Monday, October 23, 2006

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. The Bahais use a calendar that consists of 19 months of 19 days each, with the addition of “Intercalary Days” (four in ordinary and five in leap years) between the eighteenth and nineteenth months to adjust the calendar to the solar year.
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2. In 1803, the Louvre was renamed ‘Musée Napoléon’ by Napoleon Bonaparte. The original name was restored and several stolen antiquities from Greece were returned after Napoleon’s fall in 1815.
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3. Gulag is an acronym for the bureau that ran the camps - Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, or Main Camp Administration.
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4. Delaware was the first US state to ratify the US constitution.
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5. Australia used to be known as New Holland before 1824.
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6. The smallest known dinosaurs were about the size of chicken.
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7. Water in a sink is as likely to whirlpool clockwise or anti-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. The direction is dictated by the sink’s structure rather than by the hemisphere.
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8. The island mountain of Mauna Kea in Hawaii is about 1000 metres taller than Mt. Everest when measured from its base in the Pacific Ocean.
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9. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, a marshall in Napoleon’s army, established the Bernadotte dynasty in Sweden (which is still in power) after being adopted by the ageing and childless King Charles XIII.
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10. The Incas used a writing system that involved knotted strings called Khipu.
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