Fun facts about fun facts

I love trivia! I also love trivia about trivia!

  1. Like sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, and roads, the word "trivia" is a gift from the Roman Empire. Romans would post news and information along their road networks, especially where three roads intersected, known as a tri-via. Eventually, little pieces of information became known as trivia.
  2. Fatigue behind the wheel is deadly, so the Australian government counteracts the risk of fatigue by playing little trivia games on the side of the road. Question: largest living thing on earth? Answer: Great Barrier Reef. The last time I ran the Indianapolis Marathon, organizers did a similar thing for some of the difficult miles at the end, but the fact were all about the state of Indiana.
  3. Jeopardy! Contestants stand on adjustable platforms so that they all appear to be the same height on camera.
  4. A trivia book author used an old mapmakers' trick and included a fake entry saying TV detective "Colombo" had the first name "Philip." In reality, he has no first name. Trivial Pursuit included "Philip Columbo" as an answer, and in 1984 the author sued for $300 million, saying they had stolen their trivia from his books.
  5.  Sony and Microsoft backed an adult trivia game for PS2 in 2004 called "The Guy Game." It had to be pulled off the shelves amid lawsuits when it was discovered to feature a 17-year-old topless girl.
  6. The Guinness Book of World Records began in 1955 as a trivia book that Guinness beer distributed to pubs.
  7. Mark Twain: more than just the Huckleberry Finn author! He holds three patents, for an adjustable garment strap, a self-pasting scrapbook, and a history trivia game.