Dec. 14, 2020

Margaret, Minecraft, and MOTs


Episode 5 of Thank The Week included:

  • V-day
  • Even more beaver
  • Snakebite
  • Talk about breaking
  • A pair of incredibly expensive headphones,
  • My hot tip for a last minute Christmas gift
  • And happiness, sweet happiness!

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 News

 Sport

 Tech

 Entertainment

 Life

 Outside

 Random

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Transcript
Craig Williamson:

In store for you this week. We've got V-Day there's even more Beaver. We've got snake bite. Some talk about breaking, an incredibly expensive pair of headphones. I have a top tip for last minute Christmas gift. And we have happiness, sweet happiness, as we Thank The Week. This is Thank The Week and it's Episode Five for Monday the 14th of December 2020. Let's get talking about all the great things that happened last week and all the things we've got to be excited about this week.

Announcer:

News.

Craig Williamson:

Last Tuesday was V-Day as we began our fight back against the Coronavirus here in the UK COVID-19 vaccinations began last Tuesday. And I do believe they're about to begin in the us this week. So the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer biontech COVID-19 jab was a 90 year old called Margaret Keenan and she had that job at a hospital in Coventry England. vaccinations ongoing and after this initial dose, people will need a second dose after 21 days. And then they get their full immunity after about 28 days. So that's great news v day was last Tuesday and vaccinations ongoing now in the UK and in the US. Last week, Google released their year in search 2020 output which talks about some of the highlights of what we've been searching for in Google. And he breaks it down on a global scale or you can drill down and see what's going on in each individual country. So had a little look at a few items from the UK. The top movie that was so small was the World War One drama in 1917 still actually need to watch that. I think it's on amazon prime at the moment. So maybe that's something for me to watch over the Christmas season. In sports. The number one search was the Premier League which you might expect. Interestingly, the number four sports search was for Arsenal transfer news, which maybe gives you a feeling for what Arsenal fans are feeling about their squad right now. Now in terms of questions that people ask you will I'm sure you can imagine what some of them were this year. But the number two question really got me curious. The number two question in the UK was where does vanilla flavouring come from? Now initially, I was just gonna think I don't know where this has come from. Surely it's from vanilla beans. I've heard of vanilla pods? Surely it's some kind of plant. Anyway, just to be safe. I thought I'll have that Google search and site did a little bit of digging to find out why that was such a popular search term. And honestly, I had no idea what I was uncovering when I went into this. But what I did find was that one of the ingredients of vanilla flavouring is actually beaver juice. Yes, that's right, I said beaver juice. And it's even worse than that. One of the elements of vanilla flavouring comes from beaver anal secretions. It's incredible. But apparently true. I did find an old National Geographic article about it. I think the reason it kicked off this year was someone had a viral Tiktok video talking about it back in November. So then obviously triggered everyone searching Google to check if it really was true. But I'm here to tell you it does appear to be true. So when you're taking into your vanilla ice cream, just have that image of a beaver's bottom in your mind as you're enjoying the ice cream this festive season. In terms of searches in the US. Musicians had a surprising one for me the top bands and musicians. One of the top ones was Shakira. And I thought she kind of had her day, but I do believe she performed at the Super Bowl back in February time. So maybe that's what spurred that popularity. And just to leave you a little note on what people's priorities are. In this day and age, there was a search for where to buy things and the number one was where to buy the PlayStation five, so Americans have clearly got their priorities. PlayStation five is top of the list. Number two, where to buy toilet paper. So just gives you a flavour of some of the things we've all been searching for a real goldmine of information there you can drill down by lots of different countries. And I'll give a link to Google's year in search 2020 page in the show notes at thanktheweek.com

Announcer:

Sport

Craig Williamson:

If you like your sportsmen rugged and eternally thirsty, then the World Darts championship starts this week on Tuesday the 15th of December and it runs all the way to New Year's Day. The first of January takes place in Alexandra Palace, London, affectionately known as Alli pally and the winner actually gets 500,000 pounds and with the runner up, bagging 200,000 pounds. So this is a huge, huge tournament. Last year. The winner was Peter Wright, who defeated Michael van gerwen. And right his nickname is the snake bites and he's ranked number two this year whereas Van gerwen is ranked number one and his nickname is Mighty Mike, so chance for a bit of snake bite action in the darts in the coming weeks. This week we have no American football news. I repeat, we have not American football news but by way of compensation for you. We can now talk about breakdancing Yes, you heard me right breakdancing because this is the sports segment and breakdancing is a sport. Don't Don't question it. It was announced last week that breakdancing has been confirmed as a sport for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. also added to the roster for that year are skateboarding sports climbing and surfing. Going back to breakdancing Apparently, it will just be called breaking at the Olympics. So if you hear a lot of people talking about breaking in the coming years, you know what that's all about. And its introduction into the Olympics was part of the drive to try and attract a bit of a younger audience. So look out for breakdancing at the 2024 Olympic Games. We've all got four well maybe three years to get practising and see if we can break into our national teams. Last Saturday was the boxing action that you've been waiting for the heavyweight bout between the Brit Antony Joshua and the Bulgarian Kubrick Pulev and I'm pleased to say the Brit one he returned his three world titles after knocking out poor live in the ninth round on Saturday evening, so he retained his WBO IBF and WBA championships and It now looks like he's set for a matchup next year 2021 with the other British World Heavyweight Champion Tyson fury, who holds the only belt that Joshua doesn't currently hold which is the WBC belt. So I'm looking forward to some potentially explosive boxing action again next year. Last week in football, we had the conclusion of the Champions League and Europa League group stages. And that gives us the excitement of looking forward to the draw for the knockout phases. So that draw is going to take place this Monday morning, we have the Champions League round of 16 draw, and that includes British clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool and city. And then later on Monday morning we also have the Europa League round of 32 draw, which includes British clubs Arsenal Man United Leicester, Rangers and Tottenham. This midweek we have a packed schedule of Premier League Soccer fixtures. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, many teams playing and it's all going to be shown on Amazon Prime this week. The pick of those games for you is Wednesday evening we have liverpool vs Tottenham at 8pm. And then Saturday and Sunday more Premier League action and the pic of those is man united against Leeds and that's on Sunday at 4:30pm. Man united Leeds is a good old traditional rivalry, and it will be good to see that one renewed in the Premier League on Sunday.

Announcer:

Tech

Craig Williamson:

Last Tuesday, Apple made an announcement about some new headphones called the air pods max. Now these are wireless over ear headphones. So kind of those big headphones you see people wearing with noise cancellation in them. And the price, huh $550 or 550 pounds. Wow. Now I feel like I owe you a bit of a disclosure in that I actually own the Bose noise cancelling headphones and they did cost me over 300 pounds. So I need to make that clear. I did spend over 300 pounds on a pair of headphones several years ago. Now I bought them under a 90 day trial. My full intention was I'm going to buy these things, use them for 90 days, enjoy them and then send them back because there's no way I can justify spending 300 pounds on some headphones. But they were so good. They just really helped me concentrate when I was working. They just filtered out all that background noise. I had a few overseas trips and on an aeroplane, they were just superb at cutting out all that air, aeroplane noise, I've been able to listen to music and podcasts and books really clearly. And at the end of the next 90 days, I just couldn't bring myself to send them back. So I dropped the 300 pounds and actually kept them but 550 pounds for a pair of headphones. It's so far above any other mainstream option. So the balls are still out there around 300 Sony have a really popular model, again around 300 pounds and there's lots of choices at the 300 pound level. So 550 really seems like a bit of a stretch, but they do have colour swappable ear cushions so you've got 25 possible colour combinations of ear cushion and the headband. So maybe that is worth the premium for some people. So that's the Apple AirPods Max and you can order them now and they will start shipping out this week. Last week the tech website The Verge announced their favourite gadgets of 2020 always a good website to look through for tech news and it's really nice at the end of the year when they give one of these roundups, just to tell you what they've been excited about in tech. Now some of what they had to say you were probably expecting things they were excited about things like the PS five, and also the iPhone 12 Mini which I thought was an interesting addition. I guess because the phone manufacturers have finally realised people do actually like fairly small phones in the eye. Phone 12 is pretty high spec. Although I understand that battery is a bit of an issue because of the size. Now there were some surprises in their choice of top gadgets. One of them that surprised me was the Samsung Galaxy Bug's Live. And this is Samsung's latest pair of wireless earphones. So these are the tiny little earbuds that go directly in your ear. Now, again, full disclosure, I feel like a bit of a headphone addict here, some kind of meeting, but I have the previous or might even be previous previous generation of the Samsung Galaxy buds. And I really do like them. They're just nice when you're out and about, you can just pop them in your ear, no one really knows that you're listening to something and you can get on with your life, listen to some music, podcasts, whatever it might be. So that was the Samsung Galaxy buds live, which is Samsung's latest version of those. Also on the list was a virtual reality system as well, which you might want to check out. Again, I'll put the link in the show notes and you can have a look what else they have to talk about. I think they had eight or nine listed in total. And when it comes to my best gadget of 2020, I'm going to give you a little tip because I think this would be a great last minute Christmas gift for anyone in your family adult child who does not like a torch. I love torches. But even people who are not into torches can't fail to find them useful. Everyone needs a torch. If you're going out it's dark. If you're looking in a dark cupboard, if you go in, I don't know, out hunting at night, a little torch is always good for you. So my tip for this little Christmas gift is called the Nitecore Tip SE. It's a torch the size of a box of matches this thing really is surprising how small it is. And it's brighter than most of the large torches I have. This is a bit like the headphones. I do have a lot of torches around the house. And I do like my powerful torches. But this is the smallest one I've ever purchased. And its maximum output is 700 lumens. It's actually one of the brightest despite its size. And the great thing about it is rechargeable through USB. So it's super convenient, you can just keep it topped up all the time. You don't have to worry about swapping the batteries out and wasting batteries if you need to go out for a long walk, because you just top it up in a USB charger and it's ready to go. It also has a little clip attachment. So what I've been doing is just clipping it to my jacket pocket. And then you don't even have to hold it, it just eliminates the path in front of you just really nicely. And I mentioned it's tiny. It's also extremely light. It's about 26 grams about 0.92 ounces. And it does come with a keyring attachment if you want to attach it to your keys, but you don't have to. And the best thing is the price. It is only 30 pounds in the UK. And you can get it from Amazon. But you can also get it direct from Nitecore themselves. They've got sites in the UK and the US and you'll get this shipped out in time for Christmas. I'm getting no commission for this. I just really think it's a fantastic product. And I really recommend it as a last minute Christmas gift. That's the Nightcore tip s e torch. I'll make sure I put all the links to those sites in the show notes at thank the week.com

Announcer:

Entertainment

Craig Williamson:

As well as releasing its search results from 2020 to Google this week also released statistics for its YouTube video streaming service. And it gave a particular focus on gaming. Now I was astounded to hear there are 14 million active channels on YouTube just about gaming. So if you want to start up a YouTube channel about gaming, you've got 40 million competitors out there, which is just incredible to think about. And they listed the top viewed gaming videos by again and kind of surprised me this game's been around for so long. But it's so far ahead at the top of the list. Minecraft has the most views at 201 billion videos viewed in 2020. So that was 2.1 billion second place was 75 billion. That was Roblox in third place was a game I not actually heard about before and I thought I was a little bit down with the gamers but apparently not. This one's called garena free fire and that had 72 billion views. In fourth was Grand Theft Auto five with 70 billion, and in fifth place was Fortnite with 67 billion views. Lastly in entertainment, something to watch on the TV. The Grand Tour presents a massive hunt. Now this is the motoring show hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. And they have a special out called the massive hunt on amazon prime video. And that comes out this Friday the 18th of December. If someone told you it was going to be released last Friday, they obviously didn't know what they were talking about. So I'm telling you now, Friday the 18th of December. The Grand Tour presents A Massive Hunt and you can find that on amazon prime video.

Announcer:

Life

Craig Williamson:

Let's get personal now this week. I had that really special feeling and not once but twice. What I'm talking about is that toe tingling special feeling that just fills your body With unbridled joy, it kind of sends a shiver down your spine and you just get that rush of ecstasy. So yes, what actually happened was I had two cars passed their MOT two cars in the same week, it was back to back days, it was just an incredible time for me. So the MOT test, the Ministry of Transport test is an annual test of vehicle safety here in the UK. So if you've got a car that's over three years old, you have to take it for an mot test. Now, this can be expensive, the test itself is fairly inexpensive, 40 pounds there abouts. But when you drop your car off, you then just sitting by the phone, dreading the call that's going to come in to tell you how much it's going to cost for your car to pass the mot. And it doesn't matter how new your car is, there's always something that comes up. And it could be something basic, you know, it could be a bulb that needs replacing, or something quite straightforward. But it could be something more complex and more expensive, like your brakes need replacing, or even a new exhaust system is quite a fraught circumstance. There's genuine peril involved. Now, if you're in the US, you probably can't quite believe this. Now. I've lived in the US. And I've had a vehicle inspection in the US, which is broadly I guess, equivalent to the MOT. But let me tell you, your vehicle inspections in the US barely test anything. And it's kind of a case of well, you know, the headlights don't work. But this guy's got a torch in his glove box. So I think we'll we'll probably let this pass. I think he'll probably be okay. You know, it's quite a light touch process, I would say, the MOT is not that, it is really thorough. And that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, it's great that we've got safe cars on the road. We have this test every year, you need to be sure that everyone's safe out there. But when your cars in my word, it is a nervous time. So I had two cars go through one on Monday, one on Tuesday, and they passed. And it's just a wonderful feeling. So I did want to share that little element of joy with you from last week. Now I had a lot of fun last Saturday, this was something that happened fairly recently. But I offered to be a guest on someone else's podcast. So the podcast I appeared on is called Working Home Parents. And that's presented by husband and wife duo Dan and Amanda. And I had a great time chatting with them. They specialise in working from home as parents. So I shared a bit of information about my tips on working from home, particularly around smart home technology. So gadgets, which is one of my big passions. And we just had a really great chat. And it was just so nice to speak to other podcasters. And they were just so generous with their time and sharing their insight and experience with me. So that was a really fun event for me. And I was really excited to be on their podcast and hopefully Fingers crossed. That should be coming out on Tuesday of this week. So if you want to listen to another podcast, that's Working Home Parents, and I'll put a link again in the show notes. You will have been following carefully I'm sure my Christmas rules that's Craig's Christmas rules. And you know, I adopt a phased approach to Christmas mince pies, then music then films. But I'm here this week to tell you that now there are no rules because there's only two weeks to go. Now's the time to let loose anything festive, you want to do anything you want to eat, drink, watch, listen to decorate, just have fun with it and just enjoy this build up to Christmas. So we actually put our Christmas decorations up last weekend. And it was just really nice to get the house all festive. There's so many decorations going up around the neighbourhood. Having a walk around at night is just fantastic seeing all the lights. So I do encourage you to get out there in your areas, and have a look at what everyone else is doing and just soak up that Christmas spirit

Announcer:

Harper

Craig Williamson:

On Monday night. It was quite a special occasion. Wasn't it Harper?

Harper Williamson:

Yes.

Craig Williamson:

Do you wanna tell everyone what happened.

Harper Williamson:

So when I did Guides, I did my promise,

Craig Williamson:

your promise. And what does the promise mean?

Harper Williamson:

It basically means that you're now a proper Guide.

Craig Williamson:

So you've been going to Guides for quite a while haven't you?

Harper Williamson:

Yeah

Craig Williamson:

Through zoom. And now you've done your promise it becomes official,

Harper Williamson:

and you get a badge for it.

Craig Williamson:

So we did that through zoom, didn't we and mommy pinned on your batch. And you want to just read out the promise. So people know what the promise says.

Harper Williamson:

I promise that I'll do my best to be true to myself and develop my beliefs to serve the Queen and my community and to help other people and to keep the Guide law.

Craig Williamson:

Very good. And what does that mean to you in terms of what you do every day.

Harper Williamson:

You put other people before yourself and you help people

Announcer:

Outside

Craig Williamson:

Right in the garden, we've set out the fire pit the new fire pit we got managed to find it locally. Some guy uses old washing machine drums, which make really effective fire pits actually. So it's the first time we've used it and we put it to good use. We've invited a friend for each of the children. So the six of us in the garden having a nice safe Christmas gathering.

Unknown:

There was a branch and was that branch on the tree in the ground in the green grass.

Craig Williamson:

It's time for marshmallows over the fire pit. What you have to say about the marshmallow? I've come in to grab the s'mores, which are basically a couple of chocolate digestives with a bit of chocolate on top. And then smaller marshmallows that can go in between.

Unknown:

I'm sicking up my baby bumblebee.

Announcer:

Random

Craig Williamson:

Last Monday. I hope you all enjoyed a very good hot chocolate day. coming up this week on Wednesday in the US it is National chocolate covered anything day. That's national chocolate covered anything there. So it's a time to experiment. And I know people have been known to to dip things like crisps and chocolate, strawberries. I mean, strawberries is quite normal, also. And now that one just seems a bit unusual to me. But perhaps there's not actually that much meat on an answer. Perhaps all you do is really taste the chocolate. But anyway, anything is possible. So on Wednesday, dip something in chocolate and see what it tastes like. Now want to finish off with a website I only just became aware of this week, my daughter's school sent home a link to this. It's a charity in the UK called Action for Happiness. And they described themselves as a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society, which I think is just a fabulous aim to have for society. It's been around for a long time, what I really liked is they've got a kindness calendar out for December. So this is a if you like like an advent calendar, but every day of the month of December, there's an action that you can take, which introduces kindness to you to your community. So I just picked out one thing for this week, Wednesday, the 16th on their calendar, their advice is look for something positive to say to everyone you speak to. So that's a really nice thing to pick out. They have calendars for every month of the year. So I think I'll be dipping back in in and out of this as we go through next year. And you can find more at their website actionforhappiness.org. Thank you for listening this week, you can find links to all the stories I've talked about in the show notes which are at ThankTheWeek.com please subscribe and tell your friends about the podcast. And if you can leave a rating or even a review in your favourite podcast player. That would be fantastic. So I hope you enjoy the build up to Christmas and I'll see you next week. Goodbye.