I just finished updating the fun facts WordPress plugin. The new 2.0 version is a major upgrade. The widget code uses WordPress 2.8 widget architecture and I added a shortcode. You just have to put [fun-facts] in your posts or pages to have an embedded widget (see below). Get the fun facts WordPress plugin.
The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.