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A best-selling 15th century work of fiction was The Tale of the Two Lovers, an erotic novel by the man who later became Pope Pius II.

In 1967, Picoaz, Ecuador, elected a brand of foot deodorant as the town’s mayor.

The word ‘fun’ does not appear in the King James Bible.

At least 109 journeys between adjacent London Underground stations are quicker to walk.

Apostasy, the abandonment of religion, is a capital offence in Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

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To abacinate means ‘to blind by placing hot irons close to the eyes’.

English: Samurai on horseback, wearing armor a...

A samurai on horseback, wearing armour and horned helmet, carrying bow and arrows

The word aa is the first in the Dictionary of Official Scrabble Words. It is a kind of lava emitted by Hawaiian volcanoes.

Guns were introduced into Japan by the Portuguese in 1543, but banned by the government 100 years later. The only weapon a samurai was allowed to carry was a sword, and no one else was allowed a weapon of any kind.

In 1999, the total number of people killed by guns in the USA was 28.874 out of a population of 279.040.000, which equalled 1 in 966. In Britain, the figure was 207 out of a population of 58.579.000, which equalled 1 in 282.990.

Sixteen and a half million Yemenis between them own 50 million guns.

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