Ask Mr Brain... all will be explained

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 12:00am

Why do people get grumpy when they are tired? Does it require more energy to be cheerful?

Some people say when you are tired, communicating with others is an effort. Your grumpiness discourages others from trying to be sociable. Conversely, if you are cheerful, they are more likely to talk to you. So it can be said that cheerfulness takes more energy.

Another theory is that you snap when you are tired, not because being grumpy is less energy-demanding than being nice, but because you are afraid that being nice will encourage people to chat and maybe ask you to do something.

Both theories suggest an evolutionary hypothesis for irritability and grumpiness: that they are an adaptation for communicating an urgent need to conserve energy.

What is a unit trust?


St Joseph's College

Unit trusts are sold and managed by specialist companies which pool money and invest it in a range of stocks and shares. The company allows individuals to benefit from its experienced management and expert stock and bond selection. It allows individuals to make investments in a wide range of areas at low costs and with minimum risk.

Unit trusts basically offer non- experts a cheap way to buy shares and get steady, if not spectacular, returns on their investment.

Did James Bond really exist?

The name James Bond in the 007 books and movies was taken from an ornithologist (someone who studies birds) from Philadelphia and the author of a book called Birds of the West Indies.

While this book may not have been a bestseller, it caught the eye of an Englishman living in Jamaica in the 1950s - Ian Fleming.

Fleming was writing a book about a British secret service agent who had the code name 007, but had no name yet.

One day, as Fleming was looking through his collection of non-fiction books, he came across the perfect name for his character - James Bond. Fleming wrote later that he chose the name because it was 'brief, unromantic and yet very masculine, just what I needed'.

What did the real Bond think about his namesake ? He did not know until the early 1960s, when he read an interview in which Fleming explained how the character's name came to be.

In 1961, Mary Bond (the real Bond's wife) wrote to Fleming and joked about suing him for using the name. Fleming wrote back: 'Your husband has every right to sue me . . . In return, I can only offer your James Bond unlimited use of the name Ian Fleming for any purpose he may think fit.'

Who or what are snakeheads?

Snakeheads are Chinese gangsters who run human smuggling syndicates. These have links to Chinese communities all over the world.

Some Chinese pay huge sums to snakeheads to be transported in ships and sealed containers in the hope of escaping abroad.