We’ve all been there. You’re all set to impress your date but when the moment comes to speak, your mind goes blank. Having some general knowledge in the locker could be the perfect remedy for even the worst cases of brain freeze. Here’s our venue-by-venue breakdown of top trivia to kick start a dream date. Just don’t recite them word-for-word or you’ll end up sounding even more nervous!
At the park
1. Apparently, for IT boffins, the term picnic doesn’t refer to what we’re doing. Instead it stands for Problem in Chair, Not in Computer. Helpdesk workers use the term when they are called upon to fix something caused entirely by the user’s own incompetence.
2. The world’s biggest ‘city’ park is 96 times the size of London’s Hyde Park. Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, South Africa, covers a huge 60,070 acres.
3. In the 18th Century it was fashionable for wealthy aristocrats to hire hermits to live on their land. The eccentric loners – who slept in caves and follies at night – were intended to amuse guests.
At the nightclub
1. Apparently we’re more attracted to people who dance well because people with symmetrical bodies are better dancers, and symmetry often means beauty.
2. If you want to see better in the dark, try using your peripheral vision. By looking indirectly at something, you use more of the eyes’ rod cells. Unlike cone cells which are better at colour detection, rod cells are used for low light and detecting movement.
3. Did you know humans are the only animals capable of dancing to music? Other creatures engage in the odd spot of silent dancing. For example the Blue-footed Booby and Whooping Crane strut their stuff when courting. And even the humble bee dances to inform other bees about a good source of pollen. But no other animals bop the beat like we do.
In a restaurant
1. One of the most popular dishes in Britain is the Chicken Tikka Masala. The creamy, orange-coloured curry accounts for one in seven curries in the UK and was hailed as ‘a true British national dish’ by former foreign secretary Robin Cook.
2. If you win the lottery you might want to take your date to the Aragawa in Tokyo – the most expensive restaurant in the world. A meal for two in this exclusive establishment will set you back around £500. The reason for the hefty prices is the menu of steaks made from Kobe beef. The meat comes from Wagyu cows which are hand fed, given sake to drink and massaged every day to produce the most tender, juicy beef in the world.
3. If you leave chopsticks pointing straight up from a bowl of food you could unwittingly cause offence. The gesture signals an offering to the deceased in East Asian cultures.
At the cinema
1. In Latvia, it was reported that a man was shot dead for eating his popcorn too loudly during a screening of Black Swan.
2. Some cinemas have installed night vision cameras to spot film pirates recording the screening. Why not see if you and your date can spot them? Also did you know that the IMAX have scanners at the door to detect camera equipment?
3. Radio City Music Hall in New York can seat 5,933. The largest cinema by screen size is the LG IMAX Theatre in Sydney, Australia. The screen is approximately eight storeys high and covers an area of more than 1,015 square metres – roughly the size of an Olympic swimming pool.