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Greg's Useless Trivia #10 (1 Viewer)


A collection of mostly useless but sometimes interesting things I've come across. There are bugs with opening a lot of spoiler boxes at once. Easiest to avoid if you close each box again once you read the answer. If that doesn't work, just reload the thread and they should work again.

Links to previous useless trivia:

1) In the movie Ocean's Eleven, Bellagio owner Terry Benedict is on the phone with burglar Rusty and asks him to, "run and hide. If you should be picked up next week buying a $100,000 sports car in Newport Beach I'm going to be supremely disappointed because I want my people to find you. And when they do, rest assured we won't hand you over to the police." What is the sports car line a reference to?

Former real life Bellagio owner Steve Wynn's daughter was kidnapped, and a kidnapper was caught when he purchased a Ferrari with cash in Newport Beach.
2) Who originally devised the 3-4 defense? Which was the first team to win a Super Bowl using the 3-4 defense?

Bud Wilkinson at the University of Oklahoma in the 1940s. Chuck Fairbanks learned the defense from Wilkinson and is credited with importing it to the NFL. The undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins were the first team to win a Super Bowl with the 3–4 defense.
3) US legal tender currently includes denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. What larger denominations have previously been issued?

$500, $1k, $5k, and $10k used to be produced, primarily for bank transfers, but were stopped during World War II. There has also been a $100k gold certificate.
4) Whose film roles include the following?

Mail carrier
Mental ward patient
Museum security guard
Hot dog vendor
Beauty pageant judge
Man poisoned by a soft drink
World War II general
Chess player in the park
Drunk military veteran

Those were some of the cameo roles of Stan Lee in various movies based on his Marvel comics.
5) What prevents people from driving from North America to South America?

It is not the Panama Canal, as there are bridges which cross the canal. However, there are no roads through a stretch of Panama known as the Darien Gap. It is a 30 mile wide stretch of swamp and forest where roadbuilding would be expensive and carries a high environmental cost.
6) Actor Anthony Hopkins was cast for the movie "The Girl of Petrovka". He visited several London bookstores for a copy of the original book for research, but failed to find it. On the way home Hopkins found a discarded book sitting on a bench. It was "The Girl of Petrovka". But that was not the biggest coincidence to happen with the book. What else happened?

A: During filming, the book's author George Feifer visited the set and remarked that he did not even have a copy of his own book anymore. His last copy, one with his notes and annotations, had been loaned to a friend who had lost it in London. Hopkins' copy also had notes in the margin and he showed it to the author, who confirmed it was his book.
7) During World War I, the German passenger liner SMS Cap Trafalgar was converted into an armed merchant cruiser. The German ship was sank by the British despite the ship being disguised to look like a British ocean liner, the HMS Carmania. How did the British see through the disguise?

The British ship which encountered the Cap Trafalgar was the real HMS Carmania. It had also been turned into a merchant cruiser.
8) A well-known actor once worked as a blacksmith, and also as a bodyguard for Howard Hughes. While working shoeing horses for Westerns he got his break into show biz when he began riding as an extra and stuntman at the urging of friend Robert Duvall. Who is he?

Wilford Brimley
9) Tsutomu Yamaguchi died in 2010 at the age of 93. What was his claim to fame?

He is the only person recognized by Japan's government has having been a survivior of the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Hiroshima for work, he survived the bomb and then returned home to Nagasaki. Despite his wounds he went into work and was telling his supervisor how a single bomb had destroyed the entire city. His supervisor told him that was crazy, and at that moment the Nagasaki bomb went off.
10) What 1960s children's toy came with a toy book entitled "How to Lose Weight" whose only content was the weight-loss instruction: "Don't eat!".

A Barbie doll known as Slumber Party Barbie.
11) A 2009 expedition searching for the Loch Ness monster found no signs of the creature, but were surprised when they found thousands of these.

Golf balls, hit into the Loch by residents practicing their drives.
12) New Mexico State's first graduating class in 1893 is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it had only one student in it. What was the second?

That lone student, Sam Steele, was shot and killed before the graduation took place, in what was still a very Wild West.
13) What is the connection between Peanuts (the Charlie Brown comic strip), and the band The Black Eyed Peas?

Band member Fergie was the voice of Charlie Brown's sister, Sally.
14) Which iconic actor explained his turning down the role of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings with, "I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don't understand it."

Sean Connery.
15) While older students may take no joy from Strunk and White's rules of grammar in "The Elements of Style", many of them may have once delighted in co-author E.B. White's earlier works. What else did he write?

E.B. White also wrote Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.
16) What is the mascot for the Arkansas School for the Deaf?

Their mascot is the Leopards. They are the Deaf Leopards.
17) What is erroneous about the title of Barry Manilow's biggest hit song?

Based on time on the Billboard charts, Manilow's biggest hit was "I Write the Songs". Contrary to the title, the song was written by someone else.
18) What does State Farm's "Like a Good Neighbor" jingle have in common with Band-aid's "I am stuck on Band-Aids, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me" jingle?

Both were written by Barry Manilow. Apparently he does write the jingles.
19) The United States Supreme Court building sports a basketball court on the fifth floor. What is it called?

The Highest Court in the Land.
20) If you start counting at "one" and spell out all of the numbers as you go, at what point will you have used all of the vowels?.

You won't use "A" until you hit one thousand.
21) Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia is the scientific name for what condition?

Brain freeze, also known as an ice cream headache, from eating or drinking something cold.
22) There were a number of reasons that Beaver College changed its name to Arcadia University in 2001. What reason did the internet contribute?

Web filters intended to screen out sexually explicit material blocked access to the Beaver College Web site
23) What famous scientist's notebooks require signing a health waiver to view?

Marie Curie's. They are still radioactive.
24) During the costume preparation for the Wizard of Oz, the wardrobe department bought a bunch of coats at a local second hand store. One of the coats was selected to be worn in the movie by Professor Marvel (who becomes Oz in Dorothy's dream). What unlikely coincidence was later discovered about the coat during filming?

The coat had originally belonged to L. Frank Baum, the writer of The Wizard of Oz. It was identified by a tailor's label and Baum's widow later confirmed it had been his coat.
25) What silent, color motion picture sequence was sold to the US government for $16 million?

The Zapruder film of JFK's assassination.
26) A popular commercial once touted we may never know the answer to a certain question. But a machine built at Purdue investigated it and found an average answer of 364. 364 what?

364 licks to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop
27) Ted Kaczynski came to be known as the Unabomber. What was the origin of the name?

Before Kaczynski's identity was known, the FBI used the title "UNABOM" (UNiversity & Airline BOMber) to refer to his case, which resulted in the media calling him the Unabomber.
28) The Captain Morgan after whom the rum is named was Captain Henry Morgan, 1635-1688. Which of the following are believed to be true statements about him?

a) He was a pirate.
b) a Royal Navy admiral
c) brother of the governor of New Jersey
d) a British knight
e) acting governer of Jamaica
f) buried in a cemetery which sank beneath the ocean in an earthquake
g) sacked Panama City
h) saved himself and his men by snatching away a slow-burning fuse before it reached explosives left as a trap by the Spanish in a fort they abandoned as Morgan attacked
i) won 200 pounds suing book publishers for libel
j) after his crew accidentally blew up his own flagship while drunk, accused the commander of a French ship who was dining with him of committing the act as grounds to seize the French ship

k) destroyed a Spanish warship by hollowing out logs, filling them with gunpowder, dressing the logs up as pirate crewmen on a ship, and sailing it into the Spanish and igniting it

All of them!
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There's follow up trivia to #17.

I first heard #24 on Paul Harvey's show when my grandfather had it on at lunch. Had to be 30 years ago.



I knew the E.B. White and Arcadia ones. Guessed correctly on a couple of others where the question suggested the answer (second Barry Manilow, the merchant ship one, etc.). And figured out the thousand one by doing it in my head.

These are hard.


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