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Ten Random Facts

The sense of touch: Electrical impulses travel from the skin toward the spinal cord at a rate of up to 425 feet per second.

John Lennon joined Elton John onstage at Madison Square Garden in 1974 to perform the song they co-wrote, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night." This was to be Lennon's final live performance.

In 625 B.C., metal coins were introduced in Greece. They replaced grain usually barley as the medium of exchange. Stamped with a likeness of an ear of wheat, the new coins were lighter and easier to transport than grain, and did not get moldy.

Every bird must eat at least half its own weight in food each day to survive. Young birds need even more. A young robin, for example, eats as much as 14 feet of earthworms a day.

The first guest host of NBC's Saturday Night Live was comedian George Carlin on October 10, 1975.

Wandering albatrosses spread their wings, clack bills, and shake heads in a ritual dance. Bonds between courting birds may last the whole of a 50-year lifetime.

John Tyndall, from Carlow, Ireland, was the scientist first accredited with the explanation for why the sky is blue.

In 2000, Internet use since 1998 has tripled in Hong Kong. According to the South China Morning Post, the time spent online averaged out to almost seven minutes for every Hong Kong resident.

While diamonds are usually considered the most precious of stones, a large, near flawless emerald is worth considerably more than a diamond of the same size.

Short-story writer William Sidney Porter, better known as O. Henry, was commemorated on a stamp in Russia in 1962.

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