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By Craig Mcqueen And Brian Mciver
December 30, 2006;  Daily Record

At the start of the year, we had no idea that urban birds enjoyed rapping, Pele hated his name and black bears are scared of domestic cats. The BBC News website has published a list of 100 things we didn't know a year ago. Craig McQueen and Brian McIver reveal the facts we learned in 2006.

1 Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes de Nascimento admitted he hates his nickname 'Pele' because it sounds like baby talk in Portuguese.

2 There are 200 million blogs (internet diaries) which are no longer being updated.

3 Dutch researchers found urban birds have developed a shorter and faster rap style of singing, different from their rural counterparts.

4 Bristol is the least anti-social city in England, with only 5.7 per cent of residents describing yob culture as a big or fairly big issue.

5 Research in India showed that international standard sized condoms are too big for most men there.

6 DJ Alan 'Fluff' Freeman, who died this year, had trained as an opera singer.

7 The cowardly lion costume in the film Wizard of Oz, which made $700,000 at auction, was made from real lion pelts.

8 Police revealed at the launch of a new handheld fingerprint device that there are 6.5 million sets of fingerprints on file in the UK.

9 According to midwifery research, a child's height is determined by their fathers, their weight by their mum.

10 Panspermia is the name for the theory that life on Earth originated on another planet, and came to earth on a comet.

11 Pediculosis is the technical term for an infestation of head lice.

12 Pope Benedict XVI has in the past worn red Prada shoes.

13 The biggest and best super computer in the UK, the HPCx machine, can make up to 15.4 trillion calculations every second.

14 Online shoppers will only wait an average of four seconds for an internet page to load before giving up.

15 Donald Rumsfeld was the youngest and the oldest Defence Secretary in US history - appointed by Gerald Ford in 1975 (age 43) and George Bush in 2001 (age 74).

16 Spending on Hallowe'en in the UK has risen tenfold in the last five years, from £12m to £120m.

17 Designer Coco Chanel started the trend for suntans in 1923 when she got accidentally burnt on a cruise.

18 Up to 25 per cent of hospital keyboards across the UK carry the MRSA infection.

19 The UK population grew at a rate of 500 per day as immigration outstripped emigration - with 565,000 people arriving in 2005, while 380,000 people left.

20 Sex workers in Roman times charged the equivalent price of eight glasses of red wine.

21 English is now the only 'traditional' academic subject in the top 10 most popular university courses.

22 The number of people committing suicide in the UK has fallen to its lowest recorded level, 8.5 per 100 deaths.

23 More than one in eight people in America show signs of addiction to the internet.

24 One third of all the cod fished in the world is consumed in the UK.

25 In Kingston upon Thames, men on average live to be 78. In Kingstonupon- Hull it is 73.

26 Each person sends an average of 55 greetings cards per year.

27 One cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 litre bottles.

28 More than 90 per cent of plane crashes have survivors.

29 Tony Blair's favourite meal to cook is spaghetti bolognaise.

30 The brain is soft and gelatinous.

31 The Mona Lisa is owned by the French government and used to hang on the wall of Napoleon's bedroom.

32 Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts, and three are sold every second.

33 Plant seeds stored for more than 200 years can be coaxed into new life.

34 Eating a packet of crisps a day isequivalent to drinking five litres of cooking oil a year.

35 There were no numbers in the very first UK phone directory, only names and addresses.

36 The Inter City 125 train was designed by Kenneth Grange, who came up with the Kenwood Chef mixer.

37 Pavements are tested using an 80 square metre artificial pavement at aresearch centre called Pamela (the Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory).

38 Acommon American poplar tree has twice as many genes as ahuman.

39 The world's fastest supercomputer, IBM's upcoming Roadrunner machine, will have its speed measured in 'pet a flops', which represent 1000 trillion calculations per second.

40 The medical name for the part of the brain associated with teenage sulking is 'superior temporal sulcus'.

41 Some Royal Mail stamps are printed in Holland.

42 There is only one cheddar cheese maker actually in Cheddar, even though it is the most popular hard cheese in the English-speaking world.

43 For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality.

44Cows can have regional accents.

45 Theinvoluntary bad language symptom of Tourette's Syndrome is called coprolalia and affects about one in 10 people with Tourette's.

46 Watching television can act as anatural painkiller for children, say researchers.

47 Allotment plots come in the standard measure of

10 poles, a pole being the measurement of the length of the back of the plough to the nose of the ox.

48 More than half of households (53 per cent) have a garage, but less than a quarter (24 per cent) keep cars in them.

49 When filming summer scenes in winter, actors suck on ice cubes before the camera rolls to cool their mouths so their breath doesn't condense in the air.

50 Gritters come out in hot weather too, spreading rock dust to stops roads melting.

51 Almost half of us, 48 per cent, are now ex-directory.

52 Late US comic Red Buttons took his name from the nickname for hotel porters as he was one inhis teens.

53 The CND symbol incorporates the semaphore letters for N and D for nuclear and disarmament.

54 There are 60 streets in the UK with the name Acacia Avenue.

55 Mortgage repayments now swallow up an average of 42 per cent of our take-home pay.

56 The latest Oxford dictionary says the word 'time' is the most common noun in the English language.

57 Auniversity study found that 41 per cent of English women have punched or kicked their partners.

58 Dogs with a harelip can end up with two noses - just like a bull terrier handed in to police in Newcastle.

59 The clitoris derives its name from the ancient Greek word kleitoris, meaning 'little hill'.

60 Adomestic cat can scare a black bear up a tree, or at least Jack the New Jersey tabby cat can.

61 Aproject ranking surnames by social status found a third of us have aname posher than Windsor.

62 The Downing Street garden is officially classed as a royal park.

63 Someone with a fear of the number 666 is called a hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiac.

64 Afootball becomes easier to control in the air if it has more panels and therefore more seams.

65 Aquarter of smokers think handrolled tobacco is safer than cigarettes. It isn't.

66 Music can help reduce chronic pain by more than a fifth.

67 The egg came before the chicken, according to three experts who looked at the evidence.

68 The HIV virus first infected humans in the Thirties when chimpanzee hunters caught it.

69 Sir Paul McCartney isn't Britain's richest music millionaire. Zomba Record founder Clive Calder wins with £1.3billion.

70 The books cashing in on the Da Vinci Code have been termed 'Brownsploitation' by publishers.

71 Auniversity study claims teenagers are better behaved now than in 1985 concerning drugs, drink and sex.

72 President Bush told a newspaper his favourite moment since taking power was catching a 7.5lb fish.

73 Britain still pays interest on debts predating the Napoleonic Wars.

74 People in the UK eat five billion apples a year, 83 per person.

75 The Bhutan government base policies on the concept of Gross National Happiness. Things such as tobacco are banned.

76 The proper name for a metal detector enthusiast is a 'deterctorist'.

77 Labour spent £299.63 on Star Trek outfits for the last election. The Tories spent £1,269 on groundhog costumes.

78 The best-value consumer purchase in terms of the price and usage is an electric kettle.

79 Camel's milk has 10 times the iron of cow's milk, which could be why it's drunk in Arab countries.

80 There are more broadband users in Iceland per head of population than anywhere in the world.

81 There are 2.5million rodent-owning households in Britain.

82 Up to 120,000 litres of rain water falls on the average three-bedroom detached house in a year.

83 Thinking about your muscles can make them stronger, but you still need to be exercising at the time.

84 Until recently, French girls could get married at 15, but boys had to wait until 18. Now it's 18 for both.

85 The TV subtitles are used by six million people who don't have any hearing problems.

86 Teenage goths aspire to middleclass values and are likely to become doctors, lawyers or architects, says a study.

87 Nelson Mandela revealed he used to steal pigs to eat when he was a child.

88 The average number of sparrows per British garden has fallen from 10 in 1979 to 4.4 now.

89 The Himalayas cover one-tenth of the earth's surface.

90 Labour Party funraiser Lord Levy made part of his fortune as Alvin Stardust's manager.

91 Surprisingly, a polar bear would beat a lion in a fight.

92 Seven tenths of birthmarks will gradually fade away over time if left alone.

93 There are two million cars in Brazil which run on alcohol.

94 Sniffer dogs for the US Secret Service are put up in five-star hotels when the president travels abroad.

95 It costs on average 1.5p in water to flush a toilet.

96 Tufty, the Sixties road safety squirrel, had a surname. It was Fluffy tail.

97 There are dozens of previously unknown species of animals and plants in an Indonesian rainforest.

98 Actress Helen Mirren was born I lyena Lydia Mironov, the daughter of a Russian-born violinist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

99 The term 'misfeasance' means to carry out a legal act illegally.

100 The CIA used to watch the TV series Mission: Impossible in order to get ideas about spying.