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Fast Facts


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Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 17, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • One the stone temples of Madura in southern India has more than 30 million carved images of gods and goddesses.

  • Before the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1952, 25 percent of the males in the country were Buddhist monks.

  • Berengaria, Queen of England and wife of Richard the Lionhearted, never set foot in England. She lived in Italy most of her life, while her husband was off on adventures and crusades.

  • Jahangir, a 17th century Indian Mughal ruler, had 5,000 women in his harem and owned 12,000 elephants.

  • An average dinner eaten by King Louis XIV of France consisted of four plates of soup, a whole pheasant, a whole partridge, two slices of ham, a salad, mutton with garlic, pastry, fruit and hardboiled eggs. At his death, it was discovered that the king's stomach was twice the size of a normal stomach.

  • Peter the Great of Russia was almost 7 feet tall.

  • Slapstick comedy is named after an actual slapping stick. The stick, which came to be equated with broad farce in the 16th century as part of the Italian commedia dell'arte, was used by the comic hero Harlequin to whack the rumps of artless stooges. It was made of two pieces of wood joined together to make a slapping sound when it hit.

  • Moist air holds heat better than dry air, which is why nights in the desert are cool while nights in the humid tropics are torrid.

  • In Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile, it has never rained.

  • For every 50 miles driven in an automobile, a person has a 1:1,000,000 chance of being killed in a motor accident.

  • The term "disc jockey" was coined by Variety in 1937 to describe radio announcers who stayed up all night "riding" discs, or records.


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