Fast Facts

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday February 2, 2004

Things you always never wanted to know

  • Cyrano de Bergerac really lived (from about 1620 to 1655) - big nose, dueling and all. He was a poet, dramatist and a science fiction writer. He was also the first person in history to 1650) the one method that could carry us into space - rockets.

  • The Ch'in Dynasty (221 to 207 B.C.) buried many of its scholars alive in its program to suppress learning and Confucianism.

  • A study of 72 factories in Russia in 1881 revealed that some workers were on 18-hour shifts and that they often lost most of their wages in fines levied by employers.

  • Florence Nightingale served only two years of her life nursing soldiers. She was so weakened by a fever contracted during her service in the Crimean War that she spent the last 50 years of her life as an invalid.

  • Electrical stimulation of certain areas of the brain can revive long-lost memories.

  • Monkeys' heads have been successfully transplanted by Dr. Robert J. White of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Secretary of State John Hay, who was also a poet, called the Spanish-American War a "splendid little war." The U.S. lost 5,462 men, mostly from disease.

  • As long ago as 1820, a prefabricated house was shipped to Hawaii by pious Bostonians wanting to ease the life of missionaries living on the far-off Pacific island.

  • Up to 150 tons of meteorite fragments slam into Earth every year. As far as it is known, only seven people have been struck by meteorites.