Red Lion is the most common pub name in the UK, now
here are the top 10 in England:-

The Red Lion 518 The Crown 436 The Royal Oak 434 The White Hart 320 The White Horse 300 The Swan 270 The New Inn 267 The Rose & Crown 252 The Kings Head 240 The Bell 238  I am happy to say I have visited at least one pub with these names, but I haven't done what tomorrow's interesting person has done.)

Interesting Fact - Health

According to research published in the online journal BMJ Open you could extend your life by two years simply by standing up.

(Watching less than two hours of TV a day could increase your lifespan by 18 months, and adults who are only seated for a maximum of three hours a day typically live an extra two years.

Come on! Get up and go for a walk.)

Interesting Animal - The horse the Germans could not kill

The Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal, has been posthumously awarded to famous war horse Warrior, dubbed "the horse the Germans could not kill".

(Warrior arrived on the Western Front on August 11 1914 and stayed there throughout the war.  He was injured several times, but survived to eventually return home to the Isle of Wight in 1918 where he lived until his death aged 33.
The Dickin Medal, also know as the Animal VC, is the highest award an animal can achieve while serving in military conflict. 65 of these medals have been awarded - to 29 dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, four horses, and a cat.)

Interesting Food - Wine

According to a poll conducted by magazine Terre de Vins (Wine Country), most French people don't know much about wine.

(71% of people surveyed said that they didn't know much about wine, of these 43% admitted to knowing nothing at all. Only 3% thought they were well versed in the subject, whilst 26% said they "knew enough."

For me, wine is like art, I know what I like.)

Interesting Place - Copeland

The borough of Copeland, is one of the few areas of the UK where house prices are still affordable.

(In fact, they are less than five times the average annual wage. In 1997, 72 local authorities – one in five – had average prices within easy reach of local homebuyers, now Copeland is the only one.

In its favour the area has thousands of relatively well-paid jobs. two thirds of it is in the Lake District National Park, and it has a 56 mile stretch of coastline.

Just one little thing, Sellafield is there, and the area hosts more than 70% of Britain's higher-activity radioactive waste.

A small price to pay for an affordable home, surely.)