TalksForTeens Fast Facts And Trivia Directory

Browse our short fast facts that are apolitical, free of bias and to-the-point, covering a wide range of non-curricular topics of what is new, relevant and exciting in the 2020s.

Life Skills Fast Facts

5 ways junk foods affect the brain, according to Dr Amy Reichelt, Neuroscientist

  • Junk food reduces cognitive ability and eventually IQ.
  • Junk food reduces the growth of new neurons.
  • The perfect mix between sugar, salt and fat in junk food – also called the bliss point – is designed to connect instantly to the reward circuits in our brain and hence makes junk foods so hyper addictive.
  • Junk food creates a instant sugar high which can lead to impulsive behaviour.
  • The main junk food culprits? Burgers, hotdogs and French fries (sigh).
Finance Fast Facts

Inflation and Interest Rates November 2022

  • Inflation means that £1 pound today will be worth less next year by the rate of inflation. Inflation must be countered by interest rates.
  • Interest rates are set by the Central Bank, whose job it is to control inflation and the quantity of money in the economy.
  • UK inflation in 1975 was 24.24%. UK average inflation for 2021 was 5.4%.
  • UK inflation over the last 100 years has been 4.08% on an average (source ONS).
  • UK interest rates today are 3.0%. US interest rates are 4.0% Euro interest rates are 2.0%.
  • UK inflation is 11.1%, US inflation is 8.5%. The Eurozone inflation is 10.7%
  • The current loss of purchasing power or REAL RATES (in economic lingo) now are:
  • UK – 8.1% (+3%-11.1%)
  • US – 4.5% (+4%-8.5%)
  • Europe - 8.70% (+2%-10.7%)
Finance Fast Facts

The Role of the Treasury

The Treasury is responsible for handling:

  1. Economic policy;
  2. Financial services;
  3. The tax system
  4. The management of the economy.

The Treasury decides on and is responsible for public spending on infrastructure (roads, bridges, ports etc), schools and hospitals (NHS).

The Treasury pays for public spending by:

  1. Raising taxes on individuals (via income tax, NHS contributions, property tax and capital gains tax) and businesses (via corporation tax), and by
  2. Borrowing on the capital markets.

The UK now has a total debt of almost £2.4 trillion, which is just about 103% of GDP, meaning we spent 3% more than we earned collectively. In 2016 the UK still made 15% more than it spent.

In comparison, the US has a $30.5 trillion national debt, equalling 127% of GDP.

Life Skills Fast Facts

Life Skills

  • All the cool stuff happens when you do things that are not the automatic next step.
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, to have a healthy disregard for the impossible and to turn well-worn ideas on their head.
  • People at the top work harder than those around them.
  • The primary barriers to success are self-imposed.
  • Quitting something can be very empowering.
  • You don’t have to figure everything out yourself. Observing and learning from others can significantly reduce your failure rate.
  • The harder you work, the luckier you get.
  • Know how to apologise; it allows for immediate damage control.
  • Only pick 3 priorities at any given time.

Source: What I Wish I Knew When I was 20. By Tuna Seelig 2009

Business & Startups Fast Facts

Why do startups fail?

  • 42% fails because there was no market need for the company.
  • 29% runs out of cash.
  • 23% have the wrong team or can’t work well together.
  • 19% are outcompeted.
  • 17% has no adequate business model.

Read about what it takes to start a business here.

Finance Fast Facts

Tips for saving

  • You can never start saving early enough. Really.
  • Build the discipline of putting away a small sum every week.
  • Saving is hugely satisfying and helps build budget skills.
  • Having some money for a rainy day boosts mental health.
  • Get some interest on a savings account (1%, better than nothing)
  • And old-fashioned piggy bank is also good as you can literally see how every little bit helps.

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