15 Trivia Tidbits for Saturday, June 29, 2024

When a king offers a promise, listen closely to his exact words
15 Trivia Tidbits for Saturday, June 29, 2024

During the High Middle Ages, Venice was famous for its glassmaking. The craftsmen there stayed on one specific island and invented several new types of glass, which was very exciting, because people otherwise didn’t have a whole lot of forms of entertainment in those days. 

The job was dangerous. No, this danger had nothing to do with glass being sharp or molten material being hot. Find out the true danger below, along with some information about scientists sabotaging your hot peppers. 

Dead Letters Department

There used to be a second sign near the Hollywood Sign, spelling out the word “Outpost.” In fact, it’s still there, just knocked over, but people lost track of it for 60 years till hikers stumbled over it. 

Gallows Humor

A World War II-era joke tells of a dying soldier who asks to be placed between photos of Hitler and Goebbels. “Now I can die like Jesus,” he says, because Jesus died between two criminals. A priest named Joseph Müller told this joke, someone reported it to the Nazis and the priest wound up executed. 


Elite caviar is so expensive due to the usual laws of demand and supply. It’s also expensive because it’s so labor-intensive to produce. Workers must inspect each one of those tiny eggs by hand to make sure they’re all in good shape. 

School Spirit

The city of Wagoner in Oklahoma once had to arrest a new teacher when they found her walking around drunk and pantsless on her first day on the job. Classes wouldn’t even start for another week, but she’d shown up at school, fortified with vodka. 

Chamber of Secrets

The first prison to set up a gas chamber was in California in 1924. The cyanide company refused to deliver the poison, so guards had to pick it up in secret. Guards tried pumping the gas right into the inmate’s cell, but it leaked out. And so, they had to try again in a butcher shop


Nemracc/Wiki Commons

Not an entirely inappropriate venue.

Seat, Belt

If you’re obese, you’re at a higher risk of certain causes of death, unsurprisingly. One of these more surprising causes? Dying in a car crash

The One Flammable Flag

It’s illegal to burn a foreign flag in Denmark. However, it remains specifically legal there to burn the Danish flag, since people should have the right to protest their own country. 

Rubber Roads

Airports have to periodically blast their runways with high-pressure water to remove the buildup of rubber. Planes deposit a little rubber with every landing, and if this accumulated endlessly, runways would become too slippery to function. 

A Cure for All Ills

Doctors used to claim that PMS was caused by women not having enough sex. As a remedy, they prescribed sex. This actually helped, because sex feels great. 


Venetian glass used a technique that was kept secret, and glassmakers were herded to an island to maintain the secrecy. If a glassmaker tried to escape this island and went on the run, assassins killed him

Murano vase, around 1600

Sailko/Wiki Commons

It was all worth it, to get those spiffy vases.

Playing the Flute

The recorder was a popular instrument among professional musicians around 500 years ago. It fell out of favor when men felt embarrassed about the sight of an oblong object poking into their mouths

Uncle’s Stash

After the Lizzie Borden trial, her lawyer kept a bunch of souvenirs from the evidence collection. These included a victim’s skull and the head of the murder axe. No one realized this until his daughter stumbled on the collection years later. 

Stronger and Blander

Jalapeño peppers are a lot less spicy than they were a couple decades ago. Texas scientists created a special variety that’s less hot, and it proved a lot more commercially viable. 

Long-Range Listening

When the Titanic sent out its distress call, an amateur radio operator 3,000 miles away picked up the signal and went to the police for help. This didn’t actually help the Titanic at all, as the police didn’t believe him and had no ability to intervene even if they did. 

Exact Words

King Richard the Lionheart made a promise to Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus: After conquering Cyprus, Richard would not put the other ruler in irons. He kept this promise — by putting Isaac in chains that were made of silver, not iron.  

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