Friday, July 20, 2012

Things I learned this week

I learned that:
• An outstanding loan made 540 years ago by a German village to the city of Berlin is now worth trillions. Every 50 years or so they ask for payment, but have been ignored to date.

• Champagne is packaged in half-bottles, bottles, magnums, Rehoboams, Methuselahs, Salmanazars, Jeroboams, Balthazars, and Nebuchadnezzars, the last named after the King of Babylon (605-562 BC) and containing 15 litres. Undoubtedly, the German villagers mentioned above will be ordering Nebuchadnezzars if their loan is repaid.

•  In comparison with a voyage through Panama, an Arctic passage would cut the distance of a London-to-Yokohama trip by up to 40%. The ice is melting, but few shipping companies are yet planning Arctic operations, due to worries about poor visibility and icebergs.

•  In 1986 Congress and President Ronald Reagan signed Public Law 99-359, which changed Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. It was estimated to save the nation about 300,000 barrels of oil each year by switching most of the month April to DST.

O Canada was composed in 1880 (originally in French), but did not become our official national anthem until 1980.
How about that?

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