After the traditional blog break that comes with summer I’m finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things.  So posting will be light until I get my mojo back.

In the meantime here’s a few things I learnt over the last few weeks.

  • Issac Newton invented the flat cap.
  • The term boycott comes from the Irish politician James Parnell, who first practiced his tactic of social exclusion for political ends on Captain Boycott.
  • Another term we owe to the fraught relationship between the English and Irish is “beyond the pale” – the pale in question being the bit of Ireland (essentially Dublin) that was completely under the control of the English in the 14 and 15 centuries.  Although there’s some doubt that the phrase was used at the time.
  • It typically costs 12p to send a 160-character text message from one British mobile phone to another. Byte for byte, this works out as over 12 times what Nasa pays to retrieve data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in Ephemera. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Uninspired

  1. Paulie says:

    I thought that Michael Davitt had called for the original ‘boycott’ but I was just about to say so when a wikipedia check confirmed you were right on this one.

    Here’s some more ephemera for you. Charles Stuart Parnell didn’t like his name pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable. His name was not to be pronounced Par-nell but instead, parnl.

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