jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Wednesday 20th October2021


1              Flushing the toilet after 10 p.m. is illegal in Switzerland. If you’re in Zürich, Geneva, or Bern and need to use the toilet late at night, that’s totally fine. Go ahead and do your business. Just don’t flush when you’re done! That’s because it’s illegal to flush the toilet after 10 p.m. in Switzerland. However, landlords can apparently interpret the law as they wish, so you might not end up in jail if you wake up to use the washroom in the middle of the night and are too sleepy to remember that flushing is forbidden.

2              At -40, the temperature is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.

3              More than 1/5 of all the calories consumed by humans worldwide is provided by rice alone.

4              There is a McDonald’s in every continent except Antarctica.

5              Overall, there are more than 36,000 McDonald’s restaurants spread out across the globe.

6              The first McDonald’s to open outside of the USA commenced operations on June 3, 1967, in Richmond, Canada.

7              Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was not a man in a suit; it was actually a giant puppet.

8              Sonic the Hedgehog’s full name is actually Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog.

9              Marmite was one of the most confiscated items at airports from the U.K. – to overcome this issue, Marmite made smaller ones for traveling.

10           Warner Bros cancelled “Home Alone” because they didn’t want to spend $14 million on it. 21st Century Fox continued the production, and the film grossed $476 million worldwide. (I did know this but find it so incredible I’m alerting you to it again.

11           The television was invented only two years after the invention of sliced bread.

12           Two PlayStation 1 games, FIFA 2001 and Gran Turismo 2, have scratch & sniff discs. The FIFA 2001 smelled like a soccer field, while Gran Turismo 2 smelled like car tires.

13           In 2014, Sony made a cassette tape that can store 185TB of data!

14           If you sneeze while traveling at 60 mph, your eyes are closed for an average of 50 feet.

15           Crystal – the monkey from The Hangover 2 and Night at the Museum, has her own IMDB page!

16           Although the TV show “Friends” is based around life in New York City, the entire show was filmed in California.

17           Magpies are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world and the only non-mammal species able to recognize themselves in a mirror test.

18           The most popular item at Walmart is bananas. They sell more bananas than any other single item they have in stock.

19           In days when movies were recorded on film, one foot of 35mm film was just one second of screen time.

20           In 2016, a student left a pineapple in an art museum in Scotland. Two days later, it had been placed in a glass case as part of an exhibition.

21           Nebraska’s official state slogan is “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”

22           The first film with a $100 million budget was True Lies, which was made in 1994. Box office amounted to $378.9 million

23           Banks have therapists known as “wealth psychologists” who help ultra-rich clients who cannot mentally cope with their immense wealth.

24           “Hackers uncovered a flaw in Hotmail’s security in 1999, which allowed access to any Hotmail email account by entering “eh” as the password. Experts believe that the ability to access any email account with a simple password was unintentionally left behind as a “backdoor” by Microsoft’s engineers, something Microsoft has never admitted.

Instead, they merely palmed it off as an “unknown security issue.””

25           The office Treasurer of the United States has been held by women since 1949.

26           The Flintstones was the most profitable network cartoon franchise for 30 years, that’s before The Simpsons came along.

27           Lego toys are a better investment than stocks, bonds, or gold. (Alledgedly).

28           In September 2007, a guy named Kevin Shelley broke 46 wooden toilet seats with his head in one minute to create a world record.

29           Shoe shops used X-Ray machines to measure shoe sizes in the 1940s before the risks of X-Rays were fully understood. (Has to have been in the US.)

30           Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) in London is leaning over so much it can now be seen with the naked eye. In 4,000 years, it will be at the same angle as the tower in Pisa is now.




TOP 10 Horror Stories From Famous Non-Horror Authors

We all know the beloved classics created by authors who shaped our childhood—like Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Even Charles Dickens and Mark Twain are household names. But did you know that these famous authors had an affinity for writing spine-chilling tales? Here are ten horror stories from well-known authors whose most famous works are anything but terrifying.

10 “The Story of a Mother”

Hans Christian Andersen

The idea of losing a child to an illness can be terrifying to any parent. Especially when medical care set in Andersen’s time can’t compare to modern amenities. This story chronicles the heartbreaking journey a mother must go through as her child wastes away from sickness. She confronts the physical manifestation of Death, the Grim Reaper himself. However, no one can stop the natural cycle of life and death, no matter how much they truly want to.The terror from this tale is something of a descent into despair, as the mother tries everything in her power to save her child. But one by one, her hopes are dashed.

9 “A Thousand Deaths”

Jack London

Though Jack London’s known for books like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, did you know the first piece of writing he ever published was “A Thousand Deaths”? Published in 1899, this chilling tale launched London’s career. Readers get a front-row seat to the agonizing death by drowning the protagonist experiences, who all the while regrets not having lived a more fulfilling life.

After he slips into the cold embrace of oblivion, he finds himself being jolted back to life on a boat that isn’t his. Rigged up to a menagerie of contraptions and machines, the protagonist is at the mercy of a deranged scientist trying to blur the line between life and death.

8 “To Be Read at Dusk”

Charles Dickens

In this story, couriers from around Europe are getting comfy at a get-together near a convent in the mountains. After taking in their fill of wine and cigar smoke, the topic of supernatural occurrences comes up. Some swear the validity of these experiences. Others write them off as superstitious nonsense. It is only when Giovanni Baptista is urged by another colleague to tell everyone his encounter with an English bride that things take a turn for the sinister. A decade ago, a couple that he knew of had recently gotten married at the time. They were happy and enjoying marital bliss. Until the wife was haunted by a mysterious man in her dreams. After becoming obsessed with her spectre, this same man unexpectedly shows up for dinner with her and her husband. She faints, and though he leaves on politer terms with the husband, he checks in on her throughout the following week to see how she is doing. Days later, she disappears without a trace. And the tales of supernatural encounters among the men only start there.

7 “The Silver Mirror”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Coming from the same imagination that created Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle crafts an eerie tale about an overworked ledger who is gifted a haunted mirror. At first, all seems normal, and the mirror works as any ordinary one would. However, when the protagonist is shown visions of ghostly apparitions and other horrors through the mirror’s surface, he starts questioning the unnerving nature of the object and even his own rationality. All the while, the protagonist seeks the guidance of a doctor who’s intrigued at how the mirror can turn someone mad. The protagonist must unravel the tangled and possibly bloody history of the mirror before he loses the remaining bit of sanity he has.[4]

6 “Phantasmagoria”

Lewis Carroll

Written line-for-line in rhyme, Lewis Carrol pens the lifestyle of ghosts in the early 1900s. It begins with a spirit being invited by the protagonist to sit down in his home, have some snacks, and relax as it explains the various ways in which the dead and other-worldly folk scare the living. The specter recounts how it died (with a hard hit in the face with a bottle by an adversary) in the kind of whimsy you’d expect from the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.The two go back and forth in witty comebacks and snide remarks, but they seem to create something of a friendship by the end of the poem. So much so that when the protagonist wakes up from his night of drinking, he cries and laments that his new ghostly friend had the wrong house and is haunting some other fellow by the name of Tibbs. Though this may not be something that will get under the skin of adults, this could be a great starting point for younger audiences being introduced to the horror genre!

5 “A Ghost Story”

Mark Twain Somewhat in the same vein as the last entry, Mark Twain’s A Ghost Story chronicles the story of a man who takes shelter from the rain in the room of an all but abandoned building that seems to not have seen people traffic in ages. The storm outside calms down, and the protagonist manages to fall asleep. A while later, in the dead of night, he wakes up with a start. Feeling that he isn’t alone, he senses the bedsheet covering him being dragged off by some unknown force. Other spooky shenanigans ensue as the protagonist is tortured throughout the night by various tell-tale signs of a haunting. One of which includes “a grating noise overhead, like the dragging of a heavy body across the floor; then the throwing down of the body, and the shaking of my windows in response to the concussion.”

4 “A Haunted House”

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s piece perhaps reads more as melancholic than outright horrific, but the story she pens is still eerie all the same. Her tale stars two couples, one living and one that’s apparently been dead for quite some time. The narrator writes that she can hear the ghostly couple move around the house, opening and shutting doors, cabinets, drawers, etc. She overhears them looking for their long-lost “treasure.”She senses them come into her bedroom at night, looking down at her and her spouse while they try to sleep, all the while muttering about how they need to find this “treasure.” It’s only hours later when the narrator wakes up that she realizes the “treasure” the dead couple sought was what she and her spouse currently had—life and love within a living marriage.

3 “Napoleon and the Spectre”

Charlotte Brontë

Written when she was a teenager, Charlotte Brontë’s “Napoleon and the Spectre” chronicles the farce-filled story of then-Emperor Napoleon (yes, that Napoleon) being haunted by some sort of poltergeist. It starts with him heading off to bed, all the while seeing things like tricks of the light and hearing things where he can’t identify the noises, convinced time and time again that he simply must be haunted. Even though every time up to that point, it had turned out to be a false alarm. Later in the evening, just as he’s gone back to bed to catch some sleep, a dark figure appears by his bedside. Napoleon tries to write this apparition off as another optical illusion, but that reality is shattered when the figure speaks back to him. The demonic-looking person explains that it is, in fact, real and is there to usher the self-appointed ruler into the afterlife.

2 “The Canterville Ghost”

Oscar Wilde

When Virginia Otis and her family purchased their new house, nothing seemed too out of the ordinary. Sure, the locals warned them that the property was cursed with spirits in every nook and cranny. But the place just slotted so neatly into their lives in both charm and affordability that they had to strike while the iron was hot. Yes, everything was going great. That is until they noticed the bloodstains on the floor.Mrs. Umney, the elderly and gaunt housemaid of the residence, creepily informed the family that the previous homeowners were involved in a very nasty turn of events. Poor Lady Eleanore was brutally murdered by her husband just a few weeks earlier, right where the dark red stain was on the floor. The family tries to remove the stain, but the day after every cleaning, it reappears as fresh as ever. And the hauntings just begin here. The story evolves into something more complex than the Otis family could have ever imagined stumbling upon. And the decisions that Virginia makes will unearth the long-buried secrets that her new home has held for ages.

1 “The Red Room”

H.G. Wells

Though probably more associated with the Science Fiction genre, H.G. Wells wasn’t a complete stranger to the creepier side of fiction. In “The Red Room,” he writes about a man in his late twenties who visits an old couple who live in a supposedly haunted house. The narrator (and protagonist) is skeptical at best about the old couple’s creepy musings. But they insist that they’re true and that he should be careful while under their roof. Comfortable with challenging them, the narrator insists on seeing the room that is allegedly the source of the spooky occurrences. They tell him if he wants to see it on this particular night, he’ll have to go there by himself. The couple won’t even lead him down the hallway but rather give him directions to get to the “Red Room.”Both his trek down the hallways and entering the room itself proves to be far more skin-crawling than the narrator anticipated. His skeptical attitude is gradually washed away by a newfound sense of dread and panic. Someone died in this room. Though he tries to convince himself that ghosts aren’t real, the candle’s flame mysteriously keeps flickering out. He soon finds out why the couple warned him not to come there, especially that specific night.


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

– Nicolas Chamfort


 “There are a thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them is sufficient.” – Marilynne Robinson


Happiness is…Finding a McDonalds on any continent


Yesterday, I changed a light bulb, crossed the street, and walked into a bar. My life is a joke.


Love is…playful.


A time for Friends (TV Series) to be based in New York… A time for Friends (TV Series) to be based in California.


20th October

1822 The first edition of the Sunday Times newspaper.

1946 ‘Muffin the Mule’, a wooden puppet operated by Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills) first appeared in a children’s television programme on BBC TV.

1960 D.H Lawrence’s controversial novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, London. They were accused of publishing obscene material but were eventually found not guilty.

1996 Oscar winners ‘Wallace and Gromit’ disappeared after being left in a taxi in New York. Both the life-size plastic models from Britain’s award winning animation film were later found safe and well!





©2021 Phil M Robinson