Five Lessons Learnt This Week

There’s week one of Feb done! Time to catch up on the week’s funny, crazy and downright weird news from around the world.

This week in Five Lessons Learnt, we’ve found out why you should keep your iPad away from the kiddos, why your work commute isn’t as bad as you thought and that a cure for man flu is in sight…

1. Don’t let your kids play with your iPad

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.45.32Or you might find yourself inviting your followers to play Hello Kitty World with you, just like MP Douglas Carswell did this week. The politician, who defected from the Conservative Party to join UKIP last year, was left red-faced after unknowingly tweeting a picture of the children’s game with his apparent endorsement.

Naturally, Twitter did not let him get away with the slip-up, and his Hello Kitty World invitation has been retweeted 1,200 times and received 450 favourites. He’s also had his fair share of sarcastic replies, including one from the Conservative party who bluntly responded “No thanks”.

Carswell quickly blamed his five-year-old daughter, tweeting “Oops! That’s the last time I leave the five year old in charge of the iPad (but it is a great game!)” And then he realised something even more embarrassing – his daughter’s first ever tweet was far more popular than any of his.

If Hello Kitty World isn’t quite your thing (we won’t judge if it is…) try the latest apps for traders instead. 

2. Your commute isn’t so bad

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 16.11.01No, really. No matter how many train delays you’ve sat through or how much the traffic in rush hour winds you up, you still can’t compete with James Robertson, from Detroit, who walks the 21 miles to work every single day.

The engineer has been trudging the best part of a marathon every day since his 19980 Honda Accord broke down 10 years ago. Paid just £7 an hour, he couldn’t afford to shell out for a new car – but it hasn’t stopped him. He has a perfect attendance record, making his daily hike come rain, sun or shine without a single sickie.

His boss at the engineering factory, Todd Wilson, sets the factory’s attendance standard by Robertson and says he has a work ethic that would put anyone to shame. And Robertson’s work ethic has paid off . After his story was published in the Detroit Press last weekend, a Kickstarter campaign to buy him a new set of wheels has raised $154,000 – smashing the original £3,300 target. Now all Robertson has to do is decide whether to go for a Bentley or a Lambo…

To help Robertson pick his new vehicle, here are the highlights from the Detroit Motor Show

3. Always read the small print

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 16.32.21Especially when you’re buying things over the internet. Or you might not get quite what you’re expecting – like Paul Barrington, who thought he’d struck lucky when he won an Ebay auction for a MacBook Pro (worth £1,500) with a bid of £300.

The catch came when his package arrived – and felt suspiciously light. Sure enough, all the box contained was a black-and-white photocopy of a photo of the laptop Paul thought he’d bought. And to add insult to injury, Paul had bid on the laptop with money he’d made from selling his beloved surfboard in the hopes of setting up his own business (violins time).

Fortunately, Ebay have since refunded Mr Barrington’s money and apologised for the error. But we’ll be scanning the terms and conditions of any online orders a bit more carefully in future.

4. Don’t trust technology

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 19.36.16Technology is a wonderful thing – until it goes wrong. A fine example of which was the text message glitch that struck a Cornwall secondary school this week, sending a text message out to hundreds of families informing them that their children had failed to turn up to school and asking them to let staff know why.

Wadebridge School were unaware of the mishap until the school switchboard became jammed with calls from panic-stricken parents who assumed their offspring were playing truant or worse, suffered an accident. The automated text messages are normally used to alert parents whose children are unexpectedly missing from morning registration, but in this case, went out to every parent whose contact details were on record as a result of an “administrative workflow issue”.

And when the panicked parents started to call the school in droves, technology failed again as the switchboard jammed, leaving families unable to get through to the school to find out the whereabouts of their missing children for up to an hour. So if your child tries to convince you their poor attendance report is the result of a computer glitch, they might just be telling you the truth.

Don’t let this story put you off technology – shop the latest tech for traders here instead

5. Man flu is a thing of the past

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 19.44.54We’re rounding up this week’s Five Lessons Learnt with a bit of good news – a cure for the common cold is in sight! A scientific breakthrough this week could mean an end to colds and winter vomiting bugs after scientists found a way to “jam” the genetic code to stop the virus from replicating. They’ve identified a code in the viral genome that causes rhinoviruses (the most common group of viruses and the cause of most colds).

Basically, this will allow scientists to design molecules which could “stop the virus in its tracks” before illness even starts. The bad news is, despite this significant breakthrough you’ll probably have to battle on with that runny nose for a few more winters yet. Trials on animal viruses will be carried out first to allow scientists to develop a drug that will block colds and flu.

So don’t chuck out the chicken soup and man size Kleenex just yet.

If you’ve been struck down by the dreaded man flu, there’s only one cure – planning your summer hols. Here are our favourite travel spots for traders…