It’s strange how much you didn’t know you didn’t know. Take today for instance. I read that someone has actually worked out how much the Euro 04 craze for flying the flag of St George on cars is costing the motorist. The boffins at MIRA have calculated that the added drag and the disturbance caused to the car’s aerodynamics costs 1 mpg per flag.
Someone else has taken this further by estimating that the average car driven 12,000 miles, and at an average 40 mpg, and if one in nine cars has a flag, then total cost per week in extra fuel is £1.62 million a week. We’re into week two now and if England go all the way to the final then flying the flag will have collectively cost us the best part of £5 million.
Useful stuff to know, you’ll agree. Then on the same page of the newspaper, I read that the phrase ‘needle in a haystack’ doesn’t refer to a sewing needle at all, but is in fact a thatching needle, a wooden tool used for thatching hay and straw rick. If dropped between hay or straw sheaves, it would be almost impossible to find.
Next, why is a jukebox called a jukebox? It’s from the Elizabethan word jouk, meaning to dodge or move quickly to describe the first glass-sided, cylinder recording model invented by John C Dunton.
And finally, that stage name Le Petomane used by Joseph Pujol, who made music by breaking wind, loosely translates as “the fartiste.” Who’d a thowt it!