The Spectator

Barometer | 1 August 2019

Barometer | 1 August 2019
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Growing fanbase

A photograph of the Queen meeting Boris Johnson revealed that she uses a Dyson electric fan. How many of us own fans?

— Sales of electric fans rose from 471,403 in 2008 to 648,829 in 2017, according to Prodcom figures collected by the Office for National Statistics.

— The retailer AO.com reported that sales rose six-fold during last week’s heatwave compared with a week earlier.

— Fans are popular in Britain because so few homes have air conditioning. A Mintel survey from 2009 revealed that only 0.5% of homes have air conditioning. In the US the figure is 87%.

— The use of air conditioners and electric fans currently accounts for 10% of all global electricity consumption, according to the International Energy Agency.

Crowded cabinet

Is the cabinet getting too big? While the number of paid cabinet ministers is limited to 22, including the prime minister, there is an ever-increasing number of ministers attending cabinet. The number attending their first cabinet:

Margaret Thatcher

22

John Major

24

Tony Blair

24

Gordon Brown

27

David Cameron

29

Theresa May

27

Boris Johnson

33

Numbers game

The video game Fortnite held a world cup in a stadium in New York. How many people around the world are claimed to play video games?

CrossFire

660m

Dungeon Fighter

600m

Pac-Man Doodle

505m

Candy Crush Saga

500m

Tetris

500m

Fantasy Westward Journey

310m

Fortnite

250m

By contrast, according to Fifa, 265 million people around the world regularly play football.

Hot competition

Cambridge recorded Britain’s highest-ever July temperature at 38.7°C, beating the previous all-time record of 38.5°C recorded at Faversham on 10 August 2003. Some tropical countries which, surprisingly, have lower temperature records than Britain:

Maldives

34.9°C

Cayman Islands

34.9°C

British Virgin Islands

35.0°C

Singapore

37.0°C

French Guiana

38.0°C