12 Confounding Bits of Trivia We Found Wedged in a Curious Obelisk, and Which None of the Local Nobility Have Succeeded in Plucking from the Stone, But You’re Welcome to Try Your Luck, Big Guy
We don’t know where it came from, we don’t know what it does, all we know is that whoso pulleth out these trivia tidbits from this stone is rightwise king born of all England. We can make out something about baby mustaches, a newly discovered shade of blue and Hank Schrader pinching a loaf, but none of us can remove them from the stone to read the rest.
Which is crazy, right? We’re the most important people in this stupid fiefdom. You’d think if anyone were to be named rightwise king born of all England, it would be one of us.
Anyway, we’re over it. We’re gonna go accuse some wenches of witchcraft. Feel free to screw around with this mysterious obelisk and the wisdom embedded therein.
The Pirate Who Set a Counter-Bounty on a Governor
When Louisiana Governor William Claiborne set a $500 bounty on businessman/pirate Jean Lafitte’s head, Lafitte slapped down a veritable Uno Reverse card, and offered a $5,000 bounty on Claiborne’s head.
Iceland Can Deliver Mail Off a Hand-Drawn Map
If you don’t know the address of your recipient, it’s possible to still get your parcel delivered if you can draw a passable map and include some key details on the envelope.
You’ll Never Have a Mustache As Rad As You Did in the Womb
When you were developing in the womb, your body hair initially started in your mustache area, and grew to cover your entire body. But you couldn’t be trusted with something so incredibly cool, so it eventually fell out. Then you consumed it. And evacuated it in your first poopy.
GPS Costs $750 Million Per Year to Run, Even Though It’s Free to Use (Kinda)
It also took about $12 billion to install the whole thing. The cost is wrapped into the Department of Defense’s budget, which means it’s paid for by John Q. Taxpayer.
A New Shade of Blue Was Discovered in 2000
The first certifiably novel shade of blue to be developed in 200 years was created by a chemist who was goofing around with a few compounds for an electronics development project. He had previously worked for DuPont, so when his combination of yttrium, indium and manganese created a vibrant blue color, he had a hunch he’d never seen it before, and filed for a patent.
Google’s Search Algorithm Desperately Needed a Punch-Up
Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s sloppy coding on their proprietary search algorithm had to be punched up by a new hire, Amit Singhal, before it was ready for prime time. It took him two months to fix his boss’ shoddy work.
A Writers’ Strike Saved Hank Schrader’s Life
Vince Gilligan was planning to kill off Schrader at the end of the first season of Breaking Bad, but that season was cut two episodes short because of the 2008 writers’ strike. Schrader lived to fight another day, and they ultimately realized that Dean Norris reading a book while taking a dump could be one of the most dramatic scenes in television history.
The Nazi Scheme to Counterfeit England to Death
Germany got extremely good at counterfeiting British currency during World War II, and may have gotten as much as £300 million into circulation. The original plan was to drive up inflation and destroy the country from the inside, but all they ultimately did was force the U.K. to redesign their bills after the war.
⸮ – The Mark of Sarcasm
Reddit cleverly (/s) denotes sarcasm or irony by typing “/s” (meaning: “end sarcasm”), but the percontation note has been in the lexicon since the 1600s, variously representing sarcasm, irony or a rhetorical question.
College Kids Got an Actual House Drunk (Either That, or Cops Are Liars)
In 2017, some college kids in Maryland threw a ripper that was so boozy, a police breathalyzer registered a .01 in the air inside the house, before it was even in anybody’s mouth. The frat house itself was legally drunk. The other explanation is that the cops hated this particular frat, which had already racked up four sanctions that year, and they were looking for an excuse to squeeze some money out of them. Four separate dudes were fined $315,000 each for providing alcohol to minors.
Two Countries in the World Are Named After Women (And Only One Is Human)
Saint Lucia is named after Lucia of Syracuse, a martyr who was killed in 304 A.D., while Ireland was named after Irish goddess Éiru.
The League of Extraordinary Communities
The towns of Boring (Oregon), Dull (Scotland) and Bland (Australia) have teamed up to become sister cities, in an alliance they’re calling “The League of Extraordinary Communities” (without really explaining what’s extraordinary about any of them).