These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Trivia

One more trivia post about school topics as our kiddies go back to school.

More on History - I found some history about WWII:

Japan and China were already engaged in a war before the outbreak of World War II. China was also involved in a civil war and spent most of World War II dealing with internal conflicts and repelling the advances of the Japanese.

Lasting from 1939 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous battle of World War II. It pitted Nazi U-boats against North American convoys as Germany attempted to cut off Britain's vital lifeline to North America.

Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp, and was formed from an empty munitions factory in March 1933. According to a report made by the International Tracing Service at Arolson, Germany in 1977, there were 31,951 deaths at the main Dachau camp during its twelve year existence. Estimates for the number of deaths at Dachau, however, vary widely.

Having risen to power with the support of Italy and Germany, the Franco government of Spain decided to send "volunteers" to aid Germany in its attack on the Soviet Union in the form of Division Azul (Blue Division). Spain, however, did not become directly involved in the war and remained a neutral power until the 1980s.

After World War II, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation. The American, British and French zones were grouped together as West Germany, and the Soviet zone became East Germany.

With approximately 27 million total fatalities (both military and civilian), the Soviet Union lost the most lives during World War II. China was next with approximately 11 million total fatalities, followed by Germany with approximately 7 million total fatalities.

And let's brush up on Science:

Many plants and animals are capable of producing visible light. The scientific term for this phenomenon is bioluminescence.

Sperm Whales have the heaviest brain of any living animal. The average Sperm Whale's brain weighs more than 20 pounds which is about 4 times heavier than the average human brain.

Influenza killed 43,000 American servicemen mobilized for World War I, representing nearly 40 percent of U.S. military casualties.

In 1983, the first genetically engineered organism, a tobacco plant designed to be resistant to certain herbicides, was grown in Wisconson.

In 2004, on the island of Flores in Indonesia, a team of Australian and Indonesian researchers discovered the remains of a hobbit-sized human. Remarkable, these researchers determined that this new species of human lived as recently as 13,000 years ago, shattering the long-held belief that Homo sapiens have had the planet to themselves for the past 25,000 years.

The idea of the atom was first introduced by Leucippus of Miletus around 450 B.C.. Leucippus and his pupil, Democritus, theorized that all matter was composed of atoms, or bits of matter too small to be seen. The word "atom" comes from a Greek word, "atomos", meaning uncuttable.

And related to science are some Accidental Discoveries:

Chef George Crum made the discovery of potato chips in 1853 when - to spite a customer who complained that his fries were cut too thick - he sliced a potato paper-thin and fried it to a crisp.

Silly Putty was discovered in the 1940s by a general electric scientist named James Wright while he was trying to create a synthetic rubber to use for the war. He mixed boric acid and silicon oil and got Silly Putty. Since then it has become one of the world's most popular toys.

Microwave Ovens were discovered in 1946 when a magnetron melted a candy bar in Raytheon engineer Percy Spencer's pocket. Microwave emitters powered the Allies radar in WWII.

A Scottish scientist named Alexander Fleming was looking into a cure for the flu in 1928 when he noticed that a blue-green mold had infected one of his Petri dishes, and it had killed the staphylococcus bacteria that had been growing in it. The world's most effective cure was actually discovered due to a contamination in the lab.

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann took the world’s first acid hit in 1943, when he touched a smidge of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), a chemical he had researched for inducing childbirth. After the first try he attempted even a larger dose of it and made another discovery, the bad trip.

X-rays were discovered in the 19th century by several scientists toying with penetrating rays that were emitted when electrons struck a metal target. It wasn't fully workable until 1895 when a German scientist named Wilhelm Rontgen tried sticking different objects in front of the radiation and saw the bones on his hand projected onto the wall behind him.

Schools should always include the arts, like Music:

"Great Gig in the Sky" is one of the few Pink Floyd songs to use a female vocal. Their engineer, Alan Parsons, brought in a singer he knew named Clare Torry who provided the hauntingly beautiful improvised vocal on the song. Thirty years later, she would sue Pink Floyd over rights to the song.

U2's "Angel of Harlem" was written about Billie Holiday, a Jazz singer who moved to Harlem as a teenager in 1928. She had a difficult childhood which affected her life and career, but she went on to play a variety of nightclubs and became famous for her spectacular voice and ability to move her audience to tears.

Although there were earlier publicity stunts involving records sprayed with gold lacquer, the actual award recognized today as a Gold Record was first awarded to Perry Como in 1958 for his recording of "Catch a Falling Star".

John Lennon played "I Saw Her Standing There" at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1974, when he took the stage at an Elton John concert. It was the last song Lennon would ever perform for a paid audience.

The melody for Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" is based on "Aura Lee", a ballad written in 1861 by W.W. Fosdick and Geo R. Poulton. RCA Records received over 1 million pre-orders for "Love Me Tender", making it the first single to ship as a gold record before it was released.

Pete Best was the original drummer for the Beatles, performing with the band during its formative years in the early 1960s. He was replaced by Ringo Starr only a few days before The Beatles recorded their first hit single, "Love Me Do."

OK, this doesn't have anything to do with school, but it's related to music and interesting. It's how names of bands originated:

COUNTING CROWS - Comes from old English nursery rhyme which had to do with predicting the future from the numbers of birds seen. Originally the rhyme was about magpies, but as people came over to America, crows were used instead. From the song "A Murder of One" one of the versions of the rhyme goes "one for sorrow, two for joy, three for girls, four for boys, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told..."

DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS - named themselves after the slang term for a pep pill called DEXEDRINE even though the band themselves had a policy of no drink or drugs!

PINK FLOYD - taken from the names of two Georgia bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council - from the early days when the band saw itself as a blues band.

CHICAGO - Their first album was released as "Chicago Transit Authority", but the city of Chicago sued them because Chicago Transit Authority is the name of Chicago's public transportation department so they shortened it.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY - this neo-swing band takes its name from what legendary bluesman Albert King wrote as an autograph for the band's leader, Scotty Morris... "To the big bad voodoo daddy."

THE DOORS - Jim Morrison read poet William Blake who said "if the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite." He was also influenced by author Aldous Huxley who referred to the same line when he titled his book on drug experimentation The Doors of Perception.

Smarter now, aren't ya!!


  1. MUCH smarter every week thanks to you Lynilu!

  2. See, Patti, I'm helping you to get sharpened for school!! :D

  3. I love this stuff!!

    When Taylor was in 5th grade and Katie was in 2nd, he played "Aura Lee" while she sang "Love Me Tender" for the school variety show. It was one of his guitar lesson songs (Aura Lee, not Love Me Tender)

  4. Jen, what fun! Isn't it an interesting coincidence that it was in this batch of trivia?

  5. At first, I was thinking that "Aura Lee" had a tune different from that of "Love Me Tender". Eventually, I figured out that I was playing "Stagger Lee" in my head. Eventually, "Aura Lee" may come to me.
    Cop Car

  6. Cop Car, oh dear, I'm splitting a rib here! I tried to put the word to "Love Me Tender" to the "Stagger Lee" tune! It don' work!! Oh mercy! Thank you for that!


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