Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 28, 2008 question

A lot of good guesses yesterday, but only Steve T (the T stands for Three Syllables) knew that Charades had its roots in 16th Century France. Outstanding!

Now on to today's news. Or yesterday's news. Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan dropped a bombshell yesterday with the revelation that President Bush used propaganda to promote the Iraq war. This strongly contradicts the previously held belief that the White House had launched the war on a platform of "limericks and warm fuzzies." I still don't know what to do with this information.

What Pope established the Congregation for propagating the faith, from which the word propaganda is derived?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008 question

Awesome is pink, y'all. Helloooo. It's totally dusty pink. Get with it. Nobody knew that, and it totally bums me out. To sum up: sarcasm.

Now it's time for great moments in social translation. Today's great moment comes from 1982 when a man named Scott Brubaker did a favor for his neighbor. He told her he'd be willing to babysit her seven children, all of them under the age of 5, while she left to run some errands. She then asked the immortal question, "Are you sure?" to which the answer returned, as it invariably does throughout the course of human events, "Yes." But only a few moments later, as the last trace of the station wagon exhaust cloud dissipated from his front yard, Scott made two crucial breakthroughs in social translation. First, he realized that "run some errands" most likely meant "do everything I possibly can to avoid returning home." He then discovered that "are you sure" is just a polite way of saying, "I realize you're lying, but here's one more superficial opportunity to tell the truth."

In the world of asking favors, "Are you sure?" has come to be the perfect way to feign inner conflict over the decision to let someone else help you, lend you money, or allow you to eat the last cookie without splitting it. Only a handful of people in the last millennium have responded to "Are you sure?" with anything other than "Yes," "I'm sure," "Of course," or the like. You just don't hear, "On second thought, I would like that donut," or "Well, not 100% sure. Can I sleep on it, and if I still feel good about it, then you can borrow my lawn mower." So why ask? Because despite the universal desire to take advantage of people, no one wants to appear like they're taking advantage of people. "Are you sure" somehow functions as proof positive that the recipient of a favor regrets the act of kindness but reluctantly accepts it.

Don't worry, citizens of trivia land, I won't ask you to stop taking advantage of each other. Nor will I ask that you stop pretending not to or that you finally respond to being AYSed by blurting out, "No, I'm not sure, and don't pretend to care!" Keep up the charade. Charades are fun. Here's today's question:

According to the rules of th 1985 board game, "Charades," the history of Charades dates back to what country in what century? (e.g. 6th century Egypt) (hint: neither the 6th century nor Egypt is a correct answer)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008 question

You know how Seal sang that we're never gonna survive unless we are a little crazy? Well I resent that liturgical rhetoric. I'm going to find him and disable his spam settings until he calls off his smurf attacks and admits that I am not the crazy one! Not yet, flibber comma!

So Elena is on a serious trivia hot streak. On Friday she raked in yet another solo victory, knowing all of this about the first manned spacecraft to actually live up to its name:

The name of the spacecraft that carried Yuri Gagarin, first cosmonaut to go into space in April 1961, was Vostok (which means East).

That was in those days when Russian rocket science, or other kinds of science, existed, before Russian scientists, all of them, emigrated to the Zapad (West).

Now that is what I call knowledge, ladies and gentlemen. For those of you not schooled in cosmonautics, I offer you this kinder, gentler trivia question:

When Crayola commemorated the 50th birthday of its 64-crayon box this year by introducing 8 new crayon colors, what color was Awesome?

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008 question

Well it looks like I sufficiently confused almost everybody with that question. Not sure how I should have worded it, but the bottom line was this: David Cook received more votes (54 million) on the AI finale than either Al Gore (51 million) or George Bush (50 million) did in the 2000 presidential election. But David Archuleta may have had more delegates, I don't know. I'll tell you who did know: Elena. Congratulations, Elena, you're today's trivia idol . . . hey . . . that gives me an idea . . . I'll worry about that later. Here's today's less-confusing-than-pop-culture trivia question about rocket science, sort of:

What was the name of the first spacecraft to complete a manned space flight?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008 question

The first Behind the Music was about music that came from behind the curtain: Milli Vanilli. Here's who knew the second time around (or at least mouthed the answer):

Mike K (the K stands for Keep Singing Even If The CD Skips)
Steve J (the J stands for Just Blame It On The Rain)

So . . . American Idol is over now, and all the votes have been counted. But we won't know who the real winner is until all the superdelegates have made up their minds. Actually, the season finale drew more votes (97 million+) than any other contest in AI history, which leads me to today's question:

If votes for this year's American Idol finale had counted in the general presidential election in 2000, who would have won the popular vote?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Re: May 20, 2008 question

Wait, seriously, two responses? Two guesses? VH1 Behind the Music . . . guess a band, look for a clue, try something. Ask yourselves, what would Hillary do? Would she give up just because there's no hope? No. And neither should you. There's a lot more chance that you'll get this right than that Hillary will win the nomination. And you won't be ruining your party's chances just by guessing. By the way, do you think Hillary will still snap at Ralph Nader for ruining the democrats' chances by staying in an unwinnable race? Just wondering.

Okay, the two of you who guessed, feel free to guess again. But you're all stuck with this question until someone gets it right . . . and who knows? There might actually be a prize in it for you.

Adam Kellogg wrote:
Once again, parliamentary knowledge proves to be a tough topic for this crowd, and once again Charles benefits from your collective powers of underestimation. Sixteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted together into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The funktastic group has actually included well over 100 different musicians as members over the years.

Oh, and sorry to make you wait for trivia. I was busy jamming with George Clinton. Here's today's question packed with just that much musical integrity:

What band was the subject of the inaugural episode of Behind the Music?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20, 2008 question

Once again, parliamentary knowledge proves to be a tough topic for this crowd, and once again Charles benefits from your collective powers of underestimation. Sixteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted together into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The funktastic group has actually included well over 100 different musicians as members over the years.

Oh, and sorry to make you wait for trivia. I was busy jamming with George Clinton. Here's today's question packed with just that much musical integrity:

What band was the subject of the inaugural episode of Behind the Music?

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16, 2008 question

Not a lot of Parliament fans out there, huh? Trivia spoils go to Charles whose guess of 100 was the closest to the correct answer of 645. Don't worry. I'll give you all one more chance to get your parliamentary facts straight. Here's today's question:

How many members of Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 15, 2008 question

Barack Obama apologized for calling a television news reporter, "Sweetie." Sam Donaldson refused to accept the apology.

Seriously, did I just make myself part of the media conspiracy to elect Obama by putting the focus on his apology rather than the slight for which he apologized? Would I be considered more impartial if I told Barack Obaby that it's too late to apologize (it's too late, yeah)? Or is the apology focus just a backhanded attempt to feign an unbiased perspective while subversively drawing attention to Obama's old-school lingo? I just don't know. I can't even trust myself.

What I do know is that Steve T (the T stands for Tails You Lose) and Trevor correctly guessed that a coin flipped with a good amount of spin and caught in the hand is more likely to land with the same side facing up that was showing before the flip. And now it's time for some Thursday trivia:

How many members of the British Parliament (House of Commons) are there?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14, 2008 question

I love it when a 50/50 question yields completely lopsided results. I also love it when the results work in the trivia master's favor. Only one person, Karen H (the H stands for How Quaint) dared to believe in the existence of the kudo, but a singular version does, in fact, exist. Even though the word comes from a Greek word that already sounds plural in its singular form, the back formation of kudo from kudos is legit, according to the good folks at Merr and Web. So to Karen I toss one big giant kudo as we move on to today's question:

According to a 2007 study by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, a coin that is flipped in the air and caught (that is to say, no bounces on the ground or anything) is most likely to land with what side showing? (Careful: there are more than two possible answers, so don't just flip a coin to determine your guess.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008 question

If you can remember all the way back to Friday's question, kudos. If not, here's a refresher: the film 8 1/2 inspired a Broadway musical . . . for some reason, they called it Nine. Only Heather M (the M stands for Memories All Alone In The Moonlight) knew that one, so she gets 10 times as many kudos as anyone. And now, today's question:

According to Merriam-Webster, is there such a thing as one kudo?

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 8, 2008 answer

And I almost forgot . . . Amy was the sole winner in yesterday's trivia, knowing the De Lorean was produced in 1981 and 1982. Phenomenal.

May 9, 2008 question

You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too, yeah. In lieu of gifts (or in addition to, if you prefer), just pin a tail on something in my honor. Here's today's question . . . it's pretty hard, but you might make a lucky guess, even if you only give it a half-hearted effort:

What Broadway musical, inspired by the Federico Fellini film, 8 1/2, opened on this date in 1982?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 8, 2008 question

The De Lorean was produced in Northern Ireland. A couple people were close with their guesses of Ireland, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and since only one of those is an actual Lucky Charm, I can't give credit for the answer. I can, however, give you a second chance at De Lorean glory. Here's today's question:

In what two years was the De Lorean produced (before they resumed limited production THIS YEAR, WOO HOO!)?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008 question

I cannot believe it is May 7. Time flies whether you like it or not. Except when it stands still whether you like it or not. Time is basically a total jerk. Here's today's question:

In what country was the De Lorean DMC-12 (the only model ever produced by the De Lorean Motor Company) produced?

And hearty congrats to our only trivia winner from yesterday, Steve T (the T stands for Tickets Cost You Limbs Now) who knew that a bleacher ticket 10 years ago in May only cost me $6.00. It's been somewhere in the neighborhood of a 500% increase in price since then, with no small thanks going to Kerry Wood for making Wrigley exciting again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6, 2008 question

This is the ten year anniversary of the greatest pitching performance of all time. Kerry Wood struck out 20 Astros en route to a one-hit shutout. And I was there. The bleachers in left center field. So, here's today's economics trivia for anyone who cares about the state of baseball, inflation, or the cost of entertainment:

What was the face value of one ticket for general admission to the Wrigley Field bleachers on May 6, 1998?

Oh, and here's who knew that France lost yet again on the original Cinco de Mayo:

Karen M (the M stands for Moi Aussi)
Karen H (the H stands for Hors D'Oeuvre)

Tres bien.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May 5, 2008 question

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody! Or as they say in Spain, "¿Que?" Now here's today's question:

What country's forces were defeated by General Ignacio Zaragoza and company in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862?

And congrats to Friday's big winners, Heather M (the M stands for Mayo Cinco, Nachos) and Heidi who knew the two longest sea bridges in the world span a lake in Louisiana. Muy bueno!

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008 question

Yes, it's true, Barack Obama's Irish eyes are smiling. But his Irish ancestors were not the O'Bamas, they were the Kearneys. Darn. That would have been awesome. What is awesome is how many of you knew the truth:

Karen H (the H stands for Hillary Is Madagascan)
Steve T (the T stands for Tater Famine)

So top o' the trivia mornin' to all of you. I'm a little troubled, though, about the latest news out of China. They claim to have just opened the world's longest bridge crossing a sea . . . when it's actually the third longest. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge is actually two parallel bridges, both of them longer than the one in China. The only question is (at least the only one I'll ask you):

What U.S. state lays claim to the two longest water-crossing bridges in the world?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1, 2008 question

The Peanuts ponytail girl is Violet Gray. Nobody knew her last name, but a lot of you were on target with clue-induced genius:

Steven F (the F stands for Flying Beagles)
Heather M (the M stands for Marcie)

Nice work. Now on to less trivial matters: the democratic primaries. Poll results came out indicating that Obama supporters are getting less and less likely to vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination and that Clinton supporters are growing more strongly opposed to Obama. And I love the jaded related conclusion: supporters of both candidates want the battle to continue to the end. Well of course they do. That's just another way of saying they don't want their favorite candidate to quit. Sheesh. Meanwhile, a separate study showed that the longer the democratic race continues, the closer John McCain gets to receiving national landmark status. Okay, here's today's question:

Barrack Obama's Irish ancestors (including his great-great-great grandfather) sailed to America during Ireland's potato famine in the 19th Century . . . true or false?