Years of war
Imaginative souls have tried to compared the situation in Ukraine with that which preceded the first world war 100 years ago. Are years ending in 14 especially violent?
— 1414 saw the Polish-Teutonic war, one of a dozen skirmishes between Poland and Teutonic knights between the 14th and 16th centuries. The war was noted for the efforts to starve opposing armies by razing crops.
— 1714 saw the outbreak of the seventh Ottoman-Venetian War, which like the first world war lasted four years. It ended with Venice losing control of the Peloponnese.
— 1814 saw the Swedish-Norwegian War, which resulted in Norway entering a union with Sweden.
But wars have also ended in ‘14’ years:
— 1514 saw the end of the two-year First French War, peace being sealed by the marriage of Henry VIII’s sister Mary to King Louis XII.
— 1614 saw the end of the five-year Anglo-Powhatan wars between English settlers and native Americans in Virginia.
— 1714 saw the French seize Barcelona, marking the conclusion, after 13 years, of the War of Spanish Succession.
The difference a year makes
How have economic indicators changed since last year’s budget?
|Economic growth (quarterly)||-0.1%|
|Trade deficit (quarterly)||£8.5bn|
|Economic growth (quarterly)||0.7%|
|Trade deficit (quarterly)||£8bn|
And what about house prices? It depends whom you ask:
|Annual change||March 2013|
|Annual change||March 2014|
*Land Registry figures for England and Wales;others are for UK as a whole.
Socks in bits
The future of the bitcoin virtual currency seemed to be in doubt. How you can spend your bitcoins before it is too late:
— 50 pairs of Alpaca socks from Grass Hill, a farm near Williamsburg, Massachusetts: 1 bitcoin
— Dinner at the Firehouse BBQ grill in Salt Lake City: 1 bitcoin
— Around 30 haircuts from Josh Arias in Reno, Nevada: 1 bitcoin
— One ticket on Sir Richard Branson’s yet-to-exist Virgin Galactic spaceship: approximately 400 bitcoins