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Blueprint Briefing – 27th March 2013
How wild was the “Wild West”?
In five cattle towns of the old West, including Dodge City and Abilene, there were 45 murders in 1870-85, an annual rate of one per 100,000 inhabitants.
In Baltimore, Maryland there were 281 murders in 2007, or 45 per 100,000.
Blueprint Briefing – 20th March 2013
After Ireland/UK and the USA, which country drinks the most Guinness? Answer: Nigeria.
Blueprint Briefing – 13th March 2013
Of the 265 Popes who have held office as head of the Roman Catholic Church, 33, or just under 12.5 per cent, have died violently.
Blueprint Briefing – 6th March 2013
Despite the impression formed by watching Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Saving Private Ryan, British and Canadian troops – 83,000 – outnumbered US troops – 73,000 – in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on 6th June 1944.
Reportedly, only 177 Frenchmen took part.
Blueprint Briefing – 27th February 2013
Typically, between 600 and 800 grapes are required to produce a 75cl bottle of wine.
Blueprint Briefing – 21st February 2013
Chameleons can change colour to match their background when sensing danger.
There is no evidence to support the myth that they explode when placed on tartan.
Blueprint Briefing – 13th February 2013
Two of the greatest men of the 19th Century, one British, one American were born on the same day 204 years ago yesterday, 12th February 1809: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.
Blueprint Briefing – 6th February 2013
On a tombstone in Edinburgh:
“Erected to the memory of John MacFarlane.
Drowned in the Water of Leith.
By a few friends.”
Blueprint Briefing – 30th January 2013
As Spielberg’s biopic of the 16th President hits our screens , it’s worth knowing that the phrase “his name is ‘mud’” does not allude to the sticky brown stuff, but to Dr Mudd who tended to the injuries of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, after he shot the President.
Blueprint Briefing – 23rd January 2013
As the film, Argo, about the escape of US hostages from the besieged US Embassy in revolutionary Iran contends for an Oscar as Best Picture, a recent book on the Iranian Revolution describes how in late 1978 Britain’s Ambassador, Sir Anthony Parsons, watched violent, pre-revolutionary events aimed at overthrowing the Shah break out across the country. He reported to London that “the balloon went up”, a common expression at the time for a major conflagration. The author explains that it “arises from WW1 when British artillerymen sent up balloons to signal to their own trenches the imminent start of firing.”
Days of God by James Buchan, published by John Murray, 2012
Blueprint Briefing – 16th January 2013
“A winner of the title Miss Congeniality in Vancouver pleaded guilty to a charge of taking part in a riot in the city in June 2011.”
The Spectator, 12 January 2013