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Monday, March 31, 2008

Interesting Facts About SPAIN

Interesting facts|unusual facts SPAIN nice flag
Before we go to the interesting facts about Spain, a brief introduction of SPAIN to add some spice. Spain (Spanish España), parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe, occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula, and bounded on the north by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra; on the east by the Mediterranean Sea; on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; and on the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. The British dependency of Gibraltar is situated at the southern extremity of Spain. The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa are governed as provinces of Spain. Also, Spain administers two small exclaves in Morocco—Ceuta and Melilla—as well as three island groups near Africa—Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera and the Alhucemas and Chafarinas islands. The area of Spain, including the African and insular territories, is 505,990 sq km (195,364 sq mi). Madrid is the capital and largest city.


* Teenagers usually begin dating in groups around age 14 and as couples at age 18.
* Rather than call on a girl at her home, a boy often meets a girl at a prearranged site
* More women than men are currently enrolled in Spain's universities.
* About 40 percent of Spaniards between the ages of 17 and 24 are smokers.
* Spain has one of Europe's highest rates of AIDS.
* In Spain, people eat lunch at 2 pm, and dinner at 9-10 pm
* It is slightly more than twice the size of Oregon.
* Spain occupies 85% of the Iberian Peninsula
* In World War I, Spain maintained a position of neutrality. In 1923, Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera became dictator.
* In June 2005, despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church, Spain legalized gay marriage.
* Spain gained independence from the Moors in Granada (The Moors' Last Stronghold) in 1492.
* Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in order to find the New World.
* 94 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.
* In Spain, the official currency is the euro since January of 2002.
* In Spain, prescription medications can be obtained "over-the-counter" at pharmacies.
* Spain has 40,217,413 Inhabitants.
* During the 16th century, Spain was one of the most powerful empires in the world.
* Spaniards stand close and frequently touch one another on the arm while conversing.
* Team sports are not part of school programs, so people join private clubs.
* Accepting a second serving is one of the best ways to show appreciation to the cook
* Low birthrates stem in part from high unemployment and steep housing costs, which make it impossible for most people to buy houses large enough for more than two children
* Spaniards place a high value on what others think of them.
* Soccer (fútbol) is the most popular spectator sport in Spain. Fans often crowd homes and local bars to watch important matches
* Bullfighting, considered an art and a popular attaction, is the biggest and most controversial sport in Spain and is an integral part of Spanish history, art and culture with bull rings in all major cities and quite a few minor ones.
* Spain has become one of the most legally liberal and progressive countries in Europe in recent years.
* Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005.
* Personal consumption and home cultivation of cannabis are legal in Spain.
* Spain was one of the first European countries to ban smoking in in all workplaces, and bars and restaurants (from 2006), following the lead of Ireland and Norway two years earlier.
* Not all Spaniards are native speakers of (Castilian) "Spanish". There are in fact four official languages in Spain (Castilian, Catalan, Basque and Galician), three unofficial regional languages (Asturian, Aragonese and Aranese), and several more dialects of these (Andalucian, Valencian...). Almost all Spaniards can speak Castilian Spanish though.
* Spain is traditionally a strongly religious country (Roman Catholocism). However, only 76% of Spaniards now identify themselves as Catholics, and only about 20% are regular church-goers. Due to recent immigration, 3% of the population is now Muslim.
* Spanish-speaking cultures have been very propicious for the development of new dance styles, such as Flamenco (inspired by Andalusian, Islamic, Sephardic, and Gypsy cultures), Merengue (Hispano-African), Salsa, Mambo and Cha-cha-cha (African and Cuban), Rumba (African, Amerindian and Spanish), etc.
* Spanish culture greatly influenced modern art from the late 1800's, with artists like Antoni Gaudí (Art Nouveau), Pablo Picasso (expressionism, cubism, surrealism), Joan Miró (surrealism), or Salvador Dalí (surrealism).
* Most of Spain was under Muslim domination from 711 to the mid 11th century. The full peninsula was not reconquered by the Christian powers until 1492.
* The Spanish Inquisition, which aimed at converting non-Christians to Christian Catholicism, started in 1478, and was not abolished until 1834. It is estimated that the Inquisition processed some 350,000 people, of whom at least 10% were executed (most famously burnt at the stake).
* Under Philip II's reign (1556-1598), and until 1640, Spain ruled over an empire comprising Spain, the Spanish Netherlands (most of present Belgium, and Northern France), Southern Italy, most of South and Central America (Brazil included), about half of the present USA, the Philippines (named after Philip II), as well as various smaller colonies in Asia and Africa (Macao, Malacca, Goa, Daman, Diu...).
* Tomatoes, potatoes, avocadoes, tobacco, and cacao, were all brought to Europe (then spread around the world) by the Spaniards from their American colonies. All these words were imported from Spanish language into English, which explains why they end in "-o".
* The Spanish colonies in the Americas (except Cuba and Puerto Rico, lost to the USA in 1898) became independent between 1809 and 1825, mostly due to Napoleon's occupation of Spain between 1808 and 1814.
* Spain did not participate in either the First or Second World War.
* Spain has twice as many bank branches as the EU average, although...
* the Spanish guard a comparatively high amount of cash at home (EUR 1.531,- on average).
* There are more cars than mobile phones around.
* The population has grown by 7.4% since 1999, with the Balearean population growing by 16.2% in the same period of time.
* The economic standard is highest in the Basque country and Navarra, with a disposable income of about EUR 14.000,- per family, comparing to the province with the lowest economic level of EUR 1.075,- of an average family in Extremadura.


The Spanish call their country España. The name comes from the ancient word Span, which means hidden or remote land. It’s a fitting name, since Spain stands somewhat apart from the rest of Europe.

Facts About Spain

Official name Kingdom of Spain
Capital Madrid
Official language Castilian Spanish
Population 40,400,000 people
Rank among countries in population 30th
Major cities Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville
Area 195,000 square miles
506,000 square kilometers
Rank among countries in area 50th
Highest point Pico de Teide
12,188 feet/3,715 meters
Currency Euro


Spain is on a peninsula, a piece of land that juts into water. It’s called the Iberian Peninsula, and it lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Spain covers most of the peninsula, apart from a small area occupied by the country of Portugal to the west.

The steep Pyrenees Mountains cross the neck of the peninsula. For centuries, the Pyrenees isolated Spain from its European neighbors to the north.

In the south, Spain almost touches northern Africa. Only a narrow strip of water called the Strait of Gibraltar separates Spain from the African continent. For this reason, African influences are an important part of Spain’s history.


Spain has numerous islands, too. They include the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa.


A huge, rocky plateau called the Meseta Central rises in central Spain. It’s a high, mostly treeless region that covers more than half the country. The best farmland lies along a narrow coastal plain in the north. Even here, rocky ridges come right to the ocean. They cut the plain into short strips.


Spain has sunny weather and a dry climate. Spanish farmers herd animals such as sheep and cattle. They grow crops such as olives, grapes, and almonds. Spain is the world’s biggest producer of olives. They are picked for eating and used to make olive oil. Spain also grows plenty of cork oak trees. Cork is cut from the bark of this tree.

The sunny weather, sandy Mediterranean beaches, and scenic islands make Spain a playground for visitors. In fact, Spain is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.


Spain’s capital and largest city is Madrid. It stands near the very heart of the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid is a modern city that’s home to about 3 million people. It’s also filled with famous old landmarks, such as the Plaza Mayor, a huge public square lined with impressive buildings.

Barcelona, on the northeast coast, is Spain’s second largest city. Barcelona is Spain’s chief port and main industrial center. The city’s most famous landmark is the Church of the Holy Family. The ornate spires of the cathedral rise more than 328 feet (100 meters).


Perhaps no sport is more Spanish than bullfighting. The Spanish consider it an art form. Bullfighters, called matadors, seek to show bravery and dignity in the bullfighting ring. The danger and excitement of the sport inspired American author Ernest Hemingway to write about bullfighting in two books, The Sun Also Rises and Death in the Afternoon.

Every summer, Spaniards celebrate the beginning of bullfighting season with a week of festivities. In the city of Pamplona, celebrations include the running of the bulls. Each morning, bulls are set loose in the city streets. Those who dare get in front of the bulls and try to race ahead of them. Sometimes, people are wounded or even killed by the bulls.


In ad 711, Muslim invaders from Africa captured Spain. The Muslims had conquered their way across North Africa before invading Spain. Spain remained a Muslim-ruled land for hundreds of years.

The Muslim rulers built dazzling cities such as Granada and Córdoba. Muslim palaces such as Alhambra in Granada still amaze visitors. Spain became a center of learning under Muslim rule. Philosophers, scientists, and artists produced important works.


Christian kingdoms in northern Spain fought the Muslims fiercely. Slowly, Christian forces recaptured Spain. In the late 1400s, two Roman Catholic monarchs got married—Ferdinand of Aragón and Isabella of Castile. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella drove the last Muslim rulers from Spain.

Afterward, Spain became a Catholic nation. In fact, the Spanish government set up a court called the Spanish Inquisition. This court caught and punished people who refused to convert to Catholicism.


Ferdinand and Isabella made Spain a great power. In 1492, Isabella sponsored a voyage led by a sailor named Christopher Columbus. Columbus was seeking a westward route to Asia. Instead of finding Asia, Columbus found the Americas. It proved to be a turning point in Spanish history.

Spain got to the Americas ahead of most other European countries. It quickly built an empire in parts of North and South America. Spanish ships carted huge amounts of silver and gold back to Europe. Spain became Europe’s richest country. It ruled a world empire.


Spain’s great wealth led to a Golden Age in Spain. In the 1500s and 1600s, Spanish writers and artists reached great heights of achievement. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra wrote Don Quixote, a masterpiece of European literature. Artists such as El Greco produced brilliant paintings.


Spain used most of its wealth to build military power, including a great navy called the Spanish Armada. When the gold and silver ran out, it had little to fall back on. Spain grew poor and weak. Its colonies broke away.

In 1898, Spain lost a war with the United States. That forced Spain to give up Cuba, Guam, and Puerto Rico, its last holdings in the Americas.


In 1936, a terrible civil war broke out in Spain. It ended with a general named Francisco Franco taking over. This tough dictator executed thousands of people and put thousands more in prison. Franco died in 1975.


After Franco’s death, Spain appointed a king. They chose Juan Carlos I, who was descended from Spain’s last king. But Spain also adopted a new constitution that made the king a symbol rather than the ruler. It gave real power to an elected prime minister. Today, Spain is a vibrant democracy.

Source: MS Encarta 2007

Saturday, March 29, 2008

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Interesting facts about FRANCE

Interesting facts about FRANCE

Interesting france picture, humourous

Before we go to the interesing facts about FRANCE, lets have a brief introduction to FRANCE to add a little spice. France, major industrialized nation in western Europe. France is the third largest country in Europe, after Russia and Ukraine, and the fourth most populous. Officially the French Republic (République Française), the nation includes ten overseas possessions, most of them remnants of France’s former colonial empire. Paris is the nation’s capital and largest city.

Roughly hexagonal in shape, France shares boundaries with Belgium and Luxembourg to the northeast; Germany, Switzerland, and Italy to the east; and Spain and Andorra to the southwest. In the northwest, France is bounded by the English Channel. At the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the channel, France and England are separated by just 34 km (21 mi). France faces three major seas: the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the North Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast.

Eiffel Tower - France
The Eiffel Tower is probably one of the most famous symbols of France. It was built in 1889 for an exhibition. The tower was thought to be only a temporary structure, although it still stands today. The tower stands 984 feet tall. This is about the height of a 70-story building. Stairs and elevators can be taken to reach three platforms. The Eiffel Tower is a very popular tourist attraction.

Famous Landmarks of Paris
Symbols such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter, Montmartre, and the Georges Pompidou Center make Paris one of the most visited places in the world.

Tour de France
Every summer more than 100 professional cyclists race in the Tour de France. The race is approximately 2,000 miles long. The race lasts up to three weeks. It is held in July. The route changes from year to year

The Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world. Some of the paintings exhibited there are from the French artists Monet, Cezanne, and Renoir.

Bastille Day
On July 14 Bastille Day is celebrated in France. It was set aside in 1880 as a French national holiday. The holiday is celebrated with speeches, firecrackers, and parades.

Cathedral of Notre Dame
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is a beautiful church built in the early Gothic style. It is on a small island on the Seine River. The cathedral was started in the 12th century and completed in the 13th century.

French Cuisine
France is known for its fine food. French cooking is thought to be the best in the world. Chefs prepare dishes such as quiche, soufflés, mousse, pâté, croissants, crêpes, and French bread. Many people in France like to drink their hot chocolate from bowls and dip their bread into it.

more interesting facts about France...

The name France means 'Land of the Franks.' The Franks were a Germanic tribe who lived in Northern Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

The official name of France is The French Republic and its motto is 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.'

Apart from France, French is the official language of the following countries -
Benin; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Congo; French Caledonia; French Guiana; French Polynesia; Gabon; Guadaloupe; Guinea; Ivory Coast; Luxembourg; Mali; Martinique; Monaco; Niger; Senegal; Togo; the Canadian province of Quebec; the Swiss districts of Vaud, Neuchatel, Geneva, and Jura.

French is widely spoken in the following countries - Algeria, Andorra, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United States (Louisiana, New England) and Vietnam.

French is one of the official languages in the following countries -
Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey), Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Vanuatu.

People who speak fluent French are called 'Francophones.'

The flag of France is blue, white, red. It is known as Le Drapeau Tricolore (or the three-coloured flag) because of its three colours. It has existed since 1794. It is said that - Blue is the colour of Saint Martin. White is the colour of the Virgin Mary, Joan of Arc and of royalty. Red is the colour of Saint Denis and of the war-banner of France. The original French war-banner was called the red Oriflamme of Saint Denis.

An important emblem of France is the cockerel (le coq). It is used on the sportswear of French national teams. It is a courageous animal, willing to fight.

The lily (la fleur-de-lis) and the iris are two flowers also used as emblems for France.

One of the most important dates in France is the 14 July. This is known as Bastille Day and it is a national holiday. In France it is called La Fête Nationale. It is a celebration of the storming of the prison in Paris called Bastille Saint-Antoine on 14 July 1789. On this date, angry peasants invaded the prison, released the prisoners (there were only a few prisoners there at the time) and seized the weapons stored there. This was the beginning of the French Revolution. The poor people hated the Bastille because so many had been imprisoned there without having a fair trial.
Nowadays, on 14 July, there is a big parade in Paris, the French flag flies from L'Arc de Triomphe and there are celebrations and fireworks all over France.

The guillotine was the method of execution developed during the French Revolution. It was invented with the help of surgeon, Dr. Guillotin. In Paris, it was used regularly in La Place de la Concorde.

During the French Revolution, the King of France was Louis XVI and his wife was Marie-Antoinette (she was Austrian). She was only fourteen years of age when she married. In the portrait below, she is only twelve years old.

The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until 1981 when the death penalty was abolished. The last time it was used was as recently as 1977.

The shrine of Saint-Denis is in the Basilica of Saint-Denis, Paris. In addition, almost all of the French kings and queens have their tombs there.

Some of the most famous and valuable works of art are exhibited in Le Musée du Louvre. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is kept there. It is owned by the French government and is the most valuable painting in the world. It was bought by French King Francis I in 1519. In France, the Mona Lisa is called La Joconde.

In France, you celebrate your 'name-day.' Every day of the year, a saint is remembered. If you have the same name as a saint (or a name that has something to do with a saint) then you will receive presents on that saint's day, just like on your birthday. The word for 'name-day' in French is Le jour de fête. On occasions like this, people say 'Meilleurs voeux' - meaning 'Best wishes.'

The French people call the English people les rosbifs, meaning - the roast beefs!

Before eating a meal, it is polite to say Bon appétit. This means 'I hope you have a good appetite so that you enjoy your meal.'

In France, they eat snails (les escargots), frogs' legs (les cuisses de grenouille) and horsemeat (le cheval).

The most popular French bread is la baguette (little stick). It is a loaf 5 or 6 cm. wide and up to a metre in length. If it is a thinner version, it is called une ficelle (a string) and if it is wider it is called une flûte. Bread rolls are called petits pains (little breads). La baguette magique is 'the magic wand'! The shape of la baguette makes it very easy to carry under your arm!

The French King Francis I was the grandfather of Mary Queen of Scots' husband. He was nicknamed 'Le Roi Grand Nez' (King Big Nose) because he had such a large nose! He bought the famous painting Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and hung it and other works of art in his bathroom at Fontainebleau Palace. When taking a bath in the palace, Mary Queen of Scots was known to particularly admire the painting!

In French history, the heir to the French throne was always called Le Dauphin - which also means 'dolphin.'

The Statue of Liberty (La Statue de la Liberté) was a gift from France to America in 1886. The internal part of the statue was designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel - the designer of the Eiffel Tower! Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was the sculptor.

* France is apparently the sixth largest economy in the world and is a developed country as well. The capital city is Paris. France is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
* One of the most famous symbols of France, the Eiffel Tower stands at a staggering height of 984 feet, almost the height of a 70 storey building. Today, the tower has 2 restaurants, observing desk, a post office, etc and has elevators that take people up on the first three platforms.
* One of the largest art museums in the world, the Louvre, boasts of having some of the most prized artifacts. This includes Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and also the works of French artists like Monet, Cezanne, and Renoir.
* One of the most beautiful churches in France, the Cathedral of Notre Dame is a classic example of a church built in the ancient Gothic style. It is located on a small island on the Seine River. The construction began in the 12th century and was completed in the 13th century.
* French cuisine and cooking is considered to be the best in the world. Dishes such as quiche, soufflés, mousse, pâté, croissants, crêpes, and French bread are prepared with much perfection and one bite of the yum food will have you asking for more.
* France is said to have been the birthplace of Gothic art as well as Baroque architectural style. Gothic art was previously known as French Art. This is the reason why we have so many famous and stunningly beautiful Cathedrals and Basilicas have the element of Gothic Art in them.
* During the 18th and the 20th century, French literature and poetry reached its peak. Some of the most famous literary works and stories that are popular till date were penned by acclaimed French writers like Charles Pennaut, Gaston Leroux, etc. Examples of famous stories are 'Cinderella', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Bluebeard', 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Count of Monte Cristo', 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' and 'The Phantom of the Opera'.
* France is the largest European country for land area after Russia and Ukraine.
* Nearly 20% of the territory of France lies outside Europe and known as "DOM-TOM" (overseas departments and territories), where over 2.5 million French citizens live.
* 20% of the French people live in the Parisian region.
* According to a 2004 IFOP survey, 44% of French people are Atheists (up by 24% since 1947).
* French people have the highest female and third highest male life expectancy in the European Union.
* There are between 5 and 6 million of more or less seriously handicaped people in France. This includes physical, sensorial and mental handicaps.
* 4.9 million foreign-born immigrants currently live France (8.1% of the country's population), including 1.2 million of other Latins (Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese), 1.5 million of Maghrebans (Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians), and 570,000 from sub-Saharan Africa.
* Recent immigrants and their offspring make up over 10% of the population of France, including 8.7% of Muslims.
* 40% of all immigrants live in the region of Paris. 60% of sub-Saharan African immigrants live in the region of Paris.
* French used to be the language of the nobility and diplomacy all across Europe and in the Ottoman Empire, then the world's first real international language until English replaced it in the mid-20th century.
* Metropolitan France counts several native regional languages : Alsatian and Lorraine German (both High German dialects), Occitan (incl. Gascon and Provençal), Oïl dialects (such as Picard and Poitevin-Saintongeais), Basque, Breton, Catalan, Corsican and Franco-Provençal.
* In spite of foreign stereotypes, many French people can speak at least one foreign language (45% are able to participate in a conversation in a foreign language according to Eurobarometer in 2005), and English is the most widely spoken (34%).
* Only 86% of French people are native French speakers if this is defined by the language their parents spoke with them before the age of 5. Oc languages account for 3.65%, Oïl languages for 3.10%, German and German dialects for 3.15%, and Arabic for 2.55%.
* French was the official language of England for 300 years. It is still the official language of 30 countries worldwide.
* The name "France" comes from "Frank", a Germanic tribe that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 6th century and founded the first independent kingdom covering most of today's France.
* The French state is one of the oldest in Europe; it was founded in 843, splitting from the Carolingian Empire based in Aachen (Belgo-German border).
* The region of Paris was settled since around 4200 BCE. The city itself was founded by the Parisii, a Celtic tribe, around 250 BCE. The Roman renamed it Luteca from 52 BCE, and it only became known as "Paris" after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century.
* Foie gras may be part and parcel of French cuisine, but its origins go back to 4,500 years ago in Ancient Egypt, from where it spread to Greece (500 B.C.E.), then to the Romans, ancestors of the modern French.
* France has won the 4th most Summer Olympic medals (including gold) in history after the USA, USSR and UK.
* France has won the most Nobel Prizes for Literature of any country (13 so far) and the second highest number of Field Medals (mathematics) after the USA.
* The capital of Malta, Valletta, was built by and named after the French nobleman Jean Parisot de la Valette (1494-1568), Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller and ruler of the island.
* On 10 June 2007, a sabre having belonged to Napoleon I was sold at an auction for € 4.8 million - the most expensive weapon ever sold.
* The French 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen' of 1789 is the world's first universal declaration of human rights, applying not only to French citizens or "free men" (as opposed to slaves), but to all people in the world.
* France has changed its form of government 9 times since 1789, including 5 republics, 2 empires and 2 constitutional monarchies.
* France has only had 3 presidents in the last 32 years (since 1974) : Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac.
* In France, in exceptional cases it is possible to marry a deceased person with the authorisation of the President of the Republic.
* France has the highest wealth tax of any European country.
* France is the only EU country to have all its V.A.T. rates with decimal fractions (19.6%, 5.5% or 2.1%). Only Britain and Ireland also use some rates with decimal fractions.
* In the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in Provence, a municipal law of 1954 prohibits flying saucers from landing within the borders of the municipality (!)
* There are some 40,000 châteaux (castles, manors, palaces...) in France.
* Famous French inventions include the adding machine, the hot air balloon, the airship, the parachute, the submarine, the ambulance service, photography, animation and cinema.
* France is the country that has won the most Nobel prizes for literature (13 as of 2005, with the last prize going back to 1985).
* French people are the second biggest consumers of alcohol per capita in the Western world - after Luxembourg...
* A 2007 study revealed that the French were the biggest consumers of medicines in Europe, both in quantity and total money spent per person.
* There are over 300 kinds of cheese made in France.
* The famous Petit Suisse ("little swiss cheese") of Gervais are not from Switzerland, but from Normandy, in France.
* Crêpes, one of the most popular food in Europe, originate from Brittany, in the west of France.
* Wine has been made in France since Roman times.
* There are 450 different wine appellations in France. There are tens of thousands of small wine-producing domain, but only 15% of all French wines enjoy the marketing benefits of AOC designations.
* Bordeaux alone has over 9,000 different châteaux.
* 72% of the adult French population finds it difficult to understand French wine labels.
* In 2004, France produced 56.6 millions hectoliters of wine.
* France is the world's leader in luxury goods, including haute couture, perfumes and cosmetics.
* France is the world's first producer of wine and liquors.
* France is the first producer of nuclear electricity in Europe and second producer in the world after the United States. France produces as much nuclear electricity as Germany, the UK, Spain and Russia combined !France has the third highest GDP (PPP) per capita per hour in the world, after Norway and Luxembourg, with an average of US$ 38.16 per hour.The Millau Viaduct, completed in 2005 in the south of France, is the tallest bridge in the world.


France attracts more tourists than any other country in the world. Tourists come to see France’s splendid scenery. But mostly they come to see Paris, the capital of France. Paris is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

For centuries, France has been the center of art and culture in Europe. Some of the world’s greatest artists and writers have worked here. French fashions and cooking are widely admired and copied.

Facts About France

Official name French Republic
Capital Paris
Official language French
Population 60,900,000 people
Rank among countries in population 21st
Major cities Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse
Area 210,000 square miles
544,000 square kilometers
Rank among countries in area 47th
Highest point Mont Blanc
15,782 feet/4,810 meters
Currency Euro


France is the biggest country in western Europe. Most of the land in the north is flat and close to sea level. Hills cover central and southern France, and huge mountains rise along the country’s borders. The Pyrenees divide France from Spain, its neighbor to the southwest. The Alps mark its border with Italy and Switzerland to the east.

Most of France has mild weather. However, the French Alps get plenty of snow. Some of the world’s finest ski resorts are found here. In the southeast, France borders the Mediterranean Sea. The coast along the Mediterranean is called the Riviera. Warm, dry weather and beautiful scenery make the Riviera a famous winter resort. It’s long been associated with wealth and glamour.


The French countryside is divided into tidy farms and dotted with pretty towns. Here and there, old castles loom on hills. The castles were built hundreds of years ago, when nobles ruled France.

Big rivers, like the Loire and the Seine, provide water for French farms. Canals connect the major rivers in France. People can travel on this network of waterways. The canals are like an extra set of highways.


Vineyards and dairy farms in the countryside produce products for which France is best known. Vineyards grow grapes that are made into wine. Cheese comes from the dairy farms.

France produces more wine than any other country in the world. Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne are important grape-growing regions in France. All three have given their names to kinds of wine.

France also is known for producing some of the best cheeses in the world. They include Camembert, chèvre (made from goat’s milk), and Roquefort.


Three-fourths of the people of France live in cities and towns. France has ports, such as Marseille, and factory towns, such as Lyon. Paris, however, is by far the most important French city. About 10 million people live in and around this lively and lovely city.

Artists have long been drawn to Paris. A famous art movement called impressionism was born here. The best-known museum in France—the Louvre—is in Paris. The Louvre contains one of the world’s most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

Tourists also love Paris for its nightlife, restaurants, and sidewalk cafés. They flock to see beautiful buildings such as Notre Dame, a huge church that is more than 700 years old. They visit the Eiffel Tower, a Paris landmark that’s nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) high.


Paris was founded more than 2,000 years ago. It was just a small town until the ad 800s. At that time, France was the western part of a big empire built by a tribe called the Franks. The greatest king of the Franks was Charlemagne. He ruled from 768 to 814. After his death, his three grandsons divided his empire. The western part eventually became France.

For about four centuries, the kings of France had little power. During a conflict with England, the French came to think of themselves as a nation. The conflict, known as the Hundred Years’ War, lasted from 1337 to 1453. After the war, the power of the French king began to grow.

The king’s power peaked with Louis XIV, who ruled from 1643 to 1715. He was known as the Sun King because he took the Sun—the brightest star in our sky—as his symbol. Louis XIV built the world’s grandest palace at Versailles, just outside Paris. All over Europe, people came to think of Paris as a center for art, culture, and fun.


The fun didn’t last. The king and the members of his court lived splendidly, but the French people were dreadfully poor. In 1789, the poor rebelled. They overthrew the king and the nobles. They demanded liberty and equality for all. These events began the French Revolution, which lasted until 1799.

After the revolution, a military leader named Napoleon seized power in France. He led French armies as they conquered much of Europe. Britain and Russia joined forces to defeat him.


France remains a powerful and lively country. It is one of the most important countries in the United Nations. It is also a leading power in the European Union, an organization of European countries. Tourists never tire of Paris and other places in France. More people visit France each year than live there!

Well that is it for the list of interesting facts about France.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pharmacy technician at Pharmacy-Career-Training

One of the fastest growing areas of employment today is the field of medical careers. As more people become aware of health in general, and show concern for the state of their own current and future health, the demand for professionals in this field increases. The demand for health professionals is also increasing due to the fact that the nation’s largest population, the baby boom generation, is rapidly approaching old age. As more of these citizens need constant or increased care and supervision, growth will occur exponentially between 2002 and 2012 (around 16.3 for all areas of the industry), especially in the areas of nursing home workers (35%), and home health care aides (56%).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Interesting | Unusual | Fun Facts About New Zealand

Interesting and Unusual Facts About New Zealand:

interesting picture new zealand facts
Before we go to the interesting facts about New Zealand, let's have a brief introduction to New Zealand to somehow add some spice. New Zealand has such a varied landscape combining many of the attractions of Europe and America – from the spectacular Alpine mountains and Fjords of South Island, to the almost sub tropical rain forests and scenic beaches on North Island – and do not forget the bubbling thermal springs and geysers at Rotorua. Add in the delight of the vineyards often offering superb restaurants and seafood and you have an instant Tourist love affair. In Spring (November to December) flowers and blossom abound and the native lupin flowers are a burst of colour along river beds and lake areas. With the best possible fresh seafood, lamb and beef on their doorstep one could be forgiven for thinking of culinary treats. Maybe our experience was a poor selection or too fussy but New Zealand restaurants can be disappointing – they are either reminiscent of UK food in the 1960’s or in the reverse are far too experimental and the results can be a disastrous mix of nouveau cuisine and a dogs dinner. Not surprising then that fish and chips is the national dish!

* The indigenous Maori name of New Zealand is ‘New Zealand Aotearoa’. Translated into English, it means ‘New Zealand, The Land of the Long White Cloud’.

* New Zealand gained independence from Great Britain in the year 1907.
* New Zealand is located in the Oceania Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies around 1500 km to the south-east of Australia.
* New Zealand is part of 'The Pacific Rim of Fire'. Mount Ruapehu, situated in central North Island, is the most active volcano of the country.
* New Zealand is spread over an area of approximately 268,021 sq km and its coastline is around 15,134 km long.
* The official languages of New Zealand are English and Te Reo Maori.
* New Zealand was the first democracy in the West that gave women the right to vote.
* As far as the geography of New Zealand is concerned, 30 percent comprises of forests.
* Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand.
* Dunedin city of New Zealand boast of housing the country’s oldest university, first newspaper and first botanical gardens.
* Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mt Everest, was a citizen of New Zealand.
* New Zealand Dollar (NZ$) is amongst the least stable currencies in the OECD.
* New Zealand has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world, with 2.5 million cars for 4 million people.
* New Zealand has won the most Olympic gold medals, per capita, amongst all the participant countries.
* New Zealand is amongst the top five dairy exporters in the world. Combined with the other four biggest exporters, it supplies around 90 percent of dairy products on the international market.
* New Zealand is home to the largest flightless parrot (kakapo), oldest reptile (tuatara), biggest earthworms, smallest bats, heaviest insect (a weta), some of the oldest trees and many rarest species birds, insects, and plants, in the world.
* New Zealand, before European arrival, had no predatory animals. Thus, it was like a heaven for birds, many of them flightless.
* The share of New Zealand in the world exports of sheep meat is around 54 percent.
* To become a New Zealand citizen, you must swear an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth.
* New Zealand claims the longest place name (85 letters) in the world - Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu - which means: 'The hilltop ,where Tamatea with big knees, conqueror of mountains, eater of land, traveller over land and sea, played his koauau to his beloved'.
* New Zealand's national symbol: is the flightless and fast disappearing Kiwi that lends it's name to the people of our nation. See Kiwi Links below... Also the Silver Fern - more associated with our national sports teams.
* New Zealand is home to Sir Edmund Hillary - the first European to climb Mount Everest.
* New Zealand was the first western democracy to give women the vote - a battle lead by Kate Sheppard in the 1890's.
* Favourite sport: Rugby - our national team, The All Blacks, are the 'winningest' rugby team in the world having won over 73% of their test matches over the years.
* New Zealand invented bungee jumping.
* New Zealand has a huge number of cars: 2.5 m for 4.1 m people.
* New Zealand has won more Olympic gold medals, per capita, than any other country.
* New Zealand had no predatory animals prior to European arrival, making it a paradise for birds - many of them flightless.
* New Zealand has the world's largest flightless parrot - the Kakapo; the worlds oldest reptile - a relic of Gondwanaland called the Tuatara; the biggest earthworms; the smallest bats - the only native land mammals; the heaviest insect - the Weta; some of the oldest trees; and some of the rarest birds, insects, and plants in the world.
* With 2.5 million cars for four million people, including children, New Zealand's car ownership rate is one of the world's highest.
* New Zealanders make only about 2% of their journeys by bus and fewer than 1% by rail.
* The highest rainfall in a year in New Zealand was a drenching 18.4 metres (60 feet) in 1997-1998 at Cropp River on the west of the South Island. By contrast, the lowest rainfall was a miserly 167 mm (6.6 inches) in 1963-1964 at Alexandra, Central Otago.
* NZ roads don't need to be salted so cars rust very slowly. Around a fifth of cars are less than seven years old. Two thirds of cars are between seven and 16 years old. And around a sixth of cars are more than 16 years old.
* Little known amongst facts about New Zealand is that 22% of its residents were born overseas. This compares with 24% in Australia, 20% in Canada, 12% in the USA and 8% in the UK.
* New Zealand is one of the top five dairy exporters in the world. The top five countries supply around 90 percent of dairy products on the international market. There are over nine million beef and dairy cattle in NZ.
* One fact about New Zealand that is a relief to all Kiwis is that New Zealand's sheep are free of scrapie. Scrapie is a brain disease similar to BSE that's present in sheep in many other countries. It's thought BSE was caused by scrapie jumping the "species barrier" from sheep to cows. Cattle in NZ are free of BSE.
* "New Zealanders who go to Australia raise the IQ of both countries." Former NZ Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, who made this superbly cutting comment, did not provide any numbers to back it up. Unfortunately, therefore, we cannot claim it as a true New Zealand fact.

Fun Facts About New Zealand:

* There is no tree on Auckland's One Tree Hill
* Ninety-Mile Beach is only 65 miles long
* "Kiwi" is used to describe either a native or the natural bird
* Ostrich steak and black swan carpaccio taste nothing like chicken
* The Maori name of New Zealand is Aoteroa, which means "Land of the Long White Cloud."
* Despite their linkage in the popular imagination, New Zealand is actually some 1,000 miles from Australia
* One ski resort near Queenstown is called the reamarkables. Another mountain near Lake Wanaka is called Mount Aspiring, which must have a ways to reach remarkable status.
* The Otaga wineries constitute the southernmost wine-growing area in the world. New Zealand wines are drunk young, with pinot noirs and sauvignon blanc being particularly outsdanding. Hawke's Bay and Marlborough are the two largest wine centers.
* Distance on the courses are marked in meters; add 10 percent to convert to yards. Where fairways have markers, they are generally at 180, 135 and 90 meters-roughly 200, 150 and 100 yards. However, sometimes these distances are to the middle of the green; sometimes they're to the front. Always check the card or ask the pro.

About New Zealand:

New Zealand, island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, located south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, and marking the eastern boundary of the Tasman Sea, a portion of the Pacific Ocean that separates New Zealand and the nearest large landmass, Australia, by a distance of about 1,600 km (1,000 mi). New Zealand includes two large islands that constitute most of its landmass, as well as numerous small islands. New Zealand administers two overseas territories, Tokelau and Ross Dependency (in Antarctica). The self-governing entities of Niue and the Cook Islands are in free association with New Zealand, which handles their foreign affairs and defense as requested.

Country Statistics

New Zealand is known for its scenic landscapes of snowcapped mountains and rolling green pastures. Its image as a farming outpost stems from the traditional importance of agriculture to the economy as well as the low population density in most areas. However, the majority of New Zealanders live in urban areas, and many now earn a living in service industries such as tourism. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington. The largest and most cosmopolitan city is Auckland.

British Empire

Polynesians first settled the islands of New Zealand about 800 to 1,000 years ago. According to legend, they named the islands Aotearoa (“Land of the Long White Cloud”). Their descendants are the Maori. The first European settlers came from the United Kingdom, arriving in increasing numbers after New Zealand became a colony of the British Empire in 1840. Until the mid-20th century the non-Maori population of New Zealand was predominantly European in origin. Since then many people have migrated from the Pacific Islands and Asia, and the ethnic composition of the country is becoming more diverse. In 1907 New Zealand became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire. Now an independent nation, New Zealand maintains close ties with the United Kingdom as a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations, but increasingly it sees its identity as a nation in the Pacific and Asia.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

OnlineSlotsCity - home of the best online slots!

Slot machines nowadays are also making its mark as one the most played game in the gambling world. Not excluding the online realm, as far as most people are aware of that online slots are actually the most played game in an online casino.

The thing is, it is easier to play slots online than offline. Game experience is just a click away! And I know the right place where you can find the best slots online in a particular online casino. is a site where reliable reviews of a wide range of online casinos are provided in order give significant informations specifically on online casinos offering the best online slots game. The site has a variety of lists like the Best Online Slots, Most Voted Online Slots, and Online Slots with Best Bonuses. A fine lists of online slots that are available for US gamblers is also offered. Beginners can also find information on how to play the online slots gambling game and other different types of online slots, provided with plenty of online slot reviews.

So why not try it yourself and see how it satisfies your cravings on online slots!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

List of best web hosting company

Web hosting as we all know is getting more popular as times goes by. As online users are getting more oriented about the web, the need of web hosting companies are also increasing its demand. Kaushal Sheth, I'm not quite familiar with but I heard that he is finding the best web hosting companies online, and he is open for suggestions and reviews about the best web hosting company, in which he could add it on his list of best web hosting company that he is currently making.

Well as for me, this I can suggest. BlueHost Web Hosting. BlueHost provides a hosting solution that can fit the needs of individuals and small to medium sized business owners. For anyone looking for a nice hosting plan at a very affordable price, they offer an excellent solution. BlueHost offers quality customer service and support. Their support staff is highly knowledgeable and very friendly. Bluehost uses quality hosting equipment so that they can offer reliable hosting solutions. This hosting plan offers a nice amount of disk space and bandwidth at a low cost. Their hosting solution includes many features and applications as well as a free domain name. Their one size hosting plan also offers ecommerce features, multimedia features, site promotion features and more. For any individual or small to even medium sized business website, BlueHost can often be an excellent cost. It is an especially great service for customers who do not have a great deal to spend on hosting each month but who are still looking for highly reliable hosting solutions. BlueHost provides excellent hosting services that are of a high quality and very reliable. Their support staff is always there to help customers and potential clients every step of the way. In my experience with BlueHost they are absolutely superb. They provide a wonderful service at such a low monthly fee. High quality, reliability and excellent customer service are all qualities one benefits from when hosting with BlueHost web hosting.

BlueHost Plan Overview

- 15,000 GB Transfer
- 1,500 GB Disk Space
- 2500 Pop e-Mails
- CGI, PHP, Frontpage
- e-Commerce enabled
- Host 6 Websites
- 24/7 Support
- Free Setup
- Free Domain


Well that's it for me Kaushal Seth. I hope this helps and might even included in your list of best web hosting companies.

Monday, March 24, 2008

List of best online casinos available at Online Casino List dot com

The best casinos online has never been this easy to find. If you love to gamble on an online casino, be sure to gamble only on the best casinos online. Don't waste your time and precious money spending on online casinos which gives you a gaming experience you don't deserve.

There are more or less 3000 online casinos, and I'm sure you want to have the very best casinos online among that huge number of online casinos to fall into your hands and start gambling. Well, fortunately for you there is a site which pain stickingly reviewed a number of online casinos just to give you a bigger and clearer picture behind a particular online casino. With that you can chose what best suits your taste., a site where reviews of lots of online casino are presented, leaving you to decide what is the best casinos online. A team of 20 editors are reviewing top online casinos and rating them in terms of welcome bonuses offered, Payout time, graphics, game play, speed, security and many more. And not only that, by playing the casinos reviewed at their site will give you the best chance of finding one you're happy with in a short time. At just a glance of their guides you can see most important features and information needed to start playing online with the best welcome bonus on offer. No need to argue because it's you, the one who chooses what is best for you.

Try and feel the game experience, trust score and bonuses offered by each casino to satisfy what you are really longing for. You can visit their full list of over 60 best online casinos for a quick reference.

And now for the interesting part... One of the interesting fact about gambling is that, it doesn't matter how you pick your numbers. Your odds of winning are always the same. The selection of the winning numbers is purely by chance. Each number will always have the same chance of being selected meaning there is no system for picking lottery numbers. It's all by chance and luck.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Effective male enhancement products

Well, lets get this straight and fast... Are you having problems with that small penis of yours? Do you? Well, you might as well get the most effective penis enlarger, penis stretcher or penis extender available on earth. But be careful, there are still those who claimed their product to be effective, yet turned out into dead air. Be sure not to be hasty instead be picky on any male enhancement products.

There is one that I can recommend that really helped a lot of people. The X4 Penis Extender is one of the only penile enlargement devices to have undergone pharmaceutical studies and to be medically certified. Penis extenders have proven themselves as a viable non-surgical instrument to provide significant increases in penis size, both length and girth.

Don't let that tiny little mojo of yours left unrecognized amidst the vast pleasures you deserve!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sell and rent back in UK, made easy at TheAdvisory

If you're from UK, well I believe you are really having difficulty regarding quick house sale if ever you're concern with that. Am I right?

Well, just a little but very helpful information you might need. Have you already heard about TheAdvisory at UK? If not, you're just about to meet the UK's favourits FREE resource of expert property advice! One of their primary goals is to help UK homeowners obtain the BEST DEAL from cash house buying (or sell and rent-back) companies. They will show you who can stop house repossession in 2hrs and also show you who can stop your eviction order.

That are just the very tip of the help you can get at TheAdvisory with to selling properties at UK. Visit them yourself and no doubt you will really appreciate their services.

Some facts to consider before selling your house:

-The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price is. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this long…there must be something wrong with the home.

-Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid FSBO properties.

-Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.

-The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced real estate professionals.

-Many serious buyers will pass by a FSBO home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream, this can some times make them wary.

-Expected savings in broker's fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate agents to bring potential buyers.

-If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, then your lawyer’s fees will be considerably higher.

-You only pay the commission to the real estate broker, if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Auto, Home, Health, Life Insurace: Why need it?

Is having a car worries you? How about having a home, does it worry you more? Well, not to mention the health problems. Wheeew, all in all, are you worried about your life? Thats a question you really had to answer with the right expression of your face. =)

Insurance... How do you define insurance by the way? Well on the dectionary it says, "A promise of compensation for specific potential future losses in exchange for a periodic payment. Insurance is designed to protect the financial well-being of an individual, company or other entity in the case of unexpected loss". Well, it is not stated there that insurance is a friend you can cry on to, a comforter or something. Insurance won't make us stop feeling alone, it won't provide the warmth of family and it is not someone you can hang out with. However, insurance will always have your back. Insurance is there to protect you from all the worst things that could possibly happen to you.

ez-insuranceportal, they got it all covered for you. Auto, Home, Health, and Life insurance. You might not need it now, but you cant also tell when you'll going to need it. That is why it is called insurance. Right? Well I will just site some words why you need insurance. Lets see, how about home? Okay, your home is your livelihood. It is where your family lives, it is where you go from refuge from the world, it my very well be the only piece of property you ever own. Bad things can happen to houses, from theft to vandalism to natural damage. Wouldn’t you want a guarantee on something as important as your house? Home owners insurance can assure the safety of your house so you never have to worry about losing your most valuable asset. Convinced?

Home insurance... Know more about it at ez-insuranceportal.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Money NOW with Payday Loan

Money, cash, dollar, molah, kwarta, ug uban pang makalilisang nga mananap! Whatever you call it. Nowadays people are getting more impatient when talking about money. You know what's in their head? It's like this "MONEY = NOW, FAST, INSTANT, LIGHTNING SPEED!". Thats a new vocabulary for them. Whooow... Slow down cowboy! You might want to consider a payday loan if thats the case.

Payday loans have grown in popularity for years, and now this is the main tool of assistance to get you out of that sticky situation or get you that new luxury toy. A payday loan is a short-term loan to cover your spending needs. It is secured against your future paycheck. Within this site you can make payday advances with faxless, fast and easy, and more of that yours transaction will be private, confidential and secure, no body will know that you made a payday loan. Even in getting a payday loan, it sure, we would rather choose the one service that can give us what we need, fast and with excellent service. provides just that and more.

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