Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Things you always never wanted to know

  • "Curare," the arrow poison used by South American Indians, was once essential to surgeons performing abdominal operations because it was the only drug that could be used as a muscle relaxant. The patient's muscles became much too stiff for safety during the operation, and curare was used to relax them.

  • Charles Darwin believed that the proposed first printing of his book "The Origin of Species" would be too large: 1,250 copies. The edition, however, was sold out the very first day of publication.

  • Tired of pounding pavements looking for a job, Humphrey O'Sullivan of Boston sat down one day and invented the rubber heel.

  • As late as 1890, nearly 75 percent of Americans had to fetch their mail from a post office. A community had to have at least 10,000 people to be eligible for home delivery, and most people lived in towns or on farms.

  • In the Middle Ages, brothels were under the protection of the community and prostitutes formed guilds in German cities. In Hamburg today, a multi-story brothel sanctioned by authorities.