What happened in The Lobby in March?

The Lobby in March

Month two in The Lobby – and it’s been a busy 31 days, with plenty of meaningful debates on all manner of topics, impartation of knowledge, some trivia, and even a smattering of humour.

The month kicked off with a discussion on international brand harmonisation, with the community citing Jif and Cif cream cleaner, Marathon and Snickers bars, and Opal Fruits and Starburst as prime examples.

However, it was Wavechange who pointed out that one name change had probably been for the best:

‘I was pleased to learn that ‘Durex’ is no longer used as a brand name for adhesive tape in Australia. I presume this tape was used by the French to seal their letters when the self-adhesive had failed.’

The humour continued when Ian pointed out that some signs can have unintended meanings.

‘Odd notices theme: “Notice in a dry cleaner’s window: Anyone leaving his or her garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of.’

With spring having officially sprung and the daffodils out in force, a few of you noted that supermarkets were selling the flowers with a ‘Do not eat’ label attached.

John Ward explained:

‘Public Health England has advised all major supermarkets to keep daffodils away from fruit and vegetable aisles… Apparently a number of adults whose first language is not English have eaten them and cooked them mistaking them for the garlic chives used in Chinese cooking. The number of poisoning cases has been rising year on year.’

Later in the month, the talk turned to wood-burning stoves and the effect they have on the environment – a discussion borne on the back of an idea posted by CaresAboutHealth in the ideas section.

VynorHill said:

‘What happened to the idea that one grew as much as was burned and it became a sustainable fuel source? How do biomass furnaces operate ecologically? The log burner is an essential for many home seekers and is often seen as a desirable adjunct to a home. No one has seen these as harmful before and many will dismiss these claims as yet another restriction on the freedom to do the things they wish to do. We have nuclear and renewables as partial heating sources, otherwise things are burned to supply our energy needs. The wood burner is another evil to put on the growing list of things we are supposed to stop using.’

John Ward replied:

‘I think the problem with wood burning is that putting a seed in the ground does not replace a fully-grown tree so the number of replacement trees that have to be planted is a very high multiple [in the many millions] before there is enough CO2-absorbing capacity to offset the carbon produced by burning wood.’

There was also a mini-discussion about self-driving cars – an invention that Derek P wasn’t convinced by:

‘Last week, I had to visit Preston by road. For the return journey, the M6 southbound was broken between J19 and J18, so some initiative and local knowledge was useful in finding an alternative route. I’m doubtful that a self driving car would cope well under similar upset conditions.’

The clocks going forward for British Summertime flummoxed some of you, while Beryl wondered how some timepieces could automatically adjust:

‘I have often questioned how the radio controlled clock in my car automatically adjusts to the new time and found the following website: smithsonianmag.com – How Do Some Clocks Set Themselves? The new 2010 quantum logic clock of NIST-F1 (National Institute of Standards and Technology) based in Boulder, Colorado, claims absolute accuracy for over 3.7 million years! Will the human race still be around then I wonder?’

And the change in the weather also brought about a bout of the sniffles, with malcom r giving us his go-to remedy:

‘Whisky, lemon juice honey and hot water is a good remedy – makes you feel better even if it doesn’t cure the flu.’

What will next month bring?

This is a round-up of what was discussed over the past month on The Lobby. The Lobby is our community’s very own virtual cafe for off-topic chatter. Comments here have been edited due to length, so be sure to read them in full by clicking on the author’s name. If you want to get involved in The Lobby then head on over add your comment.


I love the idea of humour being smattered. What’s smatter with that? It’s a bit like some modern art. Chopped into small pieces and thrown at the page. I was searching for a larger version of the verb to smatter, since Ian’s contributions liven the page more often than a mere smatter. Blatter perhaps?
Well, it is Monday morning and no one has given Melanie an entry yet. Summarising The Lobby is a bit like herding cats: difficult put a paw on everything in such a diverse environment.

Indeed. Sputtered is a word, so Smattered should be, also.

Does a certain president believe in a smatter of fact?

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