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MarkAshley
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Mon 18 Mar, 2013 09.16

Burning nagging thought or simply "I've always wondered that"? Here's your chance to have it answered. Provided you can answer the previous poster's query. So if you can answer me this, you'll get to ask a question of your own for the next person to answer.

A: 42.

Q: Why is it in this country we have six episodes to a series on the tellybox? The States for example would offer up 24 episodes per season. This generally leads to a lot of barrel scraping, but the fact remains a series over there is four times the length of one here. Is there a real reason the arbitrary figure of six has been chosen over the equally arbitrary amount of 24?
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Gavin Scott
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Mon 18 Mar, 2013 17.00

A: It may be down to the fact that the USA require 100 episodes of a programme for it to be sold into syndication - this usually reached when they enter their fifth season; although there are exceptions.

The figure of 6 may be down to the very different model of sitcoms etc being written for the BBC, where re-sale hasn't traditionally been uppermost in the minds of producers, and/or this limted figure allows the writers and talent to work on other projects throughout the year rather than being tied to only one.

Q: Why do people laugh anyway when Reginald D Hunter doesn't say anything funny on panel shows? Is it possible people are worried that if they don't he will suggest racism by saying, "you aren't laughing because I'm the black dude, right?".
Alexia
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Mon 18 Mar, 2013 20.32

A: The simple answer is that comedy is subjective. I found his appearances on QI and HIGNFY amusing, even if only slightly in parts. He plays the fish out of water card rather than the racist card. In general I would add that I think him and other American comedians such as Rich Hall also prefer the reaction they get here in the UK as opposed to at home because on the whole we have a broader, more nuanced appreciation of different types of comedy, as opposed to the USA's less subtle, less risky approach. Would the Americans get Tim Vine (Flag Hippo / Pen Behind The Ear / Hockey Stick Behind The Ear), or Milton "My other Grandfather" Jones?

Q: Why is it that when you buy a car, the previous owner must supply a full service history, including modifications, repairs, enhancements etc. yet when you're buying a house, YOU must pay up to £200 for a survey to find out if there's anything wrong with it?
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WillPS
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Mon 18 Mar, 2013 21.13

Alexia wrote:A: The simple answer is that comedy is subjective. I found his appearances on QI and HIGNFY amusing, even if only slightly in parts. He plays the fish out of water card rather than the racist card. In general I would add that I think him and other American comedians such as Rich Hall also prefer the reaction they get here in the UK as opposed to at home because on the whole we have a broader, more nuanced appreciation of different types of comedy, as opposed to the USA's less subtle, less risky approach. Would the Americans get Tim Vine (Flag Hippo / Pen Behind The Ear / Hockey Stick Behind The Ear), or Milton "My other Grandfather" Jones?

Q: Why is it that when you buy a car, the previous owner must supply a full service history, including modifications, repairs, enhancements etc. yet when you're buying a house, YOU must pay up to £200 for a survey to find out if there's anything wrong with it?
A: Because cars are not designed to last more than 20 years, and most houses are designed to last considerably more than that. Also, the law regarding the sale of property is ancient and the law regarding the sale of vehicles can be pinpointed to a number of dates in the last 100 years.

Q: Why did Morrisons abandon the Safeway Megastore format in 2005, only to return to it in one form or other a few years later?
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woah
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Mon 18 Mar, 2013 21.55

WillPS wrote: Q: Why did Morrisons abandon the Safeway Megastore format in 2005, only to return to it in one form or other a few years later?
I would hazard a guess it's the same reason for the big changes that have happened at Morrisons over the past 5 years or so - they were beginning to look outdated and so it was time to try out new branding, new product ranges, and of course new store layouts. Back in 2005 things were quite different at Morrisons.

Q: Why does the Government (or local councils etc.) continue to make cuts to essential services yet continue to fund silly things? Take the free city centre bus here in Sheffield. It got brand new vehicles last year, again, whist other paid services suffer with old vehicles - and all it does is carry round pensioners and the Jeremy Kyle lot who can't be arsed to walk. Those who have trouble with mobility can get on buses for free anyway so I cannot see the point of it and I can't imagine it's cheap to have three buses running round all day long.
Alexia
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Wed 20 Mar, 2013 17.19

A: If there's specific funding for it, a local authority will use it / snap it up like it's raw gold dust. One of the things I learnt in working for LG is that you spend your budget on whatever you can, wherever you can, otherwise it'll get cut next year and/or the citizens will demand their tax back. Used to be hilarious in March in the library - suddenly all manner of books, most of which were neither use nor ornament to the general populus, would suddenly appear before the new financial year came just so that there would be a similar amount in the book fund for the next financial year. Your bus service has probably been given a grant so it can run, from Europe or other-where, possibly to do with environmental targets etc, so while it may appear like a pointless exercise on the surface, the finances may not be quite so black and white as a waste of your £77 a month.

On a similar note:
Q: You're walking along a suburban / residential street drinking a can or bottle of soft drink. You have about a mile or so to go before you get home, and you finish your drink. Along the side of the street are each house's municipal recycling boxes. Do you drop your empty container into one of them or carry it all the way home? What harm does it do - it'll get recycled whether its in your box or theirs....?
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MarkAshley
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Sun 24 Mar, 2013 23.00

A: the people of Sheffield don't have this "walking home" problem, given their fantastic bus service.

Trouble is, your bin generally is your bin. Round my way we got a charge on our council tax bills one year for our three bins (general waste, recycling, garden waste). We all pay for our bins to be emptied through council tax, but we also all pay for the upkeep of the roads through the Road Fund Licence (well, that's the theory of course) but you wouldn't feel okay about using someone else's car without their say so to drive on the public roads you've helped pay for, would you? I know it's a far removed argument, but it boils down to about the same thing. My bin is my bin.

Therefore the reason it's a problem is you're making use of someone else's property to save yourself carrying a tin can home.


Q: the Dutch have yellow ones, the Irish prefer white, but ours are both. Now that you've worked out what I'm talking about, the question is, why the variations? (Don't even get me started on Belgium.)
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WillPS
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Mon 25 Mar, 2013 03.31

we also all pay for the upkeep of the roads through the Road Fund Licence (well, that's the theory of course) but you wouldn't feel okay about using someone else's car without their say so to drive on the public roads you've helped pay for, would you?
That is total bullshit. There isn't such a tax, and that certainly isn't the theory. The tax is Vehicle Excise Duty, it is a tax on usage of a vehicle. It isn't provisioned in any specific manner - it all goes in to general taxation, just as VAT, Income Tax, Corporation Tax and anything other such tax does; the 5p worth of VAT I paid on the Mars bar I could have purchased today has as much relation to the funding of the roads as VED.

The theory is specifically the opposite of that you stated; to prevent motorists from feeling as though they have some kind of paid right to the roads.

With regards to your question - and assuming that you're talking about vehicle registration plates - I can't work out whether you're inquiring as to the reason behind different countries having different standards, or to the reason behind the UK's standard being different for front and back.

In the case of the former, the answer is obvious - because the opinions of the people/person involved with the decision were different on a country-by-country basis. There's little advantage in unifying it across the EU; and in fact having distinctive styles could be a benefit of sorts since native drivers will be able to identify cars (and, intuitively, drivers) from outside the UK and adjust their expectations accordingly.

In the case of the latter, there are a few reasons why it's of benefit. First of all, when towing a vehicle in reverse you can leave the white plate on show for the vehicle on tow, and attach a yellow plate for the vehicle towing (you see this occasionally with lorries traveling 'back to back' between depots). It also functions as an indication as to the direction of travel of a vehicle (remember the scheme was devised when cars were a lot boxier than they are now); perhaps useful on a tight twisting country lane.

Q: Why do most post mix vendors in the UK only offer a choice of around 4 soda products?
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Alexia
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Mon 25 Mar, 2013 14.35

I thought kraM was on about potatoes incidentally.

A: Assuming for the moment you are talking about Cola, Diet Cola, Lemonade and Orangeade, then that's because those are the 4 highest selling flavours in the UK and as such are the most economically viable to have in syrup form. Generally soda syrup shelf-life is one-third the length of bottled/canned carbonates, and as such suppliers and vendors have to manage their stocks accordingly.

The UK's soft drink sales in 2011 fell into the following categories:
Cola 53% (including diet cola)
Fruit 14% (orangeade / appleade)
Lemonade 14%
Energy 7%
Other 12%

Also, the drinks offered can vary between restaurants - Taybarn's for example offers Apple Tango as well as Orange Tango, and some establishments (such as Harvester) will offer all three varieties of Pepsi.


Q: Nando's - yay or nay?
Jake
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue 27 Jun, 2006 13.00
Location: Derbyshire

Mon 25 Mar, 2013 15.23

A: Yay, but at the end of the day it's overpriced chicken & chips.

Q: Why did US TV seem to take so long to switch to 16:9?
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madmusician
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Location: Worcester, UK

Mon 25 Mar, 2013 17.22

A. Because 16:9 was tied up with HD over there. They don't have SD 16:9, AFAIK. It's either SD 4:3 or HD 16:9.

Q. Is it true that it can be 'too cold to snow'? That's what my grandparents were claiming this weekend, but I smell BS...
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