• The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs “had the power of 10bn (yes, ten billion!) Hiroshimas, according to a documentary broadcast on BBC television on May 15, 2017. Doesn’t nature have a way of putting our conceits into perspective?
  • Had to laugh at an armed robber being foiled by a shopkeeper who simply ignored him. Now, where else might that be a fruitful policy? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-36776087
  • It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the idea of Victoria Beckham making a hip hop album. One 2003 song from the unreleased album is called Dat Simple, and contains the lyrics ‘I’d be riding wit’ you‘. Oh Lord save us from rich white girls trying to be street. We love you Victoria, but Dat Simple wouldn’t be one of our reasons.
  • Reviewing Blood On The Tracks on its release in 1975, Jon Landau said: “To compare this album to Blonde On Blonde is to imply that people will treasure it as deeply and for as long. They won’t.” Not content to leave it at that, he went on: “Blood On The Tracks will only sound like a great album for a while. Like most of Dylan, it is impermanent.” Whoops. The man who went on to co-produce Bruce Springsteen clearly had an axe to grind.
  • Good to know that Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of the basket case that is Italy, thinks that “the European Union is like the orchestra playing on the Titanic”. A little louder, please, Signore Renzi – the people in the lifeboats can’t hear.
  • A must-watch Horizon on Alzheimers – still available on iPlayer – brings the disturbing news that sleep deprivation can be a factor in developing the disease. A good eight hours sleep allows a ‘flushing’ of the plaque that forms, causing the brain to slow down and stop functioning. Note to self: insomnia is on longer your friend.
  • After years telling young people to watch what they post on social media and being scoffed at – “You’re so o-o-l-d! You don’t know what you’re talking about” – it’s a comfort to see criminals posting their deeds on Facebook and then being surprised when the police turn up. But you’ll have to go a long way to match Nathaniel Bellamy who, realising he had to get rid of a gun he’d used committing a crime (DNA, y’know, and a’that) took to social media to ask where he could get a replacement. ‘Schadenfreude, schadenfreude’ (to the tune of Edelweiss, for all those old enough to remember, and old enough to enjoy being right.
  • Grey whales may be making a return to the Atlantic Ocean. Wiped out locally by whalers 200-odd years ago, they have been restricted to the Pacific Ocean ever since. But melting ice flows have created a new route for them and they have been sighted off the coasts of Israel and Africa. Before the global warming crew gets all hot under the collar, note the word “return”. The route has been open in the past, when climes were warmer. It’s only because the planet cooled that the route was cut off.
  • Just when you thought it wasn’t safe to be anti-left wing, Gary Kasparov – Russian chess hero – comes along and says: “Talking about socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the success of capitalism.”
  • Legendary chat show host David Letterman, talking pre-Trump in the White House: “America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real, but the moon landing was faked. He might want to update that in view of current political events.
  • Silver is so ductile that a gram will stretch into a wire measuring over 2km. And it is the best conductor of electricity of all the Elements.
  • Talking of Elements, a Christmas 2015 gift book of The Periodic Table – a subject stable and fixed for about 60 years – was already out of date by New Year’s Day 2016 after four new Elements were added.
  • In a list of carbon-emitting countries, according to Global Carbon Atlas, the UK came 15th, at one-twentieth of China’s output. And that was back in 2013.
  • According to the National University Hospital in Singapore, one cough expels 19,500 flu viruses from your mouth. Which only leaves us wondering, why aren’t we immune?
  • Sometimes when people talk crap, it’s impossible to argue. So we love this: faced with a pretentious lecture by Bishop Berkeley on the ‘non-existence of matter, and that everything in the universe is merely ideal’, Dr Johnson replied: “I refute your argument thus”, and kicked a stone.
  • Pravda, former mouthpiece of the USSR Communist Party, and still to be relied on to toe the party line, has named Jeremy Corbyn as one of its’ ‘People of 2015’. Pravda clearly didn’t get the memo, judging Corbyn as ‘despised by the establishment’ (a good thing in their eyes) and as believing that Britain ‘can learn a lot from Marx. Corbyn wasn’t available for comment.
  • Crapulous isn’t a clever way of saying ‘crap’. It means you’ve over-indulged in food or drink.
  • 1573 road deaths occurred in 2014 on roads other than motorways.
    On motorways, the most regulated and policed roads in the UK, the death toll over the same period was 85.
  • 160,000 people have viewed the Sky and BBC clips of Hilary Benn rousing Parliament to its cheering feet in the Syria debate. 19.2m people have viewed an online video of a squirrel stuffing its face with peanuts.

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