You feel let down, when you find out that the really interesting stuff that you've learned turns out to be untrue. Take Chop Suey. For years I have known that this is not a traditional Chinese dish, but something created in the early years of the twentieth century in San Francisco. Now a recipe has been found, which proves it to be a traditional Chinese dish after all.
Jack Palance, who died this week, was, for many years, known to have owed his trademark looks to plastic surgery during the war. Now it turns out that this was a myth put out by the publicity machine, and his looks were due to his Ukrainian heritage, nothing more.
A duck's quack does echo, and Flobadob is not the sound of boys farting in the bath.
I'm beginning to wonder if any of the fascinating facts I've collected over the years are actually true, or is the real world so dull that urban legends are the only way to maintain interest. What will happen when programmes such as QI and Mythbusters have disposed of the last so-called fascinating fact? Will there be any mystery left?
I won't let it happen. Off the top of my head, to celebrate the premiere of Casino Royale, some James Bond related trivia.
Dr John Dee, the famous Elizabethan magician, worked for her secret service. His number? 007!
Rudyard Kipling wrote a short story called .007. It's like an early version of Thomas the Tank Engine, with talking engines.