Monday, July 16, 2007

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. Las Vegas calls itself the ‘wedding capital of the world.’
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2. Liz Claiborne Inc. is the first company founded by a woman to make it to the Fortune 500 list.
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3. Abracadabra is supposedly derived from the Aramaic phrase “avrah kedabra,” which translates to “I will create as I speak.”
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4. Known as Budai in Chinese and Hotei in Japanese, the “Laughing Buddha” is based on an eccentric Chinese Chan monk from the sixth century AD.
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5. The city of Cincinnati (Ohio) is named after the Society of the Cincinnati which was formed to honour George Washington, considered a latter day Cincinnatus - the Roman general who saved his city, then retired from power to his farm.
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6. Britain is the largest importer of wine in the world. Lacking a significant wine industry of its own, this puts Britain in the strange situation of having more green glass than can be recycled. It is to address this problem that some wine is now imported in 24,000-litre containers and then bottled in Britain.
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7. There are about 45,000 flights that take off in the US every single day. That number is set to rise to 61,000 by 2016.
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8. In some Spanish-speaking countries, R2-D2 - the droid from Star Wars - is frequently referred to as Arturito (“little Arthur”), since it sounds similar to the English Artoodeetoo.
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9. The organisers of the 1937 Soviet Census were sent to the Gulag by Stalin because the census showed much lower population figures than anticpated.
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10. In motor-racing, the colour red was initially assigned to American cars, while yellow was associated with Italian cars. Since America failed to make any impact on European racing, the colour red was eventually usurped by the Italians.
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