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Fast facts


Photo
Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • Residents of Toledo, in the critical swing state of Ohio, have been barraged with 14,273 televised commercials on the presidential race in the past two months, more than any other city in the nation.

  • Sight accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all sensory perception. The average person's field of vision is 180 degrees.

  • The nose cleans, warms and humidifies over 500 cubic feet of air every day.

  • Marco Polo reported seeing many pairs of eyeglasses worn by the Chinese as early as 1275, 500 years before lens grinding became an art in the West.

  • Kilts are not native to Scotland. They originated in France.

  • The shoestring was invented in England in 1790. Prior to this time, all shoes were fastened with buckles.

  • Benjamin Franklin was the first head of the United States Post Office.

  • Despite their ferocity and reputation, sharks rarely attack man. Three times as many people are killed each year by lightning as are killed by sharks. A hundred more people die from bee stings each year than from shark bites.

  • The garfish has green bones.

  • The nasturtium derives its name from the Latin nasus tortum or "nose" and "to twist." The flower's smell is so powerful that to inhale it was considered tantamount to having one's nose tweaked.

  • The cucumber is not a vegetable - botanically, it is a fruit. So are the eggplant, the pumpkin, the squash, the tomato, the gherkin and the okra. Rhubarb, however, is botanically a vegetable, not a fruit. And an onion is considered a lily.

  • Gamblers in ancient Greece made dice from the anklebones and shoulder blades of sheep.

  • Horseracing regulations state that no racehorse's name may contain more than 18 letters. Names that are too long would be cumbersome on racing sheets. Apostrophes, hyphens and spaces between words count as letters.


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