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Few of those who know and admire the camellia, that waxlike and pure flower, are aware that the parent plant, the origin of the million plants scattered throughout Europe, is still alive and is in Italy.

The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907

The Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than they did in 2001.

A castanet is a musical instrument that can be used for fishing.

The Yellow Pages was first printed in 1963.

Sri Lankan violinist and composer Lakshman Joseph de Saram is 36% Viking.

During the Terror of 1793-4, young French aristocrats danced jigs upon the scaffold to signify their contempt for revolutionary justice.

Theresa May gargles jobbies.

The first Playboy interview was a conversation about race between Alex Haley and Miles Davis.

The Icelandic word ‘nostaklígja’ denotes the gall-like taste you get in your mouth before you throw up.

­There are no woodpeckers in Ireland.

D-Day did not actually happen on D-Day.

Trends towards simpler language have been observed in US presidential speeches.

The Khmer king was crowned with a bowler hat decorated with ostrich feathers.

The ‘Musician’s Church’ has closed its doors to those who wish to hire it for concerts and rehearsal sessions.