Monday, June 07, 2010

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. In 1939, with war against Germany looming, the British government designed three posters to steady the public’s resolve and maintain morale. These featured the crown of King George VI set against a bold red background, and three distinctive slogans - “Freedom is in Peril”, “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory”, and “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Although 2.5 million copies of the last one were printed, it was never actually used during the war. It’s fame is largely a result of its rediscovery in 2000.
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2. Only 19 countries are members of G20 group. The 20th member is the European Union.
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3. The guillotine was invented by Dr.Antoine Louis, secretary of the College of Surgeons. It was initially called Louisette or Louison, before being named guillotine for Joseph-Ignace Guillotin who recommended its use.
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4. Vicki Vale - one of Batman’s love interests in the comics and movies - was based on Marilyn Monroe.
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5. The newton, named after the physicist Isaac Newton, is approximately the force exerted by gravity on an apple at the Earth’s surface.
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6. Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight.
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7. There are about 50 species of flying fish.
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8. Planes dim their cabin lights when they take off to acclimatise passengers’ eyes to the dark - a valuable safety procedure. If the plane had to be evacuated in an emergency, passengers’ eyes would be better suited to the darkness outside.
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9. Freshwater fish do not drink water through their mouths because they absorb more than enough water by osmosis through their gills. Saltwater fish, on the other hand, do drink water because they lose water by osmosis.
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10. Given good conditions, some plants can live for ever.
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