45 Amazing Facts for National Trivia Day

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January 4th is National Trivia Day! Let's celebrate with some of our favorite facts from the @mental_floss Twitter account.

1. Jim Cummings is the voice of Winnie the Pooh. He calls sick kids in hospitals and chats with them in character.

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2. In the mid-1960s, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book called "How to Lose Weight." One of the tips was "Don’t eat."

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3. Ben & Jerry originally considered getting into the bagel business, but the equipment was too expensive.

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4. The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks.

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5. When asked if he knew the speed of sound, Einstein said he "didn't carry such information in my mind since it's readily available in books."

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6. Marie Curie's notebooks are still radioactive.

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7. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins also wrote for Clarissa Explains It All.

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8. The last time a Republican was elected president without a Nixon or Bush on the ticket was 1928.

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9. When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.

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10. There is a word that rhymes with orange! Sporange is a botany term that means "spore case."

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11. The original Space Jam website still exists.

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12. In 1979, Japan offered new British PM Margaret Thatcher 20 "karate ladies" for protection at an economic summit. She declined.

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13. Before Google launched Gmail, "G-Mail" was the name of a free email service offered by Garfield's website.

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14. During the Cold War, the U.S. considered airdropping enormous condoms labeled "Medium" on the Soviets.

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15. Nikola Tesla on Thomas Edison: "He had no hobby, cared for no amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene."

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16. Kentucky tweaked its Wildcat logo in 1994 after people complained the tongue was too phallic.

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17. The final speech by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird was done in one take.

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18. When New Jersey's Action Park sent crash-test dummies down its looping waterslide, the dummies were allegedly dismembered.

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19. In 1980, Detroit presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city.

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20. The "Where's the Beef?" lady (Clara Peller) lost her job in 1985 after doing a Prego ad in which she "found the beef at somewhere other than Wendy's."

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21. Just before the Nazis invaded Paris, H.A. and Margret Rey fled on bicycles. They were carrying the manuscript for Curious George.

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22. In Super Mario Bros., the bushes are just clouds colored green.

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23. When fruit flies are infected with a parasite, they self-medicate with booze—they seek out food with higher alcohol content.

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24. In colonial America, lobster wasn't exactly a delicacy. It was so cheap and plentiful it was often served to prisoners.

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25. Crayola means "oily chalk." The name combines "craie" (French for "chalk") and "ola" (short for "oleaginous," or "oily").

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26. The Pittsburgh Penguins made Mister Rogers an honorary captain in 1991.

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27. The Constitution does not require the Speaker of the House to be a member of the House. In 2013, Colin Powell got a vote.

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28. Liz Sheridan, who played Jerry's mom on Seinfeld, wrote a book about her love affair with James Dean.

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29. Until coffee gained popularity, beer was the breakfast beverage of choice in some parts of the United States.

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30. In 1493, Columbus thought he saw mermaids. They were "not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men." (Probably manatees.)

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31. When the Westboro Baptist Church protested a soldier's funeral in Oklahoma, their tires were slashed. People in town refused to repair them.

CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World

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32. Taco Bell is named for its founder, Glen Bell.

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33. In a 1917 letter to Winston Churchill, Admiral John Fisher used the phrase "O.M.G."

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34. In 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said there was "no chance the iPhone is going to get any significant market share."

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35. An early ATM was deemed a failure because its only users were "prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face."

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36. Even Fidel Castro hated New Coke, calling it "a sign of American capitalist decadence."

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37. Bob Ross on his Air Force career: “I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine…who screams at you for being late to work.”

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38. William McKinley was on the $500 bill, Grover Cleveland was on the $1,000, and James Madison was on the $5,000.

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39. Truman Show Delusion is a mental condition marked by a patient's belief that he or she is the star of an imaginary reality show.

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40. In 1973, Mao Zedong told Henry Kissinger that China had an excess of females and offered the U.S. 10 million Chinese women.

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41. Judge Judy reportedly makes $45 million a year.

JIM RUYMEN/UPI/Landov

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42. During the first Super Bowl in 1967, NBC was still in commercial when the second half kicked off. Officials asked the Packers to kick off again.

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43. The male giraffe determines a female's fertility by tasting her urine. If it passes the test, the courtship continues.

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44. Tenor Luciano Pavarotti's standard contract required that there be no noise or "distinct smells" in the vicinity of the artist.

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45. Cookie Monster is not changing his name. In a 2012 episode he said, "We've got to stop this Veggie Monster rumor before me reputation ruined."

See Also:

39 More Amazing Facts for National Trivia Day 2014

All photos courtesy of Getty Images unless otherwise noted.

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January 4, 2013 - 10:00am
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