12 Trivia Tidbits for Your Monday, February 12, 2024
You wouldn’t want to start your Monday without a steaming hot bowl of trivia tidbits, would you? Go on, eat up, make that brain big and strong so you can crunch numbers for the shareholders!
The 19th-Century Nepo Baby’s Cow Yacht
James Gordon Bennett Jr. was born into money, and spent it like the world’s most boring supervillain. He bought a whole restaurant because someone was in his seat, and once threw a wad of cash into a fire because it wouldn’t fit in his pocket. His second yacht included a room for a live cow, so he could have fresh butter on his journeys.
The Cure for Insomnia?
The Cure for Insomnia was a boring, listed, 5,000-page poem that was turned into an 87-hour film of the same name. The movie showed a guy reading the poem out loud, interspersed with clips from newscasts, and, inexplicably, clips of heavy metal music videos.
An ISIS Recruit Called It Quits Because of Apple’s Trash Battery Life
A French expat fighting for ISIS in Syria once wrote home, saying, “I’m fed up. My iPod doesn’t work any more here. I have to come back.”
Hollywood Doctors Used to Patch Up Stars With Morphine and Cocaine
Actor Wallace Reid was prescribed morphine after suffering several injuries on the set of 1919’s The Valley of the Giants, with the intent of keeping him high enough to finish filming his parts. That worked, but his subsequent addiction drove him insane, and he died in an asylum four years later.
That Psychic Octopus Received Death Threats From Soccer Fans
Paul the Octopus correctly predicted multiple matches in the 2010 World Cup, which, of course, really ticked off the projected losers. German and Argentinian fans were especially brutal to Paul on social media, and one Argentine newspaper published an ominous octopus recipe.
An Intricate Hitler Forgery Had an Obvious Tell on the Cover
A journalist claimed to have found Hitler’s diaries, which had been lost in a 1945 plane crash. Historians examined the handwriting, the language and the content and declared they were legit. Then a forgery expert stepped in and pointed out that the intricately scripted byline on the front cover read “F. Hitler,” an obvious mistake on the part of a forger. From there, they realized the paper and the ink were also too fresh to be the real deal.
Square Enix’s Marketing Campaign: Kill Your Friends!
To market 2012’s Hitman: Absolution, they launched a campaign where you could put a tongue-in-cheek hit out on your friends on Facebook. Stock reasons for killing your friends included having red hair, an annoying laugh and small breasts.
Kay Jewelers May Have Stolen Your Diamond
BuzzFeed published an article in 2016 about women who reported bringing their diamond rings to Kay to get repaired, and being given back an obviously downgraded or altogether fake rock.
Americans Thought They’d Entered a Nuclear Apocalypse Because of Poor Asset Management
At the height of the Cold War, the National Emergency Warning Center was responsible for giving NORAD access to multiple radio and TV stations in the event of an emergency. They had two tapes on hand: one to tee up a test segment, another to give NORAD the mic for the real deal. Both tapes were stored next to each other, so naturally, someone accidentally popped in the wrong one. For 44 minutes, Americans waited for NORAD to tell them to kiss their asses goodbye.
Roald Dahl Was So Much More Than an Author and Anti-Semite
He was also a warmonger! He flew a fighter jet in World War II, busting up scores of enemy planes, and also served as a spy, strong-arming high-profile Americans to quit screwing around and join the war.
The Freemasons’ Goofy Rival
A secretive order calling themselves the Gormogons sprang up in London in 1724, with their sole known intention being to challenge the Freemasons. They disappeared 12 years later — unless they actually stuck around behind the scenes and became the most secret secret society in history.
Jerusalem’s 700-Year-Old Gift Shop
The Razzouks are a family of tattoo artists in Jerusalem who have run the same business since the 1700s, tattooing crusaders, pilgrims and royalty who wanted to commemorate their holy trip.