12 Certified Organic, Free-Range, Jumbo-Sized, Grade AA Bits of Trivia You Can Whip into a Meringue or Hard Boil to Your Heart’s Content
Look, whatever you do with these bits of trivia is between you and your god. Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew. Go nuts!
We just want you to know that these are the highest quality trivia tidbits around. You’re a discerning trivia connoisseur, so you know that to qualify for Grade AA, these tidbits have an air cell of one-eighth inch or less. That’s some high quality stuff right there, if we do say so ourselves.
You’re not likely to find fresher factoids — these babies are fresh from the cloaca! So what are you waiting for? Get crackin’!
This 100-Mile Ultramarathon Started as a Horse Race
The Western States Trail Ride was a 100-mile horse race, but when Gordy Ainsleigh’s horse got injured one year, he vowed to run the race himself. The trail had been completed on foot before, but Ainsleigh was the first person who decided he wanted to straight-up race the horses. He finished it in just under 24 hours in 1974, inspiring more people to try it the next year. Three years after Ainsleigh’s batshit idea, it became an official footrace with 16 contestants.
The Chessmaster Who Saved His Ass With His Brain
Ossip Bernstein was a Ukrainian chessmaster who was arrested and sentenced to death by the Bolshevik secret police. A commanding officer recognized his name just before he was to be executed by firing squad, and offered Bernstein his freedom if he could beat him in a game of chess. Unsurprisingly, he won, and moved to France
The EU Banned Glitter (For Its Own Good)
An EU ban on glitter recently went into effect, aiming to course-correct an industry built on mass producing microplastics. The European Commission explains, “The purpose is not to ban all glitter but replace plastic glitter with more environmentally-friendly glitter that does not pollute our oceans.”
A Man Faked a Heart Attack to Ditch a Restaurant Bill — 20 Times
A 50-year-old man tried to skip out on a $35 bill for a meal of seafood paella and two whiskeys, but was caught by the manager and a worker. He claimed he was going to get cash from his hotel, but when they wouldn’t let him leave, he feigned a heart attack. This tactic sounded familiar, so they called the cops, who confirmed that he was fine, and had in fact done this at least 19 times before.
Sloths Can Hold Their Breath Longer Than Dolphins Can
Sloths clock in at about 40 minutes, whereas dolphins can’t last more than 10.
Store-Bought Apples Can Be Over a Year Old
As you may have noticed from apple-picking season at your local orchard, they only have about a two-month ripening period. In an attempt to slake our perpetual thirst for apples, distributors have developed a process that involves chemical treatment and cold storage to ensure the flavor and mouthfeel remain fresh year-round.
BIC’s Oddly Sexist Pen
In 2012, BIC released a line of pink and purple “BIC for Her” pens that were “designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand.” The product reviews on Amazon were brigaded by people sarcastically praising the invention: “I could barely write my name without having to sit down afterwards — it’s nine letters long and thus really takes it out of me when writing with a normal pen designed for men.”
McDonald’s Once Tried to Pump America Full of Seaweed
Possibly to atone for its hand in the obesification of America — although more likely to appeal to healthy holdouts — McDonald’s tried to popularize “lean” burger patties in the 1990s. The McLean Deluxe was marketed as “91 percent fat-free,” which they pulled off by replacing the fat content with a seaweed extract. But it proved a little too umami for the discerning American palate.
People Used to Say ‘Prunes’ While Taking a Picture, Instead of ‘Cheese’
“Cheese” helps people achieve that rictus grin everyone wants in family vacation photos for whatever reason. But photography used to be serious business, and broad smiles were considered overly horny. To get everyone making the same self-serious pout, one daguerreotypist named Richard Beard reported instructing his subjects to say “prunes.”
The Royal Crown’s Practice Queen
Queen Elizabeth had a body double who would stand in for her when blocking out royal events and other appearances. Ella Slack, who filled the role for 30 years, describes having to squat over the throne like she was using a frat house toilet: “I’ve never been allowed to sit on the throne in the House of Lords. I have to lurk above it.”
‘Fancy Riding’ Is a Crime in Illinois
An Illinois law against screwing around on a bicycle says, “No rider of a bicycle shall remove both hands from the handlebars, or feet from the pedals, or practice any acrobatic or fancy riding on any street.”
The Smallest Wasp in the World Is Smaller Than an Amoeba
At 200 micrometers, Megaphragma mymaripenne is somehow only the third smallest insect on the planet.