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Greg's Useless Trivia #60 (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   #48   #49   #50 (100 questions)
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#56   #57   #58   #59   

1) True or False. A cloud of smog once descended on London, killing 6,000 people.

True. The Great Smog of London was a severe air-pollution event that affected the British capital of London in early December 1952. Weather conditions combined to collect airborn pollutants and keep them in a thick layer of smog over the city. It lasted for five days and then dispersed when the weather changed. Estimates are that 1000,000 people were made ill by the smog's effects.
2) What is the Parting of the Waters?

a) Divide between alcohol and mixers in a layered beverage
b) Water flowing across continental divide
c) Split in Gulf Stream currents to North and South Atlantic
d) Departure of band member from Pink Floyd

b) Water flowing across the continental divide in North America. The Panama canal is not the only waterway which crosses overland from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There is a stream in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest that splits and has one fork flow into the watershed that drains into the Pacific, and one that flows into waters that drain into the Atlantic. The location of this fork is known as the Parting of the Waters.
3) True or False.  In World War I, soldiers built armored fake trees to use as observation posts.

True. Dead trees that had the tops blasted off would be photographed and measured, and exact replicas made of them. The replicas were hollow and armor plated on the inside to protect observers from gunfire. Under cover of darkness then, the original tree would be uprooted and replaced with the observation post. The tactic was developed by the French, and later adopted by the British and Germans.
4) This author's investigations into court cases resulted in some convictions being overturned, and was a partial cause for England's Court of Criminal Appeal being established.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. In one case, Doyle proved George Edaji was not responsible for farm animal killings. Among other things, Doyle showed that the mud on his boots was a different soil type than those in the fields the killings took place, and that Edalji's eyesight was so bad it was unlikely he could have committed the series of crimes, which included evading watchful police in the dark.
5)  True or False.  The waterphone was an early 1900s telephone capable of transmitting communications across ocean-sized bodies of water, but only one working frequency meant only one 'call' at a time.

False. A waterphone is an instrument, one that is frequently used to make spooky sounds used in horror movies. It consists of a steel resonator bowl and bronze rods of different lengths and diameters around the rim of the bowl. The resonator may contain a small amount of water giving the waterphone the vibrant ethereal sound that has appeared in movie soundtracks, record albums, and live performances.
6) Which Star Wars movie did Keira Knightley perform in?

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace.  Knightley played Sabe, the white-face painted decoy queen to protect Natalie Portman's Queen Amidala, who posed as a handmaiden.
7) If given the name of the team captain, many people would be able to identify this particular famous sports team. Below are the last names of every player on the team's roster EXCEPT for that captain.  Name the team.


The 1980 "Miracle on Ice" US Olympic men's hockey team.  The most well-known member, team captain, Mike Eruzione, scored the winning goal against the USSR to put the US into the gold medal game against Finland.
8) True or False.  Congress nearly funded a program that would have released hippos into Louisiana's swamps.

True. The 1910 bill, which was supported by President Roosevelt, fell one vote short of being passed. It was thought the hippos would eat the invasive water hyacinth plant that was taking over the Louisiana waterways, and would also help solve a meat shortage of the time. A movie on this tale, American Hippopautamus, is listed as being in development.
9) According to Guiness, the fastest growing plant grows about this much in a day.

a)  0.5 inches
b)  1 inch
c)  5 inches
d) 10 inches
e) 20 inches
f) 30 inches

f) 30 inches.  Certain species of bamboo grow so fast you could almost sit and watch them grow. The tallest of the plants was reportedly 130 feet tall.
10) In 2015, snail teeth (limpet teeth specifically) were found to be the strongest known biological substance. What substance had previously been thought to be the strongest?

Spider silk.  Spider silk can withstand a force of about 1.3 gigapascals. The limpet teeth's tensile strength ranged from 3.0 to 6.5 gigapascals.


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