1. Mikhail Gorbachev programme of Glasnost uncovered so many cover-ups about the true history of the Soviet Union that the government cancelled all history exams in 1988.
2. Electric vehicles pre-date the Model T Ford and in 1900 comprised 38% of all cars on the road.
3. The real Grizzly Adams caught a one-year-old brown bear, and trained her to follow him, carry a pack, and pull a loaded sled. He even used her as a warming presence in bed during cold nights. He called the bear Lady Washington, and she let him ride on her back.
4. Napoleon ordered the pyramids of Egypt dismantled so that the stones could be reused for damming the Nile. His chief architect, horrified at the proposed destruction prepared a false costing that showed that quarrying new stones would be cheaper, thus saving the pyramids for future generations.
5. On October 3 1849, Edgar Allen Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, incoherent, and bizarrely, wearing someone else’s clothes. He wasn’t drunk and was unable to explain what had happened, but kept repeating the name ‘Reynolds’. He died 4 days later, and the cause of his death remains unknown.
6. 90% of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Wal-Mart.
7. The mayonnaise in a Burger King chicken sandwich accounts for 60% of the fat, and 31% of the calories in the dish.
8. Scientists have set up a hotline for filmmakers to help them use correct science in their movies.
9. Hiroshima observes Martin Luther King Day as the civil rights leader wrote to the Japanese government shortly before he died asking for permission to visit the city and spread his message of peace.
10. George Washington was shocked when he was told that the Chinese aren’t Caucasian.
11. If penicillin had been tested on guinea pigs rather than mice, it may never have been developed as a lifesaving antibiotic. Penicillin is toxic to guinea pigs.
12. The Vatican bank allows customers to conduct ATM transactions in Latin.
13. Chocolate milk was first marketed as a medicine.
14. Dr Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israeli army.
15. Michael Jackson was bald when he died.
16. Fidgeting – drumming your fingers or tapping your feet – can burn up to 350 calories a day.
17. Hugh Heffner launched his Playboy empire with a nude picture pf Marilyn Monroe taken in 1949 which Heffner bought for $500.
18. 8% of global manufactured salt is used for de-icing. Only 6% is used for human consumption.
19. On Good Friday in 1930, the BBC reported that ‘today there is no news’ and played piano music for 30 minutes.
20. At the height of his empire, Pablo Escobar was spending $2,500 a month on rubber bands simple to hold his cash.
21. Adolf Hitler’s nephew William, was born in Liverpool England, wrote an article called ‘Why I Hate My Uncle’ in 1939, moved to the US, joined the US Navy and lived on Long Island.