June Lessons for the Longest Day and Beyond (21st – 27th)


Mexico City has the worlds largest University UNAM, (measured by the number of students enrolled).


The Japanese for death by overwork is Karōshi. It is s0mething I am always conscious of avoiding.


Slovenia is the richest Slavic nation, and I learnt exactly where it is which is a bit embarrassing as I really ought to have known


The USA came third in the first World Cup (there was no third place play off then but they were recognised by FIFA as having a better record than the other beaten semi-finalists Yugoslavia).


Apparantly no team has lost a World Cup match after being 2-0 up at half time.


Richard Coles of the Communards is now a Church of England priest. Also Ridley Scott directed the famous Hovis advert shot on a cobbled street in Dorset (not Yorkshire).


The biggest defeat England have ever suffered in World Cup Finals is 4-1 against Germany in 2010 (June 27th)

Do We Learn Anything in June? Of Course We Do (1st-6th June)


Today I clarified what the batsman scores in cricket if the fielder catches the ball and touches the boundary (or crosses). As I thoought logically it is a six.


I found out that not only is Keifer Sutherland not at all american (canadian more like) he was born in London.


World cup squads must have 3 keepers who are not allowed to play anywhere else but in goal. North Korea have only named 2 keepers and have a striker who is only allowed to play goalkeeper instead of a third keeper. The chuckle brothers have won both opportunity knocks (in 1967) and new faces (in 1974).


Yesterday was  Fronleichnam, a holiday in some parts of Germany, mainly catholic parts. It is the feast of corpus christi or the “Solemity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ”


Cricket is becoming more popular in France, and in France you can be out jdg (jambe devant guichet). Incidently French cricket is probably not played in France.


In the final episode of the final series of 24 the clock counts from 3 to 0 indicating the end of some sort of era probably.


The Last May Lessons…


I learnt today that I know a descendant of Victor Hugo.


Courgettes have male and female flowers.


The little african grebe is now extinct. It used to live in Madagascar but was killed off by fish and fishing nets.
Although there is a plan to change the law, at the moment there is a law in Germany that prevents intercity buses apart from a few routes.


Lucozade now comes in cherry flavour. A useless fact for me as I am not a great cherry fan.


Pacman was 30 years old this year, but I missed his birthday which is apparantly May 22nd. Also in 1999 someone completed all 256 levels eating every pellet, ghost and fruit, a perfect game (madness in my opinion).


Today I learnt what Kopi Luwak tastes like.


Chongqing has a population similar to Canada and Poland (and rising). I also only today found out that there is a Thai yellow curry (I knew about the green and the red versions. It turns out you can have the whole set of traffic lights all made with Thai curries).


If it wasnt for The Beatles, Ken Dodd’s “Tears” would be the top selling song of the 60s. (Only beaten by “She Loves You”, and “I Want to hold your Hand”).

More lessons to learn around the Maypole (10/5 – 16/5)


The axolotl never grows up and will not undergo metamosphosis in its natural state. However a cheeky iodine injection can make its balls drop and bring it into an adult form.


The Oxford English Dictionary since 1911 has incorrectly dephined a siphon as something that moves liquid using atmospheric pressure. (Gravity has been doing all the work and getting none of the credit).


Today was the first day that I could picture Nick Clegg in my mind, without needing to see a picture of him. More useful is probably the knowledge that Van Helsing’s first name was Abraham.


The RSPB was set up to protect the great crested grebe. Also parakeets have set up home and living in the UK wild and free from BNP politicians.


Nick Clegg once burnt a professor’s cacti when an exchange student in Germany at the age of 16 and had to do community service.


In cricket if the ball hits a helmet on the way to a boundary you score 5 runs only, you do not score 9 (5+4). I knew about the 5 runs but was not sure about whether like wides and no balls you would get a further 4. Also Boobby McFerrin’s voice is the only sound you here on a certain track of his, no instruments. So “Don’t worry, be happy”.


Until today England had never won an ICC world cup of any type. Now they have won one. I found out the name of the Schengen agreement, which is suprisingly the Schengen agreement. I also found out what Montgomery Glands are.

More April Lessons 19th – 25th

Monday – I learnt that there is a new organisation the YPLA (lets hear it for the YPLA! Young Persons Learning Agency) that replaces the LSC. Possibly the dullest lesson of the year so far, A toxophilite being an archery lover is a far more interesting fact.

Tuesday – It takes about 9 months to get to Mars and rockets need to leave the earth at a minimum speed of 17000mph

Wednesday – Franck Ribery has been accused of inappropiate activity with an inappropiately aged call girl – so it looks like he is Chelsea bound. Also if the voting in the general election makes the lib dems have the most votes, the conservatives 2nd and labour 3rd it will probably result in the reverse when it comes to seats (I think I suspected this anyway). Also nice guys outperform nasty guys in tasks (apart from women attracting possibly as they are often less exciting!)

Thursday – I learnt zebras arent good subjects for limericks due to the various pronouncitaions

Friday – Shakespeare may not have been born on St George’s day

Saturday – Robbie Savage was a trainee at Manchester United before moving to Crewe  Alexandra

Sunday – Reneee Walker will not be in any future series of 24. I am surprised that my addiction to finding out what happens before it does in a lot of tv series didn’t make me learn about her death earlier (i.e. I will read a spoiler if I come across one)

March 22nd – March 28th

Monday – Hitler may well have had an IQ of about 141 (he probably had two balls too and certainly didnt keep one of them in the Albert Hall)

Tuesday – Casio GDC (Graphic Display Calculators) can now give their answers in exact form just to wind up physics departments. Also the scientific calculators will now do prime factor decomposition which will make gcse maths even easier to pass and will therefore result in the collapse of civilisation as the Daily Mail and old people gang up to moan about the fact that the youth of today dont go through all the pain they did… they fought a damn war you know.

Wednesday – Depictions of the last supper in 52 paintings over the last 1000 years have shown an increase in the size of portions suggesting that we are eating more. Also today learnt the Wurzels are prepared to make political comment, on the day that cider got taxed more heavily by someone called Darling (a bit of a girls name), they said “We have to tighten the string on our trousers, but we must admit that having to cut down on this local favourite leaves us feeling that we are being unfairly penalised.”

Thursday –  Paintball paint is made from the same stuff found in cough syrup (presumably not the medical ingredients just the liquid stuff it’s dissolved in)

Friday – A 3:1 ratio of self rasing flour and a pinch of salt is enough to create soda bread

Saturday -Learnt the meaning of the bubble in poker (usually merrily win without bothering with too much of the jargon)

Sunday – South Park’s 200th episode will be first shown on April 14th  and probably two days later in the UK

March 8th – March 14th

Monday – A golden raspberry award costs £3 to make, congratulations to Sandra Bullock for getting hers (oh and the oscar I suppose too). The most expensive ticket for the Wigan v Liverpool game was £28. Also it is commonwealth week. I only realised today that Singapore is a member of the commonwealth.

Tuesday – We live in something known as the Goldilocks Zone, (or more boringly known as the habitable Zone). it is where a planet is neither too hot nor cold for life, but just right. Canada is the worlds second biggest nation.

Wednesday – There are 460 Bingo Halls in the UK

Thursday –  Anti-wrinkle cream is an outrageous con. It works by adding acid to the skin, irritating it and swelling it to get rid of the wrinkles. Apparantly you might as well be rubbing vinegar in.

Friday – Lewis Carroll invented the word chortle (from Jabberwocky)

Saturday – Learnt that my brother fell into a ditch on his way home from a night out last December and had great difficulty getting out. In fact was lucky to but it is funny now that we know he survived the experience.

Sunday – 2 ingredients that are not listed in Morrisons Dandelion and Burdock are dandelion and burdock (however it does contain carrot)

Last 7 Educational Moments of February (22nd to 28th)

Monday – Berol fibre tipped pens can survive for 14 days without their cap on, unlike some of my students.

Tuesday – Found out how to sort out a rogue US keyboard impersonator on a PC (one of those things I possibly should have known already)

Wednesday – The patron saint of mathematicains job shares his work with being the patron Saint of hunters, opticians, metalworkers and used to be involved in rabies curing. Saint Dismas the patron saint of criminals only seems to have the one job…

Thursday – I learnt an immature trick with a Casio scientific calculator (a sort of modern version of the 5318008 = boobies one).  (.)A(.) then move the cursor back to the A and you have your very own

Friday – When decomissioning a nuclear missile you deal with the warhead first

Saturday – Marmite have developed an extra strong version due out in early march

Sunday – Stick insects have become naturalised in Devon and Cornwall

7 days and 7 lessons 15/02/10 – 21/02/10

Monday – I probably could have worked it out but the Rocky Horror Picture Show is apparantly has the longest release of any film. Certainly any film with a transvestite in it.

Tuesday – The Great Britain (essentially Scottish)  mens curling team are at present the world champions

Wednesday – Eleven plus two is an anagram of twelve plus one (and equal) / Also it is apparantly national nest box week (??)

Thursday – I learnt the UK will have an extra bank holiday in 2012 to celebrate the queens diamond jubilee

Friday – You can train a dog to obey the command “bonky bonky” (less messy if its a bitch). I also learnt at last which way Flamingos legs bend. (or had what I thought was the case confirmed)

Saturday – Asparagus cup of soup definately contains asparagus (as tested by someone with “asparagus wee”)

Sunday – A pint of Sailor Jerry’s is equivalent to 568.26ml and would cost Andy the discoverer of the worst model of the human heart £25 approximately in a pub.


February, New Month, New Week more things to learn

Monday – I actually found out what macrame is. heard the name, knew it was some sort of craft thing that I would never do but wasn’t sure if it was done with card, tissue paper or paint. Turns out you need cord but I am probably the only one who didn’t know this. (I don’t know if it is possible to make macrame clothes actually…)

Tuesday – The fastest hatrick in the FA Cup was 3 minutes in 1968 by Billy Best of Southend. Also the 22nd and 24th President of the USA was the same man.

Wednesday – It is possible to make macrame clothing – and some people do not know that pigs have male and female

Thursday – If I got two promotions I would not have to make my own tea

Friday – Sainsbury’s in Taunton has a resident robin

Saturday – Holding a pencil between your teeth can make you happy

Sunday – there are 28 varieties of rabbitfish, and they are probably all uglier than rabbits