James Explains Jaffa Cakes Amongst Other Things

James Explains

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Welcome back to another ‘James Explains’ – the home of knowledge. But not the home of wisdom.

Or knowledge really.

This is a place where questions will be answered. Not always, admittedly, with the correct answers. But it’s the thought that counts.

And so on with the questions:

Glen who previously asked about combs and then asked about tools and who still resides in Australia asks:

While cookies are baking can it be said the cookies are loading?

I think you’ve mixed up your cookies there Glen, but that’s OK. You can say they’re loading if you like. I have no objections.

But I would ask in return, while cookies are loading can it be said the cookies are baking?

And of course the answer is definitely probably yes.

Haylee who previously asked about lions and bears and hot dogs and is still from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to me asks:

Jaffa, cake or biscuit? (Standard, centuries old dilemma!)

A dilemma indeed, although as they’re called Jaffa Cakes I think it’s obvious they are cakes. Cakes that seem to be quite a lot like biscuits admittedly.

I don’t think it matters. They are what they are and what they are is delicious. I had some cranberry and clementine Jaffa Cakes over the Christmas period and they were tremendous.

And definitely cakes.

That seem a bit like biscuits.

Bryntin, who is from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to either me or Haylee asks:

James, please explain Jacob Rees-Mogg and how he can possibly still not appear aged after leaving university in 1838.

Now this is a mystery and there really can be only one explanation. And that is Jacob Rees-Mogg is a vampire and therefore immortal.

But, I hear you cry, Jacob Rees-Mogg seems to be perfectly happy going out in daylight.

And that is true, he doesn’t mind daylight. But that’s because he’s that rare thing in the world of vampires, the ’Daywalker’.

In fact 1998 movie Blade is actually based quite heavily on the life of Jacob Rees-Mogg. It’s a great film but it did raise some eyebrows at the time because some people thought the casting choice of Wesley Snipes was an interesting direction to go in. But I think Snipes captures the essence of Rees-Mogg fully in that movie and the, frankly brilliant sequel Blade II. I was less sure about his performance in the third Blade movie, but he did his best with a poor script, and it was still probably  better than the forthcoming ‘Blade Brexit’ is going to be. Not much is known about the script but the premise seems to be that the title character becomes the unlikely leader of the Conservative party and in doing so also becomes a Prime Minister without a mandate who leads Britain out of the clutches of the European Union and into economic uncertainty and isolationism. Many think that it’s too far-fetched.

And that’s it for another James Explains. Tune in next week to see if anyone has bothered to ask me any more questions.

If you’d like James to answer a question on James Explains, then why not ask it in the comments below?

 

James Explains Hot Dogs Amongst Other Things

James Explains

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It’s Tuesday and according to my not-very-strictly-observed blogging schedule, today is the day I explain things.

It may well be things that people have asked me to explain or it could be things that no-one asked me to explain.

It may be things I know something about or it may be things I know nothing about.

But dammit I will explain.

And today I will be explaining the following things:

Glen who previously asked about combs and is still from Australia asks:

How did people make the first tools if they didn’t have any tools?

Well Glen, that is a question. And another question is what did poor workmen blame before there were any tools?

And the answer, quite simply, is rocks. They blamed rocks. Because they couldn’t accept that they were just poor workmen.

But the good workmen, they took those poor scapegoated rocks and they made tools with them. Somehow. And then the poor workmen were happy because they had some tools to blame.

Which is better than blaming rocks.

Pete, who previously asked about my name and is still from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to me asks:

What is the point?

A marvellous question Pete. And one I’ll answer right now.

A point is the tapered sharp end of a tool, weapon, or other object. If a rock has a point then you can probably use it to make tools.

But you weren’t asking about ‘a point’ you were asking about ‘the point’ and your use of the definite article changes everything.

Because the answer to that question is that there is no point Pete.

None at all.

Unless you’re referring to the tapered sharp end of a specific object.

In which case, that is the point.

Haylee who previously asked about lions and bears and is still from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to either me or Pete asks:

Is a hotdog a sandwich?

Well you’ve opened up a can of frankfurters there Haylee and no mistake.

According to my research, which consisted of clicking on one link, there is much debate on this matter.

Apparently people really care about this.

So I’m going to sit on the fence on this one, because I really don’t care.

Although it obviously is a sandwich.

Finally Tragically Uncool from (I think) the USA asks:

Will American corporations figure out they’re in a race to the bottom (in terms of product quality, financial ethics and overall social responsibility) before they actually reach the bottom or only after they’ve completely decimated the country?

That is a superb question Tragically Uncool and one I’m in no way qualified to answer. Partly because I’m British but also because I don’t really know anything about anything.

But I’d hazard a guess that the answer to your questions is probably that they will never realise and things will only get worse.

And on that optimistic note, that’s it for me for another week.

I may be back explaining stuff next week.

Who knows?

If you’ve got a question that you need James to answer then why not ask it in the comments below?

 

James Explains Rubber Duckies Amongst Other Things

James Explains

ducks-452485_640Hello and welcome back to ‘James Explains’, the bit of my blog where I explain stuff.

This is the first proper ‘James Explains’ after last week’s introductory post. And the response to this new feature has been absolutely whelming. Which is to say neither underwhelming (which would’ve been no questions at all) nor overwhelming (which would’ve been more questions than I can possibly answer).

Still, I won’t be answering all the enquiries I’ve received on the basis that I don’t know if anyone will bother asking anything ever again, so I’m saving some of the queries until next week.

Obviously if the response to this feature moves up a notch from whelming to overwhelming then I’ll reconsider that policy, but there is a definite and distinct possibility that we’re more likely to head in the other direction towards underwhelming and I’d regret it if I’d put all my metaphorical eggs into this particular basket.

Nonetheless, it would remiss of me not to explain anything today so, without further ado…

Glen from Australia asks:

What is the name of the space between the teeth of a comb?

Well Glen, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question I’d have exactly one dollar. Which would be completely useless to me because I live in the UK and I couldn’t spend that here. Not even to buy a comb.

Still, it got me thinking and, after about twenty seconds of that I still didn’t have an answer. So I googled it and the interweb did not let me down. Two suggestions I discovered were umpernater and combdrum,  but neither of these words appear to be in the dictionary so I’m not sure if they’re real or made up. Feel free to use either of them though.

A less comb-specific word is interstice, which does have the advantage of being in the dictionary. It is defined as being “space that intervenes between things; especially : one between closely spaced things”.

I hope that answers that particular question for you Glen.

Pete from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to me asks:

Why are you called James, James?

A great question Pete and one I ask myself regularly. I can’t be certain but I may have alluded to this issue on my blog before. In case I haven’t though, ‘James’ is one of the given names that appears on my birth certificate. It was chosen by my parents for reasons that only they could answer, but, controversially, it is not the first name that appears on the aforementioned certificate. It is the second one. But, even more controversially perhaps, it is the name they then elected to call me in daily life, causing much confusion and often hilarity during my school days whenever I got a new teacher and they read the first of my given names out when calling the register. I’m still working on the script for the sitcom but I understand that the BBC are very interested commissioning a pilot episode of ‘James or Not James’.

I hope that answers that particular question for you Pete.

Haylee from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to either me or Pete asks:

Who would win in a fight, bear or lion?

A superb question  Haylee and not an easy one to answer. I suppose the problem is that there are many kinds of bears and animals that aren’t bears but take the name bear. For example a Koala Bear is, I believe, actually not a bear, which is just as well, because that little fella is not beating any lion in a fight, not even a mountain lion, which isn’t really a lion.

If we consider lions and bears in popular culture, then I wouldn’t fancy the chances of the Cowardly Lion off of the Wizard of Oz against many a bear, but he might have shot against Yogi Bear.

Lion-O from eighties cartoon Thundercats is pretty handy in a fight, although I’m not sure how he’d cope against BraveStarr, eponymous hero of different eighties cartoon BraveStarr when he is using his fabled ‘Strength of the Bear’ powers.

Basically the only way we’re going to find out the answer to this is to organise a fight between a lion and a bear.

I hope that answers that particular question for you Haylee.

Finally, gigglingfattie from Canada asks:

What, precisely, is the function of a rubber ducky?

I’m really glad you asked that gigglingfattie. Fortunately I’m a long time viewer of Sesame Street so I know the answer to this.

Quite simply the function of a rubber ducky is to make bath time lots of fun. If you’d like a more detailed explanation then why not consult this lecture on the merits of the rubber ducky as delivered by Professor Ernie from the University of Sesame Street.

Be careful though because incorrect use of the rubber ducky can impede the playing of the saxophone as demonstrated below:

I hope that answers that particular question for you gigglingfattie.

Well that’s enough wisdom for one week. Tune in next week when I imagine I’ll be explaining even more stuff.

If you’ve got a question that you need James to answer then why not ask it in the comments below?

James Explains ‘James Explains’

James Explains

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It’s the second day of 2018 and, taking the metaphorical bull of ‘New Year Good Intention’ by its equally metaphorical horns, I’ve decided to do something new on James Proclaims. And by new I mean something old.

But new to these pages.

I’m bringing back ‘James Explains’.

If you go to the ‘About’ page of this very blog, you’ll discover that ‘James Explains’ was the name I gave to the regular column I wrote for my university’s monthly newsletter.

It was, as I recall, quite a popular column.

Well I liked it anyway.

I had originally intended to call this very blog ‘James Explains’ but I didn’t because:

  1. ‘James Proclaims’ is a better name because it is a better rhyme.
  2. If you put the words ‘James’ and ‘explains’ next to each other, as would be required for a website address (eg. jamesexplains.com) you’ll see that the word ‘sex’ appears in the midst of it all. Which might bring the ‘wrong’ sort of visitor to this site. Which could only lead to disappointment for all parties

Anyway, just because the whole blog is called ‘James Proclaims’ doesn’t mean there can’t be a bit of it called ‘James Explains’.

Because the words ‘proclaims’ and ‘explains’ aren’t synonyms.

So ‘James Explains’ could be the bit of my blog where I explain stuff.

Which is what I’ve just done, with regards to the new ‘James Explains’ feature.

If that’s all a bit meta for you, then worry not, for next week (possibly but not definitely next Tuesday) I’ll be using my awesome powers of explanation to shed light on some other stuff.

 

 

Invitation for ‘audience’ interaction

If you’ve got a question that you need James to answer then why not ask it in the comments below. And if you’re lucky, he might select you out of the thousands…sorry…hundreds….no?….tens?…too ambitious?…possibly one other question that he receives each and every week.

And if he doesn’t get any questions then he’ll just pretend that he did and make something up.