Sign of the times 1: They were meant to brighten up the streets of Hull but the City Council has ordered that a multitude of handmade signs be taken down after just one complaint about the one on the left by a BMW driver.
Weighty matters: After 130 years, the definition of a kilogram is about to change because’Le Grand K’ has lost weight over the years. It will soon be defined in terms of electrical current. Read more ›››
Those few of you who regularly read my ABC Wednesday posts will know that there is nothing I like better than an eccentric rogue and this week I give you one of the greatest – Maurice Flitcroft the Phantom of the Open.
Here was a man who took up golf at the age of forty-six and believing that he had mastered the game in a matter of months he posed as a professional to enter the most prestigious tournament in golf and carding a never to be equalled score of 121. Read more ›››
I finished reading the latest of Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series last year and on the strength of my enjoyment of those books I decided to go back to his much earlier Warlord Chronicles series.
The three books in the series are a retelling of the Arthurian legend from the perspective of the Derfel, one of Arthur’s warlords and close friend and is told in retrospect from Derfel’s old age. Read more ›››
When we holidayed in Paxos last year the plan was to travel light. After all, we were only going to be there for a week, so one carry-on case each was the rule.
Lightening the load as far as I was concerned meant not taking six or seven books (at least three hardbacks) when I couldn’t possibly read them all in the time available. So I took just two. Read more ›››
As I’ve mentioned before, I quite enjoy an episode of the game show Pointless, mainly because it is a bit of fun to try and come up with the most obscure answers.
The bit I often struggle with are the anagrams like the one on the left, I think because they require a degree of general knowledge even before you can start rearranging the letters. Read more ›››
Now that Christmas has passed, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you – if you add up the value of the presents you bought for other people and subtract the value of those you received then you almost certainly made a loss.
It has nothing to do with your relative generosity or having children to buy for, but something that clever economists call a deadweight loss. Read more ›››
Word of the year: For the Oxford Dictionaries it was ‘post-truth’ which is the epitome of brevity compared to Austria’s word of the year: ‘Bundespräsidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung’. Those 51 letters translate as ‘postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election’.
Yakety yak: An early example of post-truth came in April when a story about a man who bought a yak online when spaced out on sleeping tablets went viral. But it wasn’t true. Read more ›››
I happened to pick up the above titled volume of the unpublished letters to The Daily Telegraph, the first in fact that came out in 2009. Among all the usual nonsense it covered the US election of 2008 and there were several missives that give a clue as to what happened last week.
What happened, of course, was a spike in ‘Make America Great Again’, or ‘Make America White Again’ according to some reports. Read more ›››