15 Trivia Tidbits for Saturday, April 27, 2024

If a policeman carries a nightstick, who carries a daystick?
15 Trivia Tidbits for Saturday, April 27, 2024

In 1696, a Dutch explorer passed an Australian island and thought he saw it was filled with enormous rats. He named the place “Rottsnest.” The species he saw was actually the quokka, an adorable marsupial. 

Quokkas on Rottsnest have become quite accustomed to human visitors now. If you go there and point a camera at yourself, a quokka may even crawl into place and look right into the lens, as though posing for a selfie. Quokkas also have a dark side. Find out what it is below, along with some information on the healing power of beer. 

Fingering the Culprit

The first criminal to be convicted using fingerprint identification was an Argentinian woman who killed her two children. She cut her own throat to make it look like she’d been attacked as well, but fingerprints left by the murderer turned out to be hers


If you go waterskiing, you risk an injury known as water ski douche. The high-pressure water jet enters certain orifices, and chaos ensues. 

Mr. Handy

In the 1950s, Hoover released a new type of vacuum cleaner that hovered above the ground, by blowing exhaust straight downward. It felt like the way of the future at the time, but the future chose different technology. 

An Unforgivable Pun

Ahead of George W. Bush’s visit to Sioux Falls in 2001, a man at a bar was heard saying, “God might speak to the world through a burning Bush.” It was funny, the man would later say, in his defense. The bartender called the police, and the man was sentenced to three years in prison

Fish and Mushroom Skewer

Scientists this year revealed that they’ve been giving magic mushrooms to zebrafish. Why? Because they’re scientists, that’s why, and because no one stopped them.


And something about comparing psilocybin to SSRIs in treating stress, whatever.

Mountain Time

All of your devices that connect to the internet ultimately sync their clocks to one of 19 atomic clocks worldwide. But if you’re in the United States, it syncs to just one clock, located in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

Inedible Trash

As recently as 2012, Pizza Hut was America’s largest consumer of kale. They didn’t use it as a topping but just as decoration around the salad bar.

Happy Birthday, Bryxdyn!

If you wonder why rich people give their kids ridiculous names, it may be because they hired a professional baby namer. The namer, of course, can’t just suggest any reasonable name — they have to make up something absurd, to justify their fee. 

Our Competitor Will Kill You

The very first electric chair was funded by Thomas Edison. He wasn’t doing it to promote electricity. He was doing it to discredit electricity — specifically to discredit alternating current, the electricity used by his rival, George Westinghouse. 

Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Quokkas are known for being very photogenic animals. A mother quokka will also eject her young from her pouch so that an approaching predator will eat it, letting the mother easily get away.

Drbethsnow/Wiki Commons

You’d be smiling, too, if you could ditch your kids anytime you wanted to.

Daystick, Fighter of the Nightstick

A nightstick has the name it does because there used to also be such thing as a daystick. NYPD officers had two sticks — one for days and one for nights. The nightstick was longer, to suit the greater threats night brought.

The Cause, and the Solution

When someone has methanol poisoning, you can save them by injecting ethanol. The ethanol keeps the liver busy, preventing it from converting the methanol to something worse. One Vietnamese hospital saved a guy by transfusing pure beer.

Soaked Earth Policy

In 1938, China figured blowing up some levees would keep the invading Japanese from reaching their capital. It did, but the resulting flood killed half a million of Chinas own citizens, and the land remained flooded for a decade.

Mouth Lube

In the 1920s, ads urged people to buy toothpaste with mineral oil, to “oil your teeth.” If you didn’t understand how tooth decay works, it sounded intuitive to protect your teeth by oiling, much like you would oil a tool to keep it from rusting.

Moxie, Kid

A CIA employee approached his superiors and offered to be a double agent. He had some interesting qualifications to back up his application. He revealed that he had successfully stolen CIA satellite documentation and passed it along to the Soviets. Instead of becoming a secret agent, the employee was sent to prison for 40 years

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