Monday Trivia #67

As of 2000, California had the most, with 131. New York was second with 83. New Jersey is third with 52. After that: Florida, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, and Georgia had over ten but fewer than 50. North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Hawaii, Missouri, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Connecticut, New Mexico, West Virginia, Minneosta, South Carolina, Iowa, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Alabama, Utah, Delaware, and Oklahoma had more than one but ten or fewer. Nevada, Kansas, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Alaska, and Idaho had one. The remaining states had none. DC has at least one at present.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. The states with none (as of 2000) are Arkansas, Indiana, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Indiana would appear to be the outlier here.

    My first guess was commercial electrical power generation plants. But Alaska would need at least five, so far as I can tell, because of logistics and dispersement of (quasi-)urban areas. One wonders if the list were to be more accurate if one excludes governmentally-owned power plants.

    My second guess was landfills. But states with no landfills? And again, Alaska with only one? Can’t work; the cities are too remote from one another and Juneau and Ketchican in particular are isolated by geography to the point that they might as well be on islands. I briefly considered consulates or embassies, but DC having only one was an obvious flaw in that guess.

    So, how about buildings taller than (say) 40 stories? Could it be possible that California’s multiple urban centers, when combined, have more very tall buildings than New York City? That doesn’t seem right to me, but it’s just counter-intuitive enough that if I were told that as part of a bar bet, I might believe it and not go back to check it later.

    • I could show you a couple of landfills and power generation plants in Indiana. 😉

      I’m dubious about the tall buildings suggestion. Tall buildings are pretty rare in California, comparatively speaking. I wouldn’t be surprised if Manhattan itself has more tall buildings than all of California.

      But all I’m doing is crapping on your guesses and coming up with none of my own, so who am I to speak?

    • Demonstrably not. New Hampshire v Chaplinsky comes to mind.

  2. There meta-comments have never been at all helpful in finding the answer, but I won;t let that stop me.

    Overall, the ranking maps well to “containing large metropolitan areas”, the main outlier being New Jersey, so the ones in Joisey must be mostly associated with New York City (and perhaps a few with Philadelphia.)

    • I definitely think it’s going to be something that would be a characteristic of heavily urbanized areas.

      I’m going to go with “ZIP Codes with populations in excess of 40,000.”

      However, Indianapolis would presumably have several such ZIP Codes, so I suspect this guess is off the mark.

      My second guess is going to be incorporated areas with population density in excess of 2500 persons per square mile.

  3. Having Hawaii sandwiched between Arizona and Missouri should be indicative of something (assuming that the states are listed in order of whatever this quiz is about).

    My first thoughts were transportation related, but nothing I can think of fits the facts at hand.

    • They are in order, though some states have the same number. Arizona has 9, Hawaii and Missouri each have 8.

  4. A bit of a quibble…

    The fact that the information is accurate as of 2000 makes this really difficult. It means we essentially have to find the original source information (or a derivative there of) that Will used. A lot can change in 12 years, so even if we think we are on the right track, we might give up if we find more recent info that contradicts what is offered here, especially when we are looking at things that might or might not even exist in a state.

    • I recognize the inconvenience. If you look something up and it’s close, guess it. The numbers may be different now, but are unlikely to be radically so.

      I had to go with an authoritative source.

      • True, true, true. That quibble was probably not worth jotting down for something as fun as the Monday Trivias. It’s been a rough day. Sorry.

  5. Former elected officials who are serving time in federal prison.

    • You’d think Illinois would rank higher than sixth place if that were it. Illinois politicians are very competitive in this category.

  6. Tuesday Hint:

    This is a listing based on the number of this per 10,000,000 residents. It’s based on the 2000 census. The data for DC is not available, so it’s excluded. Obviously, most states don’t have 10,000,000 people, so the numbers reflect more than actually exist.

    Hawaii 66, New Jersey 62, Maryland 49, New York 44, California 39, Massachusetts 32, Washington 29, Florida 26, Delaware 26, Illinois 24, West Virginia 22 (!!!!!), New Mexico 22, Oregon 20, Georgia 18, Michigan 18, Mississippi 16, Arizona 18, Ohio 17, Texas 16. Colorado 16, Alaska 16, Connecticut 15, Pennsylvania 15, Missouri 14, Virginia 14, Louisiana 13, North Carolina 12, Tennessee 12, Iowa 10, Rhode Island 10, Utah 9, Minnesota 8, Idaho 8, South Carolina 7, Kentucky 7, Alabama 7, Nebraska 6, Oklahoma 6, Wisconsin 6, Nevada 5, and Kansas 4.

    • These numbers don’t match the order given in the original post.

      • This list is adjusted for population. California has more than Hawaii, but once you consider how many more people California has than Hawaii, Hawaii has a lot more than California.

        • Err, not “a lot more”… just more than the population might suggest if they were evenly distributed.

        • OK. That would have been clearer if I could read.

    • Urgh. This hint leaves me more confused than I was before. And I presume the number is still zero for Arkansas, Indiana, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Relatively densely-populated and multiple-urban-centered Indiana continues to throw me off.

      How about… Olympic medal holders?

  7. Your !!!!! for West Virginia makes me think of public buildings named after famous politicians.

    • Good thinking, but other direction. In retrospect, I should have said “West Virginia 22 (????)”

      Very much unexpected.

      • Ah, I see. There are still a handful of public buildings and roads that aren’t named for Senator Byrd. That is a surprise.

  8. Public monuments containing religious symbols (e.g., crosses as war memorials). Hawaii is high because of the residual cultural effects of the original religion.

    …??? That was a total guess, by the way.

  9. Thursday Hint: Regardless of who gets the right answer, Greginak gets half-credit. It involves houses of worship (more or less).

    • Imams? That can’t be right.

      Hindu temples? That would make more sense, but doesn’t seem to fit with the “sort of” part of your hint.

        • And 52 in New Jersey, a state that Wiki says is 1% Hindu. Weird.

          • That NJ is only 1% Hindu strikes me as questionable given the number of Hindus I come in contact with on a daily basis (and, FWIW, the temple nearest me has to be the biggest building in the area that is not a major corporate headquarters….the parking lot alone is comparable to that of a good-sized concert venue) . But even if it’s just 1%, that amounts to 90,000 people, or almost 2000 per congregation. That strikes me as a fairly plausible number.

          • I’d wager that Hindu is the lion’s share of the 4% “other” in that listing. There are around 300,000 Asian Indians in NJ (I don’t know whether this includes the sizable H1B Asian Indian population), which is roughly 3% of the population. Some of these are Muslims (though I doubt most NJ Muslims are of Indian extraction, especially given that there are around 100,000 Arabs in the state, and there are a good number of Black Muslims as well), and some are Sikhs, but the clear majority are Hindu.

    • The tubes show several synagogues in Arkansas and Indiana, and I presume the rest of the unnamed states have them too.

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