The Common Facts Quiz

Jonnathan Chadwick

Image: Witthaya Prasongsin / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Ignorance might be bliss, but knowing a bunch of common facts can make your life easier. You never know when you'll need to know how to say "hello" in French or calculate a dinner tip or find the North Star or plan some vacation travel. When the time comes to get things done, you need to know what you're doing. You don't need to know the nitty-gritty specifics, but you do need to know the common basics. Let's say you want to budget your finances, you need to know the APR you're paying on your credit cards. But first you need to know what APR means. That's the basic.

The more you know, the more you know, and the more you can do. It never hurts to have an arsenal of common facts at your disposal whenever they're needed. Do you know how to use Roman numerals or convert Fahrenheit to Celsius or miles to kilometers? Those might be some things you need to know and it's a good time to start learning them. Here are some common facts to prime your mind for deeper learning. Once you can ace this quiz, you're in a perfect position to dig deeper, but first you need to know these common facts.

What is the name of the boy wizard who attends school at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

Harry Potter burst onto the scene in 1997 as the protagonist of J.K. Rowling's fantasy book series. The novels follow the young wizard as he discovers that he's a wizard, learns how to use his powers and avenges those who have wronged him.

The United Nations recognizes 195 countries in the world. What is the capital of France?

The capital of France is Paris and it is one of the most populous cities in all of Europe. Upwards of 40 million people visit the the area each year because of its plethora of historic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame.

Walt Disney has been the biggest name in entertainment for decades. Who is the mascot of the Walt Disney Company?

Walt Disney created the Walt Disney Company in 1923 and by 1928 Mickey Mouse was born. Mickey serves as the company's mascot and is its most popular character. His girlfriend is Minnie Mouse, his dog is Pluto, and his best friends are Donald Duck and Goofy.

What international spy likes his martinis shaken, not stirred?

James Bond is probably the most popular fictionaly spy in the world and he was created in 1953 by Ian Fleming. Bond appeared in a dozen novels and other short stories that have been adapted into several films that have grossed more than $7 billion worldwide.

It is impossible to know how many acronyms have been invented in the history of language. What does FAFSA stand for?

Any prospective graduate or undergraduate who seeks government financial aid to pay for schooling will have to fill out FAFSA forms in order to apply. The forms are used to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid.

The world is filled with alphabet soup. What does APR stand for?

Most credit cards offer 0% APR to consumers for the first year or so and then a variable rate that fluctuates a few percent after that. If your APR is 25%, you will pay 25% interest on your credit card balance over the course of a year,

Rick and Mike have no idea where ________ car is.

Rick and Mike have no idea where their car is, which is why you should always take a note or pic of where you park your car when you park. There is nothing worse than walking around one-way streets at 2 a.m. trying to remember where you parked.

NFL Super Bowls are counted using Roman numerals. How do you express the number 25 in Roman numerals?

Roman numerals originated in Ancient Rome and have been used ever since. Roman numerals are broken down by seven numbers I (1), V (5), X (10), L (50), C (100), D (500) and M (1,000). Every number can be expressed with a combination of those letters.

What does ISP stand for?

The acronym ISP stands for Internet service provider and the service creates access to the Internet among other things. Internet service providers are the ones who control the speed on the Internet, and are at the center of the Net Neutrality debate.

What is the name of the clown who is friends with Mayor McCheese and the Hamburglar?

Ronald McDonald first appeared in 1963 as the mascot for McDonald's and has been portrayed by several actors. His statues are found at countless McDonald's restaurants around the world and he's been at the center of plenty of controversy.

If you have two dimes, two nickels, two quarters and two pennies, how much money do you have?

A quarter is worth 25 cents and two of them equals 50 cents. A dime is worth 10 cents and two of them is worth 20 cents. A nickel is worth five cents and two of them is worth 10 cents. And a penny is worth one cent, and two of them is worth two cents. 50 + 20 +10 + 2 = 82.

Who is the mustachioed Italian plumber that resides in Mushroom Kingdom and lives to rescue Princess Peach?

Nintendo is one of the largest video game companies in the world and actually started back in 1889 by selling playing cards. In 1981 Mario made his debut and today he is known as the company's mascot. He has appeared in more than 200 Nintendo games.

There are more than 2 billion smartphone users in the world. Who created the Apple iPhone?

The Apple iPhone was released in 2007 and it was the brainchild of Steve Jobs while he worked at Apple. More than 1 billion iPhones have been sold since its release and it revolutionized the smartphone industry.

There are more than 6,500 languages spoken in the world. What does "arrivederci" mean?

Arrivederci is Italian for "see you later." It pretty much translates to "until we meet again," and is usually used among people who are familiar with each other. If you wanted to bid farewell to a stranger, a simple "ciao" would be fine.

Benjamin Franklin is on the face of the one-hundred dollar bill. How much does a $100 bill weigh?

All American currency bills, regardless of denomination, weigh one gram. Each bill is just longer than six inches and more than 2.6 inches wide, and is made of 75% cotton and 25%n linen. The average life span of a dollar bill is less than two years.

Countless musicians and artists have been taken from Earth too early. What Jamaican reggae artist died of skin cancer at age 36?

Bob Marley was not just one of the most popular reggae artists ever but one of the most popular music artists of all time. He was born and lived in Jamaica but passed away at the University of Miami hospital in Florida at the age 36.

Asia is made up of 48 countries. What is the capital of Thailand?

Bangkok is the most populous city in Thailand with more than 8 million residents and is known for its sacred temples and risque nightlife. The city has been ranked the No. 1 tourist destination in the world and is one of Asia's most important cities.

Which one of these villains is not a nemesis of Batman?

Robin's real name is Dick Grayson and he is a fictional superhero who first appeared in DC Comics in 1940. He is not one of Batman's enemies and is commonly known as Batman's sidekick. The two appeared together in the 1997 film, "Batman and Robin."

The day before today is known as yesterday. What is the day after today known as?

The word "morrow" is an archaic word that defines the following day. You can remember how to spell tomorrow by breaking it into two words: to and morrow. Then just remember there are two r's and you're good to go.

Anyone in the world is just a phone call away. What is the international telephone code for America?

In order to make an international phone call you need to know the access code for the country you are calling. The access code for the United States is easy to remember because it is +1. You can't make an international call without dialing the code first.

What is another word for strange, uncanny or abnormal?

Weird is an adjective that describes unusual things and is a synonym for uncanny, eerie or strange. The "i before e" rule doesn't work top spell this word, making it one of the most misspelled words in the English language.

The key to being a good dancer is having a good sense of what?

A rhythm is a noun that defines a regular pattern of movement or sound. Good music and good dancers have good rhythm. The word is commonly misspelled because of its silent "h" and an invisible "uh" sound between the "th" and "m."

Hollywood is one of the most unique industries on the planet. Who directed 'Pulp Fiction,' 'Django Unchained' and 'Reservoir Dogs'?

Quentin Tarantino first arrived in Hollywood with his script for "From Dusk till Dawn," and he wrote and directed "Reservoir Dogs" shortly after. Two years later he dropped "Pulp Fiction," which is considered his masterpiece.

How long does it take for the Earth to complete one full rotation on its axis?

The Earth is both orbiting the Sun and spinning on its axis at the same time. It takes just under 24 hours for the Earth to spin one full rotation on its axis. One day is equivalent to 24 hours. It takes 365 days for the Earth to fully orbit the Sun.

There are seven continents on Earth. What continent is the biggest?

There are seven continents on the planet and Asia is the biggest one. Asia and Europe are the only two continents that aren't technically islands, so some countries sit in both Europe and Asia, depending on how you draw the border.

Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest companies in the world. Which one of these companies is not owned by Facebook?

Facebook is notorious for buying out its competitors. In 2012 the company purchased Instagram for $1 billion, and in 2014 the company bought WhatsApp for $4 billion. Oculus is a virtual reality firm started by a former military defense company owner.

Ashley wants to ________ down because she's tired.

People lie down. People lay things down. People confuse the use of lie and lay all the time but you just need to remember that your sentence needs a direct object to use the word "lay." The rules change when dealing with different tenses.

Which of these companies owns Youtube?

Youtube was created by former PayPal employees in 2005 and in 2006 Google purchased it for $1.65 billion. The purchase turned out to be a great acquisition as Youtube itself is the second most popular search engine in the world. Google is the first.

What is the longest river in the world?

The Nile River is more than 4,000 miles long and is one of the most important river systems in the world. More than 95% of Egypt depends on water from the River and it flows through nine African countries.

New York City, London and Tokyo are three of the most important cities in the world, but what city is the Birthplace of Democracy?

The Greek city-state of Polis in Athens was considered to be the first ever democracy in the world. Democracy has been practiced in the area since the sixth century BC, and today Athens is known as the Birthplace of Democracy.

The 1960s were known for an explosion of music and art. What British rock band included John Lennon and Paul McCartney?

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the lead songwriters for the Beatles and had been creating music together for years before the group formed in 1960. By 1970 the group was disbanded but its legacy has lived on ever since.

Hip-hop is the most popular music genre in America. Which of these rappers has sold the most albums?

Eminem is the best-selling rapper of all time with more than 220 million claimed sales. Rihanna, who also creates R&B and pop music, can be considered the best-selling hip hop artist of all time with close to 250 million claimed sales.

Mount Everest in the Himalayas is the highest mountain in the world. How tall is Mt. Everest?

Mount Everest is 29,029 feet tall and is the highest mountain above sea level in the world. It is commonly considered the tallest mountain in the world, because the real tallest mountain in the world is only 13,000 feet above sea level and 20,000 feet below sea level.

Facebook and Twitter are two of the world's most popular social networks. Who is the founder of Twitter?

Jack Dorsey and three others created Twitter in 2006 and by 2012 the service had more than 100 million registered users. The service functions as a news and social wire and is the home to debates and chatter about everything under the Sun.

About 90% of home buyers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. What is the monthly cost to pay off $720,000 in 30 years?

If you take $720,000 and divide it by 30, it equals $24,000. That means you need to pay $24,000 a year for 30 years to pay off the balance. There are 12 months in a year, so $24,000 divided by 12 equals $2,000 a month.

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