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Trivia - true or false.

  1. Oct 20, 2007 #1

    Astronuc

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    Forwarded from a family member. The originator claims not to have verified any of this.

    In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
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    Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
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    The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
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    Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
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    Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
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    Coca-Cola was originally green.
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    It is impossible to lick your elbow.
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    The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
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    The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
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    The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
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    The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
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    The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
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    Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
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    The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
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    The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
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    Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
    Spades - King David
    Hearts - Charlemagne
    Clubs -Alexander, the Great
    Diamonds - Julius Caesar
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    111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
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    If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
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    Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
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    Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
    A. Their birthplace
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    Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
    A. Obsession
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    Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
    A. One thousand
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    Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
    A. All were invented by women.
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    Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
    A. Honey
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    Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
    A. Father's Day
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    In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
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    It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
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    In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
    It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
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    Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

    =================================================================

    For the one on Golf - I went to Wikipedia -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf#Etymology

    Never the less, golf is a boring game and I don't play it. My brother and father on the other hand love the game. I'd rather play football (soccer) or go hiking, running or kayaking/canoeing, or gardening.
     
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  3. Oct 20, 2007 #2

    Moonbear

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    I thought "rule of thumb" came from using the distance between your knuckle and tip of your thumb as a rough approximation for an inch. But, I have no more to verify that than the claim above has.

    I know I can't lick my own elbow...I tried really hard last time someone posted about that, and my shoulder was sore for a few days from the effort. But, I couldn't say for certain that there isn't someone, somewhere with an unusually long tongue, or especially flexible shoulder who can do it.

    Haven't gotten any further through the list than that.

    Edit:
    Hmm... I only had to count up to "quatro." :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
  4. Oct 20, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    I can lick the side of my elbow, does that count? Or do I have to lick the back? I bet that kid that can contort himself to fit in that little box can do it. :eek:
     
  5. Oct 20, 2007 #4

    Kurdt

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    I heard somewhere that rule of thumb is derived from what is given above. I can't remember where though. Could have been QI. There are indeed other claims to where the term rule of thumb came from but noobody knows for sure which it is.
     
  6. Oct 20, 2007 #5

    Evo

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    Here is the "rule of thumb" answer, Moonbear wins. kurdt, which of the two explanations above were you referring to, I'm guessing Moonbear?

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/000512.html
     
  7. Oct 20, 2007 #6

    arildno

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    Well, supposedly, the most four-letterish word in English is a contraction of "Fornication Under Consent of the King".
     
  8. Oct 20, 2007 #7

    Kurdt

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    I meant QI debunked the wife beating law. Sorry should have been more clear. :smile:
     
  9. Oct 20, 2007 #8

    Gokul43201

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    All the word/phrase origins, except possibly for the 'wet your whistle' one and the honeymoon origin (never heard either explanation, but find the latter more plausible) but including arildno's "fornication..." are urban legends.

    The letters 'p' and 'q' are just easy to confuse, because of how they look. 'Sleep tight' just means 'sleep well'. 'Tight' was synonymous with 'well' or 'soundly' in Elizabethan English.
     
  10. Oct 20, 2007 #9

    Gokul43201

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    I remember being told the horse-statue explanation by an uncle - a Colonel in the army - when I was a wee lad.
     
  11. Oct 20, 2007 #10

    Moonbear

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    Yes, particularly when one was typesetting letters in mirror image of what they would look like when printed.
     
  12. Oct 20, 2007 #11

    Evo

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    That's right!! I remember now, it was about typesetting.
     
  13. Oct 20, 2007 #12

    Moonbear

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    And yet, I'm the one who failed miserably on the pointless trivia test. Apparently they just didn't make the questions pointless enough. :biggrin:
     
  14. Oct 20, 2007 #13
    I remember reading about the 'honey month' that honey is an aphrodisiac (it increases hormone levels), and the time period (month) was, that IF the woman got pregnant, the man would know for certain that it was his child.
     
  15. Oct 20, 2007 #14

    Evo

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    Silly men. :tongue:
     
  16. Oct 20, 2007 #15

    Kurdt

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    Obviously that should be the natural conclusion. If your partner gets preganant during the month that everyone is running around under the influence of an aphrodisiac then that guarantees the child is yours.

    Is there any consensus over whether it is 'whet your whistle' or 'wet your whistle'? Not that it would make too much difference but if it were the former then the story Astronuc gave may not be true.
     
  17. Oct 20, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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  18. Oct 20, 2007 #17

    Astronuc

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    Hey, whatever works. :wink: :tongue2:

    Honeymoon sounds better than meadmoon, alemoon or beermoon.
     
  19. Oct 20, 2007 #18

    arildno

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    "whet" is related to the Norwegian word "kvesse", meaning "to sharpen".

    The transition from "kv" in Norse to "wh" in English is very common, as in whelp/kvalp, where/kvar, wheat/kveite (or hvete), whale/kval (hval), white/kvit (hvit) and so on.

    In modern Norwegian, "kv"-s have usually been substituted with "hv"-s.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
  20. Oct 20, 2007 #19

    mgb_phys

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    Generally acronyms are always myths - they weren't common outside the army before the 1950s.
    Focken is a low German / Dutch word for hit or 'bang'
     
  21. Oct 20, 2007 #20

    mgb_phys

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    Only french playing cards have different kings, English ones are the same.
     
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