Apologies: this week’s “Ten things…" is a little later than usual, owing to my uselessness and a relatively event-packed weekend/Monday.
1. Not so much something I’ve “learned", but an interesting fact. Including Yumiko Cheng’s name in my blog has proved to attract quite a bit of traffic, owing to her recent “wardrobe malfunction" – her tube top slid down during a dance routine on live TV. I guess everyone’s trying to get their hands on a video clip…how grim.
2. My list of celebrity lookalikes range from surprising to the downright alarming: from widely acknowledged good-looking Korean actor Bae Yong-Jun or 裴勇俊 (72% similarity down mainly to glasses and fringe), to firebrand MP George Galloway (God knows how they worked that out), to Canto-pop diva Joey Yung (I guess we happen to be striking similar poses in our photos). In a way, I’m pleased to know that I’m pretty unique.
3. Pardon my ignorance, but I only just found out the meaning of a “litotes", which is “a figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite", according to Dictionary.com. An example would be “I’m not the most knowledgable when it comes to grammatical terminology".
4. In the same vein, pulchritude is apparently another word for physical beauty (with pulchritudinous being the adjective). I would never have guessed.
5. Scientists might have found a potential genetic cause for autism – introducing a mutant form of either neuroligin-1 or neuroligin-2 into mice causes the connections between nerve cells – known as synapses – to drop in number, rendering cells less excitable. This effect on the neural circuitry could be responsible for traits observed in autistic individuals. (See BBC News coverage on the subject.)
6. Edinburgh University is starting to conduct tutorials in the virtual environment of Second Life (see this Wikipedia entry for a more detailed description). It strikes me as a little pointless – surely tutorials can be broadcast over the internet without relying on Second Life, unless the tutorial is about the sociological impact of the virtual world. For example, Baroness Susan Greenfield of the University of Oxford has been warning of the dangers of providing a means of complete withdrawal for the socially inept or reluctant.
7. Peter Kay, Mickey Mouse (well, Walt Disney) and Banksy beat Leonardo da Vinci and Jane Austen to make it into the top 10 list of artistic heroes/heroines as voted by 18- to 24-year-olds. I hope they had their tongues wedged firmly in cheek…(more at the Telegraph website)
8. Half of Britons say they couldn’t live without email. I sympathise.
9. Some croquet-related trivia: the game is said to be invented in Ireland in the 1830s; the winning side is the first to score 26 points; and France won all the medals in croquet at the 1900 Olympics, as they were the only country to field contestants! (Muchas gracias to the Quiz Society again.)
10. I don’t know anything.