Updated: 8:29 PM UTC, Jul 16, 2017

American TV’s - No-No Words

There is a so-called list called “Seven Dirty Words” which contains the words forbidden to be aired on US broadcast television. This came about in 1978 when the Supreme Court was petitioned to rule on the decency of a George Carlin skit. If these words are uttered, they must be replaced by a “beep” censure.

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The Million Dollar Homepage

In 2005, Alex Tew, a 21 year old student from Wiltshire, England, had the ingenious idea that would make him a fortune and a media sensation. He decided to create the Million Dollar Homepage, selling 100-pixel "blocks" measuring 10 × 10 pixels - one million pixels in all. Five months later, thanks to international media attention, he had reached his goal.

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Want to Print Your Own Money, Think Again!

Computer scanning and editing of bank notes is highly controlled in order to foil counterfeiting attempts. Adobe Photoshop and certain scanners have built- in counterfeit deterrence systems, resulting in a warning message popping up should you try to access a currency image. It is reputed that certain patches are available to bypass these security measures.

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Boeing Everett Factory Holds World Record

Located in Everett, north of Seattle, the Boeing assembly site is the largest building in the world per volume with 472 million cubic feet, covering 4.3 million square feet. It is where wide-body Boeing 747s, 767s,777s and the new 787 Dreamliner are assembled.

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Tne Smallest Army in the World Protects the Pope

The Pontifical Swiss Guard is a military force responsible for the security of the Pope in the Vatican. Numbering 110 men, it is the world’s smallest army.

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Common Surnames in China

In China, the majority of its residents share surnames. In fact, at least a billion Chinese people have surnames found in the list of  the 100 most common ones. If one considers only families with the surnames Wang, Li, or Zhang, we can account for at least 250 million individuals.

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Small Changes Result in Huge Savings for Airline Industry

There are no small-scale savings when it comes to airlines: in 1987, American Airlines is reputed to have implemented a cost-cutting measure of eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class. This ingenious move resulted in savings of 40 000 dollars. Northwest Airlines scored big in 2005 when they withdrew the packs of Pretzels offered to passengers, adding 2 million dollars annually to the company’s coffers.

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There Are More Than 60,000 Roundabouts In the World

In your travels around the world, you are sure to encounter roundabouts. US drivers might know them as traffic circles, road circles, or rotaries. Half of the world’s 60, 000 roundabouts are found in France. The construction cost of a roundabout varies from  100,000 to a million USD.

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Sarsaparilla - Don’t Do Like the Smurfs!

In the comic strip, the Smurfs adore eating sarsaparilla. Humans beware - only the roots and the leaves may be consumed (for their therapeutic effect). The fruit, tiny red berries are highly toxic.

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James Bond, Secret Agent and Ornithologist

Ian Fleming, the creator of the literary character James Bond, drew on his passion for ornithology and dubbed the now-famous secret agent in honour of the American bird expert of the same name.

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An Accidental Start to the Song Roxanne

At the beginning of the song Roxanne by The Police, one can hear an atonal piano chord and laughter (reportedly that of the singer Sting). These sounds were totally accidental - during the recording session Sting thought the keyboard cover was closed and sat down on it, resulting in that dissonant chord and ensuing laughter.

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Listen to the Silence - John Cage’s 4’33”

The contemporary musician John Cage is best known for his 1952 composition 4’33” (4 minutes 33 seconds) in which the musicians do not play a single note. 4’33” is a three movement compositions showcasing the sounds of the environment as heard by the audience.

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AC/DC Lane Commemorates the Legendary Rock Band

The Australian rock band AC/DC has been honored by the city of Melbourne with a street named after them. The street sign features a lightning bolt, an image long associated with  the group. This street was chosen as the one of their videos was shot near there 30 years ago.

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The Popular Misconception About Classical Music

One usually believes that the term “classical music” refers to art music originating from the Renaissance period. However, this label is incorrect as this genre of music encompasses music spanning several epochs (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern ….). Thus, Mozart belongs to the Classical era as Jean-Sébastien Bach is of the Baroque period.

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The Song Enola Gay Has No Connection to Homosexuality

Despite popular belief, OMD’s song Enola Gay did not contain a cryptic message identifying with homosexuality. The truth is that the title refers to the USAF bomber that carried Little Boy, the first atomic bomb to be used in an act of war, dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August, 1945.

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Where Did Lady Gaga Get Her Stage Name?

Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ) was the first artist to achieve one billion hits on YouTube. She has stated that her music producer Rob Fusari (who also happened to be her boyfriend) was the first to call her Gaga, after the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga”.

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Chuck Norris Sings His Way to Success

You surely know the series Walker, Texas Ranger, starring Chuck Norris as Cordell Walker. What you may not know is that Chuck Norris also sang the theme song of the series entitled "The Eyes Of The Ranger".

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Rousseau, Renowned Author on Education Abandoned His Own Children

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, author of Émile, Or Treatise on Education admitted that he had placed his five children in an orphanage. Heavily criticized at the time, notably by Voltaire, he attempted to explain the situation in his celebrated autobiography The Confessions.

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So, Where Does An Alexandrine Come From?

In syllabic verse, such as that used in French literature, an alexandrine is a line of twelve syllables. There is some controversy as to the origin of the name, but most probably it is derived from a collection of Alexandrine romances, collected in the 12th century, of which Alexander the Great was the hero, written entirely in alexandrines.

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Do You Know How the Guinness Book Got Its Name?

The name of the Guinness Book originates from the beer of the same name. In 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Breweries, had an animated discussion with fellow hunters about the fastest game bird in Europe.

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