How Did You Know Daniel Wilson?

I'm happy to announce a winner to our last How Did You Know? 5-day trivia hunt. Please meet Daniel Wilson of Greenville, Michigan, who blew through the final puzzle and got all the answers within 16 minutes of the bell! Considering how much we asked of you all in that final puzzle, 16 minutes is remarkable. Dozens of you got all the answers correct, and I'll be sure to post the top 10 in the order we received them over on our Facebook page soon. One word of caution: many of you forgot to tell us how you came up with an answer. If we're asking you to figure out something like the 523h56-529 code, you need to explain how you got to "22." Understood? Cool! Next time we know you'll get them all correct.

Meantime, our random winners this month are Kate, Caro and Sydney, three sisters who always submit their answers in the form of a poem. Congrats gals! We'll be in touch soon with your spoils.
See everyone back for another HDYK on the 30th of June, when Daniel Wilson will be looking to defend the title. Meantime, let's meet our winner and review his answers:

I live in Greenville, Michigan, though I'm originally from Battle Creek, better known as the home of
Kellogg's. My wife KT and I have been married for four years, and our daughter Emily just turned
three. I pursued a degree in history at Western Michigan University, although right now I work
in a factory that makes reproduction parts for classic automobiles (life is funny like that.)

The picture is indeed me shaking hands with MR. MONOPOLY. In April, I was privileged to compete
in the 2009 MONOPOLY U.S. National Championship. Though I didn't win the $20,580 grand prize,
I did manage to place a rather respectable 12th overall. I'm also now the number one MONOPOLY
player in the state of Michigan, and I will be for four years until the next national tournament.

I've always loved games and puzzles, so I'm happy to win the HYDK? challenge. I plan to buy all
the mental_floss books I don't already own. I'd like to give a shout-out to my Facebook friends
who helped me with the album cover challenge, since the music questions always give me problems,
and also to my wife KT, who knew the first game's final score by heart, since she's been a HUGE
Packer fan all her life.

Oh, and GO BEARS! (Sorry, honey.)

Final Answer

The stadium is Lambeau Field.

First game score: Packers 21, Bears 17

Day 1

Part 1: Emperor Zerg stopped the KJ juggernaut in Game 75; Jennings therefore won 74 games.

Part 2: Coldplay's "We Never Change" and Radiohead's "Backdrifts".

Part 3: 523H56-529 5=t, 2=w, 3=e, H=n, 6=y, 9=o; twenty-two. [ed note: that's one position down and one to the right on a standard QWERTY keyboard]
Image is of a football, laces out.

Day 2

Part 1: "more cowbell": "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult.

Album covers:

1: Nirvana, "Nevermind"

2: Bob Dylan, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"

3: Michael Jackson, "Thriller"

4: Eminem, "The Marshall Mathers LP"

5: Christina Aguilera, "Christina Aguilera"

6: White Stripes, "Elephant"

7: Amy Winehouse, "Back to Black"

Day 3

Part 1: Bob Moog invented the monophonic Minimoog keyboard.

Part 2: Modern pianos have 52 white keys and 36 black keys.

The missing numbers are 102, 86, and 36. [ed note: this was a 12x12 magic square]
5236+102=5338. The word displayed is BEES.

The image is a cub and mother bear.

Day 4

Part 1: "Lethal Latte There": "The Tell-Tale Heart".

Part 2: Each word's color defines what to do to return it to normal.

Red words: change encrypted Bs to Cs (original Bs stay as is)

Blue words: remove all N's

Green words: move the first letter to the end position

Orange words: read backward

Purple words: move the last letter to the first position

Pink words: replace the vowels with the previous vowel alphabetically

Black words are left as they appear.

The translated message reads:

"Crack the code by (cake) figuring out the rules that govern each set of colored words. Extra words have been (icing) inserted into each sentence (recipe). Note them in order as (cook) they originally appear and circle the first letter of each. These six (lemon) (eggs) letters combine to spell out your final answer to this puzzle."

Cake Icing Recipe Cook Lemon Eggs=circle.

The image is an outline of the state of Wisconsin.

Day 5

Day 1: 22x2 is 44.

Day 2: Thriller was released on 11/30/1982. Ken Jennings' streak ended on 11/30/2004.

44 degrees 30 minutes 11 seconds.

Day 3: Bob Moog was 71 when he died. 71+17=88.

Day 4: A circle of diameter 1 has a circumference of pi. Pi=3.14.

-88 degrees 3 minutes 14 seconds.

Big Questions
Why Does Turkey Make You Tired?

Why do people have such a hard time staying awake after Thanksgiving dinner? Most people blame tryptophan, but that's not really the main culprit. And what is tryptophan, anyway?

Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses in the processes of making vitamin B3 and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep. It can't be produced by our bodies, so we need to get it through our diet. From which foods, exactly? Turkey, of course, but also other meats, chocolate, bananas, mangoes, dairy products, eggs, chickpeas, peanuts, and a slew of other foods. Some of these foods, like cheddar cheese, have more tryptophan per gram than turkey. Tryptophan doesn't have much of an impact unless it's taken on an empty stomach and in an amount larger than what we're getting from our drumstick. So why does turkey get the rap as a one-way ticket to a nap?

The urge to snooze is more the fault of the average Thanksgiving meal and all the food and booze that go with it. Here are a few things that play into the nap factor:

Fats: That turkey skin is delicious, but fats take a lot of energy to digest, so the body redirects blood to the digestive system. Reduced blood flow in the rest of the body means reduced energy.

Alcohol: What Homer Simpson called the cause of—and solution to—all of life's problems is also a central nervous system depressant.

Overeating: Same deal as fats. It takes a lot of energy to digest a big feast (the average Thanksgiving meal contains 3000 calories and 229 grams of fat), so blood is sent to the digestive process system, leaving the brain a little tired.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at

More Details Emerge About 'Oumuamua, Earth's First-Recorded Interstellar Visitor

In October, scientists using the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope sighted something extraordinary: Earth's first confirmed interstellar visitor. Originally called A/2017 U1, the once-mysterious object has a new name—'Oumuamua, according to Scientific American—and researchers continue to learn more about its physical properties. Now, a team from the University of Hawaii's Institute of Astronomy has published a detailed report of what they know so far in Nature.

Fittingly, "'Oumuamua" is Hawaiian for "a messenger from afar arriving first." 'Oumuamua's astronomical designation is 1I/2017 U1. The "I" in 1I/2017 stands for "interstellar." Until now, objects similar to 'Oumuamua were always given "C" and "A" names, which stand for either comet or asteroid. New observations have researchers concluding that 'Oumuamua is unusual for more than its far-flung origins.

It's a cigar-shaped object 10 times longer than it is wide, stretching to a half-mile long. It's also reddish in color, and is similar in some ways to some asteroids in own solar system, the BBC reports. But it's much faster, zipping through our system, and has a totally different orbit from any of those objects.

After initial indecision about whether the object was a comet or an asteroid, the researchers now believe it's an asteroid. Long ago, it might have hurtled from an unknown star system into our own.

'Oumuamua may provide astronomers with new insights into how stars and planets form. The 750,000 asteroids we know of are leftovers from the formation of our solar system, trapped by the Sun's gravity. But what if, billions of years ago, other objects escaped? 'Oumuamua shows us that it's possible; perhaps there are bits and pieces from the early years of our solar system currently visiting other stars.

The researchers say it's surprising that 'Oumuamua is an asteroid instead of a comet, given that in the Oort Cloud—an icy bubble of debris thought to surround our solar system—comets are predicted to outnumber asteroids 200 to 1 and perhaps even as high as 10,000 to 1. If our own solar system is any indication, it's more likely that a comet would take off before an asteroid would.

So where did 'Oumuamua come from? That's still unknown. It's possible it could've been bumped into our realm by a close encounter with a planet—either a smaller, nearby one, or a larger, farther one. If that's the case, the planet remains to be discovered. They believe it's more likely that 'Oumuamua was ejected from a young stellar system, location unknown. And yet, they write, "the possibility that 'Oumuamua has been orbiting the galaxy for billions of years cannot be ruled out."

As for where it's headed, The Atlantic's Marina Koren notes, "It will pass the orbit of Jupiter next May, then Neptune in 2022, and Pluto in 2024. By 2025, it will coast beyond the outer edge of the Kuiper Belt, a field of icy and rocky objects."

Last week, University of Wisconsin–Madison astronomer Ralf Kotulla and scientists from UCLA and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) used the WIYN Telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona, to take some of the first pictures of 'Oumuamua. You can check them out below.

Images of an interloper from beyond the solar system — an asteroid or a comet — were captured on Oct. 27 by the 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope on Kitt Peak, Ariz.
Images of 'Oumuamua—an asteroid or a comet—were captured on October 27.

U1 spotted whizzing through the Solar System in images taken with the WIYN telescope. The faint streaks are background stars. The green circles highlight the position of U1 in each image. In these images U1 is about 10 million times fainter than the faint
The green circles highlight the position of U1 in each image against faint streaks of background stars. In these images, U1 is about 10 million times fainter than the faintest visible stars.
R. Kotulla (University of Wisconsin) & WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Color image of U1, compiled from observations taken through filters centered at 4750A, 6250A, and 7500A.
Color image of U1.
R. Kotulla (University of Wisconsin) & WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Editor's note: This story has been updated.


More from mental floss studios