Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More 100 Things You Didn't Know Last Year (BBC Version)

The most interesting and unexpected facts can emerge from the daily news stories and the Magazine documents some of them in its weekly feature, 10 things we didn't know last week. To kick off 2010, here's an almanac of the best from the past year.

1. Using both hands to read Braille achieves an average speed of 115 words a minute, compared with 250 words a minute for sighted reading. More details

2. Gold medal winner Chris Hoy was inspired to cycle by ET. More details

3. Moby is related to novelist Herman Melville and was named after his most famous creation.
More details

4. You can hiccup while asleep. More details

5. Countdown is French. More details

6. John the Good was bad and William the Bad was good. More details

7. In camel racing the jockeys are electronic robots. More details

8. The bubonic plague still exists. More details

9. Indonesia is the world's largest exporter of edible frogs. More details

10. The brain chemical serotonin causes locusts to swarm. More details

11. Naked rambling is legal in Switzerland. More details

12. Facebook was originally called "The facebook". More details

13. Being born with additional digits (fingers/toes) is called being polydactyl. More details

14. The famous "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster was never actually used during World War II. More details

15. The Channel between Dover and Calais froze over in 1673. More details

16. King Henry VIII was a soppy romantic.More details

17. You can safely eat more than three eggs a week. More details

18. Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.

19. Elephants kiss. More details

20. Grizzly bears hate getting their ears wet. More details

21. There are two types of intelligence.More details

22. Nicolas Sarkozy collects stamps. More details

23. The average number of friends is 150. More details

24. Barbie dumped Ken. More details

25. Monkeys floss. More details

26. Holding your hands up on a rollercoaster stretches the torso, enhancing the physical sensations. More details

27. 'YR' was an abbreviation for "your" in the 17th and 18th Century too. More details

28. Mining output fell more in the periods before and after Mrs Thatcher than during her time as prime minister. More details

29. Parts of cremated bodies are recycled. More details

30. A broken heart is known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and it can be cured. More details

31. Britney Spears's family comes from Tottenham in north London. More details

32. There are 19 countries in the G20. More details

33. The song Agadoo by Black Lace is originally French. More details

34. Breaking wind is a bookable offence in football. More details

35. Britain pays an annual sum to Ireland to cover healthcare costs of Irish workers who have returned home.More details

36. Squatters take over islands, as well as homes. More details

37. Being sorry originally meant to be distressed and sad. More details

38. Paper can be made from wombat excrement. More details

39. Five trees make an orchard.More details

40. Wine varies in taste from day to day.More details

41. Many mosques in Mecca point the wrong way for prayers. More details

42. An outbreak of swine flu in 1976 killed one person but a vaccine to combat it killed 25. More details

43. Britain once sent an envoy with a quadruple-barrelled name to Moscow - Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurley Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. More details

44. Youth hostelling was invented in Germany in 1912. More details

45. A tribe in Bolivia has a festival of violence to settle disputes. More details

46. Franco had one testicle. More details

47. Britain had animal welfare laws before it had child welfare laws. More details

48. The man who was the voice of Mickey Mouse was married to the woman who did Minnie's.
More details

49. Stabbing in the buttocks has its own verb in Roman dialect. More details

50. The Apprentice losers' café featured in Z-Cars.More details

51. In the 1970 US Census, the number of people who said they were aged over 100 was about 22 times the true number.More details

52. Canada used to border Zimbabwe.More details

53. More than half of all Patels in the UK are married to people born Patel. More details

54. Streetlights cause problems for bats.More details

55. Scotland has the lowest age for criminal responsibility in Europe.More details

56. Buddhist monks sleep upright.More details

57. There is a long tradition of "medals of dishonour".More details

58. Chilli can be used as a weapon in crowd control.More details

59. Fred Perry was also table tennis world champion.More details

60. The keffiyeh, a chequered scarf worn mostly by Arab men, and made famous by Yasser Arafat, is now mostly made in China.More details

61. Trousers used to be called unmentionables.More details

62. The best place to put a wind turbine is in Orkney.More details

63. Brahms liked his audience to clap in between movements.More details

64. The best Italian saffron is made from crocus flowers picked at dawn.More details

65. It's always "esq" and never "esquire" as a written honorific. More details

66. Football score announcer James Alexander Gordon suffered from slurred speech as a child. More details

67. A third of England's coastline is inaccessible.More details

68. Bees warn other bees about flowers where dangers can be expected.More details

69. Men At Work's Down Under was inspired by Dame Edna's nephew.More details

70. Bristol is the fourth most visited city in England.More details

71. You're as likely to be hit by lightning as killed by a mentally ill person.More details

72. Only about one or two in 200 people with autism have a savant talent, or exceptional abilityMore details

73. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has a water slide in his garden. More details

74. Emoticons in the East are the right way up (^_^).More details

75. The UK population grew more in 2008 than at any time since 1962.More details

76. The village of Cambourne, in Cambridgeshire, has a higher birth rate than India and China. More details

77. The crease under your buttocks is called the gluteal fold.More details

78. Nasa gave moon rocks to more than 100 countries following lunar missions in the 1970s. More details

79. Married couples used to always sleep apart.More details

80. Everyone once used the left-hand side of the road.More details

81. There are so few redheads in Mexico they often greet each other in the street.More details

82. Sportswear firms Adidas and Puma have had a 60-year feud.More details

83. All British industrial action ballots must be by post, except for workers at sea.More details

84. Banana skins can take two years to biodegrade.More details

85. The only woman ever in the French Foreign Legion was British. More details

86. Ken Livingstone was twice rejected for a cameo in EastEnders.More details

87. Homes are 4C warmer, on average, than 50 years ago.More details

88. In the early days of barcodes, there was a plan for round ones.More details

89. Male life expectancy in the UK goes up by about three months every year.More details

90. The flash on David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album cover was inspired by the logo from a rice cooker.More details

91. Boyzone sold more singles than Take That in the 1990s.More details

92. Morecambe and Wise nearly split up, before they had even got on television.More details

93. William Pitt's dying words were about House of Commons catering.More details

94. Bagged salad is photographed 4,000 times a second. More details

95. The city of Bath, in Somerset, was referred to as "The Bath" until the 19th Century.More details

96. Tattoos can be done with a person's ashes.More details

97. The BBC rejected Sesame Street in 1971 because it was "too authoritarian". More details

98. French babies cry with an accent.More details

99. Travelling in a "road train" can cut fuel consumption by 20%.More details

100. Teeth grinding is known as bruxism.More details


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