Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Silly, screwy and sappy summer stories

Maybe it's the time of the year in mid-summer when a hot sun beats down and perhaps - pure speculation - affects one's brain and thinking process. I'm a person who seeks out these type of stories and thankful that people get silly once in a while.

As a Monty Python fan forever, I especially loved all their silly pseudo news reports. A personal favorite was/is their Silly Olympics, which just so happens to lead into today's first  piece, "The Chap Olympics.".

Unrelated to "the" Olympic Games to be held in London, England, the Chap Olympics ,which take place in the same city celebrates - well - things ("so get on with it, Eleanor, and tell us about this thing of which you speak!") different. Different is good.

The eighth annual (go figure this was an annual event that has such staying power) Chap Olympiad, sponsored by Chap Magazine, which describes these games as celebrating sporting ineptitude. Many of us can relate to that. Actually, chances are many/a lot of people reading this could, if they wanted to and were willing to make their way to London, take part in the activities since it doesn't require any particular physical agility, unless one considers umbrella jousting, ironing board surfing (at last something fun to do with an ironing board) and of course the challenging, cucumber sandwich discus, as physical sports. Additionial events listed include pipeathlon, gentleman's gold club and not playing tennis. Really.

But wait - there's more electrifying events ("Oh do get on with it, Eleanor, and stop beating around the bush.")!  Butler Baiting consisting teams of two people, who must assemble a wardrobe nice enough to impress a butler. Winners were judged on the basis of maintenance of panache, perfectly knotted ties and levels of skulduggery. Be still my beating heart! 

Meanwhile, here are some photos of the contestants participating in the events:

I'll be sure to mark this Chap Challenge down in my next year's agenda in anticipation of an invitation to any royal event, which all seem to get lost in the mail, somehow.

Moving on...

Problems for the caped crusader if he was real and if he could fly

On a more serious but of no consequence in the scheme of things, someone - a group of British physics students - have calculated what would/could happen if Batman really existed ("you mean he doesn't, Eleanor?"), and would he be able to fly safely. To be candid, this is something that I've never really never thought about. You? Why they (the students) decided to assess the comic heroes odds regarding his flying prowess is not mentioned in the article but as mentioned, it's summer and there's a new Batman movie coming out...

Anyway,  the four students involved who attend the University of Leicester and are in their final year of a four year Master of Physics degree that gives them some credibility, calculated that Batman could glide using his cape but his landing would kill him. It's always the landings that get you in the end, isn't it. In their paper entitled, "Trajectory of a Falling Batman", they argued that if he (Batman) jumped from a 150-metre high building, the 4.7 meter wingspan of his cape would allow him to glide 350 meters. However - it's always the howevers in life that get you in the end - he would reach a speed of 68 miles per hour before hitting the ground at a life-threatening speed of 50mph. According to one of the students, the caped crusader would need a larger cape. Thinking further, not sure if a larger cape would fit the heroe's image and most likely - pure speculation on my part - the cape would have to be a lot larger. Moving on...

Got a spare £3m hanging around?

So let's say one has a few dollars (or pounds) that are doing nothing and seeking something in which to invest said spare dollars/pounds. City trader, Christian Siva-Jothy, a former partner in Goldman-Sachs, is looking for a buyer for his island.

In the way of enticing a potential buyer who could be reading this blog right now, the 260 acre King's Island, or Eilaen Righ, is located 350 yard off the Scottish mainland and is accessible only by boat or helicopter. This means real privacy for the new owner.

The island has a four bedroom house, a boat house, observatory and its own helicopter landing pad. There is a lot of wildlife that hang around including a population of deer that swim over from the mainland, dolphins, otters, sea eagles and osprey. Furthermore and for those inclined, the new owner(s) can fish for an endless supply of salmon and lobster. Sounds too desolate for me. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. things to do in Finland for tourists

As a tourist visiting or planning a visit to Finland, perhaps you're wondering what type of traditional summer festivals are held throughout the country in order to plan recreational activities around them. Wonder no more - here is a taste of some of the more unusual competitions.

For example:

Wife Carrying World Championship

Never realized this was a world-wide challenge but I digress. The festival, held from July 1 to July 2, in the town of Sankajarvi, is a re-creation of an old Finnish folk tale focusing on local villain, Herkho Ronkainen, who carried away beautiful native girls, married or single. The main aim of the competition is to carry your wife from start to finish.

Contestants must carry wives across a 253.5 metre track of sand, grass and asphalt, and a water obstacle.The prize is a loaf of rye bread, a statuette and the woman's weight in beer. So I'm wondering here what happens if, say, one drops one's wife. Is there some type of penalty or is one out of the running in the true sense of the word? It's a lot of work for a rye bread. At least if they threw in cheese or something.

Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship
This event takes place in August in Riihisaari, Savonlinna in eastern Finland, is quite simple: one throws one's cell phone. That's it - really! Just thinking...the real challenge one (me) would imagine in finding one's cell phone among all the other flung cell phones. But I digress. Again.

Mosquito Killing Contest

This is a summer event when mosquitos are rife (love that word). Thinking further about this, many of us have been practicing without even being having to travel to Finland. The challenge is to kill or swat as many mosquitos as possible in less than 5 minutes. The current world record stands at 21 mosquitoes in 5 minutes. Then again, one wonders if dead or partially squashed bugs are included in the total or whether they have a supply of mosquitoes in a jar or something ready to be released for the swatters to use for...swatting. Another question that springs to mind is do other flying species count in the final total?

The Ant-Nest Sitting Competition

This is a competition that could take place anywhere and/or everywhere in the world should there be an interest (doubt it but who knows). Held in many areas of Finland, winners are decided by competitors sitting on ant nests for the longest duration. Doubtful that participants practice in advance for the event. Just thinking...are participants assigned specific ant nests or do they get to choose? So many questions and issues to contemplate but then I obviously have too much time on my hands.

There are other interesting competitions should one be planning a trip to Finland that can be found here:

How has your summer been so far?

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