Things I didn’t know last week

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 6th February 2019

1              Families are now ten times more likely to own a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa than even a hamster.

2              British pop singer Ed Sheeran grossed $213.9m in the first half of this year through his concert tours, according to concert-industry trade publication Pollstar. American singer Bruno Mars was the second- highest-grossing with $113.4m. Metro

3              Northern Forest on its way. Twelve million trees are to be planted across England by 2022 – the equivalent of 18 Sherwood Forests. One million will be planted in towns and cities, and 11 million in rural settings. London will get more plane trees, while Manchester and Birmingham will get more lime, oak and rowan trees. Daily Telegraph

4              Don’t take your dog to Iran. Dog-walking has been banned in Tehran, as part of a long-standing official campaign to discourage dog-ownership in the Iranian capital. “We will take measures against people walking dogs in public spaces, such as parks,” said police chief Hossein Rahimi. Driving with a dog in your car is also banned. Dogs are regarded as unclean by the nation’s Islamic leaders, and they also, added Rahimi, cause “fear and anxiety”. Daily Mail

5              The price of a “Brexit box” sold by the Emergency Food Storage company is a mere £295. The “survival kits” are to keep you ticking over in the event Britain leaves the European Union without a deal and food becomes scarce (a widely dismissed scenario). It contains food for 30 days and a gel for starting fires. Metro

6              World’s 26 richest own as much as poorest 50%. The planet’s 26 richest people own as much as the poorest 50%, according to Oxfam. The charity said the growing gap between rich and poor was hindering the fight against poverty. It pointed out that a wealth tax of just one percent would raise an estimated $418bn (£325bn) annually, which would be enough to educate every child not in school and provide healthcare that would prevent 3m deaths. The Guardian

7              UK cinemas enjoy best year since 1970. British cinemas had their best year since 1970 thanks to a combination of homegrown hits and Hollywood blockbusters. Britons visited cinemas 177m times in 2018. Tim Richards, chief executive of Vue, said he has “lived through the arrival of the DVD, Blu-ray discs, the internet and every time doomsayers have predicted the ultimate demise of the industry. But every time we have seen cinema do the opposite and grow”. The Independent

8              Nursing mother sets race record. A 35-year-old breastfeeding mother has become the first woman to win the 268-mile Montane Spine Race, running from Derbyshire to Scotland in a record time of 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds – 12 hours faster than the previous best time. Jasmin Paris beat all the male entrants despite having slept just three hours, causing her to hallucinate. Daily Mail

9              Grey was most popular car colour in 2018. Half a million people bought a grey car in 2018, making it the industry’s most popular colour for the first time, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Just over one in five new car registrations in the UK last year were grey. Car sales fell last year so almost every shade saw a decline in the numbers of each colour sold. BBC

10           Household debt reaches record highs. The TUC says that British household debt has reached a new peak, with an average of £15,385 owed to credit card firms, banks and other lenders. Years of austerity and wage stagnation are thought to have forced households to increase their borrowing last year, taking it to a new high. Unsecured debt as a share of household income is now 30.4%, an unprecedented high. The Independent

11           It’s good to read. Sales of print books grew 2.1% in value last year and 0.3% in volume, the fourth consecutive year of growth. Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, was the most valuable book of the year, taking £7.7m in sales; the bestselling non-fiction title was Adam Kay’s memoir about life as a junior doctor, This is Going to Hurt, while the overall bestseller was Gail Honeyman’s debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Daily Mail

12           The estimated economic boost to London’s economy from visitors attending the New Year’s Eve firework display was £6.5m. London mayor Sadiq Khan was criticised for politicising the celebration this year – the London Eye Ferris wheel was turned into an enormous European Union flag at one point in the display. This was to convey the message that London would be open for business after Brexit, the mayor claimed. MSN

13           The final book in the Harry Potter series was the fastest-selling book of all time, with fifteen million copies sold in the first day alone. The series as a whole has sold an estimated 450 million copies worldwide, and the books have been translated into over sixty languages.

14           Quentin Blake, well-known for his illustrations for Roald Dahl and (more recently) David Walliams, has more than 300 illustrated books to his name, including Zagazoo which has no words and tells the story just through his illustrations.

15           Before Enid Blyton became the famous author of the Famous Five stories her parents had wanted her to be a concert pianist. However she abandoned her musical studies to, train to be a teacher.

16           The diet in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is inaccurate but since the book does represent the life stages accurately it has been endorsed by the Royal Entomological Society.

17           Estimates suggest that more than 1 trillion photos were taken in 2018.

18           Three Presidents Have Died on July 4th John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all passed away on Independence Day.

19           There’s about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s 1 billion trillion) stars in the observable universe

20           Collectively, we take more pictures every two minutes, than all of humanity during the 19th century.


No one is on their deathbed  wishing they spent morP. time at work. Enjoy your life.


Happiness is…taking and viewing photographs


What disappears as soon as you say its name?

Answer: Silence.


Love is… being his/her No.1 fan


Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Highest Chart Position: No.1 3rd November 2007


Wednesday 6th February 2019

Frozen Yogurt Day

Lame Duck Day

Yesterday was

5th February 2019

Weatherman’s Day

Chocolate Fondue Day

Safe Internet Day






©2019 Phil M Robinson & jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk