15 Trivia Tidbits for Your Saturday, March 16, 2024

15 Trivia Tidbits for Your Saturday, March 16, 2024

Imagine that you’re driving on a bridge. Imagine further that this bridge, after running horizontally for a while like most bridges, curves downward, as though you’re riding on the top surface of an oval. You won’t be able to ride this curve all the way, until you are upside-down and now driving in the opposite direction. You will, of course, fall off first.

Now, imagine that instead of a normal flat surface, you are riding tracks, and your vehicle is secured to these tracks. The track curves down and bends back. Your car rides it until you really are driving upside-down. But then the track suddenly ends. What happens now? Find out below, along with a story about some unusual pirates. 

An Eggy Odor

A Baltimore gas company mailed out scented paper to customers to teach them what a gas leak smells like. Turned out, lots of them knew that smell just fine, and when they smelled it around their mail, they panicked because they thought there was a gas leak.

Pizza Twisters

When a tornado landed in Joplin, Missouri, in 2011, Pizza Hut manager Chris Lucas urged everyone in the restaurant to enter the freezer. He then wrapped himself in a bungee cord so he could keep the freezer shut. The people inside survived, but Lucas did not. 

Feel the Earth Move

The Moon pulls on the ocean, as we all know. It also pulls on the land. Up north, the land rises and drops about a foot thanks to the Moon’s gravity, a phenomenon known as the solid-Earth tide

The Fire Man

In 2016, 88,000 people had to evacuate Fort McMurray in Canada thanks to a wildfire. One guy stayed behind to take care of all the pets in the neighborhood. This violated the evacuation order, so he had to take care to avoid being spotted by Mounties

The Wrong Spin

Brush the ice during the sport of curling, and the stone moves. We know it does. As for why it moves, that’s hard to explain. The stone deflects in the opposite direction from how we’d think. We used to have an explanation called the asymmetrical friction effect, but it was disproven. 

Curling on Lake of Menteith from 2010

Julian Thomas 

We’d have figured it out, if more people cared about curling.

Ruin Value

Albert Speer, a German architect who played a big role in the 1936 Olympics, popularized a concept that he called Ruinenwerttheorie. According to Ruinenwerttheorie, buildings should be designed so that they look majestic even once they are just ruins. Consensus says that this concept is stupid. 

Abandoned Squirrels

The Kaibab squirrel lives only on the plateau north of the Grand Canyon. These squirrels can’t go south from there because of the canyon, and they can’t go north because they can’t survive the desert. 

Old Man and the D

Zelda Fitzgerald was unsatisfied with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s penis size, according recollections that Ernest Hemingway wrote down. On hearing about the issue, Hemingway invited F. Scott to the nearest men’s room, examined him and assured him that he had nothing to worry about. 

Nuke Panic

“MRI” stands for “magnetic resonance imaging.” It was originally called “nuclear magnetic resonance,” and is still sometimes referred to as that, but the name changed because people found the “nuclear” part too scary.

The Dip of Death

In 1905, Barnum & Bailey’s circus showed off a special driving stunt. A French performer, Mauricia de Tiers, rode a car along the track pictured below, doing a loop-the-loop then gliding through the air before hitting a ramp. It all went well, until the car missed the ramp and crashed one day, killing her. 

Library of Congress 

Three months later, they found a new stuntwoman to do the same trick. 

Science Gone Too Far

An 80-year-old rancher from Montana is facing a prison sentence for trying to create giant sheep, using testicles smuggled from Kyrgyzstan. He wanted to use tissues from one Central Asian breed to make his own sheep hybrids — to sell to Texans. 

Blood on the Ice

A fair number of hockey players have died on the ice over the years. The first time one player killed another was 1905, and this was such a new concept that authorities charged the surviving player with murder. 

Finger Chips

Europeans distrusted potatoes when the food was introduced to the continent in the 16th century. To them, potatoes looked like the skin of lepers, which seemed to indicate to them that potatoes cause leprosy

Sky Pirates

In 1917, a Norwegian schooner found itself boarded and captured by a man who descended upon the ship by zeppelin. No zeppelin ever tried this again, for fear that anyone on the ship with a gun could easily shoot the zeppelin and ignite it. 

Jumbo Revenge

A big game hunter died in Zimbabwe in 2017. His team fired at an elephant, and they did manage to kill her, but in collapsing, the elephant happened to land on the lead hunter.

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