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25 thimgs I did not know this time last week:


1              Even blind people who’ve never seen anyone smile, smile when they’re happy.

2              Cherophobia is the word for the irrational fear of being happy

3              You can hear a blue whale’s heartbeat from two miles away

4              Bottled water expiration dates are for the bottle, not the water.

5              The world’s most successful pirate was a woman. The 19th century Chinese pirate Ching Shih, a former prostitute and widow of fearsome pirate Cheng I, became a hugely successful pirate in her own right, succeeding her husband and eventually commanding more than 1,800 pirate ships and 80,000 men (the secrets she’d learned about her powerful clients at the brothel also came in handy).

6              Rich Russians hire fake ambulances. Russians take their selfish use of emergency vehicles to a whole other level by hiring “ambulance taxis”—luxuriously appointed ambulances they hire for $200 an hour that will blast their sirens to speed the passenger through traffic.

7              Milk wagons gave us roadway lines. Considered “the most important single traffic safety device,” the painting of lines down the centre of roads was devised by a man named Edward Hines in 1911 when he saw the dotted drippings from a leaking milk wagon and struck on the concept.

8              Research shows that all blue-eyed people may be related

9              Four-year-old girls ask an average of 390 questions per day.

10           There are more public libraries in the U.S. than McDonalds and Starbucks combined

11           More people in the world suffer from obesity than from hunger.

12           The Arkansas School for the Deaf’s football team is called the Leopards. They are the Deaf Leopards.

13           The world’s smallest book is Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. This book is now the worlds smallest and it is verified by The Guiness Book of Records.  The book is in production and measures 100 micrometers by 70 micrometers. It has an ISBN number too – 978-1-894897-17-4.

14           1 in 5 adults around the world cannot read or write.

15           Copies of pulped Mills and Boon novels were used to build part of the M6 toll road. The M6 toll road is in Birmingam, UK. It is 26 miles of a 6 lane motorway. 2.5 million copies of Mills and Boon novels were acquired and then pulped at a recycling firm in South Wales, UK. They were used in the top layer of the motorway.

16           To write a novel, it takes around 475 hours. This fact about novel length is argued quite a lot over the internet. Writing the actual novel probably can be completed within 475 hours. The average novel is 90,000 words which means writing 189 words an hour. Most people can achieve this. However, writing a novel is not just about putting words on some paper. There is much more to a novel than 189 words an hour. All the research that goes into a novel could easily add another 475 hours to this time.

17           A study found that you are 2 ½ times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in later life if you read regularly.

18           The American Film Institute cited “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” from 1939’s Gone With the Wind the best movie quote of all time.

19           According to Facebook data, the most popular day for reporting a breakup is Monday.

20           It may seem crazy, but worldwide, more people own a phone than a toilet.

21           The PM reveals his five favourite women. Boris Johnson has revealed the five women who have inspired him the most throughout his lifetime. Speaking in a revealing interview to mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, the Prime Minister praised the women who shaped him into the leader he has become today. In order of importance, they are Malala Yousafzai [Nobel Prize winner], Yvonne Williams [his grandmother], Boudicca [queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe], Munira Mirza [Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street] and Kate Bush [singer-songwriter]. This short film features my top five:

22           The six main cast members of Friends are expected to be paid £2.5m each for appearing in a one-off special of the wildly popular 1990s sitcom. The episode will appear on the new HBO Max streaming service, which paid $425m for the rights to the show’s back catalogue. Variety Magazine

23           A new peak for global consumption. A report by the Circle Economy think tank found that in 2017 (the latest year for which data is available), humanity consumed 100.6 billion tonnes of material. Nearly half this total was the sand, clay, gravel and cement used for building; coal, oil and gas made up 15% and metal ores 10%; most of the remainder were plants and trees used for food and fuel. Since 1970, the materials consumed by humanity have quadrupled, while the world’s population has only doubled. Meanwhile, the proportion of materials being recycled is actually falling, down from 9.1% in 2015 to 8.6% in 2017. The Guardian

24           An Australian woman has set a Guinness World Record for most times viewing the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody. Joanne Connor, from Redcliffe, has seen Bohemian Rhapsody 399 times. “I wasn’t a Queen fan before the film,” she said.

25           One-fifth of students lose money by going to university. One in five students lose money by going to university, a study for the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found. Researchers say that around 20% of students earned less than those with similar school results who did not attend. Certain subjects, such as creative arts, offer negative financial returns, they concluded. The Guardian


“Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments “


Happiness is…not suffering from Cherophobia – See #2 above


A raisin goes out with a prune. I couldn’t find a date, she said.



Love is…above all, the gift of oneself




©2020 Phil M Robinson