Useless trivia made for some precious time

Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When I was in college, I called home every Sunday night. To be honest, I probably didn’t call home much more than that; at least at first. Of course, cellphones, email and texting have made staying in touch with your kids much easier. You may not hear their voice every day, but you at least know they are okay.

When our daughters were both away at college I started sending them an email every day. It was usually a question about something totally random and unimportant. It evolved into a daily “Useless Trivia” question. The spread of Google made the answers a bit easier to find, but didn’t spoil any of the fun.

A quick search reminded me of the totally unimportant facts I used to share each morning. For instance, did you know that you cannot sneeze with your eyes open? For years, since learning that tidbit, I have tried to notice if my eyes stayed open. Never, not once, have I actually seen anything while sneezing.

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Polar bears are left handed. That wasn’t important until I had not one, but two, left-handed grandsons. I am still trying to figure out how I am supposed to teach them things when they do them backwards from me. Even baiting a hook is difficult for me to do as a lefty.

A six year old laughs around 300 times a day. I can testify to that after spending this past weekend with my grandchildren. An average adult only laughs 13 times a day. Maybe we just need to spend more time around our grandkids.

It cost $7 million to build the Titanic and over $200 million to build a movie about it. Inflation is just about as sure as taxes over time. That is why you no longer see a $6 burger at Hardee’s. It costs too much to make at that price.

As a kid, my brother and I always had a bullwhip around. We would practice for hours to see who could make the loudest cracking sound. We never knew that sound is made because the tip of the whip is traveling faster than the speed of sound.

The average person spends six months of their life sitting at traffic lights. That is unless they regularly travel the Ross Clark Circle in Dothan, where it can easily seem like years.

Our nation’s Interstate Highway System, which was designed during the Eisenhower presidency, is required to have one mile of straightaway every five miles. Since its primary justification was for national defense, this straight section would allow a plane to land in the event of a war.

Most car horns are in the key of F, while most toilets flush in the key of E flat. It proves the point that there is music everywhere if you only listen.

Some useless trivia you can actually verify yourself if you have a moment. Does a dime really have 118 ridges along its edge? By the way, a moment is one minute and a half in the old English system of time units.

A moment is often long enough to reach out and touch someone as I did those many years ago with my daughters. The trivia may have been useless but the time was precious.