Archive for July, 2014

Odd statistics from the United Kingdom

I’m enjoying a weekend in London prior to a conference in Cambridge next week.  I was happy to see in the news that the Prime Minister David Cameron is under investigation by the UK Statistics Authority for biasing figures on in his party’s favor.  Evidently the British are more vigilant than the USA on out-and-out self-promoting misstatements.

On a more frivolous note, here are some stats on people in these parts that I found in this recent news on the weird by UK’s tabloid the Express gleaned from the soon-to-be-published book Numberland by Mitchell Symons–a principal writer of early editions of Trivial Pursuit and author of That Book of Perfectly Useless Information, The Book of More Perfectly Useless Information, and Where Do Nudists Keep Their Hankies?:

  • A girl reportedly called Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor (spelling TUBE) was born in 1924 on a Bakerloo line train at Elephant and Castle.  (I took the Bakerloo line today while bopping around London.)
  • The average British adult moves home every seven years.  (That seems a bit inconvenient for the parents.)
  • One of ten British adults admit to wearing the same item of underwear three days in a row.  (I thought it smelled somewhat musty while jammed into the steamy-hot Bakerloo.)
  • In 1705 John Smith was hanged for burglary at the Tyburn Tree. After he had been hanging for 15 minutes, a reprieve arrived and he was cut down. Amazingly, he was revived and managed to recover. As a result, he became known as John ‘Half-Hanged” Smith.  (This just chokes me up.)

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