BITS ‘N’ PIECES 22nd March 2022

BITS ‘N’ PIECES 22nd March 2022 BLOG Monday 21st March 2022


BITS ‘N’ PIECES 21st March 2022

 10,000 steps a day ‘not necessary’, study finds

A study by academics in the US has contradicted the popular wisdom that we should take 10,000 steps per day. The researchers found that walking 6,000 steps each day could reduce the risk of early death for over-60s and that taking more than 8,000 has no added benefits, reported The Times. Dr Amanda Pauluch, the study’s co-author, said the push for people to achieve 10,000 steps a day originated from a 1964 Japanese marketing campaign to sell pedometers.

Longest car breaks own record

The world’s longest car broke its own world record when it was found to be 100 feet and 1.5 inches long following a restoration. According to Guinness World Records, the super limousine, known as the American Dream, was originally built in 1986 by car modifier Jay Ohrberg and measured 60 feet long. Ohrberg later extended the vehicle to 100 feet, achieving the Guinness World Record for the longest car.


Rod Stewart fixes potholes

Rod Stewart has posted footage of himself fixing potholes on a road near his home, reported the BBC. Videos on the 77-year-old rock legend’s Instagram account show him shovelling gravel in Harlow, Essex, claiming that “no-one can be bothered to do it” and that his Ferrari “can’t go through here at all”. In the comments, one fan urged Stewart to be careful in his latest venture, as he has tickets for his concert in June.


Noisy loo conflict resolved after 20-year battle

A conflict between neighbours over a loud loo has been resolved after nearly 20 years. In 2003, four brothers installed a lavatory in a seaside apartment on Golfo dei Poeti, off Italy’s north-western coast. The husband and wife who lived next door complained, claiming the loo’s noisy flush kept them up at night. As the warring parties refused to back down, the case was heard in court, the appeal court and then Italy’s Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the couple. “In far less time than this case took, Albert Einstein wrote the theory of relativity, explaining the whole Universe,” wrote the Italian newspaper Il Giornale. “At the judicial level, we are a great big, gigantic clogged loo.”


A remarkable ‘DI-Fly’ project

An Essex man and his family beat lockdown boredom by building their own four-seater propeller aircraft from scratch. Ashok Aliseril, an engineer and trained pilot, and his wife and two children spent nearly two years building the plane with just the instruction manual and YouTube videos for guidance. The entire project cost £155,000 and took 1,500 hours to complete.


Academic ‘sacked because she has loud voice’

A senior academic who claimed she lost her post at a university’s physics department because of her loud voice has been awarded more than £100,000 after winning a claim for unfair dismissal. Dr Annette Plaut told The Guardian she had a “naturally loud voice” and claimed it was the combination of her being “female and loud” that had led to her dismissal from the University of Exeter. During the hearing, Plaut was described as a “Marmite” character – liked by some but considered too much by others.


Birdwatchers are perceived to be the most boring people, according to a new study called Boring People:

Stereotype Characteristics, Interpersonal Attributions, and Social Reactions. Researchers found that the most tedious professions were accountancy, data analysis and insurance, while the most boring hobbies included going to church, watching TV and “animal observation”. The least boring professions “were acting, science, journalism and, by logical extension, science journalism”, noted The Times.


Turin Shroud is ‘tablecloth from Burton upon Trent’

The Turin Shroud – Christianity’s most prized relic – was actually a tablecloth made in Burton upon Trent, according to an anthropologist and historian. David Adkins said the face featured on the biblical relic is not that of Christ, but the face of the Fisher King, who, Arthurian legend has it, was the last guardian of the Holy Grail. Adkins’ theory is not the first to question the true origins of the cloth. Recent analysis has already “put the skids under the Christ links”, said Birmingham Live, revealing the item to be medieval in origin.


Suits deemed ‘non-essential’

The suit has been deemed non-essential by the Office for National Statistics. The Daily Telegraph said that increased home working and the relaxing of office dress codes mean suits have been removed from the “basket” of typical goods used to calculate the Consumer Prices Index. Last year, Marks & Spencer announced it would halve the number of outlets that sold suits, as in-store sales of formalwear had fallen by 72%, added the paper.



The Top 10: Things we don’t know we know

Amazing human abilities of which most of us are unaware

John Rentoul – The Independent

This list started with Ian Leslie (I recommend his newsletter), who cited a study that showed people can tell hot water from cold from the sound of it pouring. Tom Stafford confirmed it with an experiment with his family and commented that it was like the order of adjectives.

  1. We can hear the difference between hot and cold water. “The Archers uses hot water to make hot drinks because listeners can tell the difference between the sounds,” said Martin McDonald.


  1. The order of adjectives. Mark Forsyth said in The Elements of Eloquence that JRR Tolkien’s first story, written at the age of seven, featured a “green great dragon”; he was discouraged when his mother told him it had to be a “great green” one.


  1. The order of vowel sounds in repeated similar words. Always I-A-O. Bish bash bosh; ping pong; tick tock; dilly dally. It is called ablaut reduplication..


  1. Rules of grammar. Most people wouldn’t know how to conjugate a verb, but they’d have no problem using the word in context.


  1. Proprioception. We know the position of our limbs without seeing them, moving them or touching anything.


  1. Logarithms. The relative difference between 1 and 2 is equivalent to that between 5 and 10. Young children and even animals can intuit these differences, said Peter Sigrist.


  1. Musical scales are ratios of frequencies. If you change key the ratios stay the same. Our brains can effortlessly process that and make it sound the same, said Dan Tench.


  1. To turn a bicycle to the left, you steer right first to stay balanced.


  1. When to wake up. Lots of people set an alarm but wake up before it goes off.


  1. Finding water. Human noses are sensitive to geosmin, detectable at concentrations as low as 400 parts per trillion. It is a chemical given off by damp ground which explains the intense smell after a rainstorm. Possibly an evolutionary hangover from when finding sources of water was essential, said Stewart Slater.


REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort



“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” —Oscar Wilde


Happiness is…filling in potholes according to Rod Stewart.


To the person who stole my place in the queue. I’m after you now.


Love is…


A time to do 10,000 steps per day…A time to do 6,000 steps per day.




©2022 Phil M Robinson