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Greg's Useless Trivia #34 (1 Viewer)

GregR

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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:

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1) The Oscar, the statue award from the Academy of Motion Pictures, is made of solid bronze and plated in 24-karat gold. However, there were three years in which the statues were painted plaster. Why?

It was World War II and metal was in short supply. Following the war, the Academy invited the recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones.

2) What is the Centennial Light?

It is the world's longest burning light bulb. It has been burning since 1901 at the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department in Livermore CA. Some point to its longevity as evidence that modern light bulbs burn out early by design.
 
 
 
 
3) What Lunar-related irregularity previously occurred in 1809, 1847, 1866, 1885, 1915, 1934, 1961, and 1999... and will next occur in February, 2018?

A month without a full moon. February is the only month short enough for it to happen. That means there will also be a blue moon in January.
 
 
 
4) Who is the only living head of state who served in World War II?

Queen Elizabeth. After months of begging her father to let his heir pitch in, Elizabeth — then an 18-year-old princess — joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. Known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor, she donned a pair of coveralls and trained in London as a mechanic and military truck driver.
 
 
 
5) What unique distinction does the 1896 French movie "Le Coucher de la Mariee" hold?

It is the oldest surviving pornographic movie, containing a woman performing a bathroom striptease.

6) According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (on May 26, 2017), a woman named Irene Triplett is the only person still receiving a veterans benefit for which War?

The Civil War. Triplett, the 86-year-old daughter of a Civil War veteran, collects $73.13 each month from her father's military pension. Triplett's father was Mose Triplett, born in 1846. He joined the Confederate army in 1862, but later deserted and signed up with the Union. His first wife died and he later married Elida Hall who was at least 50 years younger. Mose Triplett was 83 when Irene was born, and had another son when he was 87. Mose died a few days after returning from the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1938.

7) Just south of modern-day Missoula, Montana, historians were able to pinpoint the location of a campsite from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Contributing to the identification were melted lead and a fire-cracked rock where a weapon was likely repaired at a campfire. There was also an old latrine of the proper age situated the proper distance away as their military guidebook stipulated. Something else about the latrine provided the clinching evidence it was actually used by Lewis and Clark though. What was it?

The latrine contained mercury. Lewis and Clark's journals mention their men frequently taking a popular constipation remedy called Dr. Rush's Bilious Pill. It contained 10 grains per serving of mercury-containing calomel.
 
 
 
8) According to a book and subsequent NY Times article that used as a definition of war "an active conflict that has claimed more than 1000 lives", out of 3400 years of recorded human history, how many years were entirely without war?

a) 34
b) 268
c) 412
d) 844
e) 1130

b) 268 years, or about 8% of recorded history, have been at peace.
 
 
 
9) Founded in 1860, for how many years did the famed Pony Express operate?

a) 1.5
b) 4
c) 8
d) 12
e) 16
 

a) 1.5 years, or 19 months to be exact. It reduced the time for messages between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days. The founders had hoped to win an exclusive government contract for delivering mail along their route, but it went to someone else early in 1961 and the Pony Express contracted their route. They finally closed their doors when a telegraph was put in covering that remaining route. Wells Fargo used the logo for several more decades, and the USPS used a Pony Express trademark.
 
 
 
10) World War II is generally regarded as the war with the most total deaths with a total somewhere between 40 and 85 million. But which war killed the largest percentage of the Earth's population at the time it was fought?

While the best we can do is estimate, it is likely the An Lushan revolt in 8th century China with a death toll of around 36 million that killed off about 15% of the world's estimated population. World War II would have had to kill about 429 million people to take out the same percentage. Many of the deadliest wars in history took place at least in part in China. The Mongol conquest of the 13th century is estimated second, with about 40 milllion deaths that would equate to 278 million by WWII standards.
 

El Floppo

Footballguy
3/10

Guessed one.

I prefer these ones where I don't know the answers... Tricks me into thinking I'm learning stuff.

 

Mr. Mojo

Footballguy
Saw the Centennial Light at the fire station a couple years ago. It's very dim - looks like about 10 watts. Interesting history, though.

 
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Brunell4MVP

Footballguy
My worthless History degree had a focus in Chinese history.  And if I remember the An Lushan Rebellion death numbers are highly disputed.  The estimates are largely based on the census numbers before and after the revolt.  But the census system had completely broken down. Most experts think it more like 10-15m deaths (about 5% of world population).

Now the Mongols.  they knocked off a ton of people.  And were pretty violent in their execution methods.

 
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heckmanm

Footballguy
2/10 - got 1 and 9 right.

Close on 3

For 7, there's a really distasteful Sacagawea joke that can be made, but it's not the correct answer.

 

Jayrod

Footballguy
I got 1 & 5 right.  Got the second place answer for #10 and I'd never heard of the correct answer, so I'm giving myself a 1/2 point there.  I'm disappointed I didn't get #4, that was one I should have known. 

2.5/10

On a side note, I'd do better just randomly guessing on the multiple choice and T/F questions.  I seem to defy the odds on those.

 

GregR

Footballguy
My worthless History degree had a focus in Chinese history.  And if I remember the An Lushan Rebellion death numbers are highly disputed.  The estimates are largely based on the census numbers before and after the revolt.  But the census system had completely broken down. Most experts think it more like 10-15m deaths (about 5% of world population).

Now the Mongols.  they knocked off a ton of people.  And were pretty violent in their execution methods.
One thing I've realized from these... the Chinese were sure involved in a lot of a bloody wars.

 

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