Because the world is an interesting place we have been collecting Interesting Facts about Interesting Places, Interesting People, Interesting Animals, Interesting Numbers, and Interesting Words.
(Double click any word for its definition.)
To date the Bank of England has never issued a £500,000 note.
(However, if someone printed a fake £500,000 note it would not technically be a counterfeit, because to be counterfeit the money needs to be legal tender. So, be warned, there's no such thing as a £500,000 note!)
IP (Internet protocol) addresses will run out in 2010.
(Every device that goes online is allocated a unique IP address but the pool of numbers is finite and due to run out around 2010. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) urgently need to roll out the next generation of net addresses. The new system, called IPv6, has been awaiting roll out for 10 years. Well it seems like your typical IT project then.)
The UK civil service lost 25 million child benefit records.
A Junior official from HMRC in Washington, Tyne and Wear, sends two CDs containing password-protected records to audit office in London through courier TNT, neither recorded nor registered. It goes missing. So what do they do? They send another one!
However the public is not told that their bank details, national insurance numbers, addresses and date of birth have been "mislaid" until 21st November. Now that's a scandal.
Discrimination against atheists is allowed in employment law in Texas, according to the state's constitution.
(These have seemingly been nullified by federal laws, because the constitution of the United States expressly prohibits establishment of a state religion, but of course an atheist could just lie on their application form without fear of divine punishment.)
According to a lot of fan sites, Robbie Williams has 600 pairs of shoes at his Los Angeles home.
(There's a lot of speculation about how many of these are trainers. But I'd like to know who looked into his closet and who counted them? Of course the other question is does he think he's a millipede?)
Leeches are used as a treatment for hematoma auris, cauliflower ears.
(After a sharp blow, a large blood clot can develop under the skin and block the flow of blood to the cartilage, that gives the ear its peculiar cauliflower shape. The leeches suck out the fluid, but if the cartilage dies, the ear shrivels and becomes lumpy. So further treatment is required.)
According to a poll for British Food Fortnight, an annual event designed to excite and educate young people about British food, of 1,000 children in England aged between eight and 13, 54% did not know pasties came from Cornwall and 57% did not know haggis originated in Scotland.
(Of course the confusion may arise because they'd probably never even tasted haggis and that Devon and Cornwall keep arguing about who invented the pasty.)
Radiohead has decided to release their new album, Rainbows, on the web. Nothing new there, but you can download it from their official website and they will let you decide what to pay for the 10 mp3 files - that's right, you can decide to pay anything, from nothing to £100.
(A survey of music fans who downloaded Radiohead's new album found that 29% paid either nothing or just 1p. More than half gave up to £10.)
Michael Young, the founder of Which? magazine, also founded the Open University.
(In fact, according to his biography he founded or helped found a remarkable number of socially useful organisations, including the Consumers' Association, the National Consumer Council, and Language Line, a telephone-interpreting business.)