Repository of Useless Knowledge

What weirds me out about my friends is the sheer amount of random knowledge they have.  Consider the following questions:

  • What plant does saffron come from?
  • If someone displays their arms on a lozenge, what do you know about them?
  • What’s the AC of an unarmored person?
  • What’s a gore, when dealing with fabric?
  • What year did the Normans conquer England?
  • A cop stops Werner Heisenburg and asks, “Sir, do you know how fast you were going?”  Heisenburg thinks for a moment, then says, “No, but I know exactly where I am!”  Now, why is that funny?
  • Can you count to 10 in binary?
  • Bonus point for asking which 10.
  • Can you count to 10 in any language other than English?  Two points if it’s a dead or nonhuman language.
  • What’s Esperanto?
  • Briefly describe any of the following: Pierson’s puppeteer; fire lizard; beholder; 800-series combat chassis; treecat; rancor
  • Briefly describe any of the following: Jareth, King of the Goblins; Glorfindel; Frank-n-Furter; Chief Chirpa; Oberon; Valentine Michael Smith; Grendel
  • What’s a gorget?
  • Who wears strawberry leaves on their hats?

Now, I’m going to bet that most people I know can answer four or five of these just off the tops of their respective heads, maybe more if their knowledge-sets really overlap mine.  What’s strange is how uncommon it is to find someone who can answer even one.

There’s something about PCs and NPCs lurking in the back of my head, but it hasn’t cohered yet.

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One Response to “Repository of Useless Knowledge”

  1. Carrie Says:

    This comment was posted on the other blog by Marybeth:

    Lemme see, off the top of my head:

    1. Crocus.

    2. They’re female.

    3. In D20 it’s 10 + size modifier from medium. I think.

    4. Triangle of fabric inserted into a seam to make a skirt/tunic have a larger bottom hem. If it was inserted into a slit in the fabric it would be a godet.

    5. 1066 (mmmm, Bayeux Tapestry…)

    6. Heisenburg’s principle says you can know where something is but then you don’t know how fast it’s going – the better you know the first, the less you know about the second. The other joke in here is that this rule is for particles, not humans in a car – yay meta-joke.

    7. 10 in base 10: 0 1 10 11 100 101 110 111 1000 1001 1010.

    8. see above 😉

    9. uno dos tres quatro cinco seis siete ocho nueve diez

    10. A made-up language that proponents think is one of the easiest to learn.

    11. I actually don’t recognize the 800-series combat chassis, or the treecat. The rancor is from Return of the Jedi – monster in a pit at Jabba’s palace. A Pierson’s puppeteer is from Ringworld by Larry Niven – odd creatures that run away from danger, never involve themselves in person with things (with one exception), but meddle with other races as much as they possibly can. A beholder is a DnD monster that has many smaller eyes and one big one, and each eye has a different attack – they’re all icky things too. A fire lizard is most commonly from the Pern novels by Anne McCaffery – they’re pint-sized dragons.

    12. Ah, David Bowie in tight pants. Mmmm – oh, what was I saying? Oh, Jareth – the self-centered main character in Labryinth, who gets to wear such pretty pretty clothing. Mmmm. Glorfindel, the neglected elf – he’s the one who showed up and saved Frodo in LotR by taking him on the wild ride before the Ringwraiths, and across the river – not Arwen. Poor Glorfindel. Frank-n-Furter – Tim Curry hamming it up as a sex-crazed alien from another planet in Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oberon – hmm, which one? From myth (Lord of the Faeries), Shakespeare name-dropping him (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), from Neil Gaiman (Sandman/The Dreaming), or Roger Zelazny (Amber series)? VMS is from Stranger in a Strange Land – a human raised on Mars, with some very odd customs, and the culture clash that causes back on Earth.

    13. Reinforced collar to protect your neck when fighting/fencing.

    14. Dukes/Duchesses – means they won crown twice in the SCA, and didn’t screw up so much they got kicked out mid-reign 😉

    I think if you do find out that you’ve met someone who can’t answer even one of them, at all – you should run far far away from them. Or make them start borrowing books, quickly.


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