Fast Facts

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Things you've always never wanted to know

  • Nanotechnology has produced a guitar no bigger than a blood cell. The guitar, 10 micrometers long, has six strings that can be strummed.

  • At least 40 jockeys have died from accidents while racing horses since 1940.

  • The first vending machines in the U.S. dispensed chewing gum and were installed in New York City train platforms in 1888.

  • The "Pieta" is the only sculpture on which Michelangelo is believed to have carved his name.

  • A wet onion is easier to peel than a dry one, per cooking experts.

  • The name "Marcia" is from the Latin for "warlike."

  • Eric Clapton attended Kingston College of Art, but his original career path in stained-glass design ended forever when the blues-obsessed youth was expelled at age 17 for playing his guitar in an art class. Clapton worked as a manual laborer and spent most of his spare time strumming the electric guitar he had persuaded his grandparents to purchase for him.

  • Herbs should be added near the end of the cooking process so you don't lose the herbs' volatile oils, which are dissipated by heat.

  • The origin of coffee can be traced back to East Africa. Legend has it that an Ethiopian shepherd noticed his sheep stayed awake all night after grazing on coffee cherries. When the shepherd ate them, they had the same effect on him.

  • The colloquial term "mackintosh" for a raincoat comes from Charles Mackintosh, the Scottish chemist who invented and patented the first practical waterproof cloth in 1823.

  • The 20th Century Fox studio cut all scenes showing physical contact between America's curly-haired darling Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in "The Little Colonel" in 1934 to avoid social offense and to assure wide U.S. distribution. Prerelease showings of the film, particularly in the southern U.S., shocked audiences when the two actors touched fingers during their famous staircase dance sequence.

  • A kangaroo cannot jump if its tail is lifted off the ground. It needs its tail for pushing off.

  • Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family.