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A test of your trivia knowledge
Nov 06, 2015

So, as a long-time trivia lover, you think you’ve amassed the world’s largest collection of  useless information, right?  Well, maybe so. Or, maybe not. Perhaps, I can find some obscure bit of information that will cause you to say,  “Son of a gun. I didn’t know that!”

Surprise, surprise:

• Contrary to popular folklore, Cuckoo clocks do not come from Switzerland, but from the Black Forest of Germany.

• We’re all familiar with the RCA logo of Nipper the dog listening to the RCA gramophone. But did you know that the original picture had both the dog and the gramophone sitting on his dead master’s  casket. The idea was that the closest thing to his dead master’s voice was the RCA gramophone. This casket bit was eventually considered to be too morbid and they removed it from the logo.

• The wingspan of a 747 jet is longer than the entire length of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

• There is now an ATM banking machine at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, which has a winter population of  200.

• The first product to have a UPC bar code on its packaging was Wrigley’s gum.

• Since the Second World War, every American president who addressed the Canadian Parliament in their first term of office was re-elected to a second term, which included Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton. 

Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Carter, and Bush (the elder) were not so lucky.  Meanwhile, Bush (the younger) and Obama both visited, did not address parliament and both were re-elected.

Geography:

• The first European to see New Zealand was Abel Tasman in 1642.

• New Zealand was named after his home district in the Netherlands, called  Zealand.

• The first European to set foot on the island was James Cook, in 1769.

• New Zealand has the highest mountain in all of Oceania — Mt. Cook.

• Greater Auckland is the second largest city in the world by area, the first being greater Los Angeles.

• New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote in 1890.

Quickies:

• The shell is 12 per cent of the weight of the entire egg.

• Pianist Liberace once used the stage name Walter Busterkeys.

• Aluminum was spelled “aluminium”  until 1925 in the U.S. 

• The roaring lion in the MGM  movie logo was named Volney and lived at the Memphis zoo.

• The first atomic bomb dropped on Japan fell from the Enola Gay. The plane was named after the unit commander’s  mother.

• There are more Samoans in Los Angeles than there are in American Samoa.

• The abbreviation AD (Anno Domini, Year of our Lord) should be properly placed in front of the year. Thus, you have 417 BC, but AD 2001.

Sports surprises:

• The size of a polo field is 12.4 acres, which is the largest playing field in sports.

• The football huddle originated at Gallaudet University, the world’s only accredited four-year Liberal Arts college for the deaf. The huddle was born back in the 19th century when the football team found that opposing teams were reading their “signed” messages and intercepting their plays. The use of a “huddle” solved that problem and the rest is football history.

• Before 1859, baseball umpires sat behind home plate in rocking chairs.

• According to regulations, a race horse’s name can be no longer than 18 letters.

• The sport that began in India and was originally called “Poona” is today known as badminton.

• Two men who had nothing to do with baseball are in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.   How can that be?

It was a special honour bestowed on Abbott and Costello for their classic baseball comedy routine called, Who’s on first?