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!

Snake lanes: With new technology comes new contests hence the International Drone Photography Competition. I particularly liked this ‘Infinite Road to Transylvania’ in Romania on the left.

It isn’t easy being green: Steve Whitmire has retired as the voice of Kermit the Frog, the role he took over after the death of Jim Henson in 1990. And Team Trump have auditioned to replace him.

Speaking of frogs: The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was also responsible for the huge variety of frogs we see today.

Spheres of influence: Since 1992 Nick Sayers has been ‘re-purposing’ all sorts of materials to make geodesic spheres such as the one on the right made from train tickets.

Coincidence or fate? The grandson of the first NHS patient has married the granddaughter of the prime minister who founded the NHS.

Brain games: Cardiff University has produced the most detailed scan of the ‘wiring’ of the human brain.

Jetset design: When air travel became for the many not the few in the 1960s, designer Alexander Girard came up with some interesting ideas to promote Braniff International Airlines including a set of playing cards with useful phrases in Spanish and Portuguese.

Trumped: It turns out that Donald Trump didn’t really want America, he just wanted to play with the box.

#AskEddie: It was a bad week for Southern Rail as they were fined £13.4 million over their poor performance but at least they had some good publicity after they put fifteen-year-old work experience student Eddie in charge of their customer service Twitter feed.

Dirty diet: If you find yourself putting on an extra pound or two then maybe you should get the hoover out because it’s household dust that makes you fat.

I am not a number:  MP for the 19th century Jacob Rees-Mogg announced the birth of his son last week, naming him Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher. The assumption was that Sixtus is simply a classical reference to him being his sixth child, but the Latin for sixth would be Sextus while Sixtus actually means ‘polished’. Maybe Rees-Mogg Snr isn’t quite the classicist he would have us believe.

Super super soaker: Engineer Mark Rober has produced the world’s largest super soaker gun capable of breaker glass, slicing melons and cracking coke cans as the video on the right demonstrates.

Freebies: In these interweb days, museums and galleries jealously guard the use of their online images but not so the National Palace Museum in Taiwan which has made 70,000 high-quality images available to download and free to use.

Konta intuitive: As the UK got behind Johanna Konta at Wimbledon this week, it is worth remembering that she was born in Australia to Hungarian parents and came to the England when she was fourteen, becoming a citizen in 2012.

And the double standards demonstrated by the Daily Mail in this front page from 2016 on the right. But then the readers of the Mail quite like white foreigners who can play tennis, even Andy Murray.

Bad/good week for Lance Armstrong: Having blown his reputation for taking performance enhancing drugs, it seems they enhanced nothing at all. Does that make him innocent?

Babel tree: This lovely infographic illustrating the development of Indo-European into the many languages we know today was produced by Minna Sundberg a couple of years ago, but I really like it. You can enlarge the image here or see this article for more information.

Rub-a-dub-dub: Yesterday saw the 46th World Tin Bath Championships in the Isle of Man, the winner being the first to finish the 400-metre course across Castletown Harbour.

Brief lives: Former Greek prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis; director of Circus Krone Christel Sembach-Krone; the man who developed ultrasound for medical diagnosis Prof Peter Wells; disgraced FIFA executive turned whistleblower Chuck Blazer; chronicler of the siege of Leningrad Daniil Granin; grandfather of Techno music Pierre Henry; founder of the Death Café movement Jon Underwood and; actor Sam Beazley who played Professor Everard in the fifth Harry Potter film at the age of 91.

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.

3 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 16th July 2017

    What a lovely story about Katie Dorman and George Diggory. Not such a lovely story about the odious Jacob Rees-Mogg and his baby machine of a wife. Six kids? They should be setting an example as you and I chose to do by only cracking out two kids each. The world certainly needs less Rees Moggs – not more. And Sixtus? Christ! He’d get hammered every playtime in a normal school with a name like that but of course he’ll be going to prep school and then Harrow or Eton so just like his father he will never have to mix with plebs.

  • Roger Green 19th July 2017

    Hate the Kermit back-and-forth

  • Steve 20th July 2017

    Sixtus — that poor kid. I hate to think what his siblings are named. The language tree is fascinating. I’m wondering if there’s a similar one for Hamido-Semitic languages — must check! I’m skeptical of that dust study.


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