Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tracy Wolff's Guilty Little Pleasure

I’m a trivia nerd. Seriously, I’m a freak when it comes to useless—and useful—bits of knowledge. Trivial Pursuit is more than just a game to me, it’s a lifestyle and my husband laughs every time a new subject comes up and I spout off with some weird, obscure fact that almost nobody knows—nobody, anyway, but me and my oldest son, who is following in his mom’s footsteps.
I bring this up now because the flip side of the coin is that I love to research. I love, love, love to immerse myself in a new place or a new occupation or a new way of life and find out everything about it. Thank God my career as writer allows me to do just that, every time I pick a new setting or create a new character.
So, as I was writing my brand new erotic suspense, Tease Me, I immersed myself in the culture and history of New Orleans. Now, I lived in New Orleans for four years so I knew a fair bit about the city to begin with, but as I wrote Tease Me I learned a whole lot more. So, with no further ado, here are the top ten weird and wacky facts I learned about New Orleans while writing Tease Me.

10. Despite The Big Easy’s disturbingly high murder rate for much of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, there has only been one serial killer in its long and varied history: The Axeman of New Orleans, who terrorized the city for most of 1918 and part of 1919.
Southern Comfort whiskey was originally known as Cuff and Tails.
When Andrew Jackson and his men came to N’Awlins, they cleaned out the canals (which were filthy) and did away with malaria for nearly five years.
7. New Orleans hosted the first opera in North America—at the end of the 18th century.
6. Louisiana’s maximum security prison, Angola, hosts one of the largest Rodeo’s in the country every year. People come from all over the country to see it.
5. The architecture in the French Quarter is Spanish (I already knew that, but I think it’s cool).
4. The first president of LSU went to jail for embezzling from the university. They still have his picture hanging up—in his prison uniform.
3. In Louisiana, biting someone with your natural teeth is considered a simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth is considered an aggravated assault.
2. The airport code for New Orleans, MSY, is so noted because long before there was an airport there it was a plantation, where a pilot named John Moisant crashed his plane in the late 1800s and died. The area was later named Moisant Stock Yards after him and the name has stuck, even after it was turned into an international airport.
1. The famous bar, Pat O’Brien’s, was originally a speakeasy during Prohibition. Its most famous drink, the Hurricane, was invented to get rid of a surplus of rum during World War II.

So, lay it on me—what weird trivia facts do you know? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy Tease Me! Winners will be chosen from comments made yesterday, today and tomorrow J Have a great Tuesday!


Dara Young said...

In AL there is a law still on the books that dictates you must have two torch bearers run 6ft in front of your vehicle when driving at night.

Also, At the University of LA at Lafayette, the sorority houses are not live in houses b/c under the Napoleonic code more than 6 women living in a house with a female chaperon is considered a brothel. LSU got special dispensation for their sorority houses. :)

Tracy said...

I had no idea about the Andrew Jackson thing - very cool. And I always wondered why the airport code was MSY. I used to fly into NO to visit my sister in MS and I couldn't ever figure it out! lol

I have no useless bits of trivia.

Jessica said...

I love the two torch bearers, that law is still on the books in KY too!

Did you know the deer sleep with their eyes open, for the most part! Trivial enough?

Mary G said...

Hi Tracy - fun topic.
Between reading, Trivial Pursuit &
crossword puzzles, I know lots of totally useless info that is only good for game shows etc.
My fave is a Trivial Pursuit question. How long does it take light to travel from the sun to the earth? I know the sun is 93 million miles away & light travels 186,000 miles per second. In the middle of the game my friends let me use a calculator to come up with approx. 8 minutes.
Not going to include all the sports trivia from being a sports lover.

Mary G said...

Sorry - forgot to say don't enter me.

Anna Marie said...

New Orleans is home to the second statue dedicated to a woman. Margaret Haughery build two very successful business (a dairy and a bakery) in order to support and build orphanages in 1800's. She was administered to everyone regardless of race or religion.

Anna Marie said...

I should have said Second statue in the United States.

runner10 said...

Nachos is the food most craved by pregnant women. Interesting.

I would love to read TEASE ME!!

jeanette8042 said...

Loved the post and the trivia was fun to read.

My trivia is that ladybugs are not all female, there are maels too. Something random I looked up when arguing witha friend over it haha

Tracy Wolff/Tessa Adams said...

Wow, guys! The trivia is great.

Dyockman-- I knew about the brothel from my time living in New Orleans, but I had no idea about the torch bearers. Cool, thanks. Can't wait to work that in somewhere.

I know, Tracy. I always wondered too.

Ooh, Jessica, that's freaky. Although my sister-in-law sleeps with her eyes half open.

Awesome, Mary. I'm going to try that one out on my science loving kid this afternoon.

I didn't know that, Anna Marie. Next time I'm there, I'll have to look for the statue.

runner10-- really, nachos? I craved egg drop soup with the first, Rubio's fish tacos with the second and mashed potatoes with the third.

Jeanette, cool! Have you ever seen A Bug's Life? There's a guy ladybug in there that cracks me up every time I watch it.

Sullivan McPig said...

I love useless trivia!
We even have a society for the preservation of useless trivia with a couple of friends.

My contributions:
- A crocodile has only 4 facial expressions.
- You can housebreak a pig

Anonymous said...

LOL! Very interesting post!

Hmm... let's see. See! You probably already know this, but when we are born the only part of our body the never grows is our eyeballs. A newborns eyes balls the same size they will be when they are an adult.

lol That's the best I've got!



cait045 said...

I had no idea the French Courter was Spanish I just figured it was French. That shows how much I know.


KC Burn said...

The only thing I can think of (unusual, since I know my brain is full of useless knowledge) is when I was researching a book idea and discovered that high society women would sometimes use mouse pelts as eyebrows. Of course, I can't remember what historical period it was! 1800's Europe, I think.

And the aggravated assault with false teeth - hilarious! I'm imagining roving bands of toothless elderly, terrorizing towns with their vicious dentures.

s7anna said...

Okay I had to go Googling for this challenge...so here's what I've got :

*Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee.
*Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
*A zebra is white with black stripes.


marie said...

A pigs orgasm lasts 30 minutes-whew!

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

Unknown said...

Haha, great ones Tracy, I'm also a huge trivia buff :-D love these tiudbits of seemingly useless infos but which in my opinion give me something more.

Loved reading your compilation, how twisted it is that the architecture in the French district is Spanish?! lol

You want trivia? here are a few:

- the first one, when I googled trivia I learned that it means in Latin "a place where three ways meet", and it designated the three lower Artes Liberales, i.e. grammar, rhetoric and logic.

and a few I found only which are completely crazy!

- 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts.

- The Eiffel Tower in Paris weighs over 1000 elephants.

- Males, on average, think about sex every 7 seconds.

- Every 5 seconds a computer gets infected with a virus.

- Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

- If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds recieved in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Ok I'll stop now :-)

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