Friday, May 25, 2007

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. Dr.No’s first name is Julius.
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2. Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ was subtitled ‘or The Modern Prometheus’.
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3. John F Kennedy is the only US president to have won a Pulitzer prize. He won it in 1957 for his book ‘Profiles In Courage.’
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4. Wings, a 1927 silent movie about World War I fighter pilots, is the only silent movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
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5. Hector (Prince of Troy) and Lancelot (the Arthurian Knight) are the knave of diamonds and the knave of clubs respectively in a deck of cards. The other two knaves are : La Hire (Etienne de Vignoles, Knight and Hero of France) as the knave of hearts and Ogier (one of Charlemagne’s knights in the Chansons de Geste and the knight who is carried off by the witch Morgan la Fay in Arthurian legend) as the knave of spades. (The associations of cards with kings, queens and knaves, it must be pointed out, were popular in France between the 15th and 18th century - modern playing cards represent no specific people.)
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6. Beatrice Straight’s 5 min 40 seconds role in Network (1976) is the shortest performance ever to win an Oscar - she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
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7. In the US, odd-numbered interstates run north to south and even-numbered ones run east to west.
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8. Joan Crawford, the Oscar-winning actress from the golden age of Hollywood, was elected to the board of PepsiCo in 1959.
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9. Kung Fu is a colloquial chinese term that means ‘hard work.’
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10. ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’, a poem by Oscar Wilde that explored the harsh nature of prison life was published under the pseudonym ‘C33’ - Wilde’s prison number.
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