The Friday Irregular

Issue #767 - 17th May 2024

Edited by and copyright ©2024 Simon Lamont
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Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars. Currency conversions are at current rates at time of writing and may be rounded.
The Friday Irregular uses Common Era year notation.






  n. the irrational fear of stickers, including sticky labels and sticky notes


Friday 17th May
    - Day 138/366
  -   Artist Sandro Botticelli died, 1510. The marriage of King Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn was annulled, 1536. Empress Catherine I of Russia died, 1727. Physician and vaccine pioneer Edward Jenner born, 1749. L. Frank Baum's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in the U.S., 1900. Singer-songwriter Andrea Corr born, 1974. World Information Society Day. (UN) International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Saturday 18th May
    - Day 139/366
  -   Persian astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam born, 1048. Members of the local militia massacred the French garrison in Bruges, 1302. Astrologer, antiquarian, politician and museum founder Elias Ashmole died, 1692. Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn born, 1919. Mount St Helens in Washington state erupted, 1980. Actress Elizabeth Montgomery died, 1995. International Museum Day.
Sunday 19th May
    - Day 140/366
  -   Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England, was executed, 1536. The Long Parliament passed an Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth, 1649. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen of King George III of the United Kingdom, born, 1744. Army officer, diplomat and archaeologist T.E. Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia, died, 1935. Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at a birthday salute in Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1962. Drummer Stuart Cable born, 1970.
Monday 20th May
    - Day 141/366
  -   Explorer Christopher Columbus died, 1506. Abraham Ortelius published Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas, 1570. Novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac born, 1799. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were granted a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets, 1873. Singer-songwriter Cher born, 1946. Actress Barbara Murray died, 2014. World Metrology Day (UNESCO). World Bee Day (UN).
Tuesday 21st May
    - Day 142/366
  -   Explorer Hernando de Soto died, 1542. Daniel Defoe was imprisoned for seditious libel, 1703. Mineralogist William Babington born, 1756. Sociologist, activist, co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams died, 1935. Paralympic swimmer Claire Cashmore born, 1988. The world failed to end, despite the prediction of evangelical radio broadcaster Harold Camping, 2011. World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (UN). International Tea Day (UN).
Wednesday 22nd May
    - Day 143/366
  -   The Wars of the Roses began with the defeat and capture of King Henry VI of England at the First Battle of St Albans, 1455. Martha Washington, 1st First Lady of the United States, died, 1802. Artist Mary Cassatt born, 1844. Future US President Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for a boat-lifting mechanism, 1849. Soccer player and manager George Best born, 1946. Actor Richard Biggs died, 2004. International Day for Biological Diversity (UN). World Goth Day.
Thursday 23rd May
    - Day 144/366
  -   Burgundian troops captured Joan of Arc at the Siege of Compiègne, 1430. Pirate William Kidd was hanged, 1701. Botanist Carl Linnaeus born, 1707. The New York Public Library was dedicated, 1911. Criminal Bonnie Parker was shot dead in an ambush, alongside Clyde Barrow, 1934. Singer-songwriter and actress Jewel born, 1974. World Turtle Day.


This week, Marilyn Monroe:
Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.


A selection of quotations from films containing the word 'office' in the title, either as a whole word or part of a word. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's 'wood' quotations were from:


Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...

IN BRIEF: St Helen's Primary School in Alveston, near Bristol, has a new school library. It is inside a forward section of aircraft fuselage the school bought last year, and doubles as an outdoor classroom. ● The Metropolitan Police and the Defence Science and Technology Lab are developing a backpack-based weapon to disable illegally-ridden e-bikes and e-scooters with an electromagnetic pulse. ● To test whether people read terms and conditions the non-profit Tax Policy Associates included an extra sentence in a clause, which read "This website uses cookies so it remembers your name if you leave a comment. You can reject them if you like. We will send a bottle of good wine to the first person to read this. We don't serve any advertising." [Our emphasis -Ed]. It took three months for somebody to claim the wine... ● A woman who fought off a crocodile that was attacking her twin sister has been awarded a King's Gallantry Medal. Georgia Laurie, 31, repeated punched the crocodile's head while it attacked Melissa as they swam in Mexico in June 2021. Both were hospitalised with Melissa developing sepsis and put into a medically-induced coma, but have since recovered. Toni Schiavone, a member of Cymdeithas yr laith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language Society, has lost his fight against a parking company over a parking ticket issued in Wales that was written in English only, because there was no legal requirement for it to be bilingual. He was refused the right to appeal and ordered to pay costs, which he has said he will not do and called for legislation to mandate the use of the Welsh language at least bilingually. ● Two records were set on Mount Everest last Sunday with Kami Rita Sherpa, who has guided ascents for over 20 years, scaling the peak for the 29th time and Kenton Cool becoming the first Briton to summit it 18 times. ● More than 200 questionably-coiffured people gathered in Quievrain, Belgium, earlier this week for the European Mullet Festival, which first took place in 2019. ● Japanese scientists are looking for volunteers to trial a tooth regrowth drug starting in September. ● British researchers are testing a quantum technology based system which could be an unjammable backup for satellite GPS navigation systems in aircraft. Since the invasion of Ukraine Russia has been accused of indiscriminately jamming GPS, used in aircraft and guided missiles, which has led to several civilian flights over Eastern Europe having to turn around. The new system employs atoms cooled to almost absolute zero (-273oC, -459.4oF), carried aboard the plane itself, which can be used to measure direction and acceleration.

UPDATES: As this issue is being written Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, are due to appear at Newcastle Magistrates' Court charged with criminal damage to the Sycamore Gap tree, cut down at night last September 28th, and to Hadrian's Wall. The damage to the tree, a much-photographed landmark that had been growing in a gap in the Wall since the late 1800s, has been put at £622,191 ($787,400) and damage to the Roman wall at £1,144 ($1,450).


     Leading Actress: Sarah Lancashire, Happy Valley (BBC One); Leading Actor: Timothy Spall, The Sixth Commandment (BBC One); Supporting Actress: Jasmine Jobson, Top Boy (Netflix); Supporting Actor: Matthew Macfadyen, Succession (Sky Atlantic); Female Performance in a Comedy: Gbemisola Ikumelo, Black Ops (BBC One); Male Performance in a Comedy: Mawaan Rizwan, Juice (BBC Three); Entertainment Performance: Joe Lycett, Late Night Lycett (Channel 4).
     Drama Series: Top Boy (Netflix); Limited Drama: The Sixth Commandment (BBC One); Scripted Comedy: Such Brave Girls (BBC Three); Soap: Casualty (BBC One); Comedy Entertainment Programme: Rob & Romesh Vs (Sky Max); Factual Entertainment: Celebrity Race Around the World (BBC One); Reality: Squid Game: The Challenge (Netflix).
     Daytime: Scam Interceptors (BBC One); International: Class Act (Netflix); Live Event Coverage: Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (BBC One); Current Affairs: The Shamima Begum Story [This World] (BBC Two); Single Documentary: Ellie Simmonds: Finding My Secret Family (ITV1); Factual Series: Lockerbie (Sky Documentaries); Specialist Factual: White Nanny, Black Child (Channel 5); News Coverage: Inside Gaza: Israel and Hamas at War (Channel 4 News); Sports Coverage: Cheltenham Festival Day One (ITV1).
     Memorable Moment: Happy Valley, Catherine Cawood and Tommy Lee Royce's final kitchen showdown (BBC One); Short Form: Mobility (BBC Three); BAFTA Fellowship: Floella Benjamin, Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham OM, DBE, DL.

British Book Awards
     Author of the Year: Katherine Rundell; Book of the Year: G.T. Karber, Murdle.
     Audiobook Fiction: Lisa Jewell, None of This is True; Audiobook Non-Fiction: Fern Brady, Strong Female Character.
     Children's Fiction: Katherine Rundell, Impossible Creatures; Children's Non-Fiction: Atinuke, Brilliant Black British History; Children's Illustrated: Jamie Smart, Bunny vs Monkey: Multiverse Mix-Up.
     Crime & Thriller: Lisa Jewell, None of This is True; Debut Fiction: Alice Winn, In Memoriam; Discover: Raksha Dave, Lessons From Our Ancestors; Fiction: Rebecca F. Kuang, Yellowface.
     Non-Fiction Lifestyle & Illustrated: G.T. Karber, Murdle; Non-Fiction Narrative: Rory Stewart, Politics on the Edge; Pageturner: Rebecca Yarros, Fourth Wing.


Musician and producer Steve Albini (Big Black, Pixies, Nirvana, 61), transplant patient Richard Slayman (first human recipient of a pig kidney transplant last March, 62), actress and stuntwoman Susan Backlinie (Jaws [the first victim, self-parodied in 1941], The Great Muppet Caper, The Fall Guy [TV], 77), saxophonist David Sanborn (David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, 78), writer and journalist Dame Shirley Conran (Lace, Superwoman, Vanity Fair magazine, 91), short story writer Alice Munro (Dance of the Happy Shades, Friend of My Youth, 2013 Nobel laureate for Literature, 92), "King of Cult "filmmaker and distributor Roger Corman (The Little Shop of Horrors [1960], The Masque of the Red Death, House of Usher, 98), actress Gudrun Ure (Super Gran, The Crow Road, Casualty, 98).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
3, 25, 28, 44, 46, 49
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    The class had been having an English lesson about interrogatives. "Alright, children," the teacher said, "I'm going to give you an interrogative - a question word - and I want you to tell me a question using it. Now, Little Simon, can you give me a question using 'what'?"
    Little Simon thought for a moment. "What is for dinner, Miss?"
    "Very good. Now, Little Mary, please give me a question using 'who'?"
    Little Mary thought for a moment. "Who is the King, Miss?"
    "Well done. Now, Little Jennifer, can you give me a question using 'why'?"
    Without pausing Little Jennifer smiled as only she could. "Why, Miss?"

^ ...end of line