When were they invented? Stationery

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There are so many small items of stationery that we take for granted. But when were they invented?

Your task for today is to put these items in the correct order of when you think they were invented, starting with what you think is the earliest. Only after due debate and discussion are you allowed to click on the link which gives you the answers!

1. Post-it note
2. Paper clip
3. Ballpoint pen
4. Tippex
5. Stapler
6. Elastic band
7. Pencil sharpener
8. Pencil
9. Typewriter
10. Scissors

If that’s not enough of a challenge, you can try to guess the dates they were invented and in which country.

When you’re ready, you can find the answers to “When were they invented? Stationery” by clicking here

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What’s changed in the last 20 years?

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Technology

Last week it was the twentieth anniversary of the day my dad died: inevitably a time for looking back, but also for pondering on what’s happened between then and now. So much has gone on in the family – the kids have grown up and married; a grandchild has been born – but it also struck me just how much in my daily life involves things Dad would know nothing about. Here are just a few:

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What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?

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Now the better weather’s here, there should hopefully be some time for at least most of us to take a break and relax a little. As spring is gathering momentum, it’s a good time to get outdoors and – well – do nothing. Just have a look and enjoy  the natural world around you.

Technically, this poem by  W.H. Davies may not be the greatest, but I’ve always appreciated the sentiment expressed in it and the poem is certainly eminently memorable and quotable. Over the years, the opening two lines have often popped into my head at times when I know I need to slow down and get some perspective in my busy life.

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Can I Lose Weight without Trying?

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I am an expert dieter. You can tell this by looking at my bookshelves: I’ve got just about every book on dieting you could think of as well as a number of others that you might not know about. Over my many years of dieting I’ve always found it’s a lot easier to buy a book about dieting than to make radical changes to my eating and exercise regimes.

The diet books I especially like are those which give you advice on losing weight without focusing solely on what goes in your mouth. Of course l know that the best way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than I eat. That means I need to do more exercise and be very careful about what I swallow. Unfortunately, though, none of that addresses my weighty issues of human weakness in lacking both motivation and the strength to resist temptation.

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Famous Last Words

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It would be good to think that the last words you utter in your life would be something profound. I’ve even considered writing mine in advance and carrying them round with me – just in case of emergency. The trouble is, I haven’t yet decided what my last words should be.Perhaps I’ll pinch William Hazlitt’s last words: “Well, I’ve had a happy life” or Harold Macmillan’s: “I think I’ll go to sleep now.” They’ll do if I don’t think of anything better in the meantime.

Here are some last words said by famous people. See whether you know who said them – then try them out on your friends and family:

1. “Let not poor Nelly starve.”
2. “I’ve never felt better.”
3. “How is the Empire?”
4. “Et tu, Brute?”
5. “Does nobody understand?”
6. “Kiss me, Hardy.”
7. “I am just going outside and I may be some time.”
8. “Die, my dear doctor! That’s the last thing I shall do.”
9. “I have a terrific headache.”
10. “Go away. I’m all right.” (He wasn’t….)
11. “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”
12. “Is it my birthday or am I dying?”

Answers can be found here

And here are a few people whose last words were really quite.. well. ordinary:

“Wait a minute.” (Pope Alexander VI)
“No.” (Alexander Graham Bell)
“Ah, that tastes nice. Thank you.” (Johannes Brahms)
“Hello.” (Graham Chapman)
“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” (Steve Jobs.)

Do you have any other good examples of famous last words?

Do you know your proverbs?

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In days gone by, people loved wise old sayings. It seemed like a point was never made simply and directly if it could be dressed up in an illustrative metaphor or catchy phrase.

My mother and her mother could have whole conversations in proverbs. It would go something like this:

Mum: Old Arthur’s sailing close to the wind.

Gran: Yes, he’ll need to look before he leaps.

Mum: But he’d better strike while the iron’s hot.

Gran: Well, fortune rewards the brave. It’s an ill wind, after all.

Mum: Hm,but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Gran: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Though there’s many a slip!

Rough translation:

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When in Rome do as the Romans do

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So there I was in Rome. The eternal city; the city of echoes; the city of illusions; the city of yearning; the city overwhelmed by its own greatness. Hm, a lot of people have said a lot of stuff about Rome.
But what should I be doing while I was there? Ah, of course: “When in Rome do as the Romans do.”
I simply had to find out what the Romans do, then copy it. Clearly there was a need for some close observation of the Romans. During my three-day stay I reached some obvious conclusions about what Romans do, then gave careful consideration as to whether I would be able to do this do too – or, indeed, whether I would want to.
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