Trivial Pursuit, the board game in which victory is determined by a player’s knowledge of trivia and pop culture questions, was first released in 1981. Wait… so this week’s title isn’t a clever play on words? We’re actually talking about the board game?

It was conceived in 1979 by two Canadian newspapermen, photo editor Chris Haney and sports editor Scott Abbott. (Okay, it seems we are). When they couldn’t find all the pieces to their Scrabble game, they decided to create their own game. How do you get a trivia game from Scrabble?

Who remembers this game showing up at their house in the 80’s? Better still, who remembers that, after its first family game night, it was banished to the back of the closet? When your parents realized they didn’t know as much as they thought they did. Webster’s defines “trivial” as: insignificant — of little worth or importance. So maybe they were wise not to encourage you to pursue it. But you’re all grown up now. So, we can pursue all the random insignificant trivia we want. Which is exactly what we’re going to do!

1. Did you know that ancient Roman surgeons were trained to block out human screams of pain? How do you train for that exactly?

2. Coincidentally, surgeons who play video games at least 3 hours a week perform 27% faster and make 37% fewer errors. So, the ancient Romans needed an Xbox?

3. Apples, peaches, and raspberries are all members of the rose family. But giving a dozen of them doesn’t send the same message.

4. An animal’s yawn is based on how large their brain is. A bigger brain = a longer yawn. Challenge your friends to an intellectual yawn-off.

5. There are more Lego mini figures than people on Earth. And when they become self-aware…

6. In Japan there is a high demand for “ninja shows,” but ninjitsu is a dying tradition, and companies have trouble finding properly trained ninjas. We are facing a ninja shortage!

7. Fredric Baur, the founder of Pringles, requested to be buried in a Pringles can. His ashes…they didn’t cram his corpse in the can.

8. Allodoxaphobia is the fear of opinions.

9. The fear of vegetables is called Lachanophobia. So, would Lachanalloxaphobia be the fear of people’s opinions on vegetables or vegetables with opinions?

10. A group of horses in the wild won’t sleep at the same time — one will stay awake to look out for the others. Are there trust issues in the herd?

11. The collective name for a group of unicorns is called a blessing. So, saying “a group of unicorns” before a meal could serve as prayer?

12. Crows can remember the faces of individual humans and also hold a grudge.Trivial Pursuit

13. A flock of crows is called a murder. Well, they do hold grudges.

14. All porcupines float in water. All porcupines? Who’s testing this?

15. Pigeons have been trained by the U.S. Coast Guard to spot people lost at sea. And then poop on them?

16. Tyromancy was a form of divination involving observing cheese to predict the future. Should we be checking cheeseburgers for lotto numbers?

17. Boanthropy is a psychological disorder that makes people believe they are cows. Considering societies’ herd mentality, it must be contagious.

18. Elephants are the only mammal that cannot jump. But…did you ever see an elephant fly?

19. Lobsters pee out of their faces. This is why we eat their tails and why lobster restrooms would be hilarious.

20. The state of Maryland’s official sport is jousting. How medieval of them.

21. Even though Froot Loops are different colors, they all have exactly the same flavor. Follow your nose…I feel so deceived.

22. Ketchup was once sold as medicine to treat diarrhea and indigestion. It wasn’t administered with fries.

23. The brain is our fattiest organ and is composed of nearly 60% fat. So being called a “fathead” isn’t an insult — it’s accurate.

24. Over the course of an average lifetime, most people will spend a year sitting on the toilet. If you’re reading FOCUS it’s time well wasted.

25. Ironically the origins and creators of Trivial Pursuit are not questions in the game. But you can find them and lots of other trivial information here each week. Next week: Parcheesi.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.