“Learning never exhausts the mind!” claimed the polymath genius Leonardo Da Vinci. Here are the five globetrotting Cultural fun-facts questions for you this December:
Q1. Who invented ice skates? According to a study by the Universities of Oxford and Milan, ice skates were invented in Finland around 5,000 years ago to save energy in harsh winter conditions when hunting in the frozen Lakeland. They first used animal bones for the blades before switching them to metal blades. (source: Wikipedia.)
Q2. Which European city was the first to have electric street lighting?
Timisoara, now part of west Romania, was the first city in Europe to have electric streetlights in 1884.
Q3. What does “Oaia aia e a ei, eu i-o iau.” mean ? This Romanian sentence made only of vowels means “That sheep is hers, I am taking it.” To hear how the phrase sounds: watch this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Q4. Who invented Mobile Text messaging?Matti Makkonen, a Finnish engineer, developed the idea of sending messages via mobile networks while enjoying a pizza at a telecom conference in Copenhagen in 1984. He never patented his invention and has always claimed it to be a joint effort between his colleagues and himself. Nokia created the first mobile phone that enabled the easy writing of messages in 1994, leading to popular SMS.
Q5. Which song was the first broadcast from space? On 16th Dec 1965, the astronauts aboard Gemini 6 decided to play a prank on Mission Control and performed the song ‘Jingle Bells’ on a harmonica and actual jingle bells they had smuggled on board. Here is the recording if you want to hear it again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmsOmqf7Hso
Well, we hope you have enjoyed this month’s Q&As. If you are curious and want to learn more (e.g. what do people do on “National Jealousy Day” in Finland? tip: your taxes, etc.), you can click the Youtube links below (Youtube clips credit: Office holidays).
Fun facts about Finland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Fun facts about Christmas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
As we gather to celebrate this festive season, we aim to have fun, friendly, enjoyable conversations to warm our hearts! So keep your good humour with these facts.