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Fast Facts


Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
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Things you've always never wanted to know

  • The '60s phrase "flower power" was coined by beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

  • In 1889, the first coin-operated telephone, patented by Hartford, Conn., inventor William Gray, was installed in the Hartford Bank. Soon, "pay phones" were installed in stores, hotels, saloons and restaurants, and their use soared. Local calls using a coin-operated phone in the U.S. cost only 5 cents everywhere until 1951.

  • An alpaca is sheared only once every two years and yields only about 5 or 6 pounds of wool at each shearing. Because the yield is so small and the material so desirable, alpaca wool is very expensive.

  • In the U.S., federal law states that children's TV shows may contain only 10 minutes of advertising per hour. On weekends, the limit is 10 1/2 minutes.

  • Queen Elizabeth I of England, using a diamond, scratched the following message on her prison window: "Much suspected of me, Nothing proved can be."

  • A recent study found that 75 percent of headache patients felt relief when they rubbed capsaicin (the component that makes chili peppers hot) on their nose.

  • Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports, originating in Central Asia among prehistoric nomadic tribesmen around 4500 B.C. When humans began keeping written records, horse racing was already an organized sport throughout the world.

  • X-rays of the "Mona Lisa" show that there are three completely different versions of the same subject, all painted by Leonardo da Vinci, under the final portrait.

  • Flamingos feel safest when they are crowded together, hundreds in a group.

  • ABC-TV's "Monday Night Football" premiered in September 1970. Its three original commentators were Keith Jackson, Don Meredith and Howard Cosell.

  • George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were all avid collectors and players of marbles. In their day, marbles were called "small bowls," and were as popular with adults as with children.

  • Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson all portrayed Fletcher Christian, first mate on the HMS Bounty.

  • The last words of famed ballerina Anna Pavlova were "Get my swan costume ready."

  • A king cobra is the biggest of all poisonous snakes and can grow to more than 13 feet long. A bite from a king cobra can kill an elephant in four hours.

  • Federal regulations specify that 90 percent of peanut butter has to be peanuts.


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