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Trivia Tuesday: Rivers

Trivia Tuesday: Rivers

Perhaps not the most fascinating topic, but I have seen rivers come up more than once during trivia night. The trick is in how the question is being asked, and even then it’s often arguable, depending on whether you include tributaries, etc.

Top Five Longest Rivers:

  1.  Nile (an-Nīl) in Africa
  2. Amazon River (Amazonas) in South America
  3. Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) in Asia
  4. Mississippi/Missouri River in North America
  5. Yenisei River in Asia

Top Five Rivers By Water Flow:

  1. Amazon River (Amazonas) in South America
  2. Ganges (Ganga) in Asia
  3. Congo River (Zaire River) in Africa
  4. Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) in Asia
  5. Orinoco (Orinoquia) in South America

Top Five Longest Rivers in the United States:

  1.  Missouri River
  2. Mississippi River
  3. Yukon River
  4. Rio Grande
  5. St. Lawrence River

Find out more about rivers at the library!

August 27, 20130 comments
Trivia Tuesday: Wonderful

Trivia Tuesday: Wonderful

Everyone has heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but how many can name them all?

  1. The Colossus of Rhodes (Rhodes, Greece)
  2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq, exact location unknown, thought to be Hillah or Nineveh)
  3. The Great Pyramid of Giza (Giza Necropolis, Egypt)
  4. The Lighthouse of Alexandria (Alexandria, Egypt)
  5. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (near the modern town of Selçuk, Turkey)
  6. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia (Olympia, Greece)
  7. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Bodrum, Turkey)

There are some contestants for Eighth Wonder of the World, several of which are constructions often thought to already be on the otherwise decidedly Mediterranean list. In order of age, oldest to newest:

  •  Stonehenge (Wiltshire, England)
  •  The Great Wall of China
  •  The Banaue Rice Terraces (Banaue, Philippines)
  •  The Obelisk of Axum (Axum, Ethiopia)
  •  Sigiriya (Matale District, Sri Lanka)
  •  Angkor Wat (Angkor, Cambodia)
  •  The Church of St. George (Lalibela, Ethiopia)
  •  Moai (Easter Island, Chile)
  •  Machu Picchu (Cusco Region, Peru)
  •  The Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

Check out these and other fascinating excavations of the past in the library’s archaeology section!

August 20, 20131 comment
Trivia Tuesday: Elvis Presley

Trivia Tuesday: Elvis Presley

Hipsters are super jealous of that sweater

Today’s trivia is in honor of Senior Clerk, Pat Till, who is celebrating 40 years at the Davenport Public Library (and loves Elvis)! Congratulations, Pat!

  • Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8th, 1935, and would be 78 today. Although born in Tupelo, Mississippi, he moved to Memphis at the age of 13.
  • Elvis had an identical twin brother who was tragically stillborn–his name was Jesse Garon Presley.
  • Elvis’ middle name was originally spelled “Aron,” possibly to mirror his twin brother’s, but had it changed later in life.
  • Elvis and Priscilla’s daughter, Lisa Marie, was born on February 1, 1968–nine months (to the day!) after their marriage on May 1, 1967.
  • Among other unusual pets, Elvis had a pet chimpanzee named Scatter. Scatter apparently had a fondness for womanizing and being generally mischievous.
  • Kurt Russell made his film debut at the age of 10 in the movie “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” where he kicked Elvis’ shin!

Find out more about Elvis Presley at the Davenport Public Library.

August 13, 20130 comments
Trivia Tuesday: Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater

Trivia Tuesday: Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater

Please reconsider

To “throw out the baby with the bathwater” is a German idiom dating back to at least the 1500s (originally das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten). It’s a caution to not discard something good in your haste to discard something bad.

Its first well-known use in English is in an essay by the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, addressing the slave trade that ran through England in the 1800s. However, Carlyle was using it as an excuse to not abolish slavery, or at least transition it to serfdom. If only the phrase had a more positive introduction to the English language, perhaps it would have caught on quicker.

The idiom has also famously been used by Martin Luther, Johannes Kepler, Goethe, Otto von Bismarck, and George Bernard Shaw.

Click here for our library’s literature on the fascinating use of idioms around the world.

July 16, 20130 comments
Trivia Tuesday: Who “discovered” heliocentrism?

Trivia Tuesday: Who “discovered” heliocentrism?

Heliocentrism is, of course, the astronomical theory that the Earth revolves around the sun, as opposed to the other way around. It is often accredited to Nicolaus Copernicus, since he first laid out the hypothesis in detail in his book De revolutionibus in the 16th century. However, the idea was first proposed by the Greek astronomer and mathematician Aristarchus of Samos, way back in the 3rd century BCE! His writings have unfortunately been lost, but Aristarchus’ contemporary Archimedes gave him credit for it in his writings the very same century. I suppose this just illustrates how important it is to have a good publisher. Regardless, if this question is asked at trivia night, the answer “Copernicus” is probably what they’re looking for. Click here to browse through RiverShare’s books and media about our solar system.

July 9, 20131 comment