“Can the world live without Wikipedia for a day? The shutdown of one of the Internet’s most-visited sites is not sitting well with some of its volunteer editors, who say the protest of anti-piracy legislation could threaten the credibility of their wo… Blah Blah Blah.”
(Essentially, Wikipedia had a strop about the SOPA ‘anti-piracy’ thing in January 2012 which they along with many other websites, techy types and general anti everything whingers stressed and preached about for some time. Eventually they closed the site for a day in protest, leading to widespread indignation and panic amongst quiz cheats, workshy student types and knowledge junkies. Having done the odd stint as a Wikiexpert I sensed the timing was right to form a breakaway, more user lead site…)
Fear not lazy students, inquisitive sorts and uneducated Bar Manager types, during the Wikipedia strike/black out thing The Box will be stepping in to answer all your queries and share The Box’s brilliantly marvellous and insightful knowledge.
Comment, inbox or Facebook your queries and I’m on it…
Food & Drink
BoxipediaRegular – “Dear Boxipedia, what is the difference between beer and ale?”
There is a popular misconception about beer and ale, but I can confirm they are in fact exactly the same product, essentially it is a tomato tomato argument. “Beer” becomes “Ale” when drunk by brogued, cord wearing ale drinkers, whose tobacco stained fingers give their beer a darker appearance when held. Also the ale drinker’s beards will regularly ‘flatten’ their beer, which will not only make it appear flat but also stops the bubbles, characteristic in some beers or ‘lager’.
Importantly a “Real Ale” drinker is one who must confirm to strict standards of tobacco staining, corduroy and beard ferocity. To a layman, real ale drinkers will often give themselves away in a public house by holding their ale aloft and peering through to compare staining.
Pale ale, as favoured by slightly more ‘polished’ cord wearers, appears both paler and creamier due to the clean shaven face and non-smoke stained, often moisturised hands of the type of gentlemen who favour pale ales. Many people see it as a more feminine ‘light’ ale, but it is in fact the polished nature of the beer-holder which determines its characteristic colour.
Lager, as opposed to beer, is drunk by three distinct groups. Firstly, the standard everyday lager drinker, which makes up not only the majority of lager drinkers but arguably the majority of drinkers in British pubs. Basically this is everyone who wants to be in a pub, but hasn’t got a palette and isn’t confident enough in their sexuality to order an Archers and orange, which is let’s face it what everyone would drink if you wouldn’t end up getting chatted up by the flamboyant new barman.
Secondly, those that feel confident drinking from cans. This group is often hard to spot as they often drink from cans at home, but they can generally be distinguished in public as the sort who will wear track suits as actual clothing.
Lastly the southern lager drinker, or ‘shandy drinking ponce’, prefer their lager in a fancy glass or chalice and with little or no head on it. The head on lager in the south has disappeared after years of the southern gentlemen’s lip gloss dispersing the foam to such a degree that the Australians who work in all pubs south of Birmingham stopped leaving a head on in the first place.
Cider is only really intended to be drunk on the park and as such isn’t categorised as beer.
HKM- “Dear Boxipedia, do mushrooms count as one of your five a day (and if you had some shittake and some oyster mushrooms would this count as 2 of your 5 a day?)”
Mushrooms do not actually count as a food, let alone a vegetable, so I’m afraid that this rules it out of the running as any of your ‘a-days’. Obviously they are still eaten across the world, I for one love ‘shrooms, however it is important to remember that they form(along with Cadburys Fudge and McDonalds) part of a subsidiary group of ‘non-foods’ which are eaten primarily to bulk out a meal or as a tasty snack but will have precisely no effect on your appetite.
Film & Television
E20Viewer – “Has Eastenders’ Lucy Beale done something different with her hair?”
“Actually no, the actor/comedian who played Lucy has actually been replaced by ridiculously named actress Hetti Something. Allegedly due to “unruly behaviour” (cheating on her exams, having a bit with Leon, blackmailing Christian and Muslim, abortion etc…), which strictly speaking was the scriptwriters fault but as a true professional Suffield fell on her sword and allowed a new girl to take over(the timing was good as, with all the current distractions in Walford, Ian and Jane probably wouldn’t notice).
A marvellous subplot was the emotional reuniting of best friends Lauren Branning and Lucy, who despite being BBF’s had never actually met (Lauren took over from Lauren after Lucy had left to pursue a career being Jimmy Carr), anyway if we are supposed to believe that Syed Masood is actually Pakistani then clearly anything is possible.” MB
izzyb – “Boxipedia, who invented party balloons?”
Boxipedia – “Party balloons were invented by Satan for Jesus’s first birthday, Papa Joe and Mary, clearly unaware of their satanic properties, used them at the baby carpenter’s shindig. They then became a fad for about 2011 years. Also, this means Satan won. Balloons are vile”
heidihi – “Boxipedia, why do the French eat snails but not slugs?”
The French refuse to eat slugs primarily because they are homeless snails and The French see the homeless as an unwanted drain on their and Europe’s resources ( le pot calling le kettle noir, admittedly).
Historians believe the practise began when The French, a particularly backward nation, utilised the snail’s shellsuit as a handling device(cutlery and crockery did not reach France until the early 1070’s when conquering Norman’s returned to France to tell the French about the wonders they had found across the channel)(whilst packing to return to this new green and pleasant land)(they may have been backward savages, but they weren’t stupid)(by French standards). Traditionally the discarded shells are then recycled and juvenile slugs will battle, sometimes to the death, for the best suits.
heidihi – “Thanks Boxipedia, just to clarify, did you mean 1970?”
Boxipedia – “No dear, William of Normandy came over in 1066(honestly, Boxipedia it…) and agreed to take over managerial duties having accidentally killed King Harold in a what was really just playground high jinx(The Anglo Saxon Chronicle dubbed him “William The Conkerer”, The Sun went with “William The Bastard” and The Daily Express “Asylum Seeker Kills King – This Would Never Happen If Diana Was Alive Yet”). Anyway, William The Asylum Seeker basically sort of moved in, along with 7,000 Normans (probably why it’s not such a popular name now)(overkill), they embraced our ways of life discovering fire, the arts, internal combustion engine etc and in return brought castles, black and white ‘comedy’ films only geriatrics and Albanians find amusing, new techniques for baking and soaking conkers to make them almost guaranteed 15-20’ers etc.
Anyway after the whole harrying of the north thing(the results of which can still be seen across South Yorkshire to this day), it got a little bit sticky for William’s Norman army and many of them returned to France, spending their days regaling anyone who’d listen in the fancy coffee shops of the Champs Élysées about their time across the channel and what they’d learnt from the Anglo-Saxons about the arts of lovemaking, surrending and, importantly, cutlery, the year? 1070.
lucaine- “Boxipedia, please can you tell us why midges are called midges, thanks muchly”
Boxipedia – “There is a theory that the first documented ‘midge’ was an Australian female called ‘Madge’. When British naturalists asked a local convict(or “Australian” as they are now known) what it was, Madge’s given name was not only assumed to be the species name but was also noted phonetically by the gap year toff in charge of ‘The Big Book’ who, having never heard a plep talk (let alone a foreign one) guessed at the spelling and, frankly, botched it. The error was never rectified because the toff in question’s father was Cedric Bottomley, 9th Earl of Wincanton, who had a fearsome reputation for sending people to Australia(ironic I know) who mocked his somewhat backward son.
paulmufc – “Can Boxipedia reminid me where I put my keys last night?”
Boxipedia- “Given that Boxipedia strives to promote the notion of privacy and dignity, Boxipedia is morally and ethically against the installation of CCTV in the homes of the general public. However, based on a recent lecture by Professor Brian Cox Boxipedia can tell you that your keys are a collection of elemental atoms closely bound to form a solid structure, with each singular atom comprised of it’s own unique energy composition. Furthermore, theoretical physics dictates that the universe is slowly expanding, Boxipedia concludes that your keys are in fact a little further away than they were in the first place.” A***** W*** – Scientifics Correspondant
heidihi – “Boxipedia, what does bozo pedis mean?”
Boxipedia-“Bozo Pedis (bo~zo pĕdˈĭs)
1. swelling of the toes caused by violent contact with corner of bed or table leg, usually when suffering exhaustion and resultant blurred eye. 2. scientific term for enlarged feet popular with circus performers. Also called clown feet.” MB
bluesi4 – “Can you confirm what the level below the “heaven” part of middle earth (Tolkien) is called? I’ve rewound ‘Clash Of The Gods’ 16 times now but it still sounds like ‘ASDA’.
Boxipedia- “Arda, next…” K2S
zzzmarkzzz – “Can Boxipedia provide the meaning of the word muff with regards to the 19th century ladies accessory, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Sherlock Holmes?”
Boxipedia -“I assume you are referring to the line “She pulled a small handkerchief from her muff”, a popular line amongst giggling student types from Sherlock Holmes -A Case Of Identity.
A muff: A hand warming device, usually made of animal fur. a cylindrical device in which both hands are placed in from either side, usually popular in winter in Russia and other Eastern countries, but also amongst posh folk and royalty who may want to hide their giveaway narrowed gene pool (6 fingers, backward thumbs etc) from onlookers, potential revolutionaries etc.” MFP-J
countless – “Why does MB claim there was a phone company called Rabbit?”
“Rabbit phones were a real thing, contrary to the protests of many idiots of my acquaintance. Not only that, but it was also a far better system than my current mobile telecommunications solution “Amber” (clearly this isn’t the real name, which my lawyers have instructed me to avoid using for fear of whinging)(but it’s fairly close)(kind of colour related)(Tangeriney), who use a system whereby you receive teletext notifications of “Missed Call Alerts” allowing you to swiftly find a BT Phonebox and with the simple use of “20p” speak to the missed caller, even if they are in a completely separate room(I am led to believe that in some urban areas this system is slightly more advanced, but luckily in the country you can’t move for phone boxes so our current system suits us spiffingly).
Anyway. Rabbit Phones worked on a cunning system where you had a handset which got reception by standing underneath aerials located all over the country, specifically outside Hunters Sandwich Shop on Manchester Road. At this point, you just cranked the lever, fired the rascal up and made a phone call(incoming calls were, as now, overrated). Amazingly the system died out in ’93, with fickle consumers preferring the flashy ‘mobile’ telephone. The owners of Rabbit, Hutchinson Somethingorother, lost out to the tune of £100 million and turned their backs on reliable telecommunications systems to set up a company called ‘Orange’.” MB
heidihi – “Boxipedia, what is a twitter?”
Boxipedia – “Twitter is Facebook Statusing for unpopular people who are more comfortable using a social network media which allows them to pretend all their friends(like the guy at the bus stop who once let you get on first or the barmaid in that pub in Ambleside who remembered what drink you had had last time) are probably on Chat Roulette so that’s why no one’s following you #theanchorinnambleside #me?nooo”