Opinion: There’s always something to be learned from trivia 


Somebody out there knows I’m a trivia nut. I just got a bunch of useless facts in my e-mail. When the Trivial Pursuit game came out, I played it every day, even when no one else would play with me. When we traveled, I always took a box of the cards along to play on the road.

“Okay sweetie, here’s a geography question, what’s the capital of Ecuador?”

From the list:

Did you know that if you drop a raisin into a glass of champagne, it will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top?

I once mentioned this at a wedding reception, which caused the slightly inebriated best man to go roaring off in search of raisins. By the time he got back, the champagne was gone.

Not to be defeated, he left again to buy more champagne. This time he returned to discover someone had eaten the raisins. By then he was thirsty again, so he just poured himself another glass of champagne and forgot the whole thing.

A duck’s quack doesn’t echo. No one knows why. And cats can’t cough, but I swear my old cat used to try when working up a hairball.

In the movie blooper department, if you check out the chariot race in “Ben Hur,” you will see a small red car in the distance. Yep, I’ve seen it. And the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.

Donald Duck was once banned in Finland because he wore no pants.

From the Harmonious Marriage department, the phrase “rule of thumb” came from an old English law that forbid a man from beating his wife with anything wider than his thumb. That’s probably when the phrases “I’ve got a headache” and “go sleep on the couch” were created.

Not all whacky marriage laws came from England. In Bellingham, Washington, there was once a law that prohibited a woman from taking more than three steps backward while dancing.

The reason the Motorola company was called Motorola was because their first ever product was a record player for automobiles.

Another interesting music fact: the very first CD pressed in the USA was Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.”

All girls named Wendy owe it to the character in “Peter Pan.” The name was invented for the story.

The very first bomb dropped on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo. I guess Churchill didn’t like elephants.

And finally, the Guinness Book of World Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.

And, oh yeah, the capital of Ecuador is Quito.


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