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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ten Things

10 Things you didn't know Yesterday

1. The Philippines produces one of the world's most expensive and coveted kinds of coffee. But it comes from an unusual source - the droppings of a nocturnal, cat-like animal called the palm civet. Coffee lovers believe the beans pass through the civet whole after fermenting in the stomach and that's what gives the coffee its unique taste and aroma.

2. "West Side Story" actress Natalie Wood always suffered from a deep fear of drowning. Her fear was justified. She drowned to death in 1981 aged only 43, halfway through filming the movie "Brainstorm". The film was about a scientist that recorded an after-death experience.

3. The origin of the French word for Easter, "Pâques", is from the Hebrew word "Pessach", which is "Passover", in reference to the Lord "passing over" the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he killed the first-born of the ancient Egyptians. However, the origin of the English word "Easter" itself comes from a pagan holiday.

4. Unbelievable but true, when an American college student in Kentucky was expelled because he was homosexual, the university president, Dr. James Taylor said in a written statement: "At University of the Cumberlands, we hold students to a higher standard than does society in general...University of the Cumberlands isn't for everyone. We tell prospective students about our high standards before they come. There are places students with predispositions can go such as San Francisco and the left coast or to many of the state schools."

5. The UK is about to run out of its own natural resources and become dependent on supplies from abroad, a report says. The findings are based on the concept of "ecological footprints", a system of measuring how much land and water a human population needs to produce the resources it consumes and absorb the resulting waste. If UK's demand was repeated globally, it would need the resources of more than three planets to support the current UK lifestyle.

6. On April 12th 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space. Festivals to commermorate human space travel known as Yuri's Night take place every year on that date.

7. Entertainment and licensing firm CKX has bought the marketing rights to the name of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The boxer, who was born Cassius Clay, sold the rights to his image and name in a $50m (£28.6m) cash deal which also covers certain trademarks.

8. The early Christians didn't have a Bible. It wasn't written for at least a hundred years and the exact books to be included were not formally decided upon until the 300's. The words "purgatory" (religious Hell), "trinity", "abortion", "homosexual" and for that matter, the word "Bible" itself, does not appear anywhere in the Scripture. Most are completely derived from Latin and are non-scriptural inventions of the Catholic church during the Middle Ages.

9. Snoring may run in families. A US study shows that children born to parents who snore have a higher risk of snoring. The researchers also said although snoring was often seen as a joke, it could have serious implications. Studies of older children and adults have linked snoring to behavioural problems, mental impairment, and heart and metabolic disease.

10. Truth can be stranger than fiction. Two New York city detectives Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito doubled up as brutal henchmen for a mafia crime family, lending enough plot material for a dozen ganster movies. Eppolito - one of the fallen cops - actually played a walk-on part in the classic Mob movie "Goodfellas". Then he unsuccessfully tried his hand at Hollywood scriptwriting. The men will be sentenced on 22 May and face life in prison.

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