Alternative newsletter archive

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Alternative Newsletter April 

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Alternative Newsletter March – 2

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Alternative Newsletter March 

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Alternative Newsletter February – 2

Alternative Newsletter February
Friday, February 9th, 2018


  • The Super Bowl’s live audience is more than 3 times greater than any other televised event in the US. A 30-second ad now costs in excess of $5m, meaning advertising revenue received by Fox is more than the GDP of small countries like Anguilla.
  • Cows only eat grass but have 25,000 taste buds: two and a half times as many as humans.
  • Shaquille O’Neal hit almost 12,000 baskets in his basketball career. Only 1 of them was a 3-pointer.

Rugby Union
We predicted two of the three 6 Nations results last weekend, thanks to Jonathan Sexton’s sensational injury time drop goal to give Ireland victory against France.  Here are some of the stand out statistics from Round 1:
Conor Murray, the Irish scrum half made 145 passes, the next closest being Italy’s Marcello Violi with 86.French skipper Guilhem Guirado made an astonishing 31 tackles, and in total 7 of the top 10 tacklers from Round 1 were French. England made 153 tackles compared with Italy’s 131. Scotland beat more defenders than Wales, despite losing the match by 34-7. France last lost their first match of consecutive 5/6 Nations campaigns in 1963-64.So did the scoreline flatter England? Should Ireland have won more comfortably? Having fallen 2 places in the world rankings (from 5th to 7th), can Scotland bounce back to victory against France (who are now ranked 10th) in Sundays high pressure game? And can Agathos go one better and predict all three games?

Saturday: Ireland v Italy at 1415 – Ireland in a high scoring game.
England v Wales at 1645 – England in the most ferocious game of the weekend.
Sunday – Scotland v France at 1500 – Scotland, in the closest game of the weekend.

Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics have now started in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Team GB has sent a record 59 athletes, aiming to become GB’s most successful winter games with a medal target of five or more. 169 Russian athletes are set to compete as neutrals. In total more than 3,000 athletes will compete in 102 medal events in the following 15 sports: Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Cross-Country Skiing, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Long Track Speedskating, Luge, Nordic Combined, Short Track Speedskating, Skeleton, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding.

What is the most popular sport amongst these? The answer obviously depends upon where in the world the questions is asked. Whilst Ice Hockey may seem like the marquee cold weather sport, particularly in the U.S, Canada, and Russia , according to viewing data on YouTube over the past year from Google it pales in comparison to other sports like curling and bobsleighing. In 2014, based on information from internet headlines, the most popular event was figure skating, with almost three times as many users as the second most read-about sport, ice hockey.

Tottenham play Arsenal on Saturday at 1230, a huge game in the context of the 4th place Champions League spot. Sixth place Arsenal are currently 4 points behind Tottenham, and 5 points behind 4th place Chelsea. Chelsea have only won once in the Premier league this year and in their last 2 matches lost 4-1 to Watford and 3-0 to Bournemouth. They must wait until Monday evening when they face bottom side West Bromwich Albion at home. Tottenham and Chelsea will be favourites, but we are going for an away win and a draw, and prior to the next newsletter Chelsea to have appointed their 11th different coach in 15 years.

The Champions League last 16 first legs take place next Tuesday and Wednesday, with 5 Premier League clubs hoping to progress. We think 3 of them will make it to the Quarter Finals. In a random fact, on this day in 1979 Trevor Francis became the UK’s first ever million pound signing when he joined Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City.

Next Saturday, 17th February George Groves will fight Chris Eubank Jr at the Manchester Arena in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series. As well as a spot in the World Boxing Super Series final, Groves will be defending his WBA Super crown, whilst Eubank Jnr is putting his IBO belt on the line. We predict a knockout win for Eubank Jnr in the 9th round of this super-middleweight clash.

There are potentially four matches for England over the coming fortnight in a Twenty20 Tri-series. Both New Zealand and England have already lost in their opening game to Australia. England face Australia again in Melbourne tomorrow, before playing New Zealand in Wellington on the 13th, and in Hamilton on 18th February. Should England make it, the final is on the 21st February in Auckland. We think England will get to the final but that Australia will avenge their 4-1 One day International Series loss to England last month.

Random Question (there is a logical answer…. to be given in our be next newsletter)
Your options are: 50 hawks, 10 crocodiles, 3 brown bears, 15 wolves, 1 hunter, 10,000 rats, 5 gorillas or 4 lions. You must pick two that will defend you while the rest are coming to kill you. Which do you pick and why?

5 News/Business Talking Points
  1. Where are the UK’s most congested routes  at peak times and how many hours are lost per driver annually?
  2. How do the Norwegians recycle 98% of their plastic bottles?
  3. How much of the news could be written by robots
  4. Who’s winning battle of space race billionaires
  5. What are the weirdest things that have been sent into space over the years?

World Record attempt
A good friend to Agathos, Kiko Matthews, has set off on an amazing challenge, to be the fastest female to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic, solo and unsupported. 5 women have successfully made the crossing solo before, and Kiko is aiming to cross the ocean in 11 days less than the current world record of 56 days. Her key message of empowerment and her personal story is inspirational.

“To win without risk is to triumph without glory”
Pierre Corneille

Alternative Newsletter January – 2
Friday, January 26th, 2018


  • Charlie Chaplin once lost a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest.
  • The one-woman town of Monowi, Nebraska is the only officially incorporated municipality with a population of 1. The sole, 83-year-old resident is the city’s mayor, librarian, and bartender.
  • In 1872, Russia sold Alaska to the Unites States for about 2 cents per acre.

The fourth round of the FA Cup takes place this weekend. Manchester united play League Two side Yeovil this evening, with 86 league positions separating the teams, the most of any fixture in the round. Will Alexis Sanchez start his Manchester United career at Huish Park? The fixture also marks Mourinho’s 100th game in charge of United on his 55th birthday. They have won 61 of 99 games since he took charge. Having signed a new contract earlier this week will Mourinho now look to buy a house in Manchester as opposed to living in a hotel? The Lowry hotel will hope not – at £816 a night, an extra year of Mourinho’s business is worth circa £300k to them, or a basic weeks wage to Alexis Sanchez.How much do top managers earn compared to players? Last October, Business Insider put together a list of the 15 highest-earning managers in the world of international and club football, using various sources of data. Despite 8 of the top 15 coming from Premier League clubs, top of the list is the manager of the China national football team, Marcello Lippi, who purportedly earns an annual wage of £18 million per year. The Manchester clubs make up the top 3, with Guardiola and Mourinho earning circa £15m per year. Surprisingly no Italian or Spanish based managers make the top 10.

Rugby Union 
The Six nations begins next weekend, and as usual it is being built up as the most competitive tournament in recent history. Are there arguments in favour of this? Whilst it’s almost impossible to see Italy winning the tournament, could the winner realistically come from any of the 5 other nations?

England start as favourites to win their the third consecutive 6 Nations, with 22 wins from 23 games under coach Eddie Jones and ranked second in the world. England have the longest injury list with over 15 possible inclusions either ruled out or struggling to make it back to full fitness. They travel to Italy on February 4th, where we will see how far Italy have progressed under Conor O’Shea, and what their tactics will be against England this year.

Ireland are third in the world rankings and favourites to end England’s reign as 6 Nations champions. They beat South Africa by a record 35 points in the Autumn and if they can beat France away in the first weekend, they have 3 home fixtures before they travel to Twickenham on the final day. Will that game be the Grand Slam decider? Domestically Leinster and Munster have qualified as No 1 and No 3 seeds in the Champions Cup quarter-finals, meaning that form and confidence will be high for the bulk of the team.

Scotland travel to Wales, having beaten them for the first time in the tournament since 2007 last year.  They came very close to beating New Zealand in the Autumn and put 50 points on Australia. Wales will be without their two leading fly-halves but have a proud home record. According to the bookies, Wales start this game as marginal favourites, although Scotland’s odds to win the tournament are 8-1, as opposed to Wales at 16-1.  If Wales get momentum from winning the first game do they become serious contenders? We think that Scotland, Ireland and England will win on the opening weekend but that ultimately this will be Ireland’s year….

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will face top seed Simona Halep from Romania in the women’s singles final of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday at 8.30am GMT. The men’s singles final is scheduled to start 24 hours later. British No.2, Kyle Edmund reached the semi finals but was overcome by Marin Cilic. Cilic will face defending champion Roger Federer in what will be their tenth meeting, with Cilic only having beaten Federer once at the US Open in 2014. Federer has not lost a set in the tournament and is aiming for his 20th Grand Slam. Is he playing the best tennis of his career at 36?

American Football
Super Bowl LII takes place in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday, 4th February. This will be the 52nd Super Bowl, and is a rematch of the 2004 Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, which the Patriots won 24-21. The Patriots are seeking to become the first team to win back to back Super Bowls since they won Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX in 2004 and 2005. The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to win their first ever Super Bowl championship, having previously lost on two occasions. They have not played in a Super Bowl final since losing to the Patriots in 2004.12 inches of snow fell in  Minneapolis last Monday, the northernmost city to host a Super Bowl.

5 News/Business Talking Points
  1. What percentage of of UK employees were enthused about their work and work environment in 2016?
  2. What contentious industry has seen M&A activity in Canada this week?
  3. What is behind the trend in numbers of UK mortgage approvals?
  4. How many UK postcode districts do not contain an ATM machine?
  5. How much does an F-35 fighter Jet cost to produce, operate and store?
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.
Conrad Hilton

Alternative Newsletter January
Friday, January 12th, 2018


  • There are only six verified deaths recorded in the Great Fire of London
  • Sharks are older than trees (i.e. they were on earth before the first tree)
  • Half of the US population live in just nine states

Boston Celtics beat Philadelphia 76ers in the eighth regular-season game to be played in London last night. The Boston Celtics currently sit top of the NBA Eastern Conference and with 16 titles are the most successful club in NBA history. In the late 1950s and 1960s they won eight straight championships, which is the longest consecutive title run of any professional team in U.S. sports history. To put this in perspective, the most consecutive league title wins in English football is 3 – Huddersfield town in 1920’s, Arsenal in the 1930’s, Liverpool in the 1980’s and Manchester United twice from 1998 to 2001 and 2006 to 2009. Will this record ever be broken in professional sports leagues?

The NBA was watched by more than 750 million TV viewers in China in 2016, but where did the sport begin? Canadian James Naismith, a physical education teacher, invented the game in 1891 when he was looking for ways to keep his gym class busy on a rainy day. Basketball was introduced to England in 1895 and was played by both men and women. At the turn of the century school teachers from England travelled to many countries of the then British Empire, and the game “ladies basketball” (if prior to 1901) went with them. Soon after in England, in 1901 the first set of rules was published and ‘netball’ officially came into existence. In Australia and New Zealand it was called Women’s Basketball until 1970, when the name was changed to Netball.England’s netball team play the two best teams in the world this month, facing New Zealand (Silver Ferns) on the 20th January and then Australia (Samsung Diamonds) on the 22nd at the Copper Box in London. More than 1.2 million Australians play netball, more than rugby union and rugby league put together.

The final rounds of the European Champions Cup Group stages take place over the next 2 weekends. 8 sides go through to the Quarter Finals with the top 4 qualifiers securing home advantage. Clermont Auvergne and Leinster are the only two teams to have won all 4 games in the pool stages meaning all pools have crunch games this weekend. Our pick of the games are Scarlets vs Bath (loser almost certainly won’t qualify), Ospreys versus Saracens (likely to be a straight shoot out as to who qualifies in a runners up spot behind Clermont), Ulster vs La Rochelle (where the winner will top the pool going into the final round) and Racing 92 vs Munster (where three teams are still alive). There is also the added individual incentive for many of the players with 6 Nations team selection imminent.

The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on the 15th, with the finals on the weekend of 27th January. Roger Federer is the defending champion and favourite, despite Rafael Nadal being World Number 1. Federer was only beaten five times in the whole of 2017 and won all four of his matches against Nadal, although Nadal leads their fourteen-year-old rivalry with an overall record of 23–15 (13–2 on clay).

Serena Willliams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, will not be playing in the competition, saying she didn’t want to compete in a tournament she felt she couldn’t win. She is already the most successful player of the Open era and only two Grand Slam titles away from surpassing Margaret Court’s record.

Liverpool play Manchester City on Sunday at 4pm. Manchester city are 15 points clear and have gone 22 matches unbeaten in the league so far this season. They beat Liverpool 5-0 at the start of September but since then Liverpool have lost just twice and are unbeaten in 17 games dating back to October. What are the odds of a goalless draw with the attacking line ups of these 2 sides?

5 News/Business Talking Points
  1. Why are Spotify doing a private IPO?
  2. How much more did UK Consumers spend on groceries in the final 12 weeks of  2017 than in 2016?
  3. Will the Segway advance personal robot (Loomo) be more successful than the first iteration?
  4. What recreational activity has the World Health Organisation recently recognised can become a mental health disorder?
  5. How much are overseas students worth to the UK economy?
AGATHOS FESTIVE QUIZ – Questions and answers
  1. What was the original colour of Santa’s red and white suit? Green
  2. Who wrote Auld Lang Syne? Robert Burns
  3. By what title was the song Jingle Bells originally released? One Horse Open Sleigh
  4. What is a baby reindeer called? A calf
  5. In which famous American building is the Blue Room Christmas Tree located? The White House
  6. Which country donates the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square to Great Britain every year? Norway
  7. Which Christmas carol was originally written in Latin as Adeste Fideles? O Come, All Ye Faithful
  8. What did Prince Albert bring from Germany and introduce to Britain in the early 1840’s? The christmas tree
  9. In which country is Lapland located? Finland
  10. What huge Christmas gift did France give to the United States of America in 1886? The Statue of Liberty
  11. Which band made Christmas number one in the UK in 1996, 1997 and 1998? The Spice Girls
  12. In which decade was the movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ released? 1940’s
  13. When Kevin is left home alone for the first time, where is the family’s destination for their Christmas vacation? Paris
  14. Which Century are turkeys thought to have first appeared in Britain? 16th century
  15. Christmas Tree’ is a term commonly associated with which sport? Football
  16. In what year was Band Aid’s original version of ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ recorded? 1984
  17. Following our Game of Thrones themed Christmas party, can you guess which characters we are?  From left to right: Simon, Will, Karen, Albert, Sinead, Charles, Jim Khal Drago, Tormund, Margaery Tyrell, Ned Stark, Ygritte, Tywin Lannister, The Hound


“Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.”
Albert Einstein

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter Special Quiz Edition


Friday, December 15th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 24

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 23

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 22

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 21

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 20

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 19

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 18

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 17

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 16

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Alternative newsletter 15

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 14

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 13

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 12

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 11

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 10

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 9

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 8

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 7

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 6

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Alternative newsletter 5

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 4

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 3

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 2

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Alternative Newsletter 1