BITS ‘N’ PIECES 26 July 2021

BITS ‘N’ PIECES 26 July 2021 BLOG Monday 26th July 2021



Living life to the full

A study released recently suggests that humans could live to the age of 150 – almost double our current life expectancy. The report generated equal measures of enthusiasm, incredulity and horror. But what would be the implications of such a long life? Could we cope with it, either financially or psychologically? A great deal of food for thought!


Couple split after weeks in chains

A couple who chained themselves together for three months as a test of their love finally have immediately broken up after the clasp was cut. Alexander Kudlay, 33, and Viktoria Pustovitova, 29, from Kharkiv in Ukraine, spent 123 days chained together but have now gone their separate ways. “I want to live my own independent life, and grow as an independent person,” said Viktoria.


UK traffic exceeds pre-Covid levels.

Traffic on British roads is now heavier than before the Covid pandemic due to a reluctance to use public transport and a sharp rise in internet shopping. Weekday traffic has reached 104% of pre-pandemic levels. On weekends traffic is even busier – on Sunday June 6, it reached 113% of the pre-pandemic level. Transport Technology Forum said that vans and trucks account for a greater proportion of journeys than before the pandemic, reflecting the rise in the delivery of shopping. The Evening Standard



A rarely seen flock of birds has arrived in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, drawing in crowds of hundreds of birdwatchers. The European bee-eater birds were spotted by the landowner who took to social media to ask people to help him identify the brightly coloured birds. He said they were “making an unusual sound.”

The RSPB has described the nine-strong flock as a “magical” sighting. European bee-eaters originate from Asia and Africa and migrate to southern Europe in April to early June. It is not uncommon to see one or two of them at the right time of year in Norfolk but the British Trust for Ornithology said “anymore than this is extremely unusual and a flock of nine in Norfolk is unprecedented”.



The country of Iceland have launched a new campaign called ‘Looks Like You Need An Adventure’ which will see travellers have their old lounge clothes turned into walking boots.

The first people to book a slot at the pop-up – located on Rainbow Street in downtown Reykjavik – and turn up with a valid plane ticket showing their arrival in Iceland from June 24th onwards, will have their old sweatpants transformed into a pair of hiking boots, with any remaining fabric becoming the bag in which to carry them home.

The Sweatpant Boots aim to celebrate the adventures and natural beauty spots the country has to offer tourists, once it’s safe to travel again.


Parental regrets.

Around 8% of parents say they regret having had children. A further 6% say they have regretted it in the past, but no longer do. 83% have never regretted it; the rest did not know or preferred not to say. Of the regretful, only a tiny minority (amounting to 1% of all parents) regretted it a great deal. Most (5% of all parents) only regretted it to a “small extent”. Regret was most common among younger parents. Among those aged 25 to 34, 13% regretted having children, falling to 6% of over 55s. The Independent



Me and Mamma have never, ever, ever not wanted children or ever regretted having them. And are more grateful we did have them everyday! They are fantastic and our grandchildren. They are the meaning of life!


Lack of sleep linked to early deaths.

A new study has found that people who do little exercise and sleep poorly are 57% more likely to die prematurely compared to those who exercise a lot and sleep better as a result. Bad sleepers also had a 67% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 45% higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer. The study was carried out by the University College London and the University of Sydney. Daily Mail


If You Had Invested In Amazon

On July 5, 1994, the 30-year-old Jeff Bezos filed the paperwork to start a company called Cadabra, an online bookstore. Quickly re-named Amazon, after the world’s largest river, the company sold its first book one year later and went public in May 1997. Back then, even the keenest optimists could not have foreseen what Amazon would eventually turn into: one of the largest, most influential companies in the world. Last Friday, on July 2, 2021, the company’s shares closed at $3,510.98 for a market capitalization of $1.77 trillion.

Thanks to ever-growing revenue and a newly found appetite for profit, Amazon has been on a bull run for a while now, with its share price almost doubling over the past two years alone. While the company’s shares have looked like a very good investment for the better part of the 24 years since the company’s IPO, the past five years really have been the icing on the cake.

Anyone smart, patient or just lucky enough to have bought Amazon shares in the company’s 1997 IPO and keep them, can now look at a small or (depending on the initial investment) sizeable fortune. As our chart illustrates, an initial investment of $1,000, enough to buy 55 shares at a price of $18 in May 1997, would now be worth more than $2 million. Next to the stock price’s climb from $18 to $3,510, the huge return can be attributed to three stock splits, which turned one share bought in 1997 into twelve shares by the end of 1999.


Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid Instagram influencer.

He commands an average of $1.6m for every post. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is next on the Rich List ($1.52m) and Ariana Grande third ($1.51m).



A new study has found that 20% of Americans believe that it is “definitely true” or “probably true” that there is a microchip in the Covid vaccines. The study by YouGov found that 30-to-44-year-olds are most likely to believe that vaccines are a tool to implant microchips into people. The World Health Organization says it is battling an “infodemic” – a surge of misinformation plaguing the world and its fight against the virus.


Top 10 weirdest jobs

Forget the wacky titles that HR teams come up with to make jobs sound more interesting. Our top 10 strange jobs are genuinely odd, outrageous and mystifying.

  1. Chief Listening Officer

At £60,000 plus, a Chief Listening Officer is one of our unusual jobs that pays well. They listen in on social-media conversations about your brand – good or bad – to help improve products and services. Technology helps, but companies need a human touch to translate the data.

  1. Roof-Snow Clearer

Yellowstone National Park gets a lot of snow in winter. So much that its Welcome Centre hires a full-time Snow Clearer – for the roof. To clear ice that would otherwise cave in, Roof-Snow Clearers cut checkerboard chunks of 10-foot high snow then slide the blocks to safety. Stephen started on $13.24 (£10) per day, back in 1973. We hope he’s had a pay rise since then!

  1. Acoustics Consultant

With an average starting salary of £18,000 a year, an Acoustics Consultant measures how materials react to noise vibrations. They make sure you’re heard (or not) in office meeting rooms, and can pick out all the a capellas from the back of a concert hall.

  1. Pro Car Watcher

For $10 US, Costa Rican Cuidacarros watch your car – and make sure it stays where you parked it. It’s a small price for peace of mind, especially in areas where theft and vandalism reign supreme.

  1. Golf-Ball Diver

Golfers spend more time retrieving balls than hitting them. For those out-of-reach ones in water hazards, courses employ Golf-Ball Divers. They earn around £150 a day and the Florida divers have more than shank shots to contend with.

  1. Professional Mourner

A known profession in China, as well as some African and Middle Eastern countries, this job now exists in the UK. Earning £45 per hour, they attend funerals to increase numbers and weep on demand.

  1. Pro Queuer

Us Brits know how to queue. But some take it to pro-level. Like the guys and girls who stand in line for stores on occasions such as Apple releases and Black Friday. They earn around £100 a day for their patience.

  1. Teddy-Bear Repair Technician

Teddy specialists Build-A-Bear hire soft-toy surgeons to sew limbs and eyes back onto injured teddies. So, if your bear gets in a scrape, rush him to your nearest high-street BAB A&E. Depending where you are based and who you work for, you can earn between £30,000 and £40,000 per year.

  1. Panda Fluffer

Pandas are an endangered species and notoriously difficult to breed. To get these shy animals in the mood, China’s Panda Fluffers use feather dusters – and extreme caution – to help them perform. At the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre in Ya’an, Sichuan Province, a Panda Fluffer can earn 200,000 yuan (£22,900) per year.

  1. Professional Sleeper

A Finnish hotel employs a full-time Professional Sleeper. He or she sleeps in a different room each night and critiques the comfort of beds to improve the guests’ experience.

NASA posts ads for Professional Sleeper jobs, too. As the space agency preps for travel to Mars, it studied the effects on the human body of lying still for a long time. Volunteers got £12,000 to catch Zs for 70 days.

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



Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can. -Nicholas Sparks


Happiness is….not living too shorter life or an over long life.


“I was playing chess with my friend and he said, ‘Let’s make this interesting’. So we stopped playing chess.” — Matt Kirshen


Love is…two minds with one thought.


A time to invest £1,000 in Amazon…A time to spend £1,000 at Amazon.



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Reflections of a Top Hit Record

Meaning of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

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©2021 Phil M Robinson