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Welcome to the Greenwood.Net Curiosity Corner

Trivia time

Jul 18, 2018

Curiosity Corner
Dr. Jerry D. Wilson,
Emeritus Professor of Physics
Lander University

How about some trivia questions? See if you can answer these:
1. Which U.S. city is the largest in area?
2. What are the three U.S. cities with the largest population?
3. What does KLM stand for on the Royal Dutch Airline planes?
4. Is Holland a country?
5. Why do we call important dates “red-letter days?”
6. Why are laws “blue” on Sunday? (Blue laws.)
7. Did a band called “The Quarrymen” ever amount to anything?
8. Was Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address the main speech at the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863?
9. What is the most-spoken language in the world?
10. Is there any corn in corned beef?
11. Is there any ham in hamburgers?
12. Is there any… well, let’s put this one another way. Why do we call wieners “hot dogs?”

1. Stika, Alaska has an area of approximately 2,780 square miles. Interestingly, it’s population is just a little over 10,000. The four largest cities in area are all in Alaska. To give you some comparison to Stika, Jacksonville is only 747 square miles, Houston is only 600 square miles, and New York City is only 468 square miles.
2. You should know this one. New York City has a population of 8.5 million. Los Angeles is next with a population of 4 million. Then comes Chicago with 2.7 million.
3. Everyone should get this. KLM stands for “Koninklyke Luchtvaartmaaschappi,” meaning Royal Air Transportation Co. No wonder they abbreviated it. KLM is the oldest airline continuously in operation.
4. No. Holland is a province of The Netherlands. Actually, it is two provinces: North Holland and South Holland.
5. The term “red-letter day” originated with the tradition of marking holy days on a church calendar in red. Now we use the term to denote days of more secular significance.
6. “Blue laws” are those forbidding certain activities on Sunday. It is believed that this originated from strict Sabbath rules being printed on blue paper in colonial times.
7. Yeah, they made it. The Quarrymen was the original name of the Beatles.
8. No, the main address, 2 hours long, was given by Edward Everett, a well-known orator of the time. Lincoln’s famous brief speech followed. Everett wrote to Lincoln saying “I wish I could flatter myself that I had near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.” (Lincoln’s speech was only 300 words long.)
9. Chinese Mandarin, spoken by 1.3 billion people. Next is English, spoken by 514 million, and then Hindi, spoken by 496 million.
10. No, corned beef is beef cured in brine. In old times before the frig, meat was cured in “corns of salt,” about the size of kernels of corn.
11. Nope. Just beef. Supposedly the old-time Tartars shredded tough beef to make it more edible. This practice was introduced to Germany, and in the city of Hamburg, it became known as the “Hamburger steak.” An English dude named Salisbury brought the idea to England, and he made it “Salisbury steak.” Of course it eventually made its way to the colonies where it was put on a bun, along with catsup, pickles, etc.
12. Sausages have been around since Babylonian times. They come in a wide variety. A particular one made in Frankfurt, Germany, was called the “frankfurter,” or “frank” for short. They were also known as “dachshund sausages.” To make a long story short, in the early 1900s, a cartoonist is said to have sketched a cartoon with a real dachshund with mustard in a bun. In writing the caption, he couldn’t spell dachshund, so he said “get your hot dogs.” Not sure if this story is legit or just urban legend, but it’s a pretty good story!

C.P.S. (Curious Postscript): The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. –Mark Twain

Curious about something? Send your questions to Dr. Jerry D. Wilson, College of Science and Mathematics, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, or email jerry@curiosity-corner.net. Selected questions will appear in the Curiosity Corner. For Curiosity Corner background, go to www.curiosity-corner.net.

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