The Bluffer's Guide to Football

Packed with football trivia

Your one-stop crib to football

The Bluffer's Guide to Football

Packed with football trivia

Buy The Bluffer's Guide to Football at Amazon

Revelations include the fact that the residents of Chester once celebrated victory over marauding Danes by playing football with the head of a defeated opponent. Rather annoyingly, when I wrote the book I didn't know the story of how Subbuteo got its name, or that would have gone straight in. (The inventor wanted to call it ‘Hobby', but was denied permission for a trademark because the word was too general - so he chose the second half of ‘falco subbuteo', the scientific name for the hobby bird.)

One thing the book does contain is an explanation not just of the offside rule (everyone knows that), but of how to explain the offside rule (nobody ever knows how to do that).

Others...

What Men Think About Sex

What Men Think About Sex

The race is on...

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The Catch

The Catch

One man, one woman, one problem ...

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The C Words

The C Words

Commitment, coupledom, children...

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The Bluffer's Guide to Bond

The Bluffer's Guide to Bond

Packed with Bond trivia

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The Importance of Being Trivial

The Importance of Being Trivial

The book that gave this site its name

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Walk The Lines

Walk The Lines

The London Underground Overground

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Move Along Please

Move Along Please

Land's End to John O'Groats by local bus

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Mail Obsession

Mail Obsession

A Journey Round Britain By Postcode

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Question Time

Question Time

A Journey Round Britain's Quizzes

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Content

Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.