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Fast Facts


Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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  • On average, humans lose one neocortical neuron each second, or about 85,000 each day. That's 31 million brain cells each year.

  • In 1840, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow became the first American to have plumbing installed in his home.

  • A frog has to close its eyes in order to swallow.

  • Abraham Lincoln was carrying Confederate money when he was assassinated.

  • The odds against a flipped coin coming up with the same side 10 times in a row are 1,023 -1.

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken's Col. Sanders once tried to claim his white suits as a tax deduction, but the Internal Revenue Service wouldn't allow it.

  • Zachary Taylor never voted in a presidential election, not even his own.

  • Giraffes can't swim.

  • The real name of TV's "Mr. Ed" was "Bamboo Harvester."

  • The oak tree is struck by lightning more than any other kind of tree.

  • Murasaki Shikibu (978-1076) is known as the author of the oldest full-length novel in the world, "The Tale of Genji." What is less well known is the fact that many women writers flourished in Japan at that time, as Shikibu recorded in her own diaries. "Genji" just happens to be the only work of merit that survived.

  • Somewhere in space is the Hasselblad camera, which was dropped during a spacewalk by the U.S. astronaut Michael Collins. It will orbit the Earth for an indefinite period.

  • The Circus Maximus in Rome, after its rebuilding by Julius Caesar, could hold 150,000 people. It was enlarged again in the early empire to fit an additional 100,000.

  • A former U.S. vice president, Aaron Burr, was charged with treason for trying to separate the western lands from the United States and establish his own rule in the early 1800s. He was acquitted, but his image remained tarnished. He is also the man who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.

  • The stegosaur was a dinosaur with a head so small that the nerve knot in the middle of the back was larger than its brain.

  • The African eagle, swooping at more than 100 mph, can brake to a halt in 20 feet.


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