By November 15, 2010Business

Here are 10 of my favourite facts to get you over awkward moments at dinner parties. I think the tradition is to preface them with ‘I read somewhere that…’

  1. The average time for which a share is now held is 11 seconds
  2. Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart, as a novel way to depict Crimean war statistics
  3. The M6 Toll is officially the most romantic road in Britain, being surfaced with 2.5m recycled Mills and Boons
  4. The dates 5-14 October 1582 do not exist due to the harmonisation of the Julian and Gregorian calendars
  5. Your own saliva will remove your own bloodstains
  6. You can solve Fermat’s Last Theorem by returning all the values to zero (OK, that one is mine, and of course 0 isn’t a positive integer…)
  7. Between them, China and Japan own 44% of US government debt
  8. The purchase of pay-per-view ‘adult films’ comprises 70% of hotel group in-room revenue
  9. The best way to get a third of the population to sneeze is to get them to look directly into the sun
  10. Jet is fossilised monkey-puzzle tree

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