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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The British once had an empire that spread across the world and which was demonstrated by colouring our bits of the map in a lovely shade of pink, based on the colour of British officers after a few months in the sun.

The old empire died out, what with people deciding they’d rather look after their own affairs rather than leaving it up to a small collection of people who muttered about ‘savages’ and were permanently sunburned. But could a new British Empire be arriving at the servant’s entrance?

A British ex-pat living in Spain has sneakily installed himself as Mayor of a Costa Blanca town. Rather than bother with the notion of running for office or elections or any of that nonsense, our plucky Brit merely got himself to a minor council position then waited patiently until all the other councillors were arrested wholesale on corruption charges, following ‘a tip-off’.

This type of accidental bumbling into power is just the sort of thing the British excel at – let the ‘whoops-a-daisy’ empire building continue.

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New scientific research has revealed an unusual relationship between Viking invaders and small furry rodents.

The research has brought to light the common Viking practise of carrying a mouse in one’s pocket. A superstitious notion thought to ward off evil spirits and aid the invasion and pillaging of foreign nations by winning the local cat population over to their side.

With both cats and mice backing them, the Vikings settled in the UK and other parts of Europe, and their genetic descendents can still be traced today.
Apparently, the Vikings liked their mice so much, they took them with them wherever they went. This means geneticists and mouse historians can now trace their movements across Europe.

Animal psychologists have worried that the research will prove traumatic for modern day mice that may be unaware of their ancestors’ collaboration with the Scandinavian invaders. It is only twelve thousand generations since it all happened.

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Prince Charles has decided to take up the royal tradition of having two birthdays. The Queen has been doing this for years, as it is ‘historical tradition’ for the sovereign to get lots of presents.

The practise of royal birthdays being celebrated twice first occurred in the 1800s when mad King George III forgot when his birthday was and decided to have it in June instead. Because he was the king, and therefore Very Important, no one liked to tell him it wasn’t really his birthday. And thus a tradition was born.

Prince Charles seems to be taking up the birthday tradition early, instead of waiting to until he becomes king, which is the usual way of doing it. However, Charles has been waiting for a very long time to be king, so he has already missed out a lot of second-birthday presents.

The practise of having two birthdays has been thought to contribute to the Queen’s longevity; after all she gets twice as many happy returns as the rest of us.

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Warrington police were on the lookout for a 5ft tall bird, wearing nothing but feathers this week, after family reported her missing. 

The bird, known as Arhea, was missing for a number of hours, until she was spotted by a neighbour in a nearby field. 

It has been suggested that she may have been found earlier, if police had not believed they were looking for a person, instead of an ostrich-like bird with large claws. 

 

 

 

Heathrow Airport Grows a New Wing

 

Good news for claustrophobics this week as the government has decided that Heathrow Airport is much too small and pokey, and has agreed plans to add an extra runway, allowing for extra roominess and several thousand extra aeroplanes a day. 

 

Before voting on the issue, ministers watched repeats of Location, Location, Location, and, on the advice of Kirsty and Phil, have decided not just to enjoy their expensive asset, but to add value and extend it, and just let the neighbours think what they like. 

 

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The joyful thought that Ping Pong (or Table Tennis, as it’s less strangely known) will be returning to it’s roots at the London 2012 Olympics, has no doubt rung chords of sympathy from many an Englishman in recent weeks.

The origins of the game attest to the truly British ability of creating ‘sports’ that can be played without having to go outside or change clothes (see also Darts, Snooker, Dominoes).
Ping Pong first arose in the 1800s and was played by posh people as something to pass the time between big meals.

Originally, big sticks took the place of bats, and servants were used instead of the plastic balls we use today. The muffled cries of servants being flung from end to end of the dining table are thought to have resulted in another early name for the game, Whiff Whaff.

Ping Pong is still one of the few sports to have three names. The name Ping Pong is though to have evolved from the illiterate servants themselves, who, unable to read or write, invented a phonetic name for the game once their backsides were finally replaced by balls.
The name of Table Tennis has only been used since the advent of youth clubs when commoners started to play the game and the sport needed to lose its aristocratic origins to attract players.

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