By John Lloyd, John Mitchinson
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Extra resources for 1,339 QI Facts To Make Your Jaw Drop
The air in London is cleaner now than at any time since the 16th century. In the 16th century, Britain had one pub for every 200 people. At any one time, 45 million people in the world are drunk. Hangovers cost the US economy more than $220 billion in lost productivity each year. A popular Roman hangover cure was deep-fried canary. Pliny the Elder advised tying a fox’s genitals to the brow to cure headaches. Chopin whistled or played chords on the piano when he had trouble urinating. Giving Prozac to a snail renders it unable to stick to surfaces.
In 2010, a traffic jam near Beijing in China stretched for 100 kilometres and lasted nine days. In any one week, London Underground escalators travel the equivalent of twice round the world. ‘Lunting’ is walking at the same time as pipe-smoking. The Scots king who succeeded Macbeth was called Lulach the Idiot. Denmark pawned the Shetland Islands in 1468. In theory, they could buy them back for 60,000 florins. In Braveheart, Mel Gibson’s modern black jockey shorts can be seen under his kilt. Harris tweed is not made on the Isle of Harris; it’s made on the Isle of Lewis.
Until biological softener was invented in 1908, the standard way to soften leather was to smear it with dog faeces. Entrance to the Tower of London used to be free if you brought a dog or a cat to feed to the lions. The Eiffel Tower was scheduled to be pulled down in 1909. The Louvre was built in 1190 as a defence against Viking raids. The Statue of Liberty wears size 879 shoes. Charles II of England wore stilettos to his coronation. Samantha Cameron is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great- granddaughter of Charles II’s mistress, Nell Gwyn.
1,339 QI Facts To Make Your Jaw Drop by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson