Friday, April 28, 2006

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. A song called called ‘Something In The Air’ by Thunderclap Newman was the No. 1 single in the UK on the day Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon (July 21st, 1969)
(According to EveryHit - where you can search and find the UK No. 1 single for any day.)

2. Over the past couple of decades, increase in female employment has added more to global GDP growth than either new technology or the new giants, China and India.
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3. Invading Iraq has already cost the US about $250 billion and estimates for the total cost range from $400 billion to a staggering $ 1.2 trillion. The pre-invasion projections backed by Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, were between $50 – $60 billion.
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4. Bookmakers’ odds ensure that gamblers bet roughly the same amount of money on one team as on the other. Bookmakers don’t gamble on which team will win; they instead make money through a slim percentage – called vigorish, or just the vig – deducted from the winner’s booty.
(Source : ‘The Wisdom Of Crowds : Why The Many Are Smarter Than The Few’ by James Surowiecki)

5. The ratio of advertising expenditure to GDP in India is about 0.4 per cent. This is half that of China and one third of the US.
(Source : Times Of India, Saturday 8th 2006.)

6. Google Dance is the name given to the operation where Google’s spider bots crawl the web and its 8 billion pages to determine new rankings in the search engine. It happens twice or thrice every year (each dance lasts about 2 weeks) and its constantly changing algorithms ensure that Google stays one step ahead of the ‘search-engine-optimization (SEO)’ industry.
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7. When Thomas Alva Edison set up his invention lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey, he set himself a schedule of one small invention every 10 days and one major invention every 6 months. When he died, he held 1093 patents – more than anybody before or since.
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8. Before the humble shipping box container revolutionized the economics of shipping and the flow of world trade, it cost $5.83 a ton to load loose cargo onto a medium-sized ship. That cost was slashed to $0.16 a ton by the introduction of box containers over 50 years ago.
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9. According to projections, some 30 million pieces of baggage will be lost this year in airports. And all of them – except an unfortunate 204,000 pieces – will be returned to their rightful owners in less than 31 hours.
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10. The modern practice of starting the day at midnight – equidistant from sunset and sunrise – began with the Romans. All calendars before (and a few later) calculated day break differently – dawn in ancient Egypt and India; sunset by Jews, Muslims and Chinese.
(Source : ‘The Calendar : History, Lore And Legend’ by Jacqueline De Bourgoing)

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Iqbal Mohammed is Head of Innovation & Strategy at a digital innovation agency serving the DACH and wider European markets. He is the winner of the WPP Atticus Award for Best Original Published Writing in Marketing & Communication.

He blogs about #innovation, #technology and #marketing at You can reach him via email or Twitter.