Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 July, 2012, 12:00am

Noel Gallagher, who along with his High Flying Birds will be appearing in Hong Kong next month, has been banned from playing on the mainland for his part in a Tibetan freedom concert in 1997. Gallagher (below) admits to not knowing what many of his lyrics mean and says he has no idea what he was talking about when he wrote Don't Look Back in Anger. And what is a 'wonderwall' anyway? Well, it's a wall in a weird scientist's apartment with holes that allow him to peep on his glamorous neighbour, as seen in the 1968 film of the same name starring Jane Birkin ...

The Francophile actress is probably best remembered for panting her way through the erotic song Je t'aime ... moi non plus, which, with lyrics such as 'Je vais et je viens, entre tes reins' ('I go and I come, between your loins'), became the first banned song to take the No1 spot in the British charts. On a Paris-London flight in 1981, Birkin was embarrassed when her belongings fell out of a straw bag she was stowing overhead. After complaining to the passenger next to her that she couldn't find a suitable weekend bag, the man promptly went off and created one for her, that man being Jean-Louis Dumas, the head of Hermes ...

A basic Hermes Birkin bag can be had today for a tidy HK$50,000 (Mong Kok knock-offs notwithstanding). The luxury goods company was founded in 1837 and has remained under the family's control. Each item is made start to finish by the same artisan. An Hermes scarf is said to be sold every 25 seconds and they can be seen everywhere, from postage stamps featuring Queen Elizabeth to the bondage scene in Basic Instinct, where one was employed as a restraint by a meticulously shorn Sharon Stone ...

The asthmatic, diabetic, caffeine-intolerant former McDonald's employee relishes the limelight she has worked so hard to attract. In 2002, with nary a hint of irony, Stone was invited to Cannes to judge what good films should look like. The 54-year-old, who refused to apologise for attributing the Sichuan earthquake to 'karma', doesn't have a fantastic record when it comes to integrity. Having described the Dalai Lama as a 'good friend' despite having met him only once, she also confessed to years of lying about having an IQ of 148 and being a member of Mensa ...

The name of the non-profit, non-political, non-racial, non-religious organisation is taken from the Latin mensa, meaning 'table'. The only apparent purpose of this organisation is to allow members, most of whom are unburdened by genius, to tediously assert their affiliation. A group that is supposed to cater to the top 2 per cent of brainiacs saw its ranks swell recently when a group of prepubescent schoolboys took the Mensa test: 30 of them passed, with eight declared brighter than Albert Einstein. However dubious such results seem, it should be noted that the boys were all students of King's School in Grantham, the alma mater of Isaac Newton ...

A likely sufferer of Asperger's syndrome, the titan of physics was a humble man, as evidenced in his summation of his career: 'If I can see further than anyone else, it is only because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.' Newton was also a warden of the Royal Mint, a ceremonial role he took seriously, so much so that he would disguise himself as a frequenter of taverns to find counterfeiters, 28 of whom he succeeded in prosecuting and having hanged, drawn and quartered. About 300 years later, the last part of his quote, which is inscribed onto two-pound coins, was drunkenly written down on a cigarette packet to be used as an album title by the not-so-humble Noel Gallagher.


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