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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This is my mobiolect (the list of words I had to type into my mobile phone because they were not recognised by the phone's 'dictionary'); a mobiolect gives a potted picture of your life.

achy / Alvarez / Amulet / bairns / bastards / Blackheath / chav / cheeky / colic / cuddy / Eliot / Euston / Faber / foals / g'night / hairier / Holborn / Islington / Kingsway / lagers / lentils / Maccam / Magma / Mersey / mmm / muntjac / Nina / overdraft / pastie / phlegm / pottering / Potts / prawn / questing / rumpus / satay / Scotsman / scruffy / Shetland / shit / slogging / swiff / tajine / tapas / Tim's / tizz / unshaven / ushers / utans / VitQ / Xmas / yak / zooming

101 unusual names of dances:

On the Wallaby Track / Tomorrowland / Wibsey Roundabout / The Demented Seagull / Lady Picking Mulberries / Where Is Tim's Cup / British Sorrow / Balance the Star / The Ace of Clubs / Baldyquash / Zephyrs and Flora / Little Favourite / Dainty Duncan / Shandy Hall / Sweets of May / The Maid Peep'd Out Of the Window / All For Twelve Pounds / Wooden Nickel / Gladys Allen's Fancy / The Fruitcake / Blue Mess Jacket / Return of the Antelope / The Haggis Thrash / Comfort Me / Tumbling Tom Tonic / Candy Swirl / Mudheads Dance / Rod's Grits / Gingerbread / Collegiate Shag / Koala Blues / Jenny Pluck Pears / Barbarini's Tambourine / Ore Boggy

The Weaver's Galopede / Grand Starry Night / Catching Fireflies / Betty's Wedding / Daft Willy / Head For the Hole / Candlestick Branle / Strip the Willow / Black Bottom / Little Log Cabin / Squash Blossom / The Braw Wooer / All Feathers and Fluff / The Physical Snob / Fivepenny Bit / Julia's Frolics / Dog Dance of Woodcraft / When Laura Smiles / Silly Threesome / Cockle Shells / Jack's Maggot / Love At the Window / The Hussy Bride / Tillietudlum / Shim Sham / Twiddle In the Middle / A Credit To Colin / El Paso Stroll / The Slippery Swing / Skiver the Quilt / The Sweetness of Heather / Double Hot Fudge / Mrs Savage's Whim / Sunlight Through Draperies / Aw Shucks

Green Corn of Santo Domingo / Little Tickle / More Bees A-Dancing / The Snowball / Leaving For Barbados / Anna's Wedding Cake / Charge of War Maidens / Chinese Breakdown / The Loch Ness Monster / A Year In the Life of a Penguin / Brighten the Corner Where You Are / Texas Tommy / Mad Robin / Kiss Under the Stairs / Marshes of Mallow / Hasty Pudding / The Highlandman Kissed His Mother / Baby Soaring / Speed Shag / Biddy the Basket Woman / The Toy Giraffe / Sweet and Sassy / Egyptian Arms / The Emptied Crack / Little Man In a Fix / All My Life / Smoking Bishop / Banish Moral Slop / Teakettle / Butter the Horse's Ear / The Missing Duck / Rufty Tufty

Source: various. Many are the names of traditional country dances, square dances, reels etc.
~ Friday, July 22, 2005

Here's the latest VitQ quiz for you, on strange food and drink trivia. As always, put in an email address if you don't want the scoreboard - but it's not spammy. The quiz is hard but fun. Good luck. Most of the answers are on Vitamin Q site or in this lovely book...

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I made this special card of questions so our cat Chili can join in when we play Trivial Pursuit:

Geography – In which Irish county would you find Knock airport? (Answer: Mayo)
Entertainment – Which of Kate Bush's hit songs had a palindromic title? (Answer: Wow)
History – Who declared the formation of the People' Republic of China in 1949? (Answer: Mao)
Art & Literature – What is the name of the mysterious shepherd in the children's fantasy novel 'Hunted'? (Answer: Mowl)
Science & Nature – What name is given to a purple rash beneath the skin? (Answer: purpura)
Sports & Leisure – The US women's basketball coach at the Seoul Olympics was Kay who? (Answer: Yow)
~ Saturday, July 16, 2005

Some jobs in which you would traditionally hear bad language:

1 trooper
2 navvy
3 trucker
4 sailor
5 jailer
6 fishwife
7 docker

...and these days...

1 wheel clamper
2 chart DJ
3 natural birth midwife
4 telesales cold caller
5 primary school teacher
6 traffic warden
7 bikini line waxer
~ Friday, July 15, 2005

The 60 strangest job titles in the USA:

Acrobatic Rigger – sets up equipment for acrobatic troupes
Air Hole Driller – operates machine which makes holes in smoking pipes
Babbitter – adds alloy to metal workpieces
Back Washer – operates machine for washing sliver (a continuous textile strand)
Bed Rubber – operates machine which smoothes stone blocks
Bit Shaver – smoothes mouthpieces of smoking pipes
Bobbin Loose-End Finder - finds and ties broken thread on winding machines
Brilliandeer-Lopper – uses a machine to cut and shape diamonds
Bucket Chucker – operates machine for smoothing inside surface of buckets
Cake Stripper – operates a machine used in the cottonseed oil business
Carroter – conditions fur for use in felt hat manufacture
Chick Sexer – inserts illuminating tool into baby birds to determine gender
Debubblizer – operates equipment which removes bubbles from plastics
Dolly Pusher – moves camera equipment around scene of TV recording / broadcast
End Frazer – operates machinery used in manufacturer of stems for smoking pipes
Flatcar Whacker – maintains and repairs logging rail cars
Fur Blower – runs machinery for fumigating and cleaning furs
Gambreler – hangs animal carcases on hooks ready for preparation
Gang Knife Fish Chopper – chops fish into pieces for canning
Getterer – applies solution to wires in lamp manufacture
Grizzly Worker – breaks rock and ore on quarry conveyor belts and chutes
Hair-Boiler Operator – operates high temperature vats for curling animal hair
Hand Nailer – assembles wooden boxes, pallets and packing cases
Horse Identifier – verifies horses at racetracks
Jet Wiper – wipes spinnerettes through which strands of rayon are produced
Lag Screwer – inserts bolts in table legs
Last Putter-Away - sorts and stores shoe moulds
Lingo Cleaner - cleans metal heddles used in Jacquard loom harnesses
Mother Repairer – improves metal phonograph record matrices
Napper Tender – operates machinery which gives socks a fluffy appearance
Nut Steamer – immerses almonds, pecans etc in hot water to soften shells
Odd Bundle Worker – arranges tobacco leaves on conveyor belt
Odd Shoe Examiner – examines shoe uppers for defective parts
Oyster Floater – spreads shellfish in container to keep fresh / remove impurities
Poultry Offal Icer – shovels ice into chicken waste parts to avoid spoiling
Quill Buncher-and-Sorter – arranges feather types for use in dusters
Redye Hand – sorts and bags hose and panty hose for redying
Roving Sizer – checks output of woollen carding machines
Rug Hooker – operates device to make piles on rugs and carpets
Scarf Gluer – joins together plywood panels
Sea-Foam-Kiss Maker – makes candy kisses and puts them on wax paper to harden
Ski Topper – operates machine that fits plastic strips onto skis
Skull Grinder – cleans ear and nose passages of brained pig heads
Smash Hand – repairs broken yarns on a loom
Smoke Jumper – parachutes in to endangered ares to combat forest fires
Snailer – operates machine which polishes and inscribes clocks and watches
Soft Crab Shedder – helps crabs to shed hard shells so they can be sold as soft-shell crabs
Sulky Driver – takes charge of two-wheel, horse-drawn carriages in races
Sumatra Opener – unbales and stacks tobacco
Targeteer – tests accuracy and functionality of weapons
Top Waddy – organises groups of cowpunchers on a range (also known as Top Screw)
Trip Follower – posts positions of aircraft on a flight-following board
Tubber – tends tumbling machines which clean items to be used as jewellery
Unscrambler – controls movement on food processing conveyor belts
Wax-Ball Knock-Out Worker – removes wax forms from insides of new basketballs
Whizzer – operates felt-hat drying machinery
Winterizer – operates chilling machine for removing stearin from vegetable oils
Worm Picker – patrols grassy areas to find worms for fishing bait
Wrinkle Chaser – uses various tools to remove defects from new shoes
Yeast Pusher - transfers yeast from fermenting cellar to storage tanks

Source: from the 13,000 or so jobs in the US government's authorative manual; thanks to Mark W for putting me onto this
~ Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Some highlights from Singmaster's Chronology of Recreational Mathematics, a list recording dates of innovations, publications and other items of note to do with mathematical puzzles, games and quandaries.

-1800? Old Babylonian tablet - first Sliding Spear.
-1700? Phoenician Puzzle Jugs in Cyprus.
-330 Eubulides - first Liar Paradox and other logical paradoxes: The Heap; Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife?
-325 Euclid - first Ass and Mule Problem.
-285 Philetas of Cos - died from considering Liar Paradox.
c-280 The Stoics invent The Crocodile and Baby Paradox.
-50 Roman Lex Falcidia leads to inheritance problems, particularly Posthumous Twins Problem.
50 St. Paul: Epistle to Titus I, 12 - mentions All Cretans Are Liars.
c250 Diophantos: Arithmetica - first Each Doubles Others' Money; first Men Find a Purse.
7C The Game of Promotion - a Chinese version of Snakes and Ladders.
c7C? Bakhshali Manuscript - 100 Fowls Problem; first Present of Gems; first Dishonest Butler; first Snail Climbing out of Well.
10C Europeans learn chess from north Africa, probably via Moorish Spain. The word 'mate' is recorded in Latin before 1000.
969 Emperor Mu-tsung is reported to have played cards with his wives - the earliest reference to playing cards. However, it is evident that these were the 'domino' cards still in use in China.
11C False dice, with two ones, were made.
c1240 Abbot Albert, in Annales Stadenses - first Jug Problem.
1500 Pacioli: De Viribus - first One Pile Game; first Binary Divination; first European Blind Abbess and Her Nuns; first Rearrangement on a Cross; first River Crossing with bigger boats; .
1598 First go tournament in Japan, sponsored by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
c1610 Shakespeare: Midsummer Night's Dream - mentions Nine Men's Morris.
1611 Kepler: The Six-Cornered Snowflake.
c1700 St. Ives rhyme is well known.
1733 Buffon invents Buffon's Needle Problem.
1748 Ladies' Diary gives a Tethered Goat Problem.
c1800 A French dice game was introduced to New Orleans and develops into craps.
1800-10 Tangram craze in Europe and China.
c1818 Endless Amusement.
c1820 Babbage is first to write about Tic-Tac-Toe and first to attempt analysis of a game.
1821 Jackson: Rational Amusement for Winter Evenings - first Configuration Problems; first Missionaries and Cannibals problem; North Pole problems; first Dissect Circle into Two Hollow Ovals.
1848 Bezzel proposes Eight Queens Problem.
1850s Matchstick puzzles begin.
1857 The Magician's Own Book - first Dead Dogs.
1857 Early version of Spots on Foreheads.
1859 The Secret Out.
1871 First appearance of a Bug Problem, in a Cambridge Tripos.
1881 Cassell's Book - first Removing Waistcoat without Removing Coat.
1883 Hunter and Squirrel problem discussed in Knowledge.
1891 Everett patents Loony Loop.
1893 Lewis Carroll's Monkey Problem.
1902 Dudeney: Lady Isabel's Casket begins development leading to Squaring the Square.
1914 Loyd: Cyclopedia - Mrs Perkins' Quilt; first Selling, Buying and Selling Same Item; first Bookworm's Distance; first Circling an Army problem.
1931? Dudeney's Perplexities column ends with his death.
1935-39 Fairy Chess Review has a number of polyomino problems.
1936 Cigarette Butts problem occurs.
1944 Steinhaus asks How to Divide a Cake Fairly.
1967 Gardner gives first description of Conway's Sprouts.
c1974 Penrose invents Penrose Pieces.
1978 Rubik's Cube first starts to become known outside Hungary.
1992 Sallows devises Pangrams and Reflexicons.

Source: The full list is widely available on the internet
~ Monday, July 11, 2005

50 potted true stories of survival from the web:

survived by eating fruit brought to him by a monkey
survived by eating the sea peas growing on a shingle beach
survived by eating insects during droughts
survived by eating newspapers
survived by eating mine timbers
survived by eating small fish that he caught with his hands
survived by eating winter purslane known as 'miners' lettuce'
survived by eating bread made from sawdust
survived by eating sugar beets and tulip bulbs
survived by eating their enemies
survived by eating the tallow from their lamps
survived by eating non-food food like fruit
survived by eating ketchup, jelly and dried pasta
survived by eating the sheep, one by one
survived by eating roadkill
survived by eating the other five
survived by eating the flesh of dead animals or prickly pears
survived by eating lumber, bugs, leaves and her own hair and by drinking rainwater
survived by eating his weight in live insects every day
survived by eating turtle meat and drinking the reptiles' blood
survived by eating egg corns and wild berries
survived by eating the wool of their dead companions
survived by eating pigeons until he was rescued
survived by eating 'painter's soup' - a cheap concoction of chicken innards, chopped onion and water
survived by eating Steller's seacows
survived by eating lichen and leather from their boots
survived by eating deer that George poached
survived by eating yam and lugaw
survived by eating the wolves that had eaten the others
survived by eating crackers, spam and dried milk tablets
survived by eating rotting coal
survived by eating sawdust and rats
survived by eating two birds that landed on his shoulder
survived by eating grass and worms
survived by eating a box of Fruit Roll-Ups they found in Timmy Johnson's book bag and some Pop-Tarts they found in Timmy Johnson's book bag
survived by eating their dead team-mates
survived by eating penguin eggs
survived by eating everything from toads to berries to rattlesnakes to mules
survived by eating black rice balls which resembled pig’s shit and were prepared by an old jail guard using black tree leaves
survived by eating snakes, vultures and leaves
survived by eating the scabs off their sores
survived by eating flour, sugar and popcorn seeds
survived by eating raw roots, horse, dried salmon, grouse, laxative pills, coyote, crow, candle wax and dogs
survived by eating fruit off an uprooted palm trunk she was clinging to and floating packets of instant noodles
survived by eating carob seeds while learning Torah together
survived by eating his underpants
survived by eating offal that wolves had rejected
survived by eating leftover sandwiches
survived by eating anything he could find, including grasshoppers, termites and a wolf caught in a trap
survived by eating snow

The fairground in popular song:

1 Ferris Wheel – The Everly Brothers
2 Hot Dog – Led Zeppelin
3 Bouncy Castle - Talisman
4 Hoopla - Sunship
5 Goldfish – Roy Harper
6 Merry-Go-Round – Fleetwood Mac
7 Rollercoaster – The Jesus and Mary Chain
8 Hall of Mirrors - Kraftwerk
9 Ghost Train – Elvis Costello
10 House of Fun – Madness
11 Candyfloss - Wilco
12 Tombola – Tito Puente
13 Tunnel of Love – Dire Straits
14 Slot Machine – Steve Hackett
15 Shooting Gallery – Mark Lanegan
16 Helter Skelter – The Beatles
17 Cakewalk – Beat Happening
18 On a Carousel – The Hollies
19 Cuddly Toy – The Monkees
20 Penny Arcade – Roy Orbison
~ Sunday, July 10, 2005

30 of the many Beatles tribute bands:

1 Not The Beatles
2 The Cheatles
3 The Apple Pies
4 Come Together
5 The Return
6 Hello Goodbye
7 The EggMen
8 Abbey Road
9 The Baetles
10 Liverpool
11 Strawberry Fields
12 The Bootleg Beatles
13 British Export
14 The Backbeat Beatles
15 The Upbeat Beatles
16 Beatall
17 Beatlemania Now
18 The Fab Faux
19 Me And My Monkey
20 Imagine...The Beatles
21 The Fake Beatles
22 The Beatels
23 The Nowhere Men
24 Carnaby Street
25 Beat The Meetles
26 Beatle Juice
27 Penny Lane
28 The Roaches
29 Beatlemagic
30 The Moptops

A list of the islands around the coast of the USA:

Waldron Island / San Juan Island / Lummi Island / Lopez Island / Shaw Island / Orcas Island / Whidbey Island / Bainbridge Island / Vashon Island / Maury Island / Blake Island / Fox Island / Santa Rosa Island / Santa Cruz Island / Santa Barbara Island / San Clemente Island / Santa Catalina Island / Padre Island / Mustang Island / San Jose Island / Goose Island / Matagorda Island / Galveston Island / Atkinson Island / Pecan Island / Marsh Island / Point au Fer Island / Grande Isle / Cat Island / Ship Island / Horn Island / Petit Bois Island / Dauphin Island / St Vincent Island / St George Island / Dog Island / Anclote Key / Honeymoon Island / Caladesi Island / Don Pedro Island / Gasparilla Island / Cayo Costa / Pine Island / Sanibel / Estero Island / Mound Key / Lovers Key / Marco Island / Cape Romano / Pelican Island / Merritt Island / Amelia Island / Cumberland Island / Jekyll Island / Jointer Island / Lanier Island / Andrews Island / Cape Island / North Island / Bald Head Island / Topsail Island / Harkers Island / Cedar Island / Portsmouth Island / Ocracoke Island / Cape Hatteras / Hatteras Island / Pea Island / Great Island / Bodie Island / Roanoke Island / Durant Island / Tangier Island / Smith Island / Wreck Island / Cobb Island / Hog Island / Parramor Island / Metomkin Island / Great Fox Island / South Marsh Island / Bloodsworth Island / Hooper Island / Poplar Island / Kent Island / Hart-Miller Island / Gibson Island / Chincoteague / Assateague Island / Pea Patch Island / Absecon Island / Pork Island / Whirlpool Island / Great Island / Long Beach Island / Sandy Hook / Swinburne Island / Hoffman Island / Staten Island / Governors Island / Liberty Island / Ellis Island / Manhattan / Rikers Island / Randall's Island / Belmont Island / Roosevelt Island / City Island / Hart Island / Davids Island / Fire Island / Robins Island / Shelter Island / Plum Island / Gardiners Island / Fishers Island / Block Island / Rhode Island / Conanicut Island / Hope Island / Patience Island / Prudence Island / Cuttyhunk Island / Nashawena Island / Pasque Island / Weepecket Island / Naushon Island / Nonamesset Island / Penekese Island / Nomansland Island / Martha's Vineyard / Chappaquiddick Island / Nantucket Island / Tuckernuck Island / Muskeget Island / Monomoy / Nahant / Bakers Island / Thacher Island / Cushing Island / House Island / Peaks Island / Little Diamond Island / Great Diamond Island / Bailey Island / Orr Island / Pond Island / Vinalhaven Island / Isle au Haut / Islesboro Island / Little Deer Isle / Deer Isle / Marshall Island / Swans Island / Great Duck Island / Mount Desert Island / Greening Island / Bartlett Island / Alley Island / Black Island / Green Island / Thomas Island / Bar Island / Bald Porcupine Island / Long Porcupine Island / Burnt Porcupine Island / Sheep Porcupine Island / Bois Bubert Island / Cross Island

Island groups: Anacapa Islands / Breton Islands / Chandeleur Islands / Gulf Islands / Cedar Keys / Florida Keys (Key West, Stock Island, Big Coppitt Key, Little Torch Key, Big Pine Key, Bahia Honda, Ohio Key, Little Duck Key, Grassy Key, Summerland Key, Long Key, Indian Key, Lignumvitae Key, Windley Key, Plantation Key, Key Largo, Elliott Key, Virginia Key and other small islets) / Jamaica Bay Islands (Big Egg Marsh, The Raunt, Goose Creek, Black Bank Marsh, Ruler's Bar Hassock and others) / Boston Harbor Islands (Bumpkin Island, Slate Island, George Island, Grape Island, Peddocks Island, Button Island, Sarah Island , Hangman Island, Moon Island, Spectacle Island, Ragged Island, Rainsford Island, Long Island, Nut Island, Raccoon Island, Thompson Island, Deer Island, Lovell Island, Gallops Island, Great Brewster, Green Island, Calf Island and others) / Cranberry Isles (Great Cranberry Island, Little Cranberry Island, Sutton Island, Bakers Island, Bear Island)

The list moves from NW round to NE and misses out Alaska and Hawaii. I have ignored those 'islands' which are not actually islands eg St Simons Island, Bombay Hook Island, Mystic Island, Coney Island and others on the East coast where the term is commonly used for a piece of coastal land. I have also only included one mention of each name eg Long Island, of which there are several.
~ Saturday, July 09, 2005

Guest appearances by music stars on TV series Miami Vice:

1 Isaac Hayes
2 Ted Nugent
3 Little Richard
4 Glenn Frey
5 Leonard Cohen
6 Phil Collins
7 David Johansen
8 Miles Davis
9 Jan Hammer
10 Coati Mundi
11 Gene Simmons
12 John Taylor
13 Frank Zappa
14 Jermaine Stewart
15 Willie Nelson
16 Sheena Eeaston
17 James Brown
18 El DeBarge
19 Eartha Kitt

(others who appeared include Bruce Willis, Michael Madsen, Joan Chen, Pam Grier, John Turturro, Iman, G Gordon Liddy, Emo Philips, Bianca Jagger, Liam Neeson, Roberto Duran, Wesley Snipes, Bill Paxton, Don King, Helena Bonham Carter, Lou Diamond Phillips, Viggo Mortensen, Melanie Griffith, Ian McShane, Ben Stiller, Brian Dennehy, Chris Rock, Antonio Fargas, Julia Roberts and Karen Black)

The A Team had Rick James, Isaac Hayes (again) and Culture Club

Sixty-six genuine arachnonyms:

perfect spitting spider / false katipo / stretch spider / dew-drop spider / jolly telamonia / mothercare spider / Tasmanian cave spider / common house jumper / filmy dome spider / grand argiope / bowl and doily spider / big-bellied tyloria / dandy jumper / Australian whistling tarantula / lichen huntsman / H-web spider / sheet-web weaver / red-headed mouse spider / spotted fishing spider / tangled nest spider / invisible spider / six-humped dome-weaver / rusty wandering spider / lampshade weaver / glasshouse spider / comb-footed platform spider / ant-mimicking sac spider / sword-bearing thorelliola / white-tufted clown spider / kidney garden spider / motherphage spider / hackled orb-weaver / cupboard spider / black zipper / knobbly crab spider / violin spider / mosquito catcher / Southern tree funnel-web / ogre-faced spider / rabbit hutch spider / strawberry and cream spider / pink-toed tarantula / bird-dropping spider / St Andrew's cross spider / wolf weaver / back-to-front jumper / brown recluse spider / spotted trapdoor spider / magnificent spider / pear-shaped leucauge / hobo spider / wall and six-exit spider / diamond-bellied crab spider / ghost spider / sneak spider / white-moustched portia / tooth cave spider / mangrove big-jawed spider / malmignatte / tiny house dweller / ridge-faced flower spider / badge huntsman / buzzing spider / black widow / horned baboon spider / elegant golden jumper
~ Thursday, July 07, 2005

As long as the quizzes are as popular as the last few, I'll keep adding them. Here is the latest quiz for you to try. It's a general knowledge quiz based on ducks. You need to put in an email address to get the full scoreboard, otherwise put or something if you are unsure - you'll still get a score.

(This is a hard one - just realised. Feel happy if you get five right out of ten. You can Google while playing - it IS cheating, but geeky fun.)

The first known mentions in texts of various things:

First mention of tofu (in Japan): 1183
First mention of the dry fishing fly: 1853
First mention of the metal platinum: 1557
First mention of olive oil as a sexual accessory: 350BC
First mention of spectacles being worn (in Italy): 1289
First mention of backgammon (in the Codex Exoniensis):1125
First mention of handguns: 1326
First mention of playing cards in Europe: c1275
First mention of the River Mersey: 1007
First mention of soy beans being eaten in America: 1855
First mention of a fountain pen (by Samuel Pepys): 1663
First mention of Robin Hood: 1377
First mention of Microsoft Windows on the Usenet: November 1983
First mention of guilds for dyers in London: 1188
First mention of a banjo: 1678
First mention of parachutes (used by Chinese acrobats) :c1100
First mention of what became known as AIDS: June 1981
First mention of rat traps (in the medieval romance Yvain): c1170
First mention of metal skates: 1400
First mention of the sun's corona (by Byzantine historian Leo Diaconus): 968
First mention of the term search engine: March 1988
First mention of martial arts in China: 2674BC

In recent weeks Italian leader Berlusconi and his French counterpart Chirac have both made derogatory remarks about the food of Finland, suggesting it is the worst in the EU. Having done a bit of research, Vitamin Q reckons they are very wrong:

rye crispbread – a Finnish staple, along with coarse breads made from oats and barley
kalakukko – pasty filled with fish and pork
grilled lampreys – small, eel-like fish, a favourite dish in the Western town of Pori
ravut (crayfish) with dill – a summer dish
reindeer - smoked reindeer meat is eaten all year round; reindeer stew, served with mashed potato is a Lapp favourite; poronkäristys is a popular dish of fried reindeer meat
sianlihakastike – a thick meaty pork gravy
black pudding with lingonberry sauce – popular in Tampere (sauces made from rowan or cranberries are also popular)
kaaliääryleet – cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat, vegetables and rice; kaalipiiraka is a cottage pie-style dish using similar ingredients
makkara – sausage is hugely popular; raisin, saltwater and onion sausages are all regional variants
tippaleipd – a sweetmeat of pastry strands traditionally eaten on Mayday
Lindströmin pihvi – a beef and beetroot burger served with spicy sauce
pulla – sweet bun eaten with coffee
Karjalan piirapat – pasties filled with rice or potato
Kainuu chowder – a winter soup made from burbot, milk and potatoes is a speciality
willow grouse – delicate tasting game bird eaten in the North
prune pastries – eaten at Christmas
lihapyorykoita – beef meatballs served with cream
fish – salmon, vendace or herring served in aspic or with sauces and boiled potatoes; smoked fish, especially salmon is common
Janssonin kiusaus – an oven dish with potatoes and anchovies cooked in cream; silakkalaatikko is a similar meal with herring
hernekeitto (pea soup) – popularly served throughout the nation on Thursdays (a throwback to when filling foods were eaten before fasting on a Friday)
mämmi – a malty treacle pudding eaten at Easter
mokaja – hearty spiced stew of beef and root vegetables
burbot roe and blini – Finnish twist on a popular Russian dish
chilled cranberries with hot toffee sauce – delicious sounding dessert; cloudberries are popular in the North
crepes – giant crepes served with berry jams are popular, as are oven-cooked pancakes (kraupsua)

Source: various (I'm no expert on the subject so any passing Finns are welcome to correct me or add obvious dishes I have missed)
~ Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Some yoyo tricks:

Hop the Fence / Transfusion / Roly Poly / Tidal Wave / Hopalong Cassidy / Quickdraw / Behind Bars / Nuclear Fission / Brain Smasher / Rattlesnake / Velvet Rolls / Ferris Wheel / The Return / Flying Saucer / Dragster / Eli Hop / Buddha's Revenge / Texas Star / Dog Collar / Gravity Pull / The Flux / Bugs Bunny / Punching Bag / Ultra Beam / Bucket of Nihilism / Pop the Clutch / Rock the Cradle / Hydrogen Bomb / Spaghetti / Walking the Dog / Reach for the Moon / Singapore Sling / Eiffel Tower / Skin the Cat / Motorcycle / Texas Cowboy / Mach 5 / Bermuda Triangle / Lindy Loop / Stop and Go / Uranium Bomb / Sleeper / Monkey on a String / Hurdle Jump / Spank the Baby / Double Gerbil / Pinwheel / Sleeping Beauty / As the World Turns / Dog Bite / Roller Coaster / Trapeze Wizard / Three Leaf Clover / Clockwork / The Orbit / Cold Fusion / UFO / In the Bucket / Ripcord / The Creeper / Double or Nothing / Scissors / Pump Mount / Throwdown / Lariat / Machine Gun / Dizzy Bay / Robin Hood / Time Warp / Ursa Minor / Slippery Eel / Gemini Loops / World Tour / The Zipper

Some TV and film animal actors:

Rin Tin Tin (after the death of the original dog) was played by son Rinty II and Flame, Golden Boy Jr on TV, with Hey You and Bearheart as stand-ins

Keiko was the name of the real whale in Free Willy

Diefenbaker (the husky in Due South) was played by Lincoln and then Draco

Eddie (Frasier) is played by Moose

Clyde the orang utan in Every Which Way But Loose was played by Manis; the orang utan in sitcom Mr Smith was CJ

Katie and (the imaginatively named) Monkey were the two capuchin monkeys who starred as Marcel in Friends

In London soap opera Eastenders, dog Wellard is played by Kyte; early dog characters Willy and Roly took their names from the dog actors

Flash, the basset hound from The Dukes of Hazzard was played by Sandy

The Littlest Hobo was played by London in the original movie, then by another dog of the same name (it was also the dog's character name) in the early TV series; subsequently palyed by various Alsatian dogs, including Bo and Toro

In the 1990s film adaptation, Black Beauty was played by a horse named Docs Keeping Time

Lassie was played in the first films by a collie named Pal; most 'Lassies' have been male, since they are bigger

TV's talking horse Mister Ed was played by Bamboo Harvester

Flipper the dolphin was played by Mitzi and, later, others including Cathy, Suzie and Bebe

Hart to Hart's mutt Freeway was played by Charlie

Toto in The Wizard of Oz was played by a terrier called Terry

Source: various
~ Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What you can do with two fingers (index and middle):

1 take a pulse
2 smooth your eyelid
3 smoke a cigarette
4 pull a bow
5 make a peace sign
6 operate a finger puppet
7 cross them for luck
8 give a military salute in Poland
9 flick the Vs
10 type clumsily
11 shoot a pretend gun
12 poke an enemy in the eyes
13 make a scissors shape (to help you look for scissors)
14 wind wool or string round them
15 do rabbit's ears behind someone in a photo
16 separate strands of hair when cutting it
17 pull on a tight shoe
18 add off-spin to a cricket delivery
19 make a “quotations” sign
20 mime one horn of a charging bull
21 make a little walking man
22 signal the number two
23 measure the proper froth on some beers
or a shot of spirits
24 make a goal in tuppenny football
25 strum a bass guitar
26 pop open a press-stud
27 flick cards
28 make the scout's pledge*
29 listen in**
30 whistle loudly
31 count to two

* the fingers in the pledge are supposed to mimic wolf's ears
** I once watched four deaf-blind women, two talking in sign language on the other's hands, the other two listening in by placing two fingers on the others' wrists – enough of the conversation can be picked up just by gauging the weight of the signing

Types of bean:

speckle / rattlesnake / fazolia / Peruvian / winged / Kenyan fine / canaria / Swedish / forellen / October / fava / yellow Indian woman / cannellini / black valentine / lablab / saluggia / mung / Goa / Tolosana / kidney / tepary / Roman / Lima / trout / rice / pink / mortgage lifter / Great Northern / wren's egg / bayo / calypso / butterscotch / pole / yellow wax / soy / Appaloosa / bonavist / green / maicoba / garbanzo / broad / yin yang / sieva / vallarta / crab-eye / azufrado / string / Boston / horse / fool / navy / prince / sugar / coco blanc / haricot / dermason / tongues of fire / hyacinth / Bobby / locust / turtle / Indian / catjang / Maine yellow-eye / Nile / fava / tarwi / red ball / curry / bolita / shelly / adzuki / marrow / pea / borlotti / eye of goat / Manila / Burma / whippoorwill / flageolet / lupini / dot / Egyptian / runner / yardlong / red / French / peanut / carioca / velvet / scarlet emperor / devil / Jackson wonder / feijao / lupini / European soldier / molasses face / Habichuela / white / snowcap / anasazi / Jacob's cattle / shellout / yellow / fordhooks / jack / chili / four-angled / Windsor / butter / chiche / brown speckled cow / red-eye / black-eyed / Madagascar / orca / rosecoco / Yankee / Christmas / lamon / beautiful / snap / Johnson / pinto / cranberry / Thai / calico

Source: various (inevitably, some of these names are variant names of the same bean)
~ Friday, July 01, 2005

Six famous people who died after falling down stairs:

1 Edna St Vincent Millay - poet and playwright (1950)
2 Fritz Wunderlich - German tenor singer (1966)
3 Sandy Denny - folk singer (1978)
4 Laura Ashley - fashion designer (1985)
5 Giles Gordon - writer / literary agent (2003)
6 Rod Price - former guitarist with blues-rockers Foghat (2005)

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