April 1st is called April Fool’s Day in English, and it’s a day when people play jokes on other people. They can be small, personal jokes or tricks, or big “industrial-size” hoaxes by newspapers or television channels like the BBC. Read on »
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Below is probably the most classic April Fool’s Day hoax of all time. On April 1st, 1957 the BBC ran a short programme about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland, showing spaghetti growing on trees. Many people believed the programme and phoned in to ask how they could grow their own “spaghetti tree”.
I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face; Read on »
Several sources claim that Shakespeare used nearly 30,000 different words in his works. However, we need to ask what we mean by “different words”. Is it reasonable to count go and going and gone as three different words? If we count go and going and gone as one word (GO), then Shakespeare used fewer than 20,000 “different words”.
Riddles are short poems or texts that ask a question that seems difficult to answer. The following famous riddle by Catherine Fanshawe is talking about something, but what is it? Read on »
Tell us about the best vacation (holiday) you’ve ever taken. Where did you go? Why did you like it?
What do you think is the perfect age? Why?
What’s the most times you can repeat the same word consecutively in a sentence and still retain meaning? Here’s a sentence with 7 words in a row. Read on »
What would you like to be in your next life? Why?
So how much is a billion?
Answer: 1,000,000,000 (one thousand million)
Sub-plot: In American English a billion is 1,000,000,000. In British English a billion used to be, and technically still may be, 1,000,000,000,000 (one million million); but in practical usage British English now treats a billion the same as American English does: 1,000,000,000.
Nevertheless, a British billionaire is still worth more than an American billionaire (slightly more than twice as much at today’s rate of exchange).