The Gherkin Scale
Fair to middlin'
Has some good points
Oi! Wot you playin' at?
Don't be givin' me evils!
I'm waiting! My library holds
- The Couple Next Door -- 2 ahead
- ► 2016 (32)
- ► 2015 (42)
- ► 2014 (70)
- ► 2013 (65)
- ► 2012 (36)
- ► 2011 (47)
- ▼ December (7)
- ► November (7)
- ► October (14)
- ► 2009 (114)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Things would have probably gone on like this for the foreseeable future, except for an unfortunate incident involving Clara. One evening she is attending an outside party with Eve, a new girl at school, when she begins to feel ill. Clara starts walking home, but one of the drunken boys follows her and refuses to leave her alone, even after she throws up on his shoes. He becomes more violent, and, without really knowing what she is doing, Clara transforms into her vampire self and kills him. She is understandably confused about what has happened, so she calls her parents in a panic. They arrive and her father is able to fly the body out to sea to get rid of it. Then the parents are in the awkward position of having to explain to their children that they are vampires.
While in a panic over the situation, Peter makes a call to his estranged brother Will. Will is a very active vampire, killing anyone who attracts his attention. His negative influence is one reason why Peter and Helen have chosen to distance themselves from him. He shows up and parks his somewhat distinctive van outside the Radley's respectable suburban house.
With the taste of blood, Clara has transformed into a beautiful, calm and confident girl. Rowan becomes very interested in the possibility that he might also feel better if he indulged in blood also. Uncle Will is, of course, all for the children to become their true vampire selves. Some members of the police force are aware of the activities of the vampires in their communities, but they have a truce with the Sheridan Society, a vampire association which attempts to keep the more rogue vampires in check.
Unfortunately, Clara's victim washes up on a beach and is quickly identified as being the victim of a vampire. The police are sniffing around, and there is a great deal of tension between Uncle Will and the rest of his family. Can the Radleys continue to live among regular society, or will they be punished for their vampire activities?
The book is interesting in that the author has created a vampire society which has its own rules. Crosses don't bother vampires in this book, but they do become violently ill if they accidentally ingest garlic. They can inherit their vampire charistics, or they can be "converted" by a practicing vampire. Many famous people throughout history were vampires, including Lord Byron and Jimi Hendrix. Most chapters begin with some instructions for vampires from The Abstainer's Handbook.
The book is a rather pleasant addition to modern vampire literature. The chapters are short and the book moves quickly.
Final Verdict for The Radleys: Three Gherkins, for being an interesting, if somewhat predictable vampire tale
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The book begins with the author, Ronald Turnbull, discussing how he became interested in the geology of Britain through various school trips and visits to a holiday cottage. The next section of the book concerns the history of Britain. How did it come to reach its current shape and composition?
After giving a brief overview of how Britain came to be, the author then gives an in-depth discussion of 17 types of stone that can be found in the country. An interesting feature of the book is that the author describes walks that the reader may want to follow, and what sort of rocks and other features (algae, fossils, etc.) can be found along the route.
The book is written in a very engaging and conversational style. The author puts a lot of his own experiences into the text, which helps to make it very relevant to the casual reader. At the end of the book is a glossary of terms, which is very helpful! The book has many, many large and colorful illustrations of not only various geologic features, but also of lovely landscapes.
All in all, I found this to be a gorgeous, very informative book about what lies UNDER a beautiful country.
Granite and Grit will be released in mid-January and is now available for pre-order through Amazon.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Granite and Grit from the publisher
Final Verdict for Granite and Grit: Four Gherkins, for being a very thorough introduction to an unusual subject
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of What Churchill Would Do from the author.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
At the time of his decision, Yankoski was a Christian college student. Needless to say, his family and friends were somewhat shocked and dismayed at his decision. He began slowly, volunteering at a homeless shelter and even gathering a group of advisors who helped him plan his journey. Before he left, he was joined on his mission by another young man, Sam Purvis. They both wanted to learn more about the problem, and felt that two men travelling together would have safety in numbers.
They set out to experience homelessness in 6 cities: Denver, Washington, D.C., Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix and San Diego. They found differences in the homeless populations in each city. In Washington, DC, for example, they found that most of the homeless people they encountered were African American veterans in their 50s. In Portland, most of the homeless were young people in their teens and 20s. And in San Francisco, they were dismayed at the racial hatred that played out frequently among the various groups. Mike and Sam took their guitars with them, and tried to earn money by panhandling. This went better in some places than in others, but they were often able to make enough money for at least one meal per day.
They encountered a few people who helped them along the way, but for the most part, they found that to be homeless was to be invisible. Whether through fear or some other reason, they found it was rare that anyone would even make eye contact with them. The most shocking thing they discovered was that many churches were not only not helping the homeless, but were actively avoiding them. They found churches that were padlocked when "church business" wasn't being held, and were told to leave several churches where they had come to either attend services or perhaps find a meal. In one memorable instance, Mike and Sam slept in the doorway of a church to be there first thing in the morning when the doors opened. They were awakened by singing -- every member of the church had entered for services through a side door, in order to avoid the two "vagrants" at the front door!
Through all of this, Mike and Sam knew that at the end of their journey, they had warm beds, clean clothes and hot meals waiting for them. They constantly wondered and worried about the people who had been living for years in the existance that was nearly unbearable for them to endure.
At the end of the book, Mike gives many suggestions for people who might want to get more involved in working with the homeless. He encourages everyone to step outside of their comfort zones and truly live the life that God intended. I found the story to be very touching and encouraging. It is wonderful to see someone who really puts his faith into action.
You can download an Under the Overpass action plan for Christmas here.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Under the Overpass from WaterBrook Multnomah for posting my honest opinion
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
We drop in on Vincent just as his personal life is going down the drain. His long-time girlfriend Cathy has moved in with another man (a surprisingly mild-mannered Phillip Glenister) and is pressuring him to sell their jointly-owned flat. Vincent still has a thing for Cathy and tries to convince her to come back to him, but she's having none of it.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Thanks to everyone who entered my prize pack giveaway from Warner Bros. online. The lucky winner was:
Thanks again to Bridget at Warner Bros. online for providing the great prizes.
Keep watching for future giveaways!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Imagine all the great gifts you could buy for the holidays with that! Not to mention all the gifts you could get for yourself if Santa somehow managed to misplace your wish list!
The BBCAmerica Shop has some great gift ideas (sugar plums!) as well as an amazing assortment of DVDs, books, mugs, T-shirts and those all important "Mind the Gap" items!
Click on the link above to go to enter the Holiday Sweepstakes! The Sweepstakes is only open to US residents and ends on Dec. 19.
Thanks for entering and good luck!
Disclaimer: I was provided with the prize pack to give away by Bridget at Warner Bros. online.
Friday, November 12, 2010
So I was thrilled to find out about the Happy Haul-idays contest being run right now by Chronicle Books. Bloggers can post a list of Chronicle Books that they'd love to win, up to $500. One lucky winner will win their entire list! In addition, if you comment on a blog post about the contest, you're entered to win, too! Rules and details about the contest (including a list of other bloggers who are participating = more chances to win!) can be found here.
Here's my list of books that I'm crossing my fingers will find their way under my tree this Christmas:
- City Walks: London 50 Adventures on Foot By Christina Henry de Tessan
- London A Field Guide for the Curious By Fred Dust and IDEO
- The Smart Traveler's Passport by Erik Torkells
- The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel By Joshua Piven
- Paris Out of Hand A Wayward Guide by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
- 52 Great Travel Tips By Lynn Gordon
- Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers What Your Teachers Never Told You About the World's Greatest Directors By Robert Schnakenberg
- Secret Lives of Great Composers What Your Teachers Never Told You About the World's Musical Masters By Elizabeth Lunday
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Deluxe Heirloom Edition The Classic Regency Romance—Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls By Steve Hockensmith
- Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters By Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
- The Crimes of Dr. Watson An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery By John H. Watson, M.D.
- The Sherlock Holmes Handbook The Methods and Mysteries of the World's Greatest Detective By Ransom Riggs
- Two Cats and the Woman They Own or Lessons I Learned from My Cats By Patti Davis
- Ernie A Photographer's Memoir By Tony Mendoza
- Craft, Inc. Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business By Meg Mateo Ilasco
- Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style By Lotta Jansdotter
- Handmade Hellos Fresh Greeting Card Projects from First-Rate Crafters By Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle
- The Guerilla Art Kit By Keri Smith
- The Irish Pub Cookbook By Margaret M. Johnson
- Super-Charged Smoothies More Than 60 Recipes for Energizing Smoothies By Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford
- Field Guide to Produce How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market By Aliza Green
- Field Guide to Candy How to Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable By Anita Chu
- Tea & Crumpets Recipes and Rituals from Tearooms & Cafés By Margaret M. Johnson
- The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks A Celebration of Creative Punctuation By Bethany Keeley
- Stuff Every Woman Should Know By Alanna Kalb
- Pictorial Webster's A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities By John M. Carrera
- Change the World for Ten Bucks Small Actions X Lots of People = Big Change By We Are What We Do
Good luck to all!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Disclaimer: I received a copy the The American Patriot's Almanac from Thomas Nelson Publisher's Booksneeze.com
Friday, November 5, 2010
This DVD set features 3 volumes of stories. There are a total of 14 episodes, each containing 3-5 segments. A bonus feature includes a 55 minute interview with Kuralt's longtime cameraman, Isadore Bleckman. Each disk also contains some Road Updates on the people and stories featured, including websites where available. Since most of the episodes appear to be from the 1970s, it's good to find out what happened to some of the more memorable characters. There is also a biography of Kuralt.
I really enjoyed the story of Moses Walters, an elderly mailman in Magoffin County, Kentucky who delivered the mail by mule for over 50 years. I was most intrigued by this, because my mother is actually a mail carrier in that same county today. I'm sure there are some roads where she wishes she could trade in her car for a mule! I was happy to find out that Moses Walters achieved fame late in life by virtue of being profiled by Charles Kuralt (although I'm sure he never sought the recognition!).
That is the beauty of Kuralt's work. He looked for ordinary people doing ordinary things, and allowed the rest of America to become acquainted with them, too. In the days before the Internet gave everyone his or her own website, video channel and podcast, Kuralt showcased what made people special and unique. I'm glad I was able to see the varied personalities and locations in this wonderful set of stories.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of On the Road, Set 3 from Acorn Media
Final Verdict for On the Road, Set 3: Four Gherkins, for being an interesting collection of the extraordinary stories of ordinary people
Thursday, November 4, 2010
That's why I was thrilled to receive a review copy of A Mind to Kill, Series 2 from Acorn Media. This is the second season of a Welsh detective drama that ran for 5 seasons, between 1994 and 2002. The action concerns the sufficiently grizzled yet oddly attractive (he has no problem finding female companionship)Welsh DCI Noel Bain, played by Philip Madoc. Twelve years before the action in this series takes place, his wife was hit and killed by a drunk driver. This event has left a massive scar on Bain's life, as will be shown toward the end of this season.
|Dr. Edwards looking fondly upon a corpse|
Rounding out the cast of characters are two of Bain's officers, DS Alison Griffiths and DS Carwyn Phillips. They appear genuinely fond of their somewhat cranky and unpredictable boss, although they do smirk behind his back at his relationship with Professor Edwards.
One fascinating aspect of the series is that it was filmed in both English and Welsh versions. This DVD has the English version (of course), but you can watch 7 minutes of one of the episodes in the Welsh language. It's a very beautiful and mysterious sounding language! Even when the actors are speaking English, their lilting Welsh accents are very pleasant.
The 7 episodes on this DVD deal with horrible murders and hostile members of the public. In one case, two brothers are found tied together at the bottom of a lake, and Bain must work out if it really was a murder-suicide (as it appeared to be at first), or a double murder. In another case, Bain goes undercover at a seaside resort town to look for a killer, but things are complicated when his daughter Hannah shows up. Another episode deals with a housing estate where residents don't take kindly to the police coming in to investigate the discovery of a burned body in a car. I found the most unusual episode to be the last one, in which Bain decides to track down the man who was responsible for the death of his wife 12 years previously.
Congrats to the winner of the Benny Hill Megaset giveaway:
Monday, November 1, 2010
Congratulations to the three winners of the DVD of Alien Autopsy:
Friday, October 29, 2010
Random.org kindly chose the winner of the Where's Stig book provided by Warner Bros., and the lucky winner was:
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway for DVDs of Being Human: Season Two. The winners were:
Where's Stig? (Hurry! ends 10/28)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I had the drawing for the DVD of The Queen, and the winner was:
Being Human ( Hurry! ends 10/27)
Friday, October 22, 2010
I'd like to thank everyone for the comments on my Midsomer Murders: Village Case Files giveaway. I used random.org to choose the winner, who was:
Thursday, October 21, 2010
BENNY HILL: THE COMPLETE MEGASET contains Benny’s raucous 20-year reign over the television-sketch variety genre, from the naughty early years to the debut of the nubile Hills Angels, through the final episodes. Witness the birth of crazy caricatures like Fred Scuttle, Chow Mein, and Pierre de Terre. Laugh out loud as Benny and his bevy of buxom babes flaunt their racy rowdiness and tongue-in-cheek satire in characteristically outrageous sketches like The Little Dimpton Street Party and The Crook Report.
- Bonus Documentary: The Worlds Favorite Clown;
- The Benny Hill Cheeky Challenge Trivia Quiz # 1-6
- Liner Notes DVD Insert Booklets
- Benny Hill: Laughter and Controversy Episode of A&Es Award-Winning Series BIOGRAPHY®
- Eddie in August
- Featurettes: I Was A Hills Angel, Hills Angels: Off the Record and Hills Angels: In Conversation
Disclaimer: A&E Home Video provided the DVD set for this giveaway
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
|Me, my husband Hans, Elton John, Jim Goldman (CEO of Godiva) and Gigi Goldman|
So I've had an exciting few days. Not only did Sir Elton perform numerous songs, but plenty of delicious Godiva chocolate was on offer, so it was a perfect evening!
Thanks so much to the Godiva company for providing such a wonderful experience!!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Alien Autopsy is a humorous film that looks at the incidents surrounding the release of the infamous "alien autopsy" video from 1995. That year, mysterious top-secret black-and-white footage, supposedly filmed during the 1947 Roswell incident, was broadcast around the world. It showed the autopsy of an alien lifeform. The men responsible for the discovery of the footage, buddies Ray (Declan Donnelly) and Gary (Ant McPartlin), are thrown into intense media scrutiny. But the guys have an even bigger secret. And it's not very pretty. Based on true events, Alien Autopsy is the alternately bizarre and frequently quirky story of the two unlikely lads from London who become icons in UFOlogy with a discovery that stunned millions who've long searched for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Bill Pullman and Harry Dean Stanton also star. Watch a clip from the film.
Special features on the DVD include:
- The Making of Ant and Dec's Alien Autopsy
- Additional Scenes
- Alternate Opening
Disclaimer: I was sent 3 copies of the DVD to giveaway by Warner Bros.
Friday, October 15, 2010
The illustrations are very colorful and humorous, and contain jokes and other elements that fans of the show will surely recognize. While this is a picture book, it is aimed at adults. There's nothing really offensive contained, but it is not a children's book. If you are a fan of the series, you will find a lot to engage you in this book. Even if you've never seen Top Gear, you'll enjoy the illustrations and the challenge of trying to find all the elements!
Thanks to Warner Bros., I have one copy of the book Where's Stig to giveaway! To enter, please leave a comment stating your favorite location to "lose yourself." Please be sure your email address is in your comment or in your profile (if you have a blog) so I'll have a way to contact you. Open to the US and Canada. Contest ends on Oct. 28.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Where's Stig to give away by Warner Bros.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
In Being Human Season Two, the vampire leader Herrick has been defeated, but there are new enemies and dangers facing our heroes at every turn. Mitchell (Aiden Turner) has a new girlfriend, but he's unable to enjoy the relationship due to the disarrayed vampire community. George (Russel Tovey) also has a new girlfriend, but a new twist in his werewolf life disrupts their relationship as well. Annie (Lenora Crichlow) has a difficult time trying to figure out how to cross over to the other side, and if that is really a good idea. To top it off, all three of them are now being threatened by CenSSA, headed by the mysterious Professor Jaggat and the ruthless Kemp. CenSSA is a religious organization determined to destroy and convert all supernatural beings. And here you probably thought being a supernatural entity was all superpowers, wearing black, and looking mysterious!
|The undead aren't exactly tidy, are they?|
In addition, there are bonus features on the DVD including:
o Behind the Scenes Featurettes:
o Blood Bursting
o The Caves
o Unleashing the Beast
o The Swinging Sixties
o Behind the Makeup
o Making the New Werewolf
o Train Carnage
o Easter Eggs
Thanks to Bridget at Warner Bros., I have *TEN* copies of Being Human Season Two to giveaway! To enter, just leave a comment stating whether (given the chance), you'd prefer to live as a ghost, a vampire or a were wolf. Be sure and leave your email address in your comment so I'll have a way to contact you. Open to the U.S. and Canada. Contest ends on Oct. 27.
Check out the official site: BBCAmericaShop.com
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. provided the 10 DVDs for giveaway.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Congratulations to the winners of my Top Gear Season 13 DVD giveaway. I chose the winners using random.org, and they were:
The five episodes in the series look to especially stressful or difficult times in the queen's life.
Episode 1: Sisters This episode looks at the early relationship of Queen Elizabeth and her younger sister Princess Margaret just after the death of their father, King George VI. After being crowned queen, Elizabeth was surrounded by the mostly elderly male advisers who had worked with her father. Margaret fell in love with a divorced man, and the queen faced her first crisis in attempting to persuade her sister to avoid this potentially explosive match.
Episode 2: Us and Them Events from 1969 to 1975 are covered. In those years, the UK was in economic upheaval. It was beset by strikes, IRA bombings and demands to abolish the monarchy. Amidst all this, the queen had to ask for more money from the government to continue to run her increasingly expensive household. The country is briefly united for the wedding of Princess Anne, but even this turns out badly when she becomes the target of a botched kidnapping.
|Pop a ciggy in her hand, and you've got Dot Cotton!|
Thursday, October 7, 2010
If you've never visited the lovely English county of Midsomer, you're in for a treat! Nestled in the middle of England (the real filming takes place in villages in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire), the events portrayed in Midsomer Murders take place in towns with charming names like Midsomer Mallow, Midsomer Wellow, Badgers Drift and Morton Fendle. It's up to the dogged DCI Tom Barnaby (played by John Nettles) and his assistants DS Dan Scott and DC Ben Jones to clear up the many cases of murder that inexplicably happen in such gorgeous surroundings.
In every episode we are also treated to scenes from DCI Barnaby's home life, including his long-suffering wife Joyce (very sweet, but decidedly lacking in culinary skills) and daughter Cully (an aspiring actress). The play between Barnaby and his underlings is also interesting to watch. Somehow the assistants are always the ones directed to chase and tackle fleeing suspects or to overnight in barns and lofts to await developments.
The episodes generally start with the victim meeting his untimely end, and Barnaby and sidekick rushing to the scene. There will likely be more bodies piled up before the evildoer is finally tracked down! Many of the mysteries are set in specialized worlds. The people involved (victims and suspects) might be involved in the local horse racing scene, or be collectors of rare orchids or all have psychic powers. Everyone is a suspect (well, until he or she turns up dead, that is!) and it's fun to see if I can suss out the murderer before Barnaby does (generally not!).
Thanks to Alyssa at Acorn Media, I have one copy of Midsomer Murders Village Case Files to giveaway! To enter, just leave a comment stating a mystery you would recommend. It can be a book or a TV series or even a film. Make sure your email address is in your comment or profile (if you have a blog) so that I can contact you. Open only to the U.S. Enter by Oct. 20.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy and a giveaway copy of Midsomer Murders Village Case Files from Acorn Media
Final Verdict for Midsomer Murders Village Case Files: Five Gherkins, for being a cosy look at an idyllic British countryside . . . if you can overlook all the dead bodies!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This compact little book is just packed with interesting stuff! It is arranged into 20 chapters, each covering an area of London life or history. Some of the chapters are:
Crime and Punishment
The London Dead
and so on. There are also 20 questions in each chapter (I'm sensing a pattern here!) followed by three possible answers. Here is an example of a question from the Shops & Shopping chapter:
In 1907, how did William Whiteley, founder of the famous Whiteleys department store in Bayswater, die?
a. He tripped and fell from a window on the third floor of his store
b. He was shot dead in his office by a man claiming to be his illegitimate son
c. He contracted fatal food poisoning after eating shellfish in the restaurant of his store
To make cheating more difficult (it's as if this book were made for me!) the answers are to be found in the back of the book. The table of contents gives both the page number of each chapter, as well as the page number where the answers can be found. The questions and possible answers are all fascinating and lead to a desire to find out even more about some of these people and events. (Poor Mr. Whiteley was done in by his alleged illegitimate son, by the way.)
The book is also beautifully illustrated by Kerry Lee. There is an illustration in the style of the map on the cover at the start of every chapter. The illustrations alone are very colorful and entertaining!
This book is a delight from cover to cover. In the introduction to the book, the authors state that the questions are not easy, but are rather intended to "provide entry points into the fascinating history of the city." I can say that they have succeeded admirably with that goal!
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of London Quiz from The Little Bookroom
Monday, October 4, 2010
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
|Top Gear: Complete Season 13|
Elsewhere, Jeremy and James attempt to understand what makes a great Volkswagen advertisement – and then try to film one of their own. Plus, Jeremy gets chased by the British Army in some of its latest and most deadly toys and in a long-awaited television-first, the mysterious Stig takes off his helmet to reveal just who he really is.
The ongoing hit “Star in the Reasonably Priced Car” segment continues with Jay Leno, Olympic Gold Medal Sprinter Usain Bolt, Sienna Miller, AC/DC Singer Brian Johnson and more getting behind the wheel on the test track.
To whet your appetite, here is a clip of the three hosts engaging in one of their popular races: steam train vs. car vs. motorcycle. Which will reach the destination first?
TOP GEAR 13 BONUS FEATURES
• Stig POV
• Spitfire Magic
• Ken Block: Slow Motion
• Extended Brian Johnson Interview
• Extended Jenson Button Interview
• Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4-SV 200 mph Run in Abu Dhabi
• Train Race Sequence with JC
Top Gear Season 13 Blu-ray/DVD is available for purchase starting on Sept. 28.
**Win! Thanks to Bridget at Warner Bros. I have
The hosts are so engaging and the features are so over the top and unexpected that even non "gear heads" will get a kick out of watching! While you're waiting to find out if you're the winner, be sure to check out new episodes of Top Gear on BBCAmerica.
Get the inside scoop on WB movie & DVD releases! http://www.wbreelnews.com/
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of the DVD to giveaway.
Friday, September 24, 2010
As a huge fan of Stephen Fry, I was excited to discover the QI TV series. I was also thrilled to discover that the creators of the program have also published a number of books related to the show. I was excited to read QI: Book of General Ignorance: The Noticeably Stouter Edition. The book begins with a humorous forward by Mr. Fry himself, a completely useless attempt at humor by Alan Davies (in the "look at me, aren't I clever?" vein he employs in the show) and a forward by the author John Lloyd.
The book format consists of a question, followed by an in-depth explanation of the answer. Many of the questions could be considered "trick" questions, as one of the purposes of the authors is to question widely accepted, but incorrect information. An example:
How many wives did Henry VIII have? Most Americans would probably have to go look that one up, but the generally accepted answer is six (two beheaded, two divorced, one died and one survived). The answer to the question is: it varies according to source. Since Henry's marriage to Anne of Cleves was annulled, it never really happened, so that one doesn't count. The Pope refused to recognize Henry's second marriage, because the Pope stated that Henry was still married to his first wife at the time. And so on.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Turning up by the Duck Pond during rush hour yesterday, I (along with dozens of other motorists) was annoyed to find my journey delayed by a herd of geese who decided to cross the street vvveeeerrrry slowly. They seemed to enjoy tormenting people. I'd never seen anything like it. Lead goose would slowly lift one leg, hesitate for a while, then slowly put it back down. The others were worse. There were about 6-8 other geese on the right-hand side of the street who kept darting into the road, then back to the side, then hesitantly standing by the side of the street looking as if they were going to step out in front of cars any second. Finally one of the frustrated motorists got out and shooed across the geese who were, at that moment, in the street. I was expecting them to have just used this as a ploy to draw us out of our cars for a good savaging, but they docilely scurried on across. I hope all drivers are as patient as these were!
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