Weekly Boffin no. 14

Well, it's here. The day the Prime Minister said would never come has finally arrived. If you're like me (and I hope for your sake that you're not, this fascination with Swedish hiking boots is exhausting) then you're probably fed up with the campaign trail "he said, she said" bickering of the last seven weeks. In a bid to lighten the mood we have come up with the ever so original idea of a "stuff you didn't know about the election and are probably none the better for knowing it" edition of the Weekly Boffin. Strap yourselves in and away we go! One of the earliest parliaments formed in this country was in 1265 by Simon de Montfort. However, it wasn't particularly democratic. Four knights from every county were called to London along with some important people from cities around the country. The idea was that each man would have a chance to talk about their wishes for the future. The problem was that de Montfort gave them so little notice that very few made it and he ploughed on regardless. The largest number of candidates to contest a seat in a UK election was fifteen in Sedgefield in 2005. Prospective MPs included four independents, one from the Monster Raving Loony Party and a Blair Must Go Party hopeful. History is unsure if the latter was against the Prime Minister or if they simply wanted him to let his hair down a little. Blair himself won the Sedgefield vote eventually. Almost half of non-voters in the UK say the would take part in the election if they could do so online. Considering their apathy towards something genuinely important one can only wonder at how this somewhat more trivial information was polled. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn presides over the smallest geographical constituency in the UK in Islington North. The largest is Ross, Skye and Lochaber in Scotland. At the last election Mhairi Black became the youngest MP since 1667. At only 20 years old she was still an enormous 7 years older than the record holder Christopher Monck. Monck was a mere 13 when he was elected, going on to become a Lord less than 3 years later. And there you have it. A cavalcade of stuff you might not have known before and will have almost certainly forgotten by the time this paragraph ends. Still, it's more interesting than the anarchy of running through a wheat field or being a one-man jam making cottage industry.

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On This Day

On this day in 2017 you all went out and voted because it's important and it's the right thing to do.

What's On

Discover the wonders of ZSL London Zoo after-hours as Zoo Nights return with a packed programme of events. Enjoy fun tours and talks by experts, and tuck into some mouthwatering street food at the pop-up stalls. Find out more here.

Fact Of The Week

Birds can't be brought into space because they need gravity to swallow. Obviously we mean the feathered variety, we're not Danny Dyer. Quite why you'd need a bird in space in the first place remains a mystery.