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10 things we didn't know last week

16:05 UK time, Friday, 15 September 2006

boats2203.jpgSnippets harvested from the week's news, chopped, sliced and diced for your weekend convenience.

1. Half of 15 year olds drink alcohol every week. More details

2. George Alagiah's surname is actually pronounced "ullerhiya".

3. The InterCity 125 train was designed by the same man who came up with the angle-poise lamp and Kenwood Chef mixer. More details

4. Pavements are tested using an 80 square metre artificial pavement at a research centre called Pamela (the Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory). More details

5. Acorns are toxic to ponies and cattle (but not to the pigs brought into the New Forest to feast on the fruits).

6. Cyclists in the UK can be prosecuted for "furious cycling".

7. Russian premier Khrushchev's favourite dish was stinging nettle soup. More details

8. Areas of ice the size of Turkey have disappeared from the Arctic in a single year. More details

9. Overseas student numbers around the world have doubled in a decade to 2.7 million students. More details

10. A common American poplar has twice as many genes as a human being. More details

[Sources, where stories are not linked - 2: Guardian, 8 September; 5: Times, 14 September; 6: Guardian, 12 September.] Thanks to Alan Chesterman for sending the picture.

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