Some intriguing little stories around, including:

The Happy Map of the UK shows that Powys is the place with the most smiles, whilst Edinburgh is the capital of doom and gloom.

I’m usually cynical about such things (no, really), but reading a few more details of the story there seems a fair bit of substance to the research.

The top five happy places are: Powys; Manchester; West Lothian; Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Monklands; Macclesfield. No sign of Birmingham or the West Midlands in the top five – defeated by the Mancunians again – but it also fails to make it into the top gloomiest places.

The most unhappy places are: Edinburgh; Cynon Valley and Rhondda; Amber Valley and north east Derbyshire; Clydesdale; Cumnock and Doon Valley; Kyle and Carrick; Swansea.

Of course, happiness can be found wherever you want it. I’ve had many a happy time in the Scottish capital, north-east Derbyshire and even Swansea.

BiNS judges whether Birmingham is happy on a daily basis via the city’s web activity – at the time of writing it is “quiet”, so maybe there is something in this research after all.

Elsewhere, some other research suggests that your name could dictate the level of spam you have to endure.

Richard Clayton, a security expert from Cambridge University’s computer lab, suggests spammers could be more subtle than many of us believe. He maintains there is a genuine statistical divide between what he calls “aardvarks” (those high up the alphabet) and “zebras” (those at the bottom of the dictionary) with most spammers starting off with the “A’s” with real gusto and then becoming increasingly less enthused by the time they get to the “Z’s”.

So change your name to zzzz.zzzz.

I enjoyed this “Where are they know” style feature on Dragon’s Den, including some heartening news about the man who claimed to be able to prepare the perfect boiled egg and failed in front of a large TV audience.

I always get the impression that the Dragon’s are quite a conservative bunch, particularly Duncan who has been doing a very good impression of a grumpy old man for most of this series.

So I wonder what they would make of Consumer 2.0?


5 responses »

  1. Nick Scott Donald says:


    There’s a bit of “happiness snobbery” about, I think; plus attempts to weigh and measure personal well-being in terms of some commodity value.

    The very fact that research is being done on how happy we are/are not is perhaps a grim sign of the times?

    But “happiness” can be over-rated. As it happens, seven generations of my family have lived in Edinburgh… most of them were miserable and seemingly proud of it.

    And as for myself: people don’t call me “Mr Chuckles” for nothing, you know.

    They’re being sarcastic.

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Hi Nick: One man’s happiness is another’s misery.
    For example, the phrase “Cheer up, it might never happen” (especially when uttered by a professionally jovial sort) is guaranteed to see the rage rise within me. I hate that phrase with a passion bordering on the irrational.

  3. Ursula says:

    To up the stakes, how about: “Cheer up, it hasn’t happened”?


  4. Paul Groves says:

    U: Or even “Calm down dear…” 😮

  5. Ursula says:

    Well, Paul, reading your last reply I shan’t relate what popped into my mind first.

    However, since we are on the subject of the dreaded Winner may I quote my much loved Giles Coren (Times Magazine 12/07/08) under the heading “Quo Vadis” advocating never to go to Italy if you want to eat (or sleep) well: He recounts rubbish hotel, rubbish service, rubbish everything in Rome, but unlike most English people he actcually COMPLAINED to all of them (whilst there) resulting in this his heartfelt outburst : “Goddam that sort of thing makes me angry: to provide rubbish as a default until the difficult peope hit the roof, and let the nice ones go screw themselves. It’s how you fill the world with Michael Winners”.

    I love it, Paul.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s