Thursday, May 21, 2009

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. CS Lewis’s middle name is Staples. (His first name is Clive.)
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2. Oxygen in Greek literally means ‘acid giver or begetter’ - because its discoverer, Lavoisier, mistakenly thought Oxygen is present in all acids.
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3. Billy Durant founded GM in 1908.
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4. In research, “Hawthorne Effect” is the idea that the very act of being experimented upon changes subjects’ behaviour.
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5. The Fedora is named for the title of an 1882 play by Victorien Sardou, Fédora, written for Sarah Bernhardt.
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6. Britain is still paying off debts that predate the Napoleonic wars because it’s cheaper to do so than buy back the bonds on which they are based.
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7. The price of every DVD disc includes a small royalty to Philips, which developed the format.
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8. George Bernard Shaw named his shed after the UK capital so that when visitors called they could be told he was away in London.
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9. Paul McCartney’s Beatles’ classic ‘Blackbird’ is a homage to the black civil rights movement - “bird”, in this case, being a colloquial term for “woman”.
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10. Che Guevera’s family was half-Irish and his real name was Ernesto Lynch.
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misentropy


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