Showing posts from September, 2007

Interesting Fact - Travel

25m people commute to and from work in the UK.

(I bet they all pass each other going in different directions.)

Source RAC Foundation

Interesting Fact # 644 - Travel

According to a study by the RAC 14% of commuters go to the office by bus or train, while 11% walk.

(Add that to the previous fact of 71% going by car and that must mean that 4% of people don't go to work, or maybe they cycle?)

Interesting Fact - Travel

A study by the RAC Foundation has found that around 71% of British workers travel to work by car.

(Whatever happened to "Go to work on an egg"?)

Interesting Fact # 642 - Commuting

On average a UK commuter travels the equivalent of two-and-a-half times around the globe over a full working career.

(I can think of nicer places to go with the mileage.)

Interesting Fact - Hyphens

Hyphens are disappearing from the English language.

(About 16,000 hyphens have been dropped from the latest edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Some of the hyphenated words have become two words, like fig leaf, others have become one word, like bumblebee.)

Interesting Fact # 640 - Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs had creches.

(The recent discovery of fossilised remains of six infant dinosaurs that died in a volcanic mudflow in China has led researchers to believe that the animals were less than four years old, and probably formed a "creche" composed of babies from at least two different clutches. I wonder what age they had to go to junior school.)

Interesting People # 51 - Paris Hilton and Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor is related to Paris Hilton.

(Ms Gabor has one child, a daughter, Francesca Hilton. Francesca Hilton is the great aunt of Paris Hilton. Doomed by genetics I would say.)


Traffic has been banned from several roads in central London for the day to make way for thousands of cyclists taking part in a mass bike ride.

Interesting Animals # 65 - Caterpillars

The procession caterpillar, which marches in lines - hence the name, can cause severe allergic outbreaks in humans. They are covered in long, toxic hairs which cause dermatitis and respiratory problems and can account for up to 80 percent of doctor visits in any affected area.

(The Belgian army had to be called in recently to deal with an infestation of these little critters. A mini-platoon of soldiers was deployed into the forests of Belgium to tackle a plague.)

Source - Daily Mail

Interesting Word - Microtia

Microtia (meaning 'Small ear') is a congenital deformity of the pinna (outer ear). It can be unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (affecting both sides). It occurs in 1 out of about 8,000-10,000 births. In unilateral microtia, the right ear is most typically affected.

Source: Wiki

Interesting Fact # 639 - Internet Access

When Americans were asked by the advertising agency JWT how long they could go without internet access and still feel OK, 15% said a day or less, most said they could only manage a few days.

(Personally I have gone for 2 weeks with no access. The first couple of days you're twitchy, but you soon get used to having a proper life, honest.)

Interesting Food # 29 - Crisps

The carbon footprint of a packet of Walkers Crisps is 75g.

(In April, Walkers Crisps began labelling its cheese and onion bags of crisps with a carbon footprint - how many grams of greenhouse gases were emitted in its production - and that has been rolled out to other flavours. The calculations are done by the Carbon Trust, a private company set up by the government to reduce the UK's carbon footprint. The problem consumers face is can you trust the Carbon Trust.)

Source: BBC News

Interesting Fact # 638 - Mobile Phones

According to a study commissioned by the Campaign To End Child Poverty, 19% of British children think that not owning a mobile phone is a sign of being poor.

(Personally I think that thinking people are poor because they don't have a mobile phone is a sign of being stupid.)

Interesting Fact - Beauty

According to New Woman magazine British women spend a whopping £3,000 a year on beauty products and treatments.

(81 per cent of British women wear makeup every day. Yet again I buck the trend.)

Interesting Place # 60 - The USA

There are 3,142 counties in the United States.

(There are only 86 counties in the whole of the UK. I guess we really are a small country.)

Interesting Fact # 636 - Business

UPS, the worlds biggest package carrier, delivers more than 13 million items daily.

(In 2006 they delivered 3.9 billion packages and their revenue was $47.5 billion. Funnily enough I couldn't find any statistics to show how many they lost.)

Interesting Fact # 635 - Sleep

Total lack of sleep will kill you quicker than lack of food.

(If you go 10 days without sleep you're toast, whilst starvation takes a few weeks. In fact if you go for more than three days without any sleep at all, you will lose orientation in place and time, you will hallucinate and eventually your body will begin to break down.

The average human requires between seven and eight hours of sleep every night. This enables the body to repair and refresh itself in order to start the new day. If you try to burn the candle at both ends and don't get enough sleep, it will affect everything that you do. Mistakes can be made, accidents can happen and there is evidence of short-term memory. Good news for the over 60s is that you can get away with between five and six hours sleep.)

Interesting Fact # 634 - Business

According to the New York Times US Airways makes $10 million a year by advertising on tray tables and napkins in their airplanes.

(I wonder how much they charge to advertise on their sick bags?)

Interesting Animals - The Most Dangerous Animal

The most dangerous animal on the planet is the mosquito.

(The deadly disease malaria is carried by mosquitoes. This disease causes more than 300 million acute illnesses each year and over a million deaths annually.)


Happy New Year Ethiopia.

People in Ethiopia celebrate the New Year today, and believe it or not it's the start of the year 2000 and the beginning of the new millennium.

Interesting Fact # 633 - Money

According to the TUC (Trades Union Congress), the top 3% of the population of the UK own three times as much as the bottom half of the population.

(Unfortunately I know which half I belong to.)

Interesting Fact - Money

According to the TUC (Trades Union Congress), poverty costs the UK economy £40bn a year.

(This works out at more than £600 a person.)

Interesting Fact # 631 - Tax

According to the TUC (Trades Union Congress),in the UK 112,000 people currently benefit from "non-domiciliary tax breaks".

(Tax loopholes for UK citizens who have spent time abroad have allowed tax breaks worth £4bn. It seems as if the people who are best able to afford to pay tax are also able to afford the people who can help them avoid tax.)

Interesting Fact - Franchises

According to the Financial Times there are 287 franchised World Trade Centers around the world.

(The world’s newest World Trade Centre is, of all places, in Hull. Now, I knew you could franchise a McDonalds, but a WTC? Now that's interesting. I wonder how much it costs.)

Interesting Fact - Longevity

A Liverpool John Moores University study of 1,050 US and European artists has found that rock stars are twice as likely to die prematurely as the rest of us.

(It seems that 100 stars died between 1956 and 2005 with US stars dying at 42 on average and those from Europe at 35. I'm glad I can't sing for toffee.)

Interesting Fact - Health

Sitting up straight is bad for backs.

(Scottish and Canadian researchers have shown that sitting up straight places an unnecessary strain on your back. Leaning forward was also bad, but leaning back at an angle of 135 degrees was the best position. So lean back and relax. I wish I could show my mum this one - all those years of "Sit up straight, don't slouch!")

Interesting Fact - The Law

In the UK you can be arrested for using someone's wi-fi network without permission.

(The Communications Act 2003 says a "person who (a) dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and (b) does so with intent to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the provision of that service, is guilty of an offence". This practice is known as piggybacking or mooching. Mind you if you can even find a wifi signal in the UK you're doing ok.)

Interesting Animals - Slugs

A slug eats twice its body weight a day.

(I don't think it counts when it's only lettuce.)

Interesting Fact - Exercise

According to a survey for the British Heart Foundation, 63% of Brits would not be motivated to do more exercise even if their lives depended on it.

(Set a lion loose and watch them run!)

Interesting Fact - Soap

US researchers from the Society for Microbiology and The Soap and Detergent Association have worked out that only 77% of Americans wash their hands in public restrooms (loos to the rest of us).

(This figure is down 6% on a similar study in 2005. So this is for the Americans: When washing your hands you should rub your wet, soapy hands together outside the stream of running water for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing thoroughly and then drying with a clean or disposable towel. In a public loo, after drying, use a dry paper towel to turn off the water (and open the door, if there is one).

Interesting Fact # 624 - Marriage

According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), couples who divorce do so on average after 11 and a half years of marriage.

(So much for the seven year itch theory.)