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I would like to share an experience with you all,
about drinking and driving.
As you well know, some of us have been known to
have had brushes with the authorities on our way home from the odd social
session over the years.
A couple of
nights ago, I was out for a few drinks with some friends at the George
and had a few too many beers and some rather nice red wine. Knowing full well I
may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I've never done before
.... I took a bus home.
Sure enough I passed a police breathalyser check
but as it was a bus they waved it past.
I arrived home safely without incident, which was a
real surprise, as I have never driven a bus before and am not sure where I got
I don’t know where this story originally came from.
I personally stole it from Terry Wells of Barking
Mad – The Home From Home Alternative to Kennels. (Terry currently runs the
Welsh Borders Area Franchise.)
Find out more about Barking Mad by Visiting our very own WebWatch2000 listings for “Pets & Domestic Animals”
We used to be told that
blotting paper was the stuff you looked for in vain while your fountain pen ink
was drying. In similar vein, we believe
that pudding is what you look forward to while eating your Beef Wellington - thus
making absolutely sure that you will not be able to eat the pudding.
If cookery is close to
your heart (and alcohol close to your liver) the rash of celebrity chefs on
your television set will not have escaped your attention. But the Philip Harbens and Fanny Craddocks of
yesteryear have given way to a new breed of chef - net-savvy chefs who boast slick websites, personal
blogs and Twitter accounts.
This being the case, we
feel that it is our duty to bring their offerings to your table. So, for starters, why not help us by checking
out the Food & Drink category here on WebWatch2000 (http://www.webwatch2000.com/portal/food-drink/)
Now, the more perceptive amongst you will have spotted that this opening sentence is just a cheap excuse for the next one, which goes “But fruit flies like a banana.” (The old gags are still the best!)
So, on the subject of fruit flies, we have often thought (when at a bit of a loose end) that an interesting examination question for A-Level English Language might go along the following lines:
“Truth flies like an arrow.
But fruit flies like a banana.
That’s not an entirely frivolous idea. Just think of the scope for analysing the role of the pun in English literature, and also the problems created by the ambiguity of words that can have a variety of meanings or even can serve as different parts of speech, according to circumstances.
I mean, why else would lawyers use words like ‘aforesaid’, ‘hereinafter’ and ‘hithertofore’? Well, of course, they use them because they are words that can mean only one thing. (If only we knew what it was!)
And another thing .......
OK, wake up at the back there.
More seriously, while we are being a bit philosophical about truth, what actually is truth? Is it my truth or your truth? Or is it neither of those? Perhaps that is something we may never know.
But what we probably can know is what the majority of people believe - not quite the same thing as truth but perhaps almost as important. And that is where opinion polls come in. Well, that is one reason for opinion polls. Another is that they can provide us with a bit if a laugh!
So, if you are still with us, why don’t you let us have your comments on what kind of poll would you like to see us run here on WebWatch2000?
We have had a few thoughts on the subject. For example:
1. What is the meaning of life? (Let’s start with the easy questions!)
2. Are online polls a waste of time? (No bias here!)
3. Why did Prime Minister Thatcher introduce a tax on polls?
For those of you whose
hobbies include quantum mechanics, special relativity and time travel - yes,
all of you! - please note that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity may not be all that
it is cracked up to be.
News of recent research
at CERN suggests that while E definitely equals something-or-other, it might
not quite be M x C squared! This is
because neutrinos might, just
possibly, travel faster than light - thus messing up the entire theory.
With this in mind, and
our thanks to Tom Whipple of The Times, here is a (sort of) funny story on the
“We don’t allow faster than light
neutrinos in here”, the barman says. A
neutrino walks into a bar. (Think about it!)
OK, please yourself!
why not catch up on your quantum physics with a trip to the WebWatch2000 books
section. Or, even better, check out the
work of Professor Brian Cox at Amazon.co.uk. Just click on the link below: http://www.amazon.co.uk/books/ and type Brian Cox into the search box.
‘Serendipity’. There’s a useful word. It’s probably one that you use all the time –
and your friends love you for it! (Or maybe
they just regard you as a bit of a smarty-boots!)
We can save you the trouble of reaching down your dusty old Oxford
English Dictionary. Serendipity means an
aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident!
And, believe it or not,
someone has based a very successful international multimillion-dollar internet business
on this very concept. No it’s not
serendipity.com (although someone will no doubt have registered that name, long
long ago) It is called ‘StumbleUpon’ and
you have probably signed up already. If
not, you should try it. It works, sort
of, like this.
If your best mate is
totally nuts about Manchester United, and you come across a really interesting
reference to Man U on the internet, you might tell him about it or email him
with a web-link to the article in question.
Or if your cousin Flo collects Womble dolls, and you spot a funny story
about Wombles, you might send her a text message, drawing her attention to the
The idea behind
StumbleUpon is that, if lots of people know what things really interest you, they
can all tell you about all the things they have come across in your particular
areas of interest. So your exposure to
happy accidental discoveries is multiplied many times over! There are in fact about 15 million members of
StumbleUpon.com out there to help you find those happy discoveries.
The name Thyme comes
from the Greekthymos meaning
spirit or smoke. Properties attributed to thyme by the Greeks included the
giving of valour and restoring vigour. The Romans also attributed these
qualities, their soldiers bathing in it before battle to gain vigour, strength
Later, in the Middle
Ages, Knights would have a sprig of thyme embroidered on their scarves by their
lady as a sign of their bravery. Its use is recorded
yet earlier, by the Sumerians who used it as an antiseptic. The Egyptians used
it their mummification brew.
The sweet smell of
thyme was enjoyed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to whom it was a compliment
to “smell of thyme”. It was recorded by the Greeks that it produced the best
honey in Athens Sprigs of thyme were
placed on coffins of the dead. It was thought that the spirit would then take
up residence in the flowers of thyme plants.
In 1947, a young Beduin
boy in KhirbetQumranon the northwest shore of theDead Sea, discovered a desert cave in which were hidden a
collection of documents, hand written inHebrew,Aramaic andGreek, mostly onparchment, but with some written onpapyrus.
These documents and
others discovered a little later, which together became known as the Dead Sea
Scrolls, sparked huge interest among religious scholars, historians and
archaeologists – partly because of their historical significance and partly
because of their possible relevance to existing biblical texts. However, the task of deciphering them presented
considerable technical problems because of the age and fragility of the
material on which they were written.
Sixty years on, after
much painstaking work, the contents of the scrolls have finally been revealed
and translated. And with specialist technical
assistance and funding, provided notably by Google, the scrolls have also been
digitised and are available online for access by a worldwide readership.
And so, as Dr Johnson
might have said, (but probably didn’t!), “What has all that got to do with the
price of fish?” Well, you may, or may
not, be surprised to learn that the WebWatch2000 ‘ Reference’category (http://www.webwatch2000.com/portal/reference/) contains a convenient link to the scrolls in the
Israel Museum and also to additional background information on their provenance,
as provided by Wikipedia.