Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Things you always never wanted to know

  • One-quarter of the horses in the United States died of a virus epidemic in 1872. American life and industry were literally crippled because of the diminished horsepower.

  • There are odor technicians in the perfume trade who have the olfactory skill to recognize 19,000 different odors at 20 levels of intensity each.

  • Approximately 3,500 men were practicing medicine at the time of the American Revolution. Only about 400 had a medical degree. Of the much larger number of women who practiced, even a smaller number had formal training.

  • Karl Marx wrote to Friedrich Engels, "I do not trust any Russian. As soon as a Russian worms his way in, all hell breaks loose."

  • Sir Thomas Mallory wrote the important prose romance "Morte d'Arthur" while serving time in prison on a rape charge around 1470.

  • A shrimp has more than 100 pairs of chromosomes in each cell nucleus. Man has only 23.

  • The blackswallower, a deep-sea fish, can swallow prey larger than itself by moving its heart out of the way and pushing its gills aside. Moveable teeth in its throat help get the meals down, and its stomach stretches far enough to accommodate fish twice its size.

  • Sideshow performers in ancient Greece used to amaze their audiences by pressing a spot on a goat's neck, pinching off the artery leading to the brain, forcing the goat to go to sleep. Releasing the pressure allowed the goat to wake again. The trick still works today.

  • Gen. Robert E. Lee freed his own slaves, having found that "slavery is a moral and political evil in any society, a greater evil to the white man than the black."

  • For distances of up to 150 feet, an alligator can outrace a man.