This week I thought I’d take my foot off the proverbial history; good-for-you, bad-for-you, beat you with the facts and dates accelerator and trip the light irreverent with some more trivia:
To dig the Channel Tunnel, 11 tunnel boring machines were used to extract 8 million cubic meters of chalk, clay and soil. At the end of the drill one of the boring machines was buried in the side of the tunnel. (I wonder if our water coolers were installed down there during construction? I’ll have to ask!)
The tunnel has over 100 miles of railway lines, 1200 telephones and 20,000 lighting fixtures over its length. The building of the channel tunnel involved 15,000 workers.
Thanatos is a term widely used in psychoanalytic theory to represent the encouraging to destruction, or an apparent pleasure in seeing the worst outcome. It seems that much of the UK press knows this term all too well with headlines like ‘House Market Throttled as Loans Fall 56%’ – the article then explained that mortgage issues were down by 56%.
What the press is failing to explain in the headlines or the articles (in many cases) is that measures such as this only use part of the total loans i.e. new loans and do not account for all the mortgage market – and especially remortgages.
The only statue in the world of the prolific crime writer Agatha Christie is a bronze bust on the seafront at Torquay (her birthplace) opposite the Grand Pavilion. It is believed that the Grand Pavilion is where her first husband proposed to her.
The Guinness Book of Records lists Agatha Christie as the best-selling fiction author of all time estimating 2-billion of her books have been sold in 103 languages worldwide. Her first novel, published in 1920, was “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” and she received £26 for it.
Britain pops the cork on champagne bottles to the tune of 40 million times a year, which is pretty impressive, and something to celebrate particularly when you consider that is twice as many as the next biggest market – the USA. In fact the only people to drink more champagne than the Brits are The French, but then, they do make it. (As delicious as bubbly is, remember to keep hydrated with water in between all that bubbles quaffing – your body will thank you).
And finally …
Steeple chasing began in 1750’s when two riders in Ireland decided to test their horses’ speed by racing across country between two churches – steeple to steeple. (No, no, AquAid did not provide the refreshments, the first water cooler was a hundred years or so away!)