By Gareth Edwards

Friday 1 February 2013

Laissez-Faire Llamas and a Globe Full of Snow

Welcome to another installment of the blog that knows all the answers to everything in the universe, but doesn’t like to go on about it.

Nance asked How do you get snow into a snow globe?

Snow globe construction is as simple in theory as it is hard in practice. A trained snow-globe trapper simply scours the arctic in summer looking for a suitable micro-climate. Then he waits. As soon as the weather turns snowy he scoops the clouds up into a hand-blown glass dome and glues an ugly plastic miniature village to the bottom, inverts it, then begins the long trek back south to civilization and its gift shops.

@alexthomp18 I gave a cat some dog food. Can anything bad happen as a result?
1) Your cat will hate you.
2) Your dog will hate you.
3) Your dog will hate your cat.
Isn’t there already enough hate in the world?
 asked What is the probability that llamas will take over the world in 2013?

This cannot possibly happen, for the simple reason that llamas have already taken over the world. You might think that this explains a lot about why the world is in such a sorry state and add that our llama masters have made a pretty poor fist of managing the planet, but the truth is that llamas feel it’s inappropriate to meddle in the day to day affairs of humans or indeed any other species, including llamas. Some might term the llama’s attitude laissez-faire free market economics but the truth is that llamas are just massively passive aggressive, as you can tell by their facial expressions.

"I'm totally fine actually"             

Robert Hudson On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
The poor wolf is probably deeply uncomfortable. Not only is it a hot, humid night and he's stuck wearing fur, but his date has clearly stood him up. Now he's sat there sweltering and clutching his rather over-the-top bouquet feeling like an idiot. I'd offer him a whisky and soda and book him a cab.

@slepkane Why is a watch called a watch?
When the first portable timepieces appeared in 14th century Florence they were as much for prestige as punctuality. Any nobleman wealthy enough to own a “clocetto” as they were then known would have no real need to turn up on time to anything, but would instead expect people patiently to await his arrival, and so the clocetto had just one hand which indicated the month. Nor was convenience a consideration for anyone with a retinue of servants, so the clocettos were carried about by twenty or thirty footmen, or in one case a team of dray elephants. With neither size nor functionality imposing any limitations on design the clocettos became all about spectacle. Cosmo da Grazia’s clocetto featured life-sized wooden models enacting the racier bits from Boccaccio’s Decameron while the Duke of Panini’s was decorated with battling Greek triremes on a real lake. Thus when one nobleman casually met another in the Piazza he might ask “if he had the right month on him”, prompting the latter to get out his clocetto. This would result in a spectacular contest of competing displays lasting several hours, always introduced with the one word “Watch!” Only in 14th century Italian obviously.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this blog I am frankly astonished. However, why not add to the sum of human knowledge by asking your own question in the comments below.


  1. Apologies if you've already dealt with this issue, but who actually put the bomp in the bop-she-bop-she-bop? While we're at it, who put the ram in the ram-a-lang-a-ding-dong? And most importantly, what on earth are either of them, and why?

  2. According to historical records, who was the first person to sign a secret diary, rant or poison pen letter with "Anonymous"?

    1. Hi Nance - I think I deleted one of your questions. Sorry! Pressed the wrong button while deleting robot spam...

    2. I am happy to repost.

      Every year I read about the addition of new words to the Oxford Dictionary, usually ones I hope no one will ever use except at a marketing meeting. But what happens to the lovely old words when they go out of fashion?

  3. How do they get the nonstick suface of a non stick frypan to stick to the pan itself? scott

  4. Why is Adam so tall? scott

  5. Why doesn't Scotty know? JB

  6. Why is Iceland green and Greenland ice?

  7. Where do flies bodies go when they die? A-aron

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