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BBC’s 100 Things…

Just noticed this buried in the middle of a Groklaw entry. 100 things we didn’t know this time last year is the year end almanac of BBC’s 10 things we didn’t know last week.

Among the best include:

12. Until the 1940s rhubarb was considered a vegetable. It became a fruit when US customs officials, baffled by the foreign food, decided it should be classified according to the way it was eaten.

19. 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 moare equalle”.

35. The name Lego came from two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”. It also means “I put together” in Latin.

48. A quarter of the world’s clematis come from one Guernsey nursery, where production will top 4.5m plants this year alone.

73. One in six children think that broccoli is a baby tree.

74. It takes a gallon of oil to make three fake fur coats.

88. A single “mother” spud from southern Peru gave rise to all the varieties of potato eaten today, scientists have learned.

Snow Fighting, the Alaskan Way

While digging out the 3 inches of slurpee on my driveway this morning, from our 6 – 12 inch storm that only dropped a couple inches of sleet, a friend sent me Snowfighting on the Alaska Railroad.

I think my favorite pictures is that of the Russell Car (shown right). Now this is a machine that is wonderfully designed for a single purpose. Unfortunately it was designed for a purpose that didn’t actually work in Alaska, because the tracks are too curved. The Russel Cars all derailed very easily.

… but they still look really cool …