Sunday, September 24, 2006

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. The ‘D’ in D-day stands for Day. According to BBC, “The invasion planners used H for the time and D for the day of the operation. An hour before the start was referred to as “H minus one”, the hour after as “H plus one”; the day before was “D minus one”, the day after “D plus one”. Hence it became known as D-Day, even though the full meaning – Day-Day – was nonsense.”
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2. The African state of Liberia was formed by repatriated former slaves from America.
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3. The online test that validates whether you are human or a bot (when you comment on a blog post for eg.) is called a CAPTCHA - an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.
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4. The celebrated car designer Sir Alec Issigonis and creator of the Rover Mini is credited with introducing the word ‘mini’ to the English language.
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5. Mardi Gras literally means ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French and is named after the custom of using up all the fat (as in meat) in the household before the beginning of Lent.
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6. Introverts tend to remember their dreams better than extroverts.
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7. Ostriches don’t actually bury their heads in the sand but instead press their long neck flat along the ground, blending with the background.
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8. The popcorn kernels that fail to pop are called ‘old maids’.
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9. RMS Titanic and her two sister ships - RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic (originally Gigantic) - were named after the Greek mythological races Titans, Olympians and Giants.
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10. The patron saint of athletes is St. Sebastian.
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