(The title of no fewer than five movies – take your pick!)
Fresh back from a splendid four days in Ragusa (aka Dubrovnik) with Mrs Ed and great friends. No dragons or Imperial Stormtroopers were spotted but the weather was lovely and the Hotel Croatia (in Cavtat) excellent (HT brother Jonathan for this suggestion).
AND we spent virtually the whole time in the open air….
Gordonstoun (the independent school in Moray (where the eels come from) renowned for its tough (both physical and mental) curriculum) has been in the news this week, with rather better publicity than that afforded by the Prince of Wales’s sojourn there (he described it as “Colditz in kilts”).
The Uni of Edinburgh has carried out research on more than 1,000 former pupils (though not, one assumes, including His Royal Highness) in which they found that the school’s non-academic experiences had “an overwhelmingly positive influence on students’ personal growth and development”. These “experiences” include a four-night expedition to Cape Wrath (the top left hand corner of Scotland) for 12-year-old pupils at the end of junior school.
The researchers are encouraging the state sector to learn from this by introducing an element of (compulsory) community service into the curriculum.
Most of the Bluffington Post’s readers are probably past the stage hem hem of being able to attend Gordonstoun (not to mention the [cough] £34,500-a-year price tag), but it’s worth thinking about introducing a bit of open air therapy into your business.
Why not experiment with open air meetings? (preferably walking meetings).
Proven benefits of holding outdoor walking meetings include a lower level of cortisol (the stress hormone) and higher serotonin (the “happiness hormone”) and dopamin (which fixes new memories in the hippocampus (nothing to do with university education for large aquatic African mammals – please pay attention)) – not to mention better posture, breathing, circulation, energy, focus ect ect.
If you’ve got time, here’s the whole story (HT TAB member Sue Alderson for this).
TAB Harrogate’s founder Board (ever at the forefront of business practice) is repeating last year’s innovation of holding its June meeting in the Dales (in Upper Wharfedale this year).
In addition to the above, pluses for last year’s TAB Board also included beer at the incomparable Craven Arms at Appletreewick and fording the River Wharfe at Burnsall, though the researchers unaccountably don’t include this kind of benefit in their study….
Moving on (did you see what we did there?) to the Bizarre Bazaar of the week’s news –
• continuing the happiness theme – a study in BMC Public Health (involving 160,000 people [gulp]) found that entering the Eurovision Song Contest raises the national happiness levels for those countries which enter, and is even more beneficial the better we do (life satisfaction levels increase by 4% for every ten places further up we get – which may explain why the Brits are so morose), though even finishing near the bottom made people 13% happier than not entering ([Richard Wilson voice] I don’t believe it [/Richard Wilson voice] – Ed). This year’s competition is tomorrow (Saturday) night – You Have Been Warned….
• …. Ireland’s entry (Together), which features a gay romance, is thought to be a message to Mr Putin….
• …. happiness has its drawbacks though – (different) boffins say that smiling makes you look older (though even after the experiment most of the participants said they still believed it makes you look younger – make of that what you will)
• some good news this week – rats have been totally eliminated from South Georgia (the island, not the state), allowing the seabird population to recover, and Foster + Partners has teamed up with Hyperloop One and DP World (a ports operator) to develop the first intercontinental hyperloop shipping route, linking Asia, the Middle East, and Europe (nb these two stories have nothing to do with each other) (we think)
• the Snowflake Generation continues to worry – a call (on Twitter) to ban voicemails (which apparently cause some millennials “extreme stress and frustration”) attracted over 5,000 “likes” (whatever they may be – Luddite Ed) and was shared over 1,000 times (memo to Snowflakes – you are allowed to turn voicemail off….)
• the plan to release six lynx into Kielder Forest (previously reported in this august organ) has been challenged by the National Park Authority, which thinks tourists might be put off by the perceived threat to safety (huh – they’ve clearly never experienced the Waterfront in Newcastle on a Thursday night – Ed)
• Mr Benedict Cumberbatch (who was educated at Harrow) claims that he has had to “posh up” for his latest role as an upper-class drug addict and alcoholic. Mr C said that people might confuse him for being posher than he was because he had a name that sounded like a National Trust property – “have you been to the tea shop at Benedict Cumberbatch? Fabulous cream teas – and a beautiful shell grotto!” He did concede though that “OK, maybe I’m upper-middle class” (respect, BC – great free publicity – Cynical Ed)
• Athenry (in County Galway) is probably best known for the song The Fields Of Athenry(adopted by a number of Irish rugby teams), but clearly Mr Allan Daly (an engineer) and Ms Sinead Fitzpatrick (a solicitor) don’t want a hundred new jobs there – they resented Apple’s proposal to build a £750million data centre and have managed to snarl up the planning system to such good effect that the company are going to build it in Denmark instead (“the fields of Elsinore” doesn’t have quite the same ring though)
• boffins think they may have discovered why the Leaning Tower of Pisa has survived a number of earthquakes since it was built in 1372 (including one in 1980 that left it shaking for 22 minutes [gulp]). As the Times reported, “the base of the tower rests on a mixture of clay, sand, and crushed shells that does not consistently support its weight, causing it to lean alternately to the north and south” (shome mishtake shurely? Wouldn’t that mean it’d be called the Oscillating Tower of Pisa? – Ed). The boffins have clearly overlooked the obvious explanation, i.e. that the designers knew about the earthquakes and deliberately made it lean
• and finally, eating like a Viking is good for you, according to the World Health Organisation (though one suspects that they are referring to the fruit and fish, rather than the gargantuan quantities of alcohol)
On to Columbo Corner, and two contrasting tales this week.
1) Messrs Haseltine Lake (the trademark attorneys) have conducted a trawl through their records, not (as one might unworthily suspect) in search of free publicity, but to find the most intriguing and bizarre ideas for pet-related patents. These include a pet-sitting drone (invented by IBM), a collar allowing snake owners to take their pets for a walk (shurely “slither”? – Pedantic Ed), and a “pet sunglasses” system for “all small animals”, but the late Mr Arthur Pedrick (of Selsey, in West Sussex) takes the biscuit (dog- or otherwise) for a “Photon Push-Pull Radiation Detector For Use In Chromatically Selective Cat Flap Control And 1,000 Megaton Earth-Orbital Peace-Keeping Bomb”
2) and Mr Donald Trump (who he? – Ed) is in trouble (again) with the Scots after Turnberry Golf Club (which is now, alas, owned by Mr T) banned Irn-Bru. Mr Ralph Porciani (the general manager) explained that the drink’s capacity for staining the carpet is too great a risk (though there were unworthy suggestions on Twitter that Mr T needed fresh supply of the drink to colour his hair….)
Have a great weekend – and if your pre-prandial tipple is Gin and Irn-Bru, make sure you don’t spill any of it ….
Cheers for now
I presently run three Boards –
Dark Blue (for people who run large businesses) – one spare seat
Light Blue (for people who run large businesses) — two spare seats
White Board (for people who run fast-growing businesses) — two spare seats
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health” (Hippocrates) (c380 BC)
“Why can’t we compete? We’re the most European country in the world; we invented the frappuccino and the g-string. We eat way more pizza than Italy, and we’re this close to electing Benito Mussolini” (Stephen Colbert after reviewing the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and thinking America should be given a chance)
“And lovely Lisa, where are you, Lisa?/You gave a new meaning to the leaning tower of Pisa” (Petruchio, in Where Is The Life That Late I Led?, from Kiss me Kate)
By Tom Morton, TAB Harrogate