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rec.puzzles Archive (trivia), part 35 of 35

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Archive-name: puzzles/archive/trivia
Last-modified: 17 Aug 1993
Version: 4

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==> trivia/ <==
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/ <==
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

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 / / US Mail: 60690-1570 
  FIDO: 115/743 / AT&T Mail: 529-6378 (!ptownson) /  MCI Mail: 222-4956

==> trivia/ <==
Name ten body parts that are spelled with three letters.  No slang words.

==> trivia/ <==
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

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.

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: 
    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 

    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 We are trying to keep paraphrasing 
    to a minimum. 

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