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!

More money than sense: Prada has produced a solid silver paperclip marketed as a money clip but at £145 each you will have fewer notes to keep safe.

More sense than money: While the silver paperclip might be an attractive proposition for some, more attractive is Canada’s glow-in-the-dark coin and at just $2 it is a much cheaper option.

Anniversaries of the week: It is fifty years since the first ATM in the world was opened by Reg Varney in Enfield. Below is a fascinating BBC Five Live interview with its inventor, James Goodfellow, who earned all of $15 for his efforts.

It was also the 80th anniversary of the launch of the 999 emergency telephone service, the first of its kind in the world. It took over 1,000 in the first week including one from a caller complaining that someone was playing the bagpipes outside their house. This tradition of stupid calls continues to this day and you’ll find some of them here. And if you are wondering why 999 was chosen instead of say 111, here’s the explanation.

What’s in a name: An Asian shopkeeper in Newcastle was threatened with legal action when he called his corner shop ‘Singhsbury’s’ so he has changed it to ‘Morrisinghs’.

Tanks a bunch: A rehearsal for a military parade in Minsk, Belarus, went badly wrong when a tank skidded out of control in the rain and took out a lamppost.

Caesar breather:  We know that every time we drink a glass of water we’re also drinking dinosaur pee, but now it seems that every breath we take contains at least one molecule of Caesar’s dying breath. Having said that, we are closer to celebrity than that as a geneticist explains that we all related to royalty if you go back far enough.

No place like gnome: A Cornish artist is selling Jeremy Corbyn garden gnomes on Etsy for just £24.99 each and they’re selling fast. Other gnome caricatures include Theresa May, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump and even Adolf Hitler.

Ducking the issue: Researchers at Soongsil University in Seoul have concluded that the world would be a little less stressful if car horns were replaced by duck noises.

Socks appeal: People who wear bright, wacky socks to work are considered to be popular, more competent and successful.

Quote of the week: On the subject of sartorial elegance, news that MPs will no longer have to wear a tie in parliament reminded me of this quote:

A gentleman without a tie is neither properly dressed nor is he a gentleman.

Unpublished Letters to The Telegraph

Fake news of the week: It emerged this week that the framed Time magazine cover that Donald Trump displays at his hotels and golf clubs is a fake – there was no issue dated 1st March 2009. Time has demanded that he removes them.

Scary stuff: On a more serious note, the National Rifle Association of America warns in a video that the domestic enemies of the right will be met with the ‘clenched fist of truth’. And lots of guns presumably.

That sinking feeling: A granddad spent five years and thousands of pounds renovating a yacht only for it to sink within minutes of being launched.

The last word: The Oxford English Dictionary used to end with zythum (a kind of malt beer brewed in Egypt) but joins other dictionaries and now concludes with Zyzzyva, a genus of tropical weevils native to South America.

Brief lives: Bato Tomašević, survivor of the Munich air crash; Hein Verbruggen, president of the Union Cycliste Internationale during the Lance Armstrong affair; David Lewiston collector of ‘world music’; Joel Joffe who helped Nelson Mandela avoid the death penalty.

Actor Michael Nyqvist who starred in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; lawyer Rex Makin who invented the term ‘Beatlemania’; early feminist Roxcy Bolton who changed the hurricane naming system; dreaded KGB spymaster Yuri Drozdov; film critic Barry Norman (who can forget that title music by Billy Taylor?) and; Michael Bond (above) creator of Paddington Bear.

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.

8 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 2nd July 2017

    As your number one blog fan I regret to inform you that I don’t have time to read The Sunday Round-Up today. I hope to read it tomorrow in Lanzarote. Buenod dias senor!

  • rhymeswithplague 2nd July 2017

    I find it hard to believe and cannot get my head around the statement that everyone — EVERYONE — in Europe is related to Charlemagne and everyone in England is related to Edward III.

    But President Grover Cleveland of the U.S. is definitely my eighth cousin three times removed.

    Alert the media: I will not be in Lanzarote tomorrow.

    • Mr Parrot 2nd July 2017

      I suspect that you are correct that not everyone in Europe is related to royalty, at least not those whose families didn’t originate here. But if they did, and given the exponential number of ancestors we all have, then it is an entirely feasible mathematical possibility.

  • Steve 2nd July 2017

    I’ve always suspected that we’re all related to royalty at some point, so it’s interesting to see it confirmed. Didn’t know about the dinosaur pee, though. For what it’s worth, I always get a kick out of your Sunday round-ups and I inevitably wind up reading several of them aloud to Dave!

  • Yorkshire Pudding 3rd July 2017

    Trump had a fake “Time” cover produced, egotistically displaying it in various Trump locations and then he bangs on about so-called “fake news” produced by reputable news organisations like CNN, “The New York Times” and even our own BBC. There are some things that you really could not make up and the great pink toad continues to get away with it! Blustering and tweeting his way through all legitimate criticism. Amazing!

  • Roger Green 5th July 2017

    All the US Presidents prior to Trump (and maybe him too; hasn’t been verified), except for Martin Van Buren, who was Dutch

  • Trevor Rowley 22nd July 2017

    Film critic Barry Norman certainly belonged to that collection of TV presenters who were masters of their craft and always worth watching or listening to. Some years ago, I revealed to some workmates that a film I would recommend was Don Siegel’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” a black and white film from 1956. They laughed at me when I told them that the plot is about alien pod people who colonise the earth by taking over the bodies of humans and dispensing with their souls. A year or two later, I revealed to workmates my liking for David Lean’s “Brief Encounter” made in 1945 and in which we follow the secret liaison between doctor Trevor Howard and housewife Celia Johnson. It is reassuring to read that Barry Norman included them both in his list of One Hundred Greatest Films.


Your email will not be published on this site, but note that this and any other personal data you choose to share is stored here. Please see the Privacy Policy for more information.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: