CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, January 20, 2016 – Today’s trivia offers a plethora of little known tidbits that are sometimes amusing and potentially helpful as well.
1 – How to access the complete movie list on Netflix: Streaming services such as Netflix have opened the door to unlimited libraries of movies and television programs. Sometimes, however, the movies you want to see on Netflix are not available due to an algorithm based upon past viewing that only offers a limited number of options to individual subscribers.
Therefore, the choices available to one person may not be accessible to someone else.
Thanks to Mental_Floss, the door has been opened to the Pandora’s box of Netflix. If you know the secret, you can surf over 76,000 categories of films and TV shows.
The key is a three or four-digit number at the end of the URL which will unlock so many specific categories it is impossible to link to them all. Categorization gets so precise that it even provides sub-categories for specific age groups.
Chances are however, you will still not find anything to watch.
2 – Did King Midas really have the golden touch?: Countless legends exist around the legendary King Midas who was famous for his “golden touch.”
Midas was a king of Phrygia, a region that is part of modern-day Turkey. The story goes that one day some farmhands brought a satyr (half man, half goat) to Midas. Though Silenus was in an inebriated state, the king immediately recognized him as the most important satyr to the god Dionysus and set him free.
In exchange for his kindness, Dionysus offered to grant Midas one wish. The king, hoping to increase the royal coffers as well as his personal fortune, asked the god to turn everything he touched into gold.
Dionysus hesitated but granted Midas’ wish upon his insistence. Though cautious at first, Midas was delighted to discover that everything he touched magically turned into gold.
Thrilled at his newfound power, Midas ran to his daughter to demonstrate his remarkable asset and grabbed her by the hand. When the king’s daughter failed to follow, he turned to discover that she was now nothing more than a golden statue.
Fortunately for Midas, Dionysus removed the spell by allowing him to wash away his magic in the river Pactolus. Though the king was released from his misfortune, Pactolus remains legendary today for its glistening deposits of gold.
More probably the story has to do with tool making during the Bronze Age. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, but in Phrygia there was more zinc than tin. When combined, copper and zinc makes brass, which, when polished, is much shinier than bronze.
When all spit and polished, brass resembles gold. Naturally a king like Midas would have the much shinier objects as an alternative to the dull finish of bronze.
Thus, as loose tongues wagged from drinking at local pubs, the legend arose that King Midas of Phyrgia had a touch that could turn things to gold.
3 – Archaic British laws: You would think the country that gave us the Magna Carta would have more sensible laws on their books, but the truth is that some of the old English statutes that still exist are really strange.
This one has several variations, so it is uncertain which is true but the gist is that it is still legal in the city of York to murder a Scotsman if he is carrying a bow and arrow within the ancient city walls. It is, however, forbidden to do so on Sunday.
It is not permissible for anyone to die in the Houses of Parliament.
Did you know that women may go topless in Liverpool? There is a stipulation however: they must work in a tropical fish shop.
It’s illegal to eat mince pies anywhere in England on the 25th of December.
In case you were concerned, MPs have been banned from wearing armor in Parliament since 1313.
Placing a postage stamp bearing the image of a British monarch is an act of treason if it is posted upside down.
Never hang your bed out of a window. In the UK it’s against the law.
Committing suicide is a capital offense.
Men will be happy to know it is legal to urinate in public, so long as they do it on the rear wheel of the car with their right hand on the vehicle.
In Chester you are allowed to shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow, but only after midnight.
To which Charles Dickens may have expressed it best when he opined, “The law is an ass, an idiot.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
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