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Fastfacts


Photo
Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Churchill was an ailing septuagenarian; Roosevelt, very ill, maintained a brittle contact with life; Roosevelt's chief adviser, Harry Hopkins, was dying of cancer. Only Stalin was in good health.

  • Two gallons of beer were included in the weekly ration for each child in the children's hospital in Norwich, England, in 1632.

  • Lobsters do feel pain when boiled alive. That's what that high-pitched scream is all about. By soaking them in salt water before cooking, however, you can anesthetize them.

  • A 4-inch abalone can grip a rock with a force of 400 pounds. Two grown men are incapable of prying it up. An abalone is a mollusk.

  • The star Antares is 60,000 times larger than our sun. If our sun were the size of a softball, the star Antares would be as large as a house.

  • When we look at the farthest visible star we are looking 4 billion years into the past - the light from that star, traveling at about 186,000 miles per second, has taken that many years to reach us.

  • James O'Neill, father of the playwright Eugene O'Neill, acted in the play "The Count of Monte Cristo" no less than 5,352 times - an average of one performance a day every day for 14 years. "I believe," O'Neill once said, "that I should have lost my memory and mind altogether had I continued to keep up the strain."

  • In the 1936 Swaythling Cup Match in table tennis, Alex Ehrlich of Poland and Paneth Farcas of Romania volleyed for two hours and 12 minutes on the opening serve.

  • A person who suffers an accident on a motorcycle has a 90 percent chance of injury or death. A person involved in an automobile crash has only a 10 percent chance of the same. Motorcycles account for 4 percent of all licensed vehicles in America yet are involved in 8 percent of all accidents.


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