Forward to next post: News of the night
This is another year-end roundup. The BBC News magazine has a regular feature called “10 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week,” which are factoids gleaned from news stories. They’re currently running their hundred favorite of these factoids from the past year. Some of my favorites of their favorites:
Just 20 words make up a third of teenagers’ everyday speech. :: Technology analysts estimate that there are 200 million blogs which are no longer being updated. :: Urban birds have developed a shorter, faster style of singing. :: The lion costume in The Wizard of Oz was made from real lions. :: Halloween spending has risen tenfold in the UK over the last five years. :: Up to 25% of hospital keyboards harbor the MRSA “superbug” staph infection. :: More than one in eight adults in the US are being classified as internet addicts. (Hmmmmmmf.) :: Over 90% of airplane crashes have some survivors. :: Eating a packet of potato chips a day is the equivalent of drinking five litres of cooking oil a year. :: Scientists at Kew Gardens have been getting 200-year-old seeds to germinate. :: The full name of Barbie (as in the doll) is Barbie Millicent Roberts. :: The part of the brain associated with teenage sulking is called the superior temporal sulcus. :: There’s only one cheddar cheese manufacturer left in Cheddar. :: Mount Everest averages one death per ten successful ascents. :: While 53% of UK households have garages, only 24% use them for parking cars. :: Cows have regional accents. :: “Time” is the most common noun in English. :: A determined housecat can tree a bear. :: The egg came first. :: Humans were first infected with the HIV virus in the 1930s. :: Teenagers are behaving better than their counterparts did twenty years ago. :: According to George Bush, his personal high point while in office has so far consisted of catching a large perch. :: Britain is still paying off pre-Napoleonic War debts because it’s cheaper to do so than buy back the bonds on which they’re based. :: The Labour Party spent £299.63 on Star Trek outfits for the last election, while the Tories shelled out £1,269 to import groundhog costumes from the US. :: Back in the 1960s, the CIA used to watch Mission Impossible to get ideas about spying.