Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hard Cheese

The modern billiard ball is made from cheese. Cottage cheese, mixed with formaldehyde becomes so hard gaming balls can be crafted from it.

Lost in ...

One of the film mysteries of the year is what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson at the end of 'Lost In Translation'. The latest rumour ('confirmed' by people who can apparently lip read) seems to be 'You've got great tits.'

Sunday, November 28, 2004

It's bigger than 'Titanic'

The fifth biggest film in audience terms in British Cinema history is ...

'Spring In Park Lane'

Released in 1948, this post-war rom com starring Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding, and directed by Herbert Wilcox, told the tale of a wealthy merchant's daughter falling in love with a servant who is in fact a down-on-his-luck nobleman. Despite having been seen by an estimated 20.5 million people at the time, the film has bizarrely been out of print on vhs for years and isn't yet available on dvd. Titanic is eighth by the way, and the rest of the list can be seen here.

Friday, November 26, 2004

oh henry!

In Australia candy bar wrappers have been used as an alternate form of contraception.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Once In A Blue Moon

An explanation of the phrase 'Once In A Blue Moon' has been posted at Reader's Digest: "A blue moon is defined as a second full moon within a calendar month. Since a lunar cycle lasts 29.5 days and a calendar month 30.5 days, it occurs only once every two and a half years or so. Astronomers have borrowed the phrase "blue moon" to describe this phenomenon from the traditional expression meaning rarely or never. A second full moon in a month is not actually blue in colour, yet there have been a number of occasions when the moon did appear to be blue. Dust from the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa turned the moon blue in 1883, as did smoke from western Canadian forest fires in 1951." More facts here.

Print me

There is a shop which only sells print cartridges. It's in Liverpool, England on Smithdown Road in Wavertree. Hanging all over every wall there are hundreds of different types of print cartridge seemingly for every model of printer ever produced. It's been open for nearly six months even though there never seems to be anyone inside buying.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Other Handy Uses For Urine

In addition to being able to drink fresh urine, it is also excellent for cleaning wounds on the battlefield or in the wild, or wherever you may be when your usual wound-cleaners of choice are far away. Urine is also an excellent salve for jellyfish stings. It contains enzymes that help break up the natural chemicals causing the sting. A use for that full bladder on the beach at last.

Thanks, Stu, for jogging these tidbits out of my brain.

Thirsty?

This isn't for people of a weak stomach, but apparently urine is sterile and is a perfectly good subsitute for water if you're stranded in the desert. Provided you have a glass with you. I suppose it depends what you've been drinking beforehand.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Stutter

James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader and star of 'Field of Dreams' had such a pronounced stutterer as a child that he used to write down everything he wanted to say so that he could interact with people.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

More Live Aid

The following appears on the letters page of this month's Word Magazine : "One story I've never seen printed anywhere - may be true, may be fiction - was told to me by a woman who was part of the Harvey Goldsmith staff. Harvey was known for being a bit of a to-the-last-detail man, being especially filled with panic that anything that could go wrong, would go wrong at any event, so his nerves on Live Aid were especially bad. At one point before curtain-up, a man arrives in the backstage area with a big lorry, unloads eight donkeys from the lorry, and a load of hay, then for the rest of the day sits there calmly tending his donkeys. Nobody knows why he is there, including the man himself. Speculation about their purpose was rife: were they part of Queen's show? Were they there to give Geldof's kids donkey rides? Or was it just to make Status Quo look attractive? Late in the afternoon, someone finally manages to ask Harvey why the donkeys are there. He'd rented them in in case the motors for the revolving stage failed, so they could be lashed up to it and they could pull the stage round for the acts. That's what you call planning."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The world's oldest man dies.

The world's oldest man died today. According to CNN, Fred Hale Sr "was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday. Born December 1, 1890, Hale last month watched his lifelong favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, win the World Series again after 86 years." He was also the Guiness World Record holder for being the oldest driver, still behind the wheel at the age of 108. [via]

Dickhead

The male whelk's penis is one fifth of its total bodyweight and is attached to what could be described as its head. This makes the male whelk proportionally much better hung than, say, a donkey or horse. Although it also makes it a real dickhead.

Do You Know Your Own Strength?

Human beings are capable of supporting exactly twice their body weight on their backs.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Angry Hippo

Hippopotamuses seem like quiet retiring creatures who like nothing more than relaxing in mud and then having endless baths. In fact, they're one of the greatest man killers on the animal kingdom, second only to lions in their ferocity. Their canine teeth average about at about 50 cms long, and they can use their head as a battering ram which (when they're not fighting other males over women and territory) they use to sink boats or attack humans which are getting too close to them or their young. So whatever you do don't ever look at a hippo in the wrong way.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Renaissance man

The painter and engineer Leonardo Da Vinci was also an expert lute player. He even went as far as creating an instrument made from Silver in the shape of a horse's head. Which really does make him the Renaissance man that all would end up following.

Nature's Cure For Upset Stomachs

The enzymes in blood will almost instantly placate even the most severe intestinal distress. It only works with your own blood. You could not, for example, bite a friend and expect it to help your tum-tum. Drink up!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Crocodiles can't chew

Crocodiles and alligators can't chew. Not only do they not have the ability to move their jaws laterally, they also have no teeth suitable for chewing. This is why they will grab a hold of you, drown you, then leave you to rot until they can rip bits off and gulp them down.

Unless they are big enough to swallow you whole, of course.

Temperature Drop

By the year 2020, Britain will start to experience winters similar to those found in present day Siberia. Because of this a catastrophic war could break out as people scrabble about for an increasingly limited supply of fresh water, food and energy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Live Aid

At the Live Aid concert at Wembley in 1984, concert goers had a very portable solution to water movements. Empty water and soda bottles were filled up over the course of the day and in some sections passed along the line to waiting bins to be taken to be disposed of.

Monday, November 15, 2004

221b Baker Street

In the Sherlock Holmes stories, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the detective lives at 221b Baker Street. There is a branch of the Abbey National there now, and the bank now employs someone whose only job is to replay to all the fan mail which is sent there from around the world.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Welcome to Heardsaid.

Did you know that if you type weblog into Google now, there are in excess of 40,700,000 pages which feature the word. That's not just actual weblogs, but people talking about weblogs. The top ranking weblog is the Google Weblog, which is actually the independent news site set up by Aaron Swartz to talk about Google, not weblogs. Google's own in-house weblog is currently ranked fourth, just below the community weblog Metafilter at third.

That's actually all true. Now read the following:

I was talking to someone the other day and the subject of dove releases at funerals came up. I wondered about all the doves which would be flying around clogging up the atmosphere and the fact that there would need to be loads of breeders and a supply chain and where would they all come from. What I found out was that it isn't actually doves which are released, but white homing pigeons. When they're released they simply return home ready for the next release. So what is supposed to be a symbolic, spiritual gesture is quite a mechanical process really.

That may be true. What they both have in common is that most people won't have heard them before, and some of those people with have paused for thought. The Oh! Factor.

Another example: I was at the cinema the other day and a boom mike appeared in shot. It was obviously unintentional the film makers were clever enough not to make that kind of mistake. I asked someone about it afterwards and apparently when some films are sent to the cinema the actually frame of the film is square. So when it's projected, the top and the bottom of the picture are cut off to give the image that the film maker intended. What sometimes happens though is that the cinema might get a print in a hurry whatever and will present it with the wrong framing, so that something from the top or bottom of the picture which isn't intended to be seen by the public is in view, like a microphone.

We see and hear all kinds of things in passing from family, friends, work colleagues, even total strangers; watching tv or movies, listening to the radio, reading books, magazines and newspaper; every now and then we'll hear something amazing which we want to pass on.

Which is what this weblog is about. Collecting together these things we hear and presenting them so that the reader too can go 'Oh!' And sometimes 'I never knew that!' And even 'I wish I'd known that before.'

They could literally be about anything or anyone but the really compelling and dangerous aspect is that corroboration isn't necessary. We'll present this stuff just as we heard it and it's up to the reader to decide whether it's true or not. The only basic rule is that we can't just make things up ourselves and that generally there isn't a structure. That's what encyclopedias are for -- its chatty and conversational -- like a personal weblog about answering questions which haven't been asked yet.

It's also about penny drops. Those moments when you realise something you probably should have known already. Which is the confessional bit. So for example up until a year or so ago one of us didn't realise that in the UK soccer leagues, teams played each other twice each year -- home and away. Those times then when you put two and to together yourself, all the did you know know-it-all material tempered with some stupidity.

Some of this will make sense. As far as we know it'll all be true. Enjoy.

Do you know something we don't and have something to contribute? Or even want to become a regular writer? Email and let us know so that we can tell the world.