Monday, June 02, 2008

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. Madame Tussauds is currently housed at Marylebone Road - moving its premises there in 1884. Before that, it was located on Baker Street - later made famous by the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.
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2. Number One Observatory Circle is the name of the official residence of the US Vice President.
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3. With 34.8 percent salt concentration (even more than that of the Dead Sea), Lake Asal in Central Djibouti is the most saline body of water on Earth.
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4. All the books in the New Testament were originally written in Koine Greek - a common (‘Koine’ literally meant ‘common’ in Greek) vernacular dialect prevalent in the Roman times. This prompted Nietzsche to say “God spoke bad Greek.”
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5. Kingsley Amis - under the pseudonym ‘Robert Markham’ - wrote the first James Bond novel not to be authored by Ian Fleming. It was titled ‘Colonel Sun’ and was published in 1968.
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6. Cushy is derived from the urdu word ‘kushi’ meaning pleasure.
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7. In the first half of the twentieth century, pink was considered a boy’s colour and blue was for girls. The reverse became the standard only from the 1950s.
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8. Fireflies are actually beetles.
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9. Voltaire never really said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” His original quote was “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.” The misquote actually comes from a 1907 book called Friends of Voltaire, by Evelyn Beatrice Hall.
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10. The continent of Australia was known as New Holland until 1824.
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