Did you Know?
- 1. 10% of the world's population speak English as their mother tongue (Chinese 21%, Spanish 6%, Russian 6%, Malay 4%, Hindi 4%, Japanese 3%, Arabic 3%, Portuguese 3%, French 2%, German 2%)
- 2. Rains of many kinds of living creatures have actually been reported from earliest times and all over the world. On 28th May 1881, during a thunderstorm on the outskirts of Worcester, England, tons of periwinkles and small hermit crabs fell on Cromer Gardens Road and the surrounding fields.
- 3. The word "Christmas" comes from the Old English, "Cristes maesse" which means "Christ's mass" on which Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally a celebration of family and children.
- The modern Christmas tree tradition came from western Germany, from a medieval custom, as a paradise tree -- a tree decorated with apples, wafers (or cookies), and candles representing the Garden of Eden, the host, and Christ.
- The alarm clock was not invented by the Marquis de Sade, as some suspect, but rather by a man named Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1787. Perversity, though, characterized his invention from the beginning. The alarm on his clock could ring only at 4 am. Rumor has it that Hutchins was murdered by his wife at 4:05 am on a very dark and deeply cold New England morning.
- If you went out into space, you would explode before you suffocated because there's no air pressure.
- Only one satellite has been ever been destroyed by a meteor: the European Space Agency's Olympus in 1993. (来源：英语学习门户 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
- 5th Century, Rome Mid February was traditionally the time of the Lupercian festival, an ode to the God of fertility and a celebration of sensual pleasure, a time to meet and court a prospective mate. In AD 496, Pope Gelasius outlawed the pagan festival. But he was clever to replace it with a similar celebration, although one deemed morally suitable. He needed a "lovers" saint to replace the pagan deity Lupercus. The martyred Bishop Valentine was chosen as the patron saint of the new festival.
- Saint Valentine had been beheaded for helping young lovers marry against the wishes of the mad emperor Claudius. Before execution, Valentine himself had fallen in love with his jailer's daughter. He signed his final note to her, "From Your Valentine", a phrase that has lasted through the centuries.
- Thumbing your nose (raising your thumb to your nose and fanning your fingers) is a sign of mockery throughout most of the world.
In Australia, it is rude to wink at women.
In Brazil, pulling down the lower lid of the right eye means that the listener doubts what you are saying.
In Korea, it is rude to keep your hands behind your back or in your pockets.
- Mangos have been cultivated in India for about 5,000 years, and were originally small, fibrous fruits, somewhat like plums, with a taste like turpentine. There are now over 500 varieties grown there.
More fresh mangos are eaten every day than any other fruit in the world.
- A man named Sir Henry Wyat was sentenced to the Tower of London, at a time when prisoners generally starved to death. Sir Henry's kitty-cat seemed to understand the situation because she snuck into the Tower bringing him a freshly-killed pigeon every day. When the king heard of this, he must have felt sad for the kitty, because he immediately set Sir Henry free.
- The word "ecology" derives from the Greek words "oikos", loosely translating as home and "logie", meaning science or doctrine. The dictionary defines ecology as the discipline that studies the relationships between organisms and their environment, that is to say, between an organism and its home. In a broader sense, ecology deals with the relation between living beings and the planet Earth: our great home, our only home. The word tourism developed from the Hebrew word Tora, which means to study, learn or search.
- The Galapagos Islands have lived in virtual isolation for millions of years. In total, they consist of 61 islands and islets, with 13 main islands. Seeming like shadows upon the sea from one another, the 13 main islands are Baltra, Espanola, Fernandina, Floreana, Genovesa, Isabela, Marchena, Pinta, Pinzon, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago. In total land area, the islands are 4897 sq. miles (7880 sq. km) and in the total geographical area from Darwin Island to San Cristobal and Espanola, 28,000 sq. miles (45,000 sq. km)
- Heathrow Airport handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world and offers flights to many international destinations including 33 flights to Paris and 23 flights to New York each day. The most popular country for flights from Heathrow is the United States of America. The busiest routes are New York, Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin.