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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 4, 2003

Things you always never wanted to know

  • The children's game "Ring around the Rosy" and the words that accompany it ("Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy, ashes, ashes, we all fall down") derive from the medieval practice of scattering rose petals in a circle around one's bed ("ring around the rosy") and carrying small bouquets ("pocket full of posy") as protection against the Black Plague ("all fall down").

  • The figure of King Kong seen in the original movie of the same name was actually a model 18 inches high.

  • Thomas Edison was deaf from the time he was twelve years old. The malady was caused while Edison was trying to board a train at Frazer Station, Mich. A conductor took hold of his ears to help pull him aboard. "I felt something snap inside my head," Edison later said. "My deafness started from that time and has progressed ever since." Edison never went to school his formal education consisted of three months' attendance at a public school in Port Huron, Mich.
    Photo

  • Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, was present at the assassinations of three presidents: his father's, President Garfield's, and President McKinley's. After the last shooting, he refused ever to attend a state affair again.

  • John Hancock signed his name in extra-large letters on the Declaration of Independence not out of self-esteem but so that King George III, notoriously poor-sighted, could read it without the aid of spectacles.

  • Every queen named Jane has either been murdered, imprisoned, gone mad, died young, or been dethroned.

  • When astronauts first shaved in space, their weightless whiskers floated up to the ceiling. A special razor had to be developed which drew the whiskers in like a vacuum cleaner.

  • Karate, generally considered a Japanese martial art, did not come to Japan until 1916. Prior to this time it was practiced solely by the Okinawa islanders, who had developed it centuries earlier as a means of weaponless defense against the Japanese.


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