It’s our last normal Five Lessons Learnt of the year (next week, we’re going all festive on you in Five Christmas Lessons Learnt). To wrap up 2014, we’ve learnt why baking cuts crime, how much we loving buying gifts (for ourselves), what the world’s most expensive bike costs and that selfies are taking over…
1. Check your Christmas decorations for spelling mistakes
Editor-in-Chief Alexis (@LittlefishFX) found out that our LFX copy isn’t the only thing that needs the occasional spellcheck when he spotted that something wasn’t quite right while putting up this festive banner from Asda.
Once the problem had been pointed out, the supermarket were quick to offer a refund or exchange. But like any good editor would, Alexis decided he’d rather keep hold of the misspelled banner to see how many festive visitors actually notice the mistake…
Merry Crhistmas everyone!
All this Christmas talk stressing you out? Have a read of our Traders’ Guide to Surviving the Festive Season for top tips to help you through.
2. Selfies are everywhere
This isn’t news, surely… but just in case we didn’t already know, a round up of 2014’s Twitter activity has declared 2014 the official ‘Year of the Selfie’. The term #selfie made the top 10 of trending hashtags on Twitter, mentioned over 92 million times across the course of the year. Ellen DeGenere’s Oscars selfie was responsible for a lot of those mentions after being retweeted over 3 millions times – a Twitter record.
Selfies weren’t the biggest Twitter event of the year, though – that of course went to the World Cup, with 672 millions tweets sent about 2014’s Brazil tournament. The Ebola epidemic, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” and the conflict in Gaza also made the top 10.
But the selfie trend was hard to beat in 2014. If you’re as sick of the trend for self-photography as we are, let’s all cross our fingers and hope it dies out in 2015.
3. Panettone is a sweet way to cut crime
A prison in Italy has come up with a novel way to reduce repeat offences – teaching the prisoners to bake panettone from a precise 72-hour recipe that is enshrined in Italian law.
Baking isn’t the only method the prison are using the reduce Italy’s pressing problem of repeat offenders. Prisoners of Padua’s Due Palazzi prison are paid to work on projects like this, as well as in call centres and workshops producing suitcases and bicycles. And we’re not talking minor offenders here – the prisoners in question are serving sentences for crimes including murder.
The theory is that giving prisoners skills and getting them to work on creative tasks prevents them from falling back into crime by allowing them to leave jail having learnt a trade. What do you think? Food for thought or a half-baked idea? (Sorry…)
We say skip the prison-baked panettone and go for freshly-baked brownies and sweet treats from The Sweet Reason Company.
4. We like buying presents (for ourselves)
Guilty of picking up a treat or two for yourself while out Christmas shopping? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. New research from VoucherCodes.co.uk has shown that nearly half of Brits buy gifts for themselves as well as others when they go shopping – and that for every pound spent on someone else, the average British shopper will spend eleven pence on themselves.
17% of Brits surveyed admitted to going shopping for other people and coming home with only gifts for themselves, while 22% are guilty of keeping presents they’d intended to give to other people.
And lastly (and somewhat weirdly) 2% of Brits even wrap up their gifts and put them under the tree. To surprise themselves. How very odd.
Struggling with your Christmas gift shopping? Our Christmas Gift Guide will help you out.
5. What it’ll cost to get on your bike
Keen cyclist on the lookout for a new set of wheels? Maybe this bicycle will take your fancy. It’s a full sized men’s racing bike coated in pure 24 karat gold. Everything from the gears to the pedals is drenched in the precious metal and there’s a sprinkling of diamonds to catch the light if you’re cycling at night.
The pure gold bike doesn’t come cheap, though. In fact, you could buy one hell of a super car for the same price – an eye-watering £250,000. And there’s more bad news – gold is notoriously heavy, so you’re not likely to win the Tour de France on this set of wheels.
For cycling gear that won’t set you back hundreds of thousands, check out our pick of the best gadgets.