Useless But Compelling Facts

Just a reminder to you loyal Legal Bytes readers. UBCF trivia questions are generally posted on Mondays and answers posted the following Friday. There are exceptions (e.g., holidays), but that’s usually the pattern.

Always use the Contact Me: Joe Rosenbaum at the bottom of the posting to send an email with your answer.  It helps to put Legal Bytes, UBCF, Trivia or similar words in the Subject line.

The first person to get the complete, correct answer, prior to my posting it, will be the winner.  OK, if you are really, really close and no one else is in the pool, I may decide to give you a prize anyway.

I’ll let you know if you’ve won and if you send me your mailing address I will send you a prize!  I will also ask if you would like your name (with or without your position,  affiliation and/or general location in the universe) announced as a winner.

I know my posts get pushed out to social media platforms, but I don’t check them, so if you try to reply or respond on any of them, I won’t notice.  Regrettably, in that case your brilliant answers, along with your hopes and dreams of winning that amazing two week vacation at a destination of your choice, will be lost in cyberspace.  So stick to answering directly on Legal Bytes and at least you’ll have a chance to win (not really a vacation, however).

Thank you all you loyal Legal Bytes readers who can’t figure out how any one human being can keep up with all that trivia (those of you who know me, already know).

A Linguistic Triple Double

What are the only words in the English language with three consecutive double letters?

Hint: There are two and they are related – one a noun, the other a verb!

Have a Heart!

If  you are a card player, then you know the answer to our last trivia question. In a standard deck of playing cards, the king of hearts is the only one that doesn’t have a moustache.

Salt of the Earth

Salary comes from the Latin ‘salarium,’ which has as it’s root the word “sal,” or salt.  In the days of ancient Rome, salt was a precious, necessary and extremely expensive commodity and Roman soldiers were allotted a certain amount of money to buy salt.  Over time it began to be referred to as the regular amounts of money paid to soldiers and from there the word salary came to mean wages generally.

. . . and the rest of the day to yourself!

The correct response to the Irish greeting, “Top of the morning to you” is “and the rest of the day to yourself! ” That said,  there are many who believe that the purported phrase “top o’ the morning”  is nothing more than a myth to the Irish themselves.   Most of the Irish today may tell you they have never, heard even any one (other than the Lucky Charms commercials) use that phrase.  The greeting does appear in a World War I poem written by Henry Newbolt, which goes:  “So I laughed, and felt quite well disposed to the youngster, And shouted out “the top of the morning” to him, And wished him “Good sport!” and then I remembered, My rank, and his, and what I ought to be doing. . . “.  But Newbolt wasn’t Irish, he was British!    The greeting may have been used in Ireland during the Victorian era, since a novel written by Irish author Charles J. Kickham in 1879 contains a reference to the greeting: “And the words —”The top of the morning to you, Miss Grace,” suggested the idea that Father Hannigan affected the phraseology of the peasantry.” If anyone knows better, let me know!

G’day Mate

What is the correct response to the Irish greeting “Top of the morning to you”.

Here Comes the Sun

In answer to our solar eclipse question, in theory a total solar eclipse viewed from the surface of the Earth can never be longer than 7 minutes, 32 seconds long.  A total solar eclipse occurs when a new moon passes directly in front of the Sun, casting a shadow on part of the Earth. Consequently, geometry and the motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun are the time-limiting factors.

The next total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017, following a path across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.  People directly within the approximately 70 mile wide path the moon’s shadow will take, will see the sun disappear, will see daylight turn to twilight and will feel the temperature drop.  Outside that band, others will see a partial eclipse of the Sun.

You should never look directly at the sun, but if you learn how to view the eclipse properly, anyone directly in the shadow will see the Sun’s corona – appearing to have streamers of light surrounding the silhouette of the moon. NASA has information that can help you understand how to protect your eyes: Eye Safety During a Total Solar Eclipse.