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Curiosities

The Very Unnaughty Noughties

In previous centuries each decade has generally had a label based on its numerical value:

  • 1950-1959: The Fifties
  • 1960-1969: The Sixties
  • 1970-1979: The Seventies
  • 1980-1989: The Eighties
  • 1990-1999: The Nineties (more…)

End of a decade?

A decade? You guessed it – something to do with 10. Several words with “dec” relate to 10, coming from the Greek “deka” for “ten”. A decapod is an animal with 10 legs. A decahedron is a solid with 10 surfaces. A decathlon is an athletic contests with 10 events. Even December – it’s the 10th month (of the ancient Roman year, before they interfered with it). Decimal – no explanation needed. The verb decimate, which popularly means to kill or destroy a large quantity, also has the original meaning: “to kill one person in 10”. And (more…)

World’s largest English-speaking country?

USA? Think again 🙂

Smiling Moon

What can it mean? The Moon is smiling over Thailand. Here are two pictures I took tonight 1st December around 7pm in Bangkok.

Smiling Moon over Bangkok

Smiling Moon

Have YOU have seen a smiling moon? What do YOU think it means?!

New dollar bill

To support the bailout of AIG, Lehman, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac the US Treasury Department has issued a new one dollar bill…

New dollar bill

Willful panic

Watching CNN (or one of the other cable channels endlessly broadcasting the end of the world as capitalism knows it) I heard one of the “expert commentators” describe last Thursday’s sell-off on the London Stock Exchange as “a bloodbath – sheer, unadulterated, willful panic”.

What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with “willful panic”? Please add your answers and comments.

(“When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom.” Confucius)

College Entrance Exam

Time allowed: 1 minute

College Entrance Exam

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Answers to College Entrance Exam

That’s OK, I didn’t pass either 🙁

Morality Test

This test only has one question, but it’s a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.

Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

Please scroll down slowly and give due consideration to each line.

THE SITUATION

You are in England, York to be precise.

There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding.

This is a flood of biblical proportions.

You are a photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, and you’re caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.

You’re trying to shoot career-making photos.

There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing into the water.

Nature is unleashing all its destructive fury.

THE TEST

Suddenly, you see a man in the water.

He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris.

You move closer… Somehow, the man looks familiar…
You suddenly realize who it is… It’s Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the UK! You notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever. You have two options:

You can save the life of Gordon Brown or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, documenting the death of one of the country’s most powerful men!

THE QUESTION

Here’s the question, and please give an honest answer…

Would you select high contrast colour film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

April Fool’s Day

April 1st is called April Fool’s Day in English, and it’s a day when people play jokes on other people. They can be small, personal jokes or tricks, or big “industrial-size” hoaxes by newspapers or television channels like the BBC. (more…)

Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Hoax

Below is probably the most classic April Fool’s Day hoax of all time. On April 1st, 1957 the BBC ran a short programme about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland, showing spaghetti growing on trees. Many people believed the programme and phoned in to ask how they could grow their own “spaghetti tree”.

(more…)