Tag Archives: Sporcle

Nerdite: Guaranteed To Improve Your Love Life And Your Math Scores

Read this blog. It's full of your recommended daily intake of nerdite; a mineral scientifically proven to improve your love life and your math scores. True story.

A while back I wrote about Sporcle, a little webpage that contains a slew of excellent trivia type puzzles. And I may have mentioned that I loved the webpage, especially the puzzles related to nerdery; see for example Can You Name The Elements Of The Periodic Table, or Can You Name All The Presidents Of The United States.

Well, it turns out that my little post caught the attention of someone who works for Sporcle. To that end, about a month or so ago a comment appeared on the same post that mentioned Sporcle. The comment read as follows:

Hi ,

######### from Sporcle here.

I came across a recent blog post you wrote that mentioned Sporcle http://consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/what-exactly-is-a-sporcle/.

In the coming weeks we are going to launch a “Guest Blogger” feature on the Sporcle blog http://www.sporcle.com/blog/ .

I am contacting you to see if you would be interested in being a guest blogger for this new feature.

Please let me know if you might be interested in talking about this idea in more detail.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Public Relations Associate
Sporcle, Inc.


* Note – contact information redacted by Consumed By Wanderlust.

At first I thought it might have been a trick. I mean, could someone at Sporcle really be contacting me about writing for their blog? After a little investigation and some emails back and forth, I realized that this was the real deal. And I may have agreed to write for them. Even better, I may or may not be the first guest blogger in a series of guest bloggers to write for them. And I may or may not have already written something. And it may or may not already be posted on the Sporcle Blog. And by may or may not, I clearly mean that it’s posted already!

So if you are interested in reading that post too, click here. You should be warned however, Sporcle is addictive. But in the best way possible. Also, by reading the blog and playing the games, you are almost guaranteed to exceed your recommended daily dosage of nerdite.

Nerd on, my friends. Nerd on.

Holy Mole-y

Happy International Year of Chemistry all y'all

Not being strictly a math & stat nerd, I also feel the need to celebrate National Mole Day, which just happens to fall on October 23rd every single year. Why October 23? Well, a mole represents a specific number of atoms or molecules in a set unit of mass; that number is known as Avogadro’s number and is approximately 6.0221415*10^23. And as you can see, October 23, or 10/23 in mm/dd format represent the base and power of Avogadro’s number.

How does one celebrate Mole Day? I celebrate by playing Sporcle‘s ‘Can You Name The Elements Of The Periodic Table‘ quiz.  How many of the elements can you name?  Thanks to practice, I can name all of them in about 7 to 8 minutes. I mentioned I’m a nerd, right?

Of course, whenever I play, I find that the last few always have me stumped. I’ll have to sit for a while trying to remember them, but usually/eventually they come to me. And every time I finish I feel just a little bit nerdier than the last.

I remember some of the elements simply because I like the sound of their names. Others I have associated with various people, places, etc. For example, I remember Dubnium (Db) and Hafnium (Hf) by thinking of George ‘Dubya’ Bush, who may or may not have been a “Haf”-wit. Samarium (Sm) comes to me by thinking about the Good Samaritan. And whenever I get stuck on Cadmium (Cd), I somehow think of a Caramilk bar and remember it. Weird? Maybe. But it works. Also, I don’t normally have to think about the first 20 or so as I was required to memorize them when I was in high school – but I always loved that the sequence of Boron (B), Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N) and Oxygen (O) always, always, always made me think of bacon.

My shiny new Sporcle results

For complete nerd disclosure, I feel that I should also mention that I find a few elements particularly awesome.  Their awesomeness is completely subjective on my part.  That is, I like them because I think they have some pretty wicked awesome sounding names.  For example:

The first three of these elements are part of the Lanthanides, while the last is part of the Actinides.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a couple of comics that I think are rather hilarious. Happy Mole Day all y’all.

Cyanide & Happiness #2334

What Exactly Is A Sporcle?

The other day I was looking over my WordPress statistics and noticed that someone (I have no idea who) had linked to my page via Sporcle. Clicking the link, I was brought to the following page, and I couldn’t help but smile.

Before I go on, perhaps I should tell you a little bit about Sporcle. Sporcle, for those unaware, is a website that was created some time ago (I don’t know when exactly). The point was to provide users with a list of random timed quizzes. The topics for the quizzes range from geography, to science, to art and history, television, movies, awards, etc. There really are no limits to what the quiz can be about.

I was introduced to Sporcle sometime during my Ph.D., and let me tell you it offered up many countless hours of stress relief and distraction from wavelets, conditionally autoregressive random effects, Bayesian analysis, and spatial correlation. Of course, I guess you really have to be a bit of a nerd to want to take time away from Ph.D.’ing to attempt random timed trivia based quizzes. Thankfully, we all know that I am such a nerd.

Some of my favourite sporcle quizzes include

So, back to the point at hand – someone had linked to my blog via Sporcle. At first I thought this might have been some sort of spam related linkage, so I clicked on the quiz. I recognized the topic area immediately and was quite excited to think that my List-o-Nerdidays might have somehow guided the creation of this particular quiz. And then I saw the source area on the page – that is, where the author of the quiz (who is listed as druhutch) obtained the information that fed the quiz. I may have squeed a little. This was proof positive that druhutch had in fact used my list to inform the questions on his/her quiz. W00t!

In other news, I also thoroughly enjoyed the following quote which they list as a disclaimer at the beginning of the quiz.

“I of course mean ‘geek’ in the most AFFECTIONATE way possible. I am a geek myself. I mean the term in a *loving* way. (please don’t somehow make my computer explode with your nerd magic).” druhutch.

The thought of nerd magic being used to make someone’s computer explode makes me giggle.