Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Five Lessons Learnt is our weekly round-up of all the strange, off-beat and funny news of the week. Perfect for a bit of Friday afternoon entertainment and a light-hearted look at what’s been going on away from the charts!

This week in Five Lessons Learnt: a million pound potato, why having a local pub is good for your health and another good reason to ditch that selfie stick…

1. How to get around the UK

aeroplaneWith train fare hikes and motorway traffic jams, any regular UK commuter will know that getting up and down the country isn’t always the easiest – or the cheapest. So Jordan Cox, a blogger from, came up with a cunning plan to escape his overpriced train fare from Essex to Sheffield. He didn’t just go the extra mile to save a few quid – he went an extra 1,017 miles and flew from Sheffield to Stansted airport, via Berlin.

The expedition saved him £7.72, and he had seven hours to explore the German city and enjoy a currywurst sausage while he waited for his connecting flight. By train, his journey would have cost a total of £51.79, including £47 for his train fare and some pocket money for a ham and cheese toastie and a bus to the station. Travelling via Berlin, he spent £44.07 – which includes a train and a bus from Sheffield to East Midlands Airport, two Ryanair flights, a return train from Berlin airport to the city centre, the bus home from Stansted airport – and his currywurst sausage.

Okay, so it’s not the quickest way of getting from A to B, but sightseeing in European cities has to beat standing on overcrowded train or sitting in rush hour traffic.

2. Morning person? Better give up those astronaut dreams

marsIf you’re an early riser and have always fancied a life on Mars, you’re out of luck.

It turns out that people who get up early in the morning, or have a speedy body clock, are unsuited for life on the Red Planet, where the days run 37 minutes longer than here on Earth.

Scientists have proved that having the right internal clock is vital for a healthy life and reproduction on Mars, and that night owls will be most at home on Mars thanks to their slow-running body clocks, which make it easier to compensate for the slightly longer days.

Good news if you’re a fan of lie ins and burning the midnight oil…

 3. Living near a pub is good for your health

beerNew research from Oxford University has suggested that popping into your local for a quick pint is not a bad thing (no matter what your other half might tell you). The study showed that people who enjoy a pint in a local are “significantly” happier, have more friends, better life satisfaction – and even drink less than those who don’t.

The benefits are down to the greater likelihood of being engaged in conversations in a small community pub, compared to a larger establishment. Our increase in dependency on digital interactions actually increases the importance of having “a local”, highlighting the importance of having a relaxed, accessible place where people can meet old friends and make new ones.

Pint after work, anyone?

4. The €1,000,000 potato

PotatoesIn a rather unusual investment, a European businessman has paid €1 million for a photograph – of a muddy potato. The photo was taken in 2010 by celebrated photographer Kevin Abosch. Abosch’s work has been printed in international magazines like Vogue, and his photos are usually commissioned for in the region of £20,000, but this is the most Abosch has ever been paid for a photograph that has been bought, rather than commissioned.

The pricey potato shot isn’t even one of a kind – another belongs to Abosch’s private collection, and the third was donated to an art museum in Serbia. But after a couple of glasses of wine, the unnamed businessman agreed to buy the piece, and the price was agreed two weeks later.

It’s unknown what happened to the photogenic potato after it was photographed. Maybe it became a jacket potato, maybe it was destined to become a McDonalds chip. It will forever remain a mash-tery.

5. Don’t take selfies

selfieThe danger of taking selfies has been highlighted yet again – after a woman fell 30ft down a well while trying to take a selfie at a tourist spot in India. The woman, who hasn’t been named but is said to be from Austria, was touring the Junagadh fort in Gujarat when she took the tumble.

Luckily, locals heard her fall and jumped to action making a long rope out of their shirts and lowering it down to pull her out of the well. Aside from an injury to her leg and exhaustion, the woman is said to be safe and well thanks to the locals’ quick-thinking.

We won’t tell you again – watch where you’re taking those selfies!

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