Things to End the Year
...words to do with silk and steel...
- Ever heard the saying it runs straight as a Turkish arrow?
- In the Malay language "Allah" - the Muslim word for God - is used to mean any god, and Christians say they have used the term for centuries.
- Murdered Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son Bilawal, who has been chosen to take over his mother's Pakistan People's Party, is quoted to have said, "My mother always said democracy is the best revenge".
- Britain's most popular children's writer isn't Harry Potter writer JK Rowling, but Jacqueline Wilson.
- The cookbooks of the 1960s and 70s were particularly good on recipes to use up left-overs.
...and of discovery:
- Back to the Future and Close Encounters of the Third Kind are among films which have been selected for preservation by the US Library of Congress.
- Warner Music Group is making its music available for US downloads from Amazon in MP3 format without copy protection.
- Garon Michael is one of the world's most accomplished gorilla impersonators, whose previous work includes Congo and Planet of the Apes.
- Hello Kitty, the cute, cuddly white feline adored by Japanese girls and young women, is going macho.
- Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is now a multi-millionaire at 23.
- Boys in nursery schools should not be discouraged from playing with toy guns and other weapons, the British government says.
- The advisers and friends, spin doctors and Whitehall mandarins who surrounded the former prime minister of the UK Tony Blair, were known as Team Blair.
- France will extend its smoking ban to bars, cafes, restaurants and discos, but will give smokers a 24-hour "grace" period for the New Year festivities.
- In New York you give the tip to the restaurant manager to hand out later to the staff, but in Iowa you hand the money to the server and you look them in the eye.
- Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles in America encompasses 50 square blocks of the city and is home to about 800 people sleeping rough. Some, with no health insurance and no home, were literally dumped there by hospitals because they could not pay the bill.