- There are more than 25,000 McDonald's restaurants in over 115 countries. McDonald's has actually been remarkably responsive to the local cultures: they offer "ayran" (a popular chilled yogurt drink) in Turkey; McLaks (a grilled salmon sandwich) in Norway, and teriyaki burgers in Japan. In New Delhi, India, where Hindus shun beef and Muslims refuse pork, the burgers are made of mutton and called Maharaja Macs. And if you're vegetarian, as many strict Hindus are, there's the McAloo Tikki burger, a spicy vegetarian patty made of potatoes and peas.
- Napoleon, the famous French general, was not born in France. He was born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica of Italian parents.
- The average rainfall around the world is 40 inches per year.
- A female pharaoh was unknown in Egypt before Hatshepsut, who began her reign in 1502 B.C. In order not to shock convention, she had herself portrayed in male costume, with a beard, and without breasts.
- A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies.
- In 1990, American tennis pro John McEnroe, often called "The Brat" because of his infantile, volatile on-court behavior, became the first player in 27 years to be disqualified from a Grand Slam tournament for misconduct. His repeated bad manners led to his being booted from the Australian Open.
- In its early years, rock and roll music was believed to make teenagers crazy, drug-deranged, and/or promiscuous. The Los Angeles Mirror printed a story in 1959 that announced that rock music "tightens the cow's glandular system and deters milking," with a strange headline that claimed "Rock 'n' Roll Makes Cows Tighten Up."
- Chicken á la King, a dish of diced chicken in a cream and sherry sauce, was originally chicken á la Keene, and only later was corrupted to suggest a royal provenance. Several parties lay claim to the dish's name origin, the most prevalent being London's Claridge's Hotel claim that the Keene in question was equestrian J. R. Keene and said its chef had created the dish to memorialize his 1881 Grand Prix victory.
- In the film industry, a "hot set" is a set that is ready for use and is not to be disturbed.
- More than 100 years ago, the felt hat makers of England used mercury to stabilize wool. Most of them eventually became poisoned by the fumes, as demonstrated by the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Breathing mercury's fumes over a long period of time will cause erethism, a disorder characterized by nervousness, irritability, and strange personality changes.
- Many seabirds that swallow fishes too large for immediate digestion go about with the esophagus filled. Apparently without discomfort, the tail of the fish sticks out of the bird's mouth.
- Sports historians have traced roller skating to the early 1800s when an unknown Dutchman sought to find a warm-weather equivalent to ice skating. He decided to attach wooden disks to shoes; after a short period of refinement, roller skating became a popular pastime in Holland. The sport attained even greater popularity among the North American public with the introduction of the steel wheel with ball bearings.
- A dragonfly can fly 25 mph.
- On the planet Jupiter, your weight would be nearly three times greater than it is on Earth.
- The first actress known to wear trousers was Sarah Bernhardt in 1876.
- Frumenty was a spiced porridge, enjoyed by both rich and poor. It is thought to be the forerunner of modern Christmas puddings. It has its origins in a Celtic legend of the harvest god Dagda, who stirred a porridge made up of all the good things of the Earth.
- Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East that does not have a desert.
- With its intense, narcotic perfume, lilac, especially white lilac, is considered an unlucky plant in certain parts of the British Isles. It is among the least welcomed flowers for hospital patients, though some people believe that lilac blossoms with five petals brings luck to those who find them.
- Bangladesh is the most densely populated non-island region in the world, with more than 1,970 humans per square mile.
- A Scottish term for someone who is sullen or bad-tempered is "dorty."