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Thoughts from category: random stuff

pigeons

At lunchtime, on the way to the supermarket, having walked the ‘secret’ route under the bridge and along the canal, we spotted these pigeons. Loads of them. This picture doesn’t do it justice. They were everywhere

We can’t help but wonder what they were queuing for. Were they waiting for their own lunch? Or concert tickets? Were they queuing for a famous pigeon celebrity who was doing a book signing?

We’ll probably never know but, just in case, we’ll keep an eye on them.

smoots

We were reading about smoots the other day, a unit of measurement based on the height of Oliver Smoot in 1964 (5 feet 7 inches). As a prank when he was a student at MIT, Oliver Smoot repeatedly lay down on the Harvard Bridge while his friends measured how many of him would make up its length. It was discovered that the bridge was 364.4 smoots. 

Since then the smoot has become a semi-official measurement of distance. The original marks are repainted every year and you can even use it in the official Google Calculator (we’ve worked out that Fruit Towers is just over 14 smoots).

Having learnt about smoots, we then got lost in a tunnel of other odd (and surprisingly real) ways to measure stuff.

The beard-second - 10 nanometers, the distance the average beard grows in a second.

The sheppey - the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque

The New York second - the time between the lights turning green and the cab behind you beeping its horn. The shortest imaginable measurement of time there is.

A Warhol - a measurement of fame. Fifteen minutes worth of fame equals 1 Warhol. Can be expanded to:

- 1 kilowarhol — famous for 15,000 minutes (about ten days)

- 1 megawarhol — famous for 15 million minutes, (roughly 28.5 years)

We’d like to add our own method of measurement to all this. 

The Wiki-moment - The amount of time you accidentally spend on Wikipedia before realising you really should get back to work.

nominative determinism

Recently we’ve become interested in the idea of nominative determinism, the theory that people are naturally drawn to careers that match their names. For example, if you were called Ian Growsuptobealawyer then you’d have an increased chance of growing up to become a lawyer. We’d also love to hear from you, Ian. You have an amazing name.

Other examples of nominative determinism include:

Mark de Man - Belgian footballer (a defensive midfielder, no less)

Usain Bolt - very fast man from those internet adverts

Storm Field - American meteorologist

Sue Yoo - lawyer who we promise we didn’t just make up

Sara Blizzard - BBC weatherperson

James Peach - actual person who works in Fruit Towers

Did your name subliminally send you down your career path? Or are you Ian Growsuptobealawyer? Get in touch if so (especially the latter).

jaffa cake or jaffa biscuit?

Recently, during the return of Bake Off, we asked our Twitter followers an important question.

Are Jaffa Cakes a cake or a biscuit?

 

 

We’d even go as far as saying it’s possibly the most important question of modern times. Yes, people argue about religion or politics or the correct way to eat Maltesers*, but you only really know the full measure of a person once you’ve had the Jaffa Cake Conversation (or JCC for the busy amongst us).

Immediately, people on Twitter started to bring up the fact that this entire question was apparently solved in a court case a few years ago. Cakes, you see, are charged a different VAT rate so the matter had to be settled legally. It turns out that one of the primary differences between cakes and biscuits is that cakes go hard when stale while biscuits go soft. And, seeing as Jaffa Cakes undoubtedly toughen up after a period during which they miraculously go uneaten, it was decided that they were cakes.

But maybe that’s just what they want us to think? Maybe there’s something else going on? Maybe, deep in some underground bunker miles beneath London, there’s some secret consortium of cake bakers locked in a battle against a cult of biscuit artists that goes back for thousands of years? Maybe, just maybe, Jaffa Cakes are some sort of mythical object and whichever side ‘owns’ them can dictate the shape of reality itself? Maybe we’re all pawns in an ancient game that none of us can truly understand?

Or maybe everyone involved could realise that they’re called Jaffa Cakes. Clue’s in the name.


*bite all the chocolate off, eat the malty goodness after