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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Twenty Things: Did You Know...?

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt: the fastest human on Earth?/July 2013

  1. Although Mars is one of Earth's closest neighbours, it is still some 56 million km away at its closest alignment - a journey of at least nine months.
  2. When we think of extinction we normally think of animals, but trees can go extinct, too.
  3. A full Moon can disturb a good night's sleep, scientists believe.
  4. A man caught with a prostitute in his car told police she was there to show him where to buy tomatoes.
  5. Described as the 'first woman of sex therapy', Virginia Johnson passed away this month.
  6. There is now a National Awareness Day for public relations.
  7. There is such a thing as escalator etiquette.
  8. In the US state of Wyoming there are only two escalators, both in a bank.
  9. Authorities in New Zealand have told a South African chef he is too fat to be allowed to live in the country.
  10. Usain Bolt's running time in Berlin was the biggest increase in the record since electronic timing was introduced in 1968.

Spain mourns its train crash victims
Spain mourns its train crash victims/July 2013

  1. Three days of mourning were declared for the train crash victims in Spain last Thursday.
  2. The British government does not keep track of the number of people it classes as immigrants who enter or leave the UK - but have vans drive through London advertising illegal immigrants to "go home" instead.
  3. Italy's first black minister had bananas thrown at her during a political rally, who dismissed the racial abuse as "a waste of food".
  4. South Africa's Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he will never worship a "homophobic God" and would rather go to hell.
  5. Despite same-sex relationships being legal in South Africa, it has some of the worst cases of homophobic violence in the world.
  6. Four Dutch tourists have been jailed under Russia's "gay propaganda" law, recently passed to impose heavy penalties for providing information about homosexuality to people under 18. The draconian law allows for the arrest of anyone openly gay or supportive of gay rights, with neo-Nazi groups that torture gay teens using it to describe their violent acts as "crime fighting".
  7. Serbia is a hub for sex-change surgery, but have considered laws to restrict access to transgender healthcare.
  8. With the civilian death toll by the military in Egypt escalating, the crisis is still not considered a coup by the White House.
  9. So many faked images are circulating in Egypt over its recent political crisis that Facebook sites have been set up with the goal of separating fact from fiction.
  10. The Israeli cabinet has approved the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners, while others still remain having been incarcerated for over twenty years.

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