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Royal Shakespeare Company reveals its high-tech tips: carrots, cereal and tea bags –
The Royal Shakespeare Company is to open up its archives for the first time, sharing the behind-the-scenes secrets that have made their most accomplished productions. Anyone hoping to hear the highest-tech tricks of the trade, however, may be in for a surprise, as they disclose techniques even a schoolboy could master. The RSC’s first permanent exhibition of its own archives will show visitors how the company uses carrot sticks, rice crispies, and glue to pull off specific special effects. It will also how it uses tea bags and water to age the look of ordinary paper to make it appear Elizabethan: a trick used by schools up and down the land. The visitor attraction, called The Play’s The Thing, will open in June 2016, making it the RSC’s first exhibition devoted to the making of Shakespeare plays. It will be part of the restoration of the Swan Wing, built in 1879 and the oldest part of the Stratford-Upon-Avon theatre. [Daily Telegraph]
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100 Things we didn’t know last year – by the BBC (34-66)
34. Chewing something can partially excise earworms – songs that stick in the mind.
35. Former UK Liberal Democrat party leader Lord Ashdown told his successor that he used to eat hedgehogs.
36. In north-eastern England, Conservative candidates used to wear red, Liberals blue and Labour green rosettes until the 1970s.
37. Larry King tweets by calling a dedicated voicemail, which is listened to by an assistant who then transcribes his thought to Twitter.
38. Mali has two tax rates – 3% and 30% – and you might be asked which you’d rather pay.
39. The world’s favourite colour is blue.
40. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke appears on the front of an Iranian self-help book about marital and sex problems.
41. Tom Cruise advised Nasa on how to design their website.
42. Drug dealers in Marseille offer loyalty cards.
43. The worst times to drink coffee are between 08:00-09:00, 12:00-13:00 and 17:30-18:30. The best is about an hour after waking up, regardless of the time.
44. The chances of a successful bank robbery are higher in the morning – but it’s also among the least lucrative crimes.
45. Iceland has the world’s happiest gay men.
46. Chinese authorities consider the phrase “your mum” too coarse for the internet.
47. There are only three non-gentrifying neighbourhoods in New York City.
48. Reddit has a very detailed 9,000-word guide to the dos and don’ts of giving away Game of Thrones spoilers.
49. Oliver Cromwell supposedly called the Magna Carta the “Magna Farta” – he didn’t like it.
50. Most kangaroos are left-handed.
51. Marvel Comics stipulates that Peter Parker must be white and straight but Spiderman can be of any ethnicity or sexual orientation.
52. The word “twerk” dates back to 1820.
53. Heaven exists but hell does not, according to the theology of Sepp Blatter.
54. UK officials discussed plans to relocate the entire 5.5 million population of Hong Kong to Northern Ireland in 1983.
55. Three-times F1 world champion Niki Lauda swapped his trophies for unlimited free car washes.
56. Playing Tetris for 12 minutes the day after a traumatic event can reduce flashbacks.
57. There are four main personality types into which people can be categorised when drunk: “Mary Poppins”, “Hemingway”, “Nutty Professor” and “Mr Hyde”.
58. Minions are all male because their creator believed they were too stupid to be female.
59. Nando’s is one of the biggest buyers of contemporary South African art.
60. In Ohio, it’s illegal to disrobe in front of a man’s portrait.
61. A UK court can determine how short your shorts should be.
62. Butt-dials aren’t considered private conversations in the US.
63. A baby is born on its predicted due date just 4% of the time.
64. For three months, Leicestershire police didn’t investigate attempted burglaries if they occurred at odd-numbered properties.
65. Reindeer migration is a major live television event in Norway.
66. Real Paleolithic people, contrary to some of the followers of the fashionable modern diet named after them, appear to have eaten plenty of carbohydrates.
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