There are a lot of end of year lists circulating this week. This BBC list of 100 interesting facts which appeared in news stories in 2013 may be the most interesting one.
Some are science facts, others arcane bits of cultural knowledge. Nearly all of them are amusing in some way. Here are ten of the 100 which caught my attention:
1. It would have taken 2.5 million seagulls to lift James’s giant peach into the air, not the 501 that Roald Dahl suggested.
5. Two per cent of Europeans lack the genes for smelly armpits
22. Plants lace their nectar with caffeine to keep pollinators loyal.
26. There are more deer in the UK now than at any time since the last Ice Age.
39. 6×8 is the multiplication children get wrong most while 9×12 takes longest.
48. The French had no official word for French kissing… until now. It’s “galocher”.
56. Bookshop customers are six times more likely to buy romance or cookery titles when they can smell chocolate.
70. Cuban rescue workers use sniffer rabbits to find people in collapsed buildings.
79. A man’s walking pace slows by 7% for wives and girlfriends but not for other women, and increases if walking with another man.
82. Amazon’s original name was to be Relentless – and the URL relentless.com still redirects to the company website.
That’s ten of the 100 listed. I verified that last one myself and it works (you may have to remove the ‘s’ from ‘https:’ to get it working). There are 90 more interesting facts in the list.