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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fast Facts

    • At an auction held in March 1978 at Sotheby’s in London, the skull of the famous 18th-century Swedish scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg was sold to a Swedish bidder for $3,200. The skull had been stolen scarcely 50 years after Swedenborg’s death by a retired sea captain and amateur phrenologist. A century after the theft, the relic showed up in an antique shop in Wales, where it was purchased by Swedenborg’s heirs. They kept it until the auction.
  • When the Akurio tribe was discovered in the late 1960s deep in the jungles of Surinam, in northern South America, the tribespeople were keeping watch over piles of burning coals. They had lost the art of making fire and could maintain it only by continually feeding an already existing flame.
  • In the 18th century, people bought ink from apothecary shops, where chemists mixed it on the spot and poured it into special bottles. Today those bottles fetch high prices among collectors.
  • During World War II, the sale of Navajo blankets almost ceased in the United States. The reason for the decline was that the ancient Navajo symbol for the sun, woven into most of the blankets, looked exactly like Hitler’s swastika.
  • The chance of two typewriters of the same make typing characters that are identical in terms of alignment and defects is 1 in 3 trillion.
  • According to the National Safety Council, coffee is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases it may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.
  • A mile on the ocean and a mile on land are not the same distance. On the ocean, a mile is known as a nautical mile and measures 6,080 feet. A land, or statute, mile is 5,280 feet.
  • In July 1861, 366 inches of rain fell in one month on the town of Cherrapunji, India. This is more than 30 feet of water, deeper than many rivers and lakes.
  • A bucket filled with earth would weigh about five times more than the same bucket filled with the substance of the sun. However, the force of gravity is so much greater on the sun that a man weighting 150 pounds on our planet would weigh 2 tons on the sun.
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