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[sticky post] 55 Simple Rules for Debate in the Modern World

It’s my own fault really. Because I like to see different sides to an argument before making up my own mind (see Rule 9 below) then I am unfortunately exposed to comments from people whose opinions are badly argued, uninformed, prejudiced, immature and just plain stupid. And this does annoy me at times.

I like to think that the 55 rules below are ones that I at least try to stick to when commenting online. I wish other people would too, even though a few of my ‘rules’ are actually opinions. Some of the rules are not so much rules for debate, more rules you should live by if you want me to value your opinion. Put it this way, the more of my rules that you break, the less highly will I rate your opinion.


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Aspects of British Culture Poll Explanation

I asked my non-British readers which of the following (important or perhaps less so) aspects of British culture they were at least vaguely familiar with. Sixteen people took part in the survey, which I think is enough to draw some conclusions. Here are the results of the poll:

Cadbury's Creme Eggs 15
'Carry On' films 9
Slade 3
The Raleigh Chopper 3
Coronation Street 12
Lord Sugar 6
Barbour 6
Marks & Spencer 12
Last of the Summer Wine 8
The Boat Race 9
Clotted cream 12
Ant & Dec 7
White Van Man 5
The chip butty 9
Sir Cliff Richard 8
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British Culture Poll for Non-Brits

For my non-British readers:


Poll #2061146 British culture poll for non-Brits

Which of the following aspects of British culture are you (at least vaguely) familiar with?

Cadbury's Creme Eggs
15(12.1%)
'Carry On' films
9(7.3%)
Slade
3(2.4%)
The Raleigh Chopper
3(2.4%)
Coronation Street
12(9.7%)
Lord Sugar
6(4.8%)
Barbour
6(4.8%)
Marks & Spencer
12(9.7%)
Last of the Summer Wine
8(6.5%)
The Boat Race
9(7.3%)
Clotted cream
12(9.7%)
Ant & Dec
7(5.6%)
White Van Man
5(4.0%)
The chip butty
9(7.3%)
Sir Cliff Richard
8(6.5%)

Best British Cheeses

Here's an interesting article with the author's take on Britain's Ten Best Cheeses.

Here's his top ten:

  • Appleby's Cheshire

  • Beauvale

  • Berkswell

  • Cornish Yarg

  • Keen's Cheddar

  • Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

  • Stichelton

  • Stinking Bishop

  • Ticklemore

  • Tunworth

It's a pretty good list. I didn't know about Stichelton, but it sounds interesting. I always think that Yarg is overrated though. Beauvale and Ticklemore may well have made my list.

To that list, I'd want to add:

  • Westcombe or Montgomery Cheddar (the other two proper cheddars, and I feel slightly superior to Keen's)

  • Sharpham - a very soft, brie-like cheese. Ideally left to mature until it can be eaten with a spoon.

  • Elmhirst - like Sharpham, but with added cream. Possibly my favourite cheese.

  • Cremet - a bit like Elmhirst, but using goats' milk.

  • Shepherds Purse Mrs Bell's Blue - very strong, very sharp (especially when mature) blue cheese.

  • Laverstoke Park Farm Buffalo Mozzarella - excellent mozzarella made by the 1979 Formula 1 World Champion. (Yes, really.)

  • Cropwell Bishop Stilton - you can't beat a stilton for melting.

  • Vulscombe - creamy soft goats' milk cheese.

Anyone else like to suggest a cheese?

Books read in 2016

My impression was that I read rather fewer books in 2016 than in previous years. Looking at the list, it seems I was right. This doesn't include short stories etc or for that matter all the magazines I read cover to cover. I suspect the main reason for fewer books is that there were a few long slow ones that took me a while to get through.

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