Monday, February 27, 2006

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. One in 10 Europeans is allegedly conceived in an Ikea bed.
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2. Even though America’s population has increased since the Six Degrees of Separation theory was tested by Stanley Milligram, studies show that modern technology and networking have reduced the average number of nodes connecting any 2 people in the US to 4.6. In the case of actors, it can be as low as 3 as demonstrated by the on-line game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
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3. Globally, desktops enjoy a bigger market share than laptops. But in the US, laptops have been outselling desktops since May 2005.
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4. The phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ was first used by Herbert Spencer (a contributor to The Economist) to describe the capitalist market forces that ensure which firms thrived and which ones didn’t. When Charles Darwin published ‘On the Origin of Species’, Spencer saw the parallel and quickly transferred the phrase to describe the process of evolution. And it has stuck and like how.
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5. The cost of raising $1 for charity from a new donor via direct mail is $1.25. Doing it on-line costs just $0.07.
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6. In the last 10,000 years, earth’s population has doubled ten times, from less than 10m to more than six billion. But it will double no more. Demographers forecast that by 2050 the population will peak just below 10 billion people and stay put.
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7. Apple sold 100 iPods every minute in the last quarter of 2005.
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8. Dutch Disease is the paradoxical phenomenon in which a country that has recently struck oil ends up suffering hardships. This happens because of the sudden appreciation of the domestic currency thanks to a sharp inflow of dollar-dominated revenues. It is named for the fate that befell Netherlands after it found North Sea gas.
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9. Calculations by The Economist in January 2005 revealed that the total value of unredeemed air miles has exceeded the worth of all the dollar bills in circulation.
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10. The US State Missouri gets its nickname - The Show Me State – from the characteristic skeptical approach of its people. In 1902, Williard D. Vandiner, a former Congressman from Columbia, Missouri, is supposed to have said “I’m from Missouri, and you’ve got to show me.”
(Source : Goldenballs And the Iron Lady: A Little Book Of Nicknames by Andrew Delahunty)

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