Showing posts from October, 2014

Interesting People - Alice Glaston

Alice Glaston, is the youngest person ever hung in England.

(She was hung from the gallows tree at Wenlock Edge in Shropshire, in 1545. She was just 11 years old. Legend has it that her bones were later discovered and taken to a limekiln to be secretly burned. Alice became part of the lime used in mortar, whitewash and spread on the fields, and so remains a constant presence in this landscape.

There is a note in the parish register of Sir Thomas Butler, vicar of Much Wenlock in Shropshire:
Here was buried John Dod of the parish of Little Wenlock, who was hanged here, as also Alice Glaston, 11 yrs of age, of the parish of Little Wenlock, and Wm. Harper, a tailor. A note slightly further down the page reads: Three Convicts buried one a girl of 11 years old. I wonder if they realised how history would judge them.)


Interesting Fact - Transport

At 117 miles, the M25 or Lon­don Orbital Motor­way is the sec­ond longest city bypass in Europe. The longest is the Berliner Ring, which is 122 miles (196 km) long.

(A Royal Com­mis­sion first sug­gested a ring road for Lon­don in 1905, but it didn't happen until the M25 opened on 29th October 1986. It took more than 11 years to actually build, and construction cost £1bn. It used more than two million tonnes of concrete and 3.5 million tonnes of asphalt.

Interesting Fact - Gender Equality

According to the Gobal Gender Gap report, published by the WEF, Britain has dropped  eight places to stand 26th in the world for gender equality.

(Not surprisingly the Nordic countries - Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark - were the most equal, and they have been joined by Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ireland, the Philippines and Belgium in the top 10.

Yemen remained at the bottom of the chart for the ninth year in a row.)


Interesting Animal - Dogs

The average dog owner gets more exercise than someone who goes to the gym.

(In fact, according to the national dog walking index, compiled by Mountain Warehouse, in the UK most dog owners go for around 433 walkies, and cover on average 548 miles a year, roughly the distance from London to Aberdeen.

According to researchers from Michigan State University, nearly half of dog owners exercise an average of 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. By comparison, only about a third of those without dogs got that much regular exercise.

Of course it doesn't count if you employ a dog walker.)

Interesting Food - Strawberries - Christmas Fact

Sorry to start wittering on about Christmas before Halloween is even over, but according to Sainsbury’s, British strawberries will be on supermarket shelves in December. (Thanks to researchers who have been able to grow strawberries in mid-winter using a combination of blue and red LED lighting, we will be able to have strawberries with our Christmas puds. I'll bet they're not as tasty as sun-ripened ones. I'll wait until Wimbledon thanks.)

Interesting Fact - Twitter

The Queen sent her first Tweet at the Science Museum on 24th October 2014.

(At 11:35 am she removed a glove as she pressed "Post" to tweet ""It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R," using the @BritishMonarchy account.

By 11:39 am she had her first troll who wrote: "Welcome to Twitter. Abdicate!"

I wonder if she blocked him / her.)

Interesting Fact - Halloween Fact - Pumpkins

There is a problem in the UK, we have a pumpkin shortage.

(A cold snap and wet weather has meant hundreds of thousands of pumpkins have been left rotting in fields.

Some areas have already sold out, but Sainsbury's are expecting to sell almost 1.5million pumpkins over the Halloween period.)

Interesting Fact - Stress

According to a study commissioned by Nurofen express, the biggest headache of modern life is a laptop / computer freezing.

(The top 50 things that stress people out in the UK nowadays are supposedly:-
1. Your laptop/computer freezing 2. PPI calls 3. Slow Wi-Fi 4. Being stuck in traffic 5. People who take up two parking spaces 6. Public transport delays 7. Junk mail 8. Waiting on the phone for the doctors 9. When people chuck their rubbish out of the car window 10. People who don't use their indicators 11. Pot holes 12. Stepping in dog muck 13. When you hold the door open for someone and they don't say thank you 14. The rising cost of living 15. When people let their children misbehave in restaurants 16. Rude sales assistants 17. Screaming kids 18. Buying property 19. When people hold a conversation in a door way 20. People cancelling on you 21. Noisy neighbours 22. Reality TV shows 23. Road works 24. Middle lane hoggers 25. Your delivery gets lost in the post 26. Computer jar…

Interesting Fact - Energy

According to the National Grid, on Tuesday 21st October, more energy was created by wind farms in the UK than by our nuclear power stations.

(Wind farms made up 14.2 per cent of all power generated, while nuclear power contributed 13.2 per cent.

Probably aided by Hurricane Gonzales.)

Interesting Food - Apples

There are over 7,500 known cultivars of the humble apple.

(In spite of the three or four varieties you might find in your local supermarket, there are thousands of apples you can try.
In the UK we tend to separate them into dessert / eating apples, cooking apples and cider apples, and the list is quite long:-
Adams Pearmain Allington Pippin Arthur Turner Ashmead's Kernel  Beauty of Bath Blenheim Orange Breedon Pippin *Bramley Byfleet Seedling Catshead *Cox's Orange Pippin Dummellor's Seedling Gascoyne's Scarlet Golden Noble *Granny Smith (Originated in Australia, but is very popular in the UK) Grenadier Knobbed Russet Lane's Prince Albert Laxton's Superb Limelight Lord Derby May Queen Merton Worcester Miller's Seedling Newton Wonder Norfolk Royal Pam's Delight Peasgood's Nonsuch Pitmaston Pineapple Pott's Seedling Rev. W. Wilks Ribston Pippin St. Edmund's Pippin Saturn Sturmer Pippin Sunset Tom Putt Tydeman's Early Worcester Tydeman'…


21st October

Apple Day

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  (Especially if you throw it really hard.)

Interesting Place - Blackpool

Blackpool is banning the mankini to clamp down on stag and hen misbehaviour.

(They have introduced Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO), which have the power to prohibit certain unwanted behaviour in specific areas, such as clothes like mankinis in family-friendly areas during the day.

If you don't know what a mankini is, it was made famous by Borat, in the controversial film of the same name. I have no idea why any man would want to emulate the look, but there is a picture here (make sure you're not eating).

Interesting Fact - Money

According to the United Nations, Spain, Norway and Luxembourg have donated less money to the global fight against Ebola than Ikea.

(The 3 European countries have collectively donated €3.2m, while the Swedish furniture seller has donated €5.3m.

Maybe they should start calling it the United States of Ikea.)

Interesting Fact - Smartphones

According to a survey conducted by Tecmark, the average Brit checks his/her smartphone around 200 times a day.

(The average smartphone user spends about 3 hours and 16 minutes every day on their phone, which amounts to about a full day a week. 4 in 10 of those surveyed admitted to feeling “lost” without their phone.

I guess that is true, especially if they use a navigation app.)

Interesting Fact - Exercise

You would have to run 4 miles to burn of the calories in a 500ml bottle of Coke.

(Scientists are calling for this information to be printed on food labels, instead of the usual calorie count. (Do you ever read it?)

For example: To burn off a double cheeseburger would take a 5.6-mile hike. Would you be likelier to chose a smaller one and go on a 2.6 mile walk instead?)

Interesting Fact - Time

According to Internet analysts Kleiner Perkins, the U.S. is the sixth-worst nation when it comes to staring at screens.

(At the top of the list is Indonesia, where people spend an average of 540 minutes, or 9 hours each day, followed by the Philippines, China, Brazil, Vietnam and in 6th place the USA.

In the United States, people spend an average of 444 minutes every day looking at screens, or 7.4 hours. That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on a smartphone, and 43 minutes with a tablet.
I wonder when it will be 18 hours a day because of Google glass.) 

Interesting Number - 10 million

According to figures released by Alcohol Concern, around 10 million NHS admissions in England between 2012 and 2013 were related to alcohol.

(They have produced an "alcohol harm map" to highlight the problem of alcohol misuse, which is estimated to cost society around £21 billion.)

Interesting Animals - Whales and Dolphins

According to studies carried out by University of San Diego graduate student Whitney Musser and Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute senior research scientist Dr. Ann Bowles, killer whales in captivity can learn to speak dolphin, albeit with an accent.

(Scientists already know that killer whales "speak" using a series of clicks, whistles and pulses, and different groups develop their own significantly distinctive "dialects". The Smithsonian reported that in some cases, the difference can be likened to that of the difference between Greek and Roman.  In this particular study they found that killer whales began to sound a lot like the bottle nosed dolphins they were socialized with.

Dr. Luke Rendell, a lecturer in biology at the University of St. Andrews said, "It is yet another confirmation that learning is central to how killer whales acquire their vocal repertoire, and further confirms the status of the *cetaceans as one of the few groups of mammals to have evo…

Interesting People - Bill Gates

According to an interview he gave on the website Reddit, Bill Gates does the dishes every night.

(When asked, "what is something you enjoy doing that you think no one would expect from you?" He replied he did the dishes because he likes the way he does them.

I wonder if he does the windows too.)


Interesting Fact - Accents

According to research conducted by, Queen's English is Britain's favourite accent.

(Yes, good old RP (received pronunciation) came top in nine out of ten positive character traits including: attractiveness, intelligence, honesty, charm, sophistication and reliability.

1. Received pronunciation (RP)

2. Edinburgh

3. Australian

4. Irish (Republic of Ireland)

5. Yorkshire

6. American

7. Geordie

8. Mancunian

9. Glaswegian

10. Welsh

RO is still perceived as a little posh. That's me! LOL)

Interesting Fact - The Law

Under new laws in the UK, internet trolls face up to two years in jail.

(This quadruples the current maximum six-month term and follows several high profile cases. Under the act, which does not apply to Scotland, it is an offence to send another person a letter or electronic communication that contains an indecent or grossly offensive message or threat.)

Interesting Fact - Happiness

According to research published in the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry if you are suffering from depression, walking like a happy person can help you to think more positively.

(No wonder my mum always kept saying "chin up".)


Interesting People - John Greenwood

John Greenwood spent 18 months panning for gold in the mountains of Scotland so he could make engagement and wedding rings for his big day.

(I am sure men around the UK will be groaning in agony, because Mr Greenwood has just set the benchmark for a romantic gesture.

Interesting Fact - Tax

Drivers in the UK will no longer have to display a tax disc on their car windscreens.

(Motorists will still have to pay tax on their vehicles, but cameras will read a registration plate and check it on a database of cars that have tax, insurance and an MOT.  
People who collect tax discs will be gutted.)