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Greg's Useless Trivia #49 (1 Viewer)


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:

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#46   #47   #48

1) The phrase "Kill them all; let God sort them out" had its origins in what war?

a) The Crusades
b) The Boar War
c) Spanish-American War
d) World War I
e) World War II

a) The Crusades. The original phrase was allegedly spoken by abbot Arnaud Amalric prior to the massacre at Béziers in the Albigensian Crusade to eliminate the Cathars. When asked how to distinguish Catholics from Cathars when massacring the populace, he reportedly replied, "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius", which can be translated to "Kill them all, God will know His own", or "Kill them all. Let God sort them out".
2) One of this person's accomplishments directly led to Mississippi officially ratifying the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery.

a) Mark Twain

b) Harper Lee

c) Martin Luther King Jr.

d) Maya Angelou

e) Steven Spielberg

f) Pee Wee Herman

e) Steven Spielberg. Spielberg's film "Lincoln" was seen by Mississippi resident Ranjan Batra. Batra did some research on the topic and learned, incredibly, that his home state didn't vote to ratify the 13th Amendment until 1995. It had still became law in 1865, after three quarters of the states passed it. Then, on top of waiting 130 years to agree to end slavery, Mississippi's secretary of state forgot to mail it to a federal office, which would make it official. But thanks to Batra's Lincoln-inspired efforts, the error was fixed and the ratification was filed in 2013.
3) This infamous world leader was a chronic tax evader, and was once fined by his government over it. So when he took power, he had himself declared exempt from taxation. 

Hitler. A documentary estimated that in today's dollars, he owed the equivalent of $3 million in back taxes by 1938. Some estimates are that he may have kept a secret fortune worth over $6 billion in today's money, which may have never been recovered.
4) Military service is mandatory for Egyptian men. But those lacking this are exempt from being conscripted.

a) hair
b) a full set of teeth
c) a brother
d) perfect vision
e) 4 generations of descent from Muslims

c) a brother.  Only those with male siblings are required to serve. I guess you only have to serve if your parents made a spare...
5) True or False. Authorities in Morocco arrested a pair of ten year old boys for tying the feet of goats to tree branches as a tourist attraction.  Image: http://neveryetmelted.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/GoatsinTree.jpg

False. The tree in the picture is an Argania tree, and the leaves and fruit of the Argania are so delicious to goats that they regularly climb up onto the branches to eat them. And create some great opportunities for pictures in doing so.

6) Bullockornis lived in the Middle Miocene, approximiately 15 million years ago. By what nickname is it more commonly known?

a) Angry-Anteater of the Apocalypse
b) Beastly-Bat of Blight
c) Cravenness-Cat of Calamity
d) Demon-Duck of Doom
e) Evil-Elephant of Extermination
f) Phil

d) Demon-Duck of Doom. It lived in Australia, weighing about 550 lbs and standing 8 feet tall, like an ostrich on steroids and with a very sharp beak. Researchers think the large beak suited to shearing may mean the bird was carnivorous.
7) Jeremy was a rare snail whose shell coils counterclockwise. This means his sex organs do not align with other snails. A global search to find him a mate ensued. Per the BBC, what was the result?

a) 6 mates were found, and Jeremy had an orgy
b) no mates were found, but Jeremy turned out to be Jenny and capable of parthenogenesis (self reproduction)
c) 2 mates were found, but they ended up preferring each other
d) Jeremy became a poster at FBGs 

c) 2 mates were found, but they ended up having sex with each other.  A BBC callout resulted in Lefty, from Ipswich, and Tomeau, from Majorca, Spain being found. Unfortunately Lefty and Tomeau preferred each other and made three batches of eggs. The news was so heart-breaking that someone even wrote a song, the Tragical Ballad of Jeremy the Left Twisting Snail (available on Youtube). But there's a happy ending. Shortly before his death, Jeremy finally hooked up with that Spanish hussy Tomeau and produced some offspring. Jeremy has never posted at FBG. To my knowledge.
8) The reservoir behind this dam contains about 39 trillion kilograms of water. According to scientist's calculations, having that much water at that elevation slowed the Earth's rotation by 0.00000006 seconds and shifted the pole position by about 2 centimeters. Which dam?

The Three Gorges Dam in China. It is the world's largest power station.
9) Techniques used to catch serial killers have been refined with tests on what species?

a) pigeons 
b) bees
c) ants
d) piranha

b) bees. Most serial killer attacks happen fairly close to the perpetrator's home, but beyond a “buffer zone” that prevents the attacker being recognised or noticed by neighbours. Police can then analyze the locations of attacks to try to identify where the killer may live. Bumblebees gathering pollen also leave a buffer zone around their nest to prevent predators finding it, and provide a more ethical test than releasing real serial killers to track. Scientists used the police software to correctly identify the hives of tagged bees. And observations of the bees led to refinements in their algorithms used by the police.
10) On January 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus wrote in his journal that he had seen three mermaids, and that they were "not half as beautiful as they are said to be, for their faces had some masculine traits". What had Columbus actually seen?


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I thought the snail question was an actual question about an FBG, and my guess was a certain Wallgreen employee. 



Can't believe there have been 49 of these.  Doing something special for #50.  Probably will post it tomorrow or Monday.


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