Thursday, December 28, 2006

100 THINGS WE DID NOT KNOW LAST YEAR !

1. Just 20 words make up a third of teenagers' everyday speech.More details
2. There are 200 million blogs which are no longer being updated, say technology analysts.More details
3. Urban birds have developed a short, fast "rap style" of singing, different from their rural counterparts.More details
4. Bristol is the least anti-social place in England, says the National Audit Office.More details
5. Standard-sized condoms are too big for most Indian men.More details
6. The late Alan "Fluff" Freeman, famous as a DJ, had trained as an opera singer.More details
7. The lion costume in the film Wizard of Oz was made from real lions.More details
8. There are 6.5 million sets of fingerprints on file in the UK.More details
9. Fathers tend to determine the height of their child, mothers their weight.More details
10. Panspermia is the idea that life on Earth originated on another planet.More details
11. An infestation of head lice is called pediculosis.More details
12. The Pope's been known to wear red Prada shoes.More details
13. The fastest supercomputer in the UK can make 15.4 trillion calculations per second.More details14. Online shoppers will only wait an average of four seconds for an internet page to load before giving up.More details
15. Donald Rumsfeld was both the youngest and the oldest defence secretary in US history.More details
16. Spending on Halloween has risen 10-fold - from £12m to £120m in the UK, in five years.More details
17. Coco Chanel started the trend for sun tans in 1923 when she got accidentally burnt on a cruise.More details
18. Up to 25% of hospital keyboards carry the MRSA infection.More details
19. The UK population grew at a rate of 500 per day last year as immigration out-stripped emigration.More details
20. Sex workers in Roman times charged the equivalent price of eight glasses of red wine.More details
21. English is now the only "traditional" academic subject in the top 10 most popular university courses.More details
22. The number of people committing suicide in the UK has fallen to its lowest recorded level.More details
23. More than one in eight people in the United States show signs of addiction to the internet, says a study.More details
24. One third of all the cod fished in the world is consumed in the UK.More details
25. In Kingston upon Thames, men on average live to be 78. In Kingston-upon-Hull it is 73.More details
26. Each person sends an average of 55 greetings cards per year.More details
27. Just one cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 litre bottles.More details
28. More than 90% of plane crashes have survivors.More details
29. Tony Blair’s favourite meal to cook is spaghetti bolognaise.More details
30. The brain is soft and gelatinous - its consistency is something between jelly and cooked pasta.More details
31. The Mona Lisa used to hang on the wall of Napoleon’s bedroom.More details
32. Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.More details33. Eating a packet of crisps a day is equivalent to drinking five litres of cooking oil a year.More details
34. Plant seeds that have been stored for more than 200 years can be coaxed into new life.More details
35. There were no numbers in the very first UK phone directory, only names and addresses. Operators would connect callers.More details
36. The InterCity 125 train was designed by the same man who came up with the angle-poise lamp and Kenwood Chef mixer.More details
37. Pavements are tested using an 80 square metre artificial pavement at a research centre called Pamela (the Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory).More details
38. A common American poplar has twice as many genes as a human being.More details
39. The world's fastest supercomputer will have its speed measured in "petaflops", which represent 1,000 trillion calculations per second. More details
40. The medical name for the part of the brain associated with teenage sulking is "superior temporal sulcus".More details
41. Some Royal Mail stamps, which of course carry the Queen's image, are printed in Holland.More details
42. Helen Mirren was born Ilyena Lydia Moronoff, the daughter of a Russian-born violinist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.More details
43. There is only one cheddar cheese maker in Cheddar, even though cheddar is the most popular hard cheese in the English-speaking world.More details
44. For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality.More details
45. Cows can have regional accents, says a professor of phonetics, after studying cattle in Somerset More details
46. Involuntary bad language, a symptom affecting about one in 10 people with Tourette's syndrome, is called "coprolalia". More details
47. Watching television can act as a natural painkiller for children, say researchers from the University of Siena. More details
48. Allotment plots come in the standard measure of 10 poles - a pole is the length of the back of the plough to the nose of the ox. More details
49. When filming summer scenes in winter, actors suck on ice cubes just before the camera rolls - it cools their mouths so their breath doesn't condense in the cold air. More details
50. There are 60 Acacia Avenues in the UK. More details
51. Gritters come out in hot weather too - to spread rock dust, which stops roads melting.More details
52. Forty-eight percent of the population is ex-directory. More details
53. Red Buttons - real name Aaron Chwatt - took his surname from the nickname for hotel porters, a job he did in his teens. More details
54. The CND symbol incorporates the semaphore letters for N and D for nuclear and disarmament. More details
55. While 53% of households have access to a garage, only 24% use them for parking cars. More details
56. Mortgage borrowing now accounts for 42% of take-home salary.More details
57. The word "time" is the most common noun in the English language, according to the latest Oxford dictionary. More details
58. Forty-one percent of English women have punched or kicked their partners, according to a study. More details
59. Dogs with harelips can end up with two noses. More details
60. The clitoris derives its name from the ancient Greek word kleitoris, meaning "little hill". More details
61. A domestic cat can frighten a black bear to climb a tree. More details
62. Thirty-four percent of the UK has a surname that is ranked as "posher" than the Royal Family's given name, Windsor. More details
63. The Downing St garden is actually a Royal Park. More details
64. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs is the term for people who fear the number 666. More details
65. The more panels a football has - and therefore the more seams - the easier it is to control in the air. More details
66. One in four smokers use roll-ups. More details
67. Music can help reduce chronic pain by more than 20% and can alleviate depression by up to 25%. More details
68. The egg came first. More details
69. Humans were first infected with the HIV virus in the 1930s. More details
70. Sir Paul McCartney is only the second richest music millionaire in the UK - Clive Calder, is top. More details
71. Publishers have coined the term "Brownsploitation" for the rash of books that have sprung up in the wake of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code blockbuster. More details
72. Modern teenagers are better behaved than their counterparts of 20 years ago, showing "less problematic behaviour" involving sex, drugs and drink. More details
73. George Bush's personal highlight of his presidency is catching a 7.5lb (3.4kg) perch. More details
74. Britain is still paying off debts that predate the Napoleonic wars because it's cheaper to do so than buy back the bonds on which they are based. More details
75. Five billion apples are eaten a year in the UK. More details76. In Bhutan government policy is based on Gross National Happiness; thus most street advertising is banned, as are tobacco and plastic bags. More details
77. Metal detector enthusiasts are referred to as "detectorists"; there are about 30,000 in the UK. More details
78. The Labour Party spent £299.63 on Star Trek outfits for the last election, while the Tories shelled out £1,269 to import groundhog costumes. More details
79. The best-value consumer purchase in terms of the price and usage is an electric kettle. More details
80. Camel's milk, which is widely drunk in Arab countries, has 10 times more iron than cow's milk. More details
81. Iceland has the highest concentration of broadband users in the world. More details
82. There are 2.5 million rodent-owning households in Britain, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association. More details
83. Rainfall on the roof and gutters of a three-bed detached house can amount to 120,000 litres each year. More details
84. Thinking about your muscles can make you stronger. More details
85. The age limit for marriage in France was, until recently, 15 for girls, but 18 for boys. The age for girls was raised to 18 in 2006. More details
86. Six million people use TV subtitles, despite having no hearing impairment. More details
87. Goths, those pasty-faced teenagers who revel in black clothing, are likely to become doctors, lawyers and architects. More details
88. Nelson Mandela used to steal pigs as a child. More details
89. There are an average of 4.4 sparrows in each British garden. In 1979, there were 10 per garden. More details
90. The Himalayas cover one-tenth of the Earth's surface. More details
91. Lord Levy, recruited by Tony Blair to raise money for the Labour party, made his own fortune managing Alvin Stardust, among others. More details
92. In a fight between a polar bear and a lion, the polar bear would win. More details
93. If left alone, 70% of birthmarks gradually fade away. More details
94. There are two million cars and trucks in Brazil which run on alcohol. More details
95. US Secret Service sniffer dogs are put up in five-star hotels during overseas presidential visits. More details
96. Flushing a toilet costs, on average, 1.5p. More details
97. Tufty the road safety squirrel had a surname. It was Fluffytail. More details
98. A "lost world" exists in the Indonesian jungle that is home to dozens of hitherto unknown animal and plant species. More details
99. The term "misfeasance" means to carry out a legal act illegally. More details
100. In the 1960s, the CIA used to watch Mission Impossible to get ideas about spying. More details
Phew. If, after all that, you're still craving news-y facts, click here for an archive of 10 things.

BBC MAGZINE.

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