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Go to: Artistic LicenceTen easy questionsWhy parents go greyTraditionMore fun stuff . . .‘Notes From St Helena’AchievementIs slpeling ipmorantt?Go Sooty!A poem on the pronunciation of EnglishContent from thefreelibrary.comRandom ThoughtsLearn something at randomA cat can purr its way out of anything . . .

Quick question: How many people do you need to create a Country & Western Song?
(Answer at the bottom of the page)


Artistic Licence 

Napoleon’s Tomb on St Helena picture on the Museo Napoleonico website The Turner Family Fun Stuff

According to the Museo Napoleonico (in Rome), Napoleon’s Tomb on St Helena looks like this:…

We can assure you that it doesn’t! Must be artistic licence…


Ten easy questions 

  1. How long did the “Hundred Years’ War” last?

  2. Which country makes “Panama Hats”?

  3. From which animal do we get “catgut”?

  4. In which month do Russians celebrate the “October Revolution”?

  5. From what is a “camel”s hair brush’ made?

  6. The “Canary Islands” are named after what animal?

  7. What was King George VI’s first name?

  8. What colour is a “Purple Finch”?

  9. From where do we get “Chinese Gooseberries”?

  10. What is the colour of the “Black Box” in a commercial airplane?

Read the answers . . .

The secret to successful project planning The Turner Family Fun Stuff
The secret to successful project planning

Why parents go grey 

A man called his best friend’s number and was greeted with a child’s whisper, “Hello.

Recognising the voice as that of his friend’s daughter he said “Is your daddy home?

Yes,” whispered the small voice.

May I talk with him?

The child whispered, “No.

Surprised, and wanting to talk with an adult, the man asked, “Is your mummy there?


May I talk with her?

Again the small voice whispered, “No.

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the man asked, “Is anybody else there?

Yes,” whispered the child, “a policeman.

Wondering what the police would be doing at his friend’s home, the man asked, “May I speak with the policeman?

No, he’s busy,” whispered the child.

Busy doing what?

Talking to daddy and mummy and the fireman,” came the whispered answer.

Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the phone the man asked, “What’s that noise?

A hello-copper,” answered the whispering voice.

What’s going on there?” asked the man, now alarmed.

In an awed whispering voice the child answered, “The search team has just landed in the hello-copper.

Alarmed, concerned, and even more than just a little frustrated the man asked, “What are they searching for?

Still whispering, the young voice replied along with a muffled giggle: “Me.


Tradition Just because we’ve always done it that way doesn’t make it any less stupid (from opens in a new window or tab) The Turner Family Fun Stuff

More fun stuff . . . 

Burgh House Media Productions website The Turner Family Fun Stuff

There’s more fun stuff on our Burgh House Media Productions website.


‘Notes From St Helena’ 

During most of the first year we were here I kept a weblog recording some of the odder aspects of life here. It’s still available and makes interesting reading. Our ‘Contact The Turner Family’ page contains a list of current family weblogs.


Achievement You can do anything you set your mind to when you have vision determination and an endless supply of expendable labour (from opens in a new window or tab) The Turner Family Fun Stuff

Is slpeling ipmorantt? 

Aoccdrnig to rscheach, it deosn’t mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

(But if you spot any mistakes on this site please contact us and we’ll correct them.)


Go Sooty! 

Sooty the guinea pic The Turner Family Fun Stuff

A poem on the pronunciation of English 

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.

I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye, your dress will tear.

So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.

Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.

Refer does not rhyme with deafer.

Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four.

Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.

Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Heron, granary, canary.

Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.

Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation-think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough?
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.

My advice is to give up.


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Random Thoughts 


A dog thinks:
He feeds me, he cares for me; he must be God”.

A cat thinks:
He feeds me, he cares for me; I must be God”.


Boys fall in love with what they see;
Girls fall in love with what they hear.

That’s why girls wear makeup and boys lie.


Learn something at random 

A randomly selected page from the Wikipedia.

A cat can purr its way out of anything . . . 

The following is abridged from a report on the BBC website but we already knew it was true.

Cats ‘exploit’ humans by purring

Who me? Exploit? Never! The Turner Family Fun Stuff
Who, me? Exploit? Never!

Cat owners may have suspected as much, but it seems our feline friends have found a way to manipulate us humans.

Researchers at the University of Sussex have discovered that cats use a ‘soliciting purr’ to overpower their owners and garner attention and food. Unlike regular purring, this sound incorporates a ‘cry’, with a similar frequency to a human baby’s. The team said cats have ‘tapped into’ a human bias - producing a sound that humans find very difficult to ignore.

Dr Karen McComb, the lead author of the study that was published in the journal Current Biology, said the research was inspired by her own cat, Pepo.

He would wake me up in the morning with this insistent purr that was really rather annoying,” Dr McComb told BBC News.

After a little bit of investigation, I discovered that there are other cat owners who are similarly bombarded early in the morning.

While meowing might get a cat expelled from the bedroom, Dr McComb said that this pestering purr often convinced beleaguered pet lovers to get up and fill their cat’s bowl. To find out why, her team had to train cat owners to make recordings of their own cats’ vocal tactics - recording both their ‘soliciting purrs’ and regular, ‘non-soliciting’ purrs.

When we played the recordings to human volunteers, even those people with no experience of cats found the soliciting purrs more urgent and less pleasant,” said Dr McComb.

She and her team also asked the volunteers to rate the different purrs - giving them a score based on how urgent and pleasant they perceived them to be.

We could then relate the scores back to the specific purrs,” explained Dr McComb.

The key thing (that made the purrs more unpleasant and difficult to ignore) was the relative level of this embedded high-frequency sound. When an animal vocalises, the vocal folds (or cords) held across the stream of air snap shut at a particular frequency,” explained Dr McComb.

The perceived pitch of that sound depends on the size, length and tension of the vocal folds.

But cats are able to produce a low frequency purr by activating the muscles of their vocal folds - stimulating them to vibrate,” explained Dr McComb.

Since each of these sounds is produced by a different mechanism, cats are able to embed a high-pitched cry in an otherwise relaxing purr.

How urgent and unpleasant the purr is seems to depend on how much energy the cat puts into producing that cry,” said Dr McComb.

Previous studies have found similarities between a domestic cat’s cry and the cry of a human baby - a sound that humans are highly sensitive to. Dr McComb said that the cry occurs at a low level in cats’ normal purring.

But we think that (they) learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans.

She added that the trait seemed to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners.

Obviously we don’t know what’s going on inside their minds,” said Dr McComb, “but they learn how to do this, and then they do it quite deliberately.

So how does Dr McComb feel about Pepo now she knows he has been manipulating her all these years?

He’s been the inspiration for this whole study, so I’ll forgive him - credit where credit’s due.


Country & Western Song The Turner Family Fun Stuff

So: How many people do you need to create a Country & Western Song?

Answer: Five. One to steal your truck, one to run over your dog, one to run off with your partner, and two to drag you off to prison.


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St Helena from the sea The Turner Family Fun Stuff
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