Everybody loves trivia. There are trivia games, trivia night at the local club, and radio show hosts are famous for coming up with interesting bits of trivia on whatever is the hot topic of the day. But where did the word trivia first come into being? Wikipedia has this to say, "The ancient Romans used the word triviae to describe where one road split or forked into two roads. Triviae was formed from tri (three) and viae (roads) – literally meaning "three roads", and in transferred use "a public place" and hence the meaning "commonplace." Trivialities, bits of information of little consequence was the title of a popular book by British aphorist Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946), first published in 1902 but popularized in 1918. More recently, however, in the 1960s, nostalgic college students and others began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth. The first known documented labeling of this casual parlor game as "Trivia" was in a Columbia Daily Spectator column published on February 5, 1965. The two longest-running trivia contests in the world are The Great Midwest Trivia Contest at Lawrence University in Wisconsin and the Williams Trivia Contest. Both made their debut in the spring of 1966 and both are still going strong today.
I could just leave it at that, but I wouldn't be me if I did. So I'm giving you a bunch of interesting trivia that you can amaze your friends with tomorrow on National Trivia Day. So let's get on to the good stuff, shall we?
1. Sesame Streets Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson, the muppet genius, decided to change him to green for the show's second season. So how did Oscar explain the color change? He said he went on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and turned green overnight. Ya gotta love swamps!
2. On Good Friday in 1930, the BBC reported, "There is no news." Instead, they played piano music. Wouldn't that be refreshing today?
3. Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State. (They decided to split one course.)
4. Carly Simon's dad is the Simon of Simon and Schuster. He co-founded the company. For those of you who may be too young to remember, Carly Simon was/is an awesome songwriter who has penned some of the most beloved modern songs of all time.
5. When the mummy of Ramses II was sent to France in the mid-1970s, it was issued a passport. Ramses' occupation? "King (deceased)."
6. In 1999, Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency's Maryland headquarters because it was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets.
7. The archerfish knocks its insect prey out of overhanging branches with a stream of spit.
8. "Jay" used to be slang for "foolish person." So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was referred to as a "jaywalker."
9. In 1907, an ad campaign for Kellogg's Corn Flakes offered a free box of cereal to any woman who would wink at her grocer.
10. That thing you use to dot your lowercase "i" is called a tittle.
11. The only number whose letters are in alphabetical order is 40 (f-o-r-t-y).
12. The Q in Q-tips stands for quality. They were originally called Baby Gays.
13. When Coca-Cola announced the return of Coke's original formula in 1985, ABC News interrupted General Hospital to break the story.
14. The Vatican Bank is the world's only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.
15. Mark Twain invented a board game called Mark Twain's Memory Builder: A Game for Acquiring and Retaining All Sorts of Facts and Dates.
Well, that should be enough useless facts to entertain anyone tomorrow. If you would like to post some trivia tomorrow yourself, use #nationaltriviaday on all your social media. And speaking of tomorrow, please stop back by. Saturday is National Bird Day and I promise you a few fun facts on our winged friends.
It feels great to be back!
Until we meet again, I wish you PEACE.