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Fast facts


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Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • Feet cold? Put on a hat - 80 percent of all body heat escapes through the head.

  • The human body consists of 60 trillion cells, and each cell has about 10,000 times as many molecules as the Milky Way has stars.

  • The only U.S. president that held a Ph.D. was Woodrow Wilson.

  • A manned rocket reaches the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of England.

  • In his early days, Picasso kept warm by burning some of his drawings.

  • Mark Twain secured a patent in 1873 for a self-pasting scrapbook - a series of blank pages coated with gum.

  • Samuel Beckett, the playwright, was stabbed by a pimp with no specific motive and was found lying in a Paris street by the pianist Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil. She visited him in the hospital, lived with him, and just 24 years later married him.

  • The worst college campus riot prior to this century erupted at medieval Oxford - the "town and gown" battle of 1354. Originating in a tavern quarrel, the violence lasted for three days, involved dozen of townsmen and students, and ended with several dead and many injured.

  • Because its eyeball is fixed, a whale must move its entire body to shift its line of sight.

  • There was no soap in the ancient Mediterranean world. Olive oil was used not only for cooking but also for washing the body.

  • The plant life of the oceans make up about 85 percent of all the greenery on the planet.

  • Julius Caesar was compelled by increasing traffic congestion to ban all wheeled vehicles in Rome during the hours of daylight.

  • George Washington Carver, whose research on such common crops as the peanut led the South away from its perilous one-crop economy (cotton), was illiterate until the age of 20.

  • The level of the sea fell 400 feet during the first Ice Age. Much of the Earth's water had been absorbed by ice caps.


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