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10 things we didn't know last week

17:34 UK time, Friday, 12 January 2007

1. Scooby-Doo was named after Frank Sinatra's final phrase in "Strangers in the Night".
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2. A king's ransom is worth approximately £685m in today's money, loosely based on the sum paid by Eleanor of Aquitaine to secure the release of Richard the Lionheart in 1194.

3. Ancient coroners' rules dictate that if a body is taken to a royal palace, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Queen's Coroner and any inquest jury must be drawn from the royal household. Diana's body lay in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, hence the debate over whether a jury would be made up of ordinary men and women, or not.

4. In the mid-1980s, it was predicted that by 2000 there would be 900,000 mobile phones worldwide. That year came, and 900,000 phones were sold every 19 hours.

5. Adding milk to tea negates the health-giving effects of a hot brew.
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6. Snap decisions are more likely to be correct than those pondered over, a study at University College London found.
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7. The government has 951 websites - 551 of which are set to close.
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8. The word "jaywalking" came from the US slang "jay", a term popular in the early 20th Century meaning a rustic newcomer unfamiliar with city ways.
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9. Sophia Loren's first marriage, aged 22, to the recently deceased film producer Carlo Ponti, was a proxy marriage with lawyers taking their places.
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10. The world's tallest flower is the Titan Arum, reaching just under 3m (10ft).
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(Sources: 2. Financial Times, 11 January; 3. Daily Telegraph, 12 January; 4. Daily Telegraph, 11 January.)

Seen 10 things? Send us a picture to use next week. Thanks to Philip Watson for this week's picture of 10 cat dishes.

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