“It is not squalid like Birmingham, or cramped like Canton, or scattered like Edmonton, or sham like Berlin, or hellish like New York, or tiresome like Nice. It is all right. The only depressing thing is that it will always be what it is, only larger, and that no Canadian city can ever be anything better or different. If they are good they may become Toronto.”
– Rupert Brooke (1913)
1. According to the OED, the first confirmed use of “OMG” was in 1917.
2. When Mark Wahlberg was a young lad, he was a SERIOUS delinquent. Addicted to coke at 13, he often attacked people based on race, including throwing rocks at blacks and blinding a Vietnamese man in one eye. He claims to have had run-ins with the Boston police 20-25 times, and ended up going to jail as a minor for attempted murder.
3. Drowning people don’t wave their arms for help. They can’t perform any voluntary movements, in fact, including reaching for a lifesaver.
4. The monarchy costs each Canadian $1.53 / year.
5. July 1st is called “Moving Day” in Quebec.
6. Auto-antonym : a word that has two opposite meanings. Examples: “Fast” (moving quickly/stuck), “Bolt” (secure/run away quickly), “Wind up” (start/end), “Table” (propose/postpone), “Bound” (restrain/ jump away). I guess “virtually” or “literally” could be here but I’d rather pretend not.
7. Let’s say you’re an idiot and have unprotected penile-vaginal intercourse with an HIV positive person. What are your chances of getting it? If you’re a woman, 0.1%, if a man, 0.05%.
8. Earnest Hemingway possibly killed himself because he thought the FBI was following him. Most people have always figured it was just mental illness, but recent information released has actually proven that he was.
9. Satan rules over Hell? This myth became famous in Dante’s Inferno. It was not mentioned in the Bible.
10. As a child, Andre the Giant was too big to fit in the schoolbus, so he was driven to school every day by Samuel Becket (the playwright of “Waiting for Godot”). What?
11. Honey doesn’t go bad, and people have eaten some found in Egyptian tombs.
12. Children of identical twins are cousins by law. However, genetically they’re half-siblings. If a pair of identical twins married another pair, all the children would actually be full siblings.
13. What’s the most published work? For a centuries it was the Bible, but it has recently been surpassed by the IKEA catalogue.
14. In China and English-speaking countries, we’re taught there are seven continents. In Japan and the former USSR, six (Eurasia is one). In Latin America, six again, because the Americas is one combined continent. Greeks consider The Americas one continent, and Antarctica an island, thus giving us the five rings in the Olympic corporate brand.
15. “People take LSD and stare at the sun, causing them to go blind.” The first time this was mentioned was on the TV show “Dragnet”, and the myth has remained ever since.
16. George C. Scott was offered the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Patton, but rejected it, calling the Oscars “a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.”
17. When most people think they’re deleting their Facebook account, they’re really just deactivating it. The account still exists. You really have to dig to find the “Delete” option. Or you can just click [here].
18. What’s the most important contribution by the English to the Catholic Church? I nominate this: After sacrifices, ancient Germanic tribes used to sprinkle the blood on buildings and even themselves. The Old English word for this was “beodsain”, which was borrowed by the Vatican to become “blessing”.
19. The iPhone 4 has more memory than all the Apple II computers in the existence in 1980.
20. Dawson City, Yukon, used to be an end of the distribution line for silent films. Many reels ended up in a landfill in a condemned swimming pool (Apparently the Yukon has swimming pools!) and were forgotten. In 1978 they were discovered, and it turns out they were extremely well-preserved thanks to being hidden under the permafrost for so many decades. They’re now in the Library of Congress.
Adam’s trivia appears on PP every Hump Day!
You can read Adam’s other posts [here]