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11 May 2013

9:00 AM

11 May 2013

9:00 AM

Four kinds of nonsense

Lord Lawson accused Nick Clegg of talking ‘poppycock’ on Europe. What are we really saying when we accuse people of talking nonsense?
Poppycock From old Dutch word for ‘soft dung’.
Codswallop Unknown, but said by some to come from a non-alcoholic beer (or ‘wallop’) brewed by Hiram Codd in the 19th century.
Balderdash Unknown, but already in use in 17th century as a term for a poorly mixed cocktail of drinks.
Bunkum From Buncombe County, North Carolina, on whose behalf Felix Walker made a poorly delivered speech in the House of Representatives in 1820.

Class divide

Lord Winston said he prefers to employ people with upper second-class degrees than with first-class degrees. Does getting a first help your career?
Compared with someone with two A-levels:
— A graduate with a first is 2.8% more likely to be employed and will earn, on average, an extra £143,997 in their career.
— A graduate with an upper second is 4.4% more likely to be employed and will earn £127,777 more in their career.
— A graduate with a lower second is 3.2% more likely to be employed and will earn £79,755 more in their career.
Source: London Economics

Weather eye

Most of Britain enjoyed a sunny bank holiday. Has the weather in London been particularly bad on the May Day bank holiday over the past decade?

Average maximum temperature (C) Day
16.2 Monday before May Day
17.2 May Day bank holiday
17.3 Monday after May Day
Average rainfall (mm) Day
2.0 Monday before May Day
1.4 May Day bank holiday
2.3 Monday after May Day

Source: weather online

Dangerous childhoods

A media executive and his daughter were killed, and other members of the family seriously injured, after being thrown off their speedboat in a Cornish estuary, then struck by the craft. How is a child’s risk of accidental death related to social class?

Annual deaths per 100,000 in England and Wales:
Professional 4.1
Managerial/technical 4.0
Skilled non-manual 4.8
Skilled manual 8.6
Partly-skilled manual 9.5
Unskilled manual 20.7

Source: Unicef

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