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7. The lion costume in the film Wizard of Oz was made from real lions.
December 28, 2006 8:34 AM   Subscribe

TriviaFilter: 100 things we didn't know last year --a roundup of the best? of the year from BBC News' 10 things weekly column. ...20. Sex workers in Roman times charged the equivalent price of eight glasses of red wine.... 57. The word "time" is the most common noun in the English language, according to the latest Oxford dictionary. ...
posted by amberglow (50 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
4. Bristol is the least anti-social place in England, says the National Audit Office.

Isn't that an antisocial way of saying "Bristol is the friendliest place in England"?
posted by blue_beetle at 8:53 AM on December 28, 2006


This is an amazing collection of 100 one-link MetaFilter posts!
posted by hermitosis at 8:57 AM on December 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Polar bear, polar bear, polar bear
posted by edgeways at 8:59 AM on December 28, 2006


This is an amazing collection of 100 one-link MetaFilter posts!
And it's newsfilter too, which i love. ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:59 AM on December 28, 2006


59. Dogs with harelips can end up with two noses.

And how do they smell?
Terrific! (Schmark! Schmark! - Good boy!)
posted by hal9k at 9:03 AM on December 28, 2006


And their pants fit them like a glove!
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:08 AM on December 28, 2006


Secret Service dogs get better accomodations than I do, this is depressing.
posted by drezdn at 9:09 AM on December 28, 2006


59. Dogs with harelips can end up with two noses.

Now all they need is a dog with two butts
posted by chillmost at 9:12 AM on December 28, 2006


While these are cool little nuggets of knowledge, I don't know that all of them were "unknown" last year.

60. The clitoris derives its name from the ancient Greek word kleitoris, meaning "little hill".

The article linked after this one deals with how the clitoris is more than the "little hill" we all know and love, but the etymology itself was apparently known for years.

Still good compilation, just mispresented. And how did I miss this little gem?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:16 AM on December 28, 2006


Who knew? 45. Cows can have regional accents, says a professor of phonetics, after studying cattle in Somerset
I say moo, you say mew-oooo.

Fun post, amberglow, this will keep me happily occupied this afternoon - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:19 AM on December 28, 2006


Wow--- I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thanks!
posted by jake3456 at 9:20 AM on December 28, 2006


12. The Pope's been known to wear red Prada shoes.

There is a joke this begs, but I don't actually want to say it.
posted by ScotchLynx at 9:22 AM on December 28, 2006


Meryl Streep shits in the woods?
posted by maudlin at 9:34 AM on December 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Three English words that end in "gry". Hmm, hungry, angry...

[looks]

Well that's bullshit.

Great fun find though amberglow.
posted by quin at 9:35 AM on December 28, 2006


Who knew? 45. Cows can have regional accents, says a professor of phonetics, after studying cattle in Somerset
I say moo, you say mew-oooo.


And a hairlip cow? Schmoooooove
posted by hal9k at 9:36 AM on December 28, 2006


Terminal Verbosity: "While these are cool little nuggets of knowledge, I don't know that all of them were "unknown" last year."

Yeah there are several that made me think "I knew that last year, BBC didn't?" Like "15. Donald Rumsfeld was both the youngest and the oldest defence secretary in US history." and "32. Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts". Then there's a bunch that BBC just needs a decent encyclopedia (or a Google searcher) to have known, like "44. For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality". And then there are several that couldn't have been known a year ago, because a year ago they weren't true. Like "16. Spending on Halloween has risen 10-fold - from £12m to £120m in the UK, in five years."

BBC + plus end-of-year-listitis = crappy facts.
posted by Plutor at 9:38 AM on December 28, 2006


92. In a fight between a polar bear and a lion, the polar bear would win.

But what if the lion had a knife...I mean how many five-year-olds...no wait...
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:38 AM on December 28, 2006


The cows--and the urban birds rapping instead of singing i especially liked.
posted by amberglow at 9:39 AM on December 28, 2006


That whole 'anti-social' thing really worries me. It sounds like England is getting into the business of forcing conformity.
posted by Malor at 9:44 AM on December 28, 2006


anti-social is some buzzword there lately, i've been reading--about teens making trouble and whatever--it reads as very class-based to me, at least, and is directly aimed at lower-class kids without many prospects.
posted by amberglow at 9:53 AM on December 28, 2006


That whole 'anti-social' thing really worries me. It sounds like England is getting into the business of forcing conformity.

I quite agree, old bean. Pity, that.
posted by hal9k at 9:55 AM on December 28, 2006


the cow thing kind of underscores the problem with the beeb.
posted by cortex at 9:59 AM on December 28, 2006


"While these are cool little nuggets of knowledge, I don't know that all of them were "unknown" last year."

I always assume that when they say "100 things we didn't know last year" they mean themselves by the "we"...
posted by Auz at 10:05 AM on December 28, 2006


Plutor, RTF preface:

Each week, the Magazine chronicles interesting and sometimes downright unexpected facts from the news, through its strand 10 things we didn't know last week. Here, to round off the year, are some of the best from the past 12 months.

Would you be satisfied if it was re-titled The Best 100 Things We, and When I Say We, I Mean the Editorial Board of the BBC Magazine Monitor, Didn't Know Last Year?
posted by Lord Kinbote at 10:41 AM on December 28, 2006


Only if we can add a subtitle: But Then, We're Shockingly Credulous for Representatives of a Major News Organization—Have You Seen What the Science Desk is Publishing? Bloody Hell!
posted by cortex at 10:47 AM on December 28, 2006


amberglow: it reads as very class-based to me
posted by matthewr at 10:52 AM on December 28, 2006


Shit, clicked Post when I meant to go for the Bold button.
amberglow: it reads as very class-based to me

This is Britain we're talking about.
posted by matthewr at 10:53 AM on December 28, 2006


Great fun, an amusing read. Was it intended to be class based? Or is it just an interesting/ amusing bunch of facts? I think the latter.
posted by kissol at 11:07 AM on December 28, 2006


My hat is made of lion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:12 AM on December 28, 2006


kissol, amberglow was describing the whole 'anti-social behaviour' thing as class-based.
posted by matthewr at 11:15 AM on December 28, 2006


Who don't like the BBC?

Thanks, amberglow.
posted by jaronson at 11:16 AM on December 28, 2006


yup--Asbos
posted by amberglow at 11:34 AM on December 28, 2006


#66, the egg came first, isn't a discovery and doesn't involve any research, it's a simple bit of reasoning that's been done many times before. (By me for one, though I'm sure I wasn't the first by thousands. My own reasoning, which dates from when I was about 15, ran thus: The egg came first because the first chicken had to come out of an egg, but in evolutionary terms that egg was not necessarily laid by a chicken.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:35 AM on December 28, 2006


Lord Kinbote: "Would you be satisfied if it was re-titled The Best 100 Things We, and When I Say We, I Mean the Editorial Board of the BBC Magazine Monitor, Didn't Know Last Year?"

Yes.
posted by Plutor at 11:35 AM on December 28, 2006


Er, make that #68.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:36 AM on December 28, 2006


Actually, I think most of you are missing out on the real reasoning behind the 'anti-social' thingy-ma-do-hickie. In Britain, they have instituted these new fines that the government can levy against the citizens if the citizen does not conform to certain laws and little rules. Kind of like 'mow your lawn' and 'take your trash to the curb in proper bags and trashcans' and 'don't play your music so loud that your neighbor can hear it' and 'don't threaten to beat your neighbor up because his dog poo'ed on your porch again' type things. You will notice that the report is from the audit board, which is the office that, well, audits things, like revenue from fines and stuff, so it kind of makes sense that they would be saying 'hey, we don't get a lot of anti-social citations from this area, so this are is the least anti-social'. Or something.

Hell, the only reason I know about this is because of Fark.com and several stories about certain families that got slammed by these anti-social laws when they went into effect. One family was forced to move because their neighbors reported them for just about every violation on the books (and then some others that weren't). Of course, according to the news reports, when quoting the family themselves, they pretty much said flat out "yes, we're rude, crude, and will punch your lights out, wanna make sumthin' ovit?" when asked about their anti-social behavior. But then, you know, some people are just contrary because it feels good to piss off the prudes.
posted by daq at 12:31 PM on December 28, 2006


Funny, George_Spiggot, I always thought the reasoning went dinosaurs laid eggs > there were dinosaurs before chickens > there were eggs before chickens.
posted by dame at 12:40 PM on December 28, 2006


but daq, aren't they like having a criminal record? should people really be doing that to kids just for hanging out or riding a bike? (see my link)
posted by amberglow at 12:49 PM on December 28, 2006


And your own example of that family shows that it's being misused to get rid of "undesirables", whether bad neighbors or kids.
posted by amberglow at 12:50 PM on December 28, 2006


Linguist Mark Liberman at LanguageLog has debunked the BBC's language-related factoids, in a summary of posts that he and other members of the group blog have been making for quite some time. Turns out, the BBC's reporting on language matters is for shit.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:58 PM on December 28, 2006


61. A domestic cat can frighten a black bear to climb a tree.

Now that is just Bad Ass.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:22 PM on December 28, 2006


Mo Nickels writes "Turns out, the BBC's reporting on language matters is for shit."

The BBC's reporting on science in general is for shit. They're a laughingstock.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:41 PM on December 28, 2006


Slarty Bartfast, It doesn't tree it, but at the 56 second mark in this video, a cat does put the fear of god cat into a black bear.
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on December 28, 2006


Well, crap. This is the video link.
posted by quin at 3:41 PM on December 28, 2006


huh, This was way more fun and interesting than I thought it'd be! Thanks amberglow.

Brazil has pioneered the use of ethanol derived from sugar-cane as motor fuel.

Thinking about the way your muscles work could physically boost your strength, research suggests.

The science of happiness.

There's tons of interesting stuff there.
posted by nickyskye at 1:08 PM on December 29, 2006


Ok, so surely some of these (#35:There were no numbers in the very first UK phone directory, only names and addresses. Operators would connect callers.) were KNOWN earlier than this year, but this is pretty neat nonetheless.

(To make this comment worthwhile, did you know that in Iceland, phonebooks are alphabetized by first rather than by last name? Were you aware of it?)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:33 PM on December 29, 2006


(Holy carp! An Iceland fact. That'll learn me not read the whole list before posting.

Were you also aware that Iceland is the largest consumer of Coca-Cola per capita? Were you aware of it? And that Sweden is the world's largest consumer of ketchup? WERE YOU AWARE OF IT?)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:40 PM on December 29, 2006


did you know that in Iceland, phonebooks are alphabetized by first rather than by last name? Were you aware of it?)
Yup--isn't it because the last names change depending on the sex of the kid? Like Bjork Ottosdottir for a girl and Otto Ottos(somethingelse) for a boy? So everyone in each family has a different last name?
posted by amberglow at 11:46 AM on December 30, 2006


Sweden beats us, ketchup-wise? for real?
posted by amberglow at 11:47 AM on December 30, 2006


Well, I knew that the Tokyo birds I hear every day are singing faster than their country cousins. I've been listening.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:29 PM on January 1, 2007


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