Whilst watching TV yesterday I was idly channel flip-flopping between the Euro 2016 football and Wimbledon tennis. What struck me was the difference in behaviour expected of the players and spectators in the two sports. It’s time to mix things up a bit.
For example, to aid players’ concentration I think the football referee should insist on complete quiet from the crowd.
By the same token, I think it would make tennis more fun if after winning each set the player ran around the court doing an aeroplane, finishing with a spectacular knee-slide.
Manchester Council have rehoused two of the city’s finest cultural institutions in a brand new venue called – rather bizarrely – HOME.
The Cornerhouse was a multi-screen cinema, exhibition space, restaurant and bookshop on bustling Oxford Road. It offered Continue reading
You might be forgiven for thinking that you are an autonomous person whose body belongs to you. Have it tattooed, pierced, implanted, sterilized; it’s no-one else’s business. Dye your hair or cut it all off. Apply as much or as little makeup as you wish. Even kill yourself. Continue reading
This time, I’m not talking about the dubious two-for-one offers made by desperate retailers in times of austerity. I am referring to the propensity we have to discount some piece of information which doesn’t fit our reality, or which we simply find inconvenient.
This week there was a grim reminder of the consequences when humans exhibit this illogical behaviour. Continue reading
Back in 2007 I wrote that if your intention was to ‘save the planet’ then simply using oil more efficiently was futile. This is because somebody, somewhere at sometime will use the fuel that you don’t burn.
Now the journal Nature has published research which takes this argument to its conclusion. The authors argue that huge quantities of fossil fuels must be left in the ground if the global temperature rise is to be kept under the 2°C safety limit agreed internationally.
That’s just not going to happen, is it?
An articulated lorry passed me on the main road yesterday. It was an ordinary, anonymous curtain-sided trailer – ordinary except it carried signs on each side which said
Warning do not walk close to this vehicle at any time.
I think I’ll put one of those on my car.
In the UK we have to show a ‘tax disc’ in our vehicle windscreen as proof that we have paid (or are exempt from) Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). There is a fine for ‘failure to display’ which means that even if it simply falls off onto the floor of your car you are in trouble. From 1 October 2014 all this will change when Continue reading
One of the first questions commonly asked when meeting someone new. Usually asked before we enquire about hobbies and interests (although that might be more interesting for both parties).
Insurance companies also require this information, and I came across an amusing dropdown list whilst browsing for car insurance today. A bit like the over-detailed list of pre-nominal titles I wrote about some time ago. To the extent that it accurately reflects the vast range of jobs in 21st century Britain, it is a snapshot which might be of great value to historians in years to come. Continue reading
Time was, a meal out was an occasional treat. And even if it were only the once-ubiquitous Berni Inn, you got dressed up, and could expect to be treated like the Crawley family attended by uniformed waiters and waitresses. Nowadays, people generally don’t bother to change for dinner, and many restaurants have similarly relaxed their staff dress code.
Some time ago, Royal Mail decided to change the way it calculates its postage rates. Instead of charging by weight, it introduced the idea of Letters, Large Letters and Packets – defined by the size of the item.
This means that an A4 letter is cheaper to send if you Continue reading