## The Truth About Dying Dumb-ly

The cartoons from Tangerine Kitty’s “Dumb Ways to Die”

As correctly observed by Tangerine Kitty in their November 2012 song and video, “Dumb Ways to Die,” there are indeed SO MANY dumb ways to die. (If you haven’t seen this Australian Metro video yet, stop what you’re doing and go watch it immediately.) The video depicts adorable cartoons engaging in such activities as inviting a psycho killer inside their house and playing catch with a nest of bees. While hilarious, one must pause and ponder: how often do people actually die in the way shown in the video as completely stupid? Here we’ve investigated several of the deaths in the song, and how they tend to go down in reality. Take heed before reading further, dear Sporcler, if you seek to maintain any faith in the human race.

Happy Pi Day, Everyone!

Pi Day pie

The History

Pi Day is a day to celebrate the mathematical constant Pi (π), used in geometry, number theory and calculus. Pi is the name given to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, approximately 3.14159. The earliest known celebrations of Pi Day occurred in 1988 at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, where the public and staff walked around in a circular path, while eating fruit pies. The museum continues to celebrate the day each year, and in 2009, the US Congress officially designated March 14th as National Pi Day.

I Like Pi

We were so excited about this, that we wanted to have a Pi Day Sporcle exclusive. To earn the badge? You just have to play Kinds of Pie, and get at least 10 correct on the Digits of Pie quiz. Sweet Sporcle success goes well with anything, but especially with numbers and pie.

The Tutorial Sing-a-Longs

We realize that it might be hard to memorize the digits of Pi, especially if you want to really excel. So we’ve included a couple of videos to get you started:

## Sporcle Top 5: Playground Features You’re Too Old For

Sometimes at Sporcle HQ we get the chance to talk a little nonsense, and lo and behold, a Sporcle Top 5 is born. Keep checking back on the Sporcle Blog to see what we think of next.

Many things suck about growing up: you don’t get as many Christmas presents, the toys today are way cooler than when you were a kid, and you can’t eat loads of candy without getting sick.  But one of the worst things is that you can’t enjoy the playground anymore like you used to. We’ve collected the 5 most pressing reasons below.

#### The last time you tried to go down the slide it took a full five minutes. It was like a can of cranberry jelly slinking into a pile of wood chips.

2) Monkey Bars

While the novelty of being able to stand perfectly straight and still touch the monkey bars was awesome at first, most of the challenge now is not spraining your shoulder while reaching above your head.

3)  Merry-Go-Rounds

If you wanted to get the spins and feel nauseous, you could have just stayed at the local bar.

4) Plastic Playgrounds

Plastic crap everywhere.  Gone are the days of wooden splinters and metal burns. Congratulations: you’re old.

5) Swings

Just because you have a hairy back, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever get a push. Wait, yes it does.

If you have other playground features you can no longer enjoy because you’re too old, be sure to add them in the comments!

## Goodbye to Hostess, Hello to the Holidays

Congrats! You’ve made it to Friday, the final day of the traditional work week. And just as people in your office might be in-and-out throughout the day, there’s a few big names that are arriving and departing from our lives.

Hostess closes its doors

After an extended Baker’s Union strike, Hostess made the decision Friday to shut down. There’s plans to sell its products, but everyone knows the Twinkie will never be the same. As the nation mourns this loss, prepare for a lot of Hostess tributes. Even if you didn’t really like those snack cakes, you have to admit that they were pretty iconic.

Here’s some quick links to fill you in:

Final Twilight film hits theaters
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 has finally been released to theaters, ending the long-lasting saga of vampires, werewolves, and teenage love. As the final installment arrives to theaters, the series’ fans face the end of the franchise.

Check out Entertainment Weekly’s field research from the opening night (‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn–Part 2′: On-the-scene for fan reactions)

And don’t forget about Sporcle’s Twilight Quizzes:

Holiday season here again

Let’s face it, the holiday season has already arrived. But with Thanksgiving less than a week away, the real countdown to the holiday shopping season is here. We’ve just said goodbye to political ads, and now we’re saying hello to holiday shopping ads. Check out the following links as you get in the holiday spirit.

## Disney Songs: Sing Along with Sporcle

Disney songs. They send positive messages: Wish upon a star, Give the beast a second chance, Find a whole new world.

Though the name Disney is most strongly connected to film and television, wrapped up within these visual mediums is a subtle but foundational element: song. It might have been awhile since you watched a Disney movie. But chances are, it hasn’t been so long since you heard a Disney song.

These songs have become a part of our culture. Disney songs inspire summer camp skits, spontaneous dance parties, and Disney sing-along sets in the car. Want to get people singing at the top of their lungs? Get someone to start a rendition of Mulan’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” You’ll have an instantaneous choir.

Though these songs have a place within pop culture, there’s a musical basis for the quality of this music. Many Disney songs were Oscar award-winners and nominees–recognized by the film world for excellent original scores and lyrics. In some cases, a film’s song may be more well-known than the film itself. Take, for example, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (Pinocchio, 1940). Disney’s first Academy Award winning best song,  ”When You Wish Upon a Star” has grown to become Disney’s theme song, a beautiful ode to dreamers young and old.

Though Disney songs were nominated for Academy Awards throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the 1990s were the golden age for Disney songwriters. In 1989, The Little Mermaid had two songs nominated, including the winner “Under the Sea.” In 1991, Beauty and the Beast brought forth three nominees, including best song, “Beauty and the Beast.” One year later, Aladdin introduced us to “A Whole New World,” and in 1994, Elton John composed the score for The Lion King, including the award-winner, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Other best songs from the decade include “Colors of the Wind” (Pocahontas, 1995) and “You’ll be in my Heart” (Tarzan, 1999).

These songs go beyond the films themselves; there’s something compelling about the music which appeals to people, even if they haven’t seen the movies. The Disney Sing Along Songs video/DVD series compiles film clips with the most iconic songs, presenting the words at the bottom of the screen for kids to “sing along.” In 1996 Disney put out “Disney Classics: 60 Years of Musical Magic,” a four-volume set containing 100 of their best songs.  These songs span the decades, coming from both live-action and animated film, from the early days of Disney to the dawn of the Disney theme parks.

Here at Sporcle, we enjoy Disney’s film and song by publishing a wide array of Disney quizzes. We have a series of quizzes called Figure out the Disney Lyrics, in which Sporclers are given an empty quiz and asked to literally figure out the lyrics to a mystery song. This process is at first frustrating, and then suddenly magical. Once you get the trigger word, the one that suddenly flips the switch to the light bulb of your brain,  you, too, will experience this magic.

Check out these Disney song quizzes, or create one of your own!

If these songs get you in the Disney mood–Sporcle has a whole movie subcategory devoted to Disney. When you wish upon a star, you’ll find awesome Disney Sporcle quizzes.

## ‘Quite Presidential’ Trivia

Here at Sporcle, the US Presidents hold a special place in our hearts.

We associate presidents with different periods of our country’s history. And while history can sometimes be stuffy, the presidents are people. And people can’t be stuffy, right? Who doesn’t look with affection and pride at our Presidents’ pictures? Who doesn’t wish they’d heard Abraham Lincoln give his famous Gettysburg Address? If we only had working time machines…well, the possibilities would be endless.

The US Presidents quiz was the very first trivia material tackled by Sporcle. It’s a noble goal to memorize all the presidents, and every trivia-lover’s dream (at least in the United States.) And Sporcle can help you achieve it.

But more than simply encouraging Sporclers to know the Presidents, we think it’s interesting to see the stats. Which Presidents are the most guessed? What about the other Presidential trivia–for example where Presidents were born?

For your post-election reading pleasure, we compiled a few insights from our most popular Presidential quizzes:

US Presidents Quiz
This is Sporcle’s very first quiz, and it continues to be one of the most popular. The Presidents are typically taught in schools, but as the Sporcle stats show, not every moment in history is treated equally. George Washington is overwhelmingly most well-known, guessed by 98.3% of Sporclers. The top 5 is rounded out, however, by our most recent presidents, Bush, Obama, H.W. Bush, and Clinton (in that order.)

Next comes the historical bigwigs: Lincoln, Adams, Quincy Adams, Kennedy, Jefferson, and F.D.R. (It helps that some of these men share last names.) And then the pendulum shifts back to the recent past, with Nixon, Reagan, LBJ, Carter and Ford. At the bottom of the list, you’ll find our Presidents from the mid-late 1800’s, many who served one term or less, and didn’t seem to leave much imprint on our memories.

US Presidents by Birth State

Another way you may know presidents is if you’ve grown up in a state proud to be called home by one or more of our presidents. Most people, specifically 76.8% of Sporclers, know that Virginia was a hot spot for our early diplomats. While 60.4% of users knew that Ohio was the birthplace of presidents, you may be surprised to know that Ohio brought forth 7 presidents. And despite all the hype over Obama’s US citizenship, only 48% of people knew that Hawaii was the birthplace of our 44th president. Coming in under 20%? That’s Vermont, South Carolina, Iowa, and Nebraska. You may have thought Nebraska was only corn and football, but in fact it is the proud home of Gerald Ford.

US Presidents by Haiku

Regardless of whether you know what a haiku even is, this quiz is a great way to test your knowledge of presidential reputation and legacy. The most well-known? That would be Lincoln, who “preserved the Union.” Next comes Jefferson, who “wrote the Declaration” and Grant, a “General in the Civil War.” Almost half of the presidents included in this quiz were missed by more than 50% of Sporclers. Maybe it’s time to brush up on our history…

If you’re looking for motivation to memorize the Presidents, check out our badges. We currently have 29,168 users who’ve achieved the ‘Quite Presidential’ badge. If you’d like to earn the badge for yourself, just log-in to your account and get 100% on the US Presidents quiz. It will be time well-spent.

Don’t forget to check out the US Presidents subcategory for even more quizzes!

## Why Not Name Your Baby After Sporcle?

Did you know that Sporcle has 48 published baby names quizzes?

In fact, we have a whole subcategory devoted to baby names.  Which makes us (and many of you) ask the question: Why do Sporcle users love baby name quizzes so much?

What would happen if we chose our own names?

First off, there’s something personal about these quizzes. Most of us can’t personally identify with a movie celebrity quiz. And if you’re playing a country quiz, the closest you can get is guessing your own country, or remembering that amazing trip you made to Italy. But name quizzes. They’re different. Our own names are the answers. We, along with our friends, neighbors, and relatives have played a part in making these names as popular as they are. Name quizzes are democratic: there’s no favoritism, the numbers speak for themselves.

In the United States, names are tracked by the Social Security Administration. In the United Kingdom, names are tracked through the Office of National Statistics. And every place you go you’ll find hundreds of baby name books, promising to help parents find the perfect name.

When it comes to picking a name, a brief Google search shows that some of the most important things to consider are origin and meaning. On the other hand, the name must also fit well with a middle name, and balance with the last name. With so many specifications, it’s a good thing there are so many to choose from!

Another thing parents have to consider is what type of name they want their child to have. Do they want their child’s name to be cute, rare, or unusual? What about a cool or popular? Or there’s always the old-fashioned method of picking a name from the family.

In spite of the exhaustive process that goes into naming a child, the overall results of baby names do follow trends. Sorry to burst your bubble, but people are just not as creative as they like to think. Which is why there are perennially popular male and female names, girl named after plants, flowers, and gems, and even children who share names with Shakespeare characters.

Flowers and babies, they're just so darn cute together.

So…what’s your technique for succeeding on the baby names quizzes? Do you guess at random? Or do you have a careful method of scouring your brain’s database for all the people you’ve ever met, read about, or vaguely heard about? It’s usually easiest to come up with names from our own peer group. It becomes harder when you’ve finished the 1990s and you’re stuck trying to think of ‘A’ names for people in the 1880s.

It’s amazing how quickly your mind can blank during these games. And yet, apparently, the difficulty level is not enough to keep people away from the baby name quizzes. If you ever find yourself with a baby to name, remember to come to Sporcle for ideas. Or better yet, introduce the baby in your life to Sporcle.  The world needs more Sporclers, especially cute ones who look good with flowers.

## Sporcle Goes to the Animals

Look at that smile!

Editors note: This is another entry in our series of blog posts highlighting various Sporcle subcategories. Today we highlight Animal quizzes

We love animals. Here at Sporcle HQ, staff bring their dogs to work. Geese waddle by our front door. And we create Tumblrs devoted to pictures of puppies.

But what makes animals so lovable? We share the planet with these creatures, and so it seems right that we should want to get to know them. But more than just feeling like we should care about them, humans have taken a special interest in the animal world. We just hope all these feelings aren’t caused by parasites.

Parasites asides, a huge sign of our fondness for animals is the fact that we have zoos. We go to zoos because we feel there’s something wholesome about seeing animals and learning about them. According to the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), when people visits zoos, they feel more connected to nature and conservation efforts. It also helps that those animals we’re trying to protect are just so darn cute. (And of course, we wouldn’t want to add to the list of extinct animals)

Beyond satisfying our curiosity about the world, animals also help us learn. As children, some of the first things we learn are the names of animals and the sounds that they make. Sitting on our parents’ laps, gazing at picture books, we learn to “bark” and “quack” and “moo.” Making animal sounds is a way for children to begin learning how to talk, and babies can begin learning animal sounds as early as 10 months old.

Another reason we probably love animals so much is because they have personality. Just like us, they start as tiny, innocent baby animals, they go through the angry adolescent phase, and they grow old, just like us. Even reptiles and bugs have personality, though this can be hard to remember when all you can think about is trying not to get stung or bitten.

Pig + boots = personality

When our real interactions with animals make us question their lovableness, we can always depend on fictional animals to restore our good feelings. Where would the Lone Ranger be without Silver? Or The Mystery Gang without Scooby-Doo? Animals also play important roles in the titles of movies, books, operas and more. And pretty much every Disney movie depends on at least one animal to bring the story to life. Whether we care to admit it or not, animals are an important part of our lives.

If you really know your trivia, you should check out our animals quizzes and try to name the creatures from their animal eyes to their animal butts,  from their special road-crossing signs to their animal skeletons. We’re pretty much filled to the brim with animal facts right here on Sporcle.

## Animaniacs’ Countries of the World

There are quite a few discrepancies between this Animaniacs video and our Countries of the World quiz, as well as a quite a few country name changes, but we decided to post it anyway because it’s awesome.

## Sporcle the Musical

Some people dislike musicals. While this is hard to believe, it is nonetheless true. Admittedly, that’s kind of like saying that you don’t like sunshine, happiness, and kittens, but some people are disturbed enough to suggest that these things are actually unpleasant. Apparently some poor souls cannot understand the joys of singing in the rain, song and dance, or food (glorious food). Some in the scientific community are endeavoring to prove that the brains of those who don’t understand the joys of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens actually function differently than those of the regular populace. Music can transcend the individuals’ culture, language, and biases to bring all to a place of common understanding…unless, of course, you’re just too cool for them.

Musicals are designed to appeal to every possible aspect of the human personality. In our darkest moments, we may be channeling “No Place Like London” from Sweeney Todd, convinced the world is full of diabolical judges who will send us to Australia so that they can steal our wives. When we’re strapped for cash we may wish we were rich men like Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof. And who among  us have not been filled with angst while contemplating what we did for love, like Cassie in Chorus Line? Humans universally respond to music, and when set to a story it amplifies our understanding of characters, of the story, and ultimately of each other. You know if Lola in Damn Yankees would have just said, “Hey, we’re gonna date,” it wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful as her singing “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets…” Songs can convey complex emotions while engaging us in the moment in an intense and amplified way.

Throughout the history of musicals, certain names became synonymous with excellence. Sometimes, though, the most popular of teams were not necessarily the most prolific. Rodgers and Hammerstein, the incredibly well known duo that created Oklahoma! only ever did six large scale projects filmed for the big screen, of which The Sound of Music was the last. Sondheim had almost that many Tony Awards for Best Musical, winning one more Tony than a surely jealous Andrew Lloyd Webber. The history of musicals and musical theater is riddled with names that even those completely unconnected with theater would recognize.

But no matter how deep the traditions of musical theater run, new talent is rewarded and appreciated. Bye Bye Birdie, the musical which debuted Dick Van Dyke in his first musical comedy role, was never expected to be a success. With almost no big names, one critic said that the best thing to be said for it was that no one important was in it. After becoming one of the most popular musicals ever to hit Broadway, being nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning four, and being made into a hit movie, Bye Bye Birdie still stands as a testament to the creative power of individuals willing to take risks for their art form. The possibility of something new is part of what keeps us going back over and over again.

In this way, musical theater is the most open art form to the public. It doesn’t matter what a critic says nearly as much as it matter whether or not a show speaks to its audience. There have been critically well written flops, and hits written by nobodies. While it’s true that in the stories of our real lives we don’t burst into song when we’re being abandoned in Saigon, coming to terms with our green skin, or being forced to leave our village in Russia because of our ethnicity, some part of us strongly identifies with the characters that do.