Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Petunia13

"Tell me something I don't know" Trivia & Fact thread

Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, DeLurker said:

A butt is a real unit of measurement for a cask of wine. A buttload is about 108 Imperial gallons.

Butt is also an archery term.

A somewhat larger barrel of wine is the tun, which holds 252 gallons.

---------------------

1900 was the only year of Olympic games that featured croquet as an event. French athletes won all of the medals because they were the only ones who entered the competition.

The 1908 Summer Olympics featured a pistol dueling event where the competitors shot at each other using wax bullets.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/10/2018 at 5:49 PM, walnutqueen said:

So, when I say I drink a buttload of wine, I'm actually being accurate?  ;-D

I suppose so if you were describing a year's worth of drinking since I doubt anyone could drink 108 Imperial gallons at one sitting- even if one had tubes in unpleasant places.

Share this post


Link to post

Kenner toys, best knows as the original production company and creators of the Star Wars toy line, lost the exclusive rights to Star Wars because they failed to make a $10000 payment one year after Return of the Jedi and before the newer movies came out.  It was in the contract they had exclusive rights as long as they made $10k a year for George Lucas.  The company was acquired bought up by Tonka or Hasbro and after that happened no one reviewed the contract to know about the clause and failed to pay it one year.  The whole story is in the documentary The Toys that Made us. 

 

On a similar note, the creator of the Barbie doll, Jack Ryan, made a fortune because in his contract he made a percentage of the profit off each doll sold.  It created a huge conflict between him and Mattel, had to sue them for much of the money.  He was married several times, including to one Gabor sister, and did his best to blow most of his money with women, drugs and booze before committing suicide in 1991

Also Barbie is based on a german doll that was inspired by a prostitute from a comic strip.  Same source for this, The Toys that Made Us.

The company that originally owned the rights to the Beatles records and music, BMI, created the CT scanner

The Guinness Brewery was leased originally to Arthur Guiness in 1759 for 45 irish pounds a year.  The length of the contract is 9000 years, so it still costs 45 pounds a year to lease. 

When the ABA and NBA merged in 1976, two owners agreed to fold their teams rather than join the NBA.  One received a pay out of $3.3 million to fold his team, a pretty good payday.  The other owners, the Silna brothers, were given just $2.2million........plus an agreement for 1/7 of the share of each of the remaining 4 ABA teams TV rights "in perpetuity".  TV rights were nothing, basically nonexistent, in those days.  There was no national TV contract for the league.  Three years later, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird came along. Then a few years later a guy named Michael Jordan.  Needless to say, that turned out to be a pretty good deal.  Some say its the best contract in the history of sports.  To date they have received $750 million since the deal was signed.  That includes $500 million they were given in 2014 as part of renegotiating the contact because they were suing over whether the money included revenue from newer media streams. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Here's a bit of musical trivia: the original Jefferson Airplane's drummer, Spencer Dryden, was the half-nephew of Charlie Chaplin but even his closest friends claimed they didn't know this until after his death in 2005 because he kept it a secret.

Mr. Dryden had been born in 1938 to   Mr. Wheeler Dryden,Jr. who'd been born in 1892 to  the performer Wheeler Dryden, Sr. and Hannah Hill Chaplin. The latter was still married but informally separated from Charles Chaplin,Sr.  and just a year after he was born, Mr. Dryden, Sr. took Mrs. Chaplin's youngest child away to India! It would only be in 1915 when Charlie became world famous that the younger Mr. Dryden would seek out his elder half-brothers by Hannah and would wind up being a virtual servant of Charlie the rest of Mr. Chaplin's life in the US before his death in 1958. Tellingly, when Charlie Chaplin wrote his autobiography, he made no mention whatsoever of any of the Drydens  (although he did detail Hannah's resulting galloping mental decline after that cruel separation from her youngest child) while he considered his elder half-brother Sydney to be his best friend. Oh, and Mr. Chaplin, Sr. had had his own nonmarital son after separating from Hannah by a girlfriend that Charlie in his autobio only identified as 'Louise' who herself would die shortly after Charles, Sr. did- with their orphaned son being sent to the very same workhouse as Charlie and Sydney had been after Hannah's first breakdown but whose fate thereafter remains a mystery (in part due to Charlie mentioning that he was registered under Louise's surname but neglecting to mention what the surname was- or even the boy's  own given name).

Share this post


Link to post

Oona Chaplin, best known as Talisa Stark, killed at the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones, is also related to Charlie Chaplin,  She is his granddaughter.  And the great granddaughter of playwright Eugene Oneill.  Charlie Chaplin's last and 4th marriage was to Eugene Oneill's daughter. 

Peyton Manning and Reese Witherspoon were born two days apart in the same hospital in New Orleans. 

Edited by DrSpaceman
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Bob Keeshan, of Captain Kangaroo fame, was the original Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody Show.

Which I learned by listening to a John Waters interview on NPR today who had been taken to one of the HD Shows by his parents and described Clarabell the Clown  #1 as psychotic looking.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/12/2018 at 11:58 AM, DeLurker said:

Bob Keeshan, of Captain Kangaroo fame, was the original Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody Show.

Which I learned by listening to a John Waters interview on NPR today who had been taken to one of the HD Shows by his parents and described Clarabell the Clown  #1 as psychotic looking.

    

      Speaking of clowns, guess who was the first Ronald McDonald? Willard Scott the future NBC weatherman! Psychotic  is one apt word to describe his demeanor, etc.!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

OK, because Miss Callas was never a movie star (and this wasn't an onset clash of ego), I guess I'll have to put this story here. It seems in the late 1950's or in the 1960's, the legendary performer Marlene Dietrich became enthralled with Maria Callas. One of Miss Dietrich's most notable talents was that she was an excellent cook and would make sumptuous dishes for her family, friends and new flames to rave about. To this end, she made a very special beef bouillon by taking eight pounds of Grade A beef then boiling and straining said beef for many times for quite a few hours until all that was left was eight OUNCES of the bouillon which she eagerly presented to Miss Callas. Alas, Miss Callas replied 'Very good! What brand CUBES did you use?'- and that was the virtual end of Miss Dietrich's liking for Miss Callas. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, Blergh said:

OK, because Miss Callas was never a movie star (and this wasn't an onset clash of ego), I guess I'll have to put this story here. It seems in the late 1950's or in the 1960's, the legendary performer Marlene Dietrich became enthralled with Maria Callas. One of Miss Dietrich's most notable talents was that she was an excellent cook and would make sumptuous dishes for her family, friends and new flames to rave about. To this end, she made a very special beef bouillon by taking eight pounds of Grade A beef then boiling and straining said beef for many times for quite a few hours until all that was left was eight OUNCES of the bouillon which she eagerly presented to Miss Callas. Alas, Miss Callas replied 'Very good! What brand CUBES did you use?'- and that was the virtual end of Miss Dietrich's liking for Miss Callas. 

Funny. I went to the Opera yesterday and Miss Callas was a subject of discussion. Thank you for this story. I’m going to retell it to my opera going partner. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Since it's getting close to Christmas, here's something for Grinch lovers! Boris Karloff (the original cartoon's voice) was born William Henry Pratt in Surrey, England and the great-nephew of Anna Leonowens (whose  own fictionalized account of her experiences as a tutor to King Mongkut of Siam's children would eventually become the basis of The King and I ) but the latter had long since cut ties with her original  blood family including her sister (his grandmother) so they'd never meet despite Mrs. Leonowens living to 1915 when he was 27. One probable reason for Mrs. Leonowens having severed ties was that she didn't want to chance it being known that her maternal grandmother (whose name has been lost to history) was East Indian.  Mrs. Leonowens even went so far as to pretend to have been born in Wales instead of India ( something her claimed Welsh 'birthplace' was rather shocked to find out was NOT the case decades after her death).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

With the release of the newest movie  Mary, Queen of Scots , it's quite ironic to think that ,in spite of all the bad blood between herself and Queen Elizabeth I of England (which wound up with the Queen of Scots being executed for plotting against her first cousin once-removed)  , her son James VI of Scotland was chosen to succeed the latter (and every single English monarch since has been a direct descendant of these Scottish monarchs ever since) but what's even more astonishing is how it came to be.  Queen Elizabeth I was very aware of being the last of the Tudor dynasty and having no children to leave the throne to but from the time she succeeded at age 25 to being on her literal deathbed at age 69, she refused to name a successor. Yes, she had some even more distant relatives ( Lady Jane Grey's younger sisters, etc.) but neither she nor her government were keen on having them propped up.  Anyway, without further ado, here's how it happened with James VI (though some historians  have speculated they made a secret deal right before his mother was executed but there's no documentation of this). When Elizabeth I was on her deathbed and too weak to even speak, her ministers asked for the zillionth time who was going to be the next monarch and someone piped up if it would be her nearest blood relative (and great-great-grandson of E's paternal grandfather Henry VII)  James which prompted Elizabeth to somehow hold her hands over her head in the shape of a crown then nod. Then as soon as she breathed her last, someone took off her signet ring from her finger then horsemen raced said ring to Edinburgh, Scotland to James who was then told the news and James wasted no time racing TO London to be proclaimed the King of England.  Let's keep in mind that England and Scotland had been at war with only a few grudging truces here and there for centuries with England openly trying to conquer and wipe out Scottish independence -yet somehow the king of this nation got accepted by the English government and tolerated by the English people with virtually no resistance or any real rival claimants propped up. Not to say Elizabeth wasn't a tough act to follow AND that there wouldn't be problems  in the future with James reigning over two nations which even during his reign went to war with each other, but this IS how he became king of England. 

Edited by Blergh · Reason: plurality
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

You know how various rulers and nobles throughout history ended up with popular nicknames? Alexander The Great, Richard The Lion-Hearted, and so on? Well some ended up with less grandiose nicknames:

  • The man who became king of Poland in 1320 was known as Wladyslaw the Elbow-High. He was rather short.
  • Louis V of France was referred to after his death as Louis the Good-for-Nothing or Louis the Do-Nothing.
  • A Bulgarian farmer who led a revolt and ruled the country for a year was known as Ivaylo the Cabbage.
  • One of Norway's Kings was known as Eyestein the Fart. By comparison, his son Halfdan the Bad Entertainer (aka Halfdan the Mild) got off easy.
  • The King of Galicia from 1188 to 1230 was noted for foaming at the mouth when enraged, earning him the name Alfonso the Slobberer.
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Meet the Press premiered  on the NBC television network in 1947 which makes it the longest running regularly scheduled network program but  what's less known that it was the creation of Martha Rountree and Lawrence Spivak- who would each host the show. Miss Rountree was the original moderator from its debut to 1953- to date the ONLY woman moderator in the show's history.   

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Before anyone derides the term, I  think it only fair that folks understand the original meaning of the word 'lady'. Back in the early Dark Ages ( the first few centuries after the last Roman soldiers left Britain), things were quite chaotic with wars, anarchy and famine dominating life for most Britons. Anyway, in the few households that were lucky to have a source of grain and a place to store it, the woman of the house was referred to as a 'hlaef dige' (" she who kneads the loaf")  while the man of the house was a 'hlaef org' ( "he who guards the loaf") - and, yes the latter term became lord. 
 

Share this post


Link to post

Want to try staying in a traditional country inn? Nowhere better to do that in  Japan's  Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Inn  near Mt. Fuji which has been tending to guests eager to partake in its natural hot springs since 705 A.D. ! No, I did NOT mean to type out 1705 or 1750 but this inn has been continuous business with 52 generations of the same family running it for over twelve centuries. Nowadays, it has electric lights and indoor plumbing but otherwise it's somewhat unchanged from its inception.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/12/2019 at 8:20 AM, Blergh said:

Want to try staying in a traditional country inn? Nowhere better to do that in  Japan's  Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Inn  near Mt. Fuji which has been tending to guests eager to partake in its natural hot springs since 705 A.D. !

Up until recently an even older operating business was also in Japan; the Kongo Gumi construction company, which began operations in 578 A.D, and was involved in projects like building castles and temples. It was absorbed by another company in 2006.

The oldest that Europe can manage is the Stiftskeller St. Peter, a restaurant inside St Peter's Abbey in Salzburg. It has only been (verifiably) in business since 803 A.D.

  • Like 1
  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post

According to my Snapple cap today,  in a room of 23 people, there is a 50% chance that two people have the same birthday. 

  • Useful 1
  • Surprise 1

Share this post


Link to post

In San Francisco, there's an ornate fountain at the corner of Market and Geary/Kearney Streets called Lotta's Fountain. Lotta Crabtree was the daughter of a would-be prospector and a shrewder mother who turned Miss Crabtree's voice into a goldmine by having her perform from the age of six!  Thankfully, Miss Crabtree herself liked performing a great deal and also learned very well from her mother how to keep her earnings. So, at the age of 38 in 1875 she donated this fountain to the city where she first had gained fame and while it was pleasant curio in the beginning, it soon became a vital part of the city.

      In 1906, the Big One struck Frisco and with all the tremor, aftershocks and fires, virtually ALL the city's water supply was compromised but one of the rare exceptions was. .. Lotta's Fountain which kept playing throughout the  entire ordeal. In addition to slacking the survivors' desperate thirst, it also become a meeting ground for folks to trade news and get information about loved ones as the telephone and telegraph lines were also out! Anyway, Miss Crabtee had long since been retired in Boston having invested her earnings well (and never marrying) but did live to see her fountain help sustain the city she'd loved!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Sometime in the 1950's to 1960's, Cary Grant was ready to have breakfast in bed at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC when he made an upsetting discovery- there were only three halves of English muffins on his plate as opposed to at least being four halves. Mr. Grant reasoned that since the in-house menu said that the item was 'English muffins', there needed to be at least four halves of the item! Anyway, he immediately called room service demanding an explanation but they had no idea why this was so, so he kept calling higher and higher up the food chain until he finally got ahold of the hotel owner Conrad Hilton ( Paris's great-grandfather and an ex of Zsa Zsa Gabor) who was vacationing in (of all places) Istanbul, Turkey. Mr. Hilton explained to Mr. Grant that an efficiency expert had discovered that, on average, the hotel guests had only consumed three halves of the original two muffins while wasting the fourth half so to save on waste and monies, the expert recommended that, from that point on, the kitchens should serve only three halves. Mr. Grant countered that the listing of the item as muffins was misleading so, in the interest of clarity, the menus should henceforth spell out 'One Muffin and a Half'. Believe it or not, Mr. Hilton agreed and the menus' were re-issued with that correction! Let's keep in mind that back at that time, overseas calls were very expensive- especially from hotels so it's likely Mr. Grant wound up having been very Pound foolish to try to save pennies! 

  • Like 2
  • Useful 1
  • Laugh 2

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, 27bored said:

Outer space is actually round.

How can you TELL?! I mean it has no end! 

Share this post


Link to post

Those of you who like animal/mammal/insect trivia should check out Ze Frank's True Facts videos - he's hilarious.

Here's a link to one about the star-nosed mole - www.youtube.com/watch?v=fio1NUxszhY

If the link doesn't work just Google Ze Frank True Facts star nosed mole'

(Just be aware that if you like his style and the weird things you learn, you will be sucked into a wormhole!)

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, Brookside said:

Those of you who like animal/mammal/insect trivia should check out Ze Frank's True Facts videos - he's hilarious.

Here's a link to one about the star-nosed mole - www.youtube.com/watch?v=fio1NUxszhY

If the link doesn't work just Google Ze Frank True Facts star nosed mole'

(Just be aware that if you like his style and the weird things you learn, you will be sucked into a wormhole!)

Not bad but how about sharing with us at least one bit of  animal trivia you've learned?

 Here's one I  learned: it takes eight generations of monarch butterflies to fly from Canada to their fave forest in Mexico!

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Blergh said:

Not bad but how about sharing with us at least one bit of  animal trivia you've learned?

 Here's one I  learned: it takes eight generations of monarch butterflies to fly from Canada to their fave forest in Mexico!

I would have but I forget them as soon as the video is over!

Here's one - marsupials don't produce placentas.

And another (with apologies to any male readers) - the star-nosed mole's testicles swell up to 9% of its body mass during the mating season.  The equivalent of a bowling ball in a human.

  • Like 2
  • Useful 1
  • Surprise 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Brookside said:

I would have but I forget them as soon as the video is over!

Here's one - marsupials don't produce placentas.

And another (with apologies to any male readers) - the star-nosed mole's testicles swell up to 9% of its body mass during the mating season.  The equivalent of a bowling ball in a human.

 Something to consider re mole mating: moles spend virtually their entire lives underground so that means that they almost certainly never SEE the objects of their lust but find them and mate with them entirely via smell and feel! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, Blergh said:

find them and mate with them entirely via smell and feel! 

This seems very sane to me.  Human dating in the internet age has become far too visual.  Viva moles!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, ratgirlagogo said:

This seems very sane to me.  Human dating in the internet age has become far too visual.  Viva moles!

To each one's own. However; it seems folks 'Net dating often see (and hear) what they WANT to see re those they'd never previously crossed paths with -and  have about as much of a 'courtship' as the moles themselves prior to hooking up!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I got into a discussion with a coworker about ways to dry your hands in a restroom. I mentioned this contraption that isn’t seen much anymore, a continuous roll towel. We both agreed it was gross, wiping your hands where other people have wiped theirs. Then I went online and found a study someone had done that found that the continuous roll towel was actually the MOST hygienic method, certainly far more than a hot air blower.

  • Like 2
  • Useful 1
  • Surprise 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...