Trivia

Misc

  • Denver International Airport is larger than Manhattan.
  • C.S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley, and John F. Kennedy died on the same day.
  • Shakespeare mentions America only once, in Act 3, Scene 2 of The Comedy of Errors.
  • π4 + π5e6
  • “All styles are good except the boring kind.” — Voltaire

(Thanks, Larry.)

Parting of the Waters

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_Ocean_Pass_USGS_Topo.png

In Wyoming’s Teton Wilderness, North Two Ocean Creek splits into two smaller creeks: Pacific Creek flows westward to the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Creek eastward to the Atlantic.

In principle this makes it possible for a fish to swim upstream from the Pacific, cross the Great Divide, and pass down into the Atlantic. This may be how the Yellowstone cutthroat trout came to be found in both the Snake and Yellowstone rivers.

Looking Up

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Earthmap1000x500compac.jpg

Rome is north of Chicago.

Venice is north of Minneapolis.

London is north of Calgary.

Paris is nine miles south of the U.S.-Canada border.

Neighbors

China and Afghanistan share a border. The Wakhan Corridor, a slender panhandle only 40 miles wide, reaches between Tajikistan and Pakistan to touch Afghanistan’s eastern border.

Because China does not use conventional time zones, that border requires the greatest time change of any international frontier — travelers must reset their watches by 3.5 hours.

Neighborly

Located in Texas’ northwest corner, the town of Dalhart is closer to six other state capitals than to Texas’ own capital, Austin.

As the crow flies, Dalhart is 201 miles from Santa Fe, 281 miles from Oklahoma City, 289 miles from Denver, 375 miles from Cheyenne, 434 miles from Topeka, and 458 miles from Lincoln, but 491 miles from Austin.

In driving distance, it’s 263 miles from Santa Fe, 343 miles from Oklahoma City, 348 miles from Denver, 448 miles from Cheyenne, 461 miles from Topeka, and 540 miles from Lincoln, but 579 miles from Austin.

Trivium

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ed_state_map.gif

The names of two U.S. state capitals end with the same eight letters. What are they?

Click for Answer

Fate Fall

Triple Divide Peak, in Montana’s Glacier National Park, sits at the meeting of two continental divides (red and green on the map above). A drop of rain that lands on the mountain might arrive at any of three oceans — the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Arctic.

Like Father, Like Son

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hoover_Dam_01.jpg

The first person to die in the construction of the Hoover Dam was J.G. Tierney, a surveyor who drowned in the Colorado River on Dec. 20, 1922. Thirteen years later, to the day, his son Patrick became the last man to die when he fell from one of the intake towers.

The first conscript in World War II was the son of the first conscript in World War I. Alden C. Flagg Jr., of Boston, held the first number drawn in the U.S. peacetime draft lottery of 1940. His father, Alden C. Flagg, had drawn the first number in the draft of 1917.

Surrounded

Travel due north, south, east, or west from Stamford, Conn., and you’ll find yourself in New York state.

Misc

  • Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times.
  • EMBARGO spelled backward is O GRAB ME.
  • The numbers on a roulette wheel add to 666.
  • The fourth root of 2143/22 is nearly pi (3.14159265258).
  • “A prosperous fool is a grievous burden.” — Aeschylus

Six countries have names that begin with the letter K, and each has a different vowel as the second letter: Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan.

(Thanks, Danny.)

Mundane

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:View_from_the_Apollo_11_shows_Earth_rising_above_the_moon%27s_horizon.jpg

Earth is the only planet not named after a god.

Twos-Day

There were 214 Tuesdays between Jan. 1, 1700, and Jan. 1, 2014.

(Thanks, Josh.)

Misc

  • Fathers can mother, but mothers can’t father.
  • The Mall of America is owned by Canadians.
  • Neil Armstrong was 17 when Orville Wright died.
  • LONELY TYLENOL is a palindrome.
  • 258402 + 437762 = 2584043776
  • “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” — Plutarch

Edward Gorey’s pen names included Ogdred Weary, Raddory Gewe, Regera Dowdy, D. Awd­rey-Gore, E.G. Deadworry, Waredo Dyrge, Deary Rewdgo, Dewda Yorger, and Dogear Wryde. Writer Wim Tigges responded, “God reward ye!”

A More Perfect Union

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:National-atlas-blank-state-outlines.png

The names of the 48 contiguous United States fall neatly into the two halves of the alphabet:

state names alphabetized

16 start with A-L, 16 with M-N, and 16 with O-Z.

Misc

  • WEALTH is an anagram of THE LAW.
  • U.S. Navy submarines observe an 18-hour day.
  • Joaquín Rodrigo wrote his compositions in Braille.
  • 45632 = –45 + 63×2
  • “Thy modesty’s a candle to thy merit.” — Henry Fielding

Eye and Ear

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/778197

Paul McCartney never learned to read music. “I don’t have any desire to learn,” he said. “I feel it’s like a voodoo, that it would spoil things if I actually learnt how things are done.”

Misc

  • Alexander Pope was 4 foot 6.
  • SOCIAL INEPTITUDE is an anagram of POTENTIAL SUICIDE.
  • 6! × 7! = 10!
  • Is the correct answer to this question no?
  • “Do something well, and that is quickly enough.” — Baltasar Gracián

Relatively Speaking

The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge across the Seine.

Pont neuf means “new bridge.”

Noted

The towns of Dull, Scotland, and Boring, Oregon, became sister cities in 2012.

“One of the things our communities share is the weather,” Boring journalist Jim Hart told the BBC. “We get a lot of rain and snow every year.”

UPDATE! Now the Australian town of Bland has joined them, creating a “trinity of tedium.”

Misc

  • Only humans are allergic to poison ivy.
  • GUNPOWDERY BLACKSMITH uses 20 different letters.
  • New York City has no Wal-Marts.
  • (5/8)2 + 3/8 = (3/8)2 + 5/8
  • “Ignorance of one’s misfortunes is clear gain.” — Euripides

For any four consecutive Fibonacci numbers a, b, c, and d, ad and 2bc form the legs of a Pythagorean triangle and cdab is the hypotenuse.

(Thanks, Katie.)

Abuse of Power

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JGCannon.jpg

One hot summer day in 1904, Speaker of the House Joe Cannon of Illinois visited the House dining room and asked for a bowl of bean soup. He was told that, in view of the sultry weather, it had been omitted from the menu.

“Thunderation!” Cannon roared. “I had my mouth set for bean soup! From now on, hot or cold, rain, snow, or shine, I want it on the menu every day.”

And so it has been, ever since. The recipe was published on the menu in 1955:

2 lb. No. 1 white Michigan beans.
Cover with water and soak overnight.
Drain and re-cover with water.
Add a smoked ham hock and simmer slowly for about 4 hours until beans are cooked tender. Then add salt and pepper to suit taste.
Just before serving, bruise beans with large spoon ladle, enough to cloud. (Serves about six persons)

As Time Goes By

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1188156

A piano keyboard can be used as a calendar mnemonic: If the notes in the chromatic scale from F to E are assigned to the calendar months from January to December, then the white keys correspond to months with 31 days, the black keys to those with 30 days or fewer.

Misc

  • The first child to be vaccinated in Russia was named Vaccinov.
  • Every treasurer of the United States since 1949 has been a woman.
  • 15642 = 1 + 56 + 42
  • up inverted is dn.
  • “Life well spent is long.” — Leonardo

Misc

  • AWE and WONDER are synonyms, but AWFUL and WONDERFUL are antonyms.
  • Abraham Lincoln is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Ravel described Boléro as “a piece for orchestra without music.”
  • “In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.” — Coleridge