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Fast facts


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Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • The Oscar film trophy is named after Oscar Pierce, a wealthy Texas farmer. Before the trophy had a name, Pierce's niece, then serving as a librarian for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, commented that the statue reminded her of her Uncle Oscar.

  • A quarter has 119 grooves on its circumference. A dime has one less.

  • During the American Revolution, inflation was so great that the price of corn rose 10,000 percent, the price of wheat 14,000 percent, the price of flour 15,000 percent and the price of beef 33,000 percent.

  • The best diamonds are colored blue-white.

  • President James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand and Greek with the other - simultaneously! Leonardo da Vinci could draw with one hand and write with the other, also simultaneously.

  • Clouds accumulate higher during the day than during the night.

  • Lightning puts 10 million tons of nitrogen into the earth each year.

  • A lion in the wild usually makes no more than 20 kills a year.

  • Two out of three adults in the United States have hemorrhoids.

  • Though most people call London's world-famous clock "Big Ben," the name actually belongs to the bell within the clock tower.

  • Cellophane is not made of plastic. It is made from a plant fiber, cellulose, which has been shredded and aged. It was invented in 1908 by Swiss chemist Jacques Brandenburger, who was trying to make a stain-proof tablecloth.

  • Tablecloths were originally meant to serve as towels with which guests could wipe their hands and faces after dinner.

  • During the Civil War undertakers were addressed as "doctor."

  • The great white shark has teeth that rank alongside steel on a scale of hardness, and is the only creature in the sea with no natural enemies. Even killer whalers normally avoid it.


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