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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1247898-Odd-Facts-and-Trivia-for-Writers
by Joy
Rated: 13+ · Non-fiction · Reference · #1247898
Odd facts and trivia to keep in mind when we write our stories
          It is important to research what we write. Sometimes, a writer falls into the trap of presenting a non-fact unknowingly as if it were a fact. Then sometimes, a trivial fact may send a story idea to a writer.

         So, I decided to make a static compiling trivia for writers, after I read a story by a WdC member who put England under German occupation during World War II. England was bombed by the Germans but was never occupied.

         I will be adding to this list--in no specific order--from time to time. Please e-mail me if you think of extra stuff we may use or should refrain from using in our work.


         * Cattle and other ruminants get up from the back end first. That is why, while moving the herd, a farmer touches the back end of the cattle to make them walk.

         *A diabetic would not pick a candy bar from a vending machine. If anything, he would avoid all the vending machines.

         * Flags are taken down at dusk or sunset with or without ceremony. That is the proper flag etiquette on land. Only at sea, the flags can be flown at night. A flag is allowed to fly at night, only if it is lit.

         *If a host or hostess asks a guest how he likes his tea, he/she should be waiting for an answer before pouring the tea. The tea is poured only after an answer unless of course the host knows the guest's preference from an earlier time, in which case a question would be unnecessary.

         *No one should be able to sit out in their front yard or porch after dusk (in summer and late spring), if their house is situated near a body of water or a swamp. The mosquitoes would make it unbearable.

         *A dead body gives off an offensive odor after being dead for some time, say 40 hours in a cool place, 24 hours in a heated room.

         *You do not make anyone whisper to a deaf person and have her understand it.

         *In the US, federal law states that children's TV shows may contain only 10 minutes of advertising per hour and on weekends the limit is 10 and one-half minutes.

          * When a baby or a child is adopted, the original birth certificate is sealed and a new one is given with the names of the adoptive parents in place of the birth parents. This is called an amended birth certificate. Birth certificates may also be amended if there is a sex change. Application procedures and requirements change from state to state. Also some states allow opening up the sealed birth records (some with a court order) while others do not.

         * Mockingbirds can imitate any sound from a squeaking door to a cat meowing.

         *In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart never said "Play it again, Sam." As Rick, he said: ""You played it for her, you can play it for me. Play it!" Then, Ilsa said, "Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By."

         * Money is the worst adjustment for a traveler . No one is too comfortable in getting used to foreign money if they are in any one country for the first time.

         * Santa's reindeer are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen.

          *The "Twelve Days of Christmas" gifts: A partridge in a pear tree, two turtledoves, three French hens, four calling birds, five gold rings, six geese laying, seven swans swimming, eight maids milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords leaping, eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming. (There are 364 gifts altogether)

         *A camel 's milk does not curdle, and camels have three eyelids to protect their eyes from the blowing sand.

         * Snow White's seven dwarfs are: Doc (leader), Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

          * For Sci-fi writers,
Every gaseous planet has rings.
Uranus is the only known planet that spins on its side; every other planet spins counterclockwise except for Venus. Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
A white dwarf, is smaller than the state of Texas, but so dense that if a cubic inch of it were brought to earth it would weigh more than 1.5 million tons.
A neutron star is so dense that a table spoon of matter from it would weigh over 5,000 tons.
There are more stars in space than there are specks of sand on the Earth.
Next to the sun, the closest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri, which is part of the Alpha Centauri System 4.3 light-years from us, which has three stars. Proxima Centauri, and two larger stars Alpha Centauri A and B.

         Insect Noises:In case you make an insect talk in your stories, insects do not have a voice and they do not make noises with their voices. The noise of bees, mosquitoes and other buzzing insects is caused by rapidly moving their wings.

         Electricity doesn't move through a wire but through a field around the wire.
And as LeatherPalm has corrected: "*Note on electricity: electrons do actually travel through the wires, there's a net drift of electrons within the conductor. It's slow, but that's what carries the charge."

         Gold: Most of the gold jewelry we wear is 14 to 16 carats. Even 24 carat Gold is not pure gold since there is a small amount of copper in it. Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.

         Jiffy: When someone says, "I'll be there in a jiffy!", he may be exaggerating a bit. A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.




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