Easter trivia: The tradition of egg-rolling at Easter was once illegal at the White House. It was so popular with so many children that they caused serious damage to the landscape and there simply wasn’t the money to employ more gardeners to fix it. So in 1876, William Steele Holman of Indiana introduced the Turf Protection Act ‘to prevent any portion of the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds’. President Rutherford Hayes renewed the tradition in 1878 by holding an Easter egg celebration and it has been held there every year since. Read more ›››
Filed: Sunday Round-ups
Pizza the action: Hampshire-based Tom Gozney has designed the Roccbox, a portable wood or gas fired barbeque that can cook a pizza in 90 seconds and sausages in five minutes and has reached the semi-finals of the Virgin Pitch to Rich scheme.
The bad news is it isn’t due for release until September, three months after the end of the UK barbeque season. Read more ›››
PC outrage of the week: The Clean for the Queen campaign was accused of racism by missing the letter K from its ‘Spic and Span’ slogan. The word ‘spic’ is a derogatory term used in the US for a Spanish-speaking person, but I can’t say I’ve heard it in the UK, except on American tv imports.
Jonah of the Week: 73-year-old former SAS trooper, Tom McLean, is planning to cross the Atlantic in the belly of a home-made whale. Nicknamed ‘Moby‘, the 65 foot craft has taken 20 years and £100,000 to complete and McLean’s plan is to sail it to the Azores where real whales congregate just to see what happens.
One that got away: I missed this one last week – Time Magazine named Evelyn Waugh among the top 100 most read female authors and presumably excluded George Elliot for the opposite reason. As one wag commented: ‘When Evelyn Waugh is trending on Twitter, you know that somebody did something stupid.’ Read more ›››
Oscar week trivia: Albert Lamorisse, who won an Oscar for best screenplay in 1956 for the classic children’s film, The Red Balloon, also invented the board game, Risk, which he originally called The Conquest of the World, only in French.
Get Ethics with Our Ethnics: If the Oscar shortlist got your goat, you can really blow a gasket by visiting Rent-a-Minority which offers ‘a minority for every occasion’. Health warning: May cause terminal indignation unless taken with a healthy dose of satire. Read more ›››
Maths test of the week: Can you work out this little brainteaser? I’ll give you a clue: if you think the answer is 15, then you’re wrong.
Grammarian of the week: Tesco has apologised and promised to brush-up on its spelling and grammar after complaints about its baby wear that included the slogans ‘I was born awsome’ and ‘daddys little man’ minus the apostrophe.
Or maybe it was ‘awsome’ in the way that babies are supposed to make you go ‘aaah’? In which case they also spelt ‘aah’ wrong. Read more ›››
Crisis of the week: There is a shortage of the nation’s favourite biscuits following the floods in January as the McVitie’s factory in Carlisle struggles to produce ginger nuts, custard creams, bourbons, water biscuits and those little packets of shortbread you find in hotel rooms. Very worrying and all too reminiscent of the Great Fig Roll Crisis of ’08. Read more ›››