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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Twenty Things: Did You Know...?

A church is restored, while a statue of Lenin is trampled underfoot
The Church replaces Communism in Romania/(Mogosoaia Palace) AP 2009

Mathematicians try to make sense of the physical world with equations and precise values. In a poke to understanding, we do some "number-crunching" with the news headlines - from scientific sense to statistical nonsense.

  1. Five of the UN Security Council's 15 members - United States, Russia, China, France and Britain - are permanent and have the power of veto.
  2. More than 3,500 Westerners visit North Korea every year.
  3. Up to 95% of undocumented migrants entering the European Union arrive via Greece, while cash-strapped Romania builds three churches every week.
  4. Australia has the world's biggest farm. The Anna Creak Ranch is a little bit larger than Wales but with more cows.
  5. According to the World Health Organisation, around 50% of us fail to take medicines correctly.
  6. The sixth World Dwarf Games is taking place in the US state of Michigan.
  7. One of the world's rarest lizards is the Bermuda skink.
  8. Europe experienced its hottest spell in 500 years in 2003.
  9. In 2012, 27 million people in the UK were on a diet, while more babies were born in the UK in 2011-12 than any year since 1972. The year 2013 saw a British woman having the biggest baby ever born naturally in Spain, and another woman became mother to the second largest baby born naturally in the UK.
  10. According to new research which polled 2,205 single British men, they prefer women who cover up rather than "flash the flesh".
  11. Scotland was the first UK country to introduce smoke-free law in March 2006.
  12. There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike.
  13. The World's Strongest Man competition was established in 1977. Mariusz Pudzianowski of Poland holds the record of five titles.
  14. LG is said to be the world's third best-selling smartphone maker.
  15. Jeffrey Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has bought the newspaper Washington Post ending the Graham family's 80-year-long ownership of the newspaper, a tradition that had spanned several generations.
  16. It's been a year since the Curiosity rover landed on Mars.
  17. Fans of The Pirate Bay file-sharing site celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.
  18. On average three people die in the UK each year from lightning strikes, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
  19. A sewer in the city of London was almost completely clogged with over 15 tonnes of fat - the size of a bus.
  20. Xerox copiers can erratically change numbers on documents being scanned.

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