Monday, March 31, 2008

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. Mithridatism/Mithridatization is the practice of protecting oneself against poison by gradually self-administering non-lethal amounts. The word derives from Mithridates VI, the King of Pontus, who so feared being poisoned that he regularly ingested small doses, aiming to develop immunity.
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2. Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes cartoon series was a blatant rip-off of Disney’s Silly Symphonies series.
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3. The Foley artist - named after Jack Foley, chief sound effects guru at Universal for many years - is the person who recreates many of the natural, everyday sound effects in a film.
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4. Arcelor - the steel company that Mittal Steel took over - was formed out of the merger of Arbed from Luxembourg, Usinor from France and Aceralia from Spain.
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5. “Fischer chess” - a variant of standard chess - is a game in which the pieces are placed on the board in random order before the start of the game.
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6. The very first version of Microsoft Office was released in 1989, not for Windows, but for the Apple Mac.
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7. It is possible to donate half a liver.
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8. Redheads are also known as ‘gingers’.
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9. Despite breaking up more than 25 years ago, Abba still sells between two and three million albums a year.
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10. The peace symbol was originally designed as an emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement. It, in fact, is a combination of the semaphore - or flag-signalling - alphabet, super-imposing N (uclear) on D (isarmament) and placing them within a circle symbolising Earth.
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