ODDS, ENDS & IN­SPI­RA­TION

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z It was Swedish poet Vil­helm Ekelund who made the fol­low­ing sage ob­ser­va­tion: “To read fast is as bad as to eat in a hurry.”

z Bul­lies, take note: Direc­tor Wes Craven re­port­edly named the char­ac­ter Freddy Krueger, from the “Night­mare on Elm Street” hor­ror films, af­ter a kid who had bul­lied him in school.

z Though cof­fee has been around for about 700 years, in­stant cof­fee was in­vented just over 100 years ago, in 1906. By Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton. No, it wasn’t that Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton. The man who made cof­fee more con­ve­nient – and, many would say, less flavour­ful – was a Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton from Bel­gium.

z Those who study such things claim that there are roughly 5 mil­lion bub­bles in a sin­gle glass of cham­pagne. That fac­toid begs the ques­tion: How do you count the bub­bles in a glass of cham­pagne? z The next time you’re plan­ning a Euro­pean va­ca­tion, make time to visit the coast of the Nether­lands, where you can stay in one of the world’s most un­usual ho­tels. Along the banks of the Wad­den Sea you’ll find Har­lin­gen Har­bour Crane, an ac­tual der­rick that was once used to haul tim­ber. These days it holds aloft lux­u­ri­ous sleep­ing quar­ters de­signed for only one party at a time. If you need a change of scenery, just head to the con­trol room to swing the crane around un­til you find a view that strikes your fancy. z * Talk about a se­ri­ous typo: In 2008, the Chilean mint is­sued thou­sands of copies of a coin with the coun­try’s name spelled “Chiie” in­stead of “Chile”.

NOW HERE’S A TIP

z Ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice, on av­er­age, they con­tact over 350,000 peo­ple each year about er­rors in their tax re­turns. Omit­ting in­come is the most com­mon mis­take the ATO sees. It is im­por­tant to re­port all your in­come, in­clud­ing pay from sec­ond jobs, for­eign in­come, bank in­ter­est and any Gov­ern­ment pay­ments you re­ceived, the ATO said. z Yes, you can add tea to your baked goods for a re­fined and in­ter­est­ing flavour. Try in­fus­ing melted but­ter with tea leaves and strain, or add fine tea di­rectly to bis­cuit recipes, par­tic­u­larly short­bread recipes. It looks and tastes won­der­ful, and what a com­ple­ment to a steamy cuppa. z “Get grease stains off a con­crete drive­way with kitty lit­ter. Pour sev­eral cups of plain lit­ter over the stain, and wait a cou­ple of hours for it to soak up all the oil. Sweep up and re­move the lit­ter, then fin­ish with a de­greaser and the hose.” – contributed by P.R.

z The fleck test for diner cream­ers: “If you see lit­tle flecks of white in your cof­fee, ask for a new cup and new creamer; it’s start­ing to turn.” – X.S.

z If you have wa­ter stains on your car’s up­hol­stery, use a can of car­pet cleaner. It’s spray and wipe without rins­ing.

z Here’s fun for kids. Se­cure sliv­ers of bar soap in a small mesh bag (we use a cut piece of the bag onions come in). Tie it to the bath tap, and when you draw a bath, let the wa­ter run over the soap. It’s a bub­ble bath! z Send your tips to now-heres-atip@dub­bopho­tonews.com.au

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