Table of Contents
Michael Kennedy — two hours every day gathering rocks to build sea walls
John Kubiatowicz — measured increase in Kindl’e weight when fully loaded with books
Terry Green — “Cashier number three please,” says Mr. Queue who as a matter of fact is Terry
Peter Adamson — broadcasting a History of Western Philosophy (without any gaps) in 20 minute episodes — complete Aristotle in 50 episodes
François Hollande — candidate for president of France — known as “Mr. Ordinary” and also as “The Quiet Man”
Keith Richards — closet librarian
London Police — with arms folded, stood around merely watching as the looting was taking place — now watching 40,000 hours of CCTV to catch the looters
Michael Kennedy, who lives in Hunstanton on the north Norfolk coast, spends two hours every day, except Saturday, moving rocks to build sea walls that prevent erosion of the cliffs along the coast.
“I used to walk to Old Hunstanton and back, two and a half miles, every day, but that wasn’t enough physical exercise for me. I started moving rocks and now I can’t stop.”
Over the past 14 years, Michael has put in 9,000 hours moving 200 tons of rocks.
He’s adored by residents of Hunstantron. “He’s the sort of character who makes the British seaside what it is,” says mayor Peter Mallam.
Is he the latest of that much-loved species — the Great British Eccentric? Do some think he’s mad? Michael’s answer, “Some might. But it’s better than sitting in the armchair, and I’ll do it for as long as I’m healthy.”
John Kubiatowicz, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, took on the critical question, “Does a Kindle weigh more when fully loaded with books?”
John determined that the answer is “Yes”: there’s a billionth of a billionth of a gram increase in a Kindle’s weight when it’s full loaded.
Click here to read more about John and how he reached his conclusion using an equation from Einstein: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/26/kindle-weighs-more-when-fully-loaded?INTCMP=SRCH
Every month Terry Green, someone few people have ever heard of, is heard an estimated 30,000,000 times in 8,000 locations throughout the UK. His voice is the one saying,” Cashier number two please.”
Not only does Terry provide the voice, he actually designed the number-announcing system for queuing and got it put into place, first at Royal Mail’s post offices.
His contributions have cut down on queue rage and revolutionized Britain’s queuing culture.
To read more about Terry and his accomplishments, including his S=P=E formula for a good queue (Satisfaction equals Perception minus Expectation), click here:
Peter Adamson — broadcasting a “History of Western Philosophy without any Gaps” in 20 minute episodes — after 50 episodes completed Aristotle
Peter Adamson is Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King’s College London. For the past year he has been broadcasting a “History of Western Philosophy without any gaps” in weekly 20-minute episodes. After fifty pod-casts he has just finished Aristotle.
This is truly wonderful stuff and deserves to be better known:
Episode 41 – “On time and eternity in Aristotle” – could perhaps qualify as one of the dullest title ever.
Episode 44 – “The Goldilocks Theory” arguably stakes a claim for Aristotle as one of the earliest dull men.
Aristotle liked to avoid extremes so, like Goldilocks, he would have wanted his porridge to be not too hot, not too cold.
Here’s a link to more info about Peter and his lectures: http://historyofphilosophy.net/
Is Mr. Ordinary going to be the first Modest Head of State?
Francois Hollande has been known at l’homme tranquile — “The Quiet Man.” He’s been the Socialist Party’s backroom boy doing all the essential — dull — things that need to be done — out of the spotlight. He’s been a judge on the French Audit Court, a university lecturer, and Social Party secretary on economic issues.
Now, in a big change for him, he’s the party’s candidate for president of France.
He emerged from his obscurity as a result of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal. Until the scandal erupted, DLK had been considered the favorite candidate for the party to put forward.
He’ll be running against President Sarkozy. The contrast is jour et nuit — “day and night” — cheese and chalk:
• Sarkozy’s ego and edginess are legendary. Bling-bling. Aviator sunglasses, flashy watches, supermodel wife. Vain about his height, avoids being photographed alongside taller people.
• Hollande is grounded, down-to-earth, self-deprecating. Although he’s not much taller than Sarkozy, he jokes about his height — says that because of his low center of gravity it’s more difficult to knock him over.
Richards is an interesting example of someone who, even with a seemingly glamorous life, has traits of dullness.
When growing up, his ambition was to be a librarian. Although his career path took a different route, the librarian yearning was not completely left behind. He has large libraries at his homes in Sussex and Connecticut. He is in fact an avid bookworm and takes great pride in developing these libraries, arranging the vast numbers of books using the Dewey Decimal System.
He said, “When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.”
To be a member of the DMC, a man does not need to be totally dull, does not need to be dull in all aspects of life. it’s enough that he embodies some aspects of dullness. A closet librarian should be enough to make Richards eligible, even if his day job is an exciting one.
London Police — during riots did little or nothing, merely stood around, arms folded, watching what was happening
As the riots were underway, London’s police stood by and watched.
Now they are spending two years watching 40,000 hours of CCTV footage to arrest the looters.
Can anyone thing of a duller way for policemen/women to carry out their duties?