This is a guest post
It would be valuable indeed if divine providence blessed us with the gift to ‘see ourselves as others see us’ as Robert Burns mused in his famous poem ‘To A Louse’, but although we’ll never achieve this sort of omniscience, it’s still fun to sift through some of the most common stereotypes about Britain and the British and consider which have any basis in fact.
Naturally, it’s impossible to generalise over the beliefs, habits and attitudes of each and every Briton, and as a modern multicultural nation we also celebrate unity in diversity. However, one thing Britons have in vast reserve is eccentricity, as evidenced by their love of British themed fancy dress and their perpetual ability to combine a stiff upper lip with surreal and self-effacing humour.
So here follow five stereotypes about Britain which are false and five which have some basis of truth.
FALSE: Everyone in Britain is closely related to the Royal Family
Since Britain has a population of over 63 million this is not the case, but some unlikely Britons in line for the throne include Catherine Laing; a West Country travel agent’s wife and Chloe Felton, a farmer’s daughter from Devon. In fact, there are only around 20 people in the UK who bear the title ‘Your Highness’ or ‘Your Majesty’ and around a further 70 who can claim to be members of the extended Royal Family or Royal Household; so it’s a reasonably exclusive club!
Despite it’s not unusual to see bad guys getting swamped in quicksand in movies, drowning in quicksand completely is not possible in real life.
Here is the science behind it.
Analysis of the composition of the “quicksand” showed that there are four key ingedients – sand, obviously, water, clay and salt. Together these materials form a structure resembling a house of cards, with large water-filled gaps between the sand particles, which are loosely glued in place by the clay.
As long as it’s left alone, the structure remains stable. But as soon as it’s disturbed, by stepping on it, the clay changes from a jelly-like consistency to a runny liquid. The effect is the same as stirring a pot of yoghurt. Liquefying the clay makes the quicksand about one million times runnier, and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down, with you inside it.
Very quickly, the sand sinks to the bottom and the water floats to the top. This is where the salt comes in. When there’s enough salt present, as soon as the clay particles liquefy, electrical charges make them begin to stick together to form bigger particles and these also settle with the sand.
The result is a very stodgy layer of sand and clay, which is twice as dense as the original quicksand and packed tightly around the trapped body parts.
Meet Jewel Caterpillar, a member of Acraga coa moth species. Doesn’t it look amazing?
Eventually, this beautiful creature turns into this moth.
Contrary to what I though, it appears that women in the UK are better at parking than men. Women are also better at avoiding accidents, which makes them better drivers than men.
Men, however, perform better at passing driving exams (albeit I passed mine on my 4th attempt).
Infographic by Creditplus.co.uk
As you may know, days and nights work differently above the polar circle. There is no sunset during the day and there is hardly any sunrise during the night. Below is your visual reference which shows how it works.
A collection of annoying sounds that one can use to drive someone crazy, annoy neighbours or just attract attention.
If you thought London Underground was already too full, let alone the Olympics, take a deep breath and dig this.
I knew the guy was tall enough to make his girlfriend look tiny, but I was not aware he graduated with a doctorate degree from Barry University this Saturday. He had to kneel to get his light blue hood placed around his neck.