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La Triviata - Duncan's substantial bits and pieces

Here are some useless facts but a good way to spend your time.

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The pub is the internet. It’s where information is gathered, collated and addressed. People are looser in a pub and everyone’s got a story. Even as a kid I used to stand under the extractor vent in the winter outside the pub and feel the warm air, smell the beer, smell the Woodbines and hear the voices laughing and telling stories.A pub can be a magical place. It’s socially crucial to the whole of Britain. In fact, the pub is like a watering hole. You’ll see all the animals standing around a lake and getting on because they want a drink; you take them away from the lake and they fall out with each other or worse. Every species has its pub.

- Rhys Ifans

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On a busy night in the Gomshall Mill, a waiter or waitress will walk up 1,363 stairs, which is the equivalent of a small, though significant, hill.

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Last year as a company we sold rather a lot of shoulders and shanks of lamb. In fact, if all the lambs stood in line, they would form a queue 4.5 miles long.

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People driving around lost in London waste enough petrol to drive a car from New York to Los Angeles 9,000 times. This is the equivalent of a carbon footprint the size of Malta. If this footprint was translated to a shoe size, it would be size 1,346. (I made those last two bits up.

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Tips from the bar No.1: Fill up an ice-tray in your freezer with the flat tonic left at the bottom of a bottle. As it melts and chills your drink, the "tonic water ice" will not dilute your G & T with unwanted pollutants such as water.

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The farthest you can see with the naked eye is 2.4 million light years away (140,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.) That’s the distance to the giant Andromeda Galaxy. You can see it easily as a dim, large gray “cloud” almost directly overhead in a clear night sky.

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The home counties are the counties of South East England and the East of England that surround London, not including the capital city itself.

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When Heinz ketchup leaves the bottle, it travels at a rate of 25 miles per year.

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There are around 60,000 or so pubs around the whole of the UK, and more than 15 million Brits go down the local every week.

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For every ten drinks served in the UK, 7 are beers, 1 is wine, 1 is cider and 1 is a cocktail.

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The world’s oldest recipe is for beer.

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The world record for the most pints of beer balanced on the head is 237.

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Distilled spirits such as brandy, gin, rum and tequila, contain no carbohydrates, no fats and no cholesterol of any kind.

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During the reign of William III, a garden fountain was once used as a giant punch bowl. The recipe included 560 gallons of brandy, 1200 pounds of sugar, 25,000 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice and five pounds of nutmeg. The bartender rowed around in a small boat, filling up guests' punch cups.

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British men have been found twice as likely to know the price of their beer as their partner's bra size. A poll reported in Britain's Prima magazine found that 77% of males knew how much their beer costs but only 38% knew the correct size of their mate's bra.

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Unusually flavoured beers:

‘Kelpie Seaweed Ale’. The seaweed ale is said to have a tint of salty flavour which adds to its tastiness, and on a positive note there is no fishy essence.

Creme Brulee Stout. Containing caramelized sugar, vanilla, custard and rich milk these ingredients provide the perfect balance of sweetness to create a crème brulee flavour.

Cookie Beer. This sweet cookie flavour will most certainly tickle your taste buds; The drink gives off a cinnamon and nutmeg smell and appears a hazy and lighter orange colour.

The Three Skulls Buccaneer Bacon Beer. This golden coloured ale has a strong smokey bacon taste, with citrus and lemon overtones.

Mushrooom Ale. First spotted at CAMRA’S Harvest Fest 2010, R&B’s golden ale stole the limelight with its new and innovative earthy flavouring.

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