Might come in handy someday…

November 24, 2008 in Housekeeping

Safe and soundOver there somewhere ( —-> ) you should see the “Might come in handy…” box.  I’m going to update this weekly with a handy quiz fact.

However, I haven’t yet found out how I can do that using the posting system here on WordPress (if anyone knows how, please leave a comment) so it’s basically just a text box I edit by hand.

With that in mind, I’ve created this entry, which will serve as an archive for all past facts.  You don’t need to click “more…” on this post – just be safe in the knowledge that it will always be here if you feel the need to search for a fact that you’re positive you saw but can’t quite remember.

  • The 1971 Eurovision Song Contest was RTÉ’s first live colour broadcast.
  • The Panama Hat actually comes from Ecuador.  Hats were traditionally shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before being exported to the rest of the World.  Hence the name.
  • Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski: birth name of novelist Joseph Conrad.
  • The Vatican City has the world’s highest crime rate per capita.
  • Aneto is the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.
  • Tin Cans aren’t made of tin.  They’re made of either tin-plated steel or aluminium.
  • Mikhail Kalashnikov created the AK-47 in 1947.  Hence the name.
  • The Octopus doesn’t have tentacles, it has eight arms.
  • 2009 is the Chinese year of the Ox.
  • Measuring 3,692 km, the Volga is the longest river in Europe.
  • Despite being famous for his left-handed swing, golfer Phil Mickleson is otherwise right-handed.
  • Explorer Ernest Shackleton is buried on South Georgia Island.
  • The 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic was caused by a strain of the H1N1 virus.
  • Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia, USA in 1885.
  • Eddy Merckx is the only man to have won the Yellow, Green and Polka Dot jerseys in the same Tour de France (1969).
  • Charles Dickens’s pen-name: Boz.
  • The United Nations currently has 192 member states.
  • Until October 1 1916, Ireland used Dublin Mean Time (DMT), which was GMT-25 minutes.
  • 2010 is the Chinese year of the Tiger.
  • Peter I ‘the Great’, Tsar of Russia (1682-1725), was 6’8″ (200cm) tall.
  • The sports that make up the Olympic Modern Pentathlon: pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping and cross-country running.
  • The first two letters in the name IKEA are the initials of its founder (Ingvar Kamprad).  The second pair represent the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in Sweden).
  • Brazil’s first woman president: Dilma Rousseff, elected in October 2010.
  • Russia now spans nine time zones. It spanned 11 until March 28, 2010, when two were abolished.
  • Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  • Artist Jack Butler Yeats was the first person to win an Olympic Medal for the Irish Free State.
  • Last Roman Emperor (in the West): Romulus Augustus.
  • Armand du Plessis: birth name of man known to history as Cardinal Richelieu.
  • Uranium is the heaviest element represented by a single letter in Mendeleev’s periodic table (U).
  • Otolaryngology: the branch of medicine dealing with Ear, Nose and Throat.
  • Theme tune to Mastermind: ‘Approaching Menace’ by Neil Richardson.
  • Mayo is the Irish county with the longest coastline – 1,168km.
  • The Tesla (B) is the SI unit for Magnetic Flux.
  • Estonia is the most recent country to join the Euro currency, doing so on January 1, 2011.
  • The European Space Agency’s Vega rocket was launched for the first time on 13 February 2012, from French Guiana.
  • The only capital city that begins with a Z: Zagreb.
  • 1983 is the last year in which five different teams won the first five races in the Formula One season.
  • The European Football Championship trophy is named in honour of Henri Delaunay, the first General Secretary of UEFA.
  • ‘Phytophthora Infestans’ is the scientific name for the disease known as potato blight.
  • The only Irish man to win the Vuelta a España: Sean Kelly (1988).
  • Scott Fahlman, of Carnegie Mellon University, was the first documented person to use the emoticons :-) and :-( on 19 September 1982.
  • The Grey Cup is the name of the trophy awarded to the champions of the CFL, Canadian Football League.
  • Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced her intention to abdicate on 30 April – making her the third successive Dutch monarch to do so.
  • Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag on February 15, 1965.
  • Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) is the 266th Bishop of Rome.
  • Ireland’s first cinema, the Volta Cinematograph, was opened on 20 December 1909 in Dublin by the young James Joyce.
  • Rob Heffernan became only the third Irish athlete to win an outdoor World Championship, in the 2013 50km race walk. The others are Eamonn Coghlan (1983) and Sonia O’Sullivan (1995).
  • The bashi-bazouk were irregular soldiers of the Ottoman army who could originate from any part of the empire.
  • The first name of the character Mr Darcy, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, is: Fitzwilliam
  • A jester’s hat is called a Coxcomb.
  • The world’s tallest person is Sultan Kösen, from Turkey. He is 2.51 m (8 ft 3 in) in height.
  • There are just two doubly landlocked countries in the world: Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan.

3 responses to Might come in handy someday…

  1. Had to double check this when it came up in a quiz recently but I think Coca Cola was invented in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia..

    • Dan,

      there’s certainly room for some contention there. Wiki claims that he invented the ‘prototype’ for Coca-Cola in Columbus before perfecting it in Atlanta. And it was then sold for the first time in Atlanta.

      Let’s just hope it never gets asked in a quiz. :-)

  2. Luckily we were givin three different years to choose from..

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