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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 05:33 GMT 06:33 UK
10 things we didn't know this time last week
10 matchboxes - by Steve Peters

It's easy to lose track of the news. So at the end of the week, it's good to keep an eye on some of those things which shouldn't go unnoticed.

If you spot something you think should be included next week, send it to us using the form at the bottom of the page.

1. SAS soldiers carry tampons and condoms in their emergency survival packs - but not for the purposes typically associated with these items. The tampon is used for kindling; the condom for carrying water.

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the first dual citizen to be elected governor in the United States. But he cannot - yet - run for president as candidates must be US-born. One of Arnie's political buddies, the Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, has put an amendment before the senate to change that.

3. Remember how Dennis Pennis said Arnie was "the biggest name in showbusiness"? His election certainly has Californian journos scratching their heads over how to squeeze that 14-letter surname into headlines. "Arnie" is too informal for the business of state government. Using his initials, a la JFK or IDS, is a no-go as his middle name is Alois. "AAS - not so good," says one newspaper man. "Editors like me across the state would have a sleepless night worrying about the possible typo."

4. More from the poor old battered world of weblogs. Only a few weeks ago, 10 Things told how only 21% of Americans with internet access knew what a blog was. Now a survey by Perseus has found that of the estimated four million weblogs that have ever been created, one million had not been updated since the day they were made. 2.7m had not been updated in two months. Fewer than 50,000 blogs were updated every day.

Woman walking past cash machines
Cash machine fraud is on the rise
5. PIN thieves need no longer peek over your shoulder before trying to half-inch your Switch card. Organised crime gangs now fit pinhole cameras to cash machines, and sit in a nearby car with a laptop linked to the camera.

6. In his time as Pope, John Paul has created 476 saints, more than all his predecessors combined.

7. Mice, goldfish, spiders, and even kittens are the unlucky stars of a new trend of snuff movie being made in the UK, animal welfare organisations warn. The films, known as squish or crunch movies, involve beautiful women killing the animals by a variety of methods, eg spearing them with a stiletto heel.

If you're in the UK, you can now see 10 Things at the weekend on Ceefax, page 129

8. Yet Britons profess to prefer pets to children. Only one in four adults said they had more affection for their kids than for Fido or Tiddles in a survey by the National Children's Bureau.

9. Military sonar may be giving whales and dolphins the bends - which could be the cause of many unexplained strandings and deaths. Zoologists say sonar signals may cause bubbles in the animals' tissue, in much the same way as divers can suffer decompression sickness.

10. Forget Jack and Chloe - parents are naming their babies after luxury brands. In 2000, Americans named 269 girls Chanel, 273 boys and 298 girls Armani, and 353 - all girls - Lexus. Chivas Regal, Evian and Guinness have also cropped up. Britons, too, have taken inspiration from the drinks cabinet - last year, 51 girls were named Chardonnay, and a further 14 Chardonay.

If you see something you think should be included next week, let us know using the form below.

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