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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Twenty Things: Did You Know...?

Gwen Stefani looking for a Christmas hit
Gwen Stefani looking for a Christmas hit/BBC.

Nifty, nutty and meaty news nuggets picked from the press.

  1. Germany produces about 80% of doner - the spicy, grilled Turkish meat - consumed in the EU and about 110,000 German jobs depend on it.
  2. The British Dietetic Association has released a list of diets they say we should steer clear of in the new year. They include the Raw Vegan, Alkaline, Pioppi and Ketogenic diets, as well as Katie Price's Nutritional Supplements.
  3. Greggs the bakers has apologised for swapping Jesus for a sausage roll in a promotional image for its advent calendar.
  4. Some claim the real home of Santa is in Finland's Lapland, rather than the North Pole.
  5. A fragment of bone claimed to be from St Nicholas - the 4th-Century saintly inspiration for Father Christmas - has been radio carbon tested by the University of Oxford, proving it to be the correct age.
  6. Slippers have topped a poll of people asked to name their worst ever festive gift, followed by second hand clothing.
  7. A new study from Mintel suggests a majority of single women, and almost half of single men, are happy with their relationship status - especially at Christmas.
  8. The Pogues' Christmas favourite Fairytale of New York has turned 30. It was briefly censored by the BBC after 20 years of playing the full song, when the decision was made to edit out the words "faggot" and "slut" because they were deemed offensive.
  9. Gwen Stefani says the Charlie Brown Christmas Album was essential listening as she grew up.
  10. Ed Sheeran has picked up his MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. The pop star was awarded his gong for services to music and charity.
  11. Stormzy has been named artist of the year at the 2017 BBC Music Awards, capping a hugely successful year. The south London MC, whose debut album Gang Signs & Prayer was the first grime record to reach number one, beat Ed Sheeran and Lorde to the prize.
  12. Calvin Harris is under pressure to remix the Spice Girls classic 2 become 1 after he told another DJ he'd do it if same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia. Now the law has been changed, people think Calvin should stick to his word.
  13. 2012 X Factor winner James Arthur suffered from mental illness and is now an ambassador for mental health charity Sane.
  14. Google says its AlphaGo Zero artificial intelligence program has triumphed at chess against world-leading specialist software within hours of teaching itself the game from scratch. It was more successful at playing with white pieces than black.
  15. Online game service Steam has stopped accepting payments made with the Bitcoin virtual currency, saying "high fees and volatility" had driven it to stop accepting them.
  16. Social media and online shopping are bonding, while banks will be able to share a customer's financial secrets with their permission.
  17. The birthplace of poet Philip Larkin, Coventry has been selected as UK City of Culture 2021.
  18. Residents of a remote Irish town set to feature in 2017's biggest movie will mark the occasion with a special screening of the film.
  19. A parks service in England which hosted the "glitz and glamour of Hollywood" for a new Tom Cruise film received a £32,000 fee, it has emerged.
  20. The film Casablanca has turned 75.

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