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Consumer affairs / Re: Best heater for a small office
« Last post by moonzero2 on 11 January, 2019, 11:11:06 PM »
Okay, so we've moved house (again) and I now have a new office being built - but have the same issue.  I'm in the office most of the day  when the house is empty, so there's no point in putting central heating into the office

What would be my best option for heating economically?  To add to the mix below, IR heaters seem a cost-effective alternative.  Apparently, these heat the items in the room rather than radiating heat, and I have plenty of wall space.  Should I be considering IR heating?

The quick look I had suggests that the costs would be the same as a electric bar fire, so I don't think it would save anything.
Another possibility would be a calor gas cabinet heater, the downside would be that these release a fair bit of water vapour into the air so condensation could be a problem as well as the space needed around it.
Consumer affairs / Re: Failed deliveries by couriers
« Last post by moonzero2 on 11 January, 2019, 11:01:32 PM »
Hi Duff

Was the delivery arranged by the vendor or yourself?

If it was arranged by the vendor then they should sort it out, as only the sender can claim.
As packaging etc is controlled by them, it their responsibility to ensure that the delivery method and packaging is fit for purpose.
Food and drink / Re: Toffee Apples?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 11 January, 2019, 03:36:42 PM »
What were Tiger Nuts?    Duff, Tiger nuts were dead cheap, shaped like musket balls and just as tough to eat. They came in a bag or loose and were diabolical tooth-breakers. They took ages to chew and tasted of nothing except like having a gobful of dried Polyfilla pellets several decades past their sell by date.

The really 'fun' part of Tiger Nuts is that they had really knife-sharp edges that wreaked destruction on (ahem) one’s sensitive lower sphincter as they passed totally undigested through one’s digestive system.  Pooing reached new heights of excruciating eye-watering pain.

Despite all that, we were tough little kids in the 1950's so we kept on coughing up our hard earned pocket money and buying a penn'orth of Tiger Nuts and eating them by the handful (probably only because everything else tastier and kinder on the bum was on ration or hadn’t even been invented then).

They looked like this life-size picture shown down below.

Although we were blissfully ignorant of it at the time, Wiki tells me that Tiger Nuts were little tubers of the Cyperus esculentus plant which is a member of the sedge family that's widespread across much of the world. It is found in most of the Eastern Hemisphere, including Southern Europe, Africa and Madagascar, as well as the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Now the good news! Remarkably, these days Tiger Nuts have been rediscovered and labelled as a superfood! Apparently (despite their bum demolitioning properties) they are supposed to be actually good for you, as this website attests...


You can, if you are feeling really suicidal or having a Vegan moment, even buy them for 13 quid a kilo from Amazon!  A kilo will take the average family of four a lifetime to masticate, probably longer.  You have been warned!

Food and drink / Re: Toffee Apples?
« Last post by Duffield1 on 03 January, 2019, 11:23:40 AM »
I think that the 'toffee' part was largely replaced by chocolate by retailers - probably because you'll remember the sticky state we used to get into when you tried to eat a toffee apple!  We bought some for the kids in October from the supermarket (they went in the bin in mid-November, when they still hadn't been eaten!).

What were Tiger Nuts?  I remember squirrel nuts - which were an incredibly hard bit of toffee coated in chocolate, and our local retro sweet shop still sells those.

I miss Striper bars - you always used to get them free sellotaped to the front cover of Look In magazine. 
Art and literature / Re: What's the longest paperback novel published?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 03 January, 2019, 12:33:55 AM »
Sorry it's taken me so long to answer you Cosmos but I have been a bit busy word counting.  Anyway, thanks for being patient waiting for answers for almost 2 years!

To cut a long story sideways, my trusty mole in the bowels of Wikipedia tells me that 'Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus' a French novel by Georges and/or Madeleine de Scudéry Augustin Courbé (1649–53) is the world's longest novel - it runs to a hefty 13,095 pages or nearly 2 million words (1,954,300 words to be exact).


Here's some good news to all you Australians, the MentalFloss website poo-poos Wiki and says that longest novel in the world is actually an Australian novel called "The Blah Story" by Nigel Tomm - and that novel is m i l e s longer at 3,277,227 words even though it only runs to a mere 7,312 pages.

Okay, okay, so the French book is about 5,000 or so pages longer than the Aussie "Blah Story", but I say it is only the word count that is the reliable way to tell which book is the longest - after all, that  French book may have more pages but the pages could easily be much smaller, and the type could be in much larger point size. Oui?

I haven't read either book so I can't really say. But Wiki goes on to say that "The Blah Story" contains the world's longest word and the world's longest ever sentence - the sentence starts in Volume 16 of the novel, continues right through Volume 17, and  ends somewhere in Volume 18.

But, but, but...There's one dreadfully worrying thing about "The Blah Story" and that is that it is described as an abstract novel.  Never read an abstract novel so I had to google it.

I googled the words "The Blah Story" by Nigel Tomm and I looked in Images at its squillions of sample pages and to be honest "The Blah Story" don't look much like any uvver novel wot I have read.  In fact, it doesn't anything at all like any novel I have read.  Quite the opposite. 

But Cosmos, try googling "The Blah Story" by Nigel Tomm yourself and you'll see what I mean.

So all told, maybe those Frenchies do have the world record after all?  Who knows?  To be sure, check out those three websites listed below and then also have a peek in Google Images for "The Blah Story" by Nigel Tomm and have a look at all the opened sample pages of the novel and then you decide for yourself.  Best of luck!

PS  I can't say if "The Blah Story" is still in print - you could ask your local bookshop in Australia, they'd know and probably be able to order it for you to read through those long winter nights.

And I can't be sure that 'Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus is in print or was even published in paper back back (it certainly wouldn't have been in paperback, back in the 1600s). 

Maybe someone else on IA knows if they're still in print and can give you the answers?

Sources:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_novels#List



Food and drink / Toffee Apples?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 02 January, 2019, 11:01:31 PM »
Yep. Toffee apples.  Remember toffee apples?   When I was a little kid, toffee apples seemed to be everywhere.  But I just realised that I never even see a toffee apple anywhere anymore. And haven't for donkey's years. 

So, question one... Why?  What made the world suddenly go off toffee apples?  I can't figure it out.  Can you?

And (an easier question) here's question number two...How many other 'treats' of your childhood have also disappeared without trace?  And why do you reckon they have disappeared?

I can start the list of disappeared treats rolling with...Tiger Nuts - Gawd, tiger nuts.  They probably disappeared because they tasted like chewing builder's gravel.  Bleuuurch!  No great loss to the world.

Can you add any more to the list?
Language / Re: In French, what's the correct form of the verb for a shopping list
« Last post by ecollen on 18 December, 2018, 01:58:46 PM »
Hi Duffield
Thanks. Yes, that sounds reasonable.
Language / Re: In French, what's the correct form of the verb for a shopping list
« Last post by Duffield1 on 18 December, 2018, 01:24:21 PM »
I'd say it depends on usage - if you are instructing yourself, I'd tutoyer rather than vousvoyer, so 'achète' would be correct.
Language / Re: In French, what's the correct form of the verb for a shopping list
« Last post by ecollen on 18 December, 2018, 06:17:26 AM »
Hi P-Kasso2
Merci for your reply!
Yes, it sounds logical that it should be the imperative - but then who said language is logical ... :-)
Tres rusty - ha ha - that's good.
As you say, it might be good to get another opinion. I wonder if there's a French equivalent site to IA. It would probably be quite useful if I could find one like that.
Language / Re: In French, what's the correct form of the verb for a shopping list
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 17 December, 2018, 01:03:28 PM »
According to my schoolboy French (which is now so tres rusty it desperately needs an MOT check)...

Achetez is the correct verb to use. Achetez, as in the sentence...

" So I told him 'Achetez des cartes de Noël!' "

That's the imperative. At least I think that is right. Could be un petit wrong though. Best to get a second opinion methinks?
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