Showing posts from June, 2008

Interesting Fact # 829 - The Royal Family

In the UK, the Royal Family costs the equivalent of 66p per person.

(According to Buckingham Palace accounts the Treasury contributed the equivalent of 66p per person to help maintain the monarchy. I think they're worth it purely for the entertainment factor.)

Interesting Food # 40 - Biscuits

Many businessmen believe that the type of biscuits served in a meeting are key to clinching deals.

(The chocolate digestive was deemed to make the best impression followed by shortbread and Hob Nobs.)

Source - The BBC

Interesting Fact # 828 - Life for Sale

A 44 year old Briton living in Australia has sold his life on eBay for £192,000.

(Ian Usher put his "entire life" up for sale - house, car, job and even his friends. How much would you sell yours for?)

Interesting Fact - The European Union

Germany paid more than any other country for its membership in the European Union, 114 billion euros ($179 billion).

(Greece received the most money from the bloc, receiving 5.4 billion euros more from the EU than it paid in, making it the EU's biggest recipient for the second year running.)

Interesting Fact # 826 - Whiplash

A female driver is three times more likely than a man to suffer whiplash injuries if her car is hit from behind.

(Female passengers suffer from whiplash injuries when their car is hit from the front too. Believe me, I know.)

Interesting Fact # 825 - Broadband

An Ofcom report shows that more rural homes in the UK have broadband internet than urban dwellings do.

(59% of rural households have broadband compared to 57% of urban homes.)

Interesting Fact # 824 - University

You don't necessarily get expelled for cheating at a British university.

(A study of 86 UK universities by the Higher Education Academy and Joint Information Systems Committee found that out of 9,200 students caught cheating, only 143 were expelled. I think we are raising a generation of cheats. Just look at the games market, for every computer game sold there are hundreds of cheats and hack sites out there.)

Interesting Fact # 823 - Airports

If you wear a T-shirt featuring rude words, bombs or cartoon guns you can be prevented from boarding a plane in UK airports.

(Brad Jayakody, was wearing a Transformers T-shirt, which showed a cartoon character holding a gun. He was stopped from boarding a flight by the security at Heathrow's Terminal 5. Better not wear a T-shirt with a frying pan either, Tom and Jerry reek havoc with them.)

Interesting Fact - Words

According to the BBC, in the UK, a child of three is expected to know about 300 words.

(According to US guidelines, by the age of three a child should be able to say around 500 to 900 words. Maybe that is what's wrong with our education system.)

Interesting Word # 70 - Nice

The principal etymologist for the OED, Dr Philip Durkin, describes the word "nice" as having "one of the most complicated semantic histories in English".

(It's actually come to mean almost the exact opposite of its first usage 700 years ago. Derived from early French, it originally meant "foolish" or "silly". When I told my husband he said, "Oh, that's nice dear.")


World Refugee Day

Interesting Fact 821 - Houses of Parliament

The only animals that aren't banned from the grounds of the Houses of Parliament are dogs and horses.

(Oh and politicians of course.)

Interesting Fact # 820 - Marriage

Egyptian law says the age gap between spouses should not exceed 25 years.

(In the UK we have a saying "A May to December marriage".

Significantly older is usually considered 11 years or more age difference.

"May" refers to the younger spouse in the spring of life, while "December" refers to the older spouse who is in the winter of life.

These kinds of relationships are also known as:-

* Age-discrepant unions

* Age gap relationships

* Gold digging

* Grave robbing

* Robbing the cradle

And my personal favourite:-

* Tadpoling

Interesting Invention # 25 - The ATM

The ATM (Automated Teller Machine) was invented by John Shepherd-Barron.

(Seemingly he had the idea whilst he was in the bath.)

Interesting Place # 80 - The Rhine

A footbridge over the Rhine called "Passerelle des 3 pays" in French and "Dreiländerbrücke" in German, links Huningue in France and Weil am Rhein in Germany. It is the longest footbridge in the world, with a span of 230 metres.

(It was built off-site in the port of Huningue and then loaded onto two barges to be floated into place.)

Interesting Fact # 819 - Gold

According to the World Gold Council, the officially reported gold reserves of each country in 2007 were:-

1 United States of America - 8,133.5 (tonnes)
2 Germany - 3,417.4 (tonnes)
3 International Monetary Fund - 3,217.3 (tonnes)
4 France - 2,622.3 (tonnes)
5 Italy - 2,451.8 (tonnes)
6 Switzerland - 1,166.3 (tonnes)
7 Japan - 765.2 (tonnes)
8 Turkey - 700.1 (tonnes)
9 Netherlands - 624.5 (tonnes)
10 People's Republic of China - 600.0 (tonnes)
11 Russia 438.2 (tonnes)
12 Taiwan - 423.3 (tonnes)
13 Portugal - 382.6 (tonnes)
14 India - 357.7 (tonnes)
15 Venezuela - 356.8 (tonnes)
16 United Kingdom - 310.3 (tonnes)
17 Lebanon - 286.8 (tonnes)
18 Spain - 281.6 (tonnes)
19 Austria - 280.0 (tonnes)
20 Belgium - 227.7 (tonnes)

(I have to point out that although the United States has the largest reserves of any individual country, in total the Eurozone gold holdings are greater; 11,065 tonnes as of December 2007.)

Interesting Fact # 818 - Gold

According to the World Gold Council, in 2001, all the gold ever mined totalled around 145,000 tonnes.

(I own less than 1 oz of it.)

Interesting Fact # 817 - Football

The penalty shootout was thought up by Israeli, Yosef Dagan.

(It was a dark day for English football. Before that a draw was decided by drawing lots. At least back then we had a chance.)

Interesting Fact # 816 - Football

The penalty kick was first introduced in 1891.

(The invention of the penalty kick is credited to goalkeeper and businessman William McCrum in 1890 in Milford, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The Irish Football Association presented the idea to the International Football Association Board and finally after much debate, the board approved the idea on 2 June 1891. It was introduced in the 1891-92 season. The first ever penalty kick was awarded to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their game against Accrington at Molineux Stadium on 14 September 1891. The penalty was taken (and scored) by John Heath as Wolves went on to win the game 5-0.)

Interesting Fact - Football

England's first defeat abroad was in Spain in 1929.

(We've had plenty of practice since then.)

Interesting Fact # 814 - Football

Around 30 million women and girls around the world play football.

(I used to play football, but in my day it really wasn't encouraged. Now? I'm like Beckham - too old.)

Interesting Fact # 813 - Football

Nearly all hand-made footballs come from Sialkot in the Punjab, Pakistan.

(Around 40 million balls are made in Pakistan each year: that’s enough to fill nearly 220 football pitches. The main problem with this is that manufacturers ensure that they aren't made by forced child labour.)

Interesting Fact # 812 - Football

There are two components in a football, the external part, also called "rexine", which is made of synthetic materials, and the internal part, which is made of natural rubber.

(The one thing you can't do is inflate one without a pump. Believe me I tried, and I nearly ruptured my lungs.)

Interesting Fact # 811 - Football

A football is made out of 32 patches, sewn together.

(For professional matches, they're usually sewn together by hand. Just as well it's not my job, they'd fall apart at the first kick.)

Interesting Fact # 810 - Gold Facials

You can now buy a facial treatment which basically applies 24 karat gold onto your face.

(Basically think of yourself as a picture frame and then have a load of gold leaf slapped onto your face. But be warned, it comes with a hefty price tag.)

Interesting Fact - Accommodation

Travelodge have come up with a new concept in camping. No more tents, and midnight trips to the loo, they have created a prefabricated mobile hotel room.

(It has all the facilities of their standard room, including a luxury double bed, bedside lights, duvet, pillows, fully carpeted floor, window blinds, dressing table & light, mirror, chair, flat screen TV, DVD player with a collection of DVD's, air conditioning, heater, bedside lights and a illuminated headboard, tea / coffee making facilities, washroom with bio-degradable toilet and washbasin with running water. The cost? A mere £26 a night. But it's no good asking them to deliver it to the top of Mount Everest, it will only be available at main events like music festivals and sporting competitions.)

Source: Daily Mail

Interesting Food # 39 - Pudding

The Fortress hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka, is charging $14,500 a serving of the world's most expensive pudding, which is called "The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence".

(The pudding (at that price I should probably call it a dessert) is made up of a gold-leaf Italian cassata flavoured with Irish cream, served with a mango and pomegranate compote and champagne sabayon, and decorated with a chocolate model of a fisherman clinging to a stilt (hence the name). The inspiration comes from the resort’s logo of the ‘stilt fisherman’ an age old local fishing practice. Beneath the fisherman the diner will find an 80 carat aquamarine stone. As far as I know though, no one has actually ordered one.)

Interesting Fact # 808 - Health Tourism

According to The Manila Times, more than 300,000 people from abroad go to Singapore to see doctors.

(And this isn't for trivial medical complaints either. One of the main reasons it's so popular is cost. It costs around $47,000 for a heart operation in the USA, in New Delhi, India the same operation costs just $6,400.)

Interesting Fact # 807 - Equal Pay

According to the EU's equal opportunities commissioner, the disparity in wages between men and women in Germany is one of the highest in the European Union.

(The reason given is the high percentage who can't work full-time because of child-raising responsibilities. KKK - Kinder Kirche Kuche.)