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The daily catch-up: knitting, why Ed wants to be PM and a colloquium of Indy-pedants

Notables and curiosities collected from the further (and nearer) shores of the world-wide web

1. "Can't explain this but God it cheers me up!" says R Sutherland, of this picture (above) via  Alok Jha. Quite.

2. Ed Miliband is "always just one more meeting away from making his mind up", according to one of several anonymous people quoted by Daniel Hodges. Zombie Hodges (he and I were once accused of being Blairite zombies) is a firm Edwardsceptic, but this is a more balanced blog post than usual. Inspired by Miliband's curious comment on why he went to Washington on Monday, "I am going because I want to be the prime minister of Britain in less than 10 months,” Hodges went in search of the answer to the question, Why does Ed Miliband want to be prime minister? I am not sure he gets closer than: because he has a reasonable chance of making it to No 10. But it is interesting. 

3. A bevy of Indy-pedants review Weird Al's "Word Crime" video for today's Independent. I wasn't impressed.

4. Mike Higgins, editor of The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, had a brilliant idea for a list of the Top 10 Once-Common Sounds. He suggested dial-up modems and electric milk floats. The most popular nomination so far has been the sound of an old phone's rotary dial turning and then clacking back. What I have discovered, though, is that there does not seem to be a recording of the old UK dialling tone, a reassuring mechanical purr for anyone under about 47, anywhere on the internet. Any more nominations to me on Twitter.

5. Labour History Group asked a good quiz question yesterday: "A current Cabinet Minister & a current Shadow Cabinet member once stood against each other at a general election - who?"

The answer is here, but the question prompted more questions.

Colfe's History Dept asked: "Who would you say are the two biggest names ever to have stood against each other?"

The best answer was probably this one: Oswald Mosley stood against Neville Chamberlain in Ladywood in 1924 – and lost by only 77 votes.

Michael Crick then asked a good but unrelated question: "Who was first Tory in the 1997 intake to reach Cabinet?"

The answer is here. And for some reason, the Twitter conversation ended up with Damian Green, the Tory MP who has just left the Government, telling the world that his wife had not sewn up David Cameron's trousers at a Conservative selection meeting: "In the interests of historical accuracy it was Sam's dress that Alicia sewed up."

6. Finally, news just in from Amber de Botton of Sky News:

"Highway Agency: motorist pulled over because they saw 'Fire' on dashboard display; later turned out it was the Adele track they were listening to."