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The Independent Online
ODD PRECISION: Days of our age - three score years and ten (Psalm 90, v10); miles to Babylon by candlelight - three score and ten; amount of wool on a black sheep - three bags full; minimum space per customer in restaurants - one square metre (Licensing Act); temperature to burn books - Farenheit 451; minimum height to join Royal Ulster Constabulary - 172cm (m) 162cm (f) with chest 'proportionate'; final rest - six feet under; Gradgrind's horse - 'Quadruped. Graminivorous. 40 teeth, namely 24 grinders, 4 eye-teeth and 12 incisive' (Hard Times); Cadbury's dairy milk chocolate - glass and a half of full cream milk; distance from Tulsa to irrevocably change your life - 'only 24 hours'; amount to love someone who makes your life a misery and a wreck - 'a bushel and a peck' (Guys and Dolls); recipe for genius - 1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration (Thomas Edison); banana - five and a half inches by one inch with correct curvature (European Union).

TODAY is the feast day of Saint Finbar, founder of Cork in the seventh century and its first bishop. His life and death were marked by surprising wonders. On returning from a visit to Rome he passed through Wales to see St David, who, since Finbar had no boat, lent him a horse to return across the sea to Ireland. On a later visit to Rome, Pope Gregory was about to make Finbar a bishop, but had a vision that God wished to do it himself. So Finbar returned to Ireland where in full view of onlookers he was temporarily flown up into heaven to be anointed while oil poured forth from the ground. Once, sitting under a hazel bush talking about God, the catkins turned to hazel nuts before his very eyes. When Finbar died the sun didn't set for a fortnight.

25 September 1066: Harold II of England defeated Harald of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, 19 days before being killed at the Battle of Hastings.

1660: First recorded mention of a cup of tea being drunk in England. Samuel Pepys records in his diary: 'To the office where Sir W Batten, Collonel Slingsby, and I sat a while; and Sir R Ford coming to us about some business, we talked together of the interest of this kingdom to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland - where Sir R Ford talked like a man of great reason and experience. And afterwards did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink of which I never had drank before) and went away.'

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