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Fast facts


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Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci, measures less than two feet wide by two feet high, and X-rays show three completely different versions of the same subject under the final portrait. The real name of the painting is La Giaconda.

  • In March 1896, Thomas Edison had developed a fluoroscope that became the standard for medical X-ray examinations. Nevertheless, Edison dropped X-ray research in 1903 after the death of Clarence Madison Dally, one of his glassblowers. Dally had a habit of testing X-ray tubes on his hands, and acquired a cancer in them so tenacious that both arms were amputated in a futile attempt to save his life.

  • Trauma and tumors are the second and third leading causes for amputation, respectively. The primary cause is due to vascular problems - 50 percent of vascular amputations are caused by diabetes.

  • According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, there are over 2 million Canadians who live with diabetes.

  • Canada is home to illicit producers of marijuana for the domestic drug market and for export to the United States. The use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors, according to the CIA's World Factbook.

  • Only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by motorcyclists. Helmets are about 29 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 6 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.

  • The last "frequently asked question" on the www.cia.gov Web site is: "Do you send letters or certificates of congratulation to Boy Scouts who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout?" The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America responds, "We recognize the dedicated effort it takes for a young man to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. We sincerely regret, however, that we do not have the resources to honor the thousands of requests we receive for letters and certificates of congratulation."


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