First News
Volume:7, Number:48
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FUN FACTS
THIS WEEK

Money Cannot Buy Life

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Jamaican singer, songwriter, and reggae musician Bob Marley lived through his childhood in poverty. His music was discovered by local producers, which led him to immediate spotlight straight to the international stage. Unfortunately, he suffered from skin cancer at the early age of 32 from where his condition only worsened and led to his death on May 11, 1981. His famous last words to his eldest son, Ziggy Marley, were: “Son, money cannot buy life.”

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Posthumous Marriage

France is long known for having this practice. Posthumous marriage, also known as necrogamy, is a type of marriage where one of the participating members (groom or bride) is deceased. It first gained popularity during World War I in France, when fallen soldiers were allowed to be married to their loved one. The practice inspired other countries such as Japan, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, and the United States respectively, to take up the idea. The process has a number of intricate requirements including an approval from the president of the country.

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Number of Species

After nearly 250 years of organized study and exploration, and the finding of over 15,000 new living beings each year, taxonomists are still uncomfortable giving concrete estimates of how many species share our planet. Scientists have identified and named nearly 8.7 million species. One of the biggest reasons we do not know how many species share our planet is that 99 percent of all potential living space is under the ocean, and we humans have explored less than 10 percent of it.

Compiled by: Sameer Miyaz Ahmed

Famous People, Funny Stories

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In 1983, British actor Alec Guinness thought his fellow actor Laurence Olivier was joking when he asked the name of his wife. When he told the name, Olivier had said, “Merula Salaman. Is not she some sort of relative of yours?” “My wife for the last 45 years,” Guinness replied before he duly recorded that he could see Olivier’s wife Joan Plowright in the room. But he could not resist asking Olivier “Is Joan here?” “Over there,” Olivier said. “Do point her out,” Guinness replied.

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Pablo Neruda, toward the end of his life, was invited to read in Caracas, Venezuela. He read for quite a long time, then asked, “Is there anything else you’d like to hear?” Someone raised their hand and said, “Would you please read the last love poem in the book Twenty Love Songs and A Song of Despair?” He said, “Oh, I am sorry. I didn’t bring that with me.” Then 400 people stood up and recited the poem to him.

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During his first term US president Dwight Eisenhower appointed Arthur Burns as his first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. At their first meeting, Burns suggested that he send Ike a memo outlining a plan for organizing the flow of economic advice to the president. Ike said, “Keep it short. I can’t read.” Burns replied, “We shall get along fine. I cannot write.”

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US first lady Barbara Bush once accompanied her husband, president George Bush, on a state visit to Japan. During a formal luncheon at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, she found herself seated beside Japan's emperor Hirohito. "Was the former palace so old that it crumbled?" she asked, noting the building's apparent youth. "No," Hirohito tersely replied, "I am afraid that you bombed it..."

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