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Fast facts


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Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 1, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • The Escorial, a famous palace located outside Madrid, Spain, was built in the shape of a gridiron because St. Lawrence, to whom the palace was dedicated, was roasted on one.

  • The French painter Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) kept lions, monkeys, gazelles, chamois, goats and deer in her backyard. She maintained this menagerie so she could study animal anatomy first-hand.

  • By 1950, the United States had 70 percent of all the automobiles, buses and trucks in the world.

  • Parrots rarely acquire a vocabulary of more than 20 words.

  • Hens do no have to be impregnated to lay eggs. The rooster is necessary only to fertilize the egg.

  • Beethoven was completely deaf when he composed his ninth symphony.

  • 24-karat gold is not pure gold - there is a small amount of copper in it. Absolutely pure gold is so soft, it can be molded with the hands.

  • The Yap islanders in the South Pacific use 18-foot stone rings as money. The stones sometimes weigh as much as 15 tons, which means that when someone is paid in such currency, he goes to where the money is, not vice-versa.

  • America once issued a five-cent bill.

  • Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, was an ophthalmologist by profession.

  • Lafayette was a major general in the United States at the age of 19. Lafayette's whole name can take up an entire line on a standard page: Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.

  • An anteater is nearly 6 feet long, yet its mouth is only an inch wide.

  • At birth, baby kangaroos are only about an inch long - no bigger than a large water bug or a queen bee.

  • There are 91 days left before 2005.

  • More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.

  • The Chow is the only dog that has a black tongue. The tongues of all other dogs are pink.


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