(People are very surprised when I tell them this, in fact many people argue with me! However, there are currently plans to introduce one at a cost of £93 per person, although some economists reckon it will cost on average £300 per person. Great!)
Beijing's Forbidden City and the Great Wall now attract more visitors than Florence's Uffizi Gallery or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as China overtakes Italy as the world's fourth most popular tourist destination.
(And I still haven't been! - Seen the Uffizi and the tower though.)
The average surface temperature of the earth climbed to a record high in 1995 - 58.7°F. Moreover, the years 1991 through to 1995 were warmer than any similar five-year period, including the two half-decades of the 1980s, the warmest decade yet recorded.
(Source: Reports by the British Meteorological Office and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.)
A turkey has several flaps of loose skin around the head and neck that turn color depending on its mood. The flaps are called the "wattle" (on the chin), the "snood" (on the head and over the beak) and the "caruncle" (on the throat). Under calm conditions, these areas are pinkish-gray or blue; if the turkey is annoyed or mating, all these areas turn bright red.
(Why don't humans have this capability. It would make life much easier.)
According to reports in the Independent newspaper figures show that last year the rate of forest clearance in the Amazon (the lungs of the world) was the second highest on record. An area of more than 10,000 square miles - nearly the size of Belgium - was cut down.
(A booming market for soya beans for cattle feed (let them eat grass) is seemingly the main driver of rainforest destruction. The man allegedly responsible for this crime against humanity (and no I am not being melodramatic) is one Mr. Blairo Maggi, a millionaire farmer and politician - what a surprise! Remember him in your thoughts tonight.)
Coca-Cola tried to market 'Super Pure' Dasani bottled water in Britain. Then the public found out it was just filtered tap water supposedly super purified to NASA standards! If this wasn't enough they then found unacceptable levels of bromide in it - suffice to say they 'withdrew' the product.
(The headlines ran "Coke's in hot water," "Eau dear" and "The real sting" . However, I do believe they still sell this product in the US. Wake up everyone! Generally speaking, anything that doesn't say "source" or "spring" on the label is just fancy tap water.)
According to a survey conducted by security firm Mirapoint and market research company the Radicati Group, nearly a third of e-mail users have clicked on links in spam messages. Not only that but one in ten users have bought products advertised in junk mail.
(Don't do it! Ignore Spam! Use your mail filters! End the age of the spammer!)
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
(Yes, you can type it out on the top row of your keyboard, but not in Germany! In Germany the y key is on the bottom row and the z key appears on the top! It makes organiying mz tzping verz interesting!)
George Washington Carver, who was born into slavery, invented peanut butter.
(In fact he discovered over 300 uses for peanuts. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed him a "Black Leonardo", a reference to the Renaissance Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci. To commemorate his life and inventions, George Washington Carver Recognition Day is celebrated on January 5, the anniversary of Carver's death.)
(According to Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, under certain unusual circumstances, cyanide poisoning can follow the ingestion of seeds or pits of several common fruits that are members of the Prunus species, including, apricots, cherries, almonds, peaches, and apples. All of these seeds and pits contain amygdalin. You may have heard of amygdalin as a component of Laetrile, an "alternative" cancer treatment, of no proven value, that may be associated with cyanide poisoning. This harmless chemical lies inside the seed, but when the seed is moistened and crushed, it can be converted by bacteria in the intestinal tract or by an enzyme within the seed into cyanide. Because the amount of amygdalin in an apple seed is quite small, it is highly unlikely that you would become ill from swallowing one or two seeds, especially if they were not chewed. Note to self - stop drinking Scrumpy!)
May Day (the day, not the call for help) used to be known as Beltane, which means 'day of fire'. Beltane was an ancient Pagan festival. Bel was the Celtic God of the sun and marked the seasonal transition from winter to summer and celebrated the first spring planting.
(Nowadays, May Day is recognized throughout the world as International Workers' Day, or Labour Day. In 1884 US and Canadian trade unions declared that after May 1st 1886, 8 hours would constitute a legal days work.
In previous centuries working people would take the day off to celebrate, often without the support of their employer.
William Davidson, a black trade unionist and a revolutionary, was executed on May Day 1820. Davidson was born in the then pirate capital, Kingston, Jamaica and put a skull and crossbones on a black flag to say:“Let us die like men and not be sold like slaves.” He was executed for being part of a conspiracy to kill the entire cabinet, which was hoped to give the spark to a revolutio…