Mike in Finland

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sampola discussion topic for Tuesday 10 April

Here is the topic for the class on 10 April.

April Fool’s Day
Is it a tradition for news media in Finland to publish joke stories on 1 April?
Did you see any such stories this year?
What about in earlier years?
Which has been the funniest / most believable / most incredible?
Have any joke stories ever backfired, e.g. caused people to panic?

These stories were published, mainly in the UK, on 1 April this year. Each story is followed by a few questions, plus the general question: Which do you believe are true?

1. There is a plan to introduce road signs in Britain warning drivers not to run over hedgehogs due to their falling numbers.
Which animals are mentioned on road signs in Finland?
Are there any signs that refer to small animal species?
Has road traffic had an impact on the population numbers of any species?

2. An American woman who put her house on the market for sale asked the estate agent to filter out supporters of Donald Trump from the potential buyers.
Is it possible (legal) in Finland to specify groups of people to whom houses or flats cannot be sold?
Is it possible in Finland to specify groups of people who are not allowed to live in specific buildings?

3. A man in the UK spent up to 4 hours every day for 2 years completing a jigsaw puzzle with 33,600 pieces. He said that his wife almost divorced him because of his hobby.
Do you like to do jigsaw puzzles?
What is the attraction?
Have you, or would you, ever embark on a really huge jigsaw?

4. The Students’ Union at Manchester University has discussed plans to name a litter bin after former deputy PM, Nick Clegg. However, the plan has now been scrapped. A spokesperson said that Nick Clegg did not deserve such an honour.
Are there cases in Finland of objects or buildings being named after a famous person?
Is it a good way to honour a person?
Do you know of cases of an unworthy person being commemorated in this way?
What about naming something after an important event?
Do you know of other forms of commemoration, in Finland or in other countries?

5. A woman in the UK was fined £1,100 because oil was leaking from her car onto the road.
Would this be an offence in Finland?
Do you think the penalty was too harsh, or justified?
Do you know of any cases of court sentences that in your opinion were too severe, either for road and traffic violations, or other offences?

6. A documentary film has been made for cinema release in the UK about a group of middle-aged men who wear Lycra when cycling.  They are known as ‘Mamils’.
Would you want to see a film about middle-aged men in Lycra?