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

What is the Tallest Building in the World?

Before you can answer that question, you have to first answer a number of other questions and define what kind of building it is.

Is the building a tower or communications antennae or does it serve some other purpose?

Where do you start measuring the building? Do you include the basement, underground supports or, in some cases, the underwater portions of the structure?

Additionally, if an antennae is added to the top of the structure, do you include it to be part of the measurement? Continue reading

Sea Monster Trivia

The Loch Ness Monster is no longer alone. All over the world more and more lake monsters are making their presence known. From China to Turkey to the interior of North America the claims of lake monster sightings are on the rise. And, what is more surprising is that not only are more people seeing strange lake creatures, the scientific community is no longer simply laughing these sights off. Research teams with very sophisticated equipment are investigating lake monsters all around the globe.

The Oceanographic Institute of Bergen is using recording equipment to investigate underwater sounds in Seljordsvatnet, Norway, where Selma makes her home.

Ogopogo was officially reported 80 years before the Loch Ness Monster.

Chesapeake Bay is home to Chessie. Reports say that Chessie is somewhere between 25 and 40 feet. She has a body that is similar to a snake. One theory suggests that Chessie is actually a manatee. A manatee is a marine mammal that is closely related to elephants. Continue reading

Poison & Poisoners Trivia

mushroom with a red capFor thousands of years poisons have been used as a means of execution, a murder weapon and a way of committing suicide. Many of the ancient cultures understood and used poisons. Poison can be found in both natural and man made forms. Poisons can come in many configurations (gas, powder, liquid etc.) and death by poison is often mistaken for death by natural causes. It has been said that poison tends to be the weapon of choice for women rather than men.

One of the most noted cases of execution by poison was that of Socrates. Socrates, was a Greek philosopher who was found guilty of corrupting the minds of the young men in Athens. Socrates was sentenced to die by drinking poison hemlock.

In WWII the Germans used hydrogen cyanide in some of their notorious gas chambers. Cyanide was also a favorite poison used by high members of the German Third Reich to commit suicide. It was used by Eva Braun and other officers and their families at the end of the war. General Rommel is believed to have been forced to commit suicide by using cyanide. Continue reading

Love Potion Trivia

Witches, herbologists and alchemists have been creating and brewing love potions throughout the centuries. Almost every ancient culture and even religion has had their own version of the love potion.

Love potions may be made with the intent of having someone specific fall madly in love with you, or they may be made to make you more appealing to the opposite sex in general. Your goal may be to ensure that the person you are currently with stays faithful or you may be trying to rekindle an old romance. The reason for the potion is just as important as the potion itself. There are different potions, talismans and recipes for all of these desires but you have to be certain exactly what it is that you want the potion to do for you.

All of the potions, here are made of herbs and simple ingredients. Most of the ingredients are probably in your kitchen right now. They are not evil or satanic. None of these tonics dangerous. Regardless of your religious beliefs you may want to give one of these a try. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Gift Trivia

Every year millions of people celebrate the feast of Saint Valentine. They do not celebrate the day as a religious event but as an affirmation of love or commitment to another person.  A valentine does not have to be a lover or a spouse, although in many cases it is. Teachers are in fact the people who receive more Valentines than anyone else, followed closely by mothers. Chocolates, flowers and cards are the most common items given out on Valentine’s Day and are always appreciated, however if you are trying to find a suitable Valentine for a lover, significant other or a spouse why not try something a little different this year.

These day you can get everything from underwear, to soaps and candles made just for your significant other. You can get almost anything personalized but, keep in mind the amount of time that you have and the budget.

A truly unique idea is to get a personalized romance novel. These novels are not very expensive and allow you and your other to become the stars in your own romance. Continue reading

Energy Potion Trivia

Many people are often dissatisfied, with their lives. Some people wish they had more money, while others are seeking fame. There are still others who want the love of a particular individual, or those who want to have better health. If you asked someone how would they change, or improve their life, you would get as many different answers as there are people. I doubt you would ever encounter anyone who would say that they are perfectly happy with things the way they are.

If you are looking for a way to improve your life why not try a little magic? You do not have to be a witch or a wiccan to give this spell a try. Nor to you have to compromise any other beliefs that you may have.  This spell is not evil and it will not open gateways to the devil, or hell. Nor, does it allow evil spirits to enter your soul or your home. You might even want to consider it, to be more along the lines of a holistic approach to a problem.

This simple potion is to help you increase your popularity. You will no longer be the person in the background, it will allow you to move into the spot light. It will help you be recognized both at work and in your personal life. If you really want to gain some fame and recognition, give it a try. Continue reading

Pearl Trivia

How does an Oyster make a pearl?

The first thing to know about oysters and pearls is that not all oysters make gem quality pearls and some species do not make pearls at all. There are two basic groups of oysters, edible oysters and pearl oysters.

Those that are edible, come from the Ostreidae family. Oysters in this family include the Pacific Oyster, the Wellfleet Oyster and the Belon Oyster. Edible oysters are often referred to as true oysters.

Pearl producing oysters are from the pteriidae or feather oyster family.
Oysters from this family are able to produce both natural and cultured pearls. Pearls are created when a foreign substance gets inside the shell of an oyster. The material is annoying and abrasive to the oysters unprotected soft body. The irritant is quite often a parasite that gets into an oysters shell and not a grain of sand., as many people believe. To counter this irritant the oyster begins to produce a substance called nacre. Nacre is better known as mother of pearl. The oyster covers the foreign material or parasite with layers and layers of nacre which forms a pearl.
Continue reading

Candle Color Trivia

burning candlesCandles are often used in religious ceremonies and practices. In some philosophies and disciplines candles are used to help a person focus and meditate. Candles are also used quite frequently by people who practice aromatherapy techniques. For some people candles are simply a way of relaxing. Who can deny that a meal enjoyed by candle light is much more romantic than one under the glare of a light bulb.

If you are a user of candles you might want to explore a little more about the color of candles and their meanings. Candles are also said to be closely linked to the zodiac.

Red Candles are for love, fertility, health, passion, courage and strength. When red candles are used in ceremonies, magnetism is increased.
Zodiac, Aries, Leo, Capricorn and Scorpio

Yellow Candles are for unity, activity and creativity. When they are burned during ceremonies they help increase the power of concentration and imagination. They are also said to help gain people’s confidence and can be used as persuasion instruments.
Zodiac, Virgo and Taurus Continue reading