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Barometer

Staines, Pile o’ Bones and other towns that changed name

Also in our Barometer column: Scotland’s oil; dangerous sports; conflicting figures on anoxeria

19 March 2016

9:00 AM

19 March 2016

9:00 AM

Name that town

The representative of Slough in the UK Youth Parliament called for the town’s name to be changed to rid it of negative connotations. Other towns with an image problem which have done a Stalingrad (now Volgograd) and changed their identity:
STAINES Now Staines upon Thames
KILIWHIMIN, HIGHLANDS Now Fort Augustus
ALLIGATOR VILLAGE, FLORIDA Now Lake City
WANKIE, ZIMBABWE Now Hwange
PILE O’ BONES, SASKATCHEWAN Now Regina
Residents in the Austrian village of FUCKING voted against a name change in 2004

Over a barrel

During the referendum campaign, Alex Salmond proposed that Scotland would become independent on 26 March 2016, and said it would have £7.5 billion of oil revenues. How have the estimates for 2015/16 revenue changed over time?

June 2010 £9.7bn
March 2013 £7.5bn*
December 2013 £4.2bn
March 2014 £3.8bn
March 2015 £0.7bn

*Scottish government estimate

Unhappy landings

A man leapt from the Shard with a parachute — and survived both the jump and the attentions of the police. How dangerous is base-jumping compared with other action sports?

Death rate
Base jumping 1 in 2,320
Skydiving (from plane) 1 in 101,000
Hang-gliding 1 in 116,000
Scuba diving 1 in 200,000
Rock-climbing 1 in 320,000
Canoeing 1 in 750,000

Source: Bandolier (Oxford medical journal)

Anoxeric figures

Joan Bakewell was attacked for saying that anorexia was all about narcissism. Who are anorexics? Some not entirely consistent statistics quoted by the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness in the US:
— There are 70 million sufferers worldwide, a third of whom live in the US.
10–15% are male.
90% are female and aged 12-25.
11% of high school students suffer from an eating disorder.
40% of male American football players suffer from an eating disorder.
35% of dieters go on to develop ‘pathological dieting’.
50% of females aged 18-25 say they would rather be run over by a truck than be fat.


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