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Greg's Useless Trivia #50 - 100 questions (75 greatest hits, 25 new) (1 Viewer)


When I posted the first of these back in summer of 2008, I hadn't really planned to do more, let alone dreamed we would one day reach 50 of them.

It's been a good time doing them. Hearing that they have brought others enjoyment makes the time they take more than worthwhile for me. So thank you all who have replied in them, and here's hoping there's another 50 to come.

To celebrate the milestone, here is a 100 question edition.  The first 75 questions include some of my favorites from past Useless Trivia, and are drawn heavily from earlier issues. But questions 76 to 100 are new.  Enjoy!


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

Links to previous Useless Trivia:

#1   #2   #3   #4   #5
#6   #7   #8   #9   #10  
#11  #12   #13   #14   #15
#16   #17   #18   #19   #20
#21   #22   #23   #24   #25
#26   #27   #28   #29   #30 
#31  #32   #33   #34   #35
#36   #37   #38   #39   #40
#41   #42   #43   #44   #45
#46   #47   #48   #49

1) True or False. In World War II between Japan and the United States, the US was the first nation to sink one of the other side's vessels.

True. Before the Japanese air attack arrived at Pearl Harbor, the destroyer USS Ward was patrolling the mouth of the Harbor, and sunk a Japanese midget submarine that was trying to infiltrate the base to be part of the attack.
2) There is an American Actor from the 1960s and 1970s who only appeared in 6 films. 5 of his 6 films were nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture, and 4 of them won the award. Who is he?

John Cazale, best known for playing Fredo in the Godfather. His Best Picture winning films: The Deerhunter, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Dog Day Afternoon. He was also in The Conversation, which was nominated for Best Picture but did not win.
3) Half of the NFL team logos contain heads or faces, whether human or animal. And all of them either face right or straight ahead, except for one. Which team's logo faces left?

The Philadelphia Eagles
4) Three football players have won the Heisman, been selected number one overall in the draft, and been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One is Paul Hornung. Who are the other two?

OJ Simpson and Earl Campbell. Among current players, Carson Palmer and Sam Bradford are still eligible but doubtful to make the list, while Cam Newton and Jameis Winston still have a chance for a HoF-worthy career. Jim Plunkett is another who could one-day join them if he gets in the HoF.
5) What mistake was made in the naming of the 1970 film "Tora Tora Tora" about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

The name was meant to be based on the code, "Tora Tora Tora" or "Tiger Tiger Tiger" sent back by Japanese pilots to indicate the attack had begun and achieved surprise. The problem is, this wasn't the code sent back by the Japanese. They actually sent "To To To" to indicate the attack had begun, and "Ra Ra Ra" to indicate surprise was achieved. American radio operators mistakenly misread the message as the Japanese word for tiger. At a joint American-Japanese memorial commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack, Japanese historians pointed out the error and what the real message had been.

6) As of 2008, only 7 times had Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated had the same entity or person(s) on the cover in the same week. Name at least 3.

Joe Namath, Reggie Jackson, Secretariat, 1980 US Hockey Team, Mary Lou Retton, OJ Simpson, 1999 US Women's World Cup Soccer Team
7) What games normally include King David, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, and Julius Caesar?

Card games. The kings in a deck of playing cards represent those 4 notable monarchs. Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, Diamonds - Julius Caesar.
8) How long did the shortest war in history last?

a) about 1 minute
b) about 40 minutes
c) 5 hours
d) 2.5 days
e) 7 days

b) about 40 minutes.  In an 1896 a Sultan ascended the throne in Zanzibar in violation of a treaty with the British. England delivered an ultimatum to the new Sultan of Zanzibar to abdicate or they would go to war. The ultimatum expired on August 27th at 9 am and the British attack began 2 minutes later at 9:02. The Sultan's forces were defeated and combat ceased 38 minutes later at 9:40 am.
9) In a pickup truck, do you get better gas mileage with the tailgate up or with the tailgate down?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, you get better mileage with your tailgate UP. Having the tailgate up captures a rotating vortex of air called a separated bubble within the truck bed which flowing air passes over with very low drag. Lowering the tailgate causes this separated bubble to leave and the flowing air hits the bed of the truck directly which causes more drag than did the air passing over the separated bubble.
10) According to an interviewed bomb disposal expert, which of these methods is the one you would want to use if you had to defuse a bomb?
a) Cut a wire leading to the explosive.
b) Cut a wire leading to the battery.
c) Use a tool that can cut all the wires simultaneously.
d) Freeze the battery with liquid nitrogen.
e) Use a device that can shoot beta radiation that changes the chemical structure of explosives to make them inert.
f) Submerge the bomb in water.

According to the expert interviewed on the crappy Spike TV show, "Manswers", the best bet if you have to defuse the bomb, is to flash freeze the battery so it cannot provide an electric charge.
11) The Egyptian pyramids appear today to be brownish-orange. However, that was not their original color. What color were they originally, and what happened to change it?

The pyramids were originally smooth as glass and white like the color of paper. After the Arab invasion of Egypt, the Arab conquerors stripped away the limestone exterior of the pyramids that gave them that color, and used the stone in the construction of cities including Cairo.
12) Waht did rscherecah at Cbmagride Uinervtisy raveel aubot raiedng?

Research at Cambridge University revealed that it doesn't matter to the brain in what order the letters of a word are written. The only thing that is important is that the first and last letters be in the right place. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
13) Which plant bears a fruit whose liquid, when the fruit is young, is a close substitute for human blood plasma?

a) banana
b) coconut
c) tomato
d) passion fruit
e) mango

b) coconut. The liquid in a young coconut has the same electrolytic balance as human blood plasma, and was used as a substitute in India during World War II when plasma stocks were low.
14) Why did many firehouses have circular stairways?

a) indoor storage of firewagons necessitated space saving measures
b) firemen descending in a hurry less likely to suffer a long fall
c) they build more physical fitness climbing than straight stairs
d) so horses do not climb them 
e) easier to defend during attacks from natives

d) So the horses that pulled the fire equipment could not walk up them.
15) Which extra-terrestrial language has the Bible been translated into?

16) What were the origins of the prop mask worn by the Michael Myers character in the original Halloween?

It was a Captain Kirk mask that was painted white.
17) Which 20th century US President's life was saved by a speech he'd prepared?

Teddy Roosevelt. While he was campaigning in Milwaukee, an assailant shot him at close range with a .32 bullet. The bullet struck the thick manuscript he was carrying that contained his speech, spending much of its force and only moderately wounding him as a result. Roosevelt continued on and gave part of his speech before growing weak from blood loss and being taken to the hospital.
18) Since commercial aviation took off in the US, there have been 4 times the skies have been kept clear of commercial and private planes by the government. The most recent was due to the attacks on 9/11/2001. The other three times were for a similar reason as each other, what was it?

All three occurred in the early 1960s as part of Cold War military exercises. Airliners had to make way for waves of B-52 and B-47 bombers that were to cross from Canada into the United States and enter the continent from the coasts in a simulated Soviet nuclear attack. The three simulations, known as Sky Shield, were training exercises for the personnel, communications, and radar detection systems of North America. The plan was to make sure that the bombers were detected by radar and other early-warning systems, that interceptor and missile squadrons would be alerted and scrambled, and that the United States would remain able to strike back.
19) When Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally contacted about the movie The Terminator, it was about playing the role of Reese rather than the role of the cyborg. The studio had another actor in mind to play the Terminator, but director James Cameron did not want to go with the studio's choice in part because Cameron said the actor was "this likable, goofy, kind of innocent guy". Which actor had the studio wanted?

OJ Simpson.
20) What award has only been bestowed 8 times, to Henry Kissinger, Bob Hope, Karrem Abdul-Jabbar, Whoopi Goldberg, Nelson Mandela, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Pope John Paul II, and Jesse Jackson?

They are the only honorary members of the Harlem Globetrotters.
21) In 1895, Bayer marketed a new drug as a "non-addictive morphine substitute". What was its trademarked name?

22) Observers of whales have sometimes noted clouds of bubbles rising from whales that don't seem to come from their blowholes, causing some people to believe they are whale farts. What are they according to researchers?

They really are whale farts. Great big giant whale farts.
23) True or False: the popular image of Santa Claus – chubby, bearded, in red and white clothes – was invented by Coca-Cola for an ad campaign.

False. Santa was portrayed like that for decades before Coke got involved.
24) Whose film roles include the following?

Mail carrier
Mental ward patient
Museum security guard
Hot dog vendor
Beauty pageant judge
Man poisoned by a soft drink
World War II general
Chess player in the park
Drunk military veteran

Those were some of the cameo roles of Stan Lee in various movies based on his Marvel comics.
25) Actor Anthony Hopkins was cast for the movie "The Girl of Petrovka". He visited several London bookstores for a copy of the original book for research, but failed to find it. On the way home Hopkins found a discarded book sitting on a bench. It was "The Girl of Petrovka". But that was not the biggest coincidence to happen with the book. What else happened? 

During filming, the book's author George Feifer visited the set and remarked that he did not even have a copy of his own book anymore. His last copy, one with his notes and annotations, had been loaned to a friend who had lost it in London. Hopkins' copy also had notes in the margin and he showed it to the author, who confirmed it was his book.
26) What is the connection between Peanuts (the Charlie Brown comic strip), and the band The Black Eyed Peas?

Band member Fergie was the voice of Charlie Brown's sister, Sally.
27) What is the mascot for the Arkansas School for the Deaf?

Their mascot is the Leopards. They are the Deaf Leopards.
28) Brett Favre's first pass in the NFL was in 1992, and was caught by a player who would later end up in the NFL Hall of Fame. Seventeen years later in 2009, Favre threw another completion to the same player. Those were the only two receptions of that HoF player's entire career. Who was the player?

Those two Brett Favre passes were caught by future Hall of Famer... Brett Favre. In both cases the passes were batted back to Favre who caught the ball and then was tackled for a loss.

29) What is unusual about the answer to 111,111,111 times 111,111,111?

The answer consists of the numerals in order from 1 to 9 and then in reverse order again back to 1: 12,345,678,987,654,321
30) The United States Supreme Court building sports a basketball court on the fifth floor. What is it appropriately called?

The Highest Court in the Land.
31) During the costume preparation for the Wizard of Oz, the wardrobe department bought a bunch of coats at a local second hand store. One of the coats was selected to be worn in the movie by Professor Marvel (who becomes Oz in Dorothy's dream). What unlikely coincidence was later discovered about the coat during filming?

The coat had originally belonged to L. Frank Baum, the writer of The Wizard of Oz. It was identified by a tailor's label and Baum's widow later confirmed it had been his coat.
32) A popular commercial once touted we may never know the answer to a certain question. But a machine built at Purdue investigated it and found an average answer of 364. 364 what?

364 licks to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop
33) The Captain Morgan after whom the rum is named was Captain Henry Morgan, 1635-1688. Which of the following are believed to be true statements about him?

a) He was a pirate.
b) a Royal Navy admiral
c) brother of the governor of New Jersey
d) a British knight
e) acting governer of Jamaica
f) buried in a cemetery which sank beneath the ocean in an earthquake
g) sacked Panama City
h) saved himself and his men by snatching away a slow-burning fuse before it reached explosives left as a trap by the Spanish in a fort they abandoned as Morgan attacked
i) won 200 pounds suing book publishers for libel
j) after his crew accidentally blew up his own flagship while drunk, accused the commander of a French ship who was dining with him of committing the act as grounds to seize the French ship
k) destroyed a Spanish warship by hollowing out logs, filling them with gunpowder, dressing the logs up as pirate crewmen on a ship, and sailing it into the Spanish and igniting it

All of them!
34) In the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises", villain Bane sets off explosions as Gotham's football team is playing. A Gotham player returns a kickoff for a touchdown steps ahead of the explosions which cave in the field right behind him. Who was the kick returner?

Hines Ward. A number of Steelers were shown in the film on the Gotham sidelines, including Ben Roethlisberger and former coach Bill Cowher.
35) John Rambo killed 58 people in Rambo: First Blood Part II, 78 in Rambo III and 83 in Rambo IV. How many did he kill in the original movie, First Blood?

Just one.
36) True or False. Spider blood is blue.

True. Spiders use a protein called haemocyanin to transport oxygen, rather than hemoglobin which gives our blood its red appearance.
37) A historical event from the 1300s is often mentioned as the cause of the superstition that Friday the 13th is a bad luck day. What event?

At dawn on Friday, 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France had members of the Knights Templar (to whom he was greatly in debt) arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake. According to Wikipedia, this explanation may be a modern creation rather than the actual cause, citing 1955 as the first time it showed up in print as the reason.
38) According to The Guinness Book of Records, an Indian actor named K Brahmanandamhas has the most acknowledged film roles, with 857. But an American has the record for most leading roles. Who is it?

John Wayne
39) True or false, the spiders known as "daddy longlegs" are the most venomous spiders in the world, but humans are safe from their bite because their fangs are too small and weak to break through human skin.

False. According to entomologists, "daddy longlegs" is commonly used to refer to two different creatures. One is not venomous and isn't even a spider technically. The other is a true spider and is venomous, and its fangs are similar to those of a brown recluse so theoretically can penetrate skin. However, they do not naturally bite people, so no research had ever been done into the potency of their venom. The TV show Mythbusters tested the myth in 2004 with co-host Adam Savage coaxing one into biting him. Savage reported nothing more than a very mild burning sensation that only lasted for a few seconds.
40) What bank has only $15,140 in cash?

The bank in a standard game of Monopoly. 20 orange $500 bills, 20 beige $100 bills, 30 green $50 bills, 50 blue $20 bills, 40 yellow $10 bills, 40 pink $5 bills, and 40 white $1 bills.
41) Meat packer Samuel Wilson was the basis for what well known personification?

Uncle Sam. Wilson was a meat packer from Troy, New York who supplied barrels of beef to the US Army during the War of 1812. The barrels were stamped with US for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as "Uncle Sam's". A local newspaper picked up on the story and it eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the federal government. The city of Troy calls itself "The Home of Uncle Sam". The popular image for Uncle Sam dates to around 1870, the work of political cartoonist Thomas Nast, though artist James Flagg created the version in the famous World War I poster.
42) What classic horror movie holds the record for filming the most takes in a dialogue scene?

The Shining. There were 127 takes in the scene where actress Shelley Duval's character is holding off Jack Nicholson's character with a baseball bat. Anothe pair of scenes in the film required 80 takes and 50-60 takes. The filming of the entire movie was traumatic for Duval. She was frequently exhausted and dehydrated from how much crying she had to do in the scenes, and the actress reportedly began to lose her hair during the filming. Jack Nicholson was allegedly so disgusted with what Duval was put through that he vowed to never work with director Stanley Kubrick again.
43) How many nations did Germany declare war on during World War II?

a) 1
b) 5
c) 12
d) 15

Only one, the United States.  Germany invaded at least 9 nations but did so without declarations of war.
44) Which planet has the longest day (time it takes to spin once on its axis)?

Venus. A Venusian day lasts about 243 Earth days. Venus orbits the sun in only 225 Earth days, so a Venusian day is actually longer than a Venusian year.
45) True or False. The tree known as the dynamite tree is studded with spikes, and spreads its seeds by explosively launching them at speeds fast enough to pierce human flesh.

True. The sandbox tree, also known as the dynamite tree, launches its spikes at speeds up to 160mph, and landing as far as 330 feet away
46) What distinction is unique to the following 9 cities?

Annapolis, MD
Baltimore, MD
Lancaster, PA
New York City, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Princeton, NJ
Trenton, NJ
Washington D.C.
York, PA

As cities that Congress has met in, they are the list of cities that can be said to have once served as the US capital. Washington D.C. has been the capital since 1800.
47) What is the first name of The Simpsons character Mr. Burns?

Charles. Charles Montgomery Burns.
48) According to Guiness Book of World Records, the longest instance for this form of communication to arrive was 108 years and 138 days.

A message in a bottle. Found in 2016, it contained a postcard from the UK's Marine Biological Association sent in 1906 asking that it be sent back to the MBA for a one shilling reward.
49) The shortest war in history only lasted about 40 minutes, as covered in a previous trivia question The longest recorded war lasted from 1651 to 1986 between the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast, and what European nation?

The Netherlands. The declaration of war in 1651 is mentioned in the memoirs of Sir Bulstrode Whitelocke, an English parliamentarian and Keeper of the Great Seal of England. The Dutch navy had sought reparations for damages incurred by them due to Royalists during the English Civil War, and reportedly declared war when they were not forthcoming. The Royalist fleet was soon forced to surrender to other English forces and the Dutch fleet left without a shot being fired but still technically in a state of war. In 1985, the Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Council, a historian, contacted the Dutch Embassy to dispose of the myth of an unresolved war. The Dutch found the myth to be accurate, and a peace treaty was signed in 1986.
50) This famous military figure was once forced to flee in defeat at the hands (paws?) of a horde of attacking rabbits.

Napoleon Bonaparte. In July, 1807, Napoleon was celebrating the Treaties of Tilsit which ended hostilities with Russia. A rabbit hunt was arranged, with different versions claiming hundreds to thousands of rabbits were gathered for the hunt. As they were released though, rather than flee they charged Napoleon and his comrades, even climbing up his clothing as he flailed at them with a riding crop. The rabbits pursued Napoleon all the way to his carriage in which he made his escape, though some reportedly jumped into the coach with him. The action of the rabbits have been attributed to the mistake of having used tame rather than wild rabbits, who rather than seeing Napoleon as a hunter saw him as someone bringing the day's food.
51) Military adoption of this piece of equipment reportedly caused the number of head wounds treated by wartime doctors to increase.

The steel helmet. While that may seem odd at first glance, it does make sense. The number of head shots did not necessarily change, but more of them were survived to receive treatment.
52) Having fielded its own military, fought and won wars and ruled nation-sized areas of land, this company is arguably the most powerful company in history.

The East India Company, which amongst other things ruled India from 1757 to 1858.
53) Who was originally orange before a vacation to Swamp Mushy Muddy turned him green overnight?

Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch, who was originally orange in Sesame Street's first season, but was turned green before the second season, with the aforementioned vacation given as the reason for the color change.
54) The "millihelen" unit of measure may have first been invented by Isaac Asimov while he was a graduate student in the 1940s. What is a millihelen a measure of?

Beauty. "Milli" is the metric term for 1/1000. And from the famous play, Helen of Troy was "the face that launched a thousand ships."  So if a Helen is enough beauty to launch 1000 ships, then a millihelen is the amount of beauty needed to launch one ship.
55) What do the following locations have in common?

A North Carolina Swamp
The Mediterranean Ocean
Waters 80 miles off Japan's Ryuku island chain
400 miles southwest of the Azore Islands

These are locations that nuclear weapons were lost and never recovered. The first three were losses from aircraft, the last one the sinking of the submarine USS Scorpion. 32 nuclear weapons in all are known to have been lost, with 6 still unaccounted for at the above locations including two in the Mediterranean plane crash and two in the USS Scorpion incident.
56) This species is part of an elite group that appears to be "biologically immortal", getting continually larger and stronger with age rather than deteriorating. In 2008 one was found that was 20 lbs and estimated to be 140 years old. Guinness reports another specimen found in 1977 was 44lbs and able to snap a man's arm with its claws.

57) Coach Skinner was a high school gym teacher and basketball coach in Jacksonville. He once sent a group of students to the principal's office because their hair was too long, resulting in their suspension. This eventually became his claim to fame. How?

Coach Leonard Skinner's place in history was set when the suspended students later used his name as inspiration when naming their band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
58) Tim Berners-Lee is credited with creating something that today is part of most people's daily lives. What is it?

The World Wide Web. Berners-Lee was a software engineer at CERN. He created HTML, URI, and HTTP, as well as the first browser: WorldWideWeb.app.
59) Why does sunlight bleach hair but darken skin?

Short answer: because hair is dead and skin is alive.  Sunlight bleaches and destroys the melanin in hair, making it lighter. Since the hair cells are dead and don't replace the melanin, the hair will stay that color until new hair replaces it. But skin is alive and when its melanin is destroyed it creates even more of it as a defense, as melanin helps protect the body from being damaged by the sun.
60) Deinonychus is one of the dinousaur species that the general public are most familiar with, though if named most people will tell you that they've never heard of them. Why the confusion?

Because we think they are called Velociraptor, when actually that is a different species. Blame it on Michael Crichton. The dinosaurs he portrayed in Jurassic Park as vicious, cunning killers were entirely based on Deinonychus. Crighton intentionally misidentified them as Velociraptor because the latter name was "more dramatic". While both species were similar in appearance, Velociraptors were only about the size of turkeys.
61) A bar tab from part of this famous governmental function showed that 55 delegates consumed 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, eight of whiskey, 22 of porter, eight of hard cider, 12 of beer, and seven bowls of alcoholic punch.

The Constitutional Convention. It was a farewell party for George Washington, two days before the Constitution was signed. Images of the tab can be found with a quick google.
62) In a plague that struck Strasbourg in 1518, around 400 people uncontrollably did this activity for days without rest, resulting in as many 15 deaths a day at some points according to some records.

Dancing. It is known as the Dancing Plague of 1518. There are other instances of this having occurred, where people began dancing uncontrollably. Modern theories include food poisoning by ergot fungi, which contains the original substance from which LSD was first synthesized.
63) Car maker Enzo Ferrari once told a tractor manufacturer who had offered some critical input on Ferrari's creations, "you may be able to drive a tractor but you will never be able to handle a Ferrari properly." Who was the tractor manufacturer?

His name was Ferruccio Lamborghini. Lamborghini had approached Ferrari with some technical complaints on the Ferrari he'd bought. The curt reply made Lamborghini so angry that he vowed to create the perfect car, and the Ferrari-Lamborghini rivalry was born.
64) The Czech Republic's 2011 census shows that 15,000 people, or about 0.15% of the population, are of this religion.

65) This deceased celebrity had a famed tolerance for alcohol. Coworkers have recounted tales of him drinking 102 beers in 45 minutes at an airport, drinking every bottle of vodka on the plane on a flight to Tokyo, responding to a last call by ordering 40 drinks, and in one case had 156 beers in one sitting.

Professional wrestler Andre the Giant. He was a 7-foot-4 titan who weighed well over 500 pounds. Actor Cary Elwes recounted a particularly aggressive binge drinking one night during filming of The Princess Bride that resulted in Andre passing out in the middle of the hotel lobby. The hotel staff decided trying to move him was no use, and so surrounded him with a velvet rope to keep people away and let him sleep it off.
66) In 1923 at Belmont Park, thirty-five-year-old jockey Frank Hayes won the only professional horse race of his career. Even more notably, it is the only known instance of a jockey winning in the fashion that Hayes did. In what fashion?

Posthumously. He won the race after his death. Hayes died of a heart attack mid-race, but his body stayed in the saddle as his horse won the race. The horse paid off 20-1.
67) Which over-achiever's last words were reportedly, "I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have"?

Leonardo Da Vinci
68) The British Government has something called a Class 7 authorisation, which must be approved by a management board and various operations directors, and then signed by the Foreign Secretary and reviewed by a judge. By what lingo is a Class 7 authorisation more commonly known?

It's the real life MI6 "license to kill".
69) Charles Dunbar Burgess King was a politician, and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the winner who holds this dubious record.

Winner of the most fraudulent election in history. King won Liberia's 1927 presidential election with 234,000 votes. The country had 15,000 registered voters at the time.
70) True or False. After the Civil War's bloody Battle of Shiloh, as many wounded lay in the cold mud waiting on help in some cases for days, many of their open wounds began to glow in the dark. Soldiers called it Angel's Glow. Such wounds healed unusually fast, with fewer infections and less scarring.

You actually believed that? Good, because it's true! While the phenomenon was reported by many soldiers at the time, it took until 2001 before a good explanation was put forth by a pair of high school students in a school science fair, albeit with some assistance from a microbiologist mother. Parasitic worms called nematodes kill insects for ingestion by releasing a bacteria called Photorhabdus luminescens, which glows in the dark. Photorhabdus luminescens also wipes out other bacteria. The human body is normally too warm for Photorhabdus luminescens to grow, but the students postulated that the cool weather at the time, combined with the wounded lying in the mud, could have lowered their body temperatures to where Photorhabdus luminescens could flourish when insects carrying the bacteria were drawn to the wounds. This would have caused the wounds to glow, while at the same time killing bacteria that causes gangrene and other dangerous infections. And while Photorhabdus luminescens can itself cause harmful infections, when the surviving soldiers were taken for medical care, they would then warm up and the Photorhabdus luminescens would quickly die off, leaving the wounds clean of bacteria.
71) A 2011 study estimated that what percent of Earth's species have not yet been fully described.

a) 16%
b) 36%
c) 56%
d) 86%

d) 86% of a predicted 8.7 million species. The study made its prediction based on analysis of the rate at which new genera, families, orders, classes, phyla, and species have been added over time.
72) On January 15, 1919, the streets of Boston's North End were flooded. A wave that reached as high as 15 feet and traveled at an estimated 35mph flowed through the streets. It demolished buildings, tearing them from their foundations. It carried off vehicles and drowned horses. People who tried to outrun the wave were engulfed and drowned where they fell. In all, 21 people were killed and 150 injured. But the flood was not water. What fluid was it?

Molasses. A 90-foot wide cast iron tank containing two-and-a-half million gallons of crude molasses for rum manufacture exploded, probably because its contents had expanded during a rapid overnight change in temperature. The tank was set 50 feet above street level. Its entire contents spilled within a few seconds and with no warning. The event is known as the Great Molasses Flood or the Boston Molasses Disaster. According to eye-witnesses, the injured arrived at hospitals “looking like toffee-apples”.
73) According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (on May 26, 2017), a woman named Irene Triplett is the only person still receiving a veterans benefit for which War?

The Civil War. Triplett, the 86-year-old daughter of a Civil War veteran, collects $73.13 each month from her father's military pension. Triplett's father was Mose Triplett, born in 1846. He joined the Confederate army in 1862, but later deserted and signed up with the Union. His first wife died and he later married Elida Hall who was at least 50 years younger. Mose Triplett was 83 when Irene was born, and had another son when he was 87. Mose died a few days after returning from the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1938.
74) True or False. The US military once funded research into bird feed that would result in already high phosphate levels in bird feces being partially converted to forms of phosphorus that could start fires by self-igniting on hot surfaces like sun-heated metal roofs, or a vehicle hood.

False as far as I know. Made that one up completely. Hope no one got fooled by it twice now...
75) A McDonalds in Hong Kong once had two of the richest men in the world come in for lunch. After they ordered, one offered to the other to pay for lunch... and pulled out coupons from his pocket to do so. Who were the pair?

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Buffett was the one who paid with the coupons. He is a regular at McDonalds, frequently getting breakfast there on his way to work. Buffett is frugal with his money, still living in a home he bought for what would be about $260,000 in today's dollars.
76) True or False. If the sheep leading a flock runs off a cliff, the rest of the flock may follow.

True. In 2005, a sheep that was leading a flock of 1500 went over a 50-foot cliff. Turkish shepherds watched in horror as the entire rest of the flock followed. 400 of the sheep died, but their bodies then cushioned the fall of the other 1100 sheep, who survived.
77) True or False. Lemmings will sometimes become victims of an obsession and throw themselves off cliffs or into water to commit mass suicide.

False. Lemmings do not commit mass suicide. It is an urban legend fueled by a bit of animal cruelty from Disney filmmakers. In 1958 Walt Disney produced "White Wilderness," part of the studio's "True Life Adventure" series. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee found that the lemming scenes were faked. The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers. The lemmings were not even native to the area, but had been bought from Innuit children elsewhere to create the staged sequence.
78) Which city tops the list of cities with the most total billionaires living there?

New York City, with 82 in 2017, per Forbes.  Hong Kong is second with 75.

79) In the Code of Hammurabi, what was the punishment for a tavern keeper who shorted customer's drinks or watered down their beer?

Execution. Drowning, specifically. Ole Hammurabi apparently loved him his beer.

80) Who was Pablo EskoBear?

a) A stuffed grizzly used to smuggle cartel drug money to Mexico
b) An Eskimo Pie cartoon advertising figure deemed racist
c) A cocaine-eating bear
d) Name played under by a Venezuelan shortstop for the Cleveland Indians after an MLB spelling error

c) a cocaine-eating bear. In 1980 a drug kingpin bailed out of a airplane containing 40 plastic bins containing cocaine. His chute tangled and he fell to his death. Authorities traced his route through a forest, expecting to find a cash of drugs worth $15 million (about $45 million in today's dollars). Instead they found 40 open canisters, and one dead black bear who had eaten all of the cocaine. His body was later stuffed and bought and sold many times before it ended up in the hands of Waylon Jennings.
81) This rock and roll lead singer developed memory problems due to heavy drug use. At one point while planning a tour and album, he heard a song playing on the radio and liked it so much, he suggested the group record a cover of it, only to be told by the group's lead guitarist, "It's us, ####head". The song was even one the lead singer had wrote. Name the forgetful lead singer.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. The song was "You See Me Crying".
82) True or False. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford used to race each other in wheelchairs.

True. Late in life, Edison was confined to a wheelchair. Ford, who was a close friend, bought a house next door, and also bought several wheelchairs of his own in which to race the wheelchair-bound Edison.
83) What happens when you add salt to pineapple?

a) turns it green
b) makes it sweeter
c) makes it give off ammonia
d) makes the taste resemble apples
e) makes it shrivel to 1/10 its previous size

b) makes it sweeter.  The pineapple has acids that contribute sourness to its taste. The salt converts them to a neutral compound and the resulting taste seems sweeter.
84) Going by amount sold, soda has been the most popular beverage in America for quite awhile. But recently it was replaced by this beverage.

Water. Americans downed 12.8 billion gallons of bottled water in 2016 — that's about 400 million more gallons than they consumed in soda.
85) 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
86) True or False. A woman tried to commit suicide by jumping off the Eiffel Tower. She landed on a taxi cab, surviving the fall.

True. The woman did survive the fall as the roof crumpled and reduced the impact. But the taxi driver was much less fortunate, as the woman later married him.
87) Paper is about 0.1 mm thick. If you could fold a piece of paper 100 times, roughly how thick would it be?
a) 10,000 kilometers
b) 1,000,000 kilomters
c) further than Voyager has traveled (about 21 billion km)
d) as big as the universe

d) as big as the universe. The thickness would grow exponentially with each fold. At 10 folds the paper is as thick as your hand. 23 folds reaches a kilometer. 30 folds gets you to space. 42 folds gets you to the moon. At just over 100 folds it is larger than the known universe.

88) True or False. Hardcore players of video games have been found to be more affected by nightmares than the normal population.

False. The opposite, actually. Studies have found that video game players are more likely to have lucid dreams where they have control over themselves, and even can sometimes switch between third and first person views in the dreams, similar to a video game. They also seem to be less affected by dreams that would qualify as nightmares, and are more likely to take over control of such dreams.

89) If you threw a lit cigarette into a pool of gasoline like in the movies, about how likely is the gasoline to ignite?

a) 0%
b) 25%
c) 50%
d) 75%
e) 100%

a) 0%. Gasoline fumes burn but actual liquid gasoline is difficult to ignite. A study attempted 2000 scenarios and situations where gasoline and a lit cigarette could interact, and not a single attempt resulted in the gasoline catching on fire. The conditions would have to be near perfect for it to ignite, despite what the movies show. Movie special effects use other fluids, like lighter fluid, and may use other means of igniting it for their shot.

90) The slogan of which of these products is a pun?

a) Dr Pepper - What's the worst that could happen?
b) L'oreal - Because you're worth it
c) Panasonic - Ideas for life
d) Kleenex - Don't put a cold in your pocket
e) Ajax - Stronger than grease

e) Ajax dish soap. In Homer's Iliad, Ajax was the strongest soldier in all of Greece.
91) In 1966, Chairman Mao rewarded workers who defeated the rebellious Red Guards with a gift of 40 of this fruit. The workers began to treat the fruit almost like a holy relic. Some were preserved in formaldehyde and wax replicas given to each worker. Others, once they started to rot, were peeled and the flesh boiled in a vat of water and each worker sipping a spoonful. Still others were taken on tour across the nation. What fruit?

Mangoes. The workers surmised that Mao's gift was an act of selflessness, in which he sacrificed his longevity for theirs. Little did they know that he disliked the fruit. The mangoes had been a gift from Pakistan's foreign minister the previous day, which Mao did not want. Chinese obsession with mangoes continued for years, but by today mangoes have faded back into just another consumer good in China.
92) True or False. Whales and dolphins sometimes play together, with whales lifting dolphins out of the water atop their head and the dolphins then sliding back into the water.

True. To see some pictures, youtube: whales dolphins lift
93) Most all Americans are familiar with the face of Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, though they probably don't know it. Why?

The Statue of Liberty has her face. She was the mother of its sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The sculptor used his mother for the face, and his wife as the model for the Statue's arms and torso. Bartholdi designed the Statue though Gustav Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame did the engineering.
94) In 1977, A nurse was reading a novel and saw such well-done descriptions of thallium poisoning, that she was able to diagnose a sick 1-year-old whose symptoms had doctors stumped, saving the child's life. The author never heard this, having died the year before. Who was the author?

Agatha Christie. Some people blame Christie and her book The Pale Horse for making the public aware of thallium sulphate, a poison that takes a week to work but is close to perfect in terms of being colorless and tasteless when dissolved in water. The girl's parents had been using the substance to kill cockroaches in their home.

95) True or False. There is a spider known as the silkhenge spider which builds a silken picket fence around its egg sack, reminiscent of the circle of stones at Stonehenge.

True. The structures they leave were first found only a few years ago, while the spiders responsible were still unknown. In 2016 a video captured one hatching for the first time. DNA testing did not match to any other spider species in the DNA database.
96) Where did the name California come from?

a) a Spanish grain with a golden hue
b) small Iberian town known for making navigation tools
c) an island of Amazon warriors armed with golden weapons
d) the caliphate formed after Moorish invasion of the Iberian peninsula

c) an island of Amazon warriors. California was originally a mythical island in the early 16th century romance novel Las Sergas de Esplandian. Ruled by Queen Calafia, the island was populated entirely by black women in the manner of Amazons. The island was described as being east of the Asian mainland. When Spanish explorers first found the Baja California, they thought it was an island and used the name on their maps. The name stuck. Some surmise the book's author, Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, may have taken the name from The Song of Roland, which speaks of a land called Califerne right after mentioning Africa.
97) Mosquito Eaters is a common nickname for crane flies, which look like extremely large mosquitos. Female crane flies eat nectar. What do male crane flies eat?

Nothing. They exist only to mate, living 10 to 15 days without consuming anything after their larval stage, then die. A brother can't even have a first meal apparently, let alone a last.
98) The usual heart shape only loosely resembles a human heart. It is hypothesized the shape of the symbol associated with love may actually have come from what other source?
a) decorations on the temple of Athena, goddess of love
b) shape of seeds of a plant used as a contraceptive
c) shape of altocumulus clouds common in mid-February
d) leaves of the Empress tree given as a royal marriage proposal in ancient Rome

b) seeds of a plant. The image dates back to the end of the Middle Ages. Some think the heart is based on the shape of seeds from the silphium plant, which was used by Romans as a contraceptive. The plant is now extinct, but believed to have maybe been a variety of giant fennel. Existing coins bearing depictions of the plant's seed have a distinct heart shape.
99) According to Guinness, the largest observed one of these fell from a storm in 1887, and measured 15 inches across.

Snowflake. It's believed unusually large snowflakes as big as 6 inches fall regularly each year.
100) Appropriately, this owl was named after the patron saint of orphaned children. 

Harry Potter's owl, Hedwig.

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completely lost count, but about 25 right.

I remembered some of the old questions, but clearly not the answers.


incredible stuff, gb greg!

Small edit on #2.  He appeared in only five movies in a span of 6 years, ALL of which were nominated for best picture.  According to his Wikipedia bio anyway.

Great job with the Greg!  Thanks.

Small edit on #2.  He appeared in only five movies in a span of 6 years, ALL of which were nominated for best picture.  According to his Wikipedia bio anyway.

Great job with the Greg!  Thanks.
Interesting... back when I first heard that I think I recall looking and IMDB had 6 movie entries for him. I bet the other was something like Based on a True Story and gotten moved into the Documentary category since those days. A guy I played poker with first told me about it, and I think I recall there was something to the effect that the 6th wasn't a regular movie so barely even counted.

Great job as always...i did about as well as i usually do.  It does remind me that i have not taken all of the offerings so i need to go back.  Cool end to my day.  :thumbup:

Congrats on your 50th Trivia post, Greg. I hope you get 50 more! 

43/75 on the old questions, 13/25 on the new. 

I'm very happy you gave me the actual name for "Skeeter Eaters." I've never called them anything but that. And, I guessed the answer correctly :Yay Me! :

D in the D said:
Small edit on #2.  He appeared in only five movies in a span of 6 years, ALL of which were nominated for best picture.  According to his Wikipedia bio anyway.

Great job with the Greg!  Thanks.
I might have mentioned this previously, but Dog Day Afternoon did not win Best Picture.

Special Holiday BONUS QUESTION:

101)  Where would you find "snoods" and "wattles"?

On a turkey.  The red fleshy bits hanging off turkeys' beaks are called “snoods,” not to be confused with wattles, the fleshy bits under the neck that Richard the lawyer on Ally McBeal fetishized. When a male turkey is strutting, the snood engorges with blood and extends to hang down over the beak.

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