After Hours

Too trivial for Geek Trivia

Yesterday, I finished up the Geek Trivia column that will be published June 1. That may seem pretty far out, but I actually was a day past my personal deadline on that. I usually write the columns about 16 days in advance, more when I or my editor gear up for vacation. (Assuming that's possible. When it's not, you'll get a Classic Geek from the archives.)

Writing that far in advance makes it a bit difficult to be timely. Today's Star Wars trivia is an exception, because the film had a firm release date, and because it's easy to get excited about Star Wars. That's why I try to research major historical events that occurred on the column's publish date.

The process, however, often turns up a bunch of stuff that I find fascinating, but which wouldn't fit the format of the column, or wouldn't support 600-800 words worth of detailed commentary. Who knows, maybe I'll revisit them in the future, but not today.

So, without further ado, here are some of the items that missed the cut for the June 1 Geek Trivia.

June 1, 1813 - Capt. James Lawrence coins the phrase "Don't give up the ship," which has since become the motto of the U.S. Navy.

June 1, 1869 - Thomas Edison patents his electric voting machine.

June 1, 1890 - U.S. employs Herman Hollerinth's tabulating machine to calculate census data.

June 1, 1938 - First appearance of Superman in Action Comics (this one was particularly hard to resist).

June 1, 1980 - CNN starts broadcasting.

So, where to do I find this stuff? The Wikipedia, usually, which does a great job of organizing things by date. You might amuse yourselves by checking out their June 1 page and guessing which item, NOT listed above, that I actually used for the June 1 Geek Trivia.

Or you could go see Star Wars. I know what I'll be doing.

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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