The Spectator

Barometer | 5 October 2017

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Bunny beginnings

Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy, died.

How did he get the idea for bunny girls?

— Hefner said he had been inspired by Bunny’s Tavern, a bar in Urbana, Illinois, named after its owner Bernard ‘Bunny’ Fitzsimmons, who opened it in 1936.

— A closer match for Hefner’s clubs was the Gaslight Club opened in Chicago in 1953, where customers were served by ‘gaslight girls’ dressed in corsets and fishnets.

— Originally, Hefner proposed dressing up his hostesses as baby dolls, then toyed with the idea of ‘stag girls’ wearing antlers, to match the name he wanted to give Playboy magazine, Stag Party. He had to drop that name when Stag magazine (men’s adventure stories) threatened to sue.

Chickens to the slaughter

A chicken processing works was caught out changing slaughter dates. How many chickens are processed in Britain?

— In August an average of 20.6 million birds were slaughtered every week.

— This was a 10% increase on the average of 18.7 million in August 2016, possibly a result of a lower pound boosting production.

— The average slaughter weight was 2.2kg. Year-on-year the total weight of carcasses slaughtered in Britain rose 16 per cent, from 132,000 tonnes in August 2016 to 153,000 tonnes a year later.

Source: Defra

A man on Mars

Elon Musk said his company, SpaceX, planned to put a man on Mars by 2024. How long would the journey take and how does it compare with going to the Moon?

Moon / Mars

Min. distance from

Earth (in miles)

222,000 / 34.1m

Fastest journey

by probe

8 hours 200 days

Fastest manned


3 days / ?

Where they burn wood

The Mayor of London wants to prohibit wood-burning in parts of London with poor air quality. How many people heat their homes with wood in the UK?

— Overall, 7.5% of householders burn wood to heat their homes. The regions with the highest proportion of homes burning wood are: Northern Ireland (18.4 per cent), the south-east (15.8 per cent) and the south-west (12.6 per cent).

— The regions with the least wood-burning households are London (3.9 per cent), the north-east (4.0 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humberside (4.2 per cent).

Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change