Here’s an unimportant question for you: What is a single word for the intersection of three roads? The answer: trivium. Now, pluralize the word in the Latin way, and you’ll have another bit of non-useful information: trivia. Although trivia began as a geographical term, it came to denote the inconsequential information people exchange when bumping into each other at a trivium—bits of gossip or news that keep conversation short, cordial and interesting. In other situations, these trivialities became evidence of mental virtuosity, scraps extracted on demand from the vast store of data people carry around with them. Because some people seem to possess more facts than others—and readier access to them—a mental sport was born in This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.