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Greg's Useless Trivia #48 (1 Viewer)


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:

#1   #2   #3   #4   #5
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#46  #47

1) In July, 2003, Vincent Brothers flew from California to Ohio supposedly to visit his brother. In reality the trip was a planned alibi. Once he landed in Columbus, he rented a car and drove it back to California to kill his wife and three children, then returned to Ohio. The authorities suspected him but there was ironclad evidence he'd gone to Ohio, though the rental car's odometer showed he could have made a round trip out West. Police turned to a particular type of scientist who was able to gather from the car the evidence that would eventually put Brothers behind bars. What kind of evidence was it?  (Hint: It was not geologic, or anything to do with the tires.)

Cars pick up lots of bugs when driven down the freeway for long periods. Enotomologist Lynn Kimsey was asked to inspect the rental car. She found a paper wasp, two species of true bugs, and the leg of a type of grasshopper all of which are specific to the Western US. Brothers was convicted of mass murder.
2) How is Motley Crue singer Vince Neil connected to the Aerosmith song "Dude (Looks like a Lady)"?

Neil was the dude who looked like a lady. Members of Aerosmith mistook Neil's long blond locks for a woman's at a a bar one night.
3) A study of the mating behaviors of farmed ostriches found that this condition increases courtship behavior.

a) moonlit nights
b) R&B music
c) presence of voyeur ostriches
d) presence of humans
e) eye makeup

d) Not only did courtship behavior increase when humans were around, but they were possibly directed towards the humans. Courtship behavior involves the male doing a little courtship dance, flapping his wings out, squatting down, and waving his neck back and forth. If the female likes what she sees, she'll flap her wings backward, while bending her neck forward, and making a clapping noise with her beak. Farmers noticed more of this behavior when they were present. Scientists confirmed those ostriches were happy to see the humans. Very happy. When the humans were nearby, 70% of the ostriches reliably hit on the humans, soliciting sex more than twice as often. Being raised by humans can apparently change what an ostrich is attracted to. The only exception to this was their control ostrich, a male which had been raised in Africa. Unfortunately for the farmers, only courtship behavior increased, but not actual mating of the ostriches. Only one of the ostriches observed apparently tried to "take advantage" of the female ostriches getting all hot and bothered for a human.
4) In the 1928 Olympics, Australian Bobby Pearce paused in this racing event in order to let some wildlife pass safely.  Then went on to win the gold medal.

Rowing. In his individual skulling event that consists of a head-to-head race with another rower, a family of ducks had happened across their course halfway through. Pearce already had nearly a 30 second lead in the 2000 meter race, and stopped to give the ducks time to safely pass. His opponent, Frechman Vincent Saurin, showed less regard for the ducks and blew past, taking a five length lead as Pearce resumed. The Australian not only caught back up, but re-secured a nearly 30 second lead by the time he won the race.
5) A fundamental tenet of linguistic science is that the sound of a word has an arbitrary connection to the word's meaning. So the word "dog" is connected to the concept "dog" only by historical accident within a language, and not any inherent natural connection. However, a 2013 study found one word that may be universal across languages.

The word "huh?". A study of 10 languages from 5 different continents found a short, similar sounding word used in the same fashion in all 10.
6) In 1938 this Asian company started as a maker of noodles, dried fish, and groceries. In the late 1960s, the company entered the electronics business which is how most of us know of it today.

Samsung. The company diversified into multiple areas including tires prior to getting into the electronics business.

7) True or False. A scientific study found that holding a 3-feet-long crocodile has no affect on people's gambling behavior. 

False. There actually was such a study, and they found it very much does have an affect on gambling behavior. People with few self-reported negative emotions from the experience played higher average bets, while people with many such emotions placed lower average bets. In the Australian study (go figure), gambling was conducted after holding a salt-water crocs, not while still holding it.
8) This popular landmark used to move about 4 feet per year. Due to human intervention, it now moves less than a foot per year. In the future that is expected to drop to a foot every ten years.

Niagara Falls. From 1842 to 1905, the lip of the Horseshoe Falls moved upriver about 4 feet every year due to erosion. Diverting water towards power generation reduced the rate of erosion, and further remedial efforts are expected to slow the upriver creep.

9) This regal snake is the only one in the world that builds a nest to lay its eggs.

The king cobra.
10) About how long of free fall does it take a skydiver in a spread-eagle position before he stops accelerating?

a) 4 seconds
b) 12 seconds
c) 25 seconds
d) He never stops accelerating. Until he pulls his chute (or hits the ground).

b) about 12 seconds during which he will have fallen about 1500 feet and have reached a velocity of about 122mph. As his velocity increases, the resistance of air will increase until finally it is equal to his body weight, at which point acceleration stops and he falls at a constant speed. This speed is known as terminal velocity and varies depending on the mass, drag coefficient and surface area of the object in question. The same skydiver pulling in his arms and legs and going head first could go MUCH faster. The current world record is 834 mph, faster than the speed of sound!

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I actually knew the guy in #1.  He used to come into the restaurant I worked at about once a week and get take-out.  Always seemed like a very solid dude.  He worked a rather "urban" middle school.  The local newspaper once did a story on him about how he was dedicated to providing young, black kids with a  positive, male role model.  

Then he killed his whole freaking family.  



Thank goodness for guessing right on a True/False... 1/10.

It's only a matter of time before I get 0/10


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