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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 22, 2003

Things you always never wanted to know

  • Because of his spindly arms and legs, the satirist Alexander Pope was described as a "crazy little carcass" of a man. To keep his miniature body erect, he wore stiff canvas. To swell his pin-sized legs to something approaching normal, he wore three pairs of stockings.

  • The fear that he might sneak in a hidden joke was one reason that Benjamin Franklin was not entrusted by his peers with the assignment of writing the Declaration of Independence.

  • D.H. Lawrence, one of the most original and controversial writers of the 20th century, was also a weirdo, having a fancy for removing his clothes and climbing mulberry trees.

  • There are more dentists in Ann Arbor, Mich. ,proportionately, than in any other city in the United States. Ann Arbor also has

    proportionately more burglaries than any other city. No connection has yet been established between the two.

  • An iceberg larger than Belgium was observed in the South Pacific in 1956. It was 208 miles long and 60 miles wide ¸ the largest ever seen.

  • City Ordinance No. 352 in Pacific Grove, Calif., makes it a misdemeanor to kill or threaten a butterfly, no matter how offensive or pretentious their behavior.

  • Russia was so thankful for Edward Jenner's discovery of immunization for small pox in 1796 that the first child to be vaccinated there was named "Vaccinov."

  • In the 14th and 15th centuries, ritualized responses to the plague began to emerge in some societies. In Germany, for example, there were the Flagellants. They attempted to appease the wrath of God by beating one another and themselves profusely.

  • The monkey wrench is named after its inventor, a London blacksmith named Charles Moncke.

  • In 18th century gambling dens, there was a guy whose only job was to swallow the dice in the event of a police raid.

  • For many years after the Battle of Waterloo, dentures known as "Waterloo teeth" were sold throughout Europe. These were actual human teeth extracted from the corpses of soldiers on the Waterloo battlefield. They were especially esteemed among denture wearers because most of them came from young, healthy boys.

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