Weighing in on the ancient ‘I before E except after C’ rule

Back when I was at school English spelling was simple: I had to come before E, except after C. It was an iron-clad rule. No kid or their neighbour deigned to seize the moment by disagreeing. The usual forfeit was swift reinforcement, either via some heinous and weird punishment, by seismic kick to the keister, … More Weighing in on the ancient ‘I before E except after C’ rule

Atomic cars and nuclear trains – 1950s style

I’ve always been intrigued by the way one novelty or another is often seized by society and, briefly, becomes an all-consuming passion. I’m not just talking about Rubiks Cubes or those irritating finger spinners. I’m talking atomic. Back in the 1950s and into the early 1960s, atomic power was ‘in’. I mean, really ‘in’. This … More Atomic cars and nuclear trains – 1950s style

Why the name of the seventh planet is funny – redux

For your amusement, here’s a post I wrote in 2012 (enter TARDIS sound…) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I don’t know why the seventh planet out from the Sun is the butt of so many jokes. Well, I do. and it’s lame, lame, lame. So today I’m going to get to the bottom of it, as it were. More … More Why the name of the seventh planet is funny – redux

Why 2017 is going to be a cooler year than last

There’s no question that 2016 was a year of horror, what with every influential musician and celebrity on the planet dropping dead. Then hipsters decided deconstructed burgers were the best thing since somebody randomly threw some bits of salad and bun in the direction of a plate. All that’s quite apart from my personal adventures which … More Why 2017 is going to be a cooler year than last

How Germany Nearly Won Wikipedia and other search strings

My blog got found the other day by the search string ‘how Germany nearly won Wikipedia’. It intrigued me, not least because I didn’t know Wikipedia was something winnable. Then there were all the other possibilities attached to winning things – you know, ‘How the West Was Won…by Germany’, or ‘Win Lotto Before Germany Does’, … More How Germany Nearly Won Wikipedia and other search strings