Hello dear readers and fans of the Random Trivia Generator and welcome to another monthly update and the first of 2021. Happy New Year, by the way! The purpose of these posts is to provide a peek behind the curtain and all the action that takes place to bring the tens to thousands of trivia questions to users.
First off, what a year 2020 was. I hope you were all safe and continue to be safe. I hope 2021 treats us all better so that soon we can huddle in our favorite pub and enjoy some in-person trivia. Boy, do I miss my work team. We made it work with Teams and Zoom but it just isn’t the same.
We received tons of new questions, corrections and suggestions in 2020. Thank you all. There was one especially dedicated user who sent us thousands of new questions. Thanks, Marty!
As of this post, the total question count is 24,566 unique trivia questions.
I want to thank everyone who sent in questions and corrections.
We rolled out an error reporting link which has now been used thousands of times. Thankfully the overwhelming majority of submissions were grammar and spelling corrections which were all addressed. Since we are humans and are bound to make mistakes, we did have to fix a few questions/answers. Again, thank you all for your submissions.
We reached out for help to implement a few new features based on user suggestions. We are still in the process of procuring quotes but as soon as everyone is back from the holidays, and we have those quotes in hand, we will be starting work on new features. Watch out for those.
For now, have a great 2021.
Time flies when you are quarantining yourself with kids and still trying to work a regular day. Where we live, there are still many restrictions on what activities we can do. Golf, fortunately, is one of those outdoor activities that saw the least government restrictions. Unfortunately, because of the rise in interest (also, lack of any other outdoor activities), finding a course that wasn’t booked for months became difficult. Here is a trivia round while I am waiting my turn.
1. How many PGA Tours did Ben Hogan win in his career?
2. What is the standard diameter of the hole?
11 cm or 4.25 inches
3. Which type of golf club is subdivided into mallet, peripheral weighted and blade styles?
4. What device is used to measure the speed of a golf course putting green?
5. Where did the modern game of golf originate?
6. The world’s oldest tournament, “The Open Championship” is also known as what?
The Open or the British Open
7. A lost ball results in a penalty of how many strokes?
8. During a stipulated round, how many clubs are allowed in a player’s bag?
9. The number of strokes a skilled golfer is expected to need to complete a hole is referred to as what?
10. The term is used to refer to a score of four strokes under par?
Content and image credit: The Left Rough
Howdy users. We are back with another set of random responses. This edition is an interesting one. A user submitted the following question:
“question”: “Do you guys offer api integration?”
Great question, V. We do not at the moment but this has been on our list of features for a few years. The issue is that we are not programmers so things take a bit of time while we figure out how to program various features. If you know someone interested in helping, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was recently going through user submissions (a big “thank you” to all who contribute by the way!) when I came across the following question/answer:
“question”: “Bu nasıl işliyor?”
According to Google Translate, the language above is Turkish and translates to:
“question”: “How does this work?”
“answer”: “Let’s see”
This inspired me to write a brief blog post on what happens with submissions, error reports, and e-mails.
New trivia submissions
When a user contributes a question/answer, the submission is entered into a temporary, private database which requires approval before the question is added to the public database for all users to see. I have not enabled alerts so I usually set aside some time each week to check the database and approve the submissions. The great thing about trivia lovers is that the submission is already in a great format so all I need to do is a bit of research to verify the question/answer before approving it. Some questions require a bit of editing, such as formatting or spelling. Another group are the questions with incorrect answers, which get updated and approved. I have nothing against incorrect answers because they go through a verification process and once fixed, they are a great addition to the database. And there is the last group of questions which are more posed as corrections. I don’t mind those either and treat them all very seriously.
Error Reports and E-mails
Both of these end up in my inbox and I get an alert on my cell phone. If I am not busy with work, or the family, I try to respond to those as quickly as I can.
So that’s it – everything is still manually done by humans. Although it would be awesome if there is some bulletproof AI that writes new trivia, verifies submissions and fixes existing errors. If you know something like this, or can do this, let me know!
This post is a collection if interesting submissions I came across that I couldn’t approve, but also couldn’t delete. All of these were very interesting but I just couldn’t verify them…so if one of these is yours, or if you know what the author meant to ask, please let me know. I would hate to not add these to the database. But they need a bit of editing.
“question”: “What two things do the years 1988, 1996 and 2016 have in common?”
“answer”: “Summer Olympics and U.S. Presidential Elections”
While this isn’t incorrect, I think there is more to this question…unless I am overthinking it. The Summer Olympics and U.S. Presidential Elections normally coincide so this applies to a whole bunch of dates. I also looked into other things that are common…like locations where these are held, top performing nations, etc. It was an interesting rabbit hole to fall into but I am not sure this question is ready yet. If you are the person who submitted this, get in touch and let me know what you meant…because I just might be overthinking this.
We also received an interesting form of correction to the answer for the question:
“The first atomic bomb test split an atom of what fissionable element?”
The original answer was “Plutonium” but the submitted the correction was not a straight forward one. The user submitted a link to Google search results. The funny thing about Google is that the results are rather personalized and the algorithm tries to blow up the answer it thinks you are searching for. For me, using the account I use to research and write trivia, the bold answer at the top of the search results was “Plutonium” but when I searched Incognito in Chrome, and through a couple of other devices and accounts I have, the answers were coming up as “Uranium”, “Uranium-235” and “Plutonium”. I find that fascinating and shows that the answer shouldn’t be taken blindly based on the top search result and that some additional reading is required and (but who am I to judge since I often do this myself).
The truth is that when you search “atomic bomb” you will find that they could be made using either uranium or plutonium, which explains the mix of answers. Some articles also provide a lot of additional information on the elements and the search algorithm is not capable of identifying some specifics. The first atomic bomb test, codenamed “Trinity”, used plutonium. But that answer is not near the top of any of the search results and requires some digging. Therefore, we stand by our original answer.
Keep the corrections and submission coming. We love going through them and learning new things and, of course, when we are wrong.