12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

For your safety, and the safety of those around you, do not operate heavy machinery after consuming these tidbits. Don’t even operate light machinery. Give yourself a day or two before messing around with machinery of any kind, really.

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The Six-Day All-Sand Ultramarathon

The Marathon des Sables is a 156-mile ultramarathon that has been run in the Moroccan desert since 1986.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Peter the Great’s Horrifying Souvenir Collection

Eighteenth-century Russian Tsar Peter the Great started a collection he called his cabinet of rarities to catalogue various coins, manuscripts and minerals he encountered around the world. He slowly expanded it to contain limbs and heads suspended in alcohol, and entire bodies of children and people with odd anatomical features.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Head of a Parkinson’s Non-Profit Skimmed a Million Bucks to Keep His Salary Competitive

Frank L. Williams devised a scheme to divert some donations from his association’s Staten Island headquarters to a Minnesota satellite office, where a crony would launder it into his personal bank account. He was already getting a 110k-per-year salary, but he said that was half of what his peers were making.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Amusement Park Built on a Literal Indigenous Burial Ground

The bodies of 13 indigenous children were found buried underneath Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in West Virginia. Before it became a park, but after it became a burial ground, it was the sight of an early triple homicide, after a European settler established his homestead on Shawnee land, and his children were captured and murdered. Six patrons died at the park before it was finally shut down in 1966, and the most recent owners operated Haunted History Tours and Dark Carnivals until 2017.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Vatican Didn’t Register Its Porn Domain Name, So Someone Else Did

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers unveiled the .xxx top level domain in 2011, to mixed reactions. Lots of dignified organizations, like corporations and colleges, found themselves forced to spend thousands of dollars buying up their domains so that scammers and pornographers wouldn’t. Others, like the Vatican, attempted to ignore it, allowing random strangers to run sites like vatican.xxx.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Halley’s Comet Guy Saw at Least Two UFOs

Seventeenth century astronomer Edmond Halley reported seeing unidentified celestial vehicles at least twice. In one 1676 ordeal, he saw a vast body apparently bigger than the moon that emitted a noise like the rattling of a great cart over stones and traveled at about 9,600 miles per hour, by his estimates.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Banana as a Unit of Measurement

Bananas contain extremely small amounts of radiation. Prescient webcomic XKCD once referred to the banana equivalent dose as a way to calculate how many bananas youd need to consume to match certain levels of exposure. For example, the Fukushima disaster leaked 76 million bananas worth of radiation. What started as a joke has been used by researchers and serious news outlets to convey radiation dosage to the masses.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Odin Had Serious Drip

The Norse God had a gold ring called Draupnir, meaning dripper, which would calve off eight more gold rings every nine days. He once sacrificed it out of grief after his son died, but found that endless wealth was so vital to maintaining control, he rummaged around Norse Hell until he found it again.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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America’s Forbidden Bean

The tonka bean is a delicious, pungent legume with a taste and smell similar to vanilla. It’s used in perfumes and pastries around the world, but since it can be toxic in larger quantities, it’s banned in the U.S.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The U.S. Military Lightly Edited ‘Black Hawk Down’

The movie is about a botched mission during the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, but focuses on the bravery of the soldiers over the more tragic outcomes of the real mission. That’s in part because the military agreed to provide tons of training and equipment, in exchange for whitewashing their image. Also, John Grimes was based on the real-life John Stebbins, and was supposed to be named after him, but Stebbins had been sentenced to 30 years in prison for child molestation.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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China Has an Army of Porn Reviewers

Film judges review up to 700 videos per week, checking them for China’s stringent censorship standards. Full-time, paid judges must be married, but there are thousands of single people who do the work on a volunteer basis.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Bodybuilders Can Write Off Baby Oil on Their Taxes

The IRS once agreed that one bodybuilder’s competition-day baby oil was a legitimate business expense; however they didn’t allow him to write off all his vitamin supplements.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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