12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Each of these facts alone is, frankly, life-alteringly important. In aggregate? Its unlikely the world has ever seen such a powerful amalgam of data.

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Moscow’s Worst Year Ever?

They’ve had a few rough patches, but 1771 might be their worst year to date. A plague erupted that would go on to kill over 300,000 people, and if you can believe it, the government didn’t handle it well. They indiscriminately burned the belongings of any infected person, immediately jailed dissenters and just kind of forgot to send food to the city. The citizens rioted, and the only thing that chilled them out was sending in a special government commission to provide adequate protection, work and food. Bunch of crybabies.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Ancient Politicians Had Rolodex Slaves

The role of the Nomenclator was to follow an aspiring politician around on the campaign trail and memorize the names of everyone he met. Their duties often extended to parties and other social events as well.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Pliny the Elder Saw a Dragon Fight an Elephant

Pythons were so huge and horrifying, ancient people who saw them in action often believed them to be dragons. Pliny the Elder described dragons of such greatnesse, that they can easily claspe and wind round about the Elephants, and withall tye them fast with a knot. Dude couldnt spell for shit.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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The Chicago Grifter Who Photoshopped Ghosts

In the late 1800s, S.W. Fallis started a ghost photography business, promising to produce on cardboard the features of departed ones as they have grown to be in ‘spirit land.’” A client who lost a baby would ask him for a portrait, and hed give them a photo of a random five-year-old. When one client took her photo to be blown up by a photographer, she was told hed already blown up this very image before.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time’ Is About Being Born

Not childbirth, but the actual act of getting born yourself. Writer Dan Wilson said, I was struck by what a funny pun it was to be bounced from the womb.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Tulipmania: The First Economic Bubble

The popularity of tulips in the Netherlands in the mid-17th century was the first recorded instance of consumer obsession leading to economic collapse. When all tulip bulbs were spoken for, people began buying the rights to hypothetical future tulips. Prices got as high as the equivalent of 10 years wages. When the bubble popped in 1637, lots of investors were ruined.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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East Sussex’s Highly Versatile Cave System

The St. Clements Caves in East Sussex, England are natural caves that were expanded by sand mining, then used as a hospital, an air-raid shelter, and in modern times, a music venue.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Apple Says Rice Is Bad for iPhones

Apple has finally weighed in on the age-old advice to put a wet piece of tech in dry rice: They say rice dust can get all up in those guts and make everything worse.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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The Forgotten World War II Battle on American Soil

The Battle of Attu resulted from an attack on the Alaskan island of Attu in 1932. Japan controlled the island for almost a year before American troops were deployed to take it back, resulting in thousands of deaths.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Marie Antoinette Never Said ‘Let Them Eat Cake,’ But She Did Something Much Worse

That quote is almost definitely deliberately misattributed to her. But she did show some incredible bread-based callousness: She insisted on powdering her wigs with flour during a flour shortage.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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The 1,000-Year Punk Performance Piece

Irish punk musician Jem Finer created Longplayer, a 20-minute piece of music thats algorithmically remixed in a way that it wont repeat bars over the course of its 1,000-year performance at Londons Trinity Buoy Wharf.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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The 1936 Film That Killed 25 Horses and 1 Dude

The Charge of the Light Brigade used hidden trip wires to trip up a running herd of 125 horses, causing injuries to 25 of them that required euthanization. In the chaos, one actor fell on a prop sword that was bent in such a way that it pierced his torso. Filming with trip wires is now illegal, but lethal prop weapons are still alive and well.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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