I’m a sucker for this kind of thing – the full list here.
Among my favourites:
The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh
mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to"
in his equations. He chose the two lines because "noe 2 thynges can be
In America it’s possible to subpoena a dog.
The British buy the most compact discs in the world – an average of 3.2 per year, compared to 2.8 in the US and 2.1 in France.
The average employee spends 14 working days a
year on personal e-mails, phone calls and web browsing, outside
official breaks, according to employment analysts Captor. Jimi Hendrix pretended to be gay to be discharged from the US Army. Musical instrument shops must pay an annual
royalty to cover shoppers who perform a recognisable riff before they
buy, thereby making a "public performance".