Thursday, November 10, 2005

10 THINGS

10 THINGS WE DIDN'T KNOW THIS TIME LAST WEEK.

Snippets harvested from the week's news, chopped, sliced and diced for your weekend convenience.

1. In Guy Fawkes's day, those who persistently refused to attend Protestant services were fined £20 a month - the annual salary of a school teacher.
2. Margaret Thatcher "stamped her feet" in anger at the prospect of German reunification, according to Helmut Kohl's memoirs.
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3. The first traffic cones were used in building Preston bypass in the late 1950s, replacing red lantern paraffin burners.
4. Britons buy about one million pumpkins for Halloween, 99% of which are used for lanterns rather than for eating.
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5. Albania is retiring its Soviet MiG aircraft, which have killed 35 Albanians, but not a single enemy.
6. The French translation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has an extra 120 pages as it is a less concise language than English.
7. Bailiffs cannot evict on Sundays, bank holidays, Christmas Day or Good Friday.
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8. Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli was once a backing dancer for Bananarama in the band's heyday.
9. You can dial the emergency services with 112 as well as 999.
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10. Cabinet ministers who have been sacked, resigned or lost their seats collect an £18,000 golden goodbye (and those who leave twice get the payment again).
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[Sources, where stories are not linked: 1. BBC History magazine, November issue. 3: Times, 1 November. 5: Yahoo News, 1 November. 6: Sunday Telegraph, 30 October. 8: It Takes Two, BBC Two.]

BBC MAGAZINE.

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