"At 6.45 this evening, my husband and I went to sit outside at front of the house to have a coffee and enjoy the last of the sun," writes a Mumsnet reader. "We live in a cul-de-sac with benches outside the houses. Our neighbours came back from a dog walk, we chatted, then she said she was going in to make dinner. I mentioned we'd already eaten. And I swear she did a head tilt and tinkly laugh as she said 'gosh that's early'. Then as she went inside and her husband arranged his face in a sort of pitiful expression and asked why we'd eaten so early. It's not just them, I've come across it loads of times. It's as if there's a bizarre sense of superiority to eating at 8pm rather than say 6pm."
Fifty-nine years ago at the Rome Olympics New Zealand had a cracker day, with Peter Snell winning the 800m and Murray Halberg taking out the 5000m. This from NZ History: "Snell was ranked 26th in the world. Coached by Arthur Lydiard, he cruised through the three qualifying rounds, running impressive times. The final was run at a red-hot pace. The favourite, Belgian world record-holder Roger Moens, took the lead with 100m to go and seemed certain to win until Snell surged past him on the inside. When he realised he had won in Olympic record time, Snell was too stunned to take a victory lap. Minutes later, Halberg lined up in the final of the 5000m, for which he had easily qualified. Running to a plan set by Lydiard, he burst ahead of the field with three laps to go and hung on to the finish before collapsing on the infield, completely spent."
A tall story from the Netherlands
Military records show the average height of men in the Netherlands has increased 20cm (8in) in the last 150 years, according to Smithsonian.com.* There is a good explanation, says one Dutch citizen. "One third of our country is lower than the sea level, which is kind of a big deal. Lots of people have drowned in the past due to flooding. We got better in dealing with the water as years went by, but in the past 100 years or so the polar ice has been slowly melting. Sea level has risen by approximately 8in since then. So it's natural selection. All our short people have drowned. It's a big part of our culture. Kids get wooden shoes so they float, we get high to honour those too low to survive. In winter everyone in Amsterdam uses ice skating as the main mode of transportation to show how we aren't scared of the water."
*First part true, next part satire.