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Archive for August, 2010

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Shake ‘n’ Vac Competition Winners

Posted by Big Boo on August 30th, 2010

It ended up running for rather longer than I intended, due to a lack of time on my part judging it, but I can finally now reveal the lucky winners of the signed photos of Jenny Logan, the Shake ‘n’ Vac Lady. They are:-

Brian Hosey

Mark Hill

Esther Harvey

Tracey Steadman

The photos will be winging their way to you all soon (as soon as you let me know your postal addresses – you should all have received an email asking for this too!).

Watch this space, more competitions on the way soon…

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Footie Team Bags – Did You Have One?

Posted by Big Boo on August 28th, 2010

Having written about school bags with football team names printed on them earlier this week, I think the obvious survey for this week is to see how many of you had a school bag with a footie team emblazoned on the side.

Just vote Yes or No below, and if you want to admit to which team you supported back then, why not add a comment. As I mentioned in the article, I had a West Ham bag, although it was more because I liked the colour of it than because that was my team of choice.

Did you have a football team bag at school?
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Curly Wurly

Posted by Big Boo on August 27th, 2010

Curly WurlyUnlike many of the sweets I’ve covered in these very web pages, the Curly Wurly is still very much alive and well, which is nice too know.

I’ll get the complaint out of the way first then. Are these, like many sweets today seem to be, smaller than they used to be? I’m pretty sure they are, but of course maybe it’s just down to the fact that when you are a small child they seem much bigger, but the memory of them never quite leaves you. Creme Eggs are another good example of this phenomenon – I’m sure you used to be able to sit them in an egg cup like a proper egg, but now they roll about in the bottom.

Gripe out of the way then, let us now celebrate the wondrous idea that is the Curly Wurly. Simple ingredients (just chocolate and caramel) put together in that weird ladder shape with the wobbly rungs, the design was actually quite clever in that it made eating the bar much easier for little ‘uns with smaller mouths. Any more caramel and it would have required far too much biting and chewing to eat.

Another benefit of the bar was that it was also quite cheap to buy, although I think perhaps that might not be so much the case these days…

But by far the best feature has to be the name. Who could possibly come up with a better name than Curly Wurly? Not only does it fit the choccy bar perfectly it’s also the kind of name that oozes appeal for kids. Somehow you always felt a little mischievous asking for one (or maybe that was just me?).

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Football Team School Bags

Posted by Big Boo on August 25th, 2010

Adidas HoldallThese days most kids probably have a school bag decorated with a picture of whatever the current most popular TV show is (so for the boys it’s probably Ben 10 at the moment, and for the girls maybe still High School Musical, or perhaps Hannah Montana) and that bag is probably a rucksack.

Back when I were a lad though, it would have been more likely to be a holdall style bag (or possibly a leather (or leather effect) satchel when you first started school – I bet they’re hard to track down now). For the girls this would probably have been pink or another girly colour, possibly with a picture of a horse or pony, whilst for the boys it would have undoubtedly been a football team bag, not dissimilar in style to that shown above, which is actually a currently available retro styled bag.

Now, I was never really into football. Sure, I had the odd kick about but since my Dad wasn’t a footie fan he never passed it on to me like many father’s do to their sons. When I first started going to school though, I suddenly discovered that most boys were big football fans, so in an effort to try and fit in I thought I had better start to show an interest too.

Most of the boys at my primary school would have had a holdall with their favourite football teams name on (and perhaps a picture of a footballer, a football or the clubs emblem). Most were also colour coded to the chosen team’s football strip as well.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Vanessa Paradis – Joe Le Taxi

Posted by Big Boo on August 20th, 2010

Joe Le Taxi Vanessa ParadisI was driving in the car the other day when Joe Le Taxi by Vanessa Paradis suddenly came on the radio. I had forgotten all about this song until then, and hearing it again instantly took me back to my childhood, with memories of looking up the lyrics in my sisters copy of Smash Hits.

Joe Le Taxi hit number 3 in the UK charts when it was released at the beginning of 1988, but what is most surprising about this fact is that the song (as the title suggests) was sung in French, meaning most of us in the UK didn’t really have much of a clue as to what the song was saying, other than it was presumably about a taxi driver named Joe who liked the saxophone.

However, it was a very catchy song that you ended up humming or singing along with, despite not knowing what the words meant, so it was nice to see a song do well in the charts because people presumably must have really liked it.

Another surprising fact is that the singer, Vanessa Paradis, was only fourteen at the time, and this wasn’t even her first released song – that honour went to La Magie des surprises-parties (my French is not great but I’m guessing that’s The Magic of Surprise Parties) which was released in 1983, so she must have been just ten for that song!

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Googling the Cube

Posted by Big Boo on August 16th, 2010

solved-rubik-cubeWhen it comes to iconic items from the Eighties they don’t get more iconic than the humble Rubik’s Cube.

It may have caused many a gnashed tooth and uttered profanity, but there’s no denying that when someone wants a picture to illustrate the decade of the 1980s, they go straight for the cube. There are countless compilation albums and books featuring the cube on the cover, and a fair few websites too (hey, I’m as guilty as the rest of them!).

Whilst most of us would just fiddle and twiddle with the thing for hours, perhaps completing one side and then giving up, boffins around the world have been trying to work out what the maximum number of moves required to solve the cube is. This magic number, nick named a God Number, is a surprisingly low twenty – yep, a maximum of 20 moves is all that is required to solve any combination of the cube!

So how did they get to this number? Well, firstly the scientists took every single possible mixed up cube combination (a mere 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possibilities!) and dissected this up into groups of similar types which would all be solved in the same way. These groups were further wittled down by taking symmetry into account, which left just 2.21 billion groups to solve!

A computer program was then devised to solve each combination in the most optimum manner. On a reasonably powered desktop PC this took around 20-30 seconds to solve a single combination. Not bad, but 2.21 billion groups would still take around 35 years of non-stop processing to complete!

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Take Out His Spare Ribs For £200

Posted by Big Boo on August 14th, 2010

So, earlier this week I wrote about the classic board game Operation, which is one of those games that I feel sure most people must have played at some point in their life, whether they were any good at it or not!

So, whether you owned it or not, if you were a super surgeon or less skilled than Dr. Nick Riviera, I want to know if you’ve ever played Operation at any time in your life, even if it was just once…

Have you ever played Operation (the mad Doctor's game)?
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Captain Cobwebb and the Quogs

Posted by Big Boo on August 13th, 2010

Captain Cobwebb and the QuogsToday’s post is about one of those things I distinctly remember liking as a child, yet when I try and remember the details everything is a bit hazy. I’ll start by telling you what I remember.

I would have been around ten at the time, still at primary school, and at the end of the day the teacher still used to read the class a story, though being as we were that bit older it was a longer story split over several days or even weeks. At one point a book was chosen to be read that kept the entire class enthralled. That book was called Captain Cobwebb and the Quogs.

Now, I couldn’t tell you exactly who Captain Cobwebb was, because as far as I can remember the heroes of the story were two young boys. I might have completely mis-remembered the plot, but it went something like this. The two boys stumble across an underground realm inhabited by sinister creatures called Quogs. The Quogs were presumably spider like in some way, because I distinctly remember the boys being caught and bundled up in a silky cocoon of some sort. Obviously they escape, and bring about an end to whatever nefarious plan the Quogs had in mind.

A bit slim on details I know, but there is one very specific detail I do remember, which is that at one point the boys needed to supply a pass phrase to get inside a locked door. It was a very silly pass phrase made up of lots of gobbledy gook words, and it went like this:-

Is it not a fact that stangipostril skiddibumperies of the collywoblic neuroproxis, are metatarsely plod-lodricate.

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