Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Some of life's mysteries!

Another blue sky day today, as predicted by Eeyore. The temperature gauge on the advertising hoarding this morning at 9 only gave 5 degrees. Rather cooler than yesterday's 11. So the clear night must have brought the temperature down as I expected. 

 I am always astounded by the blueness of the bay on days like this. I know that scientists will tell me that it's all to do with the water surface reflecting the sky colour. That's why we get that cold silvery water on cloudy days and almost black on really stormy days. But the sky is never the deep blue of the sea. One of life's more beautiful mysteries! 

Another mystery is the stuff that scientists spend their time researching. Yesterday I came across this in one of the papers online:- 

"Too little sleep may bring on a form of the marijuana “munchies”, say scientists who found that sleep-deprived people craved crisps, sweets and biscuits far more than healthier foods. 

The US researchers believe that skimping on sleep alters brain chemicals in much the same way as the hunger-boosting ingredient in cannabis, which has long propped up snack sales at 24-hour convenience stores. 

After several nights of poor sleep, healthy volunteers who took part in the study reached for snacks containing more calories - and nearly twice as much fat - than ones they favoured after sleeping well for the same period, the scientists say." 

This was only the beginning of the article. I thought everyone knew that you can do without sleep or without food but not without both at the same time. Any student who has sat up all night catching up with the work she neglected to do because of social commitments knows that you need chocolate and crisps to keep you going. We didn't need scientists to tell us that. And the fast food outlets who stay open 24 hours must surely be aware of it; it's a big part of the secret of their success! 

So we just need to make the population at large sleep more and perhaps we can cure the obesity problem!! Hmmm!!! 

And then I came across this: 

"The amount of stuff the UK consumes has fallen dramatically since 2001, according to official government figures." 

So, if we are consuming less, why is there an obesity problem? 

Of course I KNOW it doesn't mean consumption of food but of stuff in general. It's stuff like wood, metal, construction materials. Because the UK no longer actually produces much stuff, neither do we consume much raw material. Neither do we build as much as we used to apparently. 

The only country in Europe that uses less material per capita than the UK is Spain: another country that is building less than it used to! And sometimes when they do build you find yourself wondering why. The block of flats down the road from us, completed some time in the autumn, remains completely unoccupied. This despite the fact that there are people sleeping rough! 

 Other factors that come into it are things like electrical appliances such as fridges and washing machines requiring less metal in their construction than they used to. Who would have guessed that? Especially when you consider how heavy fridges and washing machines are! And sales (and consequently production) of stuff like records and CDs, even of music systems to play them on, have gone down as everyone seems to prefer digital consumption these days. Even books come into this as even regular readers opt for kindles and eBooks rather than paper copies. 

What a sad world! I actually enjoy reading a "proper" book and selecting an album to play from the collection on the shelf. 

And finally, a bit of silliness over a name. The name in question is Kylie, a name nobody had ever heard of until Ms Minogue of that ilk became famous. And then suddenly there were lots of little Kylies all over the place. An American Kylie, a certain Kylie Jenner, someone who appears in reality TV shows, is trying to trademark the name in the USA. Ms Minogue is, naturally, putting up a legal fight to prevent this happening. Her legal team claim that "allowing Jenner to take the Kylie name will cause confusion for Minogue fans and dilute her brand". Kylie Minogue fans must be easily confused. 

 Now, I knew you could trademark the name of a product but I had never imagined that you could do the same with a person's name. If she were to be successful, would it mean that any American who wanted to name their child Kylie would have to get Ms Jenner's permission? Would all the producers of key rings, bracelets, necklaces and tatty mugs with names on have to pay royalties? Would parents even have to pay royalties every time they spoke their daughter's name in public? 

The ramifications are truly mind-boggling!

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