Friday, December 30, 2005

100 Things

BBC News has published their list of "100 things we didn't know this time last year," and they came up with lots of interesting facts. Here are some of them (I took out all the ones I didn't like or were about some person I've never heard of, probably because I'm not British. That reminds me, I made the mistake of letting on at work that I like listening to guys with British accents, so now they have something else to tease me about. Whenever someone says anything about meeting someone, they go, "Is he British?" But I digress.) Here's the list:

2. Mohammed is now one of the 20 most popular names for boys born in England and Wales.
3. While it's an offence to drop litter on the pavement, it's not an offence to throw it over someone's garden wall.
7. Baboons can tell the difference between English and French. Zoo keepers at Port Lympne wild animal park in Kent are having to learn French to communicate with the baboons which had been transferred from Paris zoo.
8. Devout Orthodox Jews are three times as likely to jaywalk as other people, according to an Israeli survey reported in the New Scientist. The researchers say it's possibly because religious people have less fear of death.
12. Until the 1940s rhubarb was considered a vegetable. It became a fruit when US customs officials, baffled by the foreign food, decided it should be classified according to the way it was eaten.
14. It's possible for a human to blow up balloons via the ear. A 55-year-old factory worker from China reportedly discovered 20 years ago that air leaked from his ears, and he can now inflate balloons and blow out candles.
18. If all the Smarties eaten in one year were laid end to end it would equal almost 63,380 miles, more than two-and-a-half times around the Earth's equator.
19. The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equations. He chose the two lines because "noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle".
20. The Queen has never been on a computer, she told Bill Gates as she awarded him an honorary knighthood.
24. The 71m packets of biscuits sold annually by United Biscuits, owner of McVitie's, generate 127.8 tonnes of crumbs.
28. The British buy the most compact discs in the world - an average of 3.2 per year, compared to 2.8 in the US and 2.1 in France.
29. When faced with danger, the octopus can wrap six of its legs around its head to disguise itself as a fallen coconut shell and escape by walking backwards on the other two legs, scientists discovered.
32. "Restaurant" is the most mis-spelled word in search engines.
35. The name Lego came from two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". It also means "I put together" in Latin.
36. The average employee spends 14 working days a year on personal e-mails, phone calls and web browsing, outside official breaks, according to employment analysts Captor.
37. Cyclist Lance Armstrong's heart is almost a third larger than the average man's.
38. Nasa boss Michael Griffin has seven university degrees: a bachelor's degree, a PhD, and five masters degrees.
39. Australians host barbecues at polling stations on general election days.
42. Britain's smallest church , near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, opens just once a year. It measures 4m by 3.6m and has one pew.
43. The spiciness of sauces is measured in Scoville Units.
44. Rubber gloves could save you from lightning.
51. Parking wardens walk about 15 miles a day.
52. You're 10 times more likely to be bitten by a human than a rat.
53. It takes 75kg of raw materials to make a mobile phone.
56. The Pyruvate Scale measures pungency in onions and garlic. It's named after the acid in onions which makes cooks cry when cutting them.
58. The average guest at a Buckingham Palace garden party scoffs 14 cakes, sandwiches, scones and ice-cream, according to royal accounts.
59. Oliver Twist is very popular in China, where its title is translated as Foggy City Orphan.
60. Newborn dolphins and killer whales don't sleep for a month, according to research carried out by University of California.
63. It takes less energy to import a tomato from Spain than to grow them in this country because of the artificial heat needed, according to Defra.
66. The hotter it is, the more difficult it is for aeroplanes to take off. Air passengers in Nevada, where temperatures have reached 120F, have been told they can't fly.
68. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold one copy every minute since its 1969 publication.
73. One in six children think that broccoli is a baby tree.
74. It takes a gallon of oil to make three fake fur coats.
75. Each successive monarch faces in a different direction on British coins.
76. The day when most suicides occurred in the UK between 1993 and 2002 was 1 January, 2000.
83. Britain produces 700 regional cheeses, more even than France.
85. Japanese knotweed can grow from a piece of root the size of pea. And it can flourish anew if disturbed after lying dormant for more than 20 years.
87. Pulling your foot out of quicksand takes a force equivalent to that needed to lift a medium-sized car.
89. Spanish Flu, the epidemic that killed 50 million people in 1918/9, was known as French Flu in Spain.
90. Ordinary - not avian - flu kills about 12,000 people in the UK every winter.
92. You are 176 times more likely to be murdered than to win the National Lottery.
93. Koalas have fingerprints exactly like humans (although obviously smaller).
94. Bill Gates does not have an iPod.
95. The first traffic cones were used in building Preston bypass in the late 1950s, replacing red lantern paraffin burners.
96. Britons buy about one million pumpkins for Halloween, 99% of which are used for lanterns rather than for eating.
100. Musical instrument shops must pay an annual royalty to cover shoppers who perform a recognisable riff before they buy, thereby making a "public performance".



Lindsay said...

Happy New Year's, Katie! God bless! :)

Katie said...

Thanks! Happy New Year to you too.