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World Facts #9

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A town in Austria, whose name rhymes with "plucking", keeps losing their city limits signs. Officials are debating whether they should return to the town's ancient name, Vucckingen. - The Week Magazine, 9/16/05

Stirring up fears about global warming, the Russian supply ship Akademik Fyodorov sailed straight to the North Pole unassisted by an icebreaker in August 2005. This is the first time in recorded history that an ordinary ship has made it to the North Pole. - Novosti (Russian News and Information Agency), 8/30/05

Being stuck in traffic has an advantage: Under 37 mph, most bugs bounce harmlessly off the hood and windshield. Above that speed, they splatter. - Discover Magazine, 9/05

A Santiago, Chile restaurant named "Car Crash" had to close temporarily because a car crashed into it. - Seattle Times, 7/28/05

Members of the Professional Association of Teachers in the UK have recommended that the word "fail" should be banned from use in British classrooms, to be replaced by "deferred success". - Yahoo News, 7/20/05

In Gevas, Turkey, over 1,500 sheep jumped off a cliff. Only 450 died, however, as the last thousand or so fell on a soft billowy white pile of other sheep. - Washington Post, 7/8/05

Rio de Janeiro lawmakers voted to eliminate the speed limit in many parts of the city so motorists can go fast enough to avoid robbers and carjackers. - Reuters, 6/27/05

Pac-Man celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005. Only one person (Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida) has scored a perfect game - 3,333,360 points. - Associated Press, 6/14/05

Leaders of the Chinese town of Angfen have found a way to fill a vacancy on its foreign-investment committee. The town is going to hold a beauty contest for women between the the ages of 18 and 35. - The Week Magazine, 6/23/05

A police officer responding to an emergency call of a man struck by a car accidentally ran over the victim with his cruiser, authorities said. Investigators were uncertain whether the victim was already dead when he was struck a second time by the police car. - CNN.com, 6/10/05

A woman is killed every six hours in South Africa by her domestic partner, and less than 40 percent of these homicides lead to a conviction. - CNN.com, 5/24/05

New research that examined data from the 2004 Olympics in Athens concludes that athletes who wear red seem to win close competitions more often. - Washington Post, 5/27/05

Total annual spending on weddings has risen to $125 billion, according to a recent survey by the Fairchild Bridal Group. This is as much as Ireland's yearly gross domestic product. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/10/05

A recording of Pope John Paul II’s poetry set to a disco beat reached Number 3 on the Polish pop charts. - The Week Magazine, 4/8/05

Russia has 160 deaths for every 100 live births. The population of Russia has fallen by 5,000,000 in the last ten years. - Public Interest, 1/05

Right now, there are about 800 million cars in active use. By 2050, as cars become ubiquitous in China and India, that total will rise to be 3.25 billion. - Deseret News, 3/29/05

Valentine's Day, the day of love, is also the day that more divorces are initiated due to unmet expectations. - Reuters, 2/10/05

Police in London tell Reuters that thieves successfully used an acetylene torch to gain access to an ATM, but they burned up all the money in the process. - Reuters, 3/9/05

Canada is seriously considering annexing the Turks and Caicos Islands - small islands in the Caribbean. - Calgary Herald, 2/7/04

A pet insurer in Britain has estimated that the average dog costs about $48,000 to look after over the course of its lifetime. - NBC News Online, 3/6/05
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