The twenty most densely populated countries house 50% of all the people of the world.
On April Fool’s Day it is common in France to try to pin a paper cut-out of a fish to someone else’s back. Hence the name Poisson d’Avril, ‘April Fish’.
Mutterkuchen, the German word for placenta literally means ‘mother cake’.
The Japanese and Chinese get blue and green mixed up. The Japanese call the green light at the traffic light blue, ‘aoi shingou’; and often refer to green vegetables as blue as well, ‘aona’. The Chinese do the same when they talk about the dish bok choy, it contains a green vegetable called Chinese cabbage for which the Chinese use the character for blue. In Japanese, the character for green originally did not mean the colour green but instead symbolised youth. That is why, in Japanese, glossy hair is literally called ‘greenish black hair’ and a newborn baby is called a ‘green child’.
The Belgian astronomer and professor of physics Georges Lemaitre pioneered the Big Bang theory for the development of the universe in the 1920s. He was a Catholic priest.
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