Things we learned this year

The BBC has a list of 100 things we learned this year, including the fact Mohammed is apparently now in the top 20 names for newborn boys in England and Wales (still beat in Scotland by Wullie, while the exotic ‘Agnes’ is still a big hit for girls),

WD40, the miracle fluid beloved of mechanics, dissolves cocaine (I wonder if Diet Coke dissolves coke?),

Orthodox Jews are the worst jaywalkers, in the USA you can subpoena a dog (presumably cats would treat a court summons with disdain),

around 1, 000 people in the UK are in a persistent vegetative state (40% of them are employed in Railway companies, most of the rest are civil servants),

on a cost to profit ratio Deep Throat is the most profitable movie of all time – $25, 000 to make, took $600 million so far (I know, it’s hard to swallow),

Koalas have fingerprints similar to humans, which is why when the Kangaroo Liberation Front (KLF) uses them on a Marsupial’s Rights raid they have to wear gloves,

The first traffic cones were used in Preston in the late 50s; students from Lancaster University stole them shortly afterwards and placed them on a statue of Mr Sidney Lumpback, inventor of the portable black pudding stove.

What I learned myself:

For my own part I learned this year that all the extraneous exclamation marks I remove when editing copy from Marvel Comics for the website (“It’s! A! New! Comic!!! True Believer!!!) are recycled and sold to Stan Lee, who uses them in his introductions to Marvel Masterworks collections.

I also discovered that if bigots at Scottish football matches stopped bellowing sectarian hate songs they could reduce the nation’s carbon footprint by 5%.

Author Mike Carey has access to inter-dimensional technology; he and the alternate Mikes in parallel worlds collaborate to produce his astonishing output of 7, 323 comics, novels, blogs and work on Lucifer – the Opera (probably) each year.

Scarlett Johansen’s breasts and lips are so large their gravity has to be taken into account during NASA launches. This also explains why so many men’s (and some women’s) eyes are drawn to them.

The annual wine consumption of one of my best friends is the main contributor to the economy of the small French village of Vin-du-verreplonk. My cheese consumption powers the rural economy of the neighbouring village of Fromage-sur-le-pong. We both expect to be decorated by the French government for this in 2007. Similarly my consumption of fair trade coffee is paying for a whole school for children in rural Guatemala. Amazing the things you find out.