Category Archives: Fact Check

The 46 States of The USA?

Classic Man In a Pub Fact from last night:, as given to me be a guy from Wales who was called Iuan or perhaps Euan or maybe Eion, but who definitely from Wales.

“There are NOT 50 US states, there are only 46 because 4 of them are ‘commonwealths rather than states”.

For fact-check I’ve looked at :

States which are Not States


Aye – I suppose so, but I think it’s fair to say that although they self-designate as “commonwealths”, it’s reasonable to say they are ALSO States.

This information certainly won’t affect any questions in the database about counting states or asking for states where the answer is one of the four ‘commonwealths’.

For the record – these non-states are

  • Massachussets
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Kentucky

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Man In A Pub Fact Check – Susan Boyle

Scene: last night at the Brass Monkey Leith.

Three men at a bar. The chat turns, as it inevitably does in these situations, to Susan Boyle.

One man lays out a fact:

“Susan Boyle is the ONLY artist to ever have a number one album in the UK charts AND the US charts at the same time.”

Usually when I’m given an astonishing FACT like this, the implication is that I use it in the quiz.

Fair enough

But before deploying, I know it’s always worth checking.

So, unsurprisingly, the actual FACT is slightly less astonishing than the initial claim.

Susan Boyle became the first solo female artist to have TWO simultaneous UK-and-US chart-topping albums in the space of less than twelve months.

Two other artists have already achieved this: The Beatles and The Monkees (both in the sixties), but they are bands rather than solo artists.

Note: Boyle’s albums were not in the same calendar year (2009 and 2010).

Note: The achievement is doing the simultaneous no.1 TWICE in 12 months.

Other artists have done the double twice or more, including Adele and Led Zeppelin, but over a wider span of time. The Beatles did it six times.

Plenty of other artists have been simultaneously top of the US and UK charts, including Pink Floyd, Phil Collins and Radiohead.

Tom Yhorke out of Radiohead dissing the quiz
Tom Yhorke, yesterday

And this is all albums. The singles chart has a whole different list. In fact, that might make quite a good list round. Noted.

By the way, none of this is to subtract from Susan Boyle’s amazing success. Her chart achievements are pretty phenomenal but the point of this article is to point out how easily the truth can get blended into something completely different.

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Bullshit Story From The Pub Turns Out To Be True

I’ve heard a lot of bullshit stories over the years and this one at the Safari had the signs.

  1. Woman was hearty pished.
  2. She looked like she’d stopped talking any kind of sense about twenty years ago.
  3. Story was appended with “it’s true, it really is. Look it up.”
  4. Sounds bonkers.

Anyway – the story was that the Irish Catholic church had MOVED St Patricks Day one year, just to fit in with Easter.

I was thinking “How can you move a fixed feast?” Surely everyone knows St Patrick’s Day is the 17th March and that’s fixed.

But weirdly enough, all these months later and I’ve got round to looking it up… and it IS true.

It happened in 2008


Those wacky bishops!


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Iron Balls

Irn BruSomething I learned at the quiz this week is that Irn Bru burns your balls.

This info comes courtesy of scientific research at a city pub I won’t name. The staff there were having a chat about ideal houses.

One chap, we’ll call him “Giles” stated that, from a birds-eye view, his ideal house would look like a massive cock-and-balls.

The two two balls would be swimming pools: one filled with regular swimming pool water, the other with Irn Bru.

“Would that not sting your balls?” someone asked.

Minutes later, three male staff were filming each other dipping their nuts into cups of Irn Bru. Scientific finding: it burns.

The resulting video is called “Three men, three cups” and as far as I know, it has so far NOT been posted online.

NB: Only paper cups were used. You’re not going to get pubes in your teeth at any of the quiz pubs. Also the experiment took place in a non-public area of the bar.

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