Archive for the ‘Facts’ Category

Fun Fact Friday, Number One Hundred One!

November 16, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “botany.”  Do you know . . . what is the common name of the flower known as the fleur-de-lis?

The fleur-de-lis is not a lily, but rather,  it is an iris.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Fun Fact Friday, Number One Hundred!

November 9, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about fish.  Did you know that . . .

  • fish have eyelids?  (Real Fact #30)
  • fish cough?  (Real Fact #38)
  • fish can drown?  (Real Fact #92)
  • the largest fish is the whale shark — it can be over fifty feet long and weigh two tons?  (Real Fact #116)
  • Tennessee banned the use of a lasso to catch fish?  (Real Fact #205)
  • the archer fish can spit water up to seven feet to shoot down bugs from overhanging leaves?  (Real Fact #691)
  • marine mammals swim by moving their tails up and down, while fish swim by moving their tails left and right?  (Real Fact #1344)


That Was Quite a Bounty!

November 5, 2018

Twenty years ago today was the first time in history that a bounty of $5 million was offered (by the State Department) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a certain “enemy of the United States.”  At the time, this was the largest bounty ever offered by the State Department.

Who: Saudi Arabian national Osama bin Laden.
What: charged in a Manhattan court (238-count indictment) for masterminding the August 7th bombings of American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Fun Fact Friday, Number Ninety-Nine!

November 2, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “hodgepodge.”  Do you know . . . what is the name of the large, branched candlestick, or holder for lights, such as the one used by the pianist Liberace?

Well, believe it or not, if you guessed candelabra, you would have guessed incorrectly.  Candelabra is the plural form and would be correct if you were describing two or more.  The correct term is candelabrum.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Ancient History, Number Three!

October 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from October 27th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • King Athelstan of England dies and is succeeded by his brother, Edmund.  (939 AD)
  • Alexander II is declared  to be the true pope in a synod held in Augsburg, defeating his challenger, Honorius II. (1062 AD)
  • Muhammed ad-Damiri, Muslim theologian and mystic, author of a noted encyclopedia of animals, dies in Cairo.  (1405 AD)
  • Grand Duke Vitold of Lithuania dies.  Svidrigello, brother of King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Poland, is elected as his successor.  (1430 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Ninety-Eight!

October 26, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about things illegal.  Did you know that . . .

  • illegal to run out of gas in Youngstown, Ohio?  (Real Fact #797)
  • in Texas, it is illegal to graffiti someone’s cow?  (Real Fact #909)
  • it is illegal in the United Kingdom to handle salmon in suspicious circumstances?  (Real Fact #964)
  • it is illegal to play annoying games in the street in the United Kingdom?  (Real Fact #965)
  • in Switzerland, it is illegal to own only one guinea pig because they are prone to loneliness?  (Real Fact #986)
  • in the state of Arizona, it is illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs? (Real Fact #1008)
  • it is illegal to sing off-key in North Carolina?  (Real Fact #1013)
  • in New Zealand, it is illegal to name your twins “Fish” and “Chips”?  (Real Fact #1309)
  • it is illegal in many countries to perform surgery on an octopus without anesthesia because of its intelligence?  (Real Fact #1386)
  • in Alabama, it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time?  (Real Fact #1400)
  • in France, it is illegal for employers to send emails after work hours?  (Real Fact #1402)


Fun Fact Friday, Number Ninety-Seven!

October 19, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “inventor/inventions.”  Do you know . . . in what country was the Sudoku puzzle invented?

Despite its name, Sudoku was invented in America in the 1970s by a retired architect from Indianapolis (Howard Garns).  They were originally called Number Place Puzzles.  They were rediscovered in the 1980s by Nikoli (Japanese puzzle publisher) and renamed Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru (translated as “the numbers must only occur once”).  This was rather cumbersome, so the publisher shortened it to “Sudoku.”

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Getting Ready for Halloween?!

October 18, 2018

Halloween is just two weeks away.  Are you ready?  Here are some fun statistics to help you put this event in perspective.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Fun Fact Friday, Number Ninety-Six!

October 12, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about shape.  Did you know that . . .

  • there are eighteen different animal shapes in the animal cracker zoo?  (Real Fact #67)
  • wombat droppings are cube-shaped?  (Real Fact #1237)
  • the spiral shape of sunflowers follows the Fibonacci sequence?  (Real Fact #1474)


It’s Flu Season . . . Have You Gotten Your Shot?!

October 11, 2018

How does your state rank when it comes to flu vaccination for senior adults?  Here are the states with the highest (as well as the lowest) percentage of seniors (age 65+) who have reported getting a flu vaccine in the past year.

Highest percentage
1. West Virginia (67.5%)
2. Iowa (67.0%)
3.  Pennsylvania (65.5%)
4.  Missouri (64.9%)
5. Colorado (64.7%)
5. North Carolina (64.7%)
7. Oklahoma (64.3%)
8. South Dakota (63.4%)
9.  Virginia (63.0%)
10. Minnesota (62.9%)

Lowest percentage
1. Wisconsin (49.5%)
2. Oregon (51.5%)
3. Louisiana (51.6%)
4. Washington, DC (51.7%)
5.  Arizona (53.4%)
6. Idaho (53.6%)
7.  Arkansas (53.9%)
7.  Alaska (53.9%)
9. Nevada (54.1%)
10. Nebraska (54.8%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, October 2018 issue, p. 48; America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2018.