if it’s news to me, it must be news to you!
Rigged 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Good reads: And speaking of tautology, I enjoyed reading the latest volume of unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph while I was away and this extract is one of my favourites: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 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.
Got 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.
Bug’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.
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.’