Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Picking Apart More Internet Trivia....

` It's that time again: I've been sent another list of purported facts! Let the gauntlet begin!!

` First, a few boring, boring word-oriented questions....

* The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."

` Yes, it is the longest, along with other words such as scratched, scrounged, scrunched, and stretched.

* No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

` This is true, as far as I know.

* "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

` Also true - unless you count something like undreamt....

* Almonds are members of the peach family.

` Yes, you could say that! You could also add that they are two different species of the same genus. In other words, the peach (Prunus persica), plum (P. Prunus sp.), apricot (P. armeniaca), cherry (P. Cerasus sp.), and almond (P. dulcis) are extremely close relatives.
` The family of this genus - if you want to resort to using that somewhat outmoded term - is called Rosacea. Some other fruit-bearing genera of the 'rose family' include Malus (apples), Pyrus (pears), Fragaria (strawberries), and Rubus (raspberries, blackberries, etc.).

* Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

` Of course, this is mere internet trivia. It is well-known that Churchill was born right here in this room! It was, however, during St. Andrew's ball, when Winston's mother began going into labor. According to William Manchester's The Last Lion:

She fainted and was carried into a little room just off Blenheim's great hall. Once it had belonged to the first duke's chaplain; tonight it was the ladies' cloakroom. Sprawing, she lay on velvet capes and feather boas, which were deftly drawn from beneath her when the ball ended and the merry guests departed. It was a long night, with servants hurrying in and out with poultices and towels.

* Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

` Why yes. It is. Now, why is this considered trivia?

* There are only four words in the English language which end in"-dous" tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

` Now that's just infandous! ...Though I will admit that most English words with that ending are scientific terms.

* Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula" and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, "L.A."

` Um... yeah. I could add that, when the town was founded in 1781, the name had been shortened to: El Pueblo de la Reina de los Ángeles - The Village of the Queen of the Angels.

* A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

` Technically, cats don't have muscles in their ears, but they do have auricular muscles that pull the skin around the ear. I think there are thirty-two of them....

* An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.

` Correct. The ostrich eye is about 50 millimeters long and weighs about 60 grams while its brain, I think, weighs a mere 40 grams.

* Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

` But of course! Observe!

* In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.

` Yes, I have noticed that the hands of watches tend to point in that general configuration. Apparently, there's a long history of this. Aesthetic reasons, I suppose.

* Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

` Hm. I've been working on this one. All I can say is: Probably.

* The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life".

` Actually, this seems to have been a coincidence.

* A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

` Of course a goldfish's memory is much longer than three seconds! (What good would three seconds of memory do, anyway?) In fact, scientists at Plymouth University managed to train goldfish to push a lever each day in order to get food.

* A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

` Let me count one.... Ye-es, I think that's right!

* It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

` Nope! I've managed to do it! Hooray! I'm living proof of something besides... um... never mind.

* The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

` Sounds like an urban legend, but apparently, this really happened to Percy LeBaron Spencer of the Raytheon Company. Sometimes, new ideas for technology are found on accident like this.

* John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles.

` Well, if this is any indication.... Doesn't mean that I care, though.

* The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

` From what? ...As I'm about to go to bed myself, I'll try to make note.

` Once again, though many answers are true in the world of internet trivia, I can describe a blind belief of them in one word: Jeopardous!


Galtron said...

I was wondering when you'd do another of these again! You're pretty good at this!

Aaron said...

Very cute Spoony. I had actually watched a history channel show about radar where they recounted the discovery of radiation being used to heat food. Hence the name 'Radarange'.

S E E Quine said...

` I guess the name just didn't stick. My family used to have an Amana Radarange, though it was modern enough to have flat buttons. I think it was from the seventies.

` If you want to know a secret, Galtron, I actually got this list while I was in Ohio. I just didn't bother digging it out of drafts and debunking it until today.

cassie d said...

i had heard that about bert and ernie from my mom, but never knew if it were true or not....

Galtron said...

Ha! Jeopardous! I just got that!

(Darm I'm slow!)

monado said...

I found you a possible kindred spirit in Seattle -- "when grammar is important"

S E E Quine said...

` !! Thank you, Monado!! I just may have found a new friend here!!

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