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Greg's Useless Trivia #55 (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
#6   #7   #8   #9   #10  
#11  #12   #13   #14   #15
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#21   #22   #23   #24   #25
#26   #27   #28   #29   #30 
#31  #32    #33   #34   #35
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#41   #42   #43   #44   #45
#46   #47   #48   #49   #50 (100 questions)
#51   #52   #53   #54  

1) The traditional chef's hat is known as a toque blanche. The 100 pleats on the toque are said to represent the number of ways that a particular cooking ingredient can be prepared.  Which ingredient?

The egg. There are websites that seek to detail a full list.
2) What is an "end of watch call"?

a) signed final sketch of a work by its sculptor
b) last transmission from a spacecraft
c) naval pipe sound adopted by science fiction spacecraft
d) auction of a line's final wristwatch
e) first responder funeral tradition

e) first responder funeral tradition. The End of Watch Call is a tradition amongst some US police, fire, and ranger departments that has spread since 2000. When an officer dies, the police officers from his unit/department gather around a police radio. The police radio operator calls to the deceased officer, as if to contact them. After two calls, the radio operator acknowledges that the officer is not responding. The radio operator then announces that the officer has fallen in the line of duty. The operator then may make some extra mentions honouring the officer, some practices see the call with some words added in memoriam, while others are shorter.
3) Amongst flowers, the blossom of the Kadupul cactus of Sri Lanka holds this distinction.

The most expensive flower in the world. While a Juliet Rose has sold for $15 million, the Kadupul is quite literally priceless. The flower rarely blooms and only at night, survives only a few hours, and cannot be harvested without destroying it. Thus it has never been available for sale.
4) To what purpose are most rooms put that are adorned with the following quote?

"Let conversation cease, let laughter flee. This is the place where death delights to help the living."

It is a quote frequently seen, whether in English or the original Latin, in morgues, autopsy rooms and places of anatomical study. The inscription dominates the entrance arch of the Anatomical Theater of the University of Padua, a place built for the study of Anatomy in the 1550s.
5) This is a picture of the Kawah Ijen volcano, whose lava appears blue. Why does it appear blue?  

a) Lots of manganese in the lava
b) Burning sulfur gas
c) Aura from electrical discharges
d) Ignition of a mold pollen indigenous to the area
e) Grape flavored lava

b) Burning sulfur gas. The lava isn't colored significantly differently than other lava. But at Kawah Ijen, extremely high quantities of sulfuric gases emerge at high pressures and temperatures (sometimes in excess of 600°C) along with the lava.
6) The current US penny has the motto "In God We Trust". America's first penny was known as the Fugio cent. What motto did it have?

a) With God's Grace
b) Rebuffed By None
c) A Single From Many 
d) Waste Not Want Not
e) Mind Your Business
f) We Are One 

It contained both e) Mind Your Business, and f) We Are One.  Full credit for either, and an extra point if you realized it had both. It also contained Fugio, Latin for "I fly". The coin was designed by Benjamin Franklin.
7) Walt Disney holds the record for the most Oscar nominations, with 59 nominations (and 22 wins).  What composer is second to Disney with 51 nominations?

John Williams, whose musical credits include music from Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters, Superman, ET, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park.
8) One of the characters from Toy Story was named after which real-life astronaut?

Buzz Lightyear's original name was Lunar Larry, before being changed to honor astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. According to producers, they thought Buzz was the coolest name amongst the astronauts.
9) True or False.  A surgeon was once interrupted during surgery and told he was needed to perform surgery elsewhere. Upon proclaiming he could not leave, not even if it was the President who needed him, the surgeon was informed it was indeed the President who needed him.

True. The year was 1901. William McKinley had been shot and there were no fully qualified doctors on duty at the hospital at the Pan-American Exposition that he was attending in Niagara Falls. The hospital had a surgery room but generally dealt with minor medical issues. Surgeon Dr. Roswell Park was the best surgeon in the city. True to his word, Park stayed and finished the neck operation he was in the midst of. McKinley was attended to by other surgeons who left the bullet inside of him, which led to gangrene and his eventual death. Dr. Park, two weeks after McKinley's surgery, would go on to save a woman with injuries almost identical to McKinley's.
10) True or False. Half of the motels in the US are owned by Indian immigrants.

True, per NPR. Not only that, but 70% of the Indian owners are from the same state in India: Gujarat. Apparently it started with one particular Gujarati immigrant who bought a motel in San Francisco in the early 1940s. Other immigrating Indians staying there saw his success and got the idea of pooling their money to buy one themselves. The idea kept growing and became motel franchises, fueled further by the willingness of the Gujarati immigrants to relocate to out-of-the-way places.

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