Completely Useless Facts of the Week – Issue 2

September 6, 2014

Another week is done and to get you on to the next, here are our Completely Useless Facts of the Week. Read on to delve into the depths behind all these useless facts.

Looking to plan a summer trip?  Do you have a tremendous amount of time to set aside and a sturdy backside?  Then the Knowledge Stew travel agency has the trip for you.  Come aboard for the ride of your life.  The longest single, uninterrupted train journey including transfers in the world occurs from Porto, Portugal, to Ho Chi Minh City in Southern Vietnam, and travels 10,566 miles and takes 13-and-a-half days.  Don’t forget to bring plenty of reading material and a very strong deodorant.

Now for a dash of history about a former president.  President Harry S. Truman’s middle name was really “S.” His parents couldn’t decide on a name and gave him the letter to honor both his paternal and maternal grandparents. He later signed his middle name with a period after the “s” even though it didn’t mean anything.  And you thought it stood for “Stan”.

401px Wizard of oz movie posterWe all love Wicked (don’t deny it) and The Wiz, but what the heck does “Oz” mean, and where did it come from?  Frank Baum, the creator of the “Wizard of Oz”, thought up the name “Oz” when he happened to look at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z; hence the name “Oz.”  Thank goodness he didn’t think “Anoz” sounded better.

There is a curious weather phenomenon that occurs as consistent as “Old Faithful”.  Thunderstorm Hector, or “Hector the Convector”, is a thundercloud that forms nearly everyday on the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory, Australia, reaching heights of 66,000 ft.  Scientists are befuddled as to why it occurs.  It’s always funny to see a befuddled scientist.

Last this week is from the world of science.  Marie Curie was a pioneer in radioactivity research, but her research notebooks are still radioactive today after more than 100 years. Researchers who wish to view them must take them out a lead lined case, wear protective clothing, and sign a liability waiver.  Talk about hazard pay.

That’s it for this week.  Come on back next week for more mind-numbing, completely useless facts that you can use to annoy your friends, and befuddle your enemies.

Good Ole’ Hector the Convector

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About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites (you can find out how to join below). I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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