Fast Facts

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Things you've always never wanted to know

  • Since Neptune's discovery in 1846, it has made about three-quarters of one revolution around the sun.

  • Given their sheer volume, the oceans account for 99 percent of the living space on the planet.

  • The U.S. Automobile Association was formed in 1905 for the purpose of providing "scouts" who could warn motorists of hidden police traps.

  • Asparagus is a member of the lily family. The name "asparagus" comes from the Greek language and means "sprout" or "shoot."

  • In the Middle Ages, chicken soup was believed to be an aphrodisiac.

  • It takes an estimated 2,893 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll lollipop.

  • Baby giraffes can grow as much as 1 inch every two hours.

  • A 1989 law in Florida forbids the release of more than 10 lighter-than-air balloons at a time to protect marine life, which often mistake balloons for food.

  • A dinner party consisting of 13 people in England during the Middle Ages was considered the worst of omens because it supposedly foretold the impending death of one in the group.

  • The U.S. interstate highway system requires that one mile in every five must be straight so the sections can be used as airstrips in a time of war or other emergency.

  • In 1880, there were about 2 billion passenger pigeons in the U.S. By 1914, the species was extinct.

  • The Romans had three words for kissing: Basium was the kiss exchanged by acquaintances; osculum the kiss between close friends; and suavium the kiss between lovers.

  • An "androphobe" has an extreme, irrational fear of men.

  • Albert Einstein never learned to drive a car.

  • There are 1,792 steps leading to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Al Gore was the first U.S. vice president to attempt the "Macarena" in public.

  • There is a sign on the Utah-Wyoming border that reads, "Real Men Don't Use Pornography."

  • Australia was the only continent to slow its HIV infection rate between 1996 and 1998.