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: http://americanbookreview.org/PDF/100_Best_First_Lines.pdf
- 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