Category Archives: Lists
It’s been a crazy sort of week. A really good week but at the end of it I find myself dithering around and at a loss to know what to write about. This is not unusual. But it’s usually because I have too many things to choose from. This time it’s different. This time my mind is a bit like those squares of soft plastic that come in the boxes of stuff you buy from Amazon. And I’m not talking about bubble wrap; that would be interesting, at least you can pop it.
In the past weeks I’ve written about the danger of using mobile phones when driving, public address systems in airports, my deceased cat Eric and his life as a spy, sausages, cows, coastlines and contemporary art. I also love to write about the wacky, mad things people do and strange unknown facts. So, while I get my head together for next week, here are some things I’ve just discovered. They’re the sort of things that brighten up my life and make me smile. The links to the sites where I found them are at the end of this post. So, Einstein couldn’t swim and …
Isaac Newton invented the cat flap
Walt Disney – creator of Micky Mouse – was afraid of mice
The Tory (Conservative) party was founded by a group of Irish Catholic bandits. The name comes from the Irish for outlaw or bandit. They’re certainly living up to their origins.
Virginia Wolfe wrote all her books standing up.
Pigs love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, except for the Mint Oreo flavour.
There’s a spider named after Harrison Ford.
Goethe could only write if he had an apple rotting in the drawer of his desk.
In 1980 Saddam Hussein was given the key to the city of Detroit.
Elephants purr like cats.
Bats always turn left when they leave their caves.
Tigers don’t just have striped fur, they have striped skin.
The Founder of Pringles was buried in a Pringles can.
This Crazy World We Live In
No. 1 People with too much time on their hands
Last week while demonstrating ways to find information on the Internet I came across a quite extraordinary blog – indeed the blog with the longest domain name in the world. There you can find the longest everything – the longest abbreviation, the longest running Academy Awards ceremony, the longest bridge, the longest time anyone has been buried alive (presumably they were still alive when disinterred!) The longest commute, the longest dog – dog! – and so on through the alphabet until you get to the longest wave ever surfed, the longest word and the longest zucchini (that vegetable beloved of scrabble devotees and people who compile lists. Oh, and people who like zucchini.)
I’m going to start with the longest abbreviation because it’s a contradiction in terms. Utterly, completely weird and bonkers. It contains no less than fifty-six letters far, far longer than even the longest of words. So here it comes …and yes I did notice that the letters do not correspond to the English translation. But it’s a Russian abbreviation. Enough said.
What does it stand for? Take a deep breath. It stands for the –
Laboratory for Shuttering, Reinforcement, Concrete and Ferroconcrete Operations for Composite-monolithic and Monolithic Constructions of the Department of Technology of Building Assembly Operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organization for Building Mechanization and Technical Aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the USSR.
Yay! I wonder what they called it for short? Any suggestions?
If you had to say all that every time you wanted to call them up on the phone or explain where you worked you’d probably have lost the will to live. Which brings me to Geoff Smith. Maybe he thought his name was just a bit ordinary so was prompted to do something a little different. Or maybe it was because of his mother. Whatever it was, it’s our Geoff who holds the record for the longest time being buried alive.
His ordeal began on 29th August in 1998 and ended 150 days later. While I question whether anything self-inflicted can be called an ordeal I can’t dispute the facts. Nor would I want to. Geoff it seems spent 150 days buried in a coffin 6 feet under the garden of the Railway Inn in Mansfield, England. Breaking the old record of 141 days and the European record of 101 days, which had been set by his mother 30 years earlier. I’m not sure why his coffin was painted to resemble a tiger – it will probably remain forever a mystery. Like why anyone would want to break the world record for being buried alive.
If I delved any deeper into this crazy blog I’d be here all day. So – you’ve got the link. Have an explore. If you have any time to spare that is – but I must say it is addictive. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.