Monday, October 09, 2006

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. The tradition of carrying the flame from Mt.Olympus to the actual venue was introduced at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It was intended by Hitler to convey the true Aryan lineage of Nazi Germany.
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2. Sverdrup is the unit of measurement of ocean currents. One sverdrup is one million cubic metres of water per second.
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3. When someone is elected a Pope, the cardinal dean asks him two questions : if he accepts the office and (if the answer is yes) what name he wants to be known by as pope.
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4. Egyptians used a base twelve system of counting, which led to the 24 hour day.
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5. There were two writers who used the penname Mark Twain. Samuel Langhorne Clemens - the more famous one - took the name from the penname of a Captain Sellers, a riverboat pilot who wrote about river conditions for the New Orleans Picayune.
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6. Early telephone books in the UK didn’t have any numbers, only names and addresses of subscribers. To connect to any of them, one had to call an operator and ask for the person by name.
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7. Seats in military aircraft are rear-facing because they tend to be safer in the event of an emergency landing.
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8. Paper currency was introduced in China around 800 AD largely due to the shortage of copper and was abandoned by 1455.
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9. The gap between the front two teeth is called Diastima.
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10. After water, concrete is the second most used material on Earth.
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