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Fast facts


Photo
Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 18, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • One out of every 10 Americans spends one day a year in the hospital.

  • From 1950 until 1971, when President Nixon opened relations with Communist China, it was illegal for a collector to purchase or exhibit any stamp printed in China. Such an act was declared by the U.S. Congress to be "trading with the enemy."

  • No high jumper has ever been able to stay off the ground for more than one second.

  • Connecticut and Rhode Island never ratified the 18th Amendment (prohibition of alcohol).

  • Until 1893, lynching was legal in the United States. The first anti-lynching law was passed in Georgia, but it only made the violation punishable by four years in prison.

  • Cattle branding in the United States did not originate in the West. It began in Connecticut in the mid-nineteenth century, when farmers were required by law to mark all their pigs.

  • In 1975, cello and saxophone players could join the Marine Corps and play in the band without going to boot camp.

  • The English poet Thomas Chatterton died at 17. Mozart died at 36, Raphael died at 37, Aubrey Beardsley died at 26 and painter Masaccio died at 27.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt's birthday is a legal holiday in the Virgin Islands.

  • King George I of England couldn't speak a word of English. His native tongue was German (he came from Hanover, Germany); he communicated with his cabinet in French.

  • The sun burns 9 million tons of gas a second. At this rate, it will burn out in another 10 billion years, so check the stove and turn out the light before you leave home.

  • The indentation in the middle of the area between the nose and the upper lip is called the philtrum. Scientists are somewhat baffled as to what purpose this concavity serves, but among the ancient Greeks this dent was considered one of the body's erogenous zones.


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