Lessons in the "2012" Category

The top 50 things we love best about Britain

Today we will look at the top 50 things British people like best about Britain. Topping the top 50 list at number one is the tasty bacon butty (or bacon sandwich) filled with lots of ketchup. A traditional roast dinner took second place while a nice cup of tea made number three. Certainly, a good hot cuppa helps wash down a hot bacon butty.

A total of 60,000 Brits took part in the T-Mobile survey, which shows Britain is a nation of food lovers. Having said that British history comes in at number four followed by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Big Ben in sixth and Buckingham Palace in seventh position.

Brits like their rolling hills which makes eighth spot. Next we’re back to food with fish and chips and Yorkshire Pudding coming in ninth and tenth respectively.

Category: Survey / Britain / Marketing

Solar power mushrooms in Britain

Solar power in Britain over the past few years has mushroomed, especially during the six weeks before December 12th 2011. This is when the British government tried to close a gap in a solar power scheme the previous government created. The reason ‘it seems’ is that the deal was too good to be true!

Homeowners who installed solar panels could receive a tariff rate of 43.3p per kilowatt-hour with returns predicted at 18% per annum on one initial investment over 25 years. In October 2011 the British government announced it would reduce this figure to 21p from December 12th.

This was challenged by the Friends of the Earth in court. On January 25th the Court of Appeal released its verdict on the government’s appeal. The judges agreed it was unlawful to change the feed in rate to 21p before March 3rd 2012. The British government immediately launched an appeal but this was immediately rejected. Homeowners have until March 3rd to get a completed system registered at the 43.3p receivable tariff rate.

Category: Business / Technology / Solar Energy

The Top 20 UK Advertising Slogans

Turn on the TV, look at the internet, listen to the radio or read a newspaper. Whichever you choose one thing is pretty certain; you’ll find them littered with advertisements. The ads help pay for them. Now sit back and think! Which of the advertisements can you remember and why?

There are thousands of advertisements that are designed to catch our eye, all trying to encourage us to buy their product. Add up all of the advertisements you have seen and it’ll add up to quite a few. Out of these which would you consider to be your top 20 advertisements of all time? Think about it!

Category: Marketing / Advertising / Slogans

Europe freezes – coldest spell in 30 years

Sunday – The big ‘Siberian like’ freeze continues to tighten its grip on Europe. Most of the continent remains under a huge blanket of snow. The result is chaos in many places.

Ukraine has seen the brunt of the bad weather where more than 160 people have now died because of the cold weather. Nearly 1,600 have been hospitalised with hypothermia. Hundreds of heated tents have been set up across Ukraine to help the country’s homeless keep warm, with hot meals being handed out at the shelters.

Temperatures in Ukraine have dropped to minus 33ºC. Huge areas of Poland and Slovakia have also been affected by the bad weather with temperatures there dropping as low as -35ºC. So far 20 people have perished in Poland because of the cold snap. There have been further deaths in Russia and right across Eastern Europe.

Category: Europe / Weather - Snow / Disruption

An independent Scotland?

Is Scotland going to leave the United Kingdom? Will it break away and become an independent country? That’s the question.

The Union has lasted more than 300 years - yet Scottish Nationalist party leader Alex Salmond would like to break away from it and form an independent Scotland. If so, will Great Britain suddenly become a little less great? The United Kingdom, which currently includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, would then be not so ‘United’.

The Union Jack would suddenly be without its blue colours. Northern Ireland and Wales have indicated they would prefer Scotland to remain in the UK. Ironically in a recent poll whilst 52% of Scottish people voted to leave the UK 59% of English people wanted them to leave! The English want an independent England!

Category: United Kingdom / Scotland / UK Breakup

Ladies, Mr Perfect does not exist!

Ladies, if you are looking for Mr Perfect forget it. He doesn’t exist! That’s according to a recent survey of 2,000 women who ranked their partner as only 69% perfect! Whilst many men have positive attributes it seems the majority are deeply flawed. Included in the list of 20 common shortfalls are failing to make an effort with their partner’s friends, criticising their driving and the inability to multi-task.

Other male failings include watching too much sport, leaving the toilet door open and poor personal grooming. Nikki McReynolds, marketing director for Remington, which commissioned the survey, said, “It seems women are quite realistic on what they look for from their partner. While they might happily overlook a few common flaws, there are certain behaviours that men just won’t get away with.”

Category: Survey / Men / Women

Skiers stranded in Austria by too much snow!

Skiers in Western Austria recently got a bit too much snow for their liking. It was reported that more than 15,000 tourists were stuck in various ski resorts after too much of the white fluffy stuff fell last week. Dozens were reported to have been airlifted out of ski resorts by helicopters after roads became blocked by 5m of snow - though the cost was around £1,800 (€2,017) per person.

On Saturday an Austrian army military helicopter was brought in to pick up 52 people who had been stranded at a mountain refuge in Vorarlberg. Skiers had been unable to make the descent from the Lindauer Huette refuge, which is 1,744m (5,720 ft) above sea level, by any other means because of the avalanche risk.

The snow has caused chaos on the roads and railways. Villages and some tourist resorts have been cut off. The most heavily hit areas were Austria’s western Tirol and Vorarlberg regions that received 1-2 meters of snow (3-7ft) of snow in just four days.

Category: Tourism / Skiing Holidays / Austria

It was like the Titanic!

A luxury winter cruise in the Mediterranean turned into a horrific scramble for survival for 4,000 people as the giant 114,500-tonne ocean liner Costa Concordia hit rocks off the coast of Italy on Friday evening. Survivors said, “It was like the Titanic”.

The drama began when the cruise ship hit some rocks, which tore a 300ft gash along the lower side of it. The cruise ship was near the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, off the west coast of Italy, north of Rome. Holidaymakers, who were enjoying the last day of their vacation, suddenly faced the horrifying ordeal of abandoning ship. Panic soon spread as they realised how serious the situation on board actually was.

The ship soon lurched to starboard throwing passengers all over the place. There were desperate scenes on board as people fought to survive. The ship soon flipped on its side half submerged in the sea.

Category: Italy / Holidays / Cruise Ship Disaster

Sahara desert sun to power Europe

The Sahara desert in North Africa is vast. So is its desert sunshine. If that could be harvested the potential it offers as an energy producing region is huge.

The idea is now within reach of actually happening - using new technologies to capture the sun in the Sahara desert, converting it into energy and transmitting the power generated to Europe. A group in Germany called Desertec, who have heavyweight commercial backers such as Deutsche Bank and Siemens, have chosen Morocco to embark on a huge commercial venture to do just this.

Solar power will be created for Europe; creating clean energy and jobs. The ambitious programme is feasible. Desertec expects to see the first electricity flowing through undersea cables from Morocco in 2014. Its stated goal however is to power 100% of local needs in Morocco and 15% of European demand by 2050.

Category: Business / Solar Energy / Sahara Desert

British women are officially the fattest in Europe

British women are the fattest in Europe. The deeply worrying statistics are contained in a report from Eurostat***, the EU’s statistical agency, which compares obesity levels in 19 countries from 2008-2009. According to alarming figures a quarter are obese – so fat it threatens their health. The figure is far higher than in other countries of Western Europe. British men are not much better, with more than one in five classed as obese.

Experts are concerned by the young age at which so many women in Britain are developing serious weight problems. A disturbing 16% of young women aged 18-24 are obese – up to 16 times higher than many other European countries where the rate is between 1% and 3%. Young men are doing better, around 6% are obese, but a worrying one third of men aged 45-64 are obese in Britain. Only in the U.S. and Ireland*, which are not included in the league table, have higher obesity rates in the developed world.

Category: Britain / Women / Survey