Saturday, February 09, 2008

"and now for something completely different..."

A trait I've had all my life is collecting trivial facts about anything and everything that catches my interest. This generally includes any and all information I stumble across. This has resulted in a collection of minutiae that I can rarely recall unless prompted by a question, statement, or anything else that rings the 'weird information repository bell' in what passes for my gray matter. This causes a bit of a problem at times with those folks who find themselves living or working in my general vicinity, as I have another related tendency. Since I have a bit (?) of difficulty recalling these tidbits at will, I find myself constantly afloat in a sea of post-it notes and scribbled memos, many of which are totally indecipherable, even by me. This would include numerous notations in various reference materials as well as phone books, calendars, recipe files, etc.
While I like to think of myself as a somewhat erudite possessor of a vast amount of general information, the wonderful Irish Lady who shares my life and my surname tends to think of me as, in her words, "a Crazy Old Geezer". A very close friend expresses her thoughts on my mental prowess as being "a Crazy Old Coot". Feel free to associate your image of me with any of the above images. At any rate, lacking anything vaguely intelligent or constructive to ramble on about this fine day, I have instead decided to regale whichever poor, unsuspecting souls who wander this way with a little of my vast store of absolutely useless knowledge. Hope you can find a use for some of it because, other than winning a few bar bets and games of Trivial Pursuit, it hasn't helped my social status one iota.

-The average person ingests about a ton of food and drink each year.
-Red coral became a symbol of immortality to the ancient Greeks, presumably because of its branching shape and vibrant color. The Greeks believed it to be a panacea and protector against gout, poisons, and enchantments. Red and pink corals are still said to bring good luck to their owners.
-Since the Lego Group began manufacturing blocks in 1949, more than 189 billion pieces in 2,000 different shapes have been produced. This is enough for about 30 Lego pieces for every living person on Earth.
-Maine has the USA's highest percentage of homes with at least one cat at as a pet at 56% while Wyoming has the highest percentage of households with at least one dog, also 56%.
-John Philip Sousa didn't invent the Sousaphone. He contracted instrument creator J.W. Pepper to develop it in 1895.
-The name 'alligator' comes from the early colonists eventual mispronunciation of the Spanish 'el lagarto', 'the lizard'.
-Before she became an established film actress, Sharon Stone was one of the top ten models at the famous Ford Agency between 1977 and 1980.
-A bee could travel 4 million miles (6.5 million km) at 7 mph (11 km/h) on the energy it would obtain from 1 gallon (3.785 liters) of nectar.
-A single orchid plant of the genus Cymbidium was sold in the United States in 1952 for $4,500.
-Henri Nestlé was originally a baby food manufacturer. His work and research with condensed milk aided Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter in inventing a method to successfully combine chocolate and milk in a solid form, the first milk chocolate, in 1875.
-Forty-six percent of the world's water is in the Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic has 23.9 percent; the Indian, 20.3; the Arctic, 3.7 percent.
-A cow weighs about 1,400 pounds and eats about 55 pounds of food per day.
-Quincy Jones composed the musical score for the TV miniseries Roots.
-Vanguard I, a defunct US satellite is the oldest known hunk of 'space junk' having been in Earth orbit over 43 years.
-In 1965 US astronaut E. White lost a glove on a space-walk. The glove orbited Earth at 17,000 MPH for 30 days before burning up on re-entry to the atmosphere.
-The USSR Space Station Mir released over 200 objects into orbit in its first 10 years of use, mostly bags of trash.
-The Sami people of Northern Scandinavia and Russia have over 400 words to describe reindeer.
-The European variety of 'white' asparagus is grown in the dark and thus contains no color producing chlorophyll.

There, now tell me you don't feel a teensy bit smarter knowing all this stuff? Until next we meet, take care my friends.


Mies said...

YES! I feel so much smarter now!!! Actually this is a fun change of pace from a story...I like the Geezer photos too and the Indian doing smoke signals on his computer...Thanks (:

Brother Tim said...

It's good to know there are others out there like me. I too, have collected tons of useless trivia. I can't decide if it's a blessing or a curse. I've got boxes and file cabinets stuffed full of notes just like yours, some undecipherable, even by me, the author of them.

Great post. Thanks for the smole.

Brother Tim said...

'smole' is old Irishman with fat fingers for smile. ;)

FENICLE said...

Ok, I'll admit it - the slow geezer crossing picture had me blowing diet coke out my nose!! You need a warning with that one!

George said...

Hmm search hints geezer, coot, all names that remind me of myself. The pictures remind me of my mirror. Boy you really hit a nerve this time. But the trivia is great, some I already knew & more I didn't. Keep up the good work.