Monday Trivia #119 [Mo Wins!]

This week’s trivia list is comprised of: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

The order is alphabetical. These states have something – or a certain type of something – that the other states do not.

Will Truman

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


  1. When I entered the list of states into the search bar, the first hit was a web-site on state breast-feeding laws. Now the list is much larger then your list; but I thought you’d be intrigued; there’s nothing in my search patterns that would suggest such weighting, either.

  2. My first guess was roller coasters. But it looks like those are a lot more widespread than I thought.

    • Not Indiana, so far as I know (and I’d probably know, because my Tea Party mom would have whined about it).

      • Just from memory — so subject to failure — but doesn’t the NW corner of Indiana fall under some Chicago-area restrictions? After thinking about it a bit longer, I think there are several states besides those on Will’s list that have boutique requirements for at least a portion of the state for a portion of the year.

        • NW Indiana does stay on Central time with Chicago, but as far as I know, that’s all.

          • The gas is different. And much cheaper generally, though with more variance in price.
            The tolls can be paid on cc in Indiana. Cash only in Ill.
            Indiana taxes vehicles more. A lot of Ill. tags in Ind.

            The pizza is different too. The neighborhoods from NW to Chicago tend to occupy a bigger footprint. No beer on Sunday. No cold beer from any place that sells gas.
            A lot of differences.

          • From Wiki:

            The American Association (AA) was a professional baseball major league that existed for 10 seasons from 1882 to 1891. During that time, it challenged the National League (NL) for dominance of professional baseball. […] The AA offered cheaper ticket prices, Sunday games and alcoholic beverages to its patrons.

            So, next time you’re kicking back on a Sunday afternoon, put the game on and hoist a cold one to the memory of the American Association.

            (Way too easy trivia question: Cards, Pirates, Reds, and Dodgers)

  3. So you’ve got the six most populous states plus Virginia (12th), Massachusetts (14th), Indiana (16th), and Colorado (22nd). Other than that, it’s hard to see a common thread – you’ve got deep red states, deep blue states, and purple states, and a balance of eastern, midwestern, western, and (depending on how you count Texas and Virginia) southern states.

    • Everybody except Colorado is coastal to a major body of water (an ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, or one of the Great Lakes).

      • But then why is Ohio absent? Or Missisippi?

        The variety noted by Nark us what first struck me. It’s a weird set.

        • Nark should be Mark. I don’t know for sure that he’s a nark.

    • But every one of them has overall population split roughly evenly between urban and rural areas. Recall that Will is big into “rural contrasted with urban” issues.

      • According to the Census Bureau, California is once again, by percentage of population, the “least rural” state in the country, nosing out NJ. Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas are all in the top-15 by percent urban.

        Hard as it may be for East Coasters to think, in terms of where the population lives, the 11-state West from the Rockies to the Pacific may be the least rural region of the country — I’d have to run the numbers to be sure. The Census Bureau spreadsheet puts seven of those western states in the top 20 for non-rural percentage. The 11-state region from Maine down to Maryland — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland — has eight of the top 20.

        • It’s true that the western states have bigger, emptier rural spaces. It’s so often dry. Livestock need to be watered and fed, and when nature doesn’t help you out there, one way to get enough natural feed going is to have more land. With most of my experience being in California’s desert regions, at least some of my time in places like Wisconsin and Tennessee is spent being amazed at how much productivity can be had out of what seem to me like such small plots of land. Goes to show what rain can do.

          All the same, I’d thought that a greater amount of California was in exurban areas around its four major population centers, or scattered more heavily in semi-urban places like Santa Rosa and San Luis Obispo. But I guess it’s not so surprising that California is so urbanized after all.

          • …at least some of my time in places like Wisconsin and Tennessee is spent being amazed at how much productivity can be had out of what seem to me like such small plots of land.

            I have left my haven in the high semi-arid Colorado climate to do my annual handyman week at my mother’s this week. In eastern Nebraska, a few miles from the Missouri River. It has rained at least a bit each day that I have been here. I find it difficult to believe that I ever lived through this type of summer humidity. And especially that I spent three summers working at an agricultural field lab placing and repairing micro-climatology measurement equipment out in the fields in this kind of heat and humidity. OTOH, I anticipate that when I spend tomorrow evening fencing at the local club, I won’t ever breath very hard because there’s a surplus of air here.

          • If California is counted as the “least rural”, then the definition of rural being used almost certainly excludes most exurbs and small cities.

          • Alan,

            Yes, it does. The Census Bureau’s definition is:

            The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas:

            Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people;
            Urban Clusters (UCs) of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people.
            “Rural” encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

            So any place with at least 2,500 folks clustered together is, by their definition, not rural.

          • Didn’t we have a linky friday or something on the 30 different government definitions of rural? (with like a dozen from the USDA alone)

  4. My second wrong guess: US Appeals Court HQs. But the actual list of those is: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, California, Colorado, Georgia

    Pretty much the same: Louisiana vs Texas, Georgia vs Florida, Ohio vs Indiana, and Missouri as the eleventh vs. Will’s list of ten.

    So it’s likely a place or thing located withing each of these states rather than a property they share. And the locations were chosen to be distributed throughout the US based on Population, though more recent shifts in population have maybe not been taken into account.

  5. Tuesday Hint: In order from most to least in this category: California, New York, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Illinois-Georgia-Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado-Massachusetts.

    Significant spaces between California and everybody else, and Texas and Florida.

    • that is, at bare minimum, 48-53 of these things. Likely more.

      At that point, I kinda begin to wonder why there aren’t more states on the list. In particular, why not Washington?

    • Four-year state college and university campuses? I’ve thought for years that Colorado has a silly number of four-year state campuses relative to its population.

      • Duh. It’s not just the states with the most, but an exhaustive list of states that have whatever at all.

  6. Wednesday Hint:
    California: 36
    New York: 16
    Illinois: 15
    Texas: 14
    Florida: 6
    Indiana, Georgia, Pennsylvania: 3
    Virginia: 2
    Colorado, Massachusetts: 1

    • Damn. These numbers look familiar. I can’t figure out where I’ve seen them before.

      So how about… Nobel prize winners on the faculty of the state’s university.

  7. Adding them together, that makes 100. Tells me Top One Hundred… cities of a certain size with high obesity rates?

    • Wednesday Night Hint: Mr. Blue is right about it being a “top 100”, but it’s not to do with obesity.

      • It’s got to be something closely correlated to large cities. I would wager that all or almost all of California’s are in LA and the SF Bay area, with all of New York’s in or near NYC, all of Texas’s in or near Dallas and Houston, etc., etc. I would wager Virginia’s two are in the close in DC suburbs somewhere.

        • Largest office buildings in terms of square feet?

        • By which I mean the top 100 publicly traded companies.

  8. The lack of Georgia on this list is really throwing me. It takes out lots of possibilities.

  9. Second Thursday Hint: This is the largest 100 of something that was of great significance to us, once upon a time.

  10. Friday Midnight Hint: It’s surprisingly difficult to nail down x for “Largest 100 out of x”… but we’re talking the tens of thousands, in every state and DC.

    • One of the 20+ thousand, I mean, not the 100. Though I have spent time at one of the 100. Most of you probably haven’t.

        • Or banks?

          (I talked to my daughter the other day. She was asking how to deposit her very first paycheck. I told her how to do it with the ATM, but i turned out she was asking about smartphone apps.)

      • I’ll call it. Mo wins. It’s technically “high school” but I’d be surprised if there were non-high schools with more than 3400 students, which is what is required to get on this list.

        Anyhow, my high school is on there! I knew it was big, but I didn’t know it was one of the top 100.

        • I think I prolly went to one: Oak Park-River Forest HS. My graduating class had 963 students. Total enrollment was over 4k.

          • That’s good. 4000 HS-aged students all packed together in one place is just wrong.

            It’s much better to do that at the college level.

        • I suspected it might have been this a couple days ago, but I could not find a list of schools by size (I could find school districts, but that didn’t line up). At this point, I figured, fish it, I’ll go for WAG.

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