Saturday, 17 October 2009

Facts, Hercule, Facts!

As Peter Sellars' Inspector Clouseau used to shout at his ever patient assistant, Hercule, 'Facts, are what we need!'.

I love a good fact. For instance, did you know that if the entire population of the world were collapsed to just 100, 50% of the currency would be held by just 6 of them. That's the kind of shocking fact I like - 6% of the world's population hold 50% of the currency. Iceland reckoned they could name the 6 individuals who took their country to the brink of bankruptcy, I would like to know the names of the 6 individuals in the shrunken world population who hold 50% of the currency and if they are doing anything for dinner to tonight.

Here's another. The Mall, a large shopping centre in Washington DC is 1.4 times larger than the Vatican City. I would say it's likely that at any time, The Mall contains more Catholics too and I wonder if it has its own Pope? Perhaps it will be the subject of the next Dan Brown book - 'The Pin Code' does not quite have the same ring.

Another. The top 8 most developed countries speak a Germanic language and all such countries are in the top 20. I have to say I was a bit surprised on that one as I had no idea Japanese was a Germanic language but perhaps they have a different list to me. Anyway, ve ask ze qvestions.

Saudi diplomats have 367 outstanding parking tickets in the UK. I dare say if one of us owed a parking fine in Saudi we would have a limb lopped off which is food for thought for Boris Johnson. However, I shall bring that up at my next parking fine and plead precedent.

Turtles can breath through their backsides. That's nothing special really as most politicians can actually speak through their backsides. I can't think why evolution would have dealt that interesting card to turtles but you never know when these things come in handy, perhaps when you are stuck in a pond with your backside in the air? I don't know.

Walt Disney was afraid of mice. Well that stands to reason as the mice he became famous for all had to wear gloves. I heard that Disneyland in Paris was shutdown last week as inspectors found a large mouse in the kitchen.

Male and female rats can have sex up to twenty times a day. Pathetic, I would be only warming up. However, over an 18 month period, a pair of rats could have up to 1 million descendants. I dare say that if I announced I had won the Euromillions Lottery I would have the sum number in 18 minutes.

It took approximately 2.5 million blocks to build the Pyramid of Giza, which is one of the Great Pyramids. Imagine the builder on that, 'Oo, mate, that's gonna cost yer. Them bricks aren't easy to find, you know.' It is a commonly held belief that when constructing Milton Keynes, a roundabout was put in where every navvi had put their tea mug down on the map.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. I can believe that, they used to cause explosive wind in a friend of mine. It's always a friend in these stories, isn't it?

Two final facts - there are more nutrients in the packaging than there are in the contents of a packet of cornflakes. Some would say that the packaging tastes better too. It is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds. I like that - there has to be something finite about this Universe.

And finally, for one the chaps. Christmas is coming and did you know that women who read romantic novels have sex twice as much as those who don't? Get down to Waterstones fast, boys.

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