Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today's Trivia – A Little Of This And That

This week’s useless but interesting information is an assortment of random trivia...

- Medical research has found substances in mistletoe that can slow down tumor growth.

- In Alabama, it is against the law to wear a fake mustache that could cause laughter in the church.

- Nerve cells can travel as fast as 120 meters per second/

- It is said that grapefruit got its name because it grows like grapes in clusters. One cluster can have up to 25 grapefruits.

- Abdul Kassam Ismael, Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century, carried his library with him wherever he went. Four hundred camels carried the 117,000 volumes.

- Peanut butter is an effective way to remove chewing gum from hair or clothes.

- If Wal-Mart was classified as a country, it would be the 24th most productive country in the world.

- Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, located in Paris, is the most visited cemetery in the world. The cemetery opened in 1805 and has over one million people buried there, including rock star Jim Morrison.

- In Australia, a dust-devil is called a "willy-willy”.

- The Leaning Tower of Pisa is 58.36 meters above the ground.

- The name "Snickers" for the popular candy bar was named after a horse that the Mars family owned.

- The #1 peanut producing state is Georgia.

- An artificial Christmas tree last up to six years in a home.

- Women are four times more likely to have foot problems than men.

- The Angel Falls in Venezuela were named after an American pilot, Jimmy Angel, whose plane got stuck on top of the mountain while searching for gold.

- The Canadian province of New Brunswick had a bloodless war with the US state of Maine in 1839.

- Ninety-nine percent of pumpkins sold in the United States are for the sole purpose of decoration.

- Americans did not commonly use forks until after the Civil War.

- Chicago has the largest cookie factory, where Nabisco made over 4.6 billion "Oreo" cookies in 1997.

- The Great Comet of 1843 had a tail that was over 300 kilometers long.

- The "Calabash" pipe, most often associated with Sherlock Holmes, was not used by him until William Gillette (an American) portrayed Holmes onstage. Gillette needed a pipe he could keep in his mouth while he spoke his lines.

- American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating 1 olive from each salad served in first-class.

- Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

- Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

- Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

- The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

- In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world's nuclear weapons combined.

- The straw was probably invented by Egyptian brewers to taste in-process beer without removing the fermenting ingredients which floated on the top of the container.

- A Chinese checkerboard has 121 holes.

- The lot numbers for the cyanide-tainted Tylenol capsules scare back in 1982 were MC2880 and 1910MD.

- M&M's stands for the last names of Forrest Mars, Sr., then candy maker, and his associate Bruce Murrie.

- Ham radio operators got the term "ham" coined from the expression "ham-fisted operators", a term used to describe early radio users who sent Morse code (i.e. pounded their fists).

- A-1 Steak Sauce contains both orange peel and raisins.

- One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today is because cotton growers in the 30s lobbied against hemp farmers -- they saw it as competition.

- The term “the Boogey Man will get you" comes from the Boogey people who still inhabit an area of Indonesia. These people still act as pirates today and attack ships that pass. Thus the term spread "if you don't watch out the Boogey man will get you."
- The term, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was "No eye gouging." Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified was to poke someone's eye out.

- The earliest document in Latin in a woman's handwriting (it is from the first century A.D.) is an invitation to a birthday party.

- At McDonalds in New Zealand, they serve apricot pies instead of cherry ones.

- Pickled herrings were invented in 1375.

- The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.

- Ben and Jerry's send the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo.

- Ketchup was once used as a medicine in the United States. In the 1830s it was sold as Dr. Miles' Compound Extract of Tomato.

- Only three angels are mentioned by name in the Bible: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer.

- Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.

- The longest time someone has typed on a typewriter continuously is 264 hours, set by Violet Gibson Burns.

- The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive--so much so that they will set off an alarm at a nuclear reactor.

- The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

- Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.

- Images for picture stamps in the United States are commissioned by the United States Postal Service Department of Philatelic Fulfillment.

- Great Britain was the first country to issue postage stamps. Hence, the postage stamps of Britain are the only stamps in the world not to bear the name of the country of origin. However, every stamp carries a relief image or a silhouette of the monarch's head instead.

- In Roman mythology, Trivia was the goddess who "haunted crossroads, graveyards, and was the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, wandered about at night, and was seen only by the barking of dogs who told of her approach"

- Velcro was invented by a Swiss who was inspired by the way burrs attached to clothing.

- The amount of tropical rain forest cut down each year is an area the size of Tennessee.

- The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

- The concerti on the two Voyager probes' information discs are performed by famed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.

- The Phillips-head screwdriver was invented in Oregon.

- The Red sea was originally named the Reed Sea.

- A group of officers is called a mess.

- The round non-reflective raised pavement markers for use on roads are called Botts dots.

- The Amazon rain forest produces half the world's oxygen supply.

- Tomb robbers believed that knocking Egyptian sarcophagi's noses off would stall curses.

- It takes one 15 – 20 year old tree to produce seven hundred paper grocery bags.

- The world's smallest tree is the dwarf willow, which grows to two inches tall on the tundra of Greenland.

- Before 1800 there were no separately designed shoes for right and left feet.

- The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

- 'Crack' gets it name because it crackles when you smoke it.

- Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by Bayer.

- When your sink is full, the little hole that lets the water drain, instead of it just flowing over the side, is called a "porcelator".

- Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world; some species are capable of growing 100 cm (39 in.) or more per day.

- Ever wondered where the phrase "two bits" came from? Some of the coins used in the American colonies before the Revolutionary War were Spanish dollars, which could be cut into pieces, or bits. Since two pieces equaled one-fourth of a dollar, the expression "two bits" came into being as a name for 25¢.


  1. I find it hilarious there's a chocolate bar named after a horse!! I bet the Mars family thought it was pretty funny too.

    1. And it's a cute name for a horse, too...snickers!

  2. My favorites are the obscure laws still around! You should do a Thursday Trivia on those... ;) And 160 children? He must have been a very busy man. ;)

    1. I've done something like that a few times on previous posts(wacky laws that are basically ridiculous and outdated). It's been a long time, though; maybe I'll look some up at some point.

  3. Hey, they had book mobiles all the way back in 10th century Persia!

  4. A very interesting assortment of trivia, Martha. The fast-growing bamboo sounds like the kudzu we have here in the South. And as a serious caffeine addict, I've got to say that I don't think an apple would quite do it for me! :-)

    1. There's no way I could eat an apple first thing in the morning, either. I'm also a caffeine addict and I need my coffee!