Ultracrepidarianism…….

I was in the pub having a quiet pint and as you do, caught the end of a most peculiar conversation. Man (a) was talking to man (b). Man (b) was attempting to reply but with some of the most bizarre replies possible. No offence to the fellow involved but …

Jedward and Jedwood

You may be aware of a boy-band called Jedward who appear to be famous for having matching silly haircuts and it appears very little else. There is also an old practice called Jedwood justice which means, according to the O.E.D means: “Putting someone to death and trying them afterwards.” It …

The wonderful world of Antanaclasis…..

There’s a Chinese poem called Shi Shi Shi Shi Shi. The reason for the title should be obvious if you read the poem in Westernised script: Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī. Shì shíshí shì shì shì shī. Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì. Shì …

Misheard lyrics……..

The following is a list of the most common misheard lyrics – make of it as you will but I am ashamed to admit that for years I thought The Police`s song “So Lonely” was a paen to the former news reader Sue Lawley. 1. ‘Money for nothin’ and chips …

Why is midday known as noon?……

This term traces its origins directly to the Latin adjective nona, which was used to refer to the ninth hour of the day. Since the Romans set daytime hours as those from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the ninth hour was actually 3 p.m. As the influence of the early …

The real story of Sleeping Beauty………

Originally titled “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood”, it first appeared in Italy in 1636 by Giambattista Basile in his collection Pentamerone. In this Neapolitan “Sleeping Beauty,” a great king is forewarned by wise men that his newborn daughter, Talia, is in peril from a poison splinter in flax. Although …

A very, very short history of Trousers…….

St. Pantaleone was a fourth-century Christian physician and martyr known as the “all-merciful.” Beheaded under orders of Roman emperor Diocletian, he became the patron saint of Venice, and a reliquary containing his blood (allegedly still liquid) is housed in the Italian town of Ravello. Pantaleone is probably the only saint …

A very, very short history of the Gun…..

Before there were guns there had to be something to make them fire. That explosive was black powder—a mixture of saltpetre, charcoal, and sulphur—which was probably used for fireworks by the Chinese as early as the tenth century. Black powder made its way to Arabia and then Europe in the …

A very, very short history of the Hearing aid….

Devices for amplifying sounds in a listener’s ear date back to the ear trumpets of antiquity. Hollowed animal horns were used first, most likely, the small end placed in the ear and the other end directed toward the speaker so that it could collect and funnel sound, acting like a …