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Fast Facts


Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
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Things you've always never wanted to know

  • The wingspan of a Boeing 747 jet is longer than the distance of the Wright brothers' first flight.

  • Australian scientists have identified some species of baby spiders that bite off the limbs of their mothers and slowly dine on them over a period of weeks. The researchers hypothesize the maternal sacrifice keeps the young from eating one another.

  • Kim Basinger's mother was a champion swimmer who performed water ballets in several Esther Williams movies in the 1940s.

  • The Amazon River has 1,100 tributary streams.

  • You blink every two to 10 seconds. As you focus on each word in this sentence, your eyes swing back and forth 100 times a second, and every second, the retina performs 10 billion computerlike calculations.

  • It would require an average of 18 hummingbirds to weigh in at 1 ounce.

  • Nitrogen used to be called azote.

  • It was King Edward II of England (1324) who decreed the inch to be equal to three barleycorns end to end.

  • Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Olive trees can attain a great age. Some in the eastern Mediterranean are estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. They grow to a height of 20 to 40 feet and begin to bear fruit between 4 and 8 years old.

  • Fighting alongside Americans and British during the D-Day invasion of 1944 were 15,000 Canadian troops - who were the first to reach their planned objective.

  • In the winter of 1724, while on an outing at sea, Peter the Great of Russia caught sight of a foundering ship, jumped in the water and helped in the rescue. He caught cold, suffered from a high fever and died several weeks later.

  • A dragonfly flaps its wings 20 to 40 times a second, bees and houseflies 200 times, some mosquitoes 600 times and a tiny gnat 1,000 times.

  • "Lobster shift" is a colloquial term for the night shift of a newspaper staff.

  • It took 214 crates to transport the Statue of Liberty from France to New York in 1885.


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