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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Things of Fact and Fiction

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction:
  1. A bicycle is stolen every 71 seconds in England.
  2. We eat huge numbers of natural toxic pesticides which plants use to kill off insects.
  3. When Italians travel, statistics suggest most stay well away from Italian food because 60% of Italian restaurants abroad are deemed to be awful.
  4. A Belgian auto parts supplier has ordered its workforce to speak only Dutch or risk being fired. Almost half of the non-Belgian workers are Turkish.
  5. Greek monks in the thirteenth century would destroy ancient texts to make prayer books.
  6. Under Indian law, a person convicted of public obscenity - which includes kissing in public - faces up to three months in prison, a fine or both.
  7. Neither Israeli nor Palestinian society recognises marriages between their two peoples.
  8. In Israel buses that segregate men and women are called "modesty buses". The separation system operates on 30 public bus routes across Israel.
  9. Nazi slogans and swastikas have been daubed on about 50 graves in the Muslim section of a French WWI cemetery.
  10. There are 100,000 missing people in the United States alone and at least 6,000 unidentified bodies.
  11. The Westboro Baptist Church in America, which numbers 71, is said to be home to the most hated family in the US because they picket funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, which they believe is God's revenge on their nation for tolerating homosexuality. << Iraq War
  12. Fifteen years ago everything in Russia was owned by the state. Today a quarter of Russia's economy is owned by 36 men.
  13. A double amputee has become an athletics sensation. He had never run a race until three years ago.
  14. Rooms in an English retirement home for former members of the entertainment industry are named after famous people who pay a sponsorship fee.
  15. A British Library scheme is getting a new generation of speakers to contribute to an online collection, mapping the way people speak in the UK.
  16. The British teachers' union believes that wi-fi networks may not be safe for children, as they are much more sensitive than adults to dangers such as pollutants like lead and UV radiation.
  17. Astronomers have found the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, a world which could have water running on its surface.
  18. The gory "chestburster" scene in sci-fi classic Alien has been named the greatest 18-certificate movie moment.
  19. Costing about £124m to make, Spiderman 3 is rumoured to be the most expensive film ever made.
  20. Kyrptonite exists.

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