First News
Volume:7, Number:43
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FUN FACTS
THIS WEEK

Longest Serving Prisoner

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Richard Honeck is an American murderer, who served one of the longest custodial sentences ever to terminate in a prisoner's release in American criminal history. Jailed in November 1899 for the murder of a former school friend, Honeck was paroled on December 20, 1963, having completed 64 years and one month of his life sentence, and served a total of 23,418 days in jail. The longest prison sentence ever to end in a prisoner’s release. In his time in jail, Honeck received just one letter and had two visitors.

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The Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation was the relatively short evolutionary event, beginning around 541 million years ago in the Cambrian period, during which most major animal phyla appeared, as indicated by the fossil record. This was the time when relatively simple microorganisms suddenly began diversifying into the types of animals we know today. Over the next 70 to 80 million years almost all the known phyla of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record. The Cambrian Explosion was basically evolution’s Big Bang.

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Origin of Diplomas

In the 1680s the Latin word "diploma" got adapted into what then meant "passport." In Greek, "diploma" had originally meant "paper folded double." Educational diplomas had once been called "sheepskins" since that's what they were written on. When a ready supply of writing material made from plant fibers, not animal skins, became available the schools switched to writing diplomas on those. Much cheaper than killing a sheep every time a student graduated! In the early 1900s diplomas began getting bound in leather.

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