Interesting examples of "To put it in perspective" things

Quotes like “Cleopatra was closer in time to the iPhone than she was to the Pyramids of Giza”, etc.

Or “The United States, as a nation, is so young that it is only about as old as the lifespan of 3 octogenarians put end on end.”

Or “The mirrors used for making some semiconductor chips these days have to be so perfect that if they were stretched to the size of Germany, there could not be any bumps larger than a fingernail.”

What are some other good factoids to share/quote for trivia discussions?

A guy I used to work for liked to tell the story of when he was in college, and a bunch of his frat brothers were sitting around one night discussing American history like it had all happened ages ago. Finally this guy from Germany, who had been sitting there the whole time listening to the conversation, piped up and said “You know, my parents’ house is older than your entire country.”

From John McPhee’s Basin and Range:

With your arms spread wide again to represent all time on earth, look at one hand with its line of life. The Cambrian begins in the wrist, and the Permian Extinction is at the outer end of the palm. All of the Cenozoic is in a fingerprint, and in a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history.

Kansas is flatter than a pancake.

1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 31.5 years.

We have lost 844K American to covid, over 2 years. More Americans than died in the Civil War, the bloodiest American war over 4 years.

Some experts claim that about 500k of those were preventable.

That is more than we lost in all of WW2.

We are on track to have covid kill more Americans that all the wars combined. (about 1.3 Million or so)

This one hit me like a granite brick when I was standing in Westminster Abbey. As I understand it, the most recent construction is older than the USA. It first opened like two USAs ago. And Europe is full of stuff like that. Mind bending.

Tyrannosaurus Rex is closer in time to an iPhone than to Stegosaurus.

Yes, but with those little hands, how could T. Rex use it?

If you shrank the earth down to the size of a cue ball. The earth would be smoother.

That blew me away. Even Phil Plait looked at those numbers (The Bad Astronomer)

Jacksonville, Florida is further west than Youngstown, Ohio.

Indiana is only 200 miles from Arkansas.


The movie “Toy Story” is closer in time to the Viet Nam war, than to the present day.

The introduction of the Big Mac is closer in time to World War 1 than to the present day.

This one boggles my mind:
The Apollo moon landings are closer to the 1929 Wall Street crash than the present day.

St John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, is closer to London, England, than to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Texarkana Texas is closer to Chicago Illinois (794 miles) than it is to El Paso Texas (814 miles).

I heard about it this way: “There’s a company with a branch office in Texarkana and the office manager asks the office in El Paso to send out a consultant for a particular job. El Paso responds, ‘Ask the office in Chicago to send someone - they’re closer.’”

The westernmost national capital in the Americas is Mexico City.

The first school in England was founded 1,179 years before the USA.

The King’s School, Canterbury - Wikipedia

A few years ago, with the help of the Dope, I crunched the numbers. If the Milky Way galaxy was shrunk down to the size of the Pacific Ocean, then the Voyager spacecraft, in its lifetime, would have traveled about nine inches.

How big is Alaska? Bigger than the next three biggest states combined (Texas, California, Montana).

Kane Tanaka is the world’s oldest person who celebrated her 119th birthday on January 2, 2022. That means she was 19 when Betty White was born. Mathematically, she could be Betty White’s mother!

The movie Gone With the Wind is closer in time to the actual Civil War than to the present day.

Wil Wheaton is now older than Patrick Stewart was when Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered.