In fact

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In fact

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  • Doris Lessing is the aunt of Gregor Gysi, an east German lawyer who until recently led the PDS, the successor party to East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity party. (German embassy in London)
  • There are over 60 people with the first name “Hitler” in Venezuela. (New York Times, 5th September 2007)
  • There have been only two reported sightings of the Loch Ness monster so far this year and there were only three in 2006. A decade ago the numbers were consistently in the high teens. (The Times, 29th september 2007)
  • 60 per cent of all Porsches ever built are still on the road. (Porsche)
  • The numbers of children attending hospital emergency departments dropped by almost a half on the weekends when Harry Potter books were published. (Daily Telegraph, 15th July 2007)
  • Mozart wrote a canon in B-flat major called Leck mich im Arsch [Lick My Arse]. (wikipedia)
  • More than 90 per cent of the world’s rubies come from Burma. (Sunday Times, 30th September 2007)
  • Ian McEwan’s novels are more often studied at A-level than those of any other living British author. (BBC online, 31st August 2007)
  • Of 47 nations surveyed in the latest Pew Global Values survey, the US had the world’s lowest levels of public support for free trade, with China joint highest. (Global values survey)
  • According to official figures, Iran has between 15,000 and 20,000 transsexuals. It performs more sex change operations than any other country, bar Thailand. Ayatollah Khomeini passed a fatwa authorising such operations. (The Guardian, 26th September 2007)
  • In Iceland, 96 per cent of women go into higher education; in Australia, the figure is 91 per cent. (BBC online, 18th september 2007)
  • Almost 300 World Trade Centres exist; the World Trade Centre Association licenses the name. One just opened in Hull. (Financial Times, 7th September 2007)
  • Only 0.4 per cent of British students score the top mark of 45 points at the International Baccalaureate, while 25 per cent of A-level students get three A grades. (Sunday Times, 14th October 2007)
  • Women make up 70 per cent of Algeria’s lawyers and 60 per cent of its judges. (New York Times, 26th May 2007)
  • Oxfam is Europe’s biggest high street second-hand book retailer. (Oxfam)
  • Britons eat 97 per cent of the world’s baked beans. (The Times, 4th October 2007)
  • In 1987, 61 per cent of Britain’s top lawyers, doctors, businessmen, politicians and journalists had attended Oxford or Cambridge University. In 2007, the figure is 47 per cent. (British Council)
  • In 2005, on average, fewer than 16 people a week used the 800 smallest rural post offices in Britain, costing the taxpayer £17 per visit. (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)
  • Passengers near the tail of a plane are about 40 per cent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows up front. (Popular Mechanics, 18th July 2007)
  • There are five people under 18 in custody in Finland. In Britain there are roughly 3,000. If the populations of the two countries were equal, Britain would have 60 in custody at Finnish levels. (Prospect research)

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