Showing posts from July, 2005

Interesting Animal - Ants

The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days.

(So, would you really rather be an ant?)

Interesting Fact - Money

Dollar’ is the most common currency name.

(This is followed by ‘franc,’ ‘pound,’ ‘dinar,’ ‘peso,’ and ‘rupee.’)

Interesting Fact - Music

The song with the longest title is; 'I’m a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doin’ Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues' written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1943.

(Never heard it. Don't think I want to!)

Interesting Fact - Books

It's said that one copy a minute of 'The Hungry Caterpillar' has been sold since it was released in 1969.

(The film and TV rights have just been bought for £1m. I wish I could write children's books!)


The Dalai Lama will be presented with the Hessischen Friedenspreis and will be speaking in front of 10000 people in the Wiesbadener Kurpark.

Interesting Fact - Television

Since the British soap 'East Enders' began in 1985, at least one of its episodes have rated higher than any other British soap opera throughout each decade.

(This includes the 1980's, 1990's and so far the 2000's (the naughties?). So much for British culture!)

Interesting Animals - Butterflies and Moths

Butterflies' and moths' wings are actually transparent.

(Irridescent scales overlap the wing, like shingles on a roof, and give the wings the colours we see. Both butterflies and moths belong to the order lepidoptera. In Greek, this means scale wing.)

Interesting Fact - Telephone

The first telephone book was one page long and had only 50 names in it.

(Surely that was just a telephone list.)

Interesting Animals - Tiger

What do you find when you shave the striped fur off of a tiger?

Striped skin.

(First catch your tiger. Not that I have tried this personally.)

Interesting Places - China

To date Google has more than 20% of the Chinese search market.

(Is that all? Blimey I thought Google ruled the world!)

Interesting Fact - War

Kleenex tissues were originally used as filters in gas masks during the First World War.

(The product used was called “Cellucotton", which would later become Kleenex when they realised they had all this stuff left over. Marketed as "the new secret of keeping pretty skin as used by famous movie stars..." (and gas masks).)

Interesting Fact - The Earth

The population of the Earth has more than doubled since 1950.

Interesting Fact - Languages

Half of all business deals in the world are conducted in English.

(No wonder there is so much interest in learning Business English! Ah well keeps me in work.)

Interesting Fact - Science

The number of chemical elements in the universe is 116.

(A chemical element, often called simply element, is a substance that cannot be divided or changed into different substances by ordinary chemical methods. Only only 90 of the known elements occur naturally.)

Interesting Fact - Books

Oliver Twist is very popular in China, where its title is translated as Foggy City Orphan.

(I personally think it is much more descriptive than the original title. WTG China!)

Interesting Fact - World Record

More than 4,000 people by the main stage at Guilfest 2005, in Guildford, played air guitar to Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n' Roses today.

(But is it a world record?)


1,500 people stripped naked today at various locations around the city centre of city of Newcastle in northeast England for the latest work by United States artist Spencer Tunick.

(Tunick previously got 7 000 people to bare all in Barcelona (see June 6 2003), also photographing 4 000 naked people in Melbourne and 500 or so who braved the escalators of London's famous Selfridges department store while in the buff. The man has a bare faced cheek - 'scuse the pun.)

Interesting Fact - Harry Potter

The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997 and since then the books have sold 270 million copies in 62 languages to date.(The new book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is being launched right now. It is expected to sell more than 10 million copies. Just today!)

Interesting Fact - Colours

Blue and white are the most common school uniform colours.

(My school decided on blue and yellow - yuck!)

Interesting Words - The shortest sentence

"Go," is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

(See also Interesting Words # 9.)

Interesting Fact - Laughter

Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system.

(Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Unfortunately adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. Try counting how many times the people around you laugh, if nothing else, it should make you laugh.)

Interesting Fact - Sport - Podcast

In the rules of rodeo bull-riding competitions the 'cowboy' must hang on for eight seconds.

(The same applies to bareback-bronc and saddle-bronc events.  Now I know it doesn't sound long, but just imagine that you're sitting on a really angry bull and count to eight.  Seems a lot longer, doesn't it?)

Interesting Invention - Talking Wine Label

Italians have developed a talking wine label, with a chip to tell drinkers about the vintage and what dishes it best accompanies.

(Just as long as it doesn't tell me when I have drunk enough.)

Interesting Fact - World Records

The Guinness World Records, receives 60,000 applications a year from around the globe to break or set a new record. Not all are accepted as some are too dangerous, not enough of a challenge, too specific to an individual, or unbreakable. Only 4,000 records are published in the book each year.

(Interestingly a number of high-profile records are broken on a regular basis. According to Guinness, the most popular include oldest living person, highest grossing film and fastest selling record.)

Interesting Invention - Traffic Lights

During 1920, a Detroit policeman named William Potts constructed several red-yellow-green light signal systems. Some lights were mounted atop "traffic towers" manned by policemen; others were overhead suspension lamps remarkably similar in form to a Red Amber Green modern traffic light.

(However, the first known signal device for regulating street traffic was installed in 1868 in London, at the intersection of George and Bridge Streets near the Houses of Parliament. Designed by railroad signal engineer JP Knight, it had two semaphore arms which, when extended horizontally, meant "stop"; and when drooped at a 45-degree angle, meant "caution." At night, red and green gas lights accompanied the "stop" and "caution" positions.)

Interesting Place - The UK

The UK is described in the CIA’s World Factbook 2002 as ‘slightly smaller than Oregon’.

(It says a lot about the world today.)


As news of the bomb attacks spread, the first response of many was to check up on loved ones in the capital.

More facts?

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." Salvador Hardin
"Nothing good ever comes of violence." Martin Luther
"The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked" Proverbs 10:11
"If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos." Martin Luther King
"Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary." Gandhi
"All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Degeneracy follows every autocratic system of violence, for violence inevitably attracts moral inferiors." Albert Einstein

Interesting Place - America

The American national anthem, the "Star-Spangled Banner," is set to the tune of an English drinking song ("To Anacreon in Heaven").

(Now that was a good idea.)

Interesting Fact - Texting

26.4 million text messages were sent to "UNITE" in support of the Live 8 cause.

Interesting Fact - Names

Actually Emily is the most popular name for newborn girls in the UK.

(After Emily it's Ellie, Jessica, Sophie and Chloe.)

Interesting Fact - Names

In the UK 'Jack' is the most popular name for newborn baby boys. In fact it has been the most popular boy's name for 10 years.

(I wonder if the most popular girl's name is Jill?)

Interesting Invention - Gaffer Tape

Gaffer tape (aka Duct tape) was originally developed during World War II in 1942 as a waterproof sealing tape for ammunition casings.

(It was invented by Permacel, then a division of Johnson & Johnson,it was originally called Duck Tape because it was waterproof - "Like water off a duck's back".)