Do fries go with that shite burger?

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Did you know that the Hungarian word for cheese is sajt? No? Nor did I. Do you know how sajt is pronounced? Well it is pronounced shite which would mean that when ordering a cheese burger when you are hungry in Hungary you will need to ask for a shite burger. Come to think of it that would work in most fast food outlets in English too!

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OK Mr Rubik I’ll raise you a quintillion!

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How many of you have mastered the Rubik’s Cube? I managed it once in the 80s after countless attempts and I’ve never been particularly interested in going back to it. But clearly it has been a very popular toy (am I allowed to call it a toy?). Since it’s launch in the 80s more than 350 million of them have been bought. I wonder how many have been hurled at the wall or out of the window in frustration. Have you ever wondered how many permutations there are for this unassuming little plastic cube? Well I can tell you that there are more than 43 quintillion of them! Blimey it’s no wonder I am rubbish at it!

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just how big is 43 quintillion? well in the USA it is 43,000,000,000,000,000,000 and in the UK, because everything is bigger on this little island isn’t it, it is 43,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Now that makes me wonder whether the Rubik’s Cube permutations calculation is based on the puny USA version of a quintillion or the mighty and bigger British version. what do you think dear readers?

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I’ll meat you in the galleon

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I always imagined that Pirates were scary and violent people. I still believe this to be true. However I do feel that for me the word Buccaneer holds far less menace. The word comes from an old Caribbean word for a method of smoking meat. So how did that become the moniker of these Jolly Roger flying, scurvy sea dogs?

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Well that type of meat was a favourite of French settlers in the Caribbean on the island of Hispaniola. The Spanish cleared them off the island and took it for themselves. But the French that were evicted took their revenge by plundering many Spanish galleons in the area during the 17th Century.

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Roll out the barrel!

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I am not an advocate of the death sentence however if it has to happen then maybe there are some lessons from history. George Plantagenet, Dike of Clarence switched sides from York to Lancaster in the Wars of the Roses in a bid to become king by taking the crown from his brother Edward IV. However, the Lancastrians really didn’t like him so he went back to the Yorkists. He must have known that his brother wouldn’t have liked him much. Edward had George arrested for “unnatural and loathly treasons”. He was executed in February 1478 at the Tower of London. Was he hung, drawn and quartered? No. Was he beheaded? No. Was he crucified? No. He was allegedly drowned in a large barrel of Malmsey wine. This was apparently his favourite tipple.

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Did we get catty over a dog fight?

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Propaganda clearly exists and is produced by all sides in a conflict. One of the most famous aerial battles of the second world war and possibly a turning point in the UK’s fortunes was the Battle Of Britain. Anyone educated in a British School system understands the derring-do of those pilots and how we Brits slayed the Nazi Luftwaffe. I am not disputing any of that and I am proud of this little countries achievements in the Battle of Britain. However on what is now known as Battle of Britain Day, 15th September 1940, the RAF claimed the scalps of 185 German planes. But Luftwaffe records show that only 80 aircraft failed to return. Someone was telling propaganda porkies weren’t they?

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The Black Death

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When the Black Death was the scourge of Europe it really lived up to it’s name. Between 1346 and 1353 it is believed to have caused the death of approximately 50 million people. This was around 60% of the population of Europe at the time. Estimates suggest that up to 200 million died during this pandemic worldwide. More pertinently perhaps is that the Black Death killed four times as many people in Europe as died during the First World War. Now that is scary!

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Mozart trumps the bum trumpet!

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This is perhaps one of my favourite subjects of all that I have posted on this particular blog. According to those wonderful QI people Mozart supposedly kept a fart diary. How fartastic is that and how did they get wind of it? I’m not sure how I have missed this little snippet about Mozart’s bum symphonies as there are references all over the internet.

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In a, hopefully jokey, letter to his mother he allegedly wrote “Yesterday, though, we heard the king of farts/ It smelled as sweet as honey tarts/ While it wasn’t in the strongest of voice/ It still came on as a powerful noise.” Perhaps we should refer to him as Mofart in future.

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I’d like to know what he recorded in his fart diary. Was it volume, tunefulness, length, stench maybe other people’s reactions. What do you think? I’m also curious, is there anyone out there who has done or currently keeps a fart diary? OK I recognise that I might have just cued a bunch of flatulence fetishists to comment but fart be it from me to judge them!

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Did it influence his writing I wonder?

Symphony number 2 (geddit?) in B Fart minor

Concerto for trumpet (presumably the bum trumpet!)

Cosi Fart Tutte

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