Take five minutes, go make yourself a cuppa and have some fun looking at some funny and wacky things we have gathered about money, finance, wealth and much more.
It used to be so straightforward. Display the product or item you wished to promote in an attractive manner, have a pleasant sounding jingle coupled with a warm but believable man intoning ‘buy this thing’. What happened? Now you get all manner of ‘techno’ music, flashing lights, screaming people and animals before the blurry image of a certain roll-on deodorant appears. It’s all very confusing. Advertisers have tried a variety of baffling and obnoxious methods to sell us stuff we don’t need – often diving distinctly off the deep end. Here are just some of the worst offenders…
In the 1980’s, the good people at Weetabix tried to convince the populous to eat their delicious brand of breakfast biscuits not via subtle coercion, but by veiled threat. A gang of bovver-booted, bracers wearing ‘skinheads’ ordered you to eat the cereal, ‘if you know what’s good for you’. Terrifying. An entire generation developed an unnatural fear of meals. (Source)
The world of economics and finance has so many buzzwords, expressions and phrases attached to it, the whole lexicon can feel like a foreign language. We use these idioms constantly in our daily lives without giving it much thought. But where do these, sometimes obscure, turns of phrase derive from? Their origins are confusing and sometimes almost unbelievable, but a selection of them are right here…
COST AN ARM AND A LEG
How often have you expressed annoyance at the high price of an object by employing this phrase? But did you ever wonder whose arm and leg you were referring to? It was actually Tsar Olag the Deranged, a fourteenth century Russian leader who became convinced his own limbs were plotting a coup against him. He offered a reward for any serfs who could help overthrow these appendages, thinking few would take up the offer. Instead half a million peasants attended his castle with the intention of taking care of these rebellious limbs for him. The Tsar was never the same again.
Smartphones, tablets and pocket technology has transformed the lives of many. Up to date information, maps, weather news and the whole world wide web is available instantly at our fingertips. Downloadable apps are on offer for a wide range of services and lifestyle aids, covering practically every avenue of our existence. But there are some that appear to be completely pointless, utterly ridiculous or possibly the product of a crazy person. Which, obviously, is eternally entertaining. Here are some of the oddest, most baffling and thoroughly reprehensible apps ever devised.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
Asking the person that you love to spend the rest of their life with you is surely one of the most important landmarks in life. Make sure you sully that memory forever by engaging this app to do the hard work for you. Enter your future bride or groom’s name, plus a brief message along the lines of ‘please marry me’, hand them the handset and see their face register an expression of supreme disappointment before hailing a cab. (Source)
Diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds are among the most prized gemstones known to mankind. The brilliant colours of these sparkling stones have fascinated us for a very long time. Some of the most famous ones have been deemed to have healing or magical powers or even carry a deadly curse. Large sums of money have been paid for these stunning stones over the centuries, but lesser mortals can view some of these beautiful baubles in museums, usually through bulletproof glass. Some of the priciest ones are still in private hands, so just in case you feel like putting in an offer, here’s a look at some of the world’s most valuable gemstones.
The Sancy Diamond
The Sancy is a very well traveled, pale yellow diamond of 55.23 carats. Where it was before 1570 is a mystery, but it’s thought the gem is originally from India. In 1570, Nicholas Harlai, Seigneur de Sancy, French ambassador to Turkey, bought the diamond in Constantinople. Being pretty knowledgeable when it came to gems, the savvy Sancy took the gem back to France, where it attracted the attention of the king, Henry III (left). This particular monarch was going a bit thin on top, but rather than decorating his head with an unflattering comb-over, Henry wore a cap. Since he was a king after all, Henry wanted to look the part, so Sancy lent him the diamond to decorate his royal headgear.
Dollars and Scents
Do you spend your time sniffing money? Probably not, but have you ever wondered why paper money and coins smell the way they do? Or why coins in particular leave that distinctive metallic odor on our hands and fingers? Well, its something common to many of the metal objects we touch and iron is the culprit. The aroma is actually a kind of human body odor, since our skin oils break down and decompose after we touch iron or objects containing this particular metal. Money of course by its very nature gets handled an awful lot and perhaps we don’t really want to know where it’s been. It’s estimated that 42% of paper money and 13% of all coins bills have bacteria on their surfaces, including fecal bacteria. I guess that’s not quite the same as the sweet smell of success. (Source)
We’ve heard so much about banks collapsing in recent years, but what about regular business failures? These don’t necessarily need their major financial backers to go under and are quite capable of going bust by themselves, thank you very much. For every Bill Gates or Richard Branson, there seems to be a multitude of people and companies who haven’t exactly done spectacularly well in the business world. Here’s a look at just a few crazy corporate catastrophes.
Flights of Fancy
Giveaways are a gimmick frequently used by companies in many different industries as a means of boosting sales. What’s more, they usually work, but you have to be careful when choosing what exactly it is you’re giving away. Hoover used to be so dominant in the UK vacuum cleaner market that people referred to “hoovering the carpet” in conversation. When your company name becomes a verb, you’d think that would be a pretty unassailable business position. Unless, of course, someone as a really bad idea.
Shock, horror and wild over-subscription has met the announcement of The Rolling Stones concerts in Hyde Park, with tickets reaching £300 and beyond (and ten times that on the black market). Despite the hefty cost of these VIP allocations, they sold out in seconds. Quite a contrast to their original legendary 1969 Hyde Park concert, which was free (though not free from hippies which is why admission prices are a good thing). But the Stones aren’t alone in allowing their fans to pay enormous amounts to see them play live. Here are a few more costly concerts…
The celebratory show was his birthday AND his anniversary, but Sting fans may have felt slightly stung by the eye-watering prices of this very special concert in New York. The 2011 show featured Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and a whole host of others – and it was all for charity. But even though the dosh was going to a good cause, the £700 admission price must have hurt the scant few people who managed to get their hands on them.
Former Prime Ministers have been much in the news lately. Their legacies, their personalities and their impact on the country have all been placed in the spotlight. But what about their bits and bobs? There is a raging trade in Prime Ministerial paraphernalia, especially in auction rooms where everything from teenage scribblings to clapped-out motors go under the hammer. Here are some of the most interesting political items that have reached the auctioneers block…
DAVID CAMERON’S FIAT
While he’s probably more used to large black vehicles featuring tinted, bulletproof windows and burly men hovering around the outside, there was fevered interest when David Cameron’s rather more humble Fiat went to auction. As well as being owned by an active Prime Minister, this 1971 Fiat 500 L, purchased as a gift for his wife Samantha, was highly collectable in its own right. It eventually sold for £18,000. (Source)
One of the great blunders of movie business history was George Lucas’ studio agreeing to give him all the merchandising rights to his Star Wars films. They didn’t think they’d be any scope in toys and games based on those crazy astro-films. Oh how wrong they were. From action figures to costumes to board games and video games to air-fresheners and everything else that can be moulded from plastic, the series has led to a merchandising bonanza as well as fanatical devotion from collectors and fans. And some of these items sell for astronomical amounts, as you will witness.
QUI-GON JINN LIGHTSABER
The Jedi Master himself, Liam Neeson, offered up his weapon from the first of the prequels, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, to raise money for UNICEF in 2001. Although many fans were not too happy with the more recent of the Star Wars efforts, they still want collectables from the series and the lightsaber sold for $54000.
Let’s face it, if every other film, book, TV show and musical is to be believed, a zombie apocalypse is right around the corner. Before we know it, legions of the shuffling living dead will be filling the streets and inconveniencing our lives. The focus has mainly been on the downside of such an occurrence: the brain eating, the offal gnawing, the general death and mutilation. But surely there must be some positive aspects of such a disaster that we can hope for?
GETTING SERVED IN RESTAURANTS
As a rule, zombies tend to focus on the soft, tender parts of the human body for consumption and rarely bother to cook them. They go for a more ‘buffet’ approach, just grabbing at whatever they fancy attached to the twitching corpse that is before them. This means they have little use for either fine dining or the delights of the fast food emporium. Queues will be much shorter for us survivors and I imagine special deals will be on offer to encourage trade.
Featured Money Sense
Bitcoin Mining - An Introductiread more
How to Make Money on the InterIn 2012, the number of people having a second job in Britain increased to 1.1 million, the highest level since 2002. ... read more
The Cost of Living on Mars80,000 people living on Mars in 20 years is EASILY achievable! Wow that’s quite a statement, right? Well we have done the ... read more
Sex & Shopping: The Story Of HSex sells. Sexy sells better. Perhaps no man has exemplified this more than the great Harry Gordon Selfridge. A man of boundless ... read more
The Most Vengeful WillsYou can't take it with you, but you can thoroughly annoy those that you leave behind. It's the ultimate F.U. to family, ... read more