Sunday, November 30, 2008

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. Germany is the world’s biggest exporter.
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2. Moon’s South Pole is contained within a crater named Shackleton - named for noted Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
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3. Upon entering the ring, Sumo wrestlers clap, stomp their feet, toss salt on the ground and rinse their mouths — purification rituals tied to Shintoism, from which the sport derives.
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4. The upper and lower decks of the chinese abacus are called heaven and earth, respectively.
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5. The English village of Tinsley Green in West Sussex holds the annual World Marble championships every Good Friday.
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6. In the UK, the 999 emergency number was chosen over 111 because telegraph wires rubbing together in the wind transmitted the equivalent of a 111 call.
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7. Pablo Picasso’s full name is “Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso”.
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8. Julius Caesar’s Veni, vidi, vici (“I came. I saw, I conquered”) is an example of the tricolon technique in speechwriting - where a sentence is divided into three parts for impact.
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9. Lilac is derived from the Persian ‘nilak’, meaning ”of a bluish shade”.
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10. Thanks to his brand of balsamic dressing (Newman’s Own) that sold for charity, Paul Newman was the most generous individual - relative to his income - in the 20th-century history of the United States.
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