Quiz: Are you a master of common facts: HowStuffWorks
Are you a master of common facts
6 Min Quiz
Which long-running TV show centered around finding talented singers?
"American Idol" ran for more than a dozen seasons on Fox and helped discover hit singers such as Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson. It was modeled after the British show, "Pop Idol," and was followed by many reality TV shows, inspired by its success.
Which of these U.S. presidents wasn't assassinated?
While many assassination attempts have been made on U.S. presidents over the past centuries, only four of those attempts were successful. Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, John F. Kennedy and William McKinley all lost their lives in service to their country.
Which of these colors isn't in the rainbow?
White light is actually a composite of the colors on the visible light spectrum. When these colors are separated individually, you see the colors that appear in the rainbow!
A baguette is a kind of bread originally from which country?
The baguette is a long, crispy loaf of bread, favored in France. In fact, the French each eat an average of half a baguette per day, which is lower than the full loaf per person it used to be.
Which nation attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor?
Japan launched an attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It was the first act of war after decades of tensions between the two countries and prompted the U.S. to enter WWII.
Where is the Golden Gate Bridge located?
The Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, after years of planning, overcoming regulatory hurdles and securing voter approval and funding. In the first 80 years, nearly two billion people have crossed the bridge.
Which of these is not like the others?
Peaches, plums and cherries all grow on trees and have one seed at their center. A watermelon grows on a vine on the ground and has many seeds, instead of one pit.
In musical notation, what is the name of the clef used for most higher notes?
The treble clef is denoted by a swirling symbol that looks similar to a fancy cursive "S." The bass clef, denoted by a "C"-shaped figure, is for lower notes.
During the Revolutionary War, which country did America fight?
The Revolutionary War was fought by American colonists tired of British rule. Spain assisted indirectly, and France eventually aided the fledgling USA.
Which "Peanuts" character is famous for hauling around a blanket?
Linus is the blankie-hugging character who delivers the famous lines of the "Peanuts" Christmas speech. Schroeder happily plays the piano, Lucy delights in torturing Charlie Brown with a football, and Sally is Charlie Brown's little sister.
Where do we get cotton for clothing, sheets and other common goods?
Cotton is a plant product, often grown in the southern United States because of the warm climate. Sheep and alpacas are a source of wool, while goose down can be used for things like comforters, puffer jackets and pillows.
Which of these directors and producers is famous for a love of explosions in movies?
Michael Bay, who's worked on movies like "Transformers," "Armageddon" and "Pearl Harbor," is famous for going big with movie explosions.
What is the head of an orchestra called?
The conductor makes sure a band or an orchestra is synchronized and working cohesively to perform music. During stage performances accompanied by music, you can sometimes just see the conductor's head rising above the orchestra pit below the stage.
Which author wrote "Pride and Prejudice," "Sense and Sensibility" and other romantic classics?
Jane Austen wrote many beloved books and is studied with great interest to this day. Most of her works have been adapted to the screen by the BBC, and some have been made into major motion pictures, as well.
Which of these creatures, bred by humans, is not valued for a substance they make while alive?
Bees produce honey, silkworms produce silk and cows produce milk. Crickets are actually bred as food, and not just for pet food. Breeding crickets to make flour (or just have a crunchy snack) is growing in popularity.
Which major world religion holds the cow as sacred?
To Hindus, the cow is a sacred animal, in part because of its gentle nature. In certain parts of India, killing and consuming a cow is a punishable offense.
Who is commonly credited with inventing the light bulb?
Edison is usually the first name that comes to mind when people think about who created the light bulb. In reality, the light bulb was the result of many scientists' work; while Edison certainly made contributions to the science, he is remembered more because he was successful in promoting and selling the light bulb as such.
What state claims to be "first in flight"?
The Wright brothers successfully flew the first plane on the sandy dunes of North Carolina. Ohio was officially awarded the title of "birthplace of aviation," since the Wright Brothers were from Ohio.
What does a raised flag at a mailbox mean?
The flag is a signal to mail carriers that you have mail you'd like them to pick up and bring to the postal facility for sorting. A word of warning, though: thieves may see the raised flag as an invitation to raid your mailbox, chemically wash your checks and write in new payees and amounts.
Which of these is a stringed instrument?
Violins, guitars and harps are classic examples of stringed instruments. Interestingly, a piano is considered to be a hybrid between a stringed instrument and a percussion instrument.
Which of these classic movies is a Christmas tale about how one man really can make a difference in the world?
Frank Capra's, "It's a Wonderful Life," is a favorite Christmas movie in many households for its portrayal of George Bailey: his disappointments, his joys, his failures and his successes. Always remember: "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."
What do you call plants that grow back each year on their own?
A perennial is a plant that grows back for a period of time each year; annuals die and have to be replaced yearly. Some flowers can be either annual or perennial, depending on the climate where they're planted.
Which of these U.S. states is non-contiguous with the rest of the country?
There are two non-contiguous states in America: Alaska and Hawaii. Non-contiguous means that they aren't bordered by any other American-held land. Alaska borders Canada.
Which country suffered from a potato famine?
The Great Potato Famine of 1845 to 1849 fueled Irish immigration to America and claimed many lives. It also fueled resentment of British rule, since the Irish thought Britain didn't do enough to help while they died of starvation.
Which of these dance styles is serious, fiery and full of romantic tension when performed well?
A good tango is a thrill to watch, as well as to dance. The style originated in South America and was likely influenced by African and European dance traditions.
What allows a cactus to survive the desert heat?
Cacti spread their roots wide and store as much water as they can in their fleshy parts whenever it rains. This supply allows them to weather weeks of dry heat.
Which state houses the Alamo?
If you travel to San Antonio, TX, you can see the famous mission where a small group of Texans made their last stand against Santa Anna's army. The state of Texas maintains the site as a free museum.
Which of these foods wasn't rationed during WWII?
Fruits and vegetables were too perishable to need to be rationed, so families could buy as much of them as they liked. Other dietary staples like meat, fish, wheat and sugar were needed for the troops' rations and thus, were restricted.
Which group of people inspired the development of a vaccine for smallpox?
Edward Jenner was inspired to make the first vaccine by observing how milkmaids had a remarkable resistance to smallpox. As it turns out, their exposure to cowpox conferred protection against smallpox, which was caused by a similar virus.
What is the speed limit on Germany's famous Autobahn?
The Autobahn has a minimum speed limit of about 60 km/hr, but many stretches have no maximum speed. Signs posting suggested max speeds and speed limits are only enforced in congested areas or areas with poor visibility.
Finish the phrase: "Red sky at night, sailor's ______; red sky in the morning, sailors take ______."
The saying means that a red sunset portends good weather, while a bright red sunrise could mean trouble on the seas. For sailors who don't travel too far south or north, this saying is actually fairly accurate, due to the behavior of pressure systems.
Which of these famous music artists crossed over from country to pop?
While Taylor Swift shows no signs of going back to her country roots, Faith Hill effectively straddled the genres, recording a mix of songs that could find a home both on pop stations and on country stations.
Which of these liquids has antibacterial properties?
If you're stranded in the wilderness with no other treatment options, crying on your wound isn't a terrible idea. Tears have been shown to have mild antibacterial properties. They're no substitute for a good alcohol rub or antibacterial ointment, though.
Who is famous for saying, "Veni, Vidi, Vici"?
The phrase "Veni, Vidi, Vici," which is Latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered," is commonly attributed to Julius Caesar. It's not hard to believe he said that or something like it, given his great success in battle.
What is a funicular?
Funiculars are cable trains that run up and down a mountainside. They're sort of a mish-mash of elevator and train technology that allows for more efficient travel in steep areas.
Trivia masters and know-it-alls; this one is for you! Having knowledge on a variety of subjects is the key to acing this quiz. What's the fun of limiting yourself to knowing one subject, inside and out, when you can learn them all? Pop culture, science and geography aren't the only subjects you'll want to brush-up on! You'll even find some history and vocabulary in this quiz.
Think you can name all the colors of the rainbow? Do you know your way around a sheet of music, or are you the master of an instrument? Can you finish some famous phrases from history? Maybe you can even name the homes of a few international landmarks. This quiz will really test your knowledge of all things!
Can you name a television show from a small description? Can you name the author of some of the most famous literature in history? Do you know all about the most recognizable cartoon characters on television? If you can answer questions like these, then consider yourself ready.
If you make trivia night competitors quake in their boots, then you're the perfect candidate to ace this quiz!
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