Tracing the Roots of Trivia

We’re all hopelessly addicted to this fast-paced game that challenges our capacity to pull out a factoid in a manner of seconds.  Many of us become die-hard trivia junkies through watching jeopardy, playing trivial pursuit or discovered it at some “hole in the wall” Irish Pub.  We all have a story about how we got pulled into a weekly trivia night at our favorite bar or perhaps a 15-minute brush with fame on Jeopardy’s “college edition”.  Face it, we’re obsessed with trivia and it encourages us to keep filling our brains with more random facts. In tribute to our love of trivia, how about we take a trip down historical lane and reveal the roots and evolution of our favorite game.

To start at the very beginning, you can actually attribute the origins of the word “trivia” to the ancient Romans; “tri” as we know refers to “three” and “via” is another term for “road.”  Therefore, trivia technically means “A meeting place of three roads.”  During Roman times, this meeting would often occur in a tavern of sorts or would be a place of “ill repute”, as well the word tavern also denoted a meaning of unimportance; thus, eventually giving way to the term, “trivium” which is clearly the origin of the modern term, “trivial”. Continue reading

Strange World Records (and How You Can Set One)

Many people dream of being a famous athlete and having their name listed among the record books. Unfortunately, the Olympics occur only once every four years and only one person or team receives the gold medal. There are well over six billion people on the planet, and of these, only about 10,000 will attend the next Olympics. Therefore the chances of obtaining a gold medal are about… 22 million to one! However, for those of you who are truly determined to get your name in the record books there are other ways. Below are a few examples of some of the stranger records which you might want to try to break!

What about growing your nails? Sound easy? According to the Guinness Book, the world record for the longest fingernails is 28 feet 4.5 inches. Lee Redmond set this record in 2008. According to Lee, she started to grow her nails in 1979. Sadly for Lee, her nails were lost in a car accident in 2009.

What about your hair? There are a number of strange records when it comes to hair growing. The record for the longest hair is held by Xie Quipping. She has let her hair grow since the age of thirteen, and when her long tresses were measured in 2008, they measured an astounding length of 18 feet 5.54 inches. Another related record is the title for the world’s largest afro held by Aevin Dugas. The circumference of her huge hair-do measures 4 feet 4 inches. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Trivia

Valentine’s Day is recognized as the most romantic day of the year. Lovers everywhere celebrate the day with tokens of their love and affection. Among the most common gifts are cards, chocolates and flowers. Many of the traditions and customs that we practice come not only from the Christian faith, but also from the Romans, the Greeks and the Celts.

After Christmas, more cards are sent on Valentine’s Day than any other. Elementary school children, in the US, exchange more than 650 million cards every year. Teachers receive more Valentines than anyone.

Saint Valentine is the patron saint of lovers, happy marriages, beekeepers, travelers, fainting, epilepsy and greetings.

The oldest love poem was written in about 3500 BC. It was written on a clay tablet in Sumerian Cuneiform. The tablet is on display in The Istanbul Museum of the Ancient Orient. The poem was found in Nippur, in Iraq.


Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet. . . .
Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber


~ The feast of Saint Valentines is celebrated on the fourteenth of February. Continue reading

Seven Interesting Trivia Facts You Might Not Know About Christmas

Christmas is the best time of the year for many of us. We get together with our loved ones, we share presents, and we sing Christmas carols. However, there are some interesting facts about Christmas that very few people are actually aware of.

1. Jesus Christ Was Not Born On December 25

As we all know, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ – however, few people know that Jesus was actually born on the 20th of May. Christmas actually has its roots in various pagan festivals (like Saturnalia or the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun). The Church strongly disapproved of these particular celebrations.

Back in 380 AD, the Church in Rome decided to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on the 25th of December, in an attempt to unite various regions. Since that time, Christmas has been a universal day of celebration for more than 16 centuries!

2. Mistletoe

Mistletoe was considered sacred by the ancient Druids due to the fact that, unlike other plants, it remains green during the winter. Druids believed that mistletoe was able to cure infertility, to ward off evil spirits and to cure the mentally ill. Today, kissing under the mistletoe is a sign of true love, fortune and good luck.

3. The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther Was the First Person to Decorate a Tree

Have you ever wondered where does the Christmas tree tradition come from? If so, you should know that Martin Luther, the well-known Protestant reformer, was the first person to decorate an evergreen tree. The legend says that he decorated the tree with candles because he wanted to share the beauty of burning candles with his children. Continue reading

Memorable Moments of the Olympic Games

The Olympic Games are filled with memorable moments, drama and human interest stories. Although, by population, Canada is not a large nation, it seems to find itself at the center of some of the most controversial and strange moments in the history of the games. Two of these events involved sports where the judging was an issue. One of these stories involved the swimmer Sylvie Frechette and the Summer Games and the other involved pairs skating couple Jamie Sale and David Pelletier during the Winter Games.

In 1992, Sylvie was competing in the summer Games in Barcelona. She was the favorite to win the gold medal, and she did not disappoint. She swam an amazing program and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that she should win the gold. However, one of the judges made a mistake entering their marks into the computer. The judge even admitted that it was a mistake and tried to get the score changed. Nonetheless, officials would not listen to reason. Sylvie took home the silver medal. Canada, however, would not let it rest and sixteen months later Sylvie was awarded the gold medal that she had earned.

The case of Jamie and David was similar in many ways. Jamie, David and Jamie were on the brink of winning gold. They went out and skated the performance of their lives, and were clearly the best. The Russians had done well, but they had made mistakes. However, when the scores were posted the Canadians were second. The world and the pair were stunned. Clearly, the Canadians were the better team, in the eyes of everyone but the judges.

What would follow would rock not only the world of skating but every sport where judging was an issue. After days of investigating it was discovered that the judge from France had a deal with the Russian to place them first. The decision was made to award both the Russians and the Canadians the gold medal. This solution appeased the Canadians but brought into question all the judging in the world of sport. How many times had this happened in the past?

Although, these moments may not be the happiest in the world of Olympic Sport, they are among the most memorable.

What is the Fastest Animal on Earth?

What is the fastest animal on the planet? If you are talking about a land animal the answer would be the cheetah. These amazing cats have been known to reach speeds of over 70 mph. However, they can only maintain this speed for an extremely short distance.

Cheetahs are members of the cat family. They can live for up to twenty years and can weigh up to 140 pounds. Another interesting fact about the cheetah is that it is the only cat which cannot retract its claws.

If you wanted to see a cheetah in its natural habitat, you would have to travel to Africa. The cheetah prefers to live on the open plains and savannahs. Here the cheetah can hunt down its favourite food, the antelope. Cheetahs prefer to do their hunting during the daylight. Although, they are a large cat, they do have natural predators. These include hyenas, lions and, of course, man.

Unfortunately, these wonderful animals are listed as being vulnerable. Sadly much of their range is being destroyed and if they are going to survive, man will have to take special care to protect them.

David Bowie Trivia

David Bowie is definitely one of the most original and unique characters in the world of Rock and Roll. His career has spanned decades and he has been an innovator and a leader in all of them. David is considered by many to be one of the all time greatest pop musicians. His talents are not limited to the stage. David is also an accomplished actor, producer, and arranger.

David Bowie was born on the 8th of January 1947  in London, England. His birth name was David Robert Jones. To avoid being confused with Davy Jones, he changed his name to David Bowie in 1966.

David Bowie can play a large assortment of different instruments. He plays, keyboards, saxophone, drums, guitar,  and numerous others.

David is five feet ten inches tall and has blue eyes. When David was 15 he was punched in the face, by George Underwood. The result of this punch was permanent damage to his left eye. The pupil in his left eye is permanently dilated, which gives him the appearance of having two different colored eyes. This injury affects both his depth perception and his ability to see colors. Continue reading

Mick Jagger Trivia

Mick Jagger is one of the most recognized faces in the world of Rock and Roll and is often portrayed as being one of the really bad boys of the music scene. While, it is true that Mick is certainly no Saint, he is not nearly as bad as the media presents him to be. Regardless of all the bad publicity Mick has received over the years, there can be no denying his, and the Rolling Stones’, contributions to the world of Rock and Roll.

Mick and the Rolling Stones have won many awards and received various tributes throughout the years. Not only was Mick  knighted in 2003 by Prince Charles but he was also inducted into the Song Writers Hall of fame in 1993. Continue reading

How many children are in the Von Trapp family in the film The Sound of Music?

In the film, the family had seven children. The children were Lisel, Louisa, Fredrich, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl. The story is about Maria, a novice from a nearby convent that is recruited to become the family’s governess. The movie is loosely based on the real story of the Von Trapp family.

This movie debuted in 1965 and starred Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Peggy Wood and Richard Haydn. This Oscar written film was directed by Robert Wise. The film was written by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay and the music was written and composed by the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

The Sound of Music won five Oscars, best director, best picture, best sound, best film editing and best music score. Additionally, it was nominated for five others. Continue reading

When will Halley’s Comet reappear?

Halley’s comet will reappear in 2061. The comet which was named after the British astronomer, Edmund Halley, last appeared in 1985/86.

Edmund Halley was the first person to recognize that comets traveled in orbits. He was able to expand on Sir Isaac Newton’s laws and principles about motion and gravity. Halley used Newton’s mathematical formulas to correctly predict when the comet would reappear. Halley  made these predictions in his Synopsis Astronomia Cometicae, published in 1705. Continue reading