Japanese children start out by memorizing 80 brush-stroke characters by second grade, going all the way to 2,000 characters to allow them to read a newspaper in high school. Still, only 16.3 percent of test takers pass a national kanji (writing Chinese characters) exam that requires mastering about 2,000 characters. These days, more Japanese children are choosing computers over calligraphy. Even teachers are losing the knack of writing Japanese characters.
Bill Cosby became the first black leading actor in a TV drama series when he starred opposite Robert Culp on I Spy. He won three Best Actor in a Drama Series Emmys for his role as Alexander "Scotty" Scott.
One Laysan albatross, tracked by biologists at Wake Forest University, flew more than 24,843 miles in flights across the North Pacific to find food for its chick in just 90 days — a flight distance equivalent to circling the globe.
In December 1997, the state of Nevada became the first state to pass legislation categorizing Y2K data disasters as "acts of God" — protecting the state from lawsuits that may potentially be brought against it by residents in the year 2000.
Actor Dean Cain, the leading man in TV's Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, was signed to play professional football with the Buffalo Bills after his graduation from Princeton. However, he injured his knee three days before his first pre-season NFL game. The unfortunate injury forced Cain to pursue a new career.
Soldiers arrived to fight the Battle of Marne in World War I -- not on foot or by military airplane or military vehicle -- but by taxi cabs. France took over all the taxi cabs in Paris to get soldiers to the front.
If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of 100 people, with everything else remaining the same, it would look like this:
There would be:
* 57 Asians
* 21 Europeans
* 14 from the Western Hemisphere,
* 8 Africans,
* 52 would be female
* 48 would be male
* 70 would be non-white
* 30 would be white
* 70 would be non-Christian
* 30 would be Christian
* 95 would be heterosexual
* 5 would be homosexual
* 6 people would own 59% of the world's wealth, and all 6 would be from the United States
* 80 would live in substandard housing
* 70 would be unable to read
* 50 would suffer from malnutrition
* 1 would be near death
* 1 would be near birth
* 1 would have a college education
* 1 would own a computer
* 0 would play the harp.