Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Random Facts I’ve Learned from Reading

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

When I read that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a freebie, I knew immediately what I was going to post. It is a little-known fact that I am a trivia fanatic. Every time I sit down at a bar with a margarita and a trivia sheet, I transform from mild-mannered, laid-back Angela to ultra-competitive trivia ninja. My head is full of useless tidbits just waiting to be put to the test. I may not always be able to remember practical information, like where I left my mailbox key or how many kilometers are in a mile, but if you ever need to know how many months of the year contain two or more U.S. federal holidays (two), or what a group of giraffes is called (a tower), I’m your girl.

I owe much of my precious trivia knowledge to books. I pick up a lot of weird but interesting nuggets of information when I read, and today I’m sharing a sampling of this information with you in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post: Top Ten Random Facts I’ve Learned From Reading.

Marigold1) In the Victorian era, flowers were used to express meaning and convey certain messages. For example, moss denoted maternal love, thistle represented misanthropy, and marigolds signified grief. (Source: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Read my review here.)

2) Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and are poisonous to dogs. (Source: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater)

3) Venetian women in the 16th century used to wear tall, precarious overshoes called chopines to protect their feet from filth in the streets. (Source: Venom by Fiona Paul)

Gravestones4) The difference between a graveyard and a cemetery is that a graveyard is attached to a church, while a cemetery can be anywhere. (Source: Grunge Gods and Graveyards by Kimberly Giarratano. Read my review here.)

5) When making moonshine, it’s important to caulk the joints of the still to ensure that no flammable vapors can escape and catch fire. (Source: My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp. Read my review here.)

Pig6) In the 1960s, members of the Youth International Party, or “Yippies,” spread their political messages through theatrical means, such as nominating a pig (“Pigasus”) for U.S. president and pretending to levitate the Pentagon by chanting exorcism rites. (Source: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow)

7) Stockholm Syndrome is a condition in which a victim develops a bond, sympathy, or even affection for their captor or abuser. (Source: Stolen by Lucy Christopher)

Mirror8) Fear of mirrors is known as catoptrophobia. (Source: Insanity by Cameron Jace. Read my review here.)

9) The policemen in London in the mid 1800s were known as “bobbies” and “peelers” for their loyalty to Sir Robert Peel, who reformed the police force. (Source: Dodger by Terri Pratchett. Read my review here.)

10) A former project of the U.S. Navy involved teaching bats to carry explosives. (Source: Project CAIN by Geoffrey Girard. Read my review here.)

What’s the weirdest / most interesting fact you’ve discovered while reading? Let me know in the comments section below!

6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Random Facts I’ve Learned from Reading

  1. This is my favorite list of this week’s freebies! I am addicted to trivia as well! Most families play board games like Life or Monopoly. Not us! We always played Trivial Pursuit and Bezzerwizzer. It gets pretty intense at our house when we all get together :p

    My TTT.

    • I’ve actually never heard of Bezzerwizzer, but I just Googled it and it sounds like a lot of fun. I’ll have to see if I can find it on Amazon. 🙂

      If you’re into trivia, are you also a Jeopardy fan? Every time I’m flipping through the channels and see it on TV, I get super excited, haha. I love seeing if I can guess the answers.

      • Bezzerwizzer is a lot of fun! It’s a good mix of regular trivia and pop culture trivia, so there is something for everyone! its probably our favorite game to play together. Wits and Wagers is also fun, and has much less arguing than regular trivia games :p

        I used to be crazy addicted to Jeopardy, but I haven’t watched it in years since I haven’t had cable. I will admit to playing the SNES Jeopardy game ad nauseam growing up :p

  2. YAY! Great choice of topic this week. I always love freebie week as people always do such amazing topics! This is such a fantastic choice though, it’s amazing just how much we learn from books. I LOVED The Language of Flowers for how much it taught me, I learnt so much from that.

    Here’s my TTT post if you want to check it out. I picked non-book romances I would love to see get book adaptations.

    • Thanks, Charnell! Yes, The Language of Flowers was super informative. I only wish I remembered more of the flower meanings; whenever I see a bouquet now I’m like, “Wait, what does that signify again…?” 🙂

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