Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 29, 2007 question

According to extensive research, scientists don't know whether lightning rods increase or decrease the likelihood of lightning striking. One theory (the dissipation theory) is that lightning rods create a path for a more gradual transfer of electricity, thereby decreasing the chances of a sudden burst of lightning. The other theory (the diversion theory) suggests that the lightning rod is more likely to be struck because the air surrounding it becomes ionized, and the lightning rod's main protective effect is that it is a safely grounded target for bolts.

But scientists have a tough time testing lightning, because, as one expert put it, "that's a lot of energy to be messing around with in a lab, dude. You could, like, die."

It's funny, real scientists experiment on their theories before coming to conclusions. Something as powerful as lightning is really tough to predict, measure, test, and/or recreate. So the scientists studying it admit there's a lot they don't know. If you can't prove it, you don't know it. Meanwhile, the fake, evil, lying, rat-faced, belligerent, egotistical porkheads who study geology and fossils think they can accurately reconstruct the history of the universe based on dried up pigeon poop, catastrophically destroyed bones, telescopes, and ashes. Go figure.

Okay, here's today's question:

What do the initials UPC stand for (you know, the barcode thing)?

*I'll give Paul K (the K stands for Knows His 1.21 Jigowatts From His Flux Capacitors) credit because his guess was in the neither more nor less category.

**The second quote was from Willow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 28, 2007 question

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Wait til I get going! Where was I?


Yes, Australia. You must have suspected that I would know the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

You're only stalling now.

You'd like to think so, wouldn't you! You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong. So you could have put the poison in your own goblet, relying on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

You're trying to trick me into giving something away. It won't work.

But it already has worked. You've given everything away!* I know where the poison is!

Then make your choice.

I will. And I choose . . . what in the world could that be?

Some people got close, but I can clearly not give credit for close. I'm sorry. No apprentice this year. Here's today's question(s):

Is a lightning rod more or less likely to be struck by lightning than a tower of the same height in the same conditions?


Bonus points to anyone who knows what other 80s fantasy movie I quoted in italics.

*That's as far as I could get without looking it up.

*That's as far as I could get without having to look it up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November 27, 2007 question

Whew, that was a longer layoff than I expected. But those of you in the know know you've got mega-credit coming your way. Here's who correctly predicted all three football games:


Here's who knew the last float in Macy's is always Santa and company:

Paul C (the C stands for Candy Everybody Wants)

And here's who knew everything:

Heather M (the M stands for Macy's Great Granddaughter)

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect. Which brings me to today's question:

In The Princess Bride, the movie that cracks almost everyone's top 5, what line comes after "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect"?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

November 21, 2007 question

I don't want to leave you all hanging like a turkey wattle for the weekend, but I also want to ask a question of sufficient difficulty for a Wednesday. So I'm unleashing an unprecedented trivia onslaught of questions with yet-to-be-determined answers. I'm asking all of you to accurately predict the answers to any of these questions:

1. Who is the winner of Thursday's Colts/Falcons game?

2. Who is the winner of Thursday's Packers/Lions game?

3. Who is the winner of Thursday's Cowboys/Jets game?

4. What is the last float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Whoever scores the trifecta in football or gets #4 right will get mega-bold credit.

Oh, and to see who knew yesterday's question, you'll have to go to to find out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November 20, 2007 question

Let's get this out of the way: Karen H (the H stands for How In The World?) knew that a bowling alley is 60 feet long from the foul line to the center of the head pin. She was the first to respond and the only to get it right, and if you aren't impressed by A) the precision of her knowledge or B) the sheerness of her luck or C) the education of her guess, then you, my friend, have no soul. I can assume, however, that you do have a soul and that you are, therefore, impressed as I am.

Now I have to confess I have had precious little to comment on outside of the world of trivia questions and answers, and I'm not entirely sure why that is. I can usually trust myself to have an opinion on just about anything no matter how ill-informed that opinion may be. And I'm usually pretty reliable about voicing said opinions eagerly and volubly, if not valuably. So why the sudden momentum of mum? Who knows.

Maybe it's because I find myself, as the media are, interested solely in the democratic presidential candidates. Maybe it's because Chicago sports teams are causing me to shut down emotionally. Maybe I'm a man . . . maybe I'm a lonely man who is in the middle of something that he doesn't really understand. Whatever it is, I'm ready to break out, and here's my opinion that has for too long lain dormant:

Stop complaining about Mattel and the Chinese, and start telling your stupid kids to stop eating their toys. There, I said it. Here's today's question:

How many stars are on the flag of China?

Answer: 5

Today's Winners: Melinda, Karen H (the H stands for Hong Kong), Charles, and Neil

Monday, November 19, 2007

November 19, 2007 question

Ferris Bueller's parents, or the actors who played them in the movie, got married in real life after the movie was filmed. Actually, the whole bloomin' family almost got married, as Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey were engaged (didn't quite make it to the altar). Laurie knew that nugget, and for that, I'll ask a question that is right up her alley. Here it is:

How long is a bowling alley (as measured from the foul line to the center of the head pin)?

Friday, November 16, 2007

November 16, 2007 question

Reg was the only one who knew Charles Bronson was the Tunnel King, although Charles did know he was the tunnel dude . . . that's still pretty good in my book.

Now it's time for more movie trivia:

The actors who played what two characters in Ferris Bueller's Day Off got married after making the film?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 15, 2007 question

Alexander IV (aka, the Not So Great) came after Alexander the Great (aka, the 3rd), and only Reg knew that. It's gotta be a hard act to follow when the guy before you was known as "the Great." Like after Gretzky retired. Or . . . escaping after Steve McQueen. Or all the post-'30s Depressions. How do you improve on greatness?

I don't know. I'm still working on improving on mediocrity. But here's today's Great Escape question:

What was the nickname of Charles Bronson's character, Flight Lt. Danny Velinski, in The Great Escape?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 14, 2007 question

Suddenly yesterday, Elena had a stroke of inspiration. Maybe it was only a mild stroke of inspiration, but a stroke nonetheless. She realized that a migraine is a headache one may feel on one side of the head. She also may have realized that it's pretty much a complete misnomer, but realization and full trivia glory were hers and hers alone.

Now today I'm feeling historical. Not historic, just ancient. So here's today's question:

Who succeeded Alexander the Great?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

November 13, 2007 question

Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when Jessie comes for you?

That's right, Cops has doled out 700 episodes of shaky-camera, mosaic-blur, drag-you-out-in-the-street-by-your-underwear good times, and only Jessie had the 411. Way to go!

To the rest of you, don't pretend like you didn't watch at least 350 of those fine broadcasts. Here's today's better-late-than-never question:

What medical condition derives its name from the Greek term hēmikrania?

Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12, 2007 question

Ritz crackers first hit shelves in 1934, and Heidi was the closest--the only person to guess a Depression-era year (1933), according to my records.

Now onto bigger and better things. This weekend marked a historic milestone for one of our culture's most beloved entities. I can't say too much about it, because once I get going, my love for this particular subject will surely give away the answer. Here's the question:

What television series aired its 700th episode this weekend?

Friday, November 9, 2007

November 9, 2007 question

Remember when Rachael Ray was all famous and stuff? Now she showed up on a Ritz commercial and I thought I was seeing a zombie; a perky little zombie with that one annoying piece of hair that just wouldn't stay out of her face. I guess she's still famous, but I just hadn't seen her in awhile. And if I haven't seen you in awhile, and you're in the food preparation business, your fame is fleeting, sister.

Rachael may not be the culinary multimedia sensation she once was, but the Ritz cracker ain't goin' nowhere. Here's a question about putting on the Ritz:

In what less-than-ritzy year was the Ritz cracker introduced to the American palette?

Oh, and here's who knew that GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease:

Karen H (the H stands for Hurts When I Swallow)
Karen M (the M stands for My Tummy Feels Icky)

Sorry to all of you who were oh so close but said disorder instead of disease. It pained me so not to put your names in bold . . . almost as if I had some kind of gastric disorder--I mean, disease.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

November 8, 2007 question

I had to get stingy with yesterday's question, accepting only the full name Jonas Salk . . . a lot of people couldn't remember or didn't mention his first name, so to save myself the extra typing I suddenly became a hard . . . liner. Anyway, here's who knew both names:

Karen H (the H stands for Holy Polio)
Steve J (the J stands for Jai Alai)
Heather M (the M stands for Marco Polio)
Nancy K (the K stands for Koko B. Ware)
Steve T (the T stands for Truth Be Told, Charles, Lee, And I Didn't Know, But We Got It Right The Day Before, And This Is Just A Makeup Call)

So congrats to all of you for knowing the sick question. Now that I'm feeling less gastricly disturbed, let's see if I can give you a question that requires a little more intestinal fortitude. Here's my best shot:

What does the medical abbreviation GERD stand for?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November 7, 2007 question

The War of 1812 ended in 1815, but it was never really the same after the first season. I don't remember who knew, except for Randy and Paul C (the C stands for Casual History Buff) . . . I'm pretty sure there were other people, but I don't have the list in front of me because I'm sick.

But I'm also that dedicated to trivia. So let's see who knows the answer to today's medical stumper. Here it is:

Who developed the first polio vaccine?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007 question

Now that the Monday fog has lifted, you probably already know that The Departed was the last film to score Best Picture honors at the Oscars. Heidi, Melinda, Robbie, Neil, and Heather M (the M stands for Maybe The Rest Of You Couldn't Remember Because The Ceremony Ended After Bedtime) all knew anyway, fog be darned.

But that was yesterday. Today is a better today. Today is Tuesday. Wait . . . today is Tuesday? Then today is most definitely not a better day. Tuesdays reek even worse than Mondays. Mondays may be foggy, but when the pea soup drifts into nothingness, it leaves behind the foul stench of Tues. If you're wondering what Tues smells like, it's a lot like toes, but worse, because shoes and odor eaters have no effect. The terrible Tues, oh, I hate to think of it. You know what else I hate to think of? History. Here's a question from that era . . . you know, the past:

In what year did the War of 1812 end?

Monday, November 5, 2007

November 5, 2007 question




I wish I had better news, but I don't. Here's today's question . . . one that seems too easy, but for the life of me, I don't know the answer:

What movie won "Best Picture" at the most recent Oscars?

Friday, November 2, 2007

November 2, 2007 answer

Beijing is the second-largest city in China. Or was it Shanghai? No, Shanghai is the biggest, and Beijing is the next. Then there's Hong Kong, but nobody guessed that. Here's who knew:

Nancy K (the K stands for Kong)

Happy weekend, party people.

November 2, 2007 question

The second smallest planet in our solar system (not including Pluto . . . for now) is Mars. Daniel and Mo knew that, so to them as well as those about to rock, I salute you.

Now this is it, the last second question of the series. It's not a last-second question. You can take all day to answer it. I just won't ask any more questions about the second most, second biggest, second smallest, or second funniest, second ugliest, or second least politically correct things in the world. After today, that is. Let's hope your knowledge of non-record-holding stuff holds up for one last day. Here's the question:

What is the second largest city in China?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 1, 2007 question

It's November 1. That used to mean Christmas season was approaching, that we would soon see Christmas displays being erected in department stores for grand unveiling some days or weeks later. That used to mean the early birds would begin making out their shopping lists and scribbling out their Christmas cards. Now? Christmas stuff is already on clearance, and our neighbors will have the ten-story inflatable Santa eminating its jolly red light all over the hood by the time the daylight-saving night falls. Yeah, that's right. People will have their Christmas trees up before we even set the clocks back. It's ridiculous.

Merry Christmas, happy New Year, and a splendid continuation of second-trivia merriment. Here's today's penultimate second question:

Now that Pluto is no longer considered a planet, what is the second-smallest planet in our solar system?

Oh, and big congrats to these folks who knew that London (next to Moscow) has the second-highest population in Europe:

Nancy K (the K stands for King Me)
Karen H (the H stands for Highly Populous)
Steve T (the T stands for Tea Time)