Ex­change of the week Can’t you get kicks on the M66?

The Week - - Letters | Pick Of The Week’s Correspondence -

To The Guardian

Why do Amer­i­can road and place names sound so much more ro­man­tic than those in the UK, as in (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66? Get­ting kicks on the M66 just doesn’t seem to cut it. Quite the re­verse I’d say. And how about “Twen­tyFour Hours from Steve­nage”? Does any­one have an explanation for this cu­ri­ous phe­nom­e­non? Dr Mau­reen Til­ford, Nor­wich

To The Guardian

Dr Mau­reen Til­ford laments the lack of ro­man­ti­cism for song­writ­ing pur­poses of UK road and place names. I felt the same 50 years ago, un­til I heard Ewan Mac­coll sing Dirty Old Town and, es­pe­cially, Sweet Thames Flow Softly: “From Put­ney Bridge to Nine Elms Reach we cheek to cheek were danc­ing/ A neck­lace made of Lon­don Bridge her beauty was en­hanc­ing/ … Gave her Hamp­ton Court to twist, flow sweet river flow/ Into a bracelet for her wrist, sweet Thames flow softly.” Tim Jones, Hoy­lake, Wir­ral

To The Guardian

UK place names on dry land may be dull, but the ship­ping fore­cast is pure po­etry. John O’dwyer, Steeple Clay­don, Buck­ing­hamshire

To The Guardian

The United States has nowhere as ro­man­tic as Nemp­nett Thrub­well. An­thony Hinx­man, Port­land, Ore­gon, US

have been fa­mil­iar with sim­i­lar beaches: per­haps an art ex­pert could pro­vide fur­ther il­lu­mi­na­tion on this? Dr Jac­qui Ste­wart, Ex­eter

A hellish world, hot­ter than the sur­face of some stars, was dis­cov­ered this sum­mer. Named Kelt-9b and ly­ing 620 light years away in the con­stel­la­tion of Cygnus, the un­for­tu­nate gas gi­ant is so close to its own star, which is twice as hot as our Sun, that its or­bit takes just 1.5 Earth days. With tem­per­a­tures reach­ing a blis­ter­ing 4,300°C, it is the hottest planet yet found.

Ele­phants rarely sleep Ele­phants are said never to for­get. It turns out they also rarely sleep: ear­lier this year a study con­cluded that they need only two hours sleep a night, less than any other mam­mal. And when they are on the move, they can go 48 hours without any shut-eye (and without hav­ing lie-ins later to com­pen­sate). The re­search in­volved only two ele­phants, how­ever, which were tracked for 35 days. them said that kid­ney stones were more painful.

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