As part of Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival this year we invited theatre company Slung Low to bring The Knowledge Emporium to Gloucester Green for the weekend to join a variety of activities organised by Arts at the Old Fire Station.
Based in a 1960’s airstream caravan The Knowledge Emporium is a sweet shop with a difference; instead of taking money it trades sweets for knowledge and across Friday and Saturday over 500 Oxford residents and visitors dropped off their knowledge in the Big Book of Everything We Know. Because so much knowledge was received in Oxford, far too much to share everything during the Sunday live performance, we’ve decided to share some of it online as well. But remember: knowledge is not the same as fact. Facts are things that are true whereas knowledge is information acquired through experience, education or an understanding…
Until the ages of 9 months, all babies babble the same language no matter what part of the world they are from, their coo-ing is all the same.
It took 2.5 million years for the human population to reach 5 billion. It only took 20 years to add another 2 billion.
Oxford is the most expensive place to buy a house in the UK compared to salaries and has more homelessness per capita than any London borough.
There used to be a royal palace on Gloucester Green. Richard the Lion Heart and King John were born here.
Alice from Alice in Wonderland was a real person and lived in Oxford.
Yoda was initially meant to look like Albert Einstein.
Original joke by Lola, age 8: Why is my dog so floppy? Because he ate all his bones.
A frankfurter will last 3 years in a landfill.
You can hypnotise a hen by drawing a line of white chalk on the floor.
There was an Egyptian Pharaoh of Egypt was a woman. She was a good and powerful leader and bit by bit she declared herself a man, she had statues made of herself with a beard. She didn't live in Oxford though!
You can never be unhappy in a poncho.
Horses can't throw up.
You may have noticed that the Martyr's Memorial on St. Giles looks a little like the spire of a Cathedral. According to an old Oxford legend, students used to trick gullible tourists and tell them that it actually is the spire of a cathedral which had sunk into the ground. They would offer, for a small fee, to show them how to access the hidden underground entrance... then direct them to the steps down to the left of the statue which lead to public toilets.
Don't overvalue straight lines.
Male sharks have 2 reproductive organs so that they have a spare if one is lost in battle.
The longest word in the English language is 47 letters long and is: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconosis
Hand knitted socks are the best ever. They are warm, beautiful and made with love for all you family and friends.
Cats stick their tails up when they like you.
Where there is tea, there is hope.
Human cells have 46 chromosomes per cell but an adder's tongue has a massive 1,260 chromosomes per cell!
What creeps around a bakery at Christmas? A mince-spy!
Computers don't really know anything, they just compute.
Humans are only born with the help of a virus! Babies use a virus protein to hide from the mum's immune system.
Never eat anything bigger than your own hand!
The University of Oxford has been in existence for almost one thousand years.
What do you call a 3-legged donkey? A wonkey-donkey!
First socks, THEN shoes.
There are more tigers left in the world than Great White sharks. There are less than 700 Great Whites left in the ocean.
A bee has to visit a flower two million times to make a pound of honey.
Dairy cows can produce 30 litres of milk a day.
If you place a single piece between both of your thumbs and press so they pull and blow through the gap- you should make a peacock sound.
Cats have 32 muscles in each ear.
Did you know that about 2000 litres of water are needed to produce just one t-shirt?
The smallpox virus was one millionth of a millimetre thick.
There is one humpback whale in the ocean called the “lonely whale” that communicates on a completely different frequency to any other whale and has spent decades in isolation.
In Victorian times the seahorse was believed to protect children from evil.
St. John's Wood is the only station on the London Underground network which doesn't contain a letter from the word 'mackerel'.
'Hiraeth' is the Welsh word for a longing for home and a sense of place linked to the Welsh landscape. It has no direct English translation.
Cultural and creative industries in the UK contribute more than 7 billion pounds a year to the economy.
If parking on double yellow lines was made punishable by death, and therefore no one did it- would this be a just and effective law?
You can make a really good sponge cake in a microwave! Put all your regular ingredients in the microwave for 6 minutes.
Crocodiles have been around longer than trees.
A man wrote a whole book without using the letter E.
Why couldn't the pianist unlock the piano?Because the keys were inside!
A hurricane has all the power needed to power the USA for 3 years.
Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Bluebirds can't see the colour blue.
There are more germs under your nails than on a toilet seat.
The first dinosaur was found in Oxfordshire and was later named a Plesiusaurus.
The wingspan of a Boeing 747 is longer than the Wright brother's first flight.
Don't feed your rats poppy seeds because they are poisonous to them.
An octopus can ooze through a hole the size of its eyeball.
Honey never goes off.
Dogs can't track smells over water.
There are 5,000 people living with motor neuron disease in the UK. 85% of people living with the disease lose their voice.
The bow-head whale never stops growing because its backbone never fuses.
Atoms are 90% empty space so if you condensed humans into compacted matter, the whole race would fit into a sugar cube.
Slugs have 4 noses.
Mangos are the most eaten fruit on earth. They are twice as popular as apples globally.
Not many people know about Astons Eyot- it is a wonderful wild space, just off Iffley Road in East Oford. It used to be Oxford's rubbish dump and is now a wildlife haven. An Eyot is an island in the middle of a river.
Where do sick ships go? To the Dock.
The Yew Berry is the most poisonous berry in the UK.
The filtrum (under the nose) is the last bit of the face to form when we are in the womb.
The population of Switzerland is approximately the same size as London.
The only line on the London underground that connects with every other tube line is the Jubilee line.
Knowledge is wisdom in action.
Jaffa cakes are flavoured with apricot jam and not orange jam.
Lithuanian is the oldest surviving Indo-European language.
What is black, white, black, white, black, white? A panda in a revolving door.
Henry the 8th founded Christchurch College.
A certain type of crab can make gas bubbles as hot as the sun to kill prey.
Penguins have knees.
Elephants are the only mammals that can't physically jump.
There are more miles of canal in Birmingham than in Venice. A few more shopping trollies in there as well.
The universe is made of matter and anti-matter which is the same but with electric charges reversed. There should be an equal amount of each but there isn't. Almost everything in the universe is made of matter, we don't know why yet.
97.5% of the water on the Earth is salt water. Of the remaining 2.5%, only 1% of the water is in rivers, aquifers and lakes available for drinking.
Something I found out yesterday- it doesn't matter which cable is used to connect the TV and DVD player, the colours don't matter, who'd have thought it?
The Thames Valley police cover 2200 square miles.
Hello. I'm from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a very small city where 7 million people live. It's very crowded and the pace is super fast, you have to run on busy streets during peak hours- only joking. But you can't stop or people will run you over.
Chinchillas tails drop off if pulled. But they will grow back.
Polar bear has black skin under its white fur.
A group of Ocotopuses is called a consortium.
There are 9 tonal sounds in the Cantonese language.
St. Steven's chapel in Oxford has 2 chapels and 1 church.
If the Eiffel tower was 30 centimeters high, it would only weigh 7 grams.
Hippos have pink milk.
The Ashmoleian Museum is the oldest museum in the UK and the most visited outside of London.
In the English language there are various words that originate from the Aztec language, some examples are: chocolate, tomato and avocado.
A caterpillar doesn't grow wings when it goes into its chrysalis. The caterpillar's entire body liquifies and reforms into its mature form. The adult form still retains memories of its pre-chrysalis state, despite the body entirely disintegrating.
So now you know!