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Fast facts


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Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 2, 2004
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  • Studies done by the psychology department of DePauw University show that the principle reason people lie is to avoid punishment.

  • The star Zeta Thauri was so bright when it exploded in 1054 that it could be seen during the day.

  • Almost half the pigs in the world are kept by farmers in China.

  • "Not Able to Fornicate" was the English translation of the name of an actual 19th century northwestern Native American chief.

  • Fred Astaire's real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Cary Grant's real name was Archibald Leach. Good change.

  • In the memoirs of Catherine II of Russia, it is recorded that any Russian aristocrat who displeased the queen was forced to squat in the great antechamber of the palace and to remain in that position for several days, mewing like a cat, clucking like a hen and pecking his food from the floor.

  • In 1910, a football team was penalized 15 yards for an incomplete forward pass.

  • A herd of 60 cows is capable of producing a ton of milk in less than a day.

  • Two-thirds of all people who choke to death are under 4 years of age.

  • The cello's real name is the violoncello. The full name of the piano is the pianoforte.

  • In Turkey during the 16th and 17th centuries, anyone caught drinking coffee was put to death.

  • The shelf over a fireplace is called a "mantelpiece" because at one time people hung their coats (or "mantles") over the fireplace to dry them.


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