Lessons in the "Alternative" Category

Should cafes in the UK have toilets in them?

Today, let’s talk about whether cafes in the UK should have toilets in them. Well, should they?

I discovered that this is actually a wonderful topic to debate. Yes, really! After all, we all need to spend a penny.

I was intrigued to read about a recent court case in Hull, England. The court debated whether a bakery with a cafe in should provide toilets or not. The bakery in question is predominantly a takeaway, but does provide some seats for customers. Therefore it argued it should not need to provide a toilet.

The outcome could flush many cafes and takeaways down the pan, as a legal ruling now says that coffee shops and fast food outlets with fewer than 10 seats must now provide toilets for their customers.

The Most Corrupt Countries

British Prime Minister David Cameron was recently caught on camera at Buckingham Palace in London telling The Queen that the leaders of some “fantastically corrupt countries” were coming to Britain for an anti-corruption conference.

Among the world leaders attending the conference at Lancaster House in London were the leaders of Nigeria and Afghanistan. When a reporter asked the Nigerian President if his country was corrupt he replied, “Yes”.

Representatives from the governments of Panama and the British Virgin Islands ironically weren’t invited to the conference. This is odd considering the recent publication of ‘The Panama Papers’ that highlighted the tax affairs of wealthy individuals from around the world who shelter their money in these countries.

The Rise of the Drone

Today, we are going to talk about drones. What exactly is a drone? It is a small helicopter-like device that can fly by remote control. There are many sorts of drone including quadcopters, mini-quads, or multi-rotor helicopters that are all the rage at the moment. They vary in price from £10. Most video drones start around £100. It appears to be the new hobby to take up.

Drones are generally used to take aerial film or photographs. They have considerably reduced movie makers’ budgets, as they have replaced costly helicopters in many instances. However, whilst drones have become more popular some are becoming a security risk.

Getting ready for the 2016 London Marathon

This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday April 24. The runners who are taking part are currently gearing themselves up ready to take on the gruelling 26.218 mile race, for what will no doubt be an amazing unforgettable experience.

The London Marathon is actually one of the biggest events of its kind in the world – but it requires a lot of practice beforehand – as in running practice!

Runners will ideally need to have a good pair of trainers and the right kit. They will need to train, set themselves a goal, and have a training plan. They should have a stopwatch, pace themselves, and have plenty of patience to progress in their running ahead of the big day.

St. George’s Day

Who is the patron saint of England? It is St. George. English people celebrate St. George’s Day every year on April 23rd.

It has to be said though that unlike the Scottish and Irish, who celebrate their patron saints in style and by drinking alcohol, the English really do not celebrate their day! In recent years efforts have been made to increase the day’s importance, but it actually lacks serious effort by the English.

Back in the 60s, when I was a boy at primary school, in class we used to play St. George and the Dragon. This was done in the form of a Mummers play, as it was known. The story being that St. George would kill the dragon then rescue the damsel in distress. It is a fairytale. By the 12th century the legendary story had become widespread.

Tesla launches new electric car

Recently popular luxury electric carmaker Tesla Motors revealed to the world its much anticipated Tesla Model 3. The new prototype electric car was unveiled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at Tesla’s Los Angeles design studio in California, USA.

The new Model 3 will have a starting price of US$35,000. However, it won’t be available till the end of 2017. It can be ordered in many countries around the world including the UK, India, China and New Zealand. It will be Tesla’s first mass produced electric car.

In the first two days alone pre-orders surpassed 276,000. Every car was secured by a deposit of US$1,000 or similar in other currencies. Unlike deposits for iPhones, the Tesla deposits are fully refundable.

The UK’s Top Tourist Attractions

Today let’s talk about the UKs top tourist attractions. Top of the list is the British Museum (6.8m) in London. This is followed by the National Gallery (5.9m). In third place is the Natural History Museum (5.2m).

The figures were compiled by the Leading Visitor attractions (Alva). Altogether some 124.4 million visits were made to 230 Alva sites last year. This is 3.2% higher than the year before.

The rise was due to increased interest in big temporary attractions in London – up 1.6%, and in Scottish attractions – up 5.5%. London claimed the top 10 most popular sites.

April Fools’ Day

Today, let’s talk about April Fools’ Day. Known also as All Fools’ Day it is celebrated on the morning of the 1st April when practical jokes and hoaxes are played on people. The victims are called April fools! Newspapers are fond of reporting fake stories, which are normally explained the next day.

April Fools’ Day in the UK can be traced back to around 1392 to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale mentions ‘Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two’. The passage was meant to mean 32 days after March – 2nd May – but was mistook for 32nd March i.e. 1st April.

21st Century Slavery

It may surprise you but today there are thousands of people around the world stuck in modern day slavery. It is a scandal that many governments are failing to tackle.

You might be thinking slavery was abolished in the 19th century. It was, only today it is once again flourishing. It is a global issue that needs resolving. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently reported that 21 million people, five million of whom are children, are victims of forced labour.

Would you like to live and work in Antarctica?

Recently four jobs were advertised to work in the British post office in Antarctica. More than 50 people applied for them. The jobs at Port Lockroy in British Antarctica Territory offer a monthly salary of around £1,100. Applications are now closed.

Those selected will see some wonderful mountain scenery including a lot of snow and virtually 24 hours of daylight. Applicants should however be aware of the 2,000 odd penguins they’ll have for company. The job itself involves cleaning penguin poo from the surrounding paths near the post office.