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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Things of Words and the World

  1. A South Korean woman is celebrating after passing the written exam for a driving licence - on her 950th attempt.
  2. Lyrics from Jon Bon Jovi's new album are framed and hanging up in the White House.
  3. US singer Al Martino, who scored the UK's first number one record, has died at the age of 82.
  4. A Welsh butcher has rewritten the rules of etiquette by accepting an honour from the queen with a ballpoint pen behind his ear.
  5. Journalists visiting Sesame Street are banned from asking Bert and Ernie if they are gay, while the BBC rejected Sesame Street in 1971 because it was "too authoritarian". (Read more)
  6. The number of attacks on gay and lesbian people are rising.
  7. For some British football fans the sport isn't "just a game", or their team's stadium "just a name".
  8. Adolf Hitler's family home in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn has at various times in its history housed a library, bank and technical institute.
  9. There is a centuries-old tradition in northern England where a small band of mischief-makers prepare for an annual night of mayhem between Halloween and Bonfire Night known as Mischief Night.
  10. A frenzy of witch-hunts took place during the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, mostly in German-speaking parts, with an estimated 60,000 people put to death.
  11. A major dictionary publisher is compiling a list of regional English words that have died out.
  12. Risk homeostasis describes people who find danger alluring.
  13. The word "autism" has become a term of abuse.
  14. Part-time vegetarians are called flexitarians.
  15. French babies cry with an accent.

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