Showing posts from January, 2015

Interesting Fact - Energy

According to a  study by the Energy Saving Trust, women like it hotter - in the home.  ( Women prefer the home to be 24°C on average, while men prefer a cooler 19°C, but each extra degree costs around £85 a year for a three-bed semi. However, it's women who win the “thermostat war".  Guys!  It's not a war, you just want to keep us happy!)

Interesting Fact - Money

According to figures from the Bank of England, personal debt in the UK has reached a record level. Including mortgage debt, households now owe a total of £1.43 trillion!

(On average, that means each adult in the UK owes £28,489.

I am so glad I'm living in Germany, people simply don't flash the plastic as much here.)

Interesting Fact - Toys

A Star Wars toy cost £1.50 when it came out 35 years ago, and has sold at auction for £18,000.
(Collector, Craig Stevens, from Croydon, bought the figure, which is of bounty hunter Boba Fett, still in its original packaging, for £50 in 1990.
Before you go rummaging in your attic, the figure was in mint condition and in its original packaging.  In other words, no child had ever played with it.  Haven't these people seen Toy Story!)

Interesting Fact - Easter Eggs - Easter Fact

Unilever, the company behind the brands Marmite and Pot Noodle have teamed up with chocolate film Kinnerton, to produce Marmite, and Pot Noodle flavour Easter eggs. ( This is for +Xeb eke.

Post by Marmite. )

Interesting People - Libby Lane

Libby Lane is the first female bishop to be consecrated by The Church of England.

(She has been vicar of St Peter's Hale and St Elizabeth's Ashley, in Greater Manchester, since April 2007. Women have been able to become priests in the Church of England for 20 years.

Next stop archbishop?)

Today / Tomorrow

26th / 27th January 

The asteroid 2004 BL86,  which is 400 and 900 meters, will sweep past the Earth at a distance of 1.2 million kilometers, three times the distance of the moon.

It will be at its brightest around 4am Greenwich Mean Time - visible over Europe, Africa and most of the Americas. 

Eastern Asia and Australia will get a chance to see the asteroid several hours earlier but it won't be as bright.

Interesting Food - Mead

The ancient, 9,000 year old alcoholic drink, mead, is making a bit of a comeback in the UK.
(Mead, an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water, reached the height of its popularity in the Middle Ages, to become the preserve of medieval re-enactment groups, and pagans in modern times.  But now, thanks to the popularity of Harry Potter, historical TV dramas, and fantasy series like Game of Thrones, it's becoming trendy again.
Well, you know what they say?  What goes around, comes around.)

Interesting Fact - Pay

The 15 highest paid  jobs at Facebook, based on combined basic income and bonuses are:

1. Engineering Manager: $380,861
2. Software Engineer V: $259,349
3. Senior Software Engineer: $211,647
4. Software Engineer IV: $209,988
5. Product Manager: $194,907
6. Data Scientist: $185,743
7. Software Engineer: $183,397
8. Technical Program Manager: $175,589
9. Research Scientist: $172,705
10. Software Engineer III: $171,076
11. Network Engineer: $160,172
12. Data Engineer: $146,949
13. User Interface Engineer: $146,708
14. Production Engineer: $132,534
15. Product Analyst: $118,864

Interesting Fact - Law

In the UK, in order to be legally permitted to sell certain age restricted products, you need a licence or registration. 
(Licenses and/or registrations apply to the following products:- AlcoholFireworks and explosivesFirearms GamblingKnives (non domestic)Pet animalsPetroleumTattooing and skin piercingTobaccoThere is an age limit of 18 for using a sunbed, but no legal requirement to be licensed to operate one.
There is no age limit for using or purchasing hair dye.)


23rd January 2015

Today is the day you are most likely to break your New Year's resolution. Your cravings will reach a peak as you begin to believe that January will never end, but hang on in there, and remember why you made that resolution!

Interesting Fact - Politics

You might think there are only 3 political parties in the UK, but there are 12 different parties represented in the House of Commons.

(These are:-

Liberal Democrat
Sinn Fein
Plaid Cymru

As we enter an election year, imagine if they all take part in any TV debate.)

Interesting Fact - The Weather

The poor old UK is suffering, Britain is officially colder than Siberia as temperatures plummet to a bone-chilling -12°.

(It's actually too cold to grit the roads!)

Interesting Fact - Employment

According to the UK’s youth programme, National Citizen Service, prospective employers spend just 8.8 seconds studying any one person’s curriculum vitae.

(The research also outlined the top 10 CV faux pas:

1.Bad grammar.

2.Spelling mistakes.

3.Poor formatting.

4.CV longer than two pages.

5.Casual tone.

6.Use of jargon.

7.Unusual font style or size.

8.Exam grades listed in full.

9.Generic interests listed such as cooking or reading.

10.Lack of activities related to personal development.)

Interesting Fact - Education and Employment

When writing a CV, over 50s in the UK are removing references to their O-levels to give themselves a better chance of getting an interview.
(The O'level is a pre-1988 secondary school qualification replaced by GCSEs.  Once something to be proud of, nowadays by writing O'level on a CV you are giving away your age, and in our ageist society people just think - past it. )

Interesting Fact - The Internet

In 2014 the second-most searched for topic on the video-sharing website YouTube, was 'Minecraft', just behind 'Music'.

(The top search terms were:-

MusicMinecraftMoviesFrozenDrakeBeyoncePewdiepieHappyEminemPewdiepie?  Really?)

Interesting Fact - The Law

In the UK a power of entry is a statutory right for a person (usually a state official such as a police officer, local authority trading standards officer or a member of enforcement staff of a regulatory body) to legally enter defined premises.

What kind of things grant anyone such a right?

(Public officials in the UK have the power to demand entry to your home without a warrant to make sure illegal hypnotism isn't taking place.

They can also demand to inspect your pot plants, under a plant health order.

They can demand to see your refrigerator, to make sure it's at the correct setting.

And they can go into your garden, to check the height of your hedge.
Bin snooping is quite popular too, just to make sure you are putting the right rubbish in the right bin.)

Interesting Fact - The Class System

Varndean College, a sixth-form college in Brighton, offered sociology students a trip to watch a football match at Millwall Football Club.
(Sounds fine so far, but the field trip was for them to "observe working-class culture".
A poster for the trip promised participants would be able to see “gender performance” in action, including types such as “the new lad” on show, and the chance to observe “issues around sexuality, race and ethnicity,” “women challenging gender norms” and to “even talk to football fans”.  Wow!

So, if anyone tells you the class system in the UK is dead, redirect them here.)

Interesting Fact - Clothes

According to a survey by retail giant Debenhams, where men live can determine what kind of pants they prefer.

(Men in Scotland are big on Y-fronts, men in London and up north opt for snug trunks, and men in the Midlands and Wales are more keen on baggy boxers.
I always thought men in Scotland preferred going commando.)

Interesting People - A.K. Verma

A.K. Verma, an Indian civil servant, joined the state-run Central Public Works Department (CPWD) as an assistant executive engineer in 1980:  A public sector job in India is usually seen as a job for life.

(Why does that make him interesting? Well, 10 years later, he went on leave, and never went back to work.

People leave work all the time, so it's still not that interesting, but he managed to bunk off work for 24 years, his job was only terminated in 2015. Unfortunately for him, his pay was stopped in the 1990s.
I wonder what he is doing now.)

Interesting Fact - Water

The Bill and Melinda Gate's foundation has managed to help develop a waste plant that converts the sludge from sewers, which contains solid human waste (pooh) into drinkable water and bioenergy.

(The Janicki Omniprocessor, designed and built by Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle, could be a solution to poor sanitation in developing countries, which kills around 700,000 children every year.

Bill Gates trusts it enough to drink a glass of extracted water, so ...

Maybe a smaller household version could be created, and we can all benefit.)

Interesting Words - Practice Makes Perfect

'Practice makes perfect' is the phrase we are most likely to continue using as we grow older.

(The expression topped a poll put together by the NSPCC, of words of wisdom Britons picked up in childhood and continue to use well into their older years. 
The top 10 sayings were:-
Practice makes perfect.Treat others how you'd like to be treated.If at first you don't succeed try, try and try again.Manners cost nothing.You can't judge a book by its cover.Good things come to those who wait.Two wrongs don't make a right.It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts.Never say never.There's no time like the present. Two old wive's tales didn't make it into the top ten, but they are still in use today:-

"Eat your crusts, they'll make your hair curly." (26%)
"Eating carrots will help you see in the dark." (30%)

Interesting Animal - Salmon

New legislation in the UK means that all salmon caught prior to April must be released back into the water unharmed.

(The catch and release policy will mean the salmon will be able to spawn (swim upstream to lay their eggs( before being in danger of ending up on people's plates.)

Interesting Date - 30th June 2015

2015 will be one second longer than a normal year.

(The Paris Observatory, in France has said that 30 June 2015 will be one second longer, as what is called a "leap second" is added to the day to account for discrepancies between Earth time and atomic time, due to the slowing rotation of the Earth.

This will be the 26th leap second to be added since 1972, and the extra second will be added at 11:59:60pm UTC on 30 June, bringing the total number of seconds for 2015 up to 31,536,001.

What will you do with your extra second?)

Interesting Fact - Health

A new study, conducted at Yale university, suggests that having a cold nose might make us more vulnerable to catching a cold.

(The reason for this is that cold weather tends to lead to a spike in sniffles and sneezes, because the cold virus thrives in a slightly cooler environment.

Professor Akiko Iwasaki, says there might be a simple, even old-fashioned way, to ward off the common cold,  we simply keep our nose toasty by wearing a thick scarf over it, just like granny taught us.

Personally, I think scientists are annoyed they haven't found a cure.)


7th January

Is Christmas Day in Russia.

Счастливого Рождества - Schastlivogo Rozhdestva

Interesting Place - Foula

On the island of Foula, in the Shetlands, it is Christmas Day today.
(Foula, located about sixteen miles from the west mainland of Shetland, is one of Great Britain’s most remote permanently inhabited islands. Way back, in 1752, they remained on the Julian calendar when the rest of the Kingdom of Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar. They even adhered to the Julian calendar by keeping 1800 as a leap year, but when they didn't observe a leap year in 1900, they ended up one day ahead of the Julian calendar and 12 days behind the Gregorian calendar. Confused?  You will be.
This all means that they observe Christmas Day on 6th January, the day we all take down our decorations for 12th night (epiphany), and they celebrate New Year's Day on 13th January.

Well, I guess it keeps Father Christmas busy.  Happy Christmas to the people of Foula. I will join in this evening with a glass of sherry, just to be polite.)

Interesting People - Prince George

In a poll conducted by GQ, Prince George was named as the 49th best dressed man.

(The top 10 were:-
Eddie Redmayne  Benedict Cumberbatch Jamie Dornan Alex Turner Nick Grimshaw Idris ElbaThe Prince of WalesDouglas Booth David Gandy David Furnish Dear GQ, please change the rules to only include men who actually dress themselves.)


5th January

Divorce Day - Divorce day is the lawyers’ nickname for the first Monday back at work after the Christmas break - See more at:

Interesting Fact - Smartphones

According to a study conducted by the University of California, in the US, people, especially young people, are so engrossed in their phones, they are unable to accurately read how people are feeling in real-life.

(According to psychologists, this is the result of less face-to-face time interaction.  Children in particular are glued to electronic devices for nearly five hours each day, and this could leave them emotionally stunted in the future.

I do hope you're not reading this on your phone.)

Interesting Fact - The UK Population

According to figures, from the Office for National Statistics’ the number of married couples with 1 child grew from 37 per cent to 40 per cent from 2003 to 2013.

(A sociologist at Kent University, Professor Frank Furedi, has worked out that if this trend continues, by 2022 half of families in the UK will only have 1 child.)

Interesting Fact - New Year's Resolutions

On average, New Year's resolutions only last 23 days.

(According to a study carried out by the University of Hertfordshire most of us scrap any good intentions as early as January 23rd. Only 30 per cent of women in the UK stuck to their guns, compared with 37 per cent of men.
Of course, it depends on the resolution.)