The Digestive

Unusual taxes- Part 9

Soap Tax

soap taxThis tax was introduced during the middle ages by European governments. It lasted a long time. In the UK, this remained in existence for around 200 years and finally repealed in 1835.

Unusual taxes- Part 8

Scutage Tax

knightThis was first introduced by King Henry I (monarch from 1100-1135). It was an opportunity for Knights to opt out of their duties to fight in wars by paying a tax known as Scutage Tax.

Unusual taxes- Part 7

Chinese Head Tax

Chinese Head Tax

In Canada, in the early 1800’s, Chinese immigrants were brought over to provide labour work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is also worth noting that the Chinese immigrants were paid merely a 1/3rd of what their Canadian counterparts were paid.

Unusual taxes - Part 6

Breast Tax


This tax was introduced in India in the early 1800s and was most certainly one of the more inhumane taxes.

Unusual taxes- Part 5

Hearth Tax

CW HearthThis was created in England in 1660, imposed in 1662 and lasted until 1689. Essentially the Hearth Tax was created as it was easier to count the number of hearths rather than heads. Parliament worked out that the Royal Household needed an annual income of £1,200,000 and Hearth Tax was thought to raise £300,000 per annum, though it never raised anything close to this figure.

Unusual taxes- Part 4

Urine Tax

urine tax 1

In 2015, what uses do you think we could possibly have for urine? Is this a thought that comes to your mind when flushing away the urine you just passed?

Unusual Taxes- Part 3

Window Tax

window tax

Ever wondered where the phrase “daylight robbery” came from? Well I can tell you. It was when Window Tax was introduced in England in 1696.

As with many historic taxes, this was aimed at ensuring that the wealthier the person the more tax they would pay as they would live in a larger house with more windows.

Unusual taxes- Part 2

Wigs & Wig Powder Tax and Hat Tax


William Pitt the Younger is most famous for levying income tax as a “temporary measure” to raise funds for the Napoleonic War.

Unusual taxes- Part 1

Beard Tax


The Russian Emperor, Peter the Great decided that beards were out of style in Europe and enforced a beard tax to modernise his country’s society. This was introduced in 1698 and all men sporting facial hair had to carry around a token as proof of payment. The coin had engraved into it 2 phases; “the beard tax has been taken” and "the beard is a superfluous burden".

Power of Social Media

Social media has changed how people live their lives and work. It is used as a tool to connect with friends, colleagues and clients. Though how can you really make full use of the power of social media?

Contractor Weekly’s guide to the Galaxy S6

samsung galaxy s6

The new Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is fast approaching so with only 3 days to go we have decided to take a look at what’s on offer. The S6 is coming in two variations, the normal Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. The S6 Edge looks slightly different to the Galaxy S6, the Edge has a curved screen.

Spring Watch

spring watch

Exciting times for Apple, with the latest conference Apple held in San Francisco on 9th March. Showcasing a range of new and improved products.

Clash of the Tablets

clash of the tablets

Many people ask me the question, “What would you recommend I get; A PC or a tablet?” Nowadays this is actually a really good question, if I had been asked this a few years ago I would have said a PC hands down. However now that the tablets are becoming ever more powerful, it is actually a question of should I get a tablet or a PC?

War of the Smartwatches


The idea of the smart watch has been around for a far few years now, if you remember Captain Kirk used to speak into his watch. But after some digging about it turns out that detective Dick Tracy used a watch back in the 1930s as a kind of two-way radio. So the idea of smart watch dates back more than 80 years.

Life of Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 2 Review

The Raspberry Pi foundation has just released its latest round of Pi goodness into the world with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. We have had a look around the new board and it looks ‘berry’ delicious.

Support a Contractor in Need

Contractor Weekly are encouraging donations for three year old Effie Hadman and her hard working family in a time of dire need.

Three year old Effie Hadman was tragically diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that has prompted her family to relocate to where Effie can embark on a brand new medical trial; a pioneering innovative treatment for her very rare disease.

Our Top 5 iOS7 Features

We give you our favourite features of the new iOS7 update. Never heard of it? Then get out of your cave and look on ‘settings’.

This month, an event happened that changed the world as we know it. The once docile, normal and in some cases pleasant citizens of our world were reduced to astonished and confused chimpanzees, our usual daily grind turned upside down into near apocalyptic bewilderment. I am of course talking about the recent Apple iOS7 update, a modification that marked the biggest change to the iPhone interface since the trailblazing talky boxes went on sale back in 2008.

The Best of the Internet – Snow and Ice

For those who dare not venture out into the cold for fear of losing limbs during these treacherous, snow covered days, there is only one thing that passes the time spent huddled up indoors with a hot water bottle. Before you think anything untoward, this is obviously looking at videos of others enduring the perilous conditions of the outside world.

The Internet Turns 30

In an age of IT contractors, web analysts, site developers and data managers, it is very strange to think that the internet is only just turning 30.

Long to Reign Over Us

With the Diamond Jubilee now nothing but a hazy memory, our minds softly dimmed by a constant flow of Pimms and lemonade, the country can now dare to look back at ‘Rule Britannia’s attempt to celebrate the 60 year reign of the Queen of England.

Google Street View Art Exhibition

A Montreal-based artist is promoting his new collection of photography, all taken from Google Street View.

Jon Rafman’s collection, which is entitled, in homage to the nine photographic lenses the van Google uses to create their highly successful programme.

Not Just A One Trick Pony

David Beckham has recently joined forces with H&M to release a range of men’s underwear. This venture arises the recurring idea, that for a celebrity to be a true success, they need to be as multidimensional as possible. In saying that, I’m sure the vast majority would consider Golden Balls’ wage to be a success.  This article has a look at a select few celebs who have crossed over from one platform to another.

Top 5 Cover Versions

Great songs are often the subject of some rather questionable cover versions, with also-rans trying to make the most of a far superior original composition.

However, every so often a band will take on a song and throw it firmly into the musical stratosphere by reinventing or simply putting their own spin on things. Contractor Weekly compiles their top 5 cover versions.

Love, Love Me Do

After the mince pie haze of Christmas has dispersed and January has passed, we then suffer the marketing ploy which finds us compelled to try our hand at romance. Valentine’s day will see all manner of gifts emblazoned with the iconic “love heart” image.

Is This Your Cat?

A very confused cat caused a stoppage in the Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur game on Monday night.

As the cat prowls around Spurs' six yard box, you can clearly see Kenny Dalgliesh pondering whether it would be of more benefit to him up front than Andy Carroll.

Crossing the Pond

The news that one of the UK’s most celebrated sitcoms, Only Fools and Horses, is to be remade in the US, has generated some immediate chin scratching.

How on earth do the yanks intend to recreate one of the most intrinsically and quintessentially British television programmes ever made? And is there any chance of success? Contractor Weekly takes a look at other similar plans by American executives to put their own spin on British classics.

Famous Last Words

The turbulent nature of the current economic climate has led to many incorrect predictions as to the next turn in this seemingly never-ending saga.

With the high risk of making a guess as to what will happen next, the doom-mongerers or optimists keep bringing the phrase ‘famous last words’ to mind.

Feeling Peckish?

Sometimes the highlight of a particularly grueling day can be lunchtime, and the culinary delights that the nearest supermarket or your own kitchen has provided.

Perhaps though, there are some out there who would like to broaden their consumptive horizons, and so Contractor Weekly has delved into the weirdest and most wonderful foods out there. Here are our top 5 strange foods from around the world. Whether you add them to your January diet plans is down to you!

2012: Dates for your Diary

Now that the New Year hangovers will (hopefully) have passed, and people across the nation will be already breaking their resolutions, it is time to look towards the year ahead.

What can we expect from 2012 then? There are big events that will affect both the contracting and wider world, and Contractor Weekly brings you some important dates for your diary, as well as some Contracting wishes for the new year!

A Genuine Hangover Cure?

A former finance worker has developed the first official ‘Hangover Cure’ to be recognised by a government health body.

American Brenna Haysom’s invention, a tablet named ‘Blowfish’, will be available to buy in America in January and may be in shops in the UK by 2013.

Top 5 Christmas Films to Avoid

Though some may begrudge it, the countdown to Christmas really has begun now, and it won’t be long before the festive season is well and truly upon is.

Be you a scrooge or a Christmas fanatic, nearly everybody enjoys sitting around and watching a nice festive film on a December evening. With this in mind then, Contractor Weekly gives you the top 5 films to avoid this Christmas time.

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