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Culture

Blufr.com tests your trivia moxie

Did you know that actor Jim Carrey was once homeless? Or that Papaphobia is the fear of popes? Maybe this isn't stuff you'll ever need to know, but these tidbits of information work great for impressing (or scaring) strangers at parties. Anyway, if you feel like learning random facts about random topics, Blufr.com, complete with its Web 2.0 name, is a great Web site.

The concept is simple, so it's surprising there aren't many more sites like this one. Upon entering, you are presented with a random fact about virtually anything ("penguins can turn saltwater into freshwater," for example, or "a flying car was patented in 1918"), as well as a percent representing the number of people who were fooled by the information previously. The goal is to decide whether the fact you're being presented with is a bluff by clicking on the "way!" or "no way!" button. If you're right, the site gives you a one-sentence elaboration. If you're wrong, it gives you a couple of sentences about why, usually including a common misconception. Not a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The site--which sports the tagline "bruising your ego one bluf at a time"--calculates your total score, and you can pretty much keep playing until you decide to submit your score and see if it compares to the high scores of others. If you choose, you can "share some bluf love" by submitting a bluff of your own for other users. A concept that is fairly unique to the site is the idea of the "bluff face," which is basically the look on your face after getting fooled; the site features rotating photos, on the top left of the page, showcasing the bluff faces of its users, most of which are pretty entertaining.

Maybe Blufr.com isn't the most high-tech site on the Web, but it's pretty addictive. So much so that they're starting a 12-step program to help people curb their obsession. (No way!)