Amazing Fun Trivia

The Bank of Vernal, in Vernal, Utah (where else?) is the only bank in the world that was built from bricks sent through the mail.? Way back in 1919 the builders realized that it was cheaper to send the bricks through the United States Postal System (seven bricks to a package) than to have them shipped commercially from Salt Lake City.

Two hundred and twenty six soldiers lost their lives way back in 1850 when they crossed a suspension bridge that spanned the Maine at Angers, France. It turns out that they were all marching in step and had caused an increased resonance (vibration) to the bridge. Ever since, troops are ordered to rout step (march out of step) when crossing a bridge.
Source: Why Some Shoes Squeak by George W. Stimpson,1984, p. 115

In 1992, Weird Al had the hit ‘Smells Like Nirvana’ at the same time that Nirvana had the hit ‘Come As You Are’.
Source: Chart Beat Chat, Billboard Online, April 28, 2000

There are approximately ten million bricks in the Empire State Building.
Source: A&E Top 10 Architectural Wonders

The lightning that we see actually goes from the ground to the sky in what is known as the “return stroke” at 1/3 the speed of light. We can’t see the initial “stepped leader” that passes from the sky to the ground.
Source: USA Today Weather Book by Jack Williams (1992, page 127)

From space, the brightest man-made place is Las Vegas, Nevada.
Source: Understanding Electricity, The Learning Channel, March 27, 2000

The most common invention of the 19th century was the washing machine.
Between 1804 and 1873, at least 1676 patents were issued by the United States Patent Office for various forms of this device.
Source: Household Wonders (The History Channel)

The five most stolen items in a drugstore are batteries, cosmetics, film, sunglasses, and, get this, Preparation H. Apparently people are just too embarrassed to purchase the last item. And, just in case you are curious, one of Preparation H’s main ingredient is shark liver oil. The oil not only helps shrink hemorrhoids, but will shrink any tissue. As a result, many older women in Florida use the stuff to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles!
Source: Do Pharmacists Sell Farms? by Vince Staten (1998, Simon & Schuster)

It’s widely known that Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray to the patent office by a mere two hours with his application to patent the telephone. However, ten years after Bell’s patent was issued, patent examiner Zenas Wilber admitted in a sworn affadavit that he had taken a $100 bribe from Bell, had taken a loan from Bell’s patent attorney, and had given Bell the complete details of Gray’s caveat.? Hmmmm….
Source: Inventor’s Digest, July/August 1998, pages 26-28.

Charles Lindbergh achieved great fame for being the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean.? What most people don’t know, however, is that two men had achieved the same goal eight years earlier! Flying for sixteen and a half hours from June 14 to June 15, 1919, Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten-Brown had copiloted a Vichers-Vimy twin-engine plane nonstop from Newfoundland across the Atlantic to Ireland.??? Lindbergh was just the first person to do it alone.
Source: Fabulous Fallacies by Tad Tuleja (1982, The Stonesong Press)

In four separate instances between October 1987 and February 1988, small pink frogs rained down from the sky on to various parts of Great Britain. Scientists are still uncertain as to where these frogs originated, although some have traced them back to the Sahara desert.
Source: The World’s Most Incredible Stories, 1998, page 66.

The Malaysian government decided to solve their disease-carrying mosquito problem by spraying the infested areas with DDT.? This worked, but the cockroaches then devoured the dead mosquitoes.? This was followed by the region’s gecko lizards consuming the roaches. The geckos did not die from the residual poison (surprisingly), but their central nervous systems were greatly affected, causing the lizards to slow down. Moving up the food chain, the cats ate the slow-moving lizards and started to die off in large quantities. Of course, fewer cats means more rats, and the country’s rat population soared. As a result, the World Health Organization was forced to step in and ban the DDT. In an effort to restore the ecological balance, they flew in planeloads of cats to kill the rats.
Source: The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual by Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler, 1994, p. 180, Galahad Books

The phrase “Often a bridesmaid but never a bride” actually comes from an advertisement for Listerine mouthwash.? The text was written by Milton Feasley and first appeared in 1925.? The advertisement was so successful that it ran for more than ten years.

Did you ever wonder what the WD in WD-40 stands for?? WD is an abbreviation for Water Displacer.

Marijuana was not illegal in the United States until October 1, 1937, when Congress passed the “Marijuana Tax Act”.? Total debate time on the House of Representatives floor concerning this issue: 90 seconds. This act did not actually ban the substance – it simply said that one could not sell marijuana without a license.? Of course, Congress refused to issue any licenses. Congress finally banned marijuana outright in 1970.

Everyone knows that spinach is loaded in iron and makes you stronger – Just look what it has done for Popeye’s career. Well, Popeye was wrong. So were all of those parents that stuffed it down their kids’ throats. In reality, spinach has no more iron in it than any other vegetable. This spinach misconception dates back to the 1950’s when a food analyst made an error while calculating the iron in spinach. His decimal place was off by one place, suggesting that spinach had ten times as much iron content than it really did.

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