Sunday Round-up

My round-up of news, events and stuff and nonsense from the last seven days –
if it’s news to me, it must be news to you!

Vote Hillary FakeRigged election: Donald Trump is already complaining that the US election will be rigged, but it seems it’s his own supported that are doing the rigging after a hoax poster appeared online claiming that voters could post their support for Hillary via Twitter or Facebook instead of all that ballot box rigmarole.

Good news, bad news: It seems that selfie-stick craze is on the way out according to the John Lewis ‘How We Shop, Live And Look’ report. The bad news is that we are now obsessed with pink flamingos.

Tautology: Speaking of pink flamingos, that must be a tautology since all flamingos are pink aren’t they? No, they’re not. Flamingos are actually grey and it’s only their diet that turns them pink.

Good reads: And speaking of tautology, I enjoyed reading the latest volume of unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph while I was away and this extract is one of my favourites:

I can still remember my old English professor explaining that ‘tautology means saying the same thing – not, I hasten to add, saying the same thing twice, as that in itself would be tautologous’.

I hope to get out more in the better weather.

Trip of the week: If like me you’ve never experienced LSD, this video on Reddit is supposed to give you an idea of what the world looks like when you’re tripping.

Longest pub crawlLongest pub crawl: Canadian mathematicians have spent two years working out the shortest route to take in all 24,727 pubs in the UK as part of their investigation into the ‘Travelling Salesman Problem’. The pub crawl starts at The Green Shutters in Portland, Dorset, and ends 28,270 miles later at The Rodwell in Weymouth.

Do stones feel the cold?: A study by Finnish researchers shows that people who are religious have less of an understanding of how the world works and think that inanimate objects can think and feel and agree with statements such as ‘stones sense the cold’.

Quote of the week: From Alan Bennett in the Times Literary Supplement: ‘One does try not to be an Old Git but they don’t make it easy.’

Better to be a Brit: Ivy Lee has written on Quora a list of things that Brits do better than Americans. I particularly like no. 22: ‘They beat us at politeness and profanity at the same time.’

Finger lickin’ bad: But proving that Americans are better litigants, a woman in New York is suing KFC for $20 million because her family bucket wasn’t filled to the top.

Point of OrderGot to hand it to them: Civil servants have come up with a series of hand signals to prevent them from being shouted down by overbearing in meetings with ministers. (And why are they called ‘civil servants’ in Whitehall and ‘bureaucrats’ in Brussels?)

Girls redefined: A campaign has started to change the dictionary definition of ‘Essex Girl’ which is considered derogatory, particularly by women who happen to come from Essex. The charge that it brands them as being ‘unintelligent, materialistic, devoid of taste, and sexually promiscuous’ has been around since 2002 when it was first introduced as a definition so they could be accused of being slow on the uptake.

I couldn’t resist a joke though: What do you call an Essex girl with half a brain? Gifted.

Newly discovered millipedeBug’s life: A newly discovered millipede found in the Sierra Nevada mountains boasts four penises, 200 poison glands and 414 legs.

No time wasters: In the week that the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges published its list of the pointless treatments we can do without, the Guardian provides a list of forty things you can stop doing right now, from flossing to pressing the ‘close door’ button in a lift.

Brief lives: Steve Tovey, the UK’s last full-time cinema organist; Valerie Hunter-Gordon, Scottish inventor of the disposable nappy; actress Jean Alexander who played the wonderful Hilda Ogden;

Jimmy Perry, co-creator of Dad’s Army and other much-loved comedies; 60s pop star Bobby Vee; Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns; Robert Bateman who procured Tamla Motown’s first tape machine; Dave Cash, one of the original Radio One DJs; French Resistance fighter Robert Artaud; Trinh Thi Ngo, better known as Hanoi Hannah during the Vietnam War.

And Carlos Alberto, scorer of that goal in the 1970 World Cup Final, which was the subject of one of Eric Cantona’s memorable quotes:

‘An artist, in my eyes, is someone who can lighten up a dark room. I have never, and will never, find difference between the pass from Pele to Carlos Alberto in the final of the World Cup in 1970 and the poetry of the young Rimbaud, who stretches “cords from steeple to steeple and garlands from window to window.” There is in each of these human manifestations an expression of beauty which touches us and gives us a feeling of eternity.’

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

16 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 30th October 2016

    Now that’s what I call a “Sunday Round Up”! Well done sir! A true tour-de-force with brilliant sidetracks. Regarding LSD, I tried it a couple of times in my late teens. There’s a dodgy fellow who goes in our pub and I am sure I could purchase a couple of acid tabs from him so that you and Mrs Parrot could go tripping on Alderley Edge. You’d probably believe you were real parrots and go sailing off over the Manchester rain forest.

    • Mr Parrot 30th October 2016

      Our dog was behaving very oddly last night. Normally when she comes in after her long Saturday walk she takes herself off to bed for a couple of hours. She was totally hyper last night, tearing round the house like a whirlwind and completely unable to settle. Our best guess to explain her manic behaviour is that she’d eaten some magic mushrooms while she was out. And on that basis, I think I’ll give the chemical stimulants a miss!

  • Steve 30th October 2016

    If anyone falls for that voting on Facebook thing, they DESERVE to not have their vote count. Come on, people! Think!

    Love the LSD video. Google has a tool that does the same thing to photos — I’ve blogged about it before, but I can’t remember the name. It’s pretty cool, though. I never did LSD either and I’ve often wondered about it. But I think I’d be terrified, and then I’d have a bad trip!

  • Trevor Rowley 30th October 2016

    As for Brief Lives, I’ll “piggy back” here and introduce one of my own that might have been missed by Mr Parrot. Some days ago, I stumbled across the fact that Emile Ford had died. Born Michael Emile Telford Miller on 16th October 1932, in St Lucia, in the West Indies, he came to the UK as a teenager. Along with a couple of his brothers, who were part of his backing group, the Checkmates, he had chart success in the UK with “What do you want to make those eyes at me for?” which reached number one in 1959. In 1960, the readers of the UK’s leading music newspaper, New Musical Express”, voted him “the best new act”. A few more hits followed and then the inevitable obscurity, although he did do pioneering work on sound systems which were the forerunners of prerecorded backing tapes (akin to karaoke). He died in London on 11th April 2016.

    I saw him on stage in Manchester at the old Manchester Ice Palace in Derby Street, Cheetham Hill in 1961.

    When recording artists like these come to the end of their time, sometimes a little bit of our own personal history dies with them.

    • Yorkshire Pudding 30th October 2016

      Your last remark has such a ring of truth Trevor. I died a little with Jimi Hendrix, Keith Emerson and of course John Lennon. If Dylan ever dies I might follow soon after.

    • Mr Parrot 31st October 2016

      I’m sorry I missed the passing of Emile who I certainly recall. Belatedly here is his best number with lots of visual memorabilia.

    • Mr Parrot 31st October 2016

      Personally, I’m a big fan of Justin Beaver, but I think I might outlast him!

      • Yorkshire Pudding 31st October 2016

        Sure you don’t mean being “just in” a beaver?

        • Trevor Rowley 31st October 2016

          Is muffin the mule still an offence or is it just a vintage TV show for children?

          • Yorkshire Pudding 1st November 2016

            As an innocent, wholesome sort of chap I am afraid I have no idea how to muff a mule but I am confident that you will be able to enlighten us Trevor.

  • Trevor Rowley 1st November 2016

    …first you buy a sturdy pair of wellies. Try to get a nice green pair, the ones usually favoured by those ruddy-cheeked Welsh farmers down on the Borders.

    • Yorkshire Pudding 2nd November 2016

      Okay. Okay. I have been out to buy some new wellies. Now what? And where will I find a mule?

      • Trevor Rowley 2nd November 2016

        Get down to one of those sleepy, backwater market towns on the Welsh Borders. Go into the local baker’s shop on the high street and stand in the queue with the rest of the ruddy-cheeked locals. Then, casually blurt out, “I just fancy a couple of muffins” and see the response you get. You’ll strike up a conversation with a few of the locals and, before you know it, “Bob’s your uncle.”

  • Melody Steenkamp 2nd November 2016

    off topic and late but no less sincere

    happy birthday !
    Wishing you lots more in good health, luck and happiness

    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

    • Mr Parrot 2nd November 2016

      Thank you Melody, although to be honest I forgot it was my birthday myself until around lunchtime!


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