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Kids, we’ve reached the end of the incredible story, the story of how Ted met the mother. After 9 seasons, hundreds of MacLaren’s drinks, failed relationships, and slap bets, the mother is in sight. However, all is not lost. In a few short minutes you’ll be able to relive all the good times, and it will be like Barnabus Stinson and Robin Sparkles never left your television set. True Story!

Let’s start from the beginning, and no, we don’t mean of the story. The theme song, which is catchy, quick, and fun, has introduced the show over 200 times. Do you remember the lyrics? ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Theme Song Quiz

If you breezed through that like Marshall and “The Best Burger in New York”, you must be quite the fan. We respect that in a viewer, and Lilypad would be inclined to agree. Knowing true fans like you, we can bet old reruns won’t 100% fill that hole in your heart once the season finale hits.

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Greenland is not a Country

Editor’s Note: This post was written by hejman, a Sporcle moderator who occasionally graces us with amazing blog posts.

BREAKING NEWS: The citizens of Greenland are valiantly hanging on in their fight to remain dependent.1

The best way to get an error fixed on a Sporcle quiz is to use the ‘Report Game’ feature in the informational box at the bottom of the quiz. Those reports go directly to Sprorcle’s World Headquarters in Seattle, Washington where they are reviewed, around the clock, by a team of geographers, historians, underpaid interns, Pulitzer Prize winning writers, sleep-deprived volunteers and military trained dolphins armed with atomic weaponry2.

As a ‘moderator’ for the site, I get to see, and occasionally act upon, the reports that errors exist on quizzes. For the most part, the reports are made by well-intentioned quiz takers who see a genuine issue. Some, however, are made by those who are, shall we say, less well informed. Others appear to have been made by a well-trained parrot or, perhaps, a kitten walking across a keyboard3.

Nowhere is this clearer than on Sporcle’s flagship quiz- Countries of the World. The kind folks at Sporcle HQ prepared a spreadsheet of all the reports filed on the quiz between the end of June 2010 and the middle of March 2013. A great many of the reports relate to the Countries of the World version of the ‘Axis of Evil’- Kosovo, Taiwan and Palestine4.

Between the U.N. vote on November 29th, 2012 and Sporcle’s announcement on January 14th, 2013 that it was adding Palestine to the quiz, there were no fewer than 18 reports requesting that Palestine be added. In the two months following, there have been 14 more complaining about its addition5. Taiwan gets reported frequently enough that I’m becoming convinced that the Communist Party of China has hired someone solely to serve that function6.

The vast majority of reports are in relation to countries that simply aren’t and the largest number of those reports- more than Palestine before its addition, more than the constituent “countries” of the United Kingdom7, more even than any overseas territory is the heavily populated super-power of Greenland8.

In the last two months of 2012 alone, reports that Greenland was “missing” from the quiz came in at a rate of nearly one every nine days. During the entire reporting period, Greenland received three times as many reports as Scotland and five times as many reports as England and Wales. Maybe it’s because Greenland is so big9. Maybe it’s because it is so sparsely populated10. Maybe, it is because Greenland has had home rule since 1979 and self-government since 2009. But the island is not independent and does not handle its own foreign affairs, national defense or monetary policy.

In that way, Greenland is substantially similar to the situation of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Indeed the second and third most frequent reports come in relation to Scotland and England, with Wales and Northern Ireland just further down the list. The confusion in understandable and is, frankly, more semantic than substantial. When we Americans say “country” we mean a fully independent entity that is in charge of all aspects of its own governance and self defense. We seem to have some opposition to the concept of a Kingdom.11Several other frequently reported areas (many of them islands) are also overseas territories, states, constituent countries or otherwise part of a larger nation including places like St. Maarten, Curacao, Catalonia and French Guiana.

Other reports are somewhat more difficult to comprehend. Puerto Rico is a frequent reportee. The Falkland Islands have been reported as ‘missing’ as well12. Sarah Palin appears to have been taking Sporcle quizzes as Alaska has been reported as missing- multiple times13. Disputed states, like Western Sahara and North Cyprus are also reported from time to time.

Every few weeks someone will complain about a country that clearly is a country. I’m never sure whether they’re kidding or not. In September of 2010 there was the report, “Germany isn’t a real country14.” Then there was the December 2010 report, “Georgia is an American state, like Hawaii15.” People also sometimes miss countries that are actually there. The map gets pretty full by the end, so this is understandable when the countries are small, like Costa Rica, Belize and Monaco16 How a user missed Afghanistan17 is beyond my comprehension.

The best reports come from users who knew that a country was there, but just didn’t know how to spell it. You know, like Libia18. Or maybe Bosnia & Herzagovina19. Mama New Guinea was really upset that Papa New Ginuea20 wasn’t accepted. Togo and Tonga got together and had a baby- Tongo21. But when the name of the continent is in the name of the country it’s hard to fathom how the error occurs. But there it was, February 9, 2011- “It wouldn’t accept South Afica.”

I should hope not.

Footnotes:
  1. Actual Breaking News may be broken. []
  2. Reviewers may vary by geographic district. []
  3. I’m serious about the last one.  Sometimes the reports are just random letters: “sdfkjsdfjkrtuiy” []
  4. They’re not evil, but ‘Axis of Countries of Disputed International Status that Give Sporcle a Headache and Cause Lots of Quiz Reports’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it. []
  5. Two written in all upper-case letters- closed captioned for the hearing impaired. []
  6. Deputy Undersecretary of the Central Commission for Trolling. []
  7. Constituent countries of the United Kingdom are subject to change without notice of Scottish voting []
  8. Note: Population of Greenland may settle during shipping. []
  9. If it was a country, Greenland would be the 12th largest nation in the world. []
  10. Greenland is 1,828 times larger than the Ohio county I live in, but my county has more than three times the population and we’re considered “rural.” []
  11. See, generally, Independence, Declaration of, T. Jefferson, 1776. []
  12. What, you don’t remember the 1982 headlines in which the bold citizens of the Falkland Islands, armed only with fishing poles and rabid sheep repelled the combined oppressive forces of the Argentine military junta and the Iron Lady in order to maintain their self-governing independence?  Me neither. []
  13. I kid. For tonight’s performance, the role of Sarah Palin will be played by a grizzly bear with a Big Gulp. []
  14. Erich Honecker playing from the grave? []
  15. To my knowledge no has ever complained that “Turkey is a bird and a food, not a country.” []
  16. Reports from August 2012, October 2012 and January 2013, respectively. []
  17. Report from June 2012. []
  18. Hey, there are 31 ways to spell Gadaffi.  Quiz report September 2010.  There was also a report on Lybia in January of 2013. []
  19. June 2012. []
  20. June 2011. []
  21. June 2012. []

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey through LOTR Quizzes

We don’t know about you, but here at Sporcle HQ, we’re pretty hyped about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. For weeks we’ve been tracking down awesome Lord of the Rings and Hobbit quizzes, slyly sharing our excitement through Hobbit-themed Facebook posts, and maybe even sneaking in a second breakfast.

While we can’t share any exclusive, behind-the-scenes interviews, or give you minute-by-minute updates counting down to the premiere, we do have…(drum roll)…quizzes!

Here are some of our favorite LOTR and Hobbit-themed quizzes, along some brief commentary:

Meals for Hobbits: If it really is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, than why not have two of them? Those hobbits really seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to meal appreciation.

The Hobbit’ Dwarves: Not to be confused with Snow White and her seven dwarfs, these thirteen dwarves have names that rhyme!  Even if you don’t get many right, you can still have fun saying their names once the time’s up.

Middle-Earth Characters by Father: On this quiz, it’s time to give credit where credit is due. Dads can get us wrapped up in some crazy adventures. Like shopping for tools at Sears, or fighting Smeagol. Each is equally dangerous.

LOTR vs Harry Potter:  We know, we know. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are completely different and shouldn’t be compared. But, with all these similarities, who can really blame us? We’re trivia people, this is the kind of thing that keeps us up at night.

Name to Name: This quiz is a way to test your knowledge of names AND plot. Or you could see it as a complex refresher of your favorite characters and plot points. Either way, this quiz is challenging but satisfying.

Who Held the Ring?: Another character/plot quiz. Though it may seem simple, the extra info provided helps clarify any lingering questions you may have.

LOTR or IKEA?:  Until the dawn of the quiz, you probably did not realize how LOTR characters’ names are eerily similar to IKEA Furniture Lines. Perhaps there’s a deeper connection, hidden in the secrets of Middle Earth. We’re hoping there’s a least a laugh in there somewhere.

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!

 

Figure out the Disney Lyrics Disney Songs
Figure out the Disney Lyrics II A Fifth of Disney
Figure out the Disney Lyrics III Follow that Lyric: Disney Songs 
Figure out the Disney Lyrics IV  Questions from Disney 
Figure out the Disney Lyrics V  Disney Mashups Quiz

 

 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.

The Sporcle Monarchy

Here’s another entry in our series of blog posts highlighting the many subcategories on Sporcle. Today, we’re talking about Monarchy.

As the world entered the modern age, many nations started to leave behind notions of a powerful, governing monarchy. Some nations abolished their monarchies completely,  evolving into entirely new forms of government. Nations in the Western world who ended up maintaining their monarchies usually placed them in the position of figureheads of the state, little more. In this age of dwindling successions, it’s easy to forget that during most of the past two-thousand years the world was governed by those born into leadership, not those elected by the people. A few ruling families set the agenda for at least a millennium. No wonder they went crazy.

Exacerbating the problem was the constant intermarriage and shallow gene pool among those with noble blood. Consequently, every family had its fair share ‘interesting’ characters. Of the French royals alone, some were schizophrenic, some sadists, and some just severely handicapped from all that inbreeding. Carlos II of the Spanish royal family attributed his unfortunate condition to being bewitched. He was born with a deformed body and a face so long and curved that he could not actually close his mouth to eat. His ancestor Juana the Mad of Castile took her husband Phillipe the Handsome with her on a tour of Spain long after he had died, and refused to part with his body. (One wonders where she got her name…)

It would be difficult as a royal of Europe to find a noble to marry to whom you were not related. Just in the past 200 years, the Danish royal family married into royalty or ascended the throne in five separate European nations. The English royals are also a great example of this: having married into almost every house in Europe. The long and fascinating history of the British royals includes war, conquest, treaties,  strange baby names, multiple marriages, and religious tensions. While Shakespeare wrote about many of the English kings, but as a Tudor monarch was still on the throne when he was writing it was necessary to speak with caution. (One doesn’t survive through the reign of a queen nicknamed “Bloody” and not learn a thing or two about keeping your mouth shut.)

With such a long and strange history, we’ve just scraped the surface of amazing Monarchy trivia. If you noticed any great Monarchy quizzes we haven’t featured on Sporcle, please be sure to let us know in the comments.