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Ten Random Facts

English soldiers were nicknamed "Tommies" during World War I because the example name on the forms soldiers were required to fill out was Thomas Atkins, the U.S. equivalent of John Smith. The name first appeared in 1815 when sample forms for soldiers showed where their signatures should appear. Rudyard Kipling also helped popularize the term “Tommy” in his writings.
People

In Sweden, when leaving someone's home, wait until you get to the doorway to step outside before putting on your coat. To do so earlier suggests you are eager to leave. When entering or departing a Russian home, it is considered very bad form to shake hands across the threshold.
Laws and Customs » Strange Rules and Laws

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.
Geography

"White Christmas" (1954), starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, was the first movie to be made in Vista Vision, a deep-focus process.
Entertainment » Movies

A richly embroidered veil, or "burga," festooned with buttons and pendants cloaks the faces of the young girls of Sudan's Rashaida. Their interpretation of Islamic law dictates that females wear the veil starting at the age of five. The covering must be worn even at mealtimes. It can be removed only in the strictest of privacy.
Laws and Customs

A plaice, a large European flounder, can lie on a checkerboard and reproduce on its upper surface the same pattern of squares, for camouflage.
Animals

Despite the outcry from some anti-gambling lawmakers over the explosion of gambling on the Internet, fewer than one percent of American adults had used the Internet for gambling within the year of 1999.
Technology

About half of the energy entering the outer atmosphere from the Sun reaches the ground. Of the radiation that reached the ground, about one-third is radiated back into space, one-third heats the lower atmosphere, and one-third is used in the process of evaporating water.
Environment

Cleveland spelled backwards is "DNA level C".
Miscellaneous

Humans today belong to the species Homo sapiens sapiens. They first appeared 30,000 years ago and lived along with the Neanderthal man.
People

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