What’s next for Trivia Happy…featuring Norbert Pearlroth, a short hiatus, and a marvelously vague promise

Do you know the story of Norbert Pearlroth?

For the past six months, we’ve made it our mission to chronicle life’s most fascinating minutiae in every discipline, from cheesy 80s cartoons to opera. And along the way, we found a bit of inspiration, too.

We’ll be on hiatus for a couple of months as we embark on a new project (details will come later). When we come back, you’ll find something with hints of our current site, but better in every way. We’ve already nibbled at the edges of interesting things, and in a couple of months, we’re going to chomp down and really get started.

The best way to keep in touch? Follow us via the social links above, or follow me, Phil Edwards, on Twitter. If you like what you’ve read here, you’ll love what’s coming next. 2015 is going to be great.

Norbert Pearlroth


So who was Norbert Pearlroth? The picture at the top of this page shows a reading room in the New York Public Library, and that’s where Mr. Pearlroth spent his life as the chief researcher for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. While Robert Ripley traveled the world to research his incredible column, Pearlroth worked in the New York Public Library, finding facts that were hidden in plain view.

And that’s been inspiration for my project at Trivia Happy. That’s not to suggest that I’ve reached Pearlroth’s brilliance—he was a savant who knew 14 languages, compiled some of the wackiest facts in history, and managed to do it all in a pre-digitized age. It’s tough to find an analogy that expresses how amazing he was, but if I could make a layup, Pearlroth could dunk while wearing cement shoes.

That said, I like to think that we have similar philosophies. There’s incredible information hidden in the world’s forgotten archives, and dusty books don’t only make you sneeze—they can surprise you, too. Pearlroth was also an inspiration in less high-minded ways. He told the Chicago Tribune that he worked at the furious pace of a blogger, turning in 24 items a week, and it’s not a stretch to say that the clickbait headlines we’ve written owe a lot to the extreme believe-it-or-nots that Ripley and Pearlroth invented.

Most of all, he said one thing that will resonate with anyone reading this site.

Curiosity is a fundamental human trait.

We’ll see you soon.

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