Posts

Showing posts from August, 2007

Today

More than 100 tons of ripe tomatoes are splattered about in Spain's Tomatina Festival.

Interesting Fact # 623 - Speeding

Police speed guns can be jammed by devices usually used to control electronic gates and garage doors.

(It seems unfair that speeding fines can be avoided by people who have enough money for such luxuries. Me I have to open my gate myself and I don't even have a garage!)

Source: Daily Express

Interesting Fact # 622 - Birth

The chances of a woman having two sets of triplets naturally are one in 64 million.

(And yet a woman in Ohio has given birth to her second set of triplets. I guess she's one in sixty-four million.)

Interesting Fact - Money

It's an imprisonable offence to keep money you notice has been wrongfully deposited in your bank account.

(It's called "retaining wrongful credit" and unlike in Monopoly when you can keep the money if you pick up the "Bank error in your favour - collect £200" card, you have to take every step to inform the bank of their error. So much for the law of finders keepers.)

Interesting Fact - Handbags

A woman will own an average of 111 handbags in her lifetime.

(I will have owned exactly 2. I don't like handbags, I tend to lose them. I mean what's wrong with pockets?)

Source: Daily Mail

Interesting Fact # 619 - Prisons

Prison officers are assaulted, on average, eight times a day.

(Imagine if this was you. I'd call the police if I were them.)


Source: BBC News

Interesting Fact - Books

More than half the books in the fiction charts are crime titles.

(Today women write more than half of all crime novels, a genre read by a predominantly female audience. Let's face it Agatha Christie is still considered the queen of crime fiction.)

Interesting Fact - Coffee

Too much coffee can land you in hospital, with caffeine intoxication.

(Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating while working at her family's sandwich shop. She had drunk seven double espressos!

She must have been hanging off the ceiling!)

Interesting Word # 61 - Hells Angels

The name Hells Angels was coined by a squadron of World War I fighter pilots.

(The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) was formed in 1948 in Fontana, California, the name "Hells Angels" was inspired by the name of the U.S. Air Force 303rd Bombardment Groups in the early years of World War II. In the UK the Hells Angels London chapter credits their founding on the Beatles. Allegedly the Beatles invited a couple of members of the HAMC San Francisco, to London, following which it was decided to create English charters of the club.)

Interesting Fact # 616 - CDs

In 2000 global sales of CD albums peaked at 2.455 billion. In 2006 that figure was down to 1.755 billion.

(So does that mean 700 million CDs have been downloaded illegally?)

Interesting Fact # 615 - CDs

In 1985 Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms became the first CD to sell more than one million copies.

(Unbelievably, it is still the world's most successful CD album.)

Interesting Fact - CDs

Image
The names considered for the CD included; Mini Rack, MiniDisc, and Compact Rack.


(Complementing a girl on her mini rack could have unfortunate consequences.)

Interesting Fact # 613 - CDs

The first CD ever produced was "The Visitors" by Abba.

(Of course it was also Abba's swan song, so you could say this was first and last.)

Interesting Fact # 612 - CDs

Since 1982 more than 200 billion CDs have been sold worldwide.

(I think half of them have turned up in junk mail from AOL.)

Interesting Word - Sinistral - Podcast

Left-handed people are called sinistral.


(Unfortunately this sounds a bit like "sinister". In fact, the words used to describe left-handedness are often slightly negative, with "sinister", "gauche", and "awkward" among the broad translations from Latin, French and German, compared with words like "adroit" and "dextrous", which are often used to describe right-handedness.)

Interesting Fact # 611 - People

According to the Independent on Sunday, attractive people are, on average, less selfish than moderately attractive people.

(Have I mentioned how incredibly generous I am?)

Interesting Fact # 610 - Rubik's Cube

There are 3 billion billion possible Rubik's cube positions.

(That's why I just removed the stickers.)

Interesting Fact # 609 - Rubik's Cube

Research done on a supercomputer has proved that a Rubik's cube can be returned to its original state in no more than 26 moves.

(I just removed the stickers and reapplied them.)

Interesting Fact # 608 - Council Tax

The amount of council tax not collected by local authorities in the UK more than £760m.

(Glasgow tops the league at almost £25m, followed by Birmingham on £19.4m, Edinburgh on £15m and Manchester on £13.6m. That means that those people who pay their council tax are subsidising those who don't.)

Today

Is left-handers day.

Interesting Place # 59 - China

In July one-hundred-and-forty-one people died from being struck by lightning in China.

(According to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), 141 people died in lightning strikes in July. Global warming is being blamed for extreme seasonal weather.)

Interesting Fact # 607 - Cannabis - Podcast

Image
One joint of cannabis could be as harmful to the lungs as five cigarettes.

The research, published in the journal Thorax, said that the impact of cannabis was likely to be due to the way in which joints are smoked - they do not usually have filters, and they reach higher temperatures with users inhaling more deeply and holding their breath for longer than cigarette smokers. Of course politicians are safe, they never inhale.)

Listen Here

Interesting Word # 59 - Calving

When bits of glaciers break off, it is know as "calving".

(Of course "calving" also means "giving birth to a calf".)

Interesting People # 50 - Leonid Stadnyk

A Ukrainian, Leonid Stadnyk, is the world's tallest man.

(He is 8ft 5in and the world's tallest living person according to the Guinness Book of Records, beating the previous record holder by 8in.)

Interesting Fact # 606 - The Law

In the UK bottom-pinching is subject to a fixed-penalty fine.

(Seemingly there is an £80 fixed-penalty fine under the Public Order Act. Of course some men might think it's worth the price.)

Interesting Fact # 605 - Printers

Office printers may be as harmful as cigarettes.

(Laser printers emit tiny particles of toner that can cause respiratory irritation to more chronic illnesses and the same is true for photocopiers. A major Danish study on copier pollution found that ozone and other chemicals could exceed the ’occupational exposure limit’. Users can be exposed to Ozone, Selenium, Cadmium sulphide, Nitrogen oxide, Carbon monoxide and of course Toner particles.)

Interesting Fact # 604 - The Law on Words

Using offensive, abusive, or insulting language is a criminal offence in the UK, under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

(This law applies even if it's printed on a T-shirt. According to the BBC one shopkeeper was threatened with arrest for displaying a toddler's T-shirt in his shop window that had the slogan: "Winner of the egg and sperm race." Although FCUK French Connection UK) found a way round this, their slogan upset the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which upheld 26 complaints about the logo. However, it was eventually allowed in adverts after being registered as a trademark. Where there's a will there's a way.)

Interesting Place # 58 - Texas

Texas has executed 398 convicts since it resumed the practice in 1982.


(Six years after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a ban on capital punishment, they now far exceed second-place Virginia where 98 executions have taken place since the ban was lifted. Texas has five executions scheduled for August. Well I guess it's one way to get into the Guinness Book of Records.)

Interesting Word - Famous last words - literally - Podcast

Image
Famous last words is an idiom that's used when someone makes a definite statement which is shown very soon, and in an embarrassing way, to be wrong. But in this case I mean it more literally.

Towards the end of his life, Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the scouting movement, wrote this letter:-

"Dear Scouts,

If you have ever seen the play 'Peter Pan' you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that, when the time came for him to die, he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of goodbye.

“Remember, it is the last time you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

“I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have a happy life too.

“I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness does not come from being rich…

Interesting Fact # 603 - Scouting - Podcast

Image
The World Scout emblem, a trefoil, is one of the world's best known symbols.

(It was taken from the symbol for the 'North Point' which is used on maps to orient them with North". The three tips of the emblem are taken to represent the three main points of the Scout Promise. And the two decorative five-pointed stars are taken in some countries to stand for truth and knowledge.

Listen Here

Interesting People - Baden-Powell

Image
The founder of the scout movement, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell's Godfather was the son of railway pioneer George Stephenson.


(Baden Powell was born in London on February 22, 1857. He was the sixth son and the eighth of ten children of the Reverend Baden-Powell, a Professor at Oxford University. He was buried in Kenya.)

Interesting People # 48 - Famous Scouts

Lots of famous people were Scouts . . .
Daniel Radcliffe aka Harry Potter was a scout
David Beckham was a scout.
Paul McCartney, Billy Connelly, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, were all scouts.
And finally, Bill Gates (Microsoft's Owner) was a scout.

(I wonder what badges they got?)

Interesting Fact # 602 - Scouting

11 of the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon were scouts.

(In fact according to the Scout's own web site, of the 214 former and present astronauts, 142 were Scouts. One small step for man, one giant leap for scouting.)

More Interesting Stuff