Friday, August 29, 2008

August 2. 9, 2008 question

I didn't watch or listen to Obama's speech last night. I read it. I know he's an extraordinary speaker who always puts on a good show. But I wanted to look at nothing more than the words. What the words revealed is a politician with a revolutionary approach. He's already displayed his savvy in the YouTube generation, knowing that he's never speaking to a room full of people and always addressing the virtual world. He stayed true to his brilliant track record of producing his speeches like television shows that segue seamlessly into the nightly news. And last night he and his scribes crafted a speech that was delivered from the Democratic Convention in the midst of his most ardent supporters but was intended for everyone else.

He wasn't talking to people wearing his buttons. He was talking to people who were either undecided or opposed to him. That's the difference between Obama and every other politician I've ever paid any attention to. The rest of the lot play politics like Monopoly. They build on their own property, then sit and wait for people to come to their turf and empty out their pockets. Obama plays politics like RISK, continually advancing into enemy territory until he has conquered the entire world, or at least until he's gained a prominent foothold in Kamchatka.

And he's really, really good. I'm still not saying I'd vote for him, but I am saying that he's really, really good at what he does. And I also don't think the pollsters have any idea how to gauge how well he's doing. Just my thought for the day.

As for yesterday, Kyle, Steven F (the F stands for Fly The W Flag High), and Charles (in a 3-point effort since he didn't specify which war) knew that World War II put a halt to the Cubs' first shot at installing lights. Yup, they were actually going to be pioneers of the night baseball era, but they took the light towers intended for Wrigley and donated them to the war effort after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That's why this was a History question and not Sports.

Now the standings are as follows:

Charles: 8
Frislem: 5
Kyle: 5
Steven F: 5

And here it is, the final question in the History Event:

Where was the 1980 GOP Convention held? (3 points if you know the state only, 5 points if you know the city and state, and 10 points if you know the venue, city, and state)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28, 2008 question

Hey, trivia's back. And according to radiometric dating, it's been 36 million years since the last question. I mean, I don't know exactly what brings on this short rant, but radiometric dating in all its forms has to be the most rancid hoax in the history of time (which, according to the hoaxers themselves, has to be about 7 gajillion years). There is absolutely no reason to believe that any of the dating methods employed by scientists (the stupidest smart people in the world) are anything more than glorified old wives' tales. So, yeah, it's been awhile since I sent a trivia question out, but it hasn't been THAT long.

Moving on, here's who knew that the Qing Dynasty was close on the heels of the Mings: Charles and Islem/Frank (I'm never sure which one is acing these questions . . . I might just go all Entertainment Tonight and call them Frislem). I'll award both winners five points for that, which make them neck and neck in the running for the History gold in the Trivia Olympiad. Here's today's question:

What delayed the Cubs' original attempt to play games under the lights in Wrigley Field?

Friday, August 22, 2008

August 22, 2008 gold medal question

Kristin Shepard shot J.R., as Paul C (the C stands for Callous Rhymes With Dallas), Karen H (the H stands for Hagman Hater), and Karen M (the M stands for Make My Day) all knew. Kyle also astutely (and correctly) pointed out that technically the shooting never took place, since a later episode revealed that the entire plot had been a dream. But since it's hard for me to say that what happens in a dream within a TV show is any less real than the nondreamy occurrences, I'll give full credit to both answers. So five points to everybody, which brings our entertainment scoreboard to this:

Karen H: 10
Islem: 7
Karen M: 7
Heidi: 6
Nancy K: 6
Steve T: 6
Paul C: 5
Kyle: 5
Charles: 2
Amy: 1
Cindy: 1
Steve J: 1

So, here it is, the gold medal question:

Beginning from the award presented this year, what films have won the Academy Award for Best Picture? I'll award one point for each correct answer in succession without mistake or omission. So, if you don't remember this year's award winner, you'll get no points, even if you can name every other Oscar-winning film in history. If you cheat, however, I will know, and I will send a 13-year-old Chinese gymnast to end you. Good luck.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 20, 2008 question

Okay, so it's been about a week since you got your last question, and I'm just so terribly sorry. The stories of suffering have been pouring in. One of you spent an entire morning of meetings thinking about nothing but the actual topics of those meetings. A woman in Baltimore was forced to actually listen to what Regis and Kelly were saying. Three children in Akron, Ohio, were stranded at the movies until police found their mother repeatedly pressing the "check mail" button in the hopes the question might finally arrive. It's all my fault, and I apologize.

I can never hope to make up for this. I can only try to move on. So let's finish out the Entertainment portion of the Trivia Olympiad and award some medals. Here are the male and female artists who've racked up the most Grammys in a single night: Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Beyonce, and Lauren Hill. Here's how the points were awarded:

Heidi and Islem: 6 points
Karen H (the H stands for Holla Back): 4 points
Charles and Karen M (the M stands for Money): 2 points
Nancy K (the K stands for King Of Pop), Cindy, and Steve T (the T stands for Tito Santana): 1 point

Here are the standings:

Islem: 7
Nancy K: 6
Steve T: 6
Karen H: 5
Charles: 2
Karen M: 2
Amy: 1
Cindy: 1
Steve J: 1

And here's the next question, a classic five-pointer:

Who shot J. R.?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

August 14, 2008 question

Daniel Day-Lewis has been in only 8 movies since My Left Foot gave him an Oscar-winning breakthrough. He just decided he didn't really want to breakthrough all that much, averaging one movie every two years since then. Your guesses were generally very close, as Steve T (the T stands for The Last Mohican) and Nancy K (the K stands for Kafka) were within one year and earned themselves five points each and Islem racked up one point in a third-place effort. So here are the standings after two questions:

Nancy K: 5
Steve T: 5
Amy: 1
Islem: 1
Karen H: 1
Steve J: 1

And here are two questions that will help you catch up (or put some distance between you and your competition):

1. What two men share the record for most Grammy wins in a single night by a solo artist (8)?

2. What five women share the record for most Grammy wins in a single night by a female solo artist (5)?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008 question

In the spirit of international gymnastics, yesterday's question was delayed due to an extensive deliberation among the judges. But after much debate I can officially give credit to Amy, Karen H (the H stands for How Long Does It Take To Add Two Numbers?), and Steve J (the J stands for Judge My Eye), who all knew the longest running drama in TV history is Guiding Light. Of course, according to your answers, no one has ever watched the show, so I don't know how it's managed to stay on the air so long.

What I do know is we have a three-way tie for first in the Entertainment event of the Trivia Olympiad. Here's today's question, and I'll award five points for whoever is closest, three to the second closest, and one point to the third closest guesser:

How many movies has Daniel Day-Lewis appeared in since his Oscar-winning performance in My Left Foot (1989)? (Note: My Left Foot would not be included in the total.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

August 11, 2008 question

Say what you want about the air quality, but there's something in the
water in Beijing. It seems that a new world record is being set with
every heat of every round of every swimming event. Now, the optimistic
side of me loves the fact that the American men's 4x100-meter freestyle
relay team completed the most amazing comeback in the comeback world
since L.L. Cool J told us not to call his comeback a comeback. I was
whooping and hollering right along with those four musclebound marine
mammals as they rubbed their smash-prediction-defying victory in the
turned-up noses of the French.

But they beat the world record by almost four seconds. In a race that
runs just over three minutes, that's a full two-percent shift. Keep in
mind, the old World Record was not yet a day old. Five, count 'em, FIVE
of the eight teams in the race beat the previous world record. I'm not
saying the Americans are cheaters. I'm saying everyone is a bunch of
cheaters. There is still not test for Human Growth Hormone. But I'd say
the stopwatch is a pretty good indicator.

Alright, enough of this grumbling. It's time for the jubilation of the
second Trivia Olympiad event: Entertainment. Here's today's question:

What is the longest-running soap opera (and the longest-running drama,
period) in television history?

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 8, 2008 answer - Geography Medal Presentation

Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Iran all border the Caspian Sea (which, by the way, is also considered the largest lake in the world). No one knew them all, but Elena and Karen M (the M stands for Maldives Is Close) knew four while Paul K, Charles, and Karen H all guessed three correctly. So the final tally in the Geography event of the inaugural Trivia Olympiad is . . .

Karen M: 9 . . . GOLD
Charles: 7 . . . SILVER
Paul K: 6 . . . BRONZE
Karen H: 5
Elena: 5 . . . tied for a very impressive, yet altogether disappointing fourth place finish. Well done, all of you.!

And sorry if any of you were planning an evening response, but as the opening ceremonies of the Olympics unfold before your eyes, complete with maps of each country as they are named, I thought it would be imperative to announce the results as soon as possible.

August 8, 2008

Here we are, the final day of the biggest (and only) event in Trivia Olympiad history. As the opening ceremonies are already opened, it's time to wrap up Geography. And while the people in Beijing already know how this event turns out, for all of us in the Western Hemisphere the result is still in doubt.

Yesterday, a lot of you racked up a point by knowing that the equator is longer than all those lines of longitude that connect the poles. Charles, Elena, Paul K (the K stands for Kentucky), Andrew, Konrad, Heather M (the M stands for Make That Latitude), Heidi, Karen M (the M stands for Money In Geography), Nancy K (the K stands for Kwater, E.), Steve J (the J stands for Jeograffiti) all got the question right, leaving the standings like this:

Karen M: 5
Charles: 4
Paul K: 3
Karen H: 2
Steve J: 2
Heather M: 2
Heidi: 2
Mathias: 1
Maridee: 1
Elena: 1
Andrew: 1
Konrad: 1
Nancy K: 1

Here's the tape-delayed question:

What 5 countries border the Caspian Sea?
(Note: Yes, you will get a point for every country you correctly name, but guessing MORE than 5 countries will result in a deduction.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

August 7, 2008 question


Brett Favre is back. Back in the NFL, but donning non-Green Bay green for the first time in his career. He's a Jet, now, and let me tell you, when you're a Jet, you're a Jet till the end. But when you're in Darfur, the only neighboring countries you have to turn to are Libya, Central African Republic, and Chad. (Not a smooth transition, I know, but neither is the one from Green Bay to New York, so I'm giving myself a break, okay?)

Here's who knew yesterday's answer, followed by the number of correct countries they named and the points they earned as a result:

Heather M (the M stands for Make It There), 1
Karen M (the M stands for Make It Anywhere), 3
Charles, 2

So the standings now, with two days left to make it back into the running for a medal, look like this:

Trivia Olympiad--Geography
Karen M: 4
Charles: 3
Paul K: 2
Karen H: 2
Steve J: 1
Mathias: 1
Heidi: 1
Maridee: 1
Heather M: 1

Whew, baby! It's getting tight! The suspense is killing me. Please, end my pain by answering this question:

Which is longer, the circumference of the earth at the equator or its circumference at the poles?
A. The equator is longer.
B. The circumference at the poles is longer.
C. They're both the same.
D. The earth is flat, silly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008 question

Australia is the smallest continent. I thought more people would guess Antarctica, which is actually the third smallest. But Europe is actually the second smallest, and here's who knew:

Karen H (the H stands for Has A Slight Lead Now)
Paul K (the K stands for Knows His Oceania From His Australasia)

So the standings in the Geography event at the Trivia Olympiad are as follows:

Trivia Olympiad--Geography
Paul K: 2
Karen H: 2
Karen M: 1
Charles: 1
Steve J: 1
Mathias: 1
Heidi: 1
Maridee: 1

Ah, like the continual saga of Brett Favre vs. the Packers, this competition is impossible to call at this point. Let's see if today's question puts any more distance between the for reals and the for pretends. Here it is:

What are the three countries bordering Darfur, the troubled region in western Sudan?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008 question

I forgot to mention: hair and belly buttons. Those were the two most popular answers for Friday's question, but the winner, by a hair, was hair. Dolphins are born with hair, but if falls off relatively quickly and they spend the rest of their lives bald as bald can be. Andy, Heidi, and Karen H (the H stands for Hair Falling Out Saves Them A Lot Of Shaving) all knew that.

As for yesterday's question, the Yangtze River is the longest in China (and in Asia, for that matter), followed by the Yellow. Here's who knew, pulling ahead in the Geography event here at the Trivia Olympiad: Paul K (the K stands for Korean Judge Took Off Half A Point Just For Kicks), Karen M (the M stands for Medal Round), Charles, Karen H (the H stands for Heading To The Podium) and Steve J (the J stands for Jump All You Want, But This Is Table Tennis). So here are the standings as we head into the next heat:

Trivia Olympiad--Geography
Paul K: 1
Karen M: 1
Charles: 1
Karen H: 1
Steve J: 1

On to today's question:

Of the seven continents, what is the second smallest in total area?

Monday, August 4, 2008

August 4, 2008 question

I thought it was funny when McCain's camp produced a commercial accusing
Obama of being nothing more than a celebrity and comparing him to
Britney Spears and Paris Hilton*. But the commercial itself is nowhere
near as funny as the reaction from one of McCain's supporters: Kathy
Hilton. Yeah, apparently donors to your campaign don't appreciate it
when you use their daughter's name as an insult. I'll try to remember
that the next time I run for president.

But the competition at the forefront (or tail end, actually) of this
week isn't the one between two men (one as popular as Paris Hilton, the
other as old as Paris, France). No, the Olympics are getting ready and
getting set to go. So today will begin the first Trivia Olympiad!
Starting now, the points count, the medals are real**, and the glory
lasts forever. Here's the first question of the first event, Geography:

What is the longest river in China?

*Funny, not because it was accurate, but because it's ludicrous. Obama
is nowhere near as famous as Britney.

**Not really

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 1, 2008 question

B-lieve it or not, orangutan really is pronounced uh-rang-uh-tang. That's the first pronunciation listed by our friends at Webs, followed by uh-rang-guh-tang, uh-rang-uh-tan, and uh-rang-guh-tan. And when you find yourself asking, "Who cares?" you know you're in trivialand. Welcome.

Now it's Friday, so it's time for a question about a fun-loving animal that is fun to watch as well. For our last "stuff I learned at Brookfield Zoo" question, we turn our pint-sized noses to the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. Here's the question:

What are dolphins born with, only to lose it for good a few months after birth?

And, of course, here's the list of tangy trivia top-tier tree trekkers:

Steve J (the J stands for Just Give Me Tang)
Karen H (the H stands for Hot Dang)
Heather M (the M stands for Mustang)

Congrats to you all.