Showing posts from 2005

Interesting Word - Twerp

The word "twerp" has been classed as both parliamentary and unparliamentary language. In 1956, the Speaker ruled it in order because he assumed "it was a sort of technical term of the aviation industry". It was later classed as unacceptable.

(Twerp means the quality or condition of being stupid, or lacking intelligence. You can see why they banned it.)

Interesting Fact - 100 words

A knowledge of just 100 words would allow you to understand half of any book, even adult fiction, researchers at Warwick University say.

(I wonder what they mean by "adult" fiction?)

Interesting Fact - Smoking

It is illegal to buy cigarettes under the age of 20 in Japan.

(Good for them. I guess after 20 you should know better. But wait! What's this? About 51% of men smoke in Japan.)

Interesting Words # 33 - A smack

The collective noun for a group of jellyfish is a "smack".

(Hmmm - I doubt if that is one of the 100 words you need - see interesting fact # 204.)

Interesting Christmas Fact - Boxing Day

26th December was traditionally known as St Stephen's Day, but is now more commonly known as Boxing Day. This expression came about because money was collected in alms-boxes placed in churches during the festive season. This money was then distributed during to the poor and needy after Christmas.

More about Christmas

Interesting Christmas Fact # 8 - Telesphorus

Telesphorus, the second Bishop of Rome (125-136 AD) declared that public Church services should be held to celebrate "The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour." In 320 AD, Pope Julius I and other religious leaders specified 25 December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Christmas Eve

At midnight on Christmas Eve 1914 firing from the German trenches suddenly stopped. A German brass band began playing Christmas carols. Early, Christmas morning, the German soldiers came out of their trenches, approaching the allied lines, calling "Merry Christmas". At first the allied soldiers thought it was a trick, but they soon climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the German soldiers. The truce lasted a few days, and the men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings, sang carols and songs. They even played a game of football.

(Now that's what I call the 'spirit' of Christmas.)

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Christmas Trees

The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.

(In 1834, Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for the Royal family. Lots of 'British' Christmas traditions come from Germany.)

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Silent Night

The Christmas carol Silent Night (orig. Stille Nacht) was written in 1818, by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be repaired in time for Christmas Eve. He was saddened by this and could not think of Christmas without music, so he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music. He sat down and wrote three stanzas. Later that night the people in the little Austrian Church sang "Stille Nacht" for the first time.

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Abolishing Christmas

In 1643, the British Parliament officially abolished the celebration of Christmas.
In 1649 they even banned Christmas Carols. Puritans thought that Christmas should be a very solemn day so they banned carols and parties. The only celebration allowed was a sermon and a prayer service. The ban remained in place until the restoration in 1660.

(Puritans were such a miserable lot. I mean celebrate Christmas how you will (or not), but don't tell me I'm not allowed to.)

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Christmas Trees

Every year since 1947 the people in Oslo have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, London. The gift is an expression of goodwill and gratitude for Britain's help to Norway in the second world war.

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - The Christmas Cracker

Tom Smith who owned a sweet shop in London was the originator of the cracker. In the 1840s Tom found that people like sugar almonds, but while he was in France he discovered a variety of sweets wrapped up in a twist of paper. These bonbons were popular, so Tom decided to copy them. When he noticed that young men were buying them to give to their sweethearts he began to place "love mottoes" on small slips of paper inside the sweet wrapping.

In 1846 Tom's thoughts turned towards Christmas - instead of sweets he thought he would place toys and novelties inside the twisted wrapping. He experimented with this and the idea of producing a wrapping that could be pulled apart - just like the cracker as we know it today.

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - The 3 Wise Men

In the UK we call them the three wise men, but they have different names in various countries:

Spain and South America: The Three Kings
Italy: La Befana (a kindly old witch)
England: Father Christmas (aka Santa)
France: Pere Noel (Father Christmas)
Russia: In some parts - Babouschka (a grandmotherly figure) and in other parts it is Grandfather Frost.
Germany: Christkind (angelic messenger from Jesus), a beautiful fair haired girl with a shining crown of candles.
Scandinavia: a variety of Christmas gnomes. One is called Julenisse
Holland: St Nicholas.

Interesting Words # 32 - Carol

The word carol is derived from the old French word caroller which derives from the Latin choraula. This itself was derived from the Greek choraules.

(fa la la la la, la la, la la)

Interesting Fact # 192 - Double-decker buses

The familiar London, red, double-decker bus, the Routemaster, might have disappeared from the capital's streets, but it's still used in Guernsey.

(Well thank goodness for that.)

Interesting Fact - Mistletoe

The UK's mistletoe capital is Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, where nearly all wholesale supplies of the plant are sold.

(So, pucker up!)

Interesting Fact - Mobile Phones

In the UK 14% of seven- and eight-year-olds have mobile phones.

(Good grief - I only joined them recently!)

Interesting Animals - Cicadas

Cicadas can spend up to 17 years underground before emerging in their adult form.

(No wonder they're so noisy! They have a lot of catching up to do.)

Interesting Fact - Hawaiian

There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet.

(Now I bet you are all wishing you were learning Hawaiian.)

Interesting Fact - Speeches

The longest speech to the House of Commons lasted six hours, a record set in 1828.

(I can't believe that no one has broken that record - they must just seem longer.)

Interesting Fact - Quicksand and Custard

No it's not a recipe - quicksand and custard share the same physical properties - both are non-Newtonian fluids that flow when treated gently but thicken when hit hard.

(Hmmm - at last science explains the properties of school custard!)

Interesting Fact - Transport

The UK's Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman has nine points on his driver's licence.

(If you are convicted of a motoring offence, the courts can endorse your licence with penalty points or order a period of disqualification. A person whose penalty points reach 12 or more in a period of 3 years is liable to be disqualified.)

Interesting Inventions - Smileys

The smiley sun anti-nuclear badge ""Nuclear Power? No Thanks", was designed by a Danish pupil in a schools competition in the mid-1970s.

Interesting Fact - Calories

At -40° Centigrade a person loses about 14.4 calories per hour by breathing.

(Brrrr - That's a high price to pay for losing a bit of weight.)

Interesting Fact - Energy

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough energy to heat one cup of coffee.

(Hardly seems worth it, does it?)

Interesting Fact - Memory

The ability to ignore information makes for a better memory.

(So you had better ignore all the information on this blog. Otherwise your brain will be full.)

Interesting Fact - Binge Drinking

Binge drinking in the UK dates back at least to the 12th Century.

(You see - it's tradition!)

Interesting Fact - Christmas Fact - Christmas cards

The first Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley and commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant and inventor, in 1843.

(It featured a design showing three generations of a family raising a toast to the recipient, and cost 1 shilling (that's 10p in new money). The average price of a Christmas card in the UK now (in 2005) is 71p, which might sound expensive in comparison, but it's actually much cheaper. A shilling could have bought you a meal back in the 1800s, so its buying power today is probably around £10.)

Interesting Fact - Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is the third biggest selling household commodity, with sales exceeding £11bn a year.

(That's a lot of loo roll. For posh people 'loo roll' = 'toilet tissue')

Interesting Fact - Royal Mail

The Royal Mail uses 342 million rubber bands a year to bundle up letters.

(Seemingly they use red bands so that they can be more easily seen when dropped.)

Interesting People - Tony Blair

Tony Blair's favourite film is Rush Hour.

(Never seen it personally.)

Interesting Fact - Shopping

In the UK more than 3.5 million people have admitted shoplifting in the past five years.

(Now remember shoplifting means stealing from shops, not weight training with them.)

Interesting Fact - Parents

Every day UK parents bin eight million nappies.

(So, is it irresponsible to use disposable nappies because they damage the environment, or are disposables heroes, for allowing women to spend less time cleaning soiled children and more time on work, leisure and the brighter side of parenting?)

Interesting Words - Chokuegambo

The Japanese word "chokuegambo" describes the wish that there were more designer-brand shops on a given street.

(There is no equivalent English word for this. We would just say, "I wish there were more designer shops on this street.")

Interesting Fact - Law

In the UK prisoners have to wear lurid green and yellow jumpsuits when appearing in court so they can be easily spotted if they try to escape.

(Now that's what I call cruel and unusual punishment.)

Interesting People - C S Lewis

CS Lewis wrote his wonderful book "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in only three months.

(BTW CS stands for Clive Staples.)

Interesting Fact - Thanksgiving Turkey

Every year at Thanksgiving in the USA two turkeys are "pardoned". For many years the turkeys were given to Kidwell Farm, a petting zoo at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. In 2005 they were flown to Disneyland in California for the famous Thanksgiving Day parade. They will spend the rest of their lives at a Disneyland ranch.

(Disneyland somehow seems better than Frying Pan Park if for a turkey who has escaped being part of someone's Thanksgiving feast.

In 2005, President Bush gave two turkeys named Marshmallow and Yam a last-minute reprieve. The two turkeys hail from Henning, Minnesota, For the third time, the American public was allowed to vote for the turkeys' names on the White House web site. 2004's turkeys were named Biscuit and Gravy, and in 2003, Stars and Stripes.)

Interesting Fact - Politics

British cabinet ministers who have been sacked, resigned or lost their seats collect an £18,000 golden handshake (and those who leave twice get the payment again).

(I always knew I was in the wrong job.)

Interesting Numbers - Telephone

In the UK you can dial the emergency services with 112 as well as 999.

(Of course, when questioned, no one in Britain knew this, but it is the European emergency number, so it makes sense.)

Interesting Fact - English Law

In the UK bailiffs cannot evict on Sundays, bank holidays, Christmas Day or Good Friday.

(What day is it today?)

Interesting Fact - Harry Potter

The French translation of the bestselling book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has an extra 120 pages.

(The reason is that French is a less concise language than English, but does it mean it's more expensive in France?)

Interesting Animals - Koalas

Koalas have fingerprints exactly like humans.

(The koala did it!)

Interesting Fact - Flags

The colours of the Irish flag are orange, green and white. Each stripe has significance :-

orange = Irish Protestants

green = Irish Catholics and republicans

white = hope for peace

Interesting Fact - Politics in the UK

Rather than abstaining, a British MP in the House of Commons can vote both for and against a motion at the same time.

(Why doesn't that surprise me?)

Interesting Fact - Health

Wrapping up warm really CAN help stop you catching a cold.

(Your granny was right. You can catch a chill from being out in the cold without your vest on. Staff at the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff took 180 volunteers and asked half of them to keep their bare feet in icy water for 20 minutes.

They found 29% developed a cold within five days, compared with only 9% in the control group not exposed to a chill.)

Interesting Fact - Birthmarks

If left alone, 70% of birthmarks gradually fade away.

(It's always best to let nature take its course.)

Interesting Words - Ransom

The concept of ransom comes from the medieval code of chivalry, which decreed that defeated knights be unharmed and exchanged for a sum of money.

(Um - chivalry? Where's the chivalry in demanding money for someone's life?)

Interesting Fact - Olympic Fact

A 19th Century covenant forbids the building of sports facilities on a plot of land earmarked for the 2012 Olympic development in east London. The government is planning to pass a law overturning the rule.

(Well what else are rules for?)

Interesting Fact - World War One

During WWI, drinking water was often delivered to the front in old petrol canisters.

(I'd always wondered where the idea for that Coca Cola taste came from.)

Interesting Fact - Remembrance Day

The French equivalent of the Remembrance Day poppy is the blue cornflower.

(Strange, because the national flower of Germany is the blue cornflower too.)

Interesting Fact - Big Ben

The world’s most famous clock, The Tower Clock, which houses Big Ben, checks its time with the BT Speaking Clock.

(Many other major organisations have permanent feeds of the clock from BT into their private internal phone systems so employees can check the time without making an outside call.

Just as well Big Ben doesn't speak though. "Bong bong b-o-n-g!!!!!")

Interesting Fact - Time

There have only ever been three voices for the BT Speaking Clock, apart from a two week period in March 2003 when Lenny Henry, a famous British comedian, did a special version of the Speaking Clock in aid of Comic Relief.

(A London telephonist, Jane Cain was the first voice in 1936 and lasted until 1963. She was followed by a Miss Pat Simmons, a supervisor in a London telephone exchange, she was the second voice from 1963 until 1984. The present voice, belongs to Brian Cobby (73) who was an assistant supervisor at Withdean exchange in Brighton. He became the first male voice at 11 am on 2nd April 1985. Brian Cobby, an actor by profession before he joined BT, was selected from 12 finalists in BT’s Golden Voice competition, on 5th December 1984.)

!Note - The speaking clock is a telephone service provided by British Telecom where you dial 123 to hear a recording of the time, but be warned, you will be charged 31p for doing so.

Interesting Fact - Time

Originally the accuracy of the BT Speaking Clock was one-tenth of a second, it is now correct to within five thousandths of a second!

(Does it really matter when you are setting your alarm clock?)

Interesting Fact - Time

The BT Speaking Clock has been ticking 24-hours a day, seven days a week since 24th July 1936.

(If you work it out, this is around 67 years, which is more than 24,000 days, more than 586,000 hours or 35 million minutes!  And that, I think you will agree, is a long time.  (Oh, and if you're reading this beyond 2005, it's been even longer.))

Interesting Fact - Nettles

Nettles growing on land where bodies are buried will reach a foot higher than those growing elsewhere.

(At least it means we are nutricious.)

Interesting Fact - Bonfire Night Fact

In Guy Fawkes's day, anyone who persistently refused to attend Protestant church services was fined £20 a month.

(Back then £20 was the annual salary of a school teacher! I think my bill would have been pretty large.)

Interesting Fact - TB

There used to be signs on buses in the UK warning against spitting to guard against the spread of TB.

(Could we have the signs back please?)

Interesting Inventions - Sellotape

Richard G. Drew (1899-1980) invented masking tape and clear adhesive tape (also called cellophane tape, Sellotape or Scotch tape). Drew was an engineer for the 3M company (the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing).

Drew's first tape invention was a masking tape made for painters in 1923 (this tape was designed to help painters paint a straight border between two colors). This early masking tape was a wide paper tape with adhesive on only the edges of the tape - not in the middle. Drew made an improved tape called Scotch (TM) Brand Cellulose Tape in 1930. This tape was a clear, all-purpose adhesive tape that was soon adopted worldwide. The first tape dispenser with a built-in cutting edge was invented in 1932 by John A. Borden, another 3M employee.

Interesting Fact - Cost of water

The daily cost of water for the average UK household is 68p - what it would cost to buy a 2-litre bottle of Evian in a supermarket.

(Evian spelt backwards = naive.)

Interesting Fact - Law

In colonial America, servants negotiated agreements that they would not be forced to eat lobster more than twice a week.

(I think even once a week is unecessary punishment.)

Interesting Fact - Halloween Fact

In the UK, Britons buy about one million pumpkins for Halloween, 99% of which are used for lanterns rather than for eating.

(I'm certain they make soup too.)

Interesting Animal - Rats

Rats are good swimmers. One this week was caught after it staged an escape across 400m of open ocean.

(All that swimming around in open sewers obviously paid off.)

Interesting Fact - EBay

EBay can become an addiction - the Priory clinic is now admitting people with an online auction habit.

(My name is Lynne and I shop!)

Interesting Animal - Osedax Mucofloris

The Osedax mucofloris, or "bone-eating snot-flower" is a marine worm so-called because it lives off whale bones, looks like a flower, and is covered in mucus.

(Pet of the week?)

Interesting Fact - Fingerprints

Human fingerprints can be worn down, particularly among manual labourers, typists and musicians.

(What about bloggers?)

Interesting Fact - Flu

Every winter influenza kills about 12,000 people in the UK.

(Guess what?   I just had my flu jab.)

Interesting Fact - Whalers

Thirsty whalers (what you call people who kill whales) in the 19th Century used to kill tortoises for their urine.

(Eeeeeew!  Which is most disgusting though?)

Interesting Fact - Pillows

The average pillow contains up to 16 types of fungus.

(Interestingly feather pillows have fewer species than synthetic ones - particularly in the case of a fungus which sets of asthma. The fungi feed off human skin scales and dust mite faeces. Eeeeew!)

Interesting Food - Salt

Three-quarters of the salt in our diets comes from processed foods.

(The recommended daily intake of salt for is 6g for adults, which is about a teaspoon, in fact in the UK there is no need to add any salt to your food.)

Interesting Fact - Smoking

Smokers spend on average £91,832 on cigarettes during their lifetime.

(I wonder if they would be so happy to set fire to that much actual money.)

Interesting Food - Noodles

According to an archaeological find in China, noodles have been around for at least 4,000 years.

(You just need to use your noodle really.)

Interesting Inventions - The disposable nappy

Magdalena Laue, from Halle in Germany, devised a one-piece waterproof nappy made from India rubber in the 1890s.

(And landfill has never been the same again.)

!Note - A nappy is BrE, it is called a diaper in AmE.

Interesting Fact - DVDs

The price of every DVD disc sold includes a small royalty to Philips, the company that developed the format.

(I wonder what their shares are worth?)

Interesting Fact - DVDs

In the UK a giveaway DVD in a newspaper costs as little as 16p to produce, including rights, materials and manufacture.

(These things are often given away in the Sunday newspaper. Recent titles have included East is East, Cabaret and even episodes of Fireman Sam.)

Interesting Place - Croydon

Croydon has more CCTV cameras than New York.

(CCTV = Closed Circuit Television - Big brother is watching you!)

Interesting Fact - Weight

Women often put on weight as a result of moving in with a man.

(Research shows that women tend to gain weight once they cohabit and begin to share meals with men who intrinsically have higher energy needs and therefore appetites. Well that's my excuse anyway, maybe I could make the "No man diet" an internet hit.)

Interesting Fact - Pens

The average ballpoint pen can produce between two and three kilometers (up to two miles) of writing.

(Not that anyone writes any more - we're all blogging!)


New measures to protect animals against abuse and to make owners legally liable for their pets' welfare in England and Wales have been published.

(At last!)

Interesting Fact - Pens

International safety standards state that pen tops should have a hole in the top to minimize the risk involved when children accidently inhale them. I think the idea is that you could continue to breathe throught the hole.

(Anyone who knows me knows that they shouldn't just worry about children.)

Interesting Fact - Hotel Shampoo

Britons take home 430,000 gallons (1.95m litres) of shampoo from hotels every year, a survey has found.

(Seemingly this amount of shampoo would fill more than 14,000 bathtubs.)

Interesting Place - Belarus

Belarus has the highest ratio of police to people, of any country in the world.

(Must be really safe there then...)

Interesting Food - Potatoes (aka spuds)

Scientists say that a single "mother" spud from southern Peru gave rise to all the varieties of potato eaten today.

(I would like to thank her from the bottom of my crisp packet.)

Interesting Place - The Moon

No-one knows exactly when the new moon appears as it changes in different parts of the world.

(Scientists are looking into this now, but as of today it's still a fact.)

Interesting Fact - Spanish / French Flu

Spanish Flu, the influenza epidemic that killed 50 million people in 1918/9, was known as French Flu in Spain.

(Now we just blame birds and piggies.)

Interesting Fact - Bird Flu

The Spanish flu virus that killed 50 million people in 1918-19 was probably a strain that originated in birds.

(I became worried about this when my doctor asked me if I would like a flu jab for the first time. Then I realised it's probably because of my age - sigh.)

Interesting Fact - Alcohol

The UK alcohol industry is worth £30 billion a year.

(With all those binge drinkers (see earlier factoid), this is not a surprise.)

Interesting Fact - Energy

Cities consume about 75% of global energy production.

(Switch that light off!)

Interesting Fact - Drinking

Nearly 6 million people in the UK are binge drinkers. Some people go out 'on a binge' twice or three times a week.

(Binge drinking is classed as more then eight units (four pints of beer) in one session for men and more than six units (six small glasses of wine) for women.

The recommended levels are two to three units of alcohol per day for women and three to four units for men and it's a good idea to have 2-3 alcohol free days each week.

This of course will go up and down like the proverbial yoyo depending on who is paying for the research.)

Interesting Fact - The Law

In the UK you can be prosecuted for showing someone an inappropriate film on a mobile phone.

(Personally I think you should be prosecuted for having a mobile phone.)

Interesting Places - The Arctic Ice Cap

At its current rate of shrinkage, the Arctic ice cap might disappear altogether during the summer of 2060.

(Global warming seems to be a reality at the poles.  I've decided not to buy a pretty cottage by the sea anytime soon.)

Interesting Words - Diastema

A diastema is a gap between the teeth.

(And I always thought it was just a gap.)

Interesting Fact - Human Body

Habitual liars' brains differ from those of honest people.

(Seemingly pathological liars have up to 26% more white matter than people who don't lie. This white matter transmits information and grey matter processes it. Having more white matter in the prefrontal cortex may aid lying. Hmmm - I shall refrain from looking.)

Interesting Fact - Students in the UK

One in three students in the East Midlands has been a victim of crime.

(A lot of international students don't realise how important it is to stay safe whilst in the UK -

Interesting Animals - Gorillas

Wild gorillas use tools.

(So much for man's superiority.)

PS - Don't confuse gorilla and guerrilla.

Interesting Fact - Dice

The opposing sides of a dice always add up to seven.

(Seven up?)

Interesting Animal - Camels

A camel can lose up to 30% of its body weight in water and continue to cross the desert. A human would probably die of heat shock after sweating away only 12% of body weight in water.

(Not to mention the smell!)

Interesting People - Fergal Keane

A letter by Fergal Keane to his newborn son was broadcast on the BBC radio program, "From Our Own Correspondent." Read it here.

Interesting Fact - Plants

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.

(All parts of the plant are considered as controlled waste under the Waste Regulations. You can be fined for letting it grow.

Fallopia japonica var. japonica, was introduced from Japan in the early 19th century as an ornamental plant. William Robinson refers to it under a previous name of Polygonum cuspidatum in The English Flower Garden (John Murray 1883, 1907 edn. cited) as "easier to plant than to get rid of in the garden".)

Interesting Fact - Hurricanes

Although the US National Weather Service did not start using names until 1953, for hundreds of years hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the saint's day on which they occurred.

(I have written an article on this, I'll publish it in the October English Magazine.)

Interesting Fact - Church of Sweden

The Church of Sweden is a major shareholder in H&M.

(This made me laugh because I didn't even know there was a "church of Sweden".)

Interesting Fact - Drug use in the UK

According to data gathered from drug centres, hospitals and police arrests, 46,000 Londoners are using crack.

(I think I will have to start a new category - Worrying Facts.)

Interesting Fact - Hurricanes

Since the 1970s, the number of strong hurricanes around the world has doubled.

(Now that should make you think. Check your insurance policies - bet your not covered.)

Interesting Fact - Hackers

Sensitive hacking equipment could tell what words are being typed on a keyboard by analysing the unique sounds made by each key.

(Stop listening!)

Interesting People - Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan first visited Britain - in 1962 - to take part in a BBC play, Madhouse on Castle Street.

(The recording was wiped (erased), it featured a 21-year-old Bob Dylan as a young protest singer - talk about being typecast.)

Interesting Food - British cheese

Britain produces 700 regional cheeses, more even than France.

(But none are quite as smelly as Vieux Boulogne. The French can keep that record.)

Interesting Food - Rocket

The herb rocket (aka roquette, arugula and rucola - not the kind you send into space) was widely grown in English kitchen gardens in the 1600s.

(It's back and trendy now.)

Interesting Fact - Cost of petrol

The average cost of a litre of petrol in the UK is 94.6p.

(I remember when .....)

Interesting Fact - Saturn

The rings around Saturn are fluffy.

(There's something about this idea that I like. Fluffy sounds nice. Makes you want to be an astronaut.)

Interesting Fact - Stray animals

Twenty-one stray animals are put down in the UK each day.

(A nation of animal lovers...)

Interesting People - George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw named his shed after the UK capital so that when visitors called they could be told he was away in London.

(I think I'll rename my office Barbados.)

Interesting Fact - Biros

Fifty-seven Bic biros are sold every second - amounting to 100 billion since 1950.

(That's a lot of biros. I wonder how many biros are lost every second?)

Interesting Animals - The horse

Ninety-five percent of today's 500,000 racehorses descend from a single stallion - the Darley Arabian, born in 1700.

(He must have been a busy boy.)

Interesting Fact - Money

According to the World Bank, the gross national income of the US is $37,870 per capita, in Indonesia it is $810 and in Niger just $200.

(Make Poverty History)

Interesting Place - Norway