Trivia tuesday

There is something I want to post about this week, but today I don’t have time to do it justice, so in honour of tonight being quiz night, here’s some Tuesday trivia for you.

  • The romance novelist Barbara Cartland was the step-grandmother of Diana, Pricess of Wales. Cartland’s daughter, Raine, married Diana’s father, the Eighth Earl Of Spencer.
  • The firefly is not actually a fly, but a beetle.
  • Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times but never won it. The closest he came was in 1948, when he was nominated a few days before he died. The prize committed decided not to honour him post humously, but instead didn’t award the prize that year, stating that there were “No suitable living persons”.
  • In Sweden, in 1979, a number of people called in sick to work with a case of “being homosexual,” in protest of homosexuality being classified as an illness. Within a few months, Sweden became one of only very few countries at that time to declassify homosexuality as an illness.
  • Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign of a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. This means, when the president is not there, the plane is no longer Air Force One.
  • California’s vehicle licence plates have been manufactured at Folsam State Prison since the 1930s. That’s the same prison as in the Johnny Cash song “Folsam Prison Blues”.
  • Suzanne Collins, author of the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy, worked as a writer for the television show “Clarissa Explains It All”.
  • Melissa Joan Hart, who played Clarissa in the aforementioned TV series, went on to play Sabrina in Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
  • Kevin Clash, who provides the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street, also played Baby Sinclair in the Sitcom Dinosaurs.
  • Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952 but turned it down, stating “I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it.

That’s ten facts… enough for one day, I think. Need to save some for next time 😉


Tuesday Trivia #2

I am going to tell you all about Berlin (and Eddie Izzard) soon, but for now I have to go to a pub quiz. So in honour of that I thought I’d give you some trivia. You never know when useless facts could come in handy!

  • The boat in the film Jaws was called Orca (as in Killer Whale).
  • The name Killer Whale is actually quite misleading. Not only are Orcas not, in fact, killers. They’re also members of the dolphin family.
  • Speaking of whales, the name Starbucks came from the novel Moby Dick – it’s the named after Starbuck, the chief mate of the whaling ship Pequod.
  • In 2011, the American Book Review placed Moby Dick’s first line (“Call me Ishmael”) at the top of a list of 100 best first lines from novels. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen came second on that list, and Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchom was third. The full list is here:
  • The mobile phone is now 40 years old! The first call from a hand-held mobile phone was made on 3 April 1973. The phone was made by Motorola.
  • The first SMS (text message) was sent in 1992 over the Vodafone network. It was sent from a computer to a mobile phone and read “Merry Christmas”.
  • The word merry derives from Old English myrige and originally meant pleasant/agreeable rather than cheerful or jolly.
  • The term Jolly Roger refers to any of various flags flown to identify a ship’s crew as priates – the skull and cross bones is the most common, but there are others.
  • The film Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the only animated/live action film to have won four Academy Awards, and became the first animated film to win multiple Academy Awards since Mary Poppins in 1964

Totally trivial!

It’s the first Tuesday of the month, which in my world means it’s quiz night. My team won last month (mostly not through my efforts – I knew two answers). I wonder if we can do it again?

In honour of quiz night, I thought I’d write a post with some (hopefully interesting) random facts. Just in case you ever find yourself in need of some trivia. You never know… it could happen!

Question Mark Graffiti
Question Mark Graffiti (Photo credit: Bilal Kamoon)
  • The shortest war on record – between the United Kingdom and the Sultanate of Zanzibar – took place on 27 August 1896 and lasted 38 minutes.
  • The first country in the world that allowed women to vote was New Zealand in 1893.
  • The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world. An adult male measures about 2.2 inches and weighs about 0.06 ounces.
  • The first person on a British stamp other than royalty was William Shakespeare, in 1964. The first self-adhesive stamps were issued by Sierra Leone on 10 February 1964. (Obviously 1964 was the year for stamp-related trivia).
  • Hong Kong is made up of 235 islands.
  • The national bird of India is the peacock.
  • The unit of currency in Ethiopia is called the Birr.
  • The tallest waterfall in the world, at 3,212 feet (979 m),  is Angel Falls in Venezuela.  Second is Tugela Falls in South Africa, which is 3,110 feet (948 m).
  • The first ever official international football match took place in Glasgow between England and Scotland on 30 November 1872. It finished in a 0-0 draw.
  • The first SMS (text) message was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992. It said “Merry Christmas”.

There you are – 10 random facts. Let it never be said that Confuzzledom is not educational 😉