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Greg's Useless Trivia #21 (1 Viewer)


A collection of mostly useless but sometimes interesting things I've come across.

Links to previous Useless Trivia:












1) Dinosaurs were the dominant life forms during the Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods. What was the dominant species during the Quaternary period?

Homo sapiens (e.g. us).  We're living in the Quaternary period.

2) Who completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth?

Juan Sebastian Elcano, who was Magellan's navigator. Magellan died during the trip.
3) What unique distinction do the Canis Major Dwarf and Sagittarius Dwarf galaxies share?

They are both currently being eaten by our Milky Way galaxy, and will likely be fully merged in the next billion years or so. Gravitational interactions with the Milky Way have stripped long tidal tails from the Canis Major dwarf galaxy, which have wrapped themselves around the Milky Way three times in a structure known as the 'Monoceros Ring'.
4) What was 'Acoustic Kitty'?

A 1960s CIA project to spy on the Russians. A veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone in a cat's ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull and a thin wire into its fur. This would allow the cat to innocuously record and transmit sound from its surroundings. The project was abandoned due to the difficulty of training the cat to behave as required.  Victor Marchetti, a former CIA officer, said Project Acoustic Kitty cost about $20 million.
5) According to Guiness Book of World Records, the longest instance for this form of communication to arrive was 108 years and 138 days.

A message in a bottle. Found in 2016, it contained a postcard from the UK's Marine Biological Association sent in 1906 asking that it be sent back to the MBA for a one shilling reward.
6) The words "critical, frugal, excellent, barefaced, assassination, and countless" are some of the 2035 English words whose first recorded appearance comes from works of this literary figure.

William Shakespeare
7) The shortest war in history only lasted about 38 minutes, as covered in a previous trivia thread. The longest recorded war lasted from 1651 to 1986 between the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast, and what European nation?

The Netherlands. The declaration of war in 1651 is mentioned in the memoirs of Sir Bulstrode Whitelocke, an English parliamentarian and Keeper of the Great Seal of England. The Dutch navy had sought reparations for damages incurred by them due to Royalists during the English Civil War, and reportedly declared war when they were not forthcoming. The Royalist fleet was soon forced to surrender to other English forces and the Dutch fleet left without a shot being fired but still technically in a state of war.

In 1985, the Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Council, a historian, contacted the Dutch Embassy to dispose of the myth of an unresolved war. The Dutch found the myth to be accurate, and a peace treaty was signed in 1986.
8) This famous military figure was once forced to flee in defeat at the hands (paws?) of a horde of attacking rabbits.

Napoleon Bonaparte. In July, 1807, Napoleon was celebrating the Treaties of Tilsit which ended hostilities with Russia. A rabbit hunt was arranged, with different versions claiming hundreds to thousands of rabbits were gathered for the hunt. As they were released though, rather than flee they charged Napoleon and his comrades, even climbing up his clothing as he flailed at them with a riding crop.

The rabbits pursued Napoleon all the way to his carriage in which he made his escape, though some reportedly jumped into the coach with him. The action of the rabbits have been attributed to the mistake of having used tame rather than wild rabbits, who rather than seeing Napoleon as a hunter saw him as someone bringing the day's food.
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4/8 right.  1,3,5, and 6. Circumnavigation question tricked me. 

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#8 is funny as hell.  I wish I could have witnessed that,  or at least there was video. 

That's a bit of trivia I've never once heard in my life,  I'm glad you shared it,  Greg. 

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#8 is funny as hell.  I wish I could have witnessed that,  or at least there was video. 

That's a bit of trivia I've never once heard in my life,  I'm glad you shared it,  Greg. 

You might like this historian's description I came across:

Napoleon retreated, fleeing to his carriage. But it didn’t stop. According to historian David Chandler, “with a finer understanding of Napoleonic strategy than most of his generals, the rabbit horde divided into two wings and poured around the flanks of the party and headed for the imperial coach.”


Aerial Assault

Thanks so much for these, Greg.  Got 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 right (like Boot, awarding myself credit for "Magellan's navigator" since I knew Magellan died during the trip but certainly did not know the gentleman's name).  Lucky on 4; I just read about that recently.  Should have guessed 5 with more logical thinking.  Embarrassed not to know 3, as an AstronomyGuy.  Utterly clueless as to 7. 


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