Sunday, November 15, 2009

Odd Facts of the Day

First, the NWS got it partially right. We had a few inches of really wet flock snow overnight. But, it warmed up to the 40s during the day so about 80% of the stuff melted, leaving wet and mud to run rampant. Now this evening, the temperatures are already in the low 20s, so I expect the morning to be an icy slipping and sliding affair. On to more interesting fodder.

Here are three trivial questions featuring the odd facts of the day. They were brought to my (rather odd) mind by the plethora of factoids presented by the announcers at tonight's New England Patriots versus Indianapolis Colts football game. Do you know the answers?

  • NERF (as in Nerf Ball fame) is an acronym for what?
  • The very first American 911 system call was made on February 16, 1968. Who made the call and who answered the call?
  • An average person typing an average text corpus in English uses one hand more than other, which hand is used more? For extra credit, what is the percentage of characters typed by each hand? (You can assume a standard typewriter layout - no Dvor├ík or other special keyboard.)

(Answers are in the first comment so you can check yourself. But be honest and no fair Googling!{*grin*})


  1. NERF - Non-Expanding Recreational Foam

    The first American 911 call was made from Haleyville, Alabama by Alabama Speaker of the House, Rankin Fite and was answered bu Congressman Tom Bevill on February 16, 1968

    The left hand types 56%, the right 44%. This is actually an interesting statistical question since one can start from a frequency table of the English language and the hand coverage of the keyboard to solve it. Surely everyone remembers ETAOINSHRDLU.

    Now for real extra credit - what is the longest word that can be typed using only one row on the keyboard?

  2. I would have totally guessed the right hand until I started typing this comment and then I do think that the left hand is used more.

    But... I use my right thumb to press the space bar, guess that doesn't count, huh?

    google tells me it's 'stewardesses'. But I totally had to cheat.

  3. oh - only one row! Hmmm... not sure about that one. I'll let someone else google the answer. :)

  4. I am terrible at these kinds of questions. My my hubby is filled with useless information and probably knows the answers to all of it. Unfortunately he's at work right now and by the time he gets home I'll have forgotten all about these questions. My brain doesn't do long term stuff anymore. :)

  5. I didn't know any of the answers but I would have guessed the left hand.


You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

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