Hobson's Choice

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The Independent Culture
Number of times the Europa Hotel in Belfast has closed down (despite being bombed 36 times):

1

Amount that house prices rose in Northern Ireland last year:

12 per cent

Ranking of the Republic of Ireland among the world's largest software exporters:

2

Volume of Kim Il Sung's collected works published by the North Korean government this year to coincide with the fifth anniversary of his death:

26th

Number of years the Academie Francaise has taken compiling the ninth edition of its authoritative dictionary of the French language, which has reached the letter `m':

64

Number of foods, at least, documented as causing allergic reactions:

170

Percentage increase in total food demand if there is a 10 per cent increase in per capita advertising of a food category:

0.0002

Amount Heinz is spending on changing its tomato-ketchup bottle to give it a "global visual identity":

$50m

According to "retail anthropologists", who base their findings on hours of videotapes of shoppers, the percentage of shoppers who buy some items if they pick up a basket:

75

Percentage of shoppers who buy some items if they do not pick up a basket in a shop:

34

Number of feet inside a shop entrance which shoppers breeze through without taking anything in before they get their bearings, prompting retail anthropologists to call it a "decompression zone":

30

Number of eggs of the extinct Aepyornis maximus or elephant-bird - each valued at $1,600 - recently discovered by customs at Le Havre in containers shipped from Madagascar:

315

Height of the Aepyornis maximus, which lived on Madagascar around 2,000 BC and had a body like an ostrich and a head and neck like a dinosaur:

3 metres

SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN, FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL, LLOYD'S LIST, FORTUNE, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, MANAGEMENT TODAY, FOOD INGREDIENTS AND ANALYSIS INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, PACKAGING NEWS, FORTUNE, LLOYD'S LIST.

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