This past year was a pretty interesting year. With 2019 coming to a close, we wanted to look back on the trivia that we featured and take a stroll down memory lane.
What was the original purpose of bubble wrap?
Who doesn’t love to snap, crackle, and pop those sheets of bubble wrap? While it's a common item today, it was a novel invention when the patent was filed in 1964. Originally, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, the duo behind the pleasing packing item, intended to heat seal sheets of plastic together to create a stronger wallpaper. But when the sheets were created, they were marred by bubbles from the production process. Their error is now one of the most popular ways to safely ship breakables.
What direction does the Statue of Liberty face?
Everyone who visits Lady Liberty is familiar with her steely gaze as she stares out past New York’s harbor. She stares off in a southeasterly direction. Her positioning isn’t by accident either. The Statue of Liberty was meant to be a welcoming symbol for people arriving in New York. Whether you were an immigrant arriving on Ellis Island or a seaman traveling into port, you knew you had arrived at the right place when Lady Liberty appeared on the horizon.
What is Germany called in German?
We know the land of Oktoberfest as Germany. But for Germans, it’s Deutschland. So, why the disconnect? It turns out that the exonym/endonym (when a native population calls their country one thing while it’s known by another name to foreigners) kerfuffle is thanks to changing borders, changing people, and surrounding lands creating their own names for a country and its people. Scandinavians, English, French, the Roman Empire, and even early Germans all had their word to describe the country. Somehow, Germany — or its equivalent — stuck for foreigners and Deutschland won out within the country’s borders.
Who was the first woman depicted on an American coin?
Answer: Susan B. Anthony
It’s apt that we brought up Susan B. Anthony in 2019, as this year marked 100 years since the passing of the 19th amendment. Susan B. Anthony is a central figure in helping women be allowed to vote in the U.S. Susan B. Anthony was a social justice warrior, championing a variety of causes in her life that included abolition, temperance (prohibition), and of course, women’s suffrage. In 1979, Anthony was recognized posthumously for her role in not just voting rights, but human rights when the U.S. Treasury decided to memorialize her on the dollar coin.
What is the loudest animal in the world?
The loudest animal in the world doesn’t walk on land; it swims in the oceans. Specifically, the blue whale is the loudest animal. It emits sounds as loud as 188 decibels, making it louder than a jet plane or even a rock concert.
Who said, "give me liberty or give me death"?
Answer: Patrick Henry
Choosing to go against the Crown meant almost certain death in colonial America. Still, there were those up for the challenge, willing to risk life and limb, including Patrick Henry. He was born and raised in Virginia and is best known for helping to build support for the colonies’ revolt against King George and Britain. His iconic line “give me liberty or give me death” was spoken in March 1775 as a rallying cry to urge his fellow Virginians to arm themselves against British occupation.
What is the fastest sense?
This speed is measured by the amount of time it takes for your brain to process noise once a sound wave reaches your ear. Likewise, this is how every sense is tested for speed with their respective stimuli — once the source reaches the body. Consistently, hearing beats out sight, touch, taste, and smell.