Another linky post

Just as I was about to go to bed last night, I received a phone call with some not very nice news from home. As I’m sure you can guess, I’m very tired today. On top of that, I’m incredibly busy at work again, so I probably won’t find the time or the energy for a proper blog post any time soon. Instead you’ll have to make do with some links to interesting/amusing things I’ve discovered on the Internet recently. Meanwhile, I shall eat my lunch as quickly as possible and get back to entering corrections in a translation. Woe, woe, woe, etc.

That’s all for today. Enjoy!



Trivia Tuesday #7

It’s quiz night again tonight, and I don’t have anything much to talk about, so it’s time for another ten random facts that you may or may not have already known. Welcome to the seventh edition of my occasional series, Tuesday Trivia!

1. The national animal of Mauritius is the Dodo. The island of Mauritius is the only place that the Dodo is known to have lived.

2. There are volcanoes on Mars. The largest of them is  Olympus Mons, which is Latin for Mount Olympus.

3. JPEG (as in the file format for pictures) stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. PMG is Portable Network Graphics.

4. The kiwi fruit is also known as the Chinese gooseberry

5.  A dog’s normal body temperature is 101 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38°C.


6. Octopus blood is blue.

7. In Greek mythology, Hades (God of the Underworld) is the brother of both Zeus (God of the Sky and Thunder) and Poseidon (God of the Sea).

8. The highest value Euro bank note in circulation is €500

9. There are 1440 minutes in a day.

10. Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The term, an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”, was coined during a study by the UK Post Office.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed my little list of facts. Now, wish us luck in the quiz 😉

Hans and Heidi no more!

**I still have more to tell you about Madeira, but I haven’t had time to write a post yetand I have Banoffee Pie to make today. This was in my drafts sooo… have a change of subject. Doors of Funchal old town and a post on the New Year’s fireworks coming soon, promise!**

I’ve always been interested in names… naming patterns through the ages, regional differences in naming children (even within the same country), the meanings of names, people’s reasons for choosing their children’s names… it’s all fascinating to me! So when the news show that Jan was watching just after New Year mentioned the Germany’s most popular baby names of 2013 I immediately sat up and took notice – and a good job, too, as it turned out. It came up as a question in the pub quiz last week! The day before said pub quiz, I happened to come across an article (this one here, actually. Note: It’s in German) that talked about the top baby names for 2013 in each of Germany’s Federal states. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who finds this stuff interesting, so I wanted to share what I’d learned with all you readers as well.
So, what were the most popular baby names given in Germany in 2013? Well, the top girl’s and boy’s name in 2013 were the same as in 2012, namely (ha, geddit?):

Ben and Mia

In most of Germany’s states, the top names were exactly the same as those for Germany as a whole, Ben and Mia. But in a few states there were slight differences. There were four states that differed from the rest of Germany: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Ben and Emma), Hamburg (Paul and Emma), Berlin (Felix and Mia) and finally Bavaria, which, according to the researcher, always has its own top names that are different to the rest. 2013 was no exception… the top names for last year in Bavaria were Maximilian and Sophia/Sofie. For my own Bundesland, Baden-Württemberg, Mia and Ben were top, followed by Emma and Luca/Luka in second place.  Sophia/Sofie and Lucas/Lukas came in third.

Ben was the number one name for German boys for the third time in 2013, while Mia has been the top girl’s name in Germany since 2009! It seems once a trend takes hold, it’s rather reluctant to go away again… which probably explains why there were so many Sarahs and Jennifers around my age at school!

And now, just because it was so fun, here are the top names in a few other countries. Where I couldn’t find statistics for 2013, I’ve taken the top names from 2012 instead:

Austria (2012): Anna and Lukas
Switzerland (2012): Mia and Noah
Liechtenstein: Anna and Luka/Luca
Netherlands (2012): Emma and Daan
Finland (2012): Ella and Onni
Sweden (2012): Alice and William
Norway (2012): Nora/Norah and Lukas/Lucas
Iceland: Emilía/Emelía (joint first with Katrín) and Aron
Estonia (2012): Sofia and Rasmus
Latvia (2012): Sofija and Roberts
Spain (2012): Lucía and Daniel
Peru (2012): María and Luis
Puerto Rico (2012): Mia and Sebastian
Northern Ireland (2013): Grace and Jack
Republic of Ireland (2012): Emily and Jack
England and Wales (2012): Amelia and Harry
Scotland (2013): Sophie and Jack
Canada (2013): Emma and Liam
USA (2012): Sophia and Jacob
New Zealand: Olivia and Jack

I’ve tried to arrange them roughly into language groups, but actually what I find most interesting is the similarities between completely different countries, for example Emma is top in both the Netherlands and Canada while Mia beats all the other girls in Germany and Puerto Rico! No more Hans and Heidi for the Germans (not that I believe Germans were ever predominantly called those names… but they were the most stereotypical I could think of 😉 )

As for my own name… Beverley has never featured in even the top ten of any ranking that I’m aware of… and to be honest, I’m glad! Although I did get annoyed as a kid when nothing came with my name on it…. ever!

* Most of my statistics came from Wikipedia, but a few came from the German website Beliebte Vornamen.

Trivia Tuesday #5

I do plan to write about the rest of my weekend trip, but I won’t have time to sort out the photos for my next post before going to the quiz tonight, so for today you’ll have to make do with some more Tuesday trivia. Here are today’s 10 random facts.

Television in Question Marks.
Photo : Wikipedia
  1. The Sesame Street character Oscar the Grouch was originally orange. He became green in Season 2.
  2. Sir Cliff Richard (birth name Harry Rodger Webb) will release his 100th album on 11 November 2013. He is is the only artist to have had at least one UK top five album in each of the last seven decades (1950s-2010s).

    Shredder as seen in the opening credits.
    Mr. Banks, is that you? (Photo: Wikipedia)
  3. James Avery, who plays Will Smith’s uncle (Philip Banks) on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, was also the voice of Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series.
  4. Botanically speaking, a strawberry is not a berry… but a banana is.
  5. Depending on the species, a jellyfish is between 95 and 98% water.
  6. A group of hyenas is known as a Cackle – very appropriate!
  7. Kazahkstan is the largest landlocked country by area. At 2,727,300 square kilometres (1,053,000 sq miles), its territory is larger than Western Europe!
  8. The Michelin Man has a name… it’s Bibendum, or Bib for short.
  9. Tina Turner’s real name is Annie Mae Bullock.
  10. The Visitors album by Abba was the first CD to be produced, in 1982

Trivia Tuesday

Português: Logotipo para trivia.
Trivia! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s quiz night tonight, so I decided it was high time for another Trivia Tuesday.  I still live in hope that some day one of these posts might even be of use for the quiz 😉 Here are some random facts I’ve discovered over the past few weeks and thought were interesting enough to share…

  • The first web cam watched a coffee pot. The Trojan Room Coffee Pot was created to save employees at The Cambridge University from having to make pointless trips to the coffee machine.
  • Speaking of coffee… Central and South America produce approximately two thirds of the world’s coffee supply. The only US state in which coffee is grown commercially is Hawaii.
  • From coffee to tea… The first tea bags were hand-sewn silk bags. They were originally intended hold samples of loose tea, which was meant to be removed from the bags, but customers found it easier to brew the tea with the tea still enclosed in the porous bags.
  • The highest capital city in the world is Quito, Ecuador. The lowest is Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • The term checkmate comes from the Persian phrase shāh māt, meaning “the king is helpless/defeated”.
  • Almonds are a member of the peach family (they belong to the genus Prunus, which also includes plums, cherries and apricots. Almonds and peaches are classified in the sub-genus Amygdalus).
  • Only female ducks quack. In general, ducks make a wide range of calls, including cooing, hooting and grunting, but the males never quack.
  • One million seconds is roughly eleven and a half days (11.5741 days, to be precise).
  • Albert Brooks, the actor who voiced Marlin the clownfish in Finding Nemo, was born Albert Einstein. He changed his surname to avoid confusion with the famous physicist.
  • The Hundred Years’ War lasted 116 years, from 1337–1453. The Seven Years’ War lasted nine years, from 1754 to 1763, but the main period of fighting was in the seven years between 1756 and 1763.

And that was this month’s ten facts. I hope you enjoyed them! Wish us luck with the quiz…