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Greg's Useless Trivia #42 (1 Viewer)


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:







1) What do Benny Goodman, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Lebron James, and Arnold Palmer have in common?

They all have regal nicknames. The King of Swing, The King, The King of Pop, King James, and The King, respectively.
2) The deepest one of these was recorded at 1575 feet below the ocean, in 1973.

a) conception (i.e. sex)
b) diving pelican
c) scuba dive
d) underwater rescue

d) underwater rescue. A small submersible was strapped on the sea bed off the coast of Ireland. A 76-hour multinational rescue effort managed to rescue the men. It was estimated that when they got the hatch open, a scant 12 minutes of oxygen were left.
3) Not quite as deep as question #2, the deepest one of these was recorded at 1090 feet below the ocean.

a) conception (i.e. sex)
b) diving pelican
c) scuba dive
d) underwater rescue

c) scuba dive. Ahmed Gabr dove to that depth in the Red Sea in 2014. It took him 12 minutes to reach that depth. And, to avoid the dangers of decompression sickness, the rest of the day to return to the surface.
4) In Tanzania, they are using this animal to detect unexploded landmines.

a) lions
b) tigers
c) bears
d) oh my!
e) rats
f) moles

e) rats. The rats are light enough they do not set off the landmines, but are able to scent the explosives with their keen sense of smell. It costs about $7000 to train one, but it is worth it. The rats can clear 200 square meters of land in 20 minutes. A team of men searching the same area with metal detectors would take 5 days. Rats have also been used in Angola and Mozambique, where 13,000 landmines have been found and destroyed (by both rats and men).
5) In Providence, RI, each night at 8:30 the lights of many skyscrapers, tugboats, hotels, businesses and sometimes even police cars begin flashing on and off, for about 3 minutes.  Why?

Known as "Good Night Lights", it is the city saying good night to the children at Hasbro Children's Hospital, who have a view of the city from their windows. The young patients have grown to love it and answer back with flashlights of their own. The phenomena started with cartoonist Steve Brosnihan who volunteers at the hospital. Seeing that the children could see his bus stop that he bikes to, he told them to look for him and he'd blink his bike light on and off to say goodnight. He soon got a nearby business to flicker their neon lights too. The place's customers began joining in with flashlights, and it just took off from there and went citywide.
6) According to boxer Mike Tyson, this was the catalyst for him becoming a boxer.

a) too weak to help when his mother was mugged
b) priest made him swear to never touch a gun
c) bully killed his pet pigeon
d) thought it would keep him from getting drafted
e) watched "Rocky" over two dozen times in one month

c) a bully killed his pet pigeon. According to a New York Times article by Tyson defending pigeons, he was a very awkward and insecure child. The pigeons that depended on him for food made him feel wanted and relevant. A bully killed one of Tyson's birds, and Tyson snapped and began fighting him, which was "a catalyst to the fighter within".
7) Which of the following about Pablo Picasso are believed to be true?

a) He had a hand in stealing art from the Louvre
b) He was questioned about stealing the Mona Lisa
c) He carried a gun loaded with blanks that he shot at people who asked the meaning of paintings
d) All of the above

All of the above. Though someone else stole the Mona Lisa, during the investigation a pair of stolen statuettes were found in Picasso's possession and many art historians believe Picasso at the least commissioned the heist. Picasso also shot his blank-filled gun at people who dared insult Cezzanne's memory.
8) Purple, particularly Tyrian Purple, is known as the royal color because it was the hardest dye to extract, so only the very rich like royalty could afford it. What was the source of this purple dye?

It is excreted by predatory sea snails. In ancient times it might take 10,000 snails to produce a useful quantity of the dye.
9) This treat is common today. But in the 1700s it was something only the wealthy were likely to have. George Washington enjoyed it so much that one summer he reportedly spent $200 on it, equivalent to about $5000 in today's money.

Ice cream. The ingredients (sugar, salt) had to be imported to many areas, and the person needed to be wealthy enough to own a cow and be able to spare milk and cream from it. Then it requires ice cut from a river and kept in an ice cellar, and finally someone with free time to do the work required to create it in those days.
10) True or False. Hershey once created a chocolate bar that tasted so bad, people only would eat it if faced with starvation otherwise.

True. During World War II, the military approached the chocolate company about making a chocolate bar to serve as an emergency ration. Worried that soldiers would be too tempted and eat the bar for the taste, they requested "a bar weighing about four ounces, able to withstand high temperatures, high in food energy value, and tasting just a little better than a boiled potato".  Hershey responded with a 600 calorie bar that was edible, if unpleasant.
11) True or False.  The Earth is nearest to the Sun in January, and farthest from the Sun in July.

True. Like most objects in space, the Earth's orbit is not a perfect sphere. The Earth is about 3 million miles closer to the Sun in early January than it is in early July. That may seem odd that the planet is closer to the Sun in winter, but the seasons are primarily due to the tilt of the Earth's axis causing a hemisphere to receive more or less light depending on where in the orbit the Earth is.

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Where is the secret hidden question that you people are answering to report a score out of 11?


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