The Spectator

Barometer | 17 August 2017

Also in Barometer: How did Big Ben get its name?

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Big bong theory

Big Ben, otherwise known as the Great Bell, is due to fall silent on Monday for renovations to be carried out on the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower, in which it is housed. Why is it called Big Ben?

—According to one version, Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the bell in 1859, also happened to be nicknamed Big Ben. He made a long and rambling speech on what the bell should be called, whereupon another MP interjected: ‘Why not call it Big Ben and be done with it?’ The comment is not, however, recorded in Hansard.

Inside left

Pressure groups representing the left-handed held an international left-handedness day. How does the percentage of reported left-handedness vary?

Netherlands

13.2

UK

12.2

New York State

12.0

France

11.1

Italy

10.5

Germany

9.8

Russia

6.0

India

5.2

Japan

4.7

Source: The History and Geography of Human Handedness by I.C. McManus

Trump stake

Paddy Power appointed a ‘Head of Trump betting’ due to unprecedented interest in wagers on the US President. Some of the odds currently offered:

A sex tape to be leaked online

14/1

To deny the existence of God

20/1

To convert to Scientology

25/1

To meet with KKK leader

33/1

To convert to Islam

50/1

To deport Madonna

80/1

To commission his own face to be added to Mount Rushmore

100/1

To come out as gay

100/1

To paint the White House gold

500/1

Extreme close-up

A far-right march in Virginia erupted into violence. What is the make-up of extremist groups in the United States?

groups nationwide

Ku Klux Klan

130

Neo-Nazi

99

White nationalist

100

Racist skinhead

78

Christian identity

21

Neo-confederate

43

Black separatist

193

Anti-LGBT

52

Anti-Muslim

101

Source: Southern Poverty Law Center