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Greg's Useless Trivia #63 (new in 2022) (1 Viewer)


First of these I've posted in 4 years, so will be posting #63 and #64 today. Enjoy,

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

Links to previous Useless Trivia (first 7 links no longer work)

#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   
#61   #62

1) Ships visiting this ancient city were required to surrender for copying any books they were carrying. The owners received the copy while the city retained the originals.

Alexandria, home of the famed Library of Alexandria.

2) True or False.  In zero gravity, a candle's flame will appear to have fiery tentacles waving about it chaotically. 

False. Actually, the flame will be a spherical ball of blue fire. The flame shape we are used to is a result of the bouyancy of the hot air rising, which leaves space at the bottom for oxygen to flow in and fuel the fire. Without gravity, the hot air spreads in all directions equally, resulting in a fireball. The oxygen has to diffuse in through that expanding exhaust. Also on Earth, long strings of carbon are pushed upwards and burn like charcoal, glowing yellow and giving fire the color we are used to. In microgravity, the carbon strings don't get burned and so the flame ends up being blue.  
3) The first draft of this movie's screenplay included a time machine attached to a refrigerator. The inclusion of the refrigerator was scrapped for fear that children might imitate the movie and get trapped inside. 

Back to the Future. The time machine was instead put into a DeLorean, which was chosen because the gullwing doors gave its appearance an alien spaceship feel.
4) Police in Japan began wearing white gloves in large part because of a visit by this very popular musical act. 

The Beatles. The police officer in charge of security for the Beatles' visit was concerned that his men were going to face surging crowds of young women. He decided to outfit his entire force with white gloves. His hope was that the gloves would reinforce reigi tadashisa (propriety), and encourage his men to be as proper in action as appearance. The look stuck.
5) Anyone who has completed high school has likely been called this word, which has its roots in the Greek words for "wise fool". 

Sophomore, which comes from the Greek words "sophos" and "moros". Moros is the same root from which we get the word "moron". The word refers to the combination of arrogance and ignorance evinced by young people emboldened by the completion of their first year of studies. The word also is now used to mean "second" such as an author's second novel being called "a sophomore effort".
6) True or False. According to legend, a man executed by being roasted over a giant grill quipped, "I'm well done on this side. Turn me over." He was later made the Catholic patron saint of chefs. 

True, in legend at least. St Lawrence was said to have uttered this while being burned alive by the prefect of Rome for not having turned over treasures he instead used to feed the poor. Though some historians discredit the account as it does not reconcile with an edict that such religious executions happen by decapitation. One theorized that the omission during transcription of a single letter turned "he suffered" into "he was roasted" and gave rise to the legend.
7) The founders and original employees of this well-known tech company have gone on to found and develop additional technology companies including Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, Palantir, SpaceX, YouTube, Yelp, and Yammer. Six of them have become billionaries. Name the original company. 

PayPal. The group are sometimes referred to as the Paypal Mafia and include billionaires Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Luke Nosek, Ken Howery, and Keith Rabois.
😎 This 24 year old celebrity recorded a public service announcement on driving safety just 13 days before dying in a traffic accident while driving his Porsche Spyder 

Actor James Dean. Dean was ticketed for speeding just two hours before a car turned ahead of him and was struck by Dean who was unable to stop.
9) There is an eagle featured on US silver dollars. What was the source for these depictions?

a) eagle given to George Washington by Native American tribe
b) figurehead of USS Constitution originally captured from a British ship
c) a child's wood carving sent as a gift to Congress
d) eagle named Peter that lived at the US Mint
e) image from a Philadelphia beer label

d) Peter was a bald eagle who lived at the US Mint. While perched on a coining press one day, the press suddenly started, and Peter's wing was badly injured. Shortly after all attempts to save and heal him, he died, in the mint. His stuffed body is still on display. He was used as the model for the image on US Silver dollars made from 1836 to 1839.
10) The United States is the nation with the most English-speaking people.  225 million speak it as a first language, and another 43 million speak it as a second langage. What country has the second most English speakers?

a) China
b) Denmark
c) Germany
d) India
e) United Kingdom

d) India.  India is next on the list according to a 2017 article, with 125 million English speakers, though only 226 thousand speak it as a first language. The rest of the top 6 in order are Pakistan, the Phillipines, Nigeria, and then the UK in 6th.

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