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Poohsticks – a game of luck or strategy?

Posted on August 26th, 2015 in Taylor Herring News.

Formula for the perfect Poohstick is revealed by leading scientist to celebrate new Winnie-the-Pooh Poohstickopedia book

  • Dr Rhys Morgan reveals the formula for the perfect Poohstick, disproving the 57% of Brits that believe it’s a game of luck
  • Top 12 Poohsticks-perfect bridges as recommended by VisitEngland, ahead of the August bank holiday
  • To celebrate the release of “The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia” featuring charming new Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations

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More than half of Brits (57%) who believe Poohsticks is a game of luck have been proven wrong by a leading scientist as a brand new study puts the quintessential family game under the microscope and reveals it is in fact a game of skill and strategy!

The research, commissioned to celebrate the release of ‘The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia’ (Egmont Publishing), a humorous new book featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and friends written by comedy writer Mark Evans and illustrated by Mark Burgess, reveals the secrets to finding the ‘perfect Poohstick’ according to a leading scientist and names the best places in the country to play the traditional family game.

Egmont Publishing has joined forces with Dr Rhys Morgan (Royal Academy of Engineering) to equip the 39% of us who already take serious time sourcing the perfect Poohstick with the necessary formula to ensure we pick the speediest stick and float us to victory. This comes after a survey of 2,000 British parents also reveal that 41% of players even take the time to personalise their sticks to ensure they know exactly who wins.

Poohsticks first featured in The House at Pooh Corner, published in 1928, and has remained one of the nation’s favourite traditional games alongside Hide and Seek (52%) and It (33%). Poohsticks, which 25% vote as their favourite traditional game, is also revealed to be how 48% of British parents hope to ‘bridge’ the generational gap this summer by heading down to the river to play with their children. To celebrate this, VisitEngland has come up with the top 12 bridges for playing Poohsticks on across the UK.  And as the majority (87%) of parents reveal they’re keen to encourage their children to play outdoors, the list comes just in time for a fun-filled family August Bank Holiday this weekend.

 

The Perfect Poohstick:

Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as a dad of two and avid Poohsticks player himself, has used his expertise to create a formula for the perfect Poohstick.  According to Dr Morgan, the main variables that need to be considered when designing the perfect Poohstick include: cross sectional area, density/buoyancy, and the ‘drag coefficient’.

PP (Perfect Poohstick) = A x ρ x Cd

Or:

The perfect Poohstick = tubby and long, fairly heavy (but not so heavy it will sink to the bottom of the river), with quite a lot of bark to catch the flow of the river like paddles

However, it turns out that only 11% of Brits naturally pick the right sort of stick, with a third of us (30%) heading straight for a long and thin stick, which according to Dr Morgan is only half right.

Parameters for the ‘control’ river

Dr Morgan outlined the parameters for a ‘control’ or ‘perfect’ river. This is rectangular, like a very long bath, and the flow of water is smooth, so the Poohstick would not have to contend with turbulence or whirlpools.

Cross Sectional Area (= A)

(length x width) The greater the area of an object, the more drag it creates. Normally, a large cross-sectional area decreases speed, however when it comes to Poohsticks, drag is key. If more water is able to influence the trajectory of the stick, it will accelerate more quickly. So when it comes to Poohsticks – the tubbier, the better!

Density (= ρ)

The density of the stick affects its position in the water. The fastest part of the stream is below the surface, so theoretically, a waterlogged stick which sinks a bit into in the middle of the stream will go faster than a stick which is floating right on the surface (where it could be slowed down by wind or other external variables).

Drag Coefficient (= Cd)

The drag coefficient describes the shape of stick and roughness of its surface. Generally, a rough stick will create more drag than a smooth stick, so in general, bark is good. However according to Dr Morgan, a certain roughness can make the stick ‘apparently’ smoother, similar to the effect created by dimples in golf balls, so choose carefully.

The Perfect Bridge:

The next step is to find the perfect bridge to put it to the test – VisitEngland has compiled a list of the best Poohsticks bridges across the country, alongside the original Poohsticks Bridge in Ashdown Forest (East Sussex).

Top 12 Poohsticks-Perfect Bridges, as recommended by VisitEngland

  1. Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire
  2. Morden Hall Park, London
  3. Heale Gardens, Salisbury, Wiltshire
  4. Packhorse Bridge, Watendlath, Cumbria
  5. Mottisfont, Romsey, Hampshire
  6. Little Wittenham Bridge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  7. Mathematical Bridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
  8. New Lower Bridge, Boscastle, Cornwall
  9. Bridge over Bourne Eau, Bourne, Lincolnshire
  10. Cantlop Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
  11. Essex Bridge, Shugborough, Staffordshire
  12. Hutton-le-Hole, Ryedale, North York Moors National Park

The list includes bridges from all over the country, from Cumbria to Cornwall, which have been rated against a strict set of Poohsticks criteria*.

Rebecca Lowe, Head of PR at VisitEngland says: “Poohsticks is a timeless game. From its first mention in A.A. Milne’s 1928 classic, The House at Pooh Corner, to today, it remains a great way for families to spend time together and enjoy England’s great outdoors just like Pooh! Our recommendations of top Poohsticks bridges are just some of the great spots to enjoy the game across the country, and will hopefully encourage families to get out and engage in some friendly competition over the Bank Holiday weekend.”

Mark Evans, author of The Poohsticks Handbook, says: “As The Poohstickopedia summarises: ‘Poohsticks is a game of sticks and rivers and bridges and friends and fun’. But clearly you need more than that to fill a book so it’s also full of hints, tips and general Poohsticky advice (from warnings for Knights to the latest scientific advances in stick selection) as well as the history of the game and, most importantly, the rules – so that young players everywhere can make sure their elders and (supposedly) betters remain Poohsticks-legal and un-cheaty.”

There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition when it comes to family fun, with 42% of us only entering into a game with the express intention of winning and 43% of parents saying that they would never feign losing – it’s up to the river who wins!

Why not enjoy the fun created by Winnie-the-Pooh and friends in a game of Poohsticks this Bank Holiday weekend?  We would love to see your photos of your favourite Poohsticks bridge or your own personalised Poohsticks – share them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #Poohsticks!

‘The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia’ (Egmont Publishing) is available to buy from all good book retailers – a perfect gift for Winnie-the-Pooh fans of all ages.

For more information on the country’s top Poohsticks bridges, visit www.visitengland.com/poohsticks

 

DAVE’S FUNNIEST JOKE OF THE FRINGE 2015

Posted on August 25th, 2015 in Taylor Herring News.

  • DARREN WALSH scoops ‘Dave’s Funniest Joke of The Fringe’ Award as his pun-tastic gag is voted top one-liner from a shortlist by a panel of UK’s foremost comedy critics
  • 2015 marks the eighth anniversary of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award

 Comedian Darren Walsh wins the Dave Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2015 award.

Hailing from “a place called Peterborough”, this isn’t Walsh’s first time at the Fringe, but his show Punderbolt is the first time he’s taken on an hour-long performance. Winner of the first UK Pun Championship at the Leicester Comedy Festival in 2013, the 39 year old is no stranger to an award or two and boasts a published book of puns entitled ‘Cheap Laughs’. He even created a ‘Pun Guide to the Fringe’ for this year’s Festival; an animated video punning the name of ‘almost’ every comedian performing in Edinburgh 2015.

On being awarded the top spot, punny-man Darren Walsh said: “I am delighted to win this award. What a punderful feeling. Thanks Dave.”

 

Honourable mentions – Those one-liners that missed out:

 

“I never lie on my CV…because it creases it.” – Jenny Collier

 

If you don’t know what introspection is you need to take a long, hard look at yourself – Ian Smith

 

I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59 because I like that one to one time – Tom Ward

 

Whenever I get to Edinburgh, I’m reminded of the definition of a gentleman. It’s someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t – Gyles Brandreth

 

“Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’” – Ally Houston

 

“Earlier this year I saw “The Theory of Everything” – loved it. Should’ve been called “Look Who’s Hawking”, that’s my only criticism” – James Acaster

 

 

Top of the Flops – And some of the jokes voted most groan-worthy included:

 

“What do honeymooners eat for breakfast? Wedded Wheat” – Lou Sanders

 

“I am Canadian. But if you think I’m Russian, Soviet” – Steward Francis

 

“I suffer from PMS. My wife gets it and I suffer” – Jeff Green

 

In order to compile the shortlist, each of the judges sat through an average of 60 different comedy performances and sifted through more than 3,600 minutes of material. This meant they each had a potential pool of around 7,200* different jokes to choose from.

 

The Dave award, which is open to both established and up-and-coming comedians, pays homage to the wealth of talent on offer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe whilst shining a spotlight on the individual jokes, not just the performances. In fact, so as to ensure the jokes are ranked fairly, the comedian’s name or show are not revealed during the voting process – it is purely down to the jokes themselves!

 

Steve North, General Manager of Dave commented: The Fringe is renowned for being the best place to spot new and emerging comedy talent, and although there are some returning contenders in our top 10 this year, there is a high volume of new talent which is very exciting to see.

 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is widely acknowledged to be the biggest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. Starting in 1947, it was seen as a post-war initiative to reunite Europe through culture, and was so successful that it inspired more performers than there was room for.

 

This year marks the eighth anniversary of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe. You can also follow Dave on Twitter at @join_dave and Facebook at facebook.com/davewittybanter.

Text On The Beach? Britain’s 25 favourite beach reads in 140 characters

Posted on August 12th, 2015 in brand PR,Consumer Electronics PR,Consumer PR,creative publicity,Mobile PR,Online PR,PR Stunt,Publicity Stunts,Technology PR.

 

  • New ‘Summer Speed Reads’ initiative sparked by research by Samsung Galaxy S6 edge which suggests young Brits are ditching books for social media
  • The nation’s top 25 beach reads revealed – The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – shortened into Tweet-sized summaries
  • 75% of young Brits take their mobile phone to the poolside or beach compared with one in four (26%) who plan on reading a book
  • One in ten young adults have never read a novel

London, UK – Wednesday 12th August, 2015 The traditional summer holiday beach read could soon be lost to history according to a new study which reveals the younger generation are no longer taking books on holiday but instead spending their time lounging by the pool using their smart phones.

Harry-Potter

The ‘Summer Speed Reads’ initiative was specially commissioned by Samsung Galaxy S6 edge following their new research which quizzed 1,500 Brits aged 18-25 years old on how they spend their time on holiday.

The survey found that FOMO culture could well sound the death knell for the traditional beach read – indeed a mere quarter (26%) of those surveyed had plans to read a book when away compared with 75% who admitted they would be regularly checking their mobile phones on holiday for social media updates in fear of missing out on any news or gossip from their friends back home.

Samsung teamed up with Professor John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature, at University College London to lead the study which canvassed the nation to name the top 25 most popular beach reads of all time.

Once the results were back, the Professor was challenged to condense the top 25 most popular beach novels down to 140 characters for the ‘Summer Speed Reads project’.

WARNING! For those who like to read books the old fashioned way, be wary as the list below contains spoilers.

Three quarters of young Brits would rather text on the beach than read a book   Metro News

Professor John Sutherland, Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and winner of the Man Booker Prize, commented: “The ‘Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Summer Speed Reads’ study provides us with a fascinating overview of how social media has affected young people’s ability to concentrate, even in the most relaxing of environments such as a holiday resort. In the future we will see short version novels as standard as people increasingly seek instant gratification whilst they multi task even when they are away on their holidays.”

“This breakdown of the 25 most popular beach reads of all time is the truest representation of modern day pulp fiction allowing today’s easily distracted young holidaymakers to enjoy the most popular summer books in an instant and who knows, maybe they may just inspire some people to pick up an old fashioned book at some point!”

Further findings revealed:

  • 10% of young Brits say they have never read a novel
  • Average 18-25 year old checks their phone 14 times per day on holiday
  • 72% of those polled prefer short form writing and agree we now have shorter attention spans due to technology
  • Of those that do plan to read a book, 39% say they will struggle to finish it
  • 24% believe books take ‘too long to read’
  • 26% believe books are ‘too heavy’ or take up packing space’

Conor Pierce, Vice President of IT & Mobile at Samsung UK & Ireland says, “With the UK being one of the most connected smartphone markets in the world and with the rise of video, 4G and social media, people no longer want to be restricted to traditional holiday activities such as reading a novel. Customers that have switched to the S6 edge will find features like its quick launch camera, which launches in 0.7 seconds, is ideal for taking selfies on the beach or by the pool while its super AMOLED screen will give users the very best viewing experience when using it in the sunshine.”

The top 25 most popular beach reads are available to read here.