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Greg's Useless Trivia #62 (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
#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   #50 (100 questions)
#51   #52   #53   #54   #55  
#56   #57   #58   #59   #60   

1) This word's current definition of being a cruel or vicious ruffian or robber is not far from its origins. It came from the name of an Indian gang of criminals that would befriend travelers and then murder them, usually by strangulation.

2) Which military operation was the Phoenix Caisson an important part of?

a) Hannibal's attack on Rome
b) Battle of Gettysburg
c) D-Day invasion of Normandy
d) Rebel scum assault on the Death Star
e) Defeat of the Borg cube

c) D-Day. In World War II, the Allies needed a way to land troops at Normandy once the beaches had been secured. Lacking natural harbors, they made huge floating concrete rectangular boxes, each with nine compartments that could be flooded or pumped dry, called Phoenix Caissons. They were sunk in the English Channel until it was time for the assault, and then the water pumped out to float them and towed over to France. They were then sunk to form breakwaters and create a large natural harbor to protect landing piers where ships could unload.
3) If you suffer from paruresis, you feel anxiety from which of the following?

a) speaking in public
b) peeing around other people
c) beautiful women
d) showering around other people
e) dinner parties/conversation

b) Paruresis is a phobia also known as "shy bladder syndrome" where the person feels anxiety urinating around other people. In case you wondered about the others, fear of public speaking is Glossophobia, fear of beautiful women is Caligynephobia, fear of showering in public is Gymnophobia, and fear of dinner parties/conversation is Deipnophobia.

4) True or False.  The roller coaster was invented during the Hundred Years War as a way of launching supplies across rivers.

False. The world's oldest roller coasters descended from the "Russian Mountains," which were specially constructed hills of snow located in the gardens of palaces around the Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, in the 18th century. This attraction was called a Katalnaya Gorka or "sliding mountain" in Russian. The slides were built to 70-80 feet, had a 50 degree drop, and were reinforced by wooden supports. Sometimes wheeled carts were used instead of sleds. In July 1817, a French banker opened the Parc Beaujon, an amusement park on the Champs Elysees. Its most famous feature was the Promenades Aériennes or "Aerial Strolls." It featured wheeled cars securely locked to the track, guide rails to keep them on course, and higher speeds.
5) It's estimated that 2.7 million tons of bombs were dropped on Germany by Allied Forces during the war.  About how much unexploded munitions are still found each year?

a) 200 pounds
b) 500 pounds
c) 2 tons
d) 50 tons 
e) 2000 tons

e) According to the Smithsonian magazine, more than 2,000 tons of unexploded munitions are still uncovered in Germany each year.
6) 1 out of every 160 New Zealanders were involved in the production of these movies.

The Lord of the Rings movies. Since the movies, visits to New Zealand have gone up 50%, though only 6% of visitors cited the movies as one of the reasons they came.
7) The name of this toy, which has been featured in Useless Trivia before, is an abbreviation for the Danish words meaning "play well".

Lego, which is a shortening of the Danish phrase "leg godt".
8) True or False. Traditionally, noodles are not considered pasta.

True. Noodles are made from common wheat while pasta is made from durum seomlina which is coarser than typical flour. The processing for each also differs. Though in some areas this distinction may be blurred today, with lower quality ingredients used for pasta, or durum used for noodles, traditionally this was not the case. In fact, in Italy there are actually regulations that require pasta to be 100% durum.
9) During World War II, the Soviet Union suffered somewhere between 20 and 27 million deaths (military and civilian combined).  What country lost the second most people?

China, which lost somewhere between 15 and 20 million. Germany lost somewhere around 7 million people.
10) The largest bank robbery in the 1700s was the theft of $162,821 from the Bank of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1798. How was the perpetrator caught?

a) Loose money blowing from escape wagon left a trail for authorities
b) Deposited the money back into the robbed bank
c) Stuffed clothes with money to appear obese and tried to board a ship to Europe
d) Tried to convert it all to foreign currency
e) Stepped in ink which stained shoes, the first unintentional dye pack

b) Isaac Davis and inside man Thomas Cunningham completed the perfect robbery. Until Davis began deposting the money back into the very bank he'd robbed, casting suspicion on himself. He folded when questioned about his sudden wealth. But there is so much more to the story. It involves a blacksmith, Pat Lyon, who had been involved in the bank vault's construction before leaving town. Hearing of the robbery and of authorities searching for him, Lyon returned to clear his name and report a suspicious invidivual, Davis, who had accompanied the carpenter involved in the work on the vault. Lyon the blacksmith was arrested and spent 3 months in prison. After Davis was caught, the governor gave Davis a pardon for a full confession. Davis revealed two more conspirators, the carpenter and another man who had both died in a yellow fever epidemic within days of the robbery. Lyon was eventually released from prison and wrote a book of what happened as a precursor to suing for wrongful imprisonment, which he won and was awarded $12,000. His book title:  "Narrative of Patrick Lyon Who Suffered Three Months Severe Imprisonment in Philadelphia Gaol on Merely a Vague Suspicion of Being Concerned in a Robbery of the Bank of Pennsylvania With his Remarks Thereon."

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Ugh. 3/10. I got 2, 3, and 4 right and thought it was gonna be something special. Then I dropped the last 6. Paruresis sucks btw.



3/10.  Got the two T/F ones correct and #6.  Super pissed I missed #9.  I knew that answer and didn't think it through.  Guessed on the multiple choice and missed them all.


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