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Ho Ho Ho!

Ho Ho Ho – another virulent Christmas is upon us – a variant on last year, but no real change.

So for the last blog of the year, let’s take our imagination to strange new places …

Shelley told a friend that Robin researches online for 3 days before he buys a toothbrush. This is not an exaggeration. I also jot down loads and loads of stuff whenever I read a book.

So it’s time to share so you can wow your relatives after the turkey is cold and the cracker jokes have run out of steam.

Did you know? –

  • The Sahara Desert is bigger than Australia?
  • Penguins used to be 6 foot tall, back in the day?
  • Kangaroos used to walk not hop?
  • The average American woman owns 7 pairs of jeans and only wears 4?

This last one strikes me as astonishing for several reasons.

First, I’m sure many US women have very few or even no pairs of jeans,  ipso facto [yep my law training again] there must be some with dozens and dozens of pairs. Why?

Second, as there are 135 million female adults in the US with 3 unworn pairs of jeans between them, that’s 405 million pairs of unworn jeans. An estimated 700 million people live in extreme poverty worldwide.

  • So half of them could be given a pair of jeans by these women without affecting their wardrobe choice.
  • So this must be the tip of the iceberg.

I can hear laptops firing up all over the country as furious women get ready to castigate me. Hold up! I’m not singling out American women, I just haven’t been able to find the info on the men’s Y-front mountain in Germany, uneaten energy bars in Italy or surplus antibiotics prescribed, but not finished, in hospitals in Switzerland, but you get the picture.

In a nutshell this is not about scarcity, it’s about excess and redeployment of resources. Global poverty is completely unnecessary with our current resources. We just choose to hoard, waste, jettison more than enough to go round.

OK, back to amazing facts.

  • Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan, is the oldest hotel in the world. The hot-spring hotel sits at the foot of the stunning Akaishi Mountains and has been in operation since 705 A.D.It’s been in the hands of 52 generations of the same family for more than 1,300 years…and I bet the towels are scratchy.
  • The creator of the Pringle’s tin is buried in one – well, his ashes are.
  • Bela Lugosi was buried in his Dracula costume.
  • Michelangelo hated painting the Sistine Chapel and wrote a poem about it. It’s a 14-line sonnet and I’m not going to write it out. Let’s just say Mike was a significantly better painter than poet.
  • I really like this one because it’s true of life: people with black belts are experts in martial arts who have endured years of rigorous training, but the Japanese word for black belt “shodan,” is translated as “first step”.
  • Doctors who play video games for more than three hours each week make 37 percent fewer surgical errors than those who don’t.
  • Mensa members with more body hair have the highest I.Q.
  • There’s actually a word for when you’re trying to say something and suddenly forget a specific word. It’s “lethologica”. But there isn’t a word for when you can’t remember the word for when you can’t remember a word!
  • French Poodles aren’t French, they’re German. Now I’m wondering about German measles, Dutch Elm Disease and Russian dolls.
  • Hawaiian Pizza is Canadian  …yes ok I’ll move on …
  • Night Owls have higher average IQ than early risers [great, now I’ve annoyed at least another 100 people].
  • Dutch police carry teddy bears in case they need to pacify a traumatised child. I absolutely love this but surely all police should carry a spliff in their pocket to calm down their over-zealous colleagues?
  • It’s illegal to sell photos of the Eiffel Tower at night. You really would need to be French to understand this I imagine.
  • Goats and cows have regional accents.
  • The Vatican’s ATMs are in Latin
  • The name Jessica was invented by Shakespeare [Merchant of Venice]. He also invented the words beached, barefaced, blanket, champion, circumstantial and loads more.
  • 27 people in India died last year from selfie-related accidents.
  • Baseball was invented in Britain in the late 18th century and first referenced by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey.
  • The word computer was first used to describe mathematicians in the early 17th century.
  • Bulls can’t see red – yep really! I find this bizarre, but apparently the matador’s rag is red so people in the crowd can see it. In fact, red deters wasps, but wasp fighting never caught on.
  • According to research published in the Annals of Epidemiology, people over 60 have a 14 percent higher chance of dying on their birthday than on any other day. I really do feel we need to be given much more information on stuff like this, Boris.
  • You can’t hum if you hold your nose … and yep you are trying this now and wondering how on earth you’ve lived so long without trying it before.
  • Champagne makes great shoe polish
  • According to the National Transportation Safety Board , 95 percent of passengers involved in aviation accidents actually survive. Yes, but that’s not the point is it?! It’s the 50 seconds immediately before you find out that’s a total no-no!

Enjoy the rest of your year and thanks for reading. I love getting your feedback even when it’s downright insulting.

Oh OK then. One cracker joke.

I started a pub on the moon but it failed. No atmosphere.

Ho Ho Ho