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Greg's Useless Trivia #40 (1 Viewer)


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:







1) The Cuvier's beaked whale has the record for both the longest and deepest dives. One tagged whale dove to a depth of 9,800 feet, and on the same dive also set the known record for longest period of an animal holding its breath. How long did it hold it?

a) 84 minutes
b) 138 minutes
c) 150 minutes
d) 212 minutes

b) 138 minutes, or 2 hours 18 minutes. Before researches recorded this dive, the southern elephant seal had been the record holder with 2 hours of breath holding.
2) What was the fastest speed recorded on a speeding ticket?

a) 176 mph
b) 198 mph
c) 215 mph
d) 242 mph

d) 242mph, given out in 2003 in Texas in a 75mph zone. The car was a Swedish Koenigsegg CC85.
3) General Dwight Eisenhower once named four tools that he said won World War II: the bulldozer, the two-and-a-half-ton truck, the C-47 transport plane, and the Jeep. He had similar praise for the man who designed and manufactured a different piece of military equipment, saying, "________ is the man who won the war for us."  Name either the man, or what he invented. His creation bears his name but most people probably know it now by a more generic name.

Andrew Higgins, the designer and builder of the landing craft used in amphibious assaults known as LCVPs or Higgins boats. Colonel Joseph Alexander, USMC, added to the subject, "The Higgins boats broke the gridlock on the ship-to-shore movement. It is impossible to overstate the tactical advantages this craft gave U.S. amphibious commanders in World War II."
4) Humans have 7 neck vertebrae. How many do giraffes have?

a) 5
b) 7
c) 10
d) 14
e) 26

b) 7. The same as humans, though on giraffes each one can be over 10 inches long. Most all mammals have 7 neck vertebrae and giraffes are mentioned as proof of the rule. Among the only exceptions are the tree sloth and the manatee.
5) Sergeant Bill served in the 5th Infantry Battalian of the Canadian army during World War I. He got into trouble soon after arriving in England, being arrested twice after arriving at the front in France, though he later made good. Despite bleeding from a shrapnel wound at Ypres, he was found in a shell-crater standing guard over a Prussian soldier. Bill was gassed in the Second Battle of Ypres but survived. He was wounded twice by shrapnel at Festubert. During shelling, he saved the lives of three soldiers, shoving them into a mud-filled trench just before a shell exploded where they had been standing. For his service, Sergeant Bill received the Mons Star, the General Service Medal, and the Victory Medal, before eventually returning home to western Canada after the war.
But there was something unique about him. How did Sergeant Bill differ from other Canadian soldiers?

Bill was a goat. His arrests were for eating the battalion roll, and charging a superior officer. It is speculated that he was forewarned about the shell coming in by his superior hearing, and head-butted the men into the trench as a result. After his death, Bill was stuffed and placed in the Saskatchewan Legislative Building for a time, before being returned home to a place of honor in the Broadview Museum.
6) True or False. A man once got a personalized license plate that resulted in him receiving over 2500 parking tickets.

True, per Snopes. In 1979, Robert Barbour requested a personalized plate in California. The form allows for three choices in case the plate is not available. He chose BOATING and SAILING, and did not want a personalized plate if those were taken so wrote NO PLATE in the third slot. The DMV was literal though and sent him a license plate reading NO PLATE. Four weeks later he received his first notice on an overdue parking ticket, from far away San Francisco. Before long he was receiving dozens each day. When law enforcement officers ticketed illegally parked cars that bore no plates, they had been writing "NO PLATE" in the license field. The DMV computers began matching all of them to Barbour's car. Other people have had the same issue with plates like NONE, MISSING, and NOTAG.
7) Which of these has the GREATEST odds of happening?

a) Odds of being killed by lightning
b) Odds of being attacked by a shark
c) Odds of a Japanese citizen being killed by a gun
d) Odds of being born with 11 fingers or toes
e) Odds of being killed by escape of radiation from a nuclear power plant
f) Odds of being killed by a terrorist attack

d) the odds of being born with 11 fingers or toes is 1 in 500. The odds of all the rest are in the ballpark of 1 in 10 million or more.
8) Japan's population is about 126 million. How many are 100 years old or older?

a) 400
b) 1,200
c) 9,000
d) 25,000
e) 65,000

e) 65,000. Though Japan trails the US by about 10,000 centenarians, their population is only about 1/3 of America's.
9) This wealthy American was once hospitalized with third degree burns after a plane crash. He decided he did not like the bed's design, so called in engineers to design an adjustable bed that would alleviate the pain from moving with severe burns. The bed ended up becoming the prototype of the modern hospital bed. Who is he?

Howard Hughes. Hughes never got to use the bed himself, as his recovery from his injuries went so fast that doctors considered it almost miraculous. Hughes did not believe it was a miracle, nor modern medicine, but instead asserted the life-giving properties of fresh-squeezed orange juice were responsible.
10) The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Locks are required to raise and lower ships as the canal system passes through mountains between the two. But of the two Oceans, which one has the higher sea level?

It might seem like they are the same height... but actually the Pacific is about 20 cm higher than the Atlantic there. This is likely due to a combination of water in the Pacific being less dense on average, and prevailing weather and ocean conditions. Such sea level differences are common across short sections of land dividing ocean basins. If the canal was just a big deep ocean-level trench, there would be a current flowing from Pacific to Atlantic, similar as happens in the Drake Passage off the southern tip of Chile. The northern Pacific is also higher than the southern Pacific, and the northern Atlantic is higher than the southern Atlantic, for similar reasons.

El Floppo

5/10- knew 4, guessed badly with the rest. was in the right direction with the canadian soldier... should've thought more about that familiar name.

fantastic as always. :thumbup:  


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