Trivia Bits – Wednesday, October 18

October 18, 2017  
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Wednesday, October 18

Happy sesquicentennial, Alaska! On Oct. 18, 1867, possession of Alaska Territory was officially transferred from Russia to the United States. Although common wisdom said that U.S. Secretary of State William Seward was misguided in recommending the purchase (you’ve heard of “Seward’s Folly”?), only two senators officially voted against it: William P. Fessenden of Maine and Justin S. Morrill of Vermont. Their main objection was the expense. Fessenden had also opposed a proposed purchase of Cuba in 1859. Price paid for Alaska: $7.2 million, about 2 cents per acre.

What’s the traditional filling inside the meringue shell of a Baked Alaska?
A) Chocolate
B) Fruit
C) Ice cream
D) Peanut butter

Previous answer: Lawrence Welk was known for playing the accordion.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Tuesday, October 17

October 17, 2017  
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Tuesday, October 17

The oldest surviving — and perhaps the first ever — live-action motion picture footage is a snippet of film known as “Roundhay Garden Scene” made by Louis Le Prince in 1888. The clip, which runs for less than 3 seconds, shows Le Prince’s family and a friend walking in a garden in Leeds, England. Le Prince made two other motion pictures around the same time, one of traffic on Leeds Bridge and one of his son playing the accordion. Then he disappeared and was never heard from again. The film survives.

Which bandleader was known for playing the accordion?
A) Tex Beneke
B) Cab Calloway
C) Kay Kyser
D) Lawrence Welk

Previous answer: Walt Whitman’s poem with the line “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done!” refers to the death of Abraham Lincoln.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Monday, October 16

October 16, 2017  
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Monday, October 16

John Bartlett was running the University Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he began compiling a list of recognizable quotations from literature, largely as a resource to answer “Who said?” questions and perhaps to settle a wager or two. He published the compilation in 1855, with 258 pages of quotes. A mere 1,000 were printed; they sold out in three months. By the time of Bartlett’s death in 1905, nine editions of his “Familiar Quotations” had been published, with sales of some 300,000. The 1,504-page 18th edition came out in 2012.

To whom was Walt Whitman referring in the line: “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done!”?
A) His dog
B) His father
C) Ralph Waldo Emerson
D) Abraham Lincoln

Previous answer: The Billy bookcase is among Ikea’s best-selling items.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Saturday, October 14

October 14, 2017  
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Saturday, October 14

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, traces the history of the royal ship Vasa, which launched on Aug. 10, 1628, and sank the same day, less than a mile from shore. Its story would be comical, if it wasn’t tragic. Thirty people died in the accident, including crew members and members of their families who’d been invited to sail on the first leg of the ship’s maiden voyage. The Vasa remained submerged until 1961 when the waterlogged ship was raised to the surface. Over the next few decades, the Vasa was dried out, restored and placed in the museum built to house it.

Which of these is a product sold by Ikea?
A) Billy bookcase
B) Lykke lamp
C) Sven sofa
D) Tommy table

Previous answer: Jason Voorhees is the villain in the “Friday the 13th” film franchise.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Friday, October 13

October 13, 2017  
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Friday, October 13

The idea that black cats are unlucky is a myth. Same goes for the idea that black cats (and dogs) are adopted from shelters less often than animals of other colors. ASPCA data shows that black cats (and dogs) are adopted at significantly higher rates than animals of other colors. They also account for the biggest percentage of the animal shelter population, which might give casual observers the idea that they’re least likely to be taken home.

Who’s the villain in the “Friday the 13th” film franchise?
A) Ghostface
B) Freddy Krueger
C) Michael Myers
D) Jason Voorhees

Previous answer: A healthy human cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Thursday, October 12

October 13, 2017  
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Thursday, October 12

Since his death, Christopher Columbus’s bones have traveled almost as much as he did when he was alive. He died and was buried in Valladolid, Spain, in 1506, then was moved to Seville sometime after that. In 1542, his bones were sent to the Dominican Republic; then to Havana in 1795; then back to Seville. Yet folks in the Dominican Republic contend that at least some of his remains never left the island. Thus, there are tombs for his bones in Seville and in the Dominican Republic. It’s possible both sites contain a bit of him.

How many pairs of chromosomes are in a healthy human cell?
A) 10
B) 23
C) 32
D) 66

Previous answer: The 2009 film “Whip It,” directed by and starring Drew Barrymore, is about women in roller derby.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Wednesday, October 11

October 11, 2017  
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Wednesday, October 11

The Ethel Barrymore Theatre is the oldest surviving Broadway theatre named for an actress, and one of just four active Broadway theatres with female namesakes. Sister of John and Lionel, great aunt of Drew, Ethel Barrymore was such a highly regarded stage actress that when the theatre opened in 1928, she both directed and starred in its first production: Gregorio Martinez Sierra’s “The Kingdom of God.” She played a character who ages from 19 to 70 during the course of the play. She was 49 years old at the time.

Based on a book by Shauna Cross, “Whip It” is a 2009 film about women in what sport?
A) Gymnastics
B) Horse-racing
C) Roller derby
D) Surfing

Previous answer: East Egg and West Egg are fictional places in “The Great Gatsby.”

 

Trivia Bits – Tuesday, October 10

October 10, 2017  
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Tuesday, October 10

Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs, a highly unusual thing for mammals to do. (Mammals, such as dogs and bears and humans, give birth to live young.) Only two types of monotremes exist today: the duck-billed platypus and the spiny anteater, or echidna. Both are native to Australia and New Guinea. Adult females lay one to three eggs and incubate them for nine to 12 days until the young break free from the shells. Then they nurse the babies as dogs or bears or humans would.

East Egg and West Egg are places mentioned in what classic novel?
A) “A Tale of Two Cities”
B) “The Great Gatsby”
C) “Jane Eyre”
D) “The Mayor of Casterbridge”

Previous answer: National Fire Prevention Week commemorates the most destructive day of the Great Chicago Fire, Oct. 9, 1871.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Monday, October 9

October 9, 2017  
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The narrow space between the roof of a building and the ceiling of the top story — smaller than an attic, too small for storage or living area — is called a cockloft. Washington Irving found the word so amusing he invented a whole family with the surname Cockloft. For most of us, it’s antiquated verbiage, unless you happen to be a firefighter. To firefighters, the cockloft is a potential danger zone, where fires spread quickly across the unobstructed horizontal expanse.

Why is National Fire Prevention Week observed on the week that includes Oct. 9?
A) To coincide with the switch to standard time
B) To commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
C) To mark the founding date of the Boston Fire Department in 1678
D) To celebrate the feast day of St. Florian, patron of firefighters

Previous answer: HOG is the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol of Harley-Davidson.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

Trivia Bits – Saturday, October 7

October 7, 2017  
Filed under Trivia Bits

Saturday, October 7

You’d expect world-renowned architects to design skyscrapers, cathedrals, schools, libraries, museums — but gas stations? Yes, indeed. Gin Wong, who worked on the Transamerica pyramid in San Francisco and the Theme Building at LAX, also designed a modernist gas station in Beverly Hills. Denmark’s most famous modernist architect, Arne Jacobsen, designed a station for Texaco in 1937 that’s still operating near Copenhagen. And the R.W. Lindholm service station opened in 1958 in Cloquet, Minnesota, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

HOG is the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol of what company?
A) Halliburton
B) Harley-Davidson
C) Hewlett-Packard
D) Hormel

Previous answer: In a standard deck, the king of diamonds holds an axe; the other three kings hold swords.

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

 

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