How many words?

How many words does it take to spell out the word of God, the rules on cabbages, and the regulations on eating at the Olympics?

If you have been reading my ramblings in this blog for some time you might have reached the conclusion that I like words.  And by and large in that you will be correct.

So I have been rather attracted to this little ditty which you will find replicated on all sorts of internet sites…

Pythagoras’ Theorem: …………………….24 words.
Lord’s Prayer: …………………………………… 66 words.
Archimedes’ Principle: ……………………………67 words.
Ten Commandments: …………………………………179 words.
Gettysburg Address: …………………………………………286 words.
US Declaration of Independence: …………………………1,300 words.
US Constitution with all 27 Amendments: ……………………7,818 words.
EU Regulations on the Sale of CABBAGES: …………….…………26,911 words.

That just about does it for the EU doesn’t it?  Indeed you may have heard about it.  It has been publicised a lot.

And yes, I must admit, I fell for it, and it wasn’t until I showed the piece to one of my customers who was popping in to add some documents to his collection held at the Admiral Storage Facility (and who is a guy who knows about these things) that I realised I had been conned.

As I have now discovered and indeed validated through some assiduous research (OK, two minutes on Wikipedia – but at least I did it, which is more than some people do!) the cabbage story first turned up as a part of an anti-Federal government propaganda programme in the USA in the 1950s.

In fact The Washington Post has apparently twice run articles detailing its known history – one in the early 1960s and the other in 1992.

The cabbage story also turned up in Pearls of Wisdom: A Book of Aphorisms in 1987 and it still does the rounds despite the fact that it is still (as it has always been) completely untrue.

I can’t speak for the Federal Government in America, but I can tell you the actual EU regulations on cabbages run to 1990 words and are there to prevent dubious farmers selling bad veg to shopkeepers.  I’m not going to try to argue if that is a good or bad thing – I’m just saying, that’s why they are there and that is how long they are.

Now I probably wouldn’t have mentioned any of this had it not been for the fact that one of my customers has a collection of memorabilia relating to the London Olympics, and we were discussing this recently.  Indeed we turned our attention (as one does) to the food and drink terms and conditions imposed upon people who actually went into the stadium.

Within that is a notice (clause 19.2.3 if you must know) which prohibits (without exception) “bottles or containers made of glass or other material” from being taken into the venue.  This is in addition to the blanket ban elsewhere in the regulations on taking in “food (save for baby food,) alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (save for baby milk and other valid medical reasons”.)

Which raises the question how does one transport the baby milk (other than when it is still within the mother) since all “bottles or containers” were banned?

Ah well, you may say (if you are still with me) the Olympics Committee were avoiding the cabbage problem.  They didn’t want to overburden visitors with words.

Except that the terms and conditions on what you could and could not take into the London Olympics ran to 7140 words – only a fraction under the length of the US constitution with all 27 amendments, and 40 times the length of the Ten Commandments.

Not to mention three times the length of EU regulations on cabbages.

So one might say that the all-encompassing rules of God as handed down to Moses, which determine our complete mode of behaviour in all aspects of life takes up 2.5% of the space of the rules and regulations for food and drink while watching the Olympics.

One wonders why the Olympics committee didn’t follow the old adage devised by a design studio in Chicago in 1932 (and then cleverly but wrongly attributed by them to Confucius) that a picture is worth 10,000 words.

On this basis the London Olympic Committee could have produced three quarters of a drawing and conveyed all they want to convey on food and drink through all those words.

But still, if you have documents and the like, you may well want to keep them safe, no matter how many words they contain.

The London Olympic Committee has now long since wound itself up (something that I suspect it must surely have proclaimed in a document longer than the mythical EU cabbage document) but its words, and those of many others, need to live on and be kept for posterity.

Meanwhile, words or no words, when you need us you know we are here.

You can find more information about our facilities on our website at   Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 810 1125.

Admiral Document Storage
Bloxwich Lane
Tel: 0800 810 1125


FB Twitter

How the end of the world and the permissible limits of operation of Apples may be connected. Or not.

Why is the writing of signs, information, and notifications so difficult?   Was it always like this, or is it something that has just cropped up in recent years?

And yes, I know I have mentioned this topic before, but having done so it seems that a significant number of people who use the Admiral Storage Facility have decided that any sign or notification that they see, which is the slightest bit quirky, should be drawn to my attention at once, if not before.

Thus it is that this week I’ve been told about a man in Australia who has been fined for selling faulty solar systems, according to an article in Herald Sun.   It seems that the law agencies felt that the crime was worthy of a fine of A$15,000.

Now, I may have missed something here but it seems to me that a faulty solar system is a rather dangerous concept.  I mean, as a result there must be a chance of Jupiter colliding with the asteroid belt, and then as a result showering fragments of would-be planets into the earth’s atmosphere.

Worse, Pluto, now officially a non-planet might get it into its little head to take revenge on this down-grading and leave the icy wastes at the edge of the solar system and head straight for the manufacturer.

I truly hope that the fine, which Google tells me is currently equivalent to £8031.67, is increased at once, to placate all offended life forms, no matter where they reside.

Meanwhile in Asda it seems that one can find cans of shaving cream with the helpful phrase “Solvent abuse can kill instantly” on the side in big letters.  Which is all very good.

Except that (according to my informant) below that it says, “Try me Love me” which I presume is the name of the concoction inside (and which I find disturbing in relation to the “can kill instantly” notice above).

And below that it says “We’ll refund and replace if you are not 100% happy.”

I am not sure that a juxtaposition of these three sets of instructions like this really does carry the sort of gravitas that we might be looking for on such a dangerous object.

But confusion is, I fear, the order of the day. I have personally always found smart phones and iphones inherently confusing and am currently struggling to work out how to delete apps from my Samsung, following an instruction to the effect that my phone has now run out of memory.  It seems, however, that there is no way of doing what I want.

Which is depressing, or at least would be, were it not for the fact that iPhones these days come with a note saying that they can operate between 0 degrees and 35 degrees centigrade.

It then helpfully points out that the temperatures around which it cannot operate are minus 20 degrees centigrade to 45 degrees centigrade.

Now when I was at school the temperatures of 0 (the freezing point of water as I recall) to 35 (very very hot) was included within the temperature range of minus 20 degrees (put on every bit of clothing you can find, do not try to go out of the house, stay by the fire and wait for rescue) up to 45 degrees (well, if we got there none of us would know about it so best not to worry).

But seemingly not.  Mind you I have always felt that most mobile phones exist in another reality from the one I am in.   Each week I am called four or five times and told that I was involved in an accident that wasn’t my fault and that I can claim compensation (it isn’t true, I wasn’t) and that following my purchase of 50 cases of fine wines last year there’s another shipment available if I would care to indulge (which I didn’t and I don’t).

Either the world has gone mad, or the number of con men with mobile phones is on the rise.  I can’t quite decide which.

FB Twitter

Top ten tips when moving house or moving offices

  1. Check what your insurance company will and won’t do.

Some home and office insurance policies have specific exclusion clauses about moving.  Check before you start.

  1. Make a list

After that basic point in part one, make a list, make sure you know where it is, and keep adding to it.  Put everything on, including the “of course I won’t forget that!” items.

  1. Make a schedule

You might not stick to it, but a schedule can help get things in the right order.

  1. Be ruthless in clearing out

All of us collect more and more things that we don’t need.  There is no point paying hundreds of pounds extra to move items that you will never ever use or need.

  1. Claim your free packing boxes from Admiral and do some sample packing.

Click here to claim your free packing boxes. We also supply high quality guaranteed packaging materials for total protection of your items in transit

  1. Make a list of the order of packing

Don’t pack the kettle until the end, don’t let the children get involved (they’ll pack stuff they need ten minutes later), and do consider exactly what you will need first when you arrive, and put it in one or two boxes.

  1. Work either on one room at a time or one type of thing at a time

If you have rooms that contain items you can do without, then work on them first.

  1. Label each box

Not labelling boxes is one of the biggest regrets of most people who move.  You’ll never remember where everything is, and there is bound to be something you need.

  1. Heavier items at the bottom, lighter items at the top

It’s fairly obvious – but easy to forget if you don’t plan.

  1. Put vital documents together

Not just documents for the move, but all your key personal items.  You might not have needed your birth certificate or driving licence or passport for a while, but you never know.   Just get them all in one folder and label it.

FB Twitter