Saturday chit-chat: ELECTION FREE!

By DeusExMacintosh

Men have grown 11cm since 1870

The average height of men has risen by almost 11cm since the mid-19th century, experts have found. Data was collected on hundreds of thousands of men from 15 European countries.

For British men, the average height at age 21 rose from 167.05cm (5ft 5in) in 1871-75 to 177.37cm (5ft 10in) in 1971-75.

A public health expert said height was a “useful barometer” but it was crucial to focus on improving health overall.

The paper, published in the journal Oxford Economic Papers, looked at data from sources including military records and modern population surveys from the 1870s to 1980 in 15 European countries.

It looked only at male height because there was too little historical data for women.

BBC News

Feel free to chat about pretty much anything EXCEPT the “E” word.


  1. Posted September 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Why limit comments at all? We get so very little people engaged in conversation here, why would you even think of banning what should be the topic of the day ?

  2. Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Given that IRL and the blogosphere are solid with the election results, it seemed only fair to offer sanctuary to those unwilling to partake.

  3. kvd
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m happy to take up Henry2’s thought. This site was known as a place of fairly polite contemplation of the issues of the day, and I agree with him that ‘the elections’ certainly qualify. So, some scattered thoughts from a basically Liberal voter – things that intrigue, amuse, and perplex me about that which shall not be mentioned.

    1. As of right now on the ABC’s Federal Election website the overall figures report that after all the years of assiduous, relentless, negative campaigning (and that’s just the bit by Labor against, within, and among itself) the Libs and Nats have achieved a massive swing of 1.7%. Quite how this translates into a ‘mandate’ for Mr Abbott is a puzzle.

    2. It is interesting (and also reassuring) that ‘bad’ candidates and members got their just desserts – proving again that the national press concentration upon what they treat as ‘presidential-style’ elections is not really aligned with those pesky people we call the voters.

    3. The polling companies need to take a very close look at their processes. They mostly get the ‘big picture’ fairly right – although this time not so much – but are pretty hopeless at the electorate level. Some of their reported ‘bloodbath’ offerings were just too nonsensical to be believed, but were widely reported by journalists who must or should have known better.

    4. There needs to be some thought given to levels of informal voting which in some electorates went over 10% There is never a perfect system, but rejection of lower house votes filled in only as to first preference has, quite possibly, produced a couple of ‘wrong’ results. And I would note that such results would not be in ‘my’ favour.

    5. I love the colour and thrust of elections. You don’t have to agree with any writer to appreciate the erudite ferocity applied to ‘the cause’. That’s why I’d make special mention of Bob Ellis; I find it hard to imagine a more cutting means of disposing of one’s foes than a blog post titled “Certain Housekeeping Matters” containing the simple line “Fred Smith is a c—t, and is banned forever.”

    6. As an Australian, I find it quite sad that – whoever holds or gains the reins – we are judged to be moved more by petty difference than by ideals; that a “mandate” is defined by a swing of less than I’d spill on a night at the pub; that a “budget crisis” is (at the eleventh hour) revealed to be ‘solved’ by a budget saving of less than a rounding error – and that over four years; that any politician would think that talk of a ‘fast train’ would move me from my comfortable sloth; and that a Rhodes scholar would so cynically judge my fellow citizens that he effectively campaigned with just few three-word slogans.

    There you go Henry. I’m over here in the quiet corner, watching life pass me by.

  4. Posted September 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit, SL has been sharing some of her favourite political ads with me. My favourite being this

  5. Posted September 14, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink


    swirl and swarm through society
    like insects.
    Some bite –
    bloodsucking the mind.

    Some words buzz
    like bees,
    cross-pollinating ideas.

    Others crawl like beetles
    across the grass
    crass, and black backed,
    necessary pests,
    for in absence –

    Some flutter by like butterflies
    spreading colour and joy.

    But always
    amid species, phylum, faction,
    at word’s end
    all that counts
    is action.


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