The Daily: October 24
Friday, 24 October 2014

The Daily: October 24

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Antonia Munday
Christmas is on its Way
Today is the day that nearly half of all Britons will begin the challenge of Christmas shopping; the 24th October is apparently the best day to begin to undertake the mammoth task, 2 months before the big day itself. On average we will spend £331 on Christmas gifts, which is approximately a quarter of the typical monthly pay, and in a lifetime we will spend a staggering £20,000 on Christmas gifts. Apparently the busiest time for shopping during the festive season is 6:35, as people will be beginning to shop when they leave work. One in six people leave their festive shopping until December which, in comparison to those starting today, could almost be classed as late! Regarding who is most generous, those in the north buy on average 17 presents, whereas those in the south on average buy only 11 presents. It is also said that men spend approximately £24 more than women.

It's the Smaller Things in Life
With the clocks going back this weekend (meaning we get an extra hour in bed!) a recent survey by QVC has shown that 37% will be doing nothing with the extra hour, and 66% said that they would be having a guiltless lie in. Alongside this small extra hour, 93% of Brits admit that it's the smaller things in life generally that make them happy. Top of the list and making 68% of people happier, is receiving a compliment, with a receiving an unexpected gift following closely with 65%. One in five people claim to get a pick me up a day, while for a quarter they have received a small gesture within the past week, showing that the British are kinder than we realise! The survey by QVC also showed that Edinburgh was the happiest region, incidentally with 74% looking forward to the lie in this weekend; perhaps the reason that the people of Edinburgh are so happy is because they take advantage of any extra sleep they can! Newcastle proved to be the least happy city, where only 14% benefit from a gesture from a friend every week.

The Nylon Stocking's Birthday
75 years ago today the first test sale of the nylon stocking took place in Wilmington, Delaware, the headquarters of the founding company DuPont. During this trial sale 4000 pairs of stocking were sold within 3 hours. Although stockings had been around for years, and were actually usually worn by men, the invention of nylon in 1939 meant that the product could be produced at a lower price and could be made more widely available. The stocking were first on sale for $1.15, which is approximately $20 today, which was even more expensive than their silk competitors. Perhaps the main reason that people were willing to pay more was because they were more durable than others available, as well as them being a new and innovative product. In the first year DuPont sold 64m pairs of stockings- this would mean that the current population of the United Kingdom all had a pair each!

Cardiff Named Britain's Wettest City
It is official; Cardiff is the wettest city in Britain. With 115cms of rain per year it tops the list, which is compiled from the average rainfall figures back until 1981. In a close second place is Glasgow with 112cm per year and in third place is Preston with 103cm per year. However when it comes to average annual days of rainfall the Scottish city wins with 170 days a year, whereas Cardiff is fifth with 149 days. It is arguable as to whether it would be better to have slightly fewer rainy days, but with more intense rainfall, or a lower level sustained over a longer period of time- in an ideal world probably neither! Amongst the top ten rainy cities are Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle.

Switzerland's Yodelling Desires
Switzerland has launched a campaign to give yodelling heritage status, which would mean that it was added to the same list as the Taj Mahal and Stonehenge. Traditionally it was only buildings, monuments and places of natural beauty that were granted this status, however in 2003 the category of 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity' was created. Switzerland's request comes after the Argentinean tango was named a World Heritage tradition in 2009, alongside other things such as falconry and the Mediterranean diet. The yodel was invented in 1830s and is a song sung with a drawn out note which fluctuates between high and low pitch. Some people would perhaps associate the yodel with Julie Andrews, from when her yodelling skills were displayed in The Sound of Music.


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