Tell me something I don't know

Know any interesting trivia that hasn’t already been beaten to death? I am looking for factual items, preferrably with cites.

I will go first:

Ho Chi Minh was once a baker at the Parker House hotelin Boston. (PDF)

In 1946, Eddie Klep predated Jackie Robinson in breaking baseball’s color barrier - as the first white player in the Negro League.

Similarly, Adolf Hitler’s half-brother Alois worked as a waiter in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.

The story of Bobby Flynn is a little more uplifting; he joined the Negro team the Lexington Hustlers in 1947, making it the first integrated team in the South.

The famous footage of Evel Knievel’s crash while trying to jump the fountains at Caesar’s Palace was shot by Linda Evans.

No handy cite, but women can, to a certain extent, control the genders of their children. Why this is is unknown, but statistics bear it out. Women that couple with high status men tend to give birth to boys, and women who couple with low status men tend to give birth to girls. The ratio among children of US presidents is something like 1.48:1, though the past few years probably even that out a bit.

That blows my mind.

Shakespeare and Cervantes both died on April 23, 1616. But they actually died 10 days apart! Spain had adopted the Gregorian calendar and skipped 10 days, but England had not. So April 23 in Spain was 10 days before April 23 in England.

What a nice, bizarre potpouri thread. Subscribing post-haste.

Most of the lyrics to “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” were taken off a poster Lennon saw in an antique shop. (Visual citey goodness)

Even if the statistics are valid, why would you assume that the women are ‘controlling’ the outcome?

Looking at those same stats, I would probably tend to say that ‘high status men’ are more likely to father boys with their partner, and ‘low status men’ (however you define that) more likely to father girls.

Or - are you saying that by picking a mate, the woman exercised control? :confused:

Ever wonder why many Renaissance artists paint Jesus Christ the same way: shoulder-length reddish-brown hair and a flowing beard?

According to Alexandre Dumas pere, the likeness of JC is derived from that of Cesare Borgia, a corrupt, ruthless Italian military commander. Cesare was the son of Pope Alexander VI, so artists had an incentive to depict the pope’s son in the best possible light.

If you look at the portrait here, you can see the resemblance.

Paul Simon’s song “Mother and Child Reunion” got its title from a dish made with chicken and eggs, that Simon saw listed on a chinese resaurant menu…

You’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle, but here in northern New England the area of Bennington, Vermont has a similar reputation. Lots of people have disappeared from the Bennington Triangle, never to be seen again.

On top of which, the number of US Presidents isn’t even remotely close to being large enough to be statistically significant.

The reason sardines are packed so tightly in the can is that they cost less than the oil they come in.

And before that he turned up at the Versailles peace conference in Paris in 1919:

He was also working in a restaurant there at the time, but whether specifically as a baker I’m not sure.

Oh my good God really?!?!?
Apr. 23 is my birthday, and I always knew about Willey Shake…never knew about Cervantes.

That is friggin awesome

Tell that to Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.

The Khazars formed a large Jewish state in Central Asia in the middle ages.

The Uyghurs, mostly native to Western China (and in the news recently with violent riots) , can look completely European.

“A Japanese Jesuit was martyred at Moscow in the 16th century”


The Northwest Territories of Canada has eleven official languages. After the Territory of Nunavut was separated from it, there was consideration of a name change. Proposals included Western Arctic, Denendeh, and Bob.

These are a few of my favorites…

If you enter the Panama Canal from the Atlantic, you are farther east from where you started when you exit in the Pacific.


Three POTUS’es have died on the 4th of July.

Parts of Virginia are farther west than parts of Michigan.

John Wayne Gacy was photographed with First Lady Rosalynn Carter, she autographed the photo “To John Gacy. Best Wishes. Rosalynn Carter”.

Parts of Ontario are further south than parts of California. :slight_smile: