April 9, 2014
12 Things about the world that I really should know by now

I’m not an idiot. I know a reasonable amount about certain things. I can spell, am relatively well read and can hold my own in any game of Scrabble against an average competitor.
I understand philosophical logic, have a good (and almost entirely useless) grasp on the difference between impressionism and expressionism and am fairly well versed in UK county capitals.

But…undeniably, there’s a lot of stuff that’s passed me by. Things I should know. Things I want to know. I try teaching myself but often find the topic to be so complex, and my base knowledge so limited, that past the first sentence on Wikipedia I’m lost.

So, with the aim of self improvement, I am calling upon the internet to help me. If you know and want to impart some of your knowledge on me – tweet or comment and I will embed them in to this post for all to share and enjoy. Even better let’s arrange a group Google Hangout (how modern!) and if there’s anything you might like to know about art, philosophy, music (covering Ba-roque to Prog-Rock) or Staffordshire Oatcakes in return, I’d be more than happy to share.

So here it is. My top things I know very little about, which I really need to change.

1. Irish Politics.

Beyond the capital being Dublin, I know nothing. Is there a Prime Minister? A President? There might even be a monarchy. I just don’t know.

2. North and South Korea

There was a division after WW2, it didn’t go well. Then, potentially, there was a civil in the 1950s? Cold war tensions?

North Korea are the baddies.

3. Particle Physics

Ah, a biggie. Things are made out of particles. Some particles are composed of protons, neutrons, electrons then there’s another type of particle that isn’t. I feel like these may be quarks.

Quarks may well be the baddies.

4. Hedge Funds

Presumably nothing to do with landscaping on Wall Street.

5. Electricity

NOT Micheal Fassbender, but Faraday.

You have your fossil fuels, your nuclear…stuff. Magnets get involved. I tweet.

Wind, sun and water are the goodies.

6. Penguins and Polar Bears

Who lives where? Why? Are they really never in the same place? Seems absurd.

7. The Crimean War

Tennyson. He wrote a poem about it. Lives were lost and all I can tell you about is the fucking rhyming couplets.

8. Netball

Surely nobody can actually enjoy it?

9. Hangovers

I have them a lot, so should be aware of what’s happening to my body on a weekly (bi-daily) basis. I watched a talk once that suggested it’s nothing to do with the usual “brain shrinks because it’s dehydrated” but actually something to do with something in your ears expanding? Help.

10. Osmosis

Insane in the cell membrane!

11. Fracking

Noisy. Disliked by Bez.

12. The Channel Tunnel

I simply cannot comprehend the notion of a tunnel UNDER THE SEA. How did they dig it? How does the pressure not make it collapse? It’s a conspiracy – you’re not in Paris, you’re in Portslade.

There you have it. Some key things that have slipped through my neurological net and that’s cool. I bet Einstein didn’t know what a rel canonical was (shhh).

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April 10, 2014

1. It’s the Republic of Ireland – therefore no monarchy – they have a President (Michael Higgins) and a Prime Minister called Edna

2. Well… it’s a bit tricky but during the Korean war the UN (USA, France etc) supported the Republic (South) and the North was backed by USSR and China. It’s all to do with this thing called Communism

3. Physics… it’s just applied maths

4. Hedge Funds – are collective Investments by pooling different types of investments you can leverage against them and also manage risk e.g. if investments in one area go down you’ve got other investments that might have gone up or stayed the same

5. Did you know people die every year from licking household batteries to test they are working? Electricity eh?

6. Penguins South, Polar Bears North

7. Florence Nightingale innit

8. Don’t get it either – actually asked Sky for a refund of £10pm for showing it on Sky Sports as a sport (true story)

9. Numerous theories – Liver Enzymes, Dehydration, Ketone development as Alcohol is broken down, Glucose levels – I just avoid drinking too much beer and stick to spirits

10. Partially Permeable Membranes yo!

11. People believe Fracking is to do with a method of recovering shale gas it’s not it’s a swear word from Battlestar Galactica.

12. The tunnel goes 250m under the sea bed it’s quite safe from water pressure