Saturday, December 31, 2005

factoid android

OK, some festive season lightness of a sort.

The love of decontextualised facts is useful for winning pub quizzes, but destructive for making people think they are knowledgable and intelligent when actually they're not.

Still, I do love headtwisting factoids.

- Pink Floyd's Nick Mason holds the record for making the world's largest ever crumpet.

- Mick Jagger's dad wrote Know The Game: Basketball, the UK's best selling book on how to play the sport.

- The USA was the first country to use napalm in warfare - they dropped it on France, the cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

- John Peel was at the front of the press conference where Texas police first showed Lee Harvey Oswald to the public - he can be seen in archive footage standing between Oswald and Jack Ruby, the man who assassinated Oswald the next day.

So I commend unto you the BBC's 100 things we didn't know this time last year, which features gems like;

- Ernie Wise made Britain's first mobile phone call.

- the Little Britain wheelchair user and friend Lou and Andy are named after Reed and Warhol.

- it takes 75kg of raw materials to make a mobile phone.

- devout Orthodox Jews are three times as likely to jaywalk as other people.

- whilst what we call Arabic numerals (actually invented in India) have been in use for nearly 2,500 years, but we didn't get the = sign until it was invented by a 16th century Welshman.

Then there are several great morbid ones, like;

- you can bet on your own death.

- the day when most suicides occurred in the UK between 1993 and 2002 was 1 January, 2000.

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

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