At the movies · Home life · In the news · Universal Knowledge

James Bond and me

Over the last two weekends we have watched, as a family, the most recent pair of James Bond movies, “Skyfall” (2012) and “Spectre” (2015). They were broadcast on ITV2 (lots of ad-breaks), we recorded them on our multi-channel box and watched each of them within 24 hours of recording. The children, aged 11 and 13,… Continue reading James Bond and me

Home life · Music · Reading · Trivia · Universal Knowledge

Beatles Album Covers, seeing and observing

Which Beatles album covers can you visualize right now? A few of them can be classed as Universal Knowledge for people over a certain age, and they are an occasional source of quiz questions. Here’s an example from a recent edition of “The 100k Drop”: “Which member of the Beatles wears a blue military coat… Continue reading Beatles Album Covers, seeing and observing

Health · Universal Knowledge

Mean, Median, Mode

Mean, median, mode: does an understanding of these statistical terms count as Universal Knowledge? Can most adults be expected to know the difference, and why you would use one statistical measurement rather than another? In my experience, probably not. We can conclude that plenty of people are unfamiliar with basic statistics because the word “average”… Continue reading Mean, Median, Mode

Home life · Universal Knowledge · Word of the week

Word of the week: kosher

Kosher foods are those that conform to Jewish law (kashrut, Jewish dietary law). For any adults reading these lines the word kosher could probably be counted as Universal Knowledge. Twenty years ago I used the word to mean safe (legit, on-the-level), in the way that Arthur Daley in “Minder” might describe a business transaction. Before… Continue reading Word of the week: kosher

Home life · Universal Knowledge

Usually I’m Anthony Trollope, but not this week

In previous pieces I have mentioned Universal Knowledge, with the understanding that there isn’t much of it, and that some people’s idea of what is universally known is very different from other people’s ideas. Porlock, Battleship Potemkin, Cargo Cult: I never assume that these terms are familiar to friends and family. And the same goes… Continue reading Usually I’m Anthony Trollope, but not this week