Ten things you didn’t know last week

Courtesy of Askten.co.uk

1. Investors who obeyed the old market dictum ‘Sell in May’ did well this year. The FTSE 100 has fallen by around 15% since the end of April. But following the second part of the adage – come back on St Leger’s day (the mid-September horse race) – doesn’t look like a good idea this time round. Neither the short- nor the long-term outlook for the blue-chip index is promising. askten.co.uk

2. The massive new Westfield Stratford City mall – with its 300 shops, 70 restaurants and bars, a 17-screen cinema and 1.9m square feet of retail space – opened on Tuesday in Stratford at the site of next year’s Olympic Games, at a time when one in seven shops in Britain are boarded up as retailers struggle. Guardian

3. The pitch of a voice is very important to women looking for a long-term partner – the deeper the better. They use it to assess genetic quality as well as behavioral traits such as antisocial behaviour and lack of emotional warmth. University of Aberdeen

4. A total of 10.7million Britons phone home once a week. While Britons also contact friends and family via Facebook an average of 3.2 times a week, the home phone was used just 1.6 times per week for that purpose. Guardian

5. Britain’s new-build homes are the smallest in Western Europe and many are too small for family life, says a new report by RIBA. In Ireland, new homes are 87.7 sq m (15% bigger), Netherlands are 115.5 sq m (53% bigger) and Denmark are 137 sq m (80% bigger). Royal Institute of British Architects

6. The cost of renting a home rose at its fastest rate in a year – with the average tenant paying £713 a month. Tenants paid 1.2% more on average to rent a property in the UK in August than they did in July. Office for National Statistics

7. Jobseekers who cannot speak English will be required to take language courses or risk losing their benefits. Separately the Commons public accounts committee has questioned whether the Department of Work and Pensions can make projected savings of £2.7bn by 2015. BBC

8. The costs related to death, such as a funeral and a headstone, have collectively risen by £400 in a year to £7,248. The cost is 20% higher than four years ago, according to the report commissioned by Sun Life Direct. Times

9. David Walliams raised £1.1m for Sport Relief by swimming 140 miles of the River Thames in the course of eight days. BBC

10. Did you know that there are only two sequences of four consecutive letters that can be found in the English language: rstu and mnop. Examples of each are understudy and gymnophobia.

Follow @askten on Twitter for interesting daily facts.

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