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Greg's Useless Trivia #39 (1 Viewer)


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:







1) Jet engines usually have spiral markings on the center.  What purpose do they serve?  Example image.

They have two purposes, full credit for either. First, they allow ground crew to easily tell if the engine is spinning or not. Second, the motion of the spinning spiral when the engine is on discourages birds from flying in.
2) There is a man who died in 1896 whose last name is well known to people today. In 1888, the man's brother passed away, but a newspaper was confused on which brother died and printed this man's obituary instead. The obituary referred to him as "the merchant of death". That event contributed heavily to why we still know of him today. Who is the man?

Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel prizes. Nobel was a chemist who worked with explosives, inventing dynamite, blasting caps, and a predecessor of cordite. He owned a company, Bofors, which he turned from iron and steel production to making armaments. After seeing from his premature obituary how he was going to be remembered by society, he decided to found the Nobel prizes, and left most of his fortune in trust to fund them.

3) True or False. Ostriches bury their heads in the sand when scared.

False, according to National Geographic. This myth could have been started because ostriches have small heads that might not be noticeable at distance when they are picking at the ground. Also, they dig holes for their eggs, and stick their head in when turning the eggs over occasionally.
4) A McDonalds in Hong Kong once had two of the richest men in the world come in for lunch. After they ordered, one offered to the other to pay for lunch... and pulled out coupons from his pocket to do so. Who were the pair?

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Buffett was the one who paid with the coupons. He is a regular at McDonalds, frequently getting breakfast there on his way to work. Buffett is frugal with his money, still living in a home he bought for what would be about $260,000 in today's dollars.
5) The first known speeding ticket was given to Walter Arnold a resident of Kent in the United Kingdom. How fast was he going?

a) 30mph in a 10mph zone
b) 20 mph in a 10mph zone
c) 10mph in a 5mph zone
d) 8mph in a 2mph zone

d) He was going 8mph in a 2mph zone. In 1896 he was chased down and caught by a policeman on a bicycle. The first known speeding tickets in the US were given in 1899 (taken to jail but no paper ticket) for going 12mph in an 8mph zone, and 1904 (first paper ticket) also for 12mph.
6) What city has been hit by the most tornadoes?

According to a 2013 story, the National Weather Service said that Oklahoma City had been hit more than 140 times since records began in the early 1890s.
7) The most expensive mailbox ever sold at auction in the US went for $83,000. It was the only mailbox known to have been hit by one of these.

The mailbox was hit by a meteorite in 1985. Meteorites are often worth more to collectors when they hit something, and so too the objects they hit. The meteorite, which hit the mailbox in Claxton, Georgia was sold to a member of the DuPont family for $3,000. A 2007 Chicago Tribune article estimated its worth today to be $145,500.
8) True or False. Some reptiles defend themselves by shooting predators with streams of blood out of their eyes.

True. The horned lizard will build up blood pressure in its head until vessels along the edge of its eyes burst, shooting blood as much as five feet away. The blood itself has chemicals which make it an undesirable scent and taste to predators like dogs.
9) Sodomy laws sometimes include bans on oral sex. In how many US states is oral sex still illegal?

Zero. The Supreme Court overturned such laws in 2003 in Lawrence vs Texas. There were still 14 states with sodomy laws at the time, though I don't know how many of them included oral sex.
10) The most expensive speeding ticket on record was in Finland and cost the equivalent of $250,000. Why was it so expensive?

The driver was doing about 80kph in a 40kph zone. But it was so expensive because the fines in Finland are partially based on the income of the person being ticketed. And this particular driver was a reasonably wealthy business man and investor.
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7/10 but I gave myself half a point each for getting 1 of the 2 McDonalds guys AND for getting the right state but the wrong city for the tornado answer.



8/10, and I had #6 right with my "gut" guess but I switched to a different city (same state) at the last second.

Only missed #2



Got 5/10....my best showing yet.  Got both McD's guys.  Guessed right on 3 of the 5 including that one.

Guessed wrong on tornado city, but was torn between my guess and the right answer.  Knew it was probably one of the two.


Mrs. Rannous

6 of 10.  I had a brain cramp on a couple, but I sure knew the tornado answer.  And the oral sex one, too.  (I live in Texas.)


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