In fact

June 18, 2005
  • A billion seconds ago, it was 1974. A billion minutes ago, Jesus had only recently died. A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. []


  • In the US, 36 per cent of newly-wed couples have had a physically violent argument by the time they get married. []


  • British television is showing 176 reality TV shows this year. [Observer "Review," 17th April 2005]


  • William Hague was the first leader of the Conservative party since 1922 not to become prime minister. [The Guardian, 8th June 2001]


  • Compared with American states, GDP per head in the EU as a whole is higher than only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi. [New York Times, 17th April 2005]


  • On average, redheads require 20 per cent more anaesthetic than people with differently coloured hair. [University of Louisville]


  • The world's first written constitution was that of the US, adopted in 1789. The second was the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth constitution of 1791. [Wikipedia]


  • Russia's population declines by a million every year. [Claremont Institute]

  • In California, 30 per cent of newborn black female babies are given names unique among all newborns in the state that year. [Slate, 11th April 2005]

  • When average disposable income is adjusted for the cost of living, Scandinavians are the poorest people in western Europe; Spain and Portugal top the list. [KPMG]

  • Ed Balls is the first MP for Normanton not to be a member of the National Union of Mineworkers. [BBC News Online]

  • About 90 per cent of the planet's disease burden falls on poor countries. Just 3 per cent of drug company R&D is aimed at such diseases. [The Economist, 16th April 2005]