Last-modified: 17 Aug 1993
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==> trivia/area.codes.p <== When looking at a map of the distribution of telephone area codes for North America, it appears that they are randomly distributed. I am doubtful that this is the case, however. Does anyone know how the area codes were/are chosen? ==> trivia/area.codes.s <== Originally, back in the middle 1950's when direct dialing of long distance calls first became possible, the idea was to assign area codes with the 'shortest' dialing time required to the larger cities. Touch tone dialing was very rare. Most dialed calls were with 'rotary' dials. Area codes like 212, 213, 312 and 313 took very little time to dial (while waiting for the dial to return to normal) as opposed, for example, to 809, 908, 709, etc ... So the 'quickest to dial' area codes were assigned to the places which would probably receive the most direct dialed calls, i.e. New York City got 212, Chicago got 312, Los Angeles got 213, etc ... Washington, DC got 202, which is a little longer to dial than 212, but much shorter than others. In order of size and estimated amount of telephone traffic, the numbers got larger: San Francisco got 415, which is sort of in the middle, and Miami got 305, etc. At the other end of the spectrum came places like Hawaii (it only got statehood as of 1959) with 808, Puerto Rico with 809, Newfoundland with 709, etc. The original (and still in use until about 1993) plan is that area codes have a certain construction to the numbers: The first digit will be 2 through 9. The second digit will always be 0 or 1. The third digit will be 1 through 9. Three digit numbers with two zeros will be special codes, ie. 700, 800 or 900. Three digit numbers with two ones are for special local codes, i.e. 411 for local directory assistance, 611 for repairs, etc. Three digit codes ending in '10', i.e. 410, 510, 610, 710, 810, 910 were 'area codes' for the AT&T (and later on Western Union) TWX network. This rule has been mostly abolished, however 610 is still Canadian TWX, and 910 is still used by Western Union TWX. Gradually the '10' codes are being converted to regular area codes. We are running out of possible combinations of numbers using the above rules, and it is estimated that beginning in 1993-94, area codes will begin looking like regular telephone prefix codes, with numbers other than 0 or 1 as the second digit. I hope this gives you a basic idea. There were other rules at one time such as not having an area code with zero in the second digit in the same state as a code with one in the second digit, etc .. but after the initial assignment of numbers back almost forty years ago, some of those rules were dropped when it became apparent they were not flexible enough. Patrick Townson TELECOM Digest Moderator -- Patrick Townson email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / US Mail: 60690-1570 FIDO: 115/743 / AT&T Mail: 529-6378 (!ptownson) / MCI Mail: 222-4956 ==> trivia/body.parts.p <== Name ten body parts that are spelled with three letters. No slang words. ==> trivia/body.parts.s <== arm, ear, eye, gum, hip, jaw, leg, lip, rib, toe Not strictly body parts or slang: ass, box, bud, bum, fat, fin, gam, gut, lap, lid, mug, ora, orb, ova, paw, pin, pit, pup, pus, tit, wax, yap With two letters: os ==> trivia/coincidence.p <== Name some amazing coincidences. ==> trivia/coincidence.s <== The answer to the question, "Who wrote the Bible," is, of course, Shakespeare. The King James Version was published in 1611. Shakespeare was 46 years old then (he turned 47 later in the year). Look up Psalm 46. Count 46 words from the beginning of the Psalm. You will find the word "Shake." Count 46 words from the end of the Psalm. You will find the word "Spear." An obvious coded message. QED. How many inches in the pole-to-pole diameter of the Earth? The answer is almost exactly 500,000,000 inches. Proof that the inch was defined by spacemen. The speed of light is within 0.1% of 300,000,000 meters/second. The meter and second were defined with respect to the size and rotation rate of the Earth. Proof that the Earth was built by spacemen. ==> trivia/eskimo.snow.p <== How many words do the Eskimo have for snow? ==> trivia/eskimo.snow.s <== Couple of weeks ago, someone named D.K. Holm in the Boston Phoenix came up with the list, drawn from the Inupiat Eskimo Dictionary by Webster and Zibell, and from Thibert's English-Eskimo Eskimo-English Dictionary. The words may remind you of generated passwords. Eskimo English Eskimo English ---------------------------------+---------------------------- apun snow | pukak sugar snow apingaut first snowfall | pokaktok salt-like snow aput spread-out snow | miulik sleet kanik frost | massak snow mixed with water kanigruak frost on a | auksalak melting snow living surface | aniuk snow for melting ayak snow on clothes | into water kannik snowflake | akillukkak soft snow nutagak powder snow | milik very soft snow aniu packed snow | mitailak soft snow covering an aniuvak snowbank | opening in an ice floe natigvik snowdrift | sillik hard, crusty snow kimaugruk snowdrift that | kiksrukak glazed snow in a thaw blocks something | mauya snow that can be perksertok drifting snow | broken through akelrorak newly drifting snow | katiksunik light snow mavsa snowdrift overhead | katiksugnik light snow deep enough and about to fall | for walking kaiyuglak rippled surface | apuuak snow patch of snow | sisuuk avalanche =*= ==> trivia/federal.reserve.p <== What is the pattern to this list: Boston, MA New York, NY Philadelphia, PA Cleveland, OH Richmond, VA Atlanta, GA Chicago, IL St. Louis, MO Minneapolis, MN Kansas City, MO Dallas, TX San Francisco, CA ==> trivia/federal.reserve.s <== Each of the cities is a location for a Federal Reserve. The cities are listed in alphabetical order based on the letter that represents each city on a dollar bill. ==> trivia/jokes.self-referential.p <== What are some self-referential jokes? ==> trivia/jokes.self-referential.s <== Q: What is alive, green, lives all over the world, and has seventeen legs? A: Grass. I lied about the legs. The two rules for success are: 1. Never tell them everything you know. There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who cannot. Q: Why did Douglas Hofstadter cross the road? A: To make this riddle possible. Song from the Sheri Lewis Lambchop hour: This is the song that doesn't end Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people starting singing it not knowing what it was Now they'll continue singing it forever just because (repeat) How long is the answer to this question? Ten letters. (There are endless variations on this theme) ==> trivia/memory.tricks.p <== When asked to name a color, many people answer "red." What are some other examples of this phenomenon? ==> trivia/memory.tricks.s <== What's 3 + 7? What's 4 + 6? What's 8 + 2? Name a vegetable. Carrot. Pick a number from 1 to 10. Multiply by 9. Subtract 5. Sum the digits, repeat this step until you have a one digit number. For whatever number you have pick that letter of the alphabet. Think of a country that begins with that letter. Now think of an animal that begins with the second letter of the country. Think of a color usually associated with the animal. So are you a grey elephant from Denmark? ==> trivia/quotations.p <== Where can I find the source for a quotation? ==> trivia/quotations.s <== The Quotations Archive All the quotations that fit the guidelines are stored at a publicly available ftp site: wilma.cs.brown.edu:pub/alt.quotations/Archive. In the future there will be an organized index system. Right now, just the raw postings are available. The quotes are grouped primarily by subject, but there are indexes by author, keyword, type of source (movie, play, book), and meta-subject (humor is a meta-subject, humor-about-cars is a subject). Movie and television quotes have a tendency to mean nothing to people who haven't seen the show, and bring back fond memories to people who have. That doesn't make them real quotations, but since they are so popular, a part of the archive will be set aside for these media related quotes. The index is labeled either ``exact'', or ``incomplete''. If you can give the exact wording to a quote marking ``incomplete'', please write email@example.com. We are trying to keep paraphrasing to a minimum.