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Five Questions with Vernon Oickle, author of So You Think You Know Nova Scotia.


1. Why has trivia become so popular in recent years?

I think people enjoy being challenged. Do they really know as much as they think they know? It's always fun to test yourself. I don't think that's anything new, really. Trivia is a great way to spend some quality time with your friends and family and in recent years larger events have become fun social gatherings in many communities.

2. There are some tough questions in this book. Do you think there's anyone out there who will be able to answer every question?

There are tough questions but there are also a lot of smart people out there. I tried to strike a balance with some fairly simple questions that most Nova Scotians should be able to quickly answer but I've also included many questions that will test your skill level and knowledge. The important thing with this book is to have fun. That is the number one objective.

3. What was the most surprising thing you learned about Nova Scotia that you didn't know before you started researching this book?

I've been working with this material for many years now, but I am always surprised by how much influence Nova Scotians have had around the world and the role this province has played in the lives of so many people over the centuries. With our rich past, I not only had enough material to create 1000 questions but had lots left over to start working on another volume. To me, understanding the wealth of material that exists is really the most interesting part of this project.

4. What piece of trivia do you think would surprise other Nova Scotians the most?

That's a difficult question to answer in one paragraph. It may sound like a cop-out, but there are just too many nuggets of information to pick only one. I'll point out that I think most people will say, "Really? I didn't know that."

5. What fascinates you so much when it comes to exploring Nova Scotian history and culture?

To me, the most fascinating part of this journey is discovering how much this province has influenced the world in so many areas including the arts, entertainment, politics, business, education, science, medicine. The list could go on. So many Nova Scotians have done so much and have left their mark on the world that it forms a very impressive list. Discovering these facets about Nova Scotia is very compelling and motivates me to want to know more. I hope this book inspires others in the same way.