...last night I learned that I need to know more about Napoleon the Third and the Second Empire.
I've also been tracing down some interesting information on Marseilles. I didn't realize it was founded by Greeks and Phoenicians.
Finally, I'm really, really surprised to find out how many minority languages there are in France: Breton, Alsatian, and Catalan, among others. It's amazing that these languages have survived hundreds of years into modern times.
That's today's set of factoids. (That, and it would be cool to study Catalan in France or Spain to get real solid insight into Mercedes' character, but we'd best not go that far.)