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Fast Facts


Photo
Illustration by Jennifer Kearney
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, December 5, 2005
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Things you've always never wanted to know

  • A wolf's odor-detecting ability is 100 times greater than a human's.

  • Acorn, banana, buttercup, butternut, carnival, delicata, golden nugget, Hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti, sweet dumpling, turban and pumpkin are varieties of winter squash.

  • In Sweden, it is a breech of etiquette to toast your host or anyone who is your senior in rank or age until after they toast you.

  • The world's fastest reptile (measured on land) is the spiny-tailed iguana of Costa Rica. It has been clocked at 21.7 mph.

  • According to legend, Pablo Picasso was born dead. His midwife left him on a table. Picasso's uncle brought him to life with a lung full of cigar smoke.

  • The breed of the Thoroughbred horse is only about 300 years old, although horse racing has been popular in England since Roman times and can be traced back to Central Asia among prehistoric nomads.

  • Rubber bands were first made by Perry and Co. of London in 1845.

  • In Milwaukee during the 1900s, 12,500 horses in the city left an estimated 133 tons of manure and urine on the streets per year.

  • New York was the first state to require the licensing of motor vehicles. The law was adopted in 1901.

  • TV's popular cartoon duo Rocky and Bullwinkle represented a number of General Mills cereals from 1959 to 1970: Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Jets and Trix.

  • Variations in color in pearls are still a mystery, but some experts believe that high water temperatures contribute a golden cast to some pearls.

  • Cats have no ability to taste sweet things.

  • The penny is the only coin currently minted in the U.S. with a profile that faces to the right. All other coins - the silver dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime and nickel - feature profiles that face to the left.

  • In January 1987, San Francisco station KRON-TV became the first major market TV station in the country to air a condom commercial.

  • The biggest fear of chefs who cook for world leaders is food poisoning. Many cook for as many as 5,500 guests at a time. Sudhir Sibal, a devoted world-class chef who serves India's prime minister, says he personally samples all food first before it is served.

  • Though he had never seen a clock, Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) was able to make a clock in 1754 that ran accurately for a score of years. Banneker was a mathematician, astronomer, surveyor of the District of Columbia and almanac publisher.



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