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Fast facts


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Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 3, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • When Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed, it took 15 whacks of the blade before her head was severed.

  • Some Chinese typewriters have 5,700 characters. The keyboard is almost 3 feet wide on some models, and the fastest one can type on such a machine is 11 words per minute.

  • An ostrich egg can make 11 1/2 omelets.

  • The Statue of Liberty's mouth is 3 feet wide.

  • A newborn Chinese water deer is so small that it can be held in the palm of a hand.

  • Hippopotami can run faster than men - but then again, it all comes down to the hand-off, giving humans the edge in the 4x100.

  • Redwood trees sometimes grow to heights of 350 feet and produce bark that is more than a foot thick. But they spring from a seed that is only a 1/16 of an inch long. These seeds are so small that 123,000 of them weigh barely a pound.

  • In 1976, a pound of potato chips cost 200 times more than a pound of potatoes.

  • Doris Day's real name was Doris von Kappelhoff. Judy Garland's real name was Frances Gumm.

  • Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, John Marshall and Stephen A. Douglas, four of the most famous lawyers the United States has ever produced, never went to law school.

  • Sound travels 15 times more swiftly through steel than through air.

  • "You sock-dologizing old mantrap" were the last words ever heard by Abraham Lincoln. They were spoken by an actor named Asa Trenchard in "Our American Cousin." The roar of laughter that followed these lines drowned out the sound of the gunshots fired by John Wilkes Booth.

  • George Washington was so beloved by the French that when he died in 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte ordered 10 days of mourning.

  • For every hour one listens to the radio in the United States, one hears approximately 11,000 spoken words.


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