The best fun facts we learned in 2014!
This year is coming to an end, a new one is about to begin. This means a time of reflection for time gone by, and also a time of planning for the future. We've had a busy year at Kaplan International, and with more than 150 blog posts in 2014 it was hard to pick a favorite! Instead, we have a round-up of the best fun facts we discovered. Why not learn a few and impress your friends and family over the festive holiday? Here are our highlights of 2014...
1. January - New year, new start, new goals. Time to start making and breaking those resolutions! But did you know that these resolutions date all the way back to Roman times? The name January comes from the Roman God 'Janus', who had two faces - one of them looks forward to the new year, the other looks back at the year just passed. Find out more here.
2. February - Are you afraid of anything... snakes, spiders, the dark? How about peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth? It may sound nutty, but this sandwich spread strikes fear into the hearts of those who suffer from arachibutyrophobia.
3. March - In March, Balint introduced us to some rather unusual hobbies. We discovered that Extreme Ironing, also known as EI is a competitive sport! The sport consists of ironing clothing in extreme situations, for example while rock climbing, surfing, on a kayak...
4. April - April saw one of the Oxford Dictionary's quarterly updates, where a selection of new words, definitions and senses are added to the dictionary. Tom talks about his favorites here, one of which could be useful after festive parties - food coma; the state of sleep or extreme tiredness brought about by eating a large amount of food.
5. May - We were hit by Eurovision fever! The international singing competition is watched by about 125 million viewers per year. The Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst rose like a phoenix and soared to victory with 290 points. This was Austria's first win in nearly 50 years! Find out more about this year's contest with our Fun Facts about Eurovision 2014.
6. June - Have you watched TV today? How much do you know about television? Balint shared some fascinating facts with us, in his Fun Facts about Television. Did you know? Most people dream in color, but those who grew up watching black and white television often dream in black and white...
7. July - Summer arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, time to celebrate the sun. The temperature in the sun's core (the very middle part) can reach up to 15 million degrees Celsius! That's hot enough to heat your microwave popcorn in about 0.001 seconds, if you dared! Find out more facts about our largest star here.
8. August - With the sun shining, and the festival season in full swing, we were partying hard at Kaplan! Jamie's fun facts about parties taught us about some of the most interesting parties and famous party-goers in history. Did you know? The largest tea party ever was held in Indore, India, and had 32,681 tea drinking attendees.
9. September - OMG LOL CUL8R. Can you imagine a life without text messages? In The History of Text Messaging we learned how this popular method of communication originated. The first text message was sent in 1992, in the UK. Back then mobile phones didn't have keyboards, so the sender Neil Papworth, had to type it on his PC. His text said "Happy Christmas" and was successfully received.
10. October - Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest celebrations are some of the biggest parties in the world. About 7 million people visit Southern Germany each year for the event to drink more than 6 million liters of beer. Find out more in our Oktoberfest Guide for Beginners.
11. November - Movember. An annual event that encourages men to grow moustaches in order to raise money and awareness of men's health issues. Our fun fact from this month is that the world's longest moustache belongs to Ram Singh Chauhan of India. From end to end, it is a huge 4.2 meters, or 14 feet. He has been growing the moustache for 44 years, and regularly massages, oils, and washes it. See pictures, and more fun facts about facial hair here.
12. December - Rounding the year off with a fun quiz, find out which US city best suits your personality. Kaplan International has 21 English language schools in the USA, discover which location you belong in for 2015... Which US City Do You Belong In?
If there are any fun facts that we've missed that you'd like to share with us, please get in touch!