15 Set Pieces of Trivia That Broke Our Backs This Week
Two potentially interesting movies are hitting theater screens this weekend. One is about a famous toy, while the other is R-rated and is about something far more horrific. These movies are The Beanie Bubble, with Zach Galifianakis and Elizabeth Banks, and Cobweb, featuring Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr.
If those movies don’t sound interesting to you, fear not. You can get all the real-world knowledge and entertainment you want by reading the following facts…
The Go Must Go On
Hiroshima was holding a tournament of the game Go the day the atomic bomb dropped. When the bomb exploded, the players took a short break. Then they resumed playing right after lunch.
Orange, Not the New Black
In Scandinavia, prisoners just wear their own clothes, not uniforms. Uniforms have no proven effectiveness as a punishment, but they do add one more obstacle to the ex-con who has to readjust to life on the outside again.
A chicken stabbed a spectator to death at a California cockfight. The organizers of this 2011 bout stuck a knife to the bird to make it extra exciting, but it ran into a man’s calf, and he bled to death.
Made in the U.K.
The U.K. first mandated in 1887 that all products list their country of origin. The aim was to encourage people to buy British goods, not garbage from Germany. Overall, consumers used the labels as a guide to seek out products from Germany.
Horses can’t vomit. Most animals can expel food from their stomachs out their mouths, which is useful in many situations, but a muscle around a horse’s gullet serves as a one-way valve only.
Rice and Beans
All seven of James Richardson’s children died, and he was convicted of poisoning them. He was exonerated after 21 years. The real murderer was the babysitter, who had already murdered one husband, and maybe two.
A Florida man was arrested in 2015, caught having sex with a tree. Upon being apprehended, he claimed to be Thor, and he managed to resist the first attempt to tase him, thanks to drugs.
The Vengeful Tiger
In 1997, a poacher in Russia shot a tiger, failing to kill it, and took a boar that the tiger had killed. The tiger tracked down the poacher’s cabin, waited there, then killed him when he returned.
You might have seen many studies that aim to count the bacteria on common surfaces. One study from 2008 examined keyboards, among other items, but had to discard the keyboard results, because the keyboard was too dirty and was a hazard.
Yes, and Yes
Two members of the band Yes left the group and formed a new band they called Cinema. Then two more members left Yes, and joined Cinema. Cinema now said, “Guess we’re Yes again” and started calling themselves Yes.
In 2006, one man killed another at a factory because they’d both been messaging the same woman online. The killer, 47 years old, had been pretending online to be 18 to court the woman, who said she was 18. It later turned out that the woman was also lying and was 46.
The Captain of Köpenick
Wilhelm Voigt dressed as a sergeant and convinced some soldiers in 1906 that they were under his command. Then he took them to City Hall and had them hand over all the gold. Kaiser Wilhelm pardoned him, based on the fact that the whole thing was pretty funny.
An Invented Legend
You’ll often see the name E.E. Cummings written “e e cummings,” with the assumption that the poet spelled it that way, just like he used lowercase and omitted punctuation in his poetry. Nope. His publishers just invented that spelling as a gimmick.
Thar She Blows
A Navy sub had some visitors onboard in 2001, so it suddenly surfaced, to show off its capabilities. The captain didn’t realize it was right under a different ship, and by rising to the surface, it cut that ship in two. Nine people died.
The United States does not have an official language. Several states, however, have declared English to be their official language. In 1923, Illinois went a different route. It declared that its official language was “American.”