The Spectator

Barometer | 17 August 2017

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

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?

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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

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