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Fast Facts


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Illustration by Jennifer Kearney
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 24, 2005
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  • Artist Xavier Roberts first designed the famous Cabbage Patch dolls in 1977 to help pay his way through school. They had soft faces and were made by hand, as opposed to the hard-faced mass-market dolls, and were originally called "Little People."

  • Fleas can accelerate 50 times faster than the space shuttle.

  • Taiwan was known formerly as Formosa.

  • When a queen bee lays the fertilized eggs that will develop into new queens, only one of the newly laid queens actually survives. The first new queen that emerges from her cell destroys all other queens in their cells and thereafter reigns alone.

  • The African baobab tree can have a circumference as large as 100 feet. One such tree in Zimbabwe is so wide that the hollowed-out trunk serves as a shelter at a bus stop, with a capacity to hold as many as 40 people.

  • With its intense, narcotic perfume, lilac, especially white lilac, is considered an unlucky plant in certain parts of the British Isles. It is among the least-welcomed flowers for hospital patients, though some people believe that lilac blossoms with five petals brings luck to those who find them.

  • The palms of the hands and soles of the feet contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body.

  • About 5.6 percent of Earth's crust is made of iron.

  • A mated pair of rats can produce up to 15,000 babies in one year.

  • An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away.

  • One ounce of LSD is enough to provide 300,000 average doses, each of which is a tiny speck whose effect lasts from eight to 12 hours.

  • There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo.

  • The Oregon Trail (1840-1860), the route used during the westward migrations of the U.S., started in Missouri and ended in Oregon and was about 2,000 miles long.


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