Showing posts from February, 2017

Interesting Words - La La

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the use of "la la" as an adjective (as in La La Land), dates back to 1800s, and means so so.

(Los Angeles (LA) was given the nickname La La Land around 1979, to express how out of touch with reality the whole Hollywood scene was (is).  I think the latest Oscar winner is a great example of this, but that's just me.

"La la" is also the sound you can make when you don't know the words in a song, and the Online Etymology Dictionary says la-la is imitative of babbling speech in many languages: Greek lalage "babble, prattle," Sanskrit lalalla as an imitation of stammering, Latin lallare "to sing to sleep, lull," German lallen "to stammer," Lithuanian laluoti "to stammer.")
Have you ever sung along to a song with la la la la?
This is the ultimate la la la la la song:-

On This Day

27th February

1902 - John Steinbeck was born.

On This Day

25th February

1964 - Boxer Cassius Clay was crowned heavyweight champion of the world.

1972 - The miners strike was called off.

1982 - The European Court of Human Rights ruled that beating schoolchildren against their parents' wishes was a violation of the Human Rights Convention. Luckily my mum was against corporal punishment.


23rd February

Digital Learning Day

Interesting Fact - Age

According to a study carried out by Imperial College London and the World Health Organization, South Korean women will be the first in the world to have an average life expectancy above 90.

(The study predicts we will all be living longer by 2030 and the gap between men and women will have started to close in most countries. South Korea wins the race because South Koreans are better at dealing with hypertension, the country has some of the lowest obesity rates in the world, and in general it offers better equality, education, and nutrition, which has benefited most people.)

On This Day

22nd February

1774 - The House of Lords ruled that authors do not have perpetual copyright.
1797 - The Last Invasion of Britain by the French began near Fishguard, Wales.
1900  - Hawaii became a US territory.
1928 -  Australian aviator Bert Hinkler completed the first solo England to Australia flight.
1943 -  Members of  the White Rose were executed in Nazi Germany.
1958 - Egypt & Syria formed the United Arab Republic.
1968 -  Rock group Genesis released their 1st record "Silent Sun".
2006 - At least six armed robbers staged the biggest cash robbery in Britain, stealing £53m (about $92.5 million or 78€ million) from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.


22nd February

Walk the dog day.

(Every day is walk the dog day in our house.)

PS - I am assured this is fake, but don't try it anyway:-

On This Day

20th February

1962 - John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

1986 - The Soviets launched the Mir space station.

On This Day

19th February

1878 – Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1861 – Serfdom was abolished in Russia.

1674 – England and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transferred the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, whereupon it was renamed New York.

On This Day

18th February

1478- George - Duke of Clarence, who had been impeached for treason by his brothers Edward IV and Richard III, was, allegedly, drowned in a gigantic vat of Malmsey wine at the Tower of London.

1517- Mary I, Queen of England was born.

1678 - John Bunyan'sPilgrim’s Progress was published.

1946- Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy mutinied in Mumbai harbour, from where it spread throughout British India.

1949- Opportunity Knocks, the forerunner to the X factor and other talent shows, was presented for the first time (on BBC radio) by its creator, Hughie Greene.

1991 - One man was killed and 43 people injured by an IRA bomb at Victoria Station, London.

1996 - An IRA bomb detonated prematurely on a bus travelling in central London, killing Edward O'Brien, the IRA member who was transporting the device. Eight other people were injured.

On This Day

16th February

2005 - The Kyoto Protocol, initially adopted for use on 11 December 1997, came into force.

On This Day

12th February

1809 - Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.  (But only after a few million years of evolution.)

On This Day

11th February

1990 - Leading anti-apartheid campaigner, Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in South Africa after 27 years incarceration.

Interesting People - Samuel Plimsol

Samuel Plimsoll was an English politician and social reformer: He is best remembered for having devised the Plimsoll line, which is the line on a ship's hull to show safe loading limits.

(He is credited for having saved thousands of lives, through tireless campaigning against shipping interests, and became known as the "sailor's friend".

Plimsoll Day on 10 February is marked in various parts of the UK, and there are memorial statues of him on Victoria Embankment in London and in Bristol. A blue plaque marks one of the houses where he lived in Folkestone, and 15 towns around the UK have streets named after him.  That said, most Brits have never heard of him.)


10th February

Plimsoll Day - no not the footwear.

On This Day

10th February

1763 - The Seven Years' War between Britain and Spain ended when The Treaty of Paris was signed.

2014 - Shirley Temple died.

Interesting Food / Word - Pizza and The Pizza Effect

Pizza is thought to have been created over 1,000 years ago in Italy.

(Of course it's now a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, the pizza effect is a term used to describe how elements of a nation or people's culture can be transformed or at least more fully embraced elsewhere, then re-imported back to their culture of origin.

Some aspects of the change are not really something to celebrate though. For example, in the UK Pizza Hut created the Cheeseburger crust pizza with a staggering 2,880 calories. Whilst in New York the 24k pizza has been created with gold leaf, caviar, stilton cheese and truffles, a bargain at £1,600.  (It's gone up since its invention in 2012.))

Some people will buy into anything.)


9th February

International Pizza Day

On This Day

8th February

1974 - The Loch Ness Monster was allegedly photographed in Scotland.

1996 - Francois Mitterand died.   Seemingly for his last meal he decided to eat a tiny little yellow songbird called an ortolan, which is illegal, even in France.

A typical ortolan weighs only 55 g and is about the size of a man's thumb. Depending on the preparation, the diner is sometimes required to first bite off the head of the bird and discard it on the plate. Then, the rest of the bird is eaten in one mouthful, including the bones and internal organs. A napkin is worn over the diner's head to prevent the aroma from escaping (or to cover their shame).

God grant me the grace to have something more interesting to do when I am dying.

On This Day

7th February

1812 - Charles Dickens was born.

On This Day

6th February

1945 - Bob Marley was born.

1952 - King George VI died in his sleep aged just 56 and Princess Elizabeth became sovereign of Great Britain.

(She wasn't declared Queen until February 8, and wasn't crowned Queen Elizabeth II until June 2, 1953.)

1958 - British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at the Munich-Riem airport in Munich, West Germany. On board the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the Busby Babes, along with a number of supporters and journalists. Twenty-three of the 44 passengers on board the aircraft died in what was to be called The Munich Air Disaster.

Interesting Words - Swear Words

According to research presented at the Sociolinguistics Symposium, children start swearing at a much earlier age than they did a few decades ago.

(Seemingly in the UK kids start swearing at the age of 4! In the 1980s most children didn't start to swear until they were 13.  (I don't think I swore until I was about 21).

They also swear more often nowadays, and they have lots of choice: There are over 70 different common swear words in the English language (some of which also vary from English-speaking country to country), 10 frequently used words account for over 80 percent of common swearing.  

Of course I am far too polite to tell you what they are, but they include the "F" word, and sh1t (which isn't even a swear word in Germany). You can learn more here.)

Interesting Fact - Pollution

Diesel drivers in the UK are facing a congestion charge in 16 UK cities from 2020.

(Dubbed the "T tax" (here T stands for toxic), the first cities to receive approval are Birmingham,  Derby, Leeds, Nottingham, London, and Southampton.

Cities that are considering clean air zones are Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield, and Stoke.

Diesel fumes are blamed for 12,000 deaths a year, but many people are accusing councils of using diesel drivers as cash cows.)

On this day

4th February

1789 - George Washington was elected the first president of the United States.

(He was from Virginia, and was the commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He was elected by all 69 presidential electors who cast their votes.)

1913 - Rosa Parks was born.

1959 Barbie was created, by Ruth Handler, who was one of the founders of the Mattel Company. Barbie was named after Ruth’s daughter. Later on, when the Ken doll was made, it was named after Ruth’s son.

On This Day

3rd February

1959 - Buddy Holly died.

On This Day

2nd February

2007 - Hundreds of scientists who had taken part in a U.N.-sponsored study concluded in a report that human activity was to blame for global warming, largely through greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.