Fascinating Trivia

Courtesy of LeDean Bruns

  1. "Stewardesses" and "reverberated" are the two longest words (12 letters each) that can be typed using only the left hand.
  2. The longest word that can be typed using only the right hand is "lollipop."
  3. "Skepticisms" is the longest word that alternates hands.
  4. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
  5. In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.
  6. A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein.
  7. The underside of a horse's hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off several times a year with new growth.
  8. The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
  9. The "save" icon on Microsoft Word shows a floppy disk, with the shutter on backwards.
  10. The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
  11. The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: "adhere" and "separate."
  12. The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable."
  13. "Facetious" and "abstemious" contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does "arsenious," meaning "containing arsenic."
  14. The shape of plant collenchyma cells and the shape of the bubbles in beer foam are the same - they are orthotetrachidecahedrons.
  15. The word "pound" is abbreviated "lb." after the constellation "Libra" because it means "pound" in Latin, and also "scales." The abbreviation for the British Pound Sterling comes from the same source: it is an "L" for Libra/Lb. with a stroke through it to indicate abbreviation. Same goes for the Italian lira, which uses the same abbreviation ("lira" coming from "libra"). So British currency (before it went metric) was always quoted as "pounds/shillings/pence," abbreviated "L/s/d" (libra/solidus/denarius).
  16. Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
  17. Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  18. The word "checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "shah mat," which means "the king is dead."
  19. Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."
  20. Camel's milk does not curdle.
  21. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.
  22. An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.
  23. Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.
  24. The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.
  25. Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.
  26. All porcupines float in water.
  27. "Hang On Sloopy" is the official rock song of Ohio.
  28. Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?
  29. The world's largest wine cask is in Heidelberg, Germany.
  30. Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of "Lorne Greene's Wild Kingdom."
  31. Cat's urine glows under a black light.
  32. If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town.
  33. St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.
  34. The first song played on Armed Forces Radio during Operation Desert Shield was "Rock the Casbah" by the Clash.
  35. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
  36. Non-dairy creamer is flammable.
  37. The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)
  38. Texas is the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.
  39. The only nation whose name begins with an "A" but doesn't end in an "A" is Afghanistan. Aaron the know-it-all adds: Azerbaijan
  40. The names of the three wise monkeys are:
    • Mizaru: See no evil
    • Mikazaru: Hear no evil
    • Mazaru: Speak no evil.
  41. When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
  42. The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
  43. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history.
    • Spades - King David
    • Clubs - Alexander the Great
    • Hearts - Charlemagne
    • Diamonds - Julius Caesar