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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Things to Make You Think

Greenpeace campaigner holds an alarm clock during a climate change rally in Istanbul, TurkeyGreenpeace campaigner holds an alarm clock during a climate change rally in Istanbul, Turkey.
  1. The original Santa Claus, or St Nicholas, was a bishop from Myra in what is now Turkey. In Belgium and the Netherlands he has a helper known as "Black Pete" that looks like an offensive caricature of a black man.
  2. Venezuela has created its own unique time zone.
  3. Tango routes are longer routes flown by some airlines to by-pass the expense of flying through several air traffic zones.
  4. The music business has been in decline for the last seven years due to its hesitance to embrace digital music.
  5. The Golden Horse awards in Taiwan is the Chinese-language equivalent of the Academy Awards.
  6. Paddington Bear is 50 years old.
  7. A rare collection of Roman bronzes have been unearthed at the bottom of a well in the City of London.
  8. Books used to be bound in human skin.
  9. JE55USS - and other combinations of letters and numbers with strong religious connotations - cannot be used for personalised car number plates. Rude words are also banned.
  10. Scientology was founded in the United States in the 1950s by science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard.
  11. British councils are being advised to "think twice" about spending money on translation which might be better spent on English classes.
  12. Some people may be genetically destined to have a generous personality, Israeli research has suggested.
  13. One in four children don't count their father as immediate family.
  14. To be declared dead in England and Wales there is no time limit - the seven-year rule only applies in the High Court on the settlement of a disputed estate.
  15. Fewer than 50 wild animals perform in four UK-owned circuses including seven tigers, eight camels, five lions, several zebras and a retired elephant called Anne who tours but no longer performs.

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