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Greg's Useless Trivia #44 (1 Viewer)


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:

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1) This venerated sporting tradition was actually started by the Nazi propaganda machine, and played up fully by Joseph Goebbels.

The Olympic torch relay. The torch relay's origins do not go back to Greece, but instead were an idea hatched for the 1936 Berlin games. These Nazi origins have led to some protests over the years. In 1956 in Sydney, the torch was supposed to be carried by cross-country champion Harry Dillon and handed to Sydney's mayor who would give a speech and pass it to another runner. The moment arrived and a young man, dressed in a shirt and tie, flanked by a police escort, handed the flaming torch to the mayor. The mayor started his speech, but soon realized the torch was actually a painted chair leg with an empty pudding can glued to the top. Inside was burning a pair of underwear soaked in kerosene. The runner, college student Barry Lark, had already disappeared into the crowd.
2) In the US, we normally speak of the markings on the Moon as showing a "Man in the Moon". In other areas such as Japan, China and Korea, the markings are often described as being this animal.

A rabbit. More specifically, a rabbit holding a mortar and pestle.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rabbit
3) Fort Lee, New Jersey, used to be the movie capital of the world thanks to requirements of a Trust that owned most of the patents related to motion pictures. The Trust's strict rules included maximum movie run time (20 minutes) and no film credits (as those could lead to actor recognition and bigger pay demands). Who owned the Trust?

Thomas Edison. Those who went against the Trust were sued, and it's said Edison wasn't above hiring private detectives to bully and harass competition. On one occasion, the Trust allegedly bribed an exhibitor to show the movies of William Fox (founder of 20th Century Fox) in a brothel to give them grounds to cancel his license. Eventually, filmmakers sought greener pastures. They settled on Hollywood because it had diverse scenery and relaxed patent laws. Their success enabled these indie renegades to fight Edison on antitrust laws and win. The Edison Trust was officially terminated in 1918, and America’s movie capital moved to Hollywood.
4) This 1915 film was Hollywood's first true blockbuster. The director was heaped with praise for many groundbreaking filming techniques that would become the industry standard for years to come. It became the highest-grossing movie and held that record for almost 25 years until supplanted by Gone with the Wind.

D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. It told the story of the Civil War and America’s reconstruction afterward. However, it became infamous for its negative portrayal of black people and the heroic light shined on the Ku Klux Klan, who saved the day on multiple occasions. Many blamed the popularity of the movie for a renewed interest in the KKK, which received a surge in membership following its release. The Birth of a Nation was deemed the most effective recruiting tool in the Klan’s history. When investigative journalist **** Lehr infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s, he discovered it was still used even then as propaganda for new recruits.
5) What is fulgurite?

a) least dense naturally occurring substance
b) most magnetic naturally occurring substance
c) rock debris layer left from dinosaur extinction
d) fossilized dinosaur poo
e) fossilized lightning

e) Fossilized lightning. Natural hollow glass tubes formed in quartzose sand, or silica, or soil by lightning strikes. They are formed when lightning with a temperature of at least 1,800 degrees Celsius instantaneously melts silica on a conductive surface and fuses grains together.  http://listverse.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/fulgurite_1500_1-1-tm.jpg 
6) True or False. The Celsius scale was once "upside down" with 0 as the boiling point of water, and 100 as its freezing point.

True. Anders Celsius created the scale upside-down from our standpoint. It was reversed in the year of Celsius' death by Carolus Linnaeus, a botanist and zoologist and the father of modern taxonomy
7) Which is heavier, a pound of gold, or a pound of feathers?

A pound of feathers. Our normal "English" measurement system is the avoirdupois system where there are 16 ounces in a pound. But gold is measured using the troy measurement system where there are only 12 ounces in a pound. Converted to grams, an avoirdupois pound of feathers is 454 grams and a troy pound of gold is 373 grams. A troy ounce is also slightly heavier in weight than an avoirdupois ounce (though not enough to make up for there only being 12 in a pound). So while a pound of feathers is heavier than a pound of a gold, an ounce of feathers is lighter than an ounce of gold.
8) Some icebergs are green. Why?   (Example: http://i.imgur.com/BA3jA.png)

The icebergs are blocks of ice that have broken off huge slabs of frozen snow called ice shelves. Their green appearance results from sea water that has frozen and adhered to the bottom of the fresh-water ice shelf over hundreds of years. The frozen sea water contained dissolved organic matter, like algae and plankton, giving a yellow tone to the bottom part of the fresh-water ice shelf, which itself has a blue tint. Since the fresh-water shelf is very thick, the yellow underside cannot be seen unless an iceberg breaks off the ice shelf and capsizes. When one of these icebergs turns upside down, bringing the frozen yellow-tinted sea water to the top, the iceberg appears green through the visual mix of the yellow with the blue from below. Fresh water bergs may pick up green layers of frozen sea water, or blue layers of rapidly frozen fresh water, which can create stunning images.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-536928/Revealed-The-Antarctic-iceberg-looks-like-giant-humbug.html
9) How long is expected until the earth will be in an ice age?

a) 500,000 years
b) 1 million years
c) 5 million years
d) 15 million years
e) this is another trick question, I just know this is a trick question

e) this is a trick question. According to NASA, we are currently in the middle of an ice age which began 2.58 million years ago. We are currently in an interglacial period which started between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, and may last for a further 50,000 years before global glaciation begins again.
10) The world's first one of these was built in a squash court beneath a football stadium.

a) skeeball arcade
b) cotton candy machine
c) holo deck
d) nuclear reactor
e) movie theater

d) Nuclear reactor. The world’s first nuclear reactor was built in a squash court beneath a Chicago football stadium on December 2, 1942. While it only generated enough power to light a flashlight, it proved that nuclear power was feasible. Oh yeah, and nuclear bombs, too.
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Improved the explanation for the green icebergs.

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got six this time around ... dunno if that means i need to drink more, or to sober up  :shrug:

thanks for these, GR  :thumbup:


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