Monthly Archives: January 2012

Trivia of the Day for Tuesday

Here’s a whole bunch of telephone trivia:

In Japan, Western Electric first sold equipment in 1890, then in 1899 helped form the Nippon Electric Company (NEC). This was Japan’s first joint venture with an American firm.

The use of telephone answering machines became popular in 1974.

In the first month of the Bell Telephone Company’s existence in 1877, only six telephones were sold!

On December 23, 1947, Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., held a secret demonstration of the transistor which marked the foundation of modern electronics.

In 1953, Sony Corporation obtained a transistor license from Western Electric Co. that led to its development of the world’s first commercially successful transistor radio.

In the early days of the telephone, operators would pick up a call and use the phrase, “Well, are you there?”. It wasn’t until 1895 that someone suggested answering the phone with the phrase “number please?”

Sometimes, early telephone operators would get to know their customers so well, the customers would ask for a reminder call when it was time to remove a cake from the oven, leave the phone off the hook near their sleeping child when they left the house, hoping the operator would hear any cries of distress, request a wake up call before taking a long nap.

Telephone is derived from two Greek words, tele + phone, meaning far off voice or sound.(Tele, far off + phone, voice or sound).

In Milan, Italy, when an operator dialed a wrong number, the phone company fined the operator.

Just like today’s computers, early telephones were very confusing to new users. Some became so frustrated with the new technology, they attacked the phone with an ax or ripped it out of the wall.

The first prototype of the sound-proof phone booth was built in 1877. Mr. Watson, Alexander Graham Bell’s trusty assistant, used a bunch of bed blankets around a box. He created the booth to prevent his landlady from listening in on his conversations.

Some callers didn’t like using the early phone booths because the doors would get stuck, forcing users to fight their way out.

In the early 1880’s some well-to-do telephone owners started the unusual trend of paying to have a theatre employee hold a telephone receiver backstage, transmitting live plays and operas into their living rooms.

When Alexander Graham Bell died on August 4, 1922, millions of phones went dead. In Bell’s honor, all phones served by the Bell System in the USA and Canada went silent for one minute.

The first transatlantic wedding took place on December 2, 1933.  The groom was in Michigan. The bride, in Sweden. The ceremony took seven minutes and cost $47.50.

In the late 30’s, a man named Abe Pickens of Cleveland, Ohio, attempted to promote world peace by placing personal calls to various country leaders. He managed to contact Mussolini, Hirohito, Franco and Hitler (Hitler, who didn’t understand English, transferred him to an aide). He spent$10,000 to “give peace a chance.”

In the Catholic church, St. Gabriel, an archangel, is the patron saint of telecommunications.



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Trivia of the Day for Monday

Squirrels live to be about nine years old.

While the state of Ohio is listed as the 17th state in the USA, that’s really not true: technically, it is #47. Congress “forgot” to vote on admitting Ohio into the Union until August 7, 1953.

The tallest building in the world in 1885 was The Home Insurance Company in Chicago. It was nine stories tall.

A female praying mantis will devour her male sexual partner while mating.

A fly’s taste buds are in its feet.

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Trivia of the Day for Sunday

BMW, as in the car, stands for Bavarian Motor Works.

Two of three Americans have hemorrhoids.

An ant has five noses.

At one time, all radio stations east of the Mississippi River had call letters beginning with the letter “W.” West of the Mississippi, they began with the letter “K.”

A cave man’s life span was only 18 years.

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Trivia of the Day for Saturday

A woodpecker can peck on average twenty times per second.

Each time you laugh you burn up, on average, 3.5 calories.

Rats cannot vomit. I know, it’s weird stuff, but I’ll be willing to bet most of you will remember this fact for the rest of your life.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

When asked to name a color, 60% of any sample will name the color “red.”

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Trivia of the Day for Friday

Thomas Paine, the author of “Commen Sense” and the creator of the name “United States of America” died in obscurity on June 8, 1809. Six people went to his funeral.

The geographical center of Ohio is Delaware – a town 25 miles northeast of Columbus.

When Joseph Gayetty invented toilet paper in 1857, he had his name printed on each sheet.

The average caterpillar has sixteen legs.

Before 1814, Congressmen in the US House of Representatives were paid six dollars per diem when they were in session. They weren’t paid on those other days.

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Trivia of the Day for Thursday

A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

Los Angeles’ full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula.”

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

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Trivia of the Day for Wednesday

Why is someone who overhears conversations an eavesdropper?

“Snoop” might be more like it. There are few things more obnoxious than a person who deliberately tries to overhear private conversations. Whatever names (or insults) these sneaks deserve, “eavesdropper” is an odd-sounding word to use. This phrase is at least several hundred years old and its source is architectural. It comes from the eaves, the edge of a roof. The eavesdrip, or drop, was the space next to the wall where rain running off the roof fell to the ground. A person could overhear conversations by standing near the wall of a house in the eavesdrop under an open window. Then, presumably, he or she could take what they heard and drip it all over town.

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