This week in Five Lessons Learnt: how to turn $20 into $1 million, why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, how to stay young, a scootering marathon and a sheep on the rise through the military ranks…
1. How to turn $20 into $1m
In what is probably the most random stroke of luck we’ve ever heard about, California man Hubert Tang hit the jackpot this week – after using a $20 bill he found on the floor to buy two scratch-off lottery tickets. (We bet the person who dropped the $20 note is less than impressed…)
Mr Tang, who is a bartender, was walking outside San Francisco airport when he spotted the bill on the floor and pocketed it, later purchasing his scratch-off tickets and winning the $1 million dollar prize with one of them. Mr Tang says it’s the first time he’s bought lottery tickets in 10 years and puts his win down to “a lucky chance”.
Hubert has no immediate plans for his fortune – although he did joke that he might start leaving $20 bills in random places in the hope of spreading his incredible luck. What goes around comes around, and all that…
2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
But it probably wouldn’t fly with your boss as a reason for turning up to the office late. Unless you’re New Jersey teacher Arnold Anderson, who used his penchant for “breaking the fast” as reasoning for his perpetual lateness when his school threatened to fire him for his tardiness.
Mr Anderson was late for school 111 times last year, and when rebuked, admitted to “a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning and losing track of time”, and said he’d have to give up eating breakfast in order to make it to school on time every day. We see his point, actually. Bacon sandwiches can be pretty distracting.
The teacher has been suspended without pay until 2016, at which point he plans to cut out eating breakfast at home in order to make it to school on time. Well, he’s got a few months to make the most of all the leisurely breakfasts he wants.
We reckon a Smarter Coffee machine would help Mr Anderson get to school on time – if you struggle to get to the office on a morning, would a steaming cup of coffee waiting for you make it that little easier?
3. 50 is the new 42
Ever feel like time is flashing before your eyes? Do you dread your next birthday and the addition of another year to your age? Well, here’s some good news for you – computers are making us all younger. Yes, that’s right – scientists proved this week that using technology is making the brains of the middle-aged sharper.
Although experts previously worried that over-reliance on gadgets would cause people to stop thinking, it turns out mental stimulation from smartphones and computers boost cognitive function – one of the first things to decline with age.
And another study this week showed that despite 18 becoming the official age of adulthood, most young people these days don’t consider themselves “grown up” until the age of 29. So you can put away your slippers and pipe and keep hold of your gadgets for a while yet.
After some new tech to keep you young? Check out our guide to the Tech and Gadgets Every Trader Needs.
4. Scooters aren’t just for kids
We’ve been talking a lot recently about challenges for traders to participate in in their spare time – charity events, bike rides, even rowing the Med. Well, here’s a challenge for anyone who fancies something a bit out of the ordinary. How does travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats by scooter sound?
Plenty of people run the length of the country, and even more cycle it. But Russell Smith decided to opt for a less conventional mode of transport: a Swifty Scooter. He spent 21 days scooting an average of 45 miles a day, completing the 975 mile journey with a top speed of 40mph. Oh, and he racked up two world records while he was at it: the longest journey on a 16-inch scooter, and the longest distance travelled in 24 hours by scooter.
Smith says scooting was a great way to take in the beautiful countryside, although he almost came a cropper just three miles into the epic journey when he lost concentration and fell into a hedge. For his next adventure, Mr Smith is planning a cross country trip using various different modes of transport. Stay tuned…
Don’t fancy scooting? You could always give the laptop-sized, self-powered WalkCar a go. And for more trader challenges, read about the group of traders who rowed from Barcelona to Ibiza for the NOMAN Campaign.
5. How to ram through the ranks
You might think that army life is no life for a sheep. But one rising ram is set to prove you wrong. Derby XXX is the sheep who has been newly promoted to Lance Corporal (or should that be Lance Corpo-wool?) His previous position was as official mascot for the Mercian Regiment’s three battalions, and his promotion (for exceptional performance and good behaviour) was celebrated with a glittering ceremony and his first official stripe.
Derby XXX is officially classed as a soldier, has an ID card and Army number and even earns a wage for his rations. He is also well decorated, with a collection of medals, a silver plate on his forehead embossed with the regimental cap badge and metal protectors on his horns. And as for his official duties: he walks two miles a day, attends various parades and charity functions and leads Derby County FC on the field at home games. And last year, he even switched on Ashbourne, Derbyshire’s Christmas lights (we’ll leave you to puzzle over the logistics of that one).
He’ll be setting up his own baaa-ttalion next…