Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009 Question - Out of the Funk

Trivia Funk
Brought to you by George Clinton
I've been in a funk. But today, I'm coming out of it. Here is my trivia pledge:

  • I will send trivia out today. I will try to do it again tomorrow.
  • I will limit my funk to bouncy, heavy-handed bass lines, the emphasis on the down beat, and spasmodic dancing.
  • I will shower.

These are my goals. They are not as lofty as some might expect, but they are not as simple as they seem.

Okay. I'm getting a call on my other brain, so I need to cut this short. Here's some trivia for you.

Today's Question
Who did James Brown credit as being the first to put the funk in the rock 'n' roll beat?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
I think the answer was Cornell. I'm giving credit to the entire month of August. Sorry, August. It wasn't personal.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009 question - Stupidist

Racism or Intellectualism?
Obama's "stupid" comments costing him; but why?
Barack Obama said that the police officers who arrested Harvard prof William Henry Gates acted "stupidly," a word he later wished he had calibrated differently.

Now the news is out that the way he handled his comments (and the comments about the comments about the comments) are costing him where it hurts a president most: his approval rating.

Most reactions seem to categorize this flap as a matter of racism. I see it as something different. Stupid is not just a bad word for kids to say anymore. Now the president can't even say it. If he had calibrated his thoughts as, "The police would have been wiser to approach matters differently," Obama probably would have been okay. But he called the police "stupid," and that will land anybody in time out.

Yeah, I think Obama's big mistake was offending stupid people. While that may be fun here at trivia, the White House isn't just supposed to defend Harvard professors. The Constitution begins, "We the people," not, "We the smart people."

Let's not use stupid as an insult any longer. Don't judge on mental might. Everybody has the potential to improve their intellect; even the prez.

Today's Question
What is the youngest school in the Ivy League?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
Karen M (the M stands for My Prince Better Be Tough) alone knew that the Grimm Brothers' princess didn't kiss the frog; she tossed him against the wall to transform him. Congrats! (And frogs, look elsewhere for a smooch.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009 question - Grimm Reality

Will EA Ever Learn?
Luring geeks to girls like showing Superman kryptonite
EA's latest video game shocker is called Dante's Inferno, and they have resorted to their standard publicity tactic: intentionally offending people to get in the news. Congratulations, EA, your game made trivia.

The big marketing stunt was a promotion during last weekend's ComicCon, where sci-fi geeks, Star Trek lovers, and comic book aficionados were told to take pictures of themselves committing "acts of lust" with EA spokesmodels.

Obviously, EA expected the outrage over the offensive and suggestive and degrading ploy (garnished with a tiny legal disclaimer saying "don't you dare do anything untoward or we'll sue your pants off"). What they weren't expecting was the class-action lawsuit accusing EA of exposing hordes of nerds to uncontrolled cooties.

Lesson to all video game makers: don't anger the geek squad. They know how to end you.

Today's Question
Fairy Tales
In the tale of the Frog King by the brothers Grimm, how does the princess transform the disgusting frog into a handsome prince?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea, and here's who knew: Karen M (the M stands for Mother Goose), Heather M (the M stands for Mary Q. Contrary), Steve T (the T stands for Thumbelina), Micaela, Charles, and Tonia. As they say in North Korea, "Your genius has saved your life . . . for now."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009 question - Kim Jong-il Wants To Be Your Friend

International Name-Calling Brouhaha
Did Secretary of State Clinton Unfriend North Korea

Hilary Clinton said North Korea was acting like unruly teenagers. Then North Korea called her a schoolgirl. They even called her a "funny lady," which goes to show how little the North Korean government knows about A) Hilary Clinton and B) humor. How junior high is this?

It's so bad, Hilary and Kim Jong-il are no longer Facebook friends. No word on who unfriended whom. I'm just worried they'll make me pick sides. Drama!

Today's Question

What is the capital city of North Korea?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it

"Earth Song," by Michael Jackson somehow became a mega-hit in the UK, despite its tragic theme (suckiness) and unreleased status in the states. Even more shocking: none of you knew that. My world is collapsing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009 question - Too Crooked for Iran?

Ayatollah to Ahmadinejad: VP is Creepy
The brutality and oppression I can live with

Things are getting testy in Iran. Okay, Iran is pretty much neck-deep in testiness for the foreseeable future, but there's another drop in the bucket.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (and where was the fuss about democracy when he was elected Supreme Leader, anyway?) has rejected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's pick for Vice President.

Said the Big 'Tollah, "The view of the exalted leader is final and unwavering: I just don't think Satan was the best choice for a running mate."

The Lord of Darkness took the news in stride, expressing his intentions to get more involved in his role of president of the NCAA Bowl Championship Series committee.

Today's Question

What Michael Jackson single became his all-time top-selling hit in the UK, despite never being released as a single in the US?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it

In a perfect game, a bowler records a score of 30 in each and every frame (a strike earns the bowler 10 points, plus a point per pin on the next two balls bowled), so the final score recorded in the 7th frame is 210. Here's who knew:

Nancy K (the K stands for Kingpin)
Steve T (the T stands for Tenpin)
Steve J (the J stands for Just Perfect)

Well struck. That question was right up your alley. Spare me. Will you print this out and frame it? I'll stop now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21, 2009 question - Where Have You Gone, Mr. Trivia?

With Apologies to Simon and/or Garfunkel
And Joe DiMaggio

Where have you gone, Mr. Trivia?
Did Walter Cronkite's passing get to you?
Boo hoo hoo.

What's that you say, Mr. Trivia?
The trusted one has left and gone away.
Hey, hey, hey. Hey, hey, hey.

Try to write a question that nobody else will know.
Who discovered sodium biphosphate?
How'd they ever figure out that it would work that way?
So, let's change the subject. How about those Bears?

So here's to you, Mr. Trivia.
It looks like you have grossed us out, but why?
That's TMI.

That's two weeks off, Mr. Trivia,
And now you're back, we're wond'ring what we missed.
Yeah, we insist . . .

Please, no more songs about enemas.
Some trivia is better left unknown.
You make us groan. Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Today's Question
Sports & Leisure

What is the final score in the seventh frame of a perfect game of bowling?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it

Captain America is the answer. I've forgotten the question. Here's who knew: Paul C (the C stands for Captain Canada, Hero Of The Great White North), Kyle, Karen H (the H stands for Hombre De Guam), and Micaela. Congrats, glory, and honor to you all, Avengers of ignorance. That was supposed to be a compliment. Forgive me if it didn't work out that way.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7, 2009 question - Glee

The Bright Side
It only took me four years to find one.
Glee: noun The feeling evoked by the 2005 World Series Champion White Sox sharing a theme song with a series about show choir

Today's Question
Really Cool Literature
Who is the alter ego of Steve Rogers?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
For real, it wasn't a trick question yesterday, and the answer was The Sun Also Rises, as Karen H (the H stands for Hemingway) knew quite well. Nicely done!

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 6, 2009 question - Gore '09

It's Pamplona Time.
Keep a close eye on your upper thigh.
The economy is wearing on the city of Pamplona and its annual running of the bulls.

Call me old school, but I'd rather be pinched by a recession than gored by a bull.

Today's Question
What Hemingway novel popularized the San Fermín festival in Pamplona?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
I'm a little disappointed in you for trusting me so much. I tried to tell you overtly that I would not be asking trick questions anymore . . . which is exactly what someone who is about to ask yet another trick question would say. Because there are no, zero, nada free-standing structures that reach higher than the Sears Tower antennas. By most classifications, antennae do not count in the "world's tallest" argument. Spires count, antennas don't. I can't pretend to understand it, but that's the way it is. So in my mind (where anyone is free to roam around, although I don't recommend it) the Sears tower is the world's tallest building. There are four structures that go higher than the top of the actual building, but those red and white feelers touch rarified air. So congrats to Sears, Willis, and all future names of Chicago's most altitudinous location!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2, 2009 question - I'm a Tricky Sicky

Once, Doce, Trece, Catorce
Sears Tower now a little place called Vertigo
The Sears Tower is set to change its name to Willis Tower later this summer, but for now it will test out a series of temporary names: Vertigo Tower, Wetmypants Place, Faintville, and Holycrap, just to name a few. That's because the Sears Tower skydeck now features a number of glass-box observatories collectively called "The Ledge," allowing people to stand suspended 103-stories above the Chicago pavement with an unobstructed view of the descent to their doom, one engineers claim will probably not occur.

Reading the story about this "innovation," I almost threw up and fainted. They say the idea for The Ledge came from all the forehead smudges they had to clean from the observatory windows. Guess what, fellas? If people of my ilk frequent the 103rd floor, the messes you'll have to clean up from those ill-begotten boxes of death will make you pine for the good-old days of forehead smudges.

For real, Willis, watchu talkin' 'bout?

Today's Question
How many buildings/free-standing structures in the world reach higher than the top of the Sears Tower's antennas?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
Some of you knew how to spell Albuquerque, some of you didn't, and the very sharpest among you didn't care. The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe. Here's who overcame that spelling challenge:

Karen H (the H stands for How Do You Spell, Jerk? A-D-A-M)

I'll try to keep my trick questions at a bare minimum from now on. Congratulations, all who doubt me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1, 2009 question - No X-Ray Necessary

Birds Fly With No Clothes On
Why, oh, why can't I?
A man aboard a US Airways flight from North Carolina to LA found a brand new way to get comfortable on his cross-country flight. He donned a suit his parents had given him on his birthday . . . you know, his birthday suit. Figuratively.

So there he was, sitting in his assigned seat (complete story with photos) when two off-duty police officers who just happened to be onboard (the plane, not with the plan to fly in the buff) wrestled him to the ground, covered him up, and restrained him with what appears to be an extension cord and some luggage straps.

Meanwhile, the flight was diverted to New Mexico (ABQ). Talk about taking a wrong turn at AL-buh-KUR-kee.

Today's Question
What is the correct spelling of the state capital of New Mexico?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
Congrats to Kyle and Heidi who knew that the Elephant Man's doc was also the first to perform an appendectomy. I don't know if it was successful or not, but their trivia efforts certainly were. Nicely done!

Monday, June 29, 2009

June 29, 2009 question - Trivia Saves Lives

What's with the Dying?
Trivia was never meant to be an obit
Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson. Billy Mays. I guess the lesson here is, when I don't send Trivia, celebrities die. I'm on it.

Today's Question
Sir Frederick Treves, the physician famed for treating "Elephant Man" Joseph Merrick, was also the first to perform what surgical procedure?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
Dorothy Gale was the central character in The Wizard of Oz, although the Ozzians knew her by one name only, a la Madonna and Cher. Congrats to Jocelyn, John H (the H stands for Happy Birthday), Karen H (the H stands for Howling Winds Of Genius), Stephen K (the K stands for Knocked Out During House Relocation), and Karen M (the M stands for Emily), all of whom knew Dorothy long before she hit it big on the Yellow Brick Road. Your intellect blows me away.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009 question - Ed Signs Off

Hiyoooooo In Peace
Ed & Johnny Together in the Late, Late, Late Show
Ed McMahon worked in a business in which appearing on screen is life. So to all of us who say he will be missed, let's be realistic. In our minds, he's been dead for years. We don't miss him more today than we did yesterday. We merely realized he was gone.

However, Ed was the master of being invisible unless called upon, a humble page in Johnny's royal court. He'd chime in for a laugh at the perfect moment at the service of the show, not to polish his own ego.

So from the guy who knew when to be quiet and when to boom hilariously into America's consciousness, Ed McMahon has simultaneously ended his silence and entered his peace with perfect irony and, as always, impeccable comedic timing.

Today's Question
I'm pretty sure we've asked this question before, but my son asked it of me out of the blue during a series of questions that went like this:

What's that movie with the green witch? The Wizard of Oz

What's the girl's name who lives in Kansas? Dorothy

(And today's question)

What's her last name?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it
Beverly Hills is the only (one) city in the 90210 ZIP code. Kyle, Karen M (the M stands for Melrose Place), Nancy K (the K stands for Knows Rodeo Drive Like The Back Of Her Hand), and Charles all guessed one, although a few of you confused the Hills with LA and/or Hollywood. Beverly Hills and West Hollywoood are actually 2 distinct cities surrounded by Los Angeles.

Kinda confusing. Not sure I even want to figure it out. Congrats to you all, regardless of trivial discrepancies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17, 2009 question - Leakage

Sammy's in a Jammy
The Voices in my head are debating
First of all, sorry for the trivia rain-out yesterday. So frustrating for all of us, I'm sure. Secondly, if you're wondering how the so-called news of Sammy's so-called positive drug test are affecting me, let me fill you in: I'm angry. I'm so tired of news stories that rest solely on the word of unnamed sources without the slightest shred of corroboration or investigation whatsoever. Citing an anonymous source doesn't make you a journalist, it makes you a gossip, an email rumor generator, a snitch.

And while we're on the topic of anonymous leaks, isn't that what Sammy thought he was doing in the first place?

Today's Question
Going Postal
How many cities share the 90210 ZIP code?

Monday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Bumblebee's can sting, but not all of them. Females (the queen and the worker bumbles) have stingers, but the males are just good for birds & bees related activities. I was prepared to give credit to all who answered yes, but Karen M (the M stands for Make Way For The Trivia Queen) knew the answer in vivid detail and will share her trivia throne with no one. Way to know your buzz biz!

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009 question

Sorry for the 2-week layoff
I take Flag Day very seriously
The results of the Iranian election are being disputed from the streets of Tehran to the halls of D.C. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes it was a fair and free election. His reformist adversary, Mir Hossein Moussavi, thinks the entire process has been a mullah-generated fraud. And Al Gore still thinks he has enough votes in Florida to win the thing.

Everything old is new again.

Today's Question
Can Bumblebees sting?

Yesterday's (give or take 2 weeks) Answer
And the people who knew it
Johnny Carson was the longest tenured host of The Tonight Show by far. I thought it might be so easy you'd second guess yourselves. I thought wrong.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009 question - Hemorrhiffic

Conan the Red-Hairy Man
Say that like "barbarian" and it should all make sense
The Conan era has begun on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which makes sense now that they're calling it that. Conan's first show was received well by everyone but himself (he compared it to "a Backstreet Boys reunion, only not as good"). My favorite part was his cross-country jaunt that included a mad dash past an Amish buggy and a streaker-esque shortcut through Wrigley Field. (Thanks for the clip, hulu.)

I'm glad to see Conan take the reins of the big show, although I truly will miss Jay Leno. I know no one really thinks he's all that funny or talented, but Leno is a great guy who always works hard and never takes himself too seriously. And I'll be darned if I ever watched a "Headlines" segment without belly laughing.

Welcome, Conan. I'll miss you, Jay.

Today's Question
Which Tonight Show host had the longest tenure in the show's history?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
We actually have two days' worth of awards to give out. And all apologies to Karen H, Nancy K, and Mike K, but Kristin and her not-even-all-that-correct Mouseketeering answer won the popular vote and earned her short-lived trivia glory.

And . . . the moment has passed. Yesterday's champs were Maridee, Paul C (the C stands for C-E-A-U-C-E-S-C-U), and Heather M (the M stands for M-I-C-H-A-E-L-O-F-F-E-D-M-O-R-T-I-M-E-R). Congrats on being able to spell hemorrhoids and I hope that hasn't come from experience.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009 question - Your Vote Counts

Swoon Away, Swoon Away
Swoon away, all
Why is it that I'm taken so strongly by surprise at the beginning of every month? I was only slightly cognizant of May's arrival, and now it's gone.
And so is most of today, so I really should stop whining about the evaporation of time and get on to less important things.

Today's Question
Spelling (in honor of Scripps National Spelling Bee)
What is the correct spelling of the condition treated by Preparation H? Hint: it starts with H. Rule: please put dashes and all caps in your A-N-S-W-E-R to prevent accidental spellcheck cheating.

Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
We've got a competition brewing, so I'm letting y'all vote for the most entertaining right-ish answer. Here they are:
A) Organized crime; anything requiring doing what is very, very bad; doing what you are not supposed to do; highlighting the negative in other people's emotions; helping people "buy the farm" for keeps
B) La Costra Nostra -- mobs, gangsters, Al Capone, illegal actions by the former
C) It's when a talking mouse and his talking animal friends get you to join his club and become their lifelong best friends. Meanwhile, he and his friends get you to build him a city where you can spend all of your money on DVDs, T-shirts, pens, toys, roller coaster rides . . . wait a minute, that's mouseketeering
D) Making a living by means of rackets; no, not noisy tennis implements, but schemes using nefarious means to induce others to fork over money.

Please vote. Poll booths will remain open until I close them.

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29, 2009 question - Asleep at the Trivia wheel

And not the big Venezuelan kind that beats up Gatorade
The sleep thing last night? Not so much. So the shoe is on the other foot. And you're the other foot. And the shoe is . . . well, only vaguely defined. Today, you're gonna annoy bore force to scroll through the ramblings or just plain skip the question altogether entertain me.

Today's Question
What is racketeering? The answer that is most entertaining (and more or less correct) wins.

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
When in Rome, Zeus is Jupiter. Here's who knew:

Heather M (the M stands for Mars; More Candy Bars)
Nancy K (the K stands for Kit Kats On Pluto . . . Try Telling Those Chocolate-Covered Crispy Wafers It Ain't A Planet)

I'm overwhelmed by your intellect (although, on one hour of sleep, pretty much everything's overwhelming, so don't get all swept away or anything). Congrats.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009 question - It's Okay. Let Out the Anger.

Mt. Zambrano
And the Cubs' Mt. Rushmore of Volcanic Personality
(also appears here)

All of you who had "Jake Fox's Bat Cooling Off" in yesterday's pool lost miserably. No, Lou didn't have one of his sweet explosions, but big Z picked up the slack. Pretty much the whole world has now overreacted to Carlos Zambrano's overreaction to the disputed out call in Wednesday's victory over the Pirates (it's just a big globe full of hypocrites, no?).

And now it's time to reflect on the simmering stew of tempers now residing in Wrigleyville and just how tasty it really is. If you filter through the extreme snobbery of moderation sermons being preached all across the Chicago and sporting airwaves this morning, you might actually notice that everything about yesterday's Mt. Zambrano eruption is hilarious.

There was Lou, unable to suppress the giggles during his post-game press conference.

There was Milton, also chuckling, and approving of the impressive nature of the explosion, adding, "It was on a Bradley level."

And of course, there was Carlos himself, pointing, gesticulating, ump tossing, incidental bumping, ball hurling, Gatorade bashing, and pitching-coach endangering. Yes, he'll be suspended. So what? The fresher he'll be in September and October. His tirade didn't hurt the Cubs. It helped humanity.

Maybe I should be sorry for enjoying a fit of childish rage, but I'm not at all. I love the fact that the Cubs now have three of the most volatile characters in baseball on their squad, ready to combust at any moment.

Cub baseball just became fun to watch again.

Today's Question
Greek/Roman Mythology
Who is Zeus's counterpart in Roman mythology?

Tuesday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Technically, the easternmost province in Canada is Newfoundland and Labrador, but we had no Lab lovers. So I'll give credit to the Newfoundland-only crowd:

Steve J (the J stands for Just A Newfy)
Karen H (the H stands for Halifactually Correct)

Good job, eh?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009 question - Forgetial Day

Memorial Day to Forget
For the Cubs anyway
Maybe the true meaning of Memorial Day has nothing to do with baseball, but they're both very American institutions, so it's hard to separate my feelings, especially when the two intersect. So regardless of how enjoyable most of the day was, I just can't set aside my disdain for the way the day ended: with miserable Cubs baseball.

The big problems had nothing to do with the play on the field and the eight-game losing streak the Cubbies plopped upon the Wrigley grass. The real shocks were A) the fact that on Memorial Day, the Cubs played at night, presumably to keep their national broadcast from interfering with the evil MLB network's 2 day-game telecasts; B) the Cubs wearing . . . prepare to gasp . . . red hats.

I know, right? The Reds wear red hats. The Cardinals wear red hats. Sophia Loren has been known to wear a giant red hat, but that doesn' t excuse everybody in baseball being forced to don the crimson caps of doom.

The forces of good must unite to ensure this never happens again.

Today's Question
What is the easternmost province in Canada?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Chowder comes from the French chaudière, a kettle or pot . . . B. Even though they knew, these people are far from being chowder heads: Steve J (the J stands for Jambalaya), Steve T (the T stands for Tomato Basil), Micaela, and Elena. Y'all are souper duper geniuses.

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009 question - Shameless Plugs

Other Stuff
While we're on the subject of unimportant things . . .
As part of my continual thirst for glory this laid-back Friday, I just wanted to take a brief moment to promote myself highlight some other content you might find of interest online (if you've visited these before, deal with it, post glowing comments under a pseudonym, consider yourself blessed, I apologize):

Musical Ripoffs: a look at songs that rip-off plagiarize steal seem inspired by other songs. The latest one kinda shocked me, even though the newer song is all but unknown.

v34: Why I hate LOL and you should, too. And there will be a Lost update soon, I promise.

AndCounting: It will be at least 101 #@&! years between #&*$@*^$#@ championships, and Tony LaRussa is the Devil. (Did I forget to strike that? Hmm. Whoops.)

Today's Question
Food and Words (how awesome is that?)
From what does the thick soup chowder derive its name?
A) The name of the chef who, according to folklore, concocted the original New England clam version
B) The pot or kettle in which it is cooked
C) The traditional base of salt pork
D) The traditional inclusion of seafood

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Billy Idol. A man who needs no introduction (by definition that's something you should say after you say the person's name) and the answer to yesterday's question. If today's question were, "Who knew?" the answer would be Kyle. The both of you rock.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 question - Large Print Edition

No, no. No. No way. No, no, no.
It was bad enough bringing bikini girl back to the Idol Finale along with her two knew buoyant friends (although Idol did do a good job of inviting just about all the right people to put on a great show). And I'll admit, the singing duel between judge Kara DioGuardi and the bikini-clad wanna-be (nee, Bikini Girl) was hilariously scripted and very naturally catty.
But when Kara quickly ripped open her little black dress to reveal an even littler black bikini (to win a bet, for a good cause . . . ?!?) I just couldn't stop saying no. Apparently I still can't. No. No, no.

Today's Question
What is the stage name of the musician born William Michael Albert Broad?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
First of all, I typed "advice" yesterday when I meant "device." So for those of you who guessed Ann Landers yesterday, I apologize. It was actually Alexander Graham Bell (nee Abigail Van Buren) who attempted to save the prez by trying to detect the bullet lodged in his Garfieldian body. Only Karen H (the H stands for He Should Have Taken One Large Step To His Left, That Advice Could Have Saved Him, No?) knew. She feared she would guess wrong, so big congrats to her for dodging that bullet!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 20, 2009 question - Support Your Local President

Heads of State
Aw Hail No to the Chief
It was a tough weekend to be a U.S. President on a college campus. Barack Obama got heckled, picketed, and generally protested on the campus of Notre Dame (apparently they like their anti-Catholic entities on the football field but not at commencement). But Obama had it easy compared to President James Garfield, whose statue was beheaded just a week after being placed on the campus of Hiram College in Ohio. Police have had extreme difficulty apprehending the perpetrator(s) or locating Garfield's dome due to the proliferation of detached, brainless heads swarming the campus on a regular basis.

Today's Question
Presidential Trivia
Who attempted to save Garfield's life (the real guy, not the statue) with an induction-balance electrical advice?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Arizona is the most identity theft . . . or at least the most people complaining about it. According to Discover's Identy Theft Protection telemarketers, however, my state is the one with the highest rate of Identity Theft. Big fat liars. Indiana isn't even in the top half. Nobody knew the answer, but I attribute that to Discover calling everyone and lying to them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

March 19, 2009 question - Do Not Adjust Your Trivia

Please Stand By
We are experiencing trivial difficulties
Possible explanations for the horrendously long trivia drought:

10. So many people got the Indian Ocean question right, I drowned.
9. After my DVR went down, spent all my time trying to catch up with my stories online.
8. Swine flu
7. Man-crush on Al Gore led me to recycle myself.
6. I'm staging a poorly organized trivia strike to free Darfur
5. Originally planned to do this top 10 after missing last Thursday, and it's just taken a lot longer than I thought.
4. I'm out of deodorant, and when I extend my arms far enough out to type, I pass out from the stench.
3. Too busy using up free Kentucky Grilled Chicken vouchers and the subsequent finger licking has occupied me ever since
2. I just ran out of questions. You guys know everything.
1. I don't know. Isn't this weird?

Today's Question
Current Events
According to the FTC, what U.S. state had the highest rate of Identity Theft complaints per capita in 2008?

Last Wednesday's Answer
And the people who knew it
The Indian Ocean surrounds Madagascar. Almost all of you knew. Consider your name bolded.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13, 2009 question - Buh-bye, Tuesday

Tuesday Deleted
Maybe I should do that every week
I'm just gonna pretend like yesterday never happened. In the trivia world, it didn't. But in the real world, the day just wound up being less than trivial. So . . . look at that: My calendar has a hole in it where there should be a 12. I guess yesterday really didn't happen after all.

Today's Question
What ocean surrounds the island of Madagascar?

Monday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Crabs are crustaceans, not mollusks. And let me tell you, it kills them. Here's who's more happy about it:

Paul C (the C stands for Crabby And Loving It)
Karen H (the H stands for Halibuthian Empire)
Karen M (the M stands for Mollusk, By Mennen)
MB (the M B stands for Mollusk, Brut, Same Diff)

I'm so proud of you all, I have goosebumps on my exoskeleton.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009 question - Trick or Trivia

I Tricked You
And I feel really bad/good about it, too
I ask trick questions all the time. Not all the time, I mean, not every question is a trick question. But I like throwing them in there from time to time. Friday's was a trick. It was so tricky, in fact, that I've been debating all weekend whether to award credit to the people who knew the non-trick question but failed to spot the trick.

Because, you see, nobody guessed the trick answer. If you suspect a trick question's coming, you can employ a trick guess without even reading the question. Any of these are very likely to garner a correct answer to a trick question: zero, one, none of them, all of them, himself, herself, never.

But if you get tricked by a trick question and you knew the non-trick answer, whew . . . the only genuine responses seem to be @#!&, &#!^, &@#$, and #$##&@^ &!^%#@*. As you can see from the answer below, I'll have to accept any of these. Sorry.

Today's Question
Which of the following is not a mollusk:

A. Crab
B. Cuttlefish
C. Giant Squid
D. Slug
E. Snail

Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
None of King Henry VIII's marriages ended in beheading. The two ex-wives who were beheaded became just that—EX wives—shortly before becoming ex-living. King Henry Ocho was a big fan of annulling marriages that didn't work out, the tricky little bloke.

Friday, May 8, 2009

May 8, 2009 question - Off with his head!

Drew the Short Straw
I really hope this doesn't delay his next wedding.
First of all, thanks to everyone who went outside yesterday and came back to tell me of the beauty you beholded. It certainly made my day better.
Second of all, raise your hand if your day didn't get just a little better when you heard about the arrest of Drew Peterson, the ex-cop with a marital record worthy of Henry VIII? Anyone . . . anyone? Bueller?

It's very tempting to ramble on about what a jerk this guy is, but it's Friday. So why not just silently savor the image of a crooked ex-cop spending the rest of his life surrounded by people who don't really like crooked ex-cops . . . ah, justice.

Today's Question
How many of Henry VIII's marriages ended in beheading?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Ladybugs eat aphids and mites and buggy little pests in general. Here's who knew:

Karen H (the H stands for Have An Aphid)
Karen M (the M stands for Mites Are Ready!)
Steve J (the J stands for Juicy!)
NC (the N C stands for No Cheezburgers)

I'm so impressed, as is my son who supplied the question. Congrats!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009 question - Get Out!

The Sun beckons
When I first started trivializing via email, I was a recipient not a sender. And the thing I loved about getting a trivia question every day was the simple fact that it was one small thing to look forward to. It made the day just a little better.

So when I started sending these mind-bending missives, I took the responsibility very seriously: it became my mission to make everybody's day just a little better with something that bore no other relevance to your life than the simple fact that you expected it to come. And if the intro, the question, the answer or just a non-work-related email elevated the experience of your day . . . success!

Well I'm still going to provide a question today, and I hope you get it right. But I'm going to ask something else of you right now, something that I hope will make your day a little better:

Stop what you're doing. Go outside for just a minute. Enjoy the weather, rain or shine. Then come back here and tell me about it.

If there's a reason you just can't go outside, I'd like to hear that, too (though I suspect you could at least get to an open window or something). But there's a reason people talk about the weather when they've got nothing else to talk about. It's not small talk. It's just nice.

It's nice to know that however we compartmentalize ourselves throughout the course of the day, there's a big ol' natural world out there just waiting for us to enjoy it. Be it weather, be it trivia, it's ready for us to partake of its goodness. If that one-minute break from your self-made cell doesn't improve your day even a little bit, I'll give you your money back. Every penny.

So get outside. Tell me what it's like. This is trivia; there's no such thing as small talk.

Today's Question
What do ladybugs eat?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Don Ho, the flyin' Hawaiian, was the only person on yesterday's list to shed this mortal coil. Some of you owe Cronkite and Bordot a long-overdue visit. Here's who knew:

Karen M (the M stands for Morbid)

Congratulations on your genius that has yet to flatline!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6, 2009 question - Not Dead Yet

Dom De Dom Dom Doooooooom
Seriously, why didn't someone tell me these people were alive?
First Bea, now Dom. I just don't get it! Dom DeLuise died yesterday in yet another death I call shocking only because I thought he had died a long, long time ago. His body wasn't exactly screaming, "I'm gonna make it to 76," you know?

But I have to accept that this is news and not just an accidental reprint of an old story, and I must hope that the DeLuises accept my apology for condolences delivered way too early.

Today's Question
Dead or Alive
Which of these celebrities is (are) dead:
A. Brigitte Bardot
B. Walter Cronkite
C. Don Ho
D. Omar Sharif
E. Twiggy

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Waterloo was the last French military defeat before christening Cinco de Mayo. It's also one of the only French military defeats people can remember other than, you know, their general existence in the modern era. Here's who knew:

Karen H (the H stands for Happy Sixth Of May)
Nancy K (the K stands for Knows Who's Living)

Very good, all of you. Except Napoleon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009 question - Cinco de . . . um . . .

Down the Stretch They Come
And by "they" I mean society
I know it's Cinco de Mayo, but now that I'm half conscious, I want to talk about Dos de Mayo and the running of the Kentucky Derby. The most telling thing about that race was not the 21-hour drive the owner and his horse made from New Mexico (or the hobbled hissy fit he threw when asked about it for the twenty-first time after winning). It wasn't the 50-1 odds Mine That Bird overcame. It wasn't even the fact that the winning horse was in dead last 3/4 of the way through the race (or the fact that, after Kyle mockingly said he bet on that horse, I told him not to worry, he was going to do a Black Stallion and win this thing).

No, the very best part of the race, the part that summed up the improbability of it all, was the call Tom Durkin made once Mine That Bird opened up a three length lead--a lead he would more than double down the stretch. Yes, with about 100 yards left in the race, Durkin's call went like this:

"And out in front is . . . uh . . . "

Yeah, the reason he was searching for a name was the simple fact that the last time he had referenced that horse was in this sentence: "And behind the rest of them is Mine That Bird."

That's how unexpected and lightning fast his surge to victory was. I had to rewind it multiple times to verify that what I had just seen was really what my mind was assuming it was.

And it was. And it was hilariously awesome.

Today's Question
Prior to their defeat in the Battle of Puebla (on Cinco de Mayo) what was the last military battle the French Army had lost, almost 50 years prior?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Yes, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye. It's right . . . there. Here's who spotted it:

Steve T (the T stands for Two Hundred Fifty Light Years Away, Making It One Of The Most Distant Objects Visible From Earth WTNE)
Steve J (the J stands for Just Wave So I Can See Where You Are)

Congratulations on your intergalactic genius.

Powered by AWeber Communications
2331 Larchwood Ave, Chesterton, IN 46304, USA

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:

Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009 question - No Disguise Necessary

Back to Normal
Friday tried its best, but it will never be Monday
Make no mistake. This is Monday. It's soporific! Yeah . . . that word sounds a lot more exciting than . . . mmm. Yawn.

Today's Question
Can the Andromeda Galaxy be seen from earth with the naked eye (as embarrassing as it is for eyes to walk around like that)?

Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
E-I stands for Educational & Informative, not Elmo Initiative as previously believed. Paul C (the C stands for Cookie Monster) and Heidi both knew because they're smart like that. Congrats!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1, 2009 question - Fronday

Friday in Disguise
If I didn't know better, I'd swear this week was just beginning.
Here's how today started: our five-year-old hopped in bed with us at 6:00 AM and I sent him back to bed. Next thing I knew, he was climbing back into our bed and making me give up the idea that the morning had any sleep left in it. What I failed to realize, as the rest of the house slept and he and I sat poised to fall back into R.E.M. land, was that two hours had passed. We try to get him out the door at 8:00, definitely no later than 8:10. But it was 8:11 and not a creature was out of bed.

Uh-oh. Looks like our whole family's got a case of the Monday's. And it's Friday.

Today's Question
What does the e-i stand for in the "e-i bug" found in the upper-right corner of the screen during some television programs?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Jamestown was the original capital of Virginia, followed by Williamsburg and the current capital, Richmond. But the capital of Trivialand is Charlestown, because Charles was the only one who knew! Congrats, Governor!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 question - Attack of the Point Guards

Beautiful Flagrance
Brad Miller's head is a basketball, say NBA officials
Yesterday the NBA handed down its final ruling on Rajon Rondo's thwacking of Brad Miller's head in the closing seconds of Tuesday's Game 5 between Boston and Chicago. The verdict: not flagrant. If you haven't seen the play, you can watch it here (at about the 1:15 mark).

They ruled that Rondo didn't wind up (he lunged at Miller from behind), didn't follow through (the rock-solid contact with Miller's huge melon may have had something to do with that), the impact wasn't severe enough (puncturing Miller's cheek with his own tooth, requiring stitches), and was part of a play on the basketball (which was neither in the vicinity nor in the same direction as Rondo's meat-hook swat).

On the very same day, Dwight Howard was suspended for one game for grazing a guy's cheek with his elbow.

Glad to see the NBA has brought integrity back into its officiating and discipline. All I know is this: if none of the Bulls foul Rondo hard in tonight's win-or-go-home Game 6 in Chicago, one of the fans will.

Today's Question
U.S. History
What was the original capital of Virginia?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Idiots are dumber than imbeciles and morons. And I must say, it was lovely receiving emails all day reading nothing but, "Idiot," or "Moron." Real self-esteem booster. :) The terms went out of industry use after people started using them as derogatory terms . . . funny how the folks at MENSA never saw that coming. Here's who knew:

Karen H (the H stands for Hay Maker)
Steve J (the J stands for Jab Left, Hook Right)

Congrats on, you know, not being any of those things.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009 question - Dumb and Dumberererest?

The Crown Prince of bad ideas
Hey, we need a new picture of Air Force One. Can we get one that makes it look like it's flying into a building in the middle of Manhattan?

That sounds like something you'd overhear on the set of . . . okay, I'm trying to think of a show that wouldn't be insulted by the insinuation that they could think of something that dumb, but it's just not coming to me. Regardless, it wasn't the desperate attempt of a ratings-hungry trash-com, it was straight out of the White House Military Office, complete with orders to NY law enforcement not to tell anybody.

The word fired comes to mind, but it's replaced quickly by waterboarding.

Normally I like to take an unpredictable angle on such stories, but . . . yeah, I got nothing.

Today's Question
In the since scrapped psychological IQ classification of mental deficiencies, which rating was the lowest: idiot, imbecile, or moron?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Pigs do sweat, yes. Just not a lot. They don't have enough sweat glands to cool themselves off adequately. They find other ways to keep themselves cool and stinky. Here's who knew:

Paul C (the C stands for Cool Sans Sweat)
Nancy K (the K stands for Knows Me Too Well To Trust Her Instincts)

Great job, all of you! Now, don't forget to cover your face when you sneeze, or other people might catch Genius.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009 question - Oink, Oink, Puke

To oink or not to oink?
Move out of the way, bird flu, you were taking too long. It's the swine's turn, and I think this one has the potential to really get some people some serious sick days.We're talking vomit, diarrhea, fever, chills, cold sweats, dry heaves, and a seriously porky case of the heebie jeebies and/or the willies.

And I love the recommendations they're giving about protecting yourself from swine flu (especially since they don't include staying away from pork). It's stuff like cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough into your elbow. But those are just things you can do to keep other people from catching swine flue from you! Who cares about other people?!? What do you do when someone sneezes on you? Roll around in the mud? Wash your hands in BBQ sauce? Wrap your head in bacon? . . . Mmmm. I'll be right back.

Today's Question
Do pigs sweat?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Bea Arthur sang (along with Harvey Korman) in the Star Wars Holiday Special. By and large the show proved to be more harmful to humanity than the Swine Flu. Here's who knew: Paul C (the C stands for Christmas On Mos Eisley) and MB (the MB stands for Merry Boba-Fettstivus!). Congrats on your knowledge of cosmic failure (and the handsomest woman ever to grace the silver screen . . . to Bea or not to Bea? There's no question.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009 question - R. I. Bea

Bye Bye, Bea
And then there's death
If you're anything like me, when you heard the news of Bea Arthur's passing, you were very sad, very sad indeed . . . after getting over the initial shock that she was still alive. Was I alone in thinking she had died several years ago?

Yikes. I guess I owe her a trivia question.

Today's Question
Bea Arthur
What Christmas special featured Bea Arthur singing the galactically panned bomb, "Goodnight, but not Goodbye"?

Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Not big fans of the Jagiellon Dynasty, huh? The nations of Poland and Lithuania are deeply hurt.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24, 2009 question - CHI-Jinx

Spoke Too Soon
My kind of losing streak
Since my celebratory email on Monday rejoicing in the glorious weekend of winning, my Chicago teams have won precisely one game. Thank God it's the weekend again (yes, I'm counting today as the weekend in the hopes that words that begin in W's conjure up some wins).

If you look on the bright side, of course, you'll realize that there's more to life than sports. If, however, sports is the best thing you've got going . . . well, I hope you've been rooting for someone other than Chicago. Yikes.

Happy Friday anyway.

Today's Question
What two countries were joined under the reign of the Jagiellon Dynasty?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Wow. Either I've asked this question before or you're all just really smart about your folksy guitar bands. Or both. Plenty of you knew that The Byrds were always fronted by Roger McGuinn. Here's who:

Heather M (the M stands for McGenius)
Steve T (the T stands for Turn, Turn, Turn)

Rock on with your Byrd-loving selves.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009 question - Free Bird

When Mascots Attack
Freedom's just another word for "Get that bird out of here."
For the first three minutes or so of the Hawks/Heat playoff game last night, the players didn't seem to mind that a bird of prey was on the loose; that's because they didn't see it. But "Spirit," the Atlanta Hawks real-life mascot was soaring inside the arena, perching itself on top of the scoreboard, touring the game action from above, and finally resting atop one of the backboards. When the players finally realized what was going on, they were scared to death and refused to play until the bird's handler finally got control of the situation.

Atlanta team officials were furious, saying, "This will never happen again. You can't let a natural predator free inside a stadium. I shudder to think what would have happened if Spud Webb were still playing for us."

Today's Question
Although 12 other musicians joined him over the years (1964-1973), Roger McGuinn was the only continuous member of what band?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
I'll first give fact-checking credit to Heidi for knowing that the Moon does in fact get celebrated on the crappiest day of the week (Monday). But she didn't know that Iron is believed to be the primary component of the earth's core. Here's who did:

Steve T (the T stands for Try And Prove It)
Karen H (the H stands for How Do They Know?)
Karen M (the M stands for Magnets. They Put The Entire Earth On A Fridge, And It Stuck)

Congrats, all you smarty pantses.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009 question - Earth's Belly Button

You Say It's Your Earth Day
It's my Earth Day too.
Earth Day is a day when we can all spend a little more time on Earth and a little less time wasting our energy and affection on other planets. Sure, we don't yet have a day dedicated to the Moon, but we celebrate the Sun every week. And I'm sure we'll commemorate the day of Pluto's death on some kind of annual basis. And sometimes every day feels like it's from Mars.

But today, you're the only planet I care about, Earth. I'm setting aside my love letters to Venus, my Mercurial musings, and any rhyming philosophies about why girls go to Jupiter. As usual, I'm gonna try not to even think about Uranus, but I'll try twice as hard today.

Unfortunately, you're infested with humans, so . . . you're screwed.

Today's Question
According to geologists, what element comprises the overwhelming majority of the earth's core?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
I suppose it's only fitting that on Earth Day we reveal the anniversary of National Geographic's first publication. Here's who knew: Steve T (the T stands for This Time It's Deja Vu All Over Again), Karen H (the H stands for Have Every Issue), and a special second-guess consolation prize to Diannalee for almost guessing it. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009 - 7-month flashback

Déjà Vu
It still feels like the first time
My wife and I both just received emails from September 22 of last year. Neither had been delayed. We each had received an email identical to the one we got today (though my message had absolutely nothing to do with hers . . . other than the arbitrary date). The main question is . . . why? Why would we each get phantom reproductions of email we had already checked, read, and forgotten about from 9-22-08?

Maybe something happened that day that we need to talk about. Maybe something bad is going to happen that day because of something our future selves will do when we travel back in time later to that time earlier. Maybe there's a reason why I'm typing this at 9:22 in the morning.

Maybe I should just move on to the real question before I scare myself.

Today's Question
This date in history
What magazine still in circulation was first published on September 22, 1888?

Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it

It's a suburb of Boston (Milton, Mass.) that lays claim to the title of windiest city in America. The nickname "Windy City" was actually a really bad marketing gimmick the city of Chicago came up with to lure tourists. They thought the notion of gentle lake breezes would tantalize wind enthusiasts from around the world. You'd think they would have gone with "Breezy City" or something that didn't scream, "Prepare to be blown away." But as anyone with any knowledge of Friends knows, you can't just call yourself breezy. That totally negates the breezy (cf. "The One Where No One's Ready").

Anyway, Steve T (the T stands for The One Where Steve's A Genius) was the sole trivia champion this time. Congrats on your mastery of all things windy!

April 20, 2009 question

Don't be CHI
No, no, wait. Be CHI. CHI is awesome!
It was a great weekend to be a Chicago sports fan. None of the Chicago sports teams lost the entire weekend (unless you count the White Sox loss on Friday . . . but I'm not crying about that). The pinnacle was Saturday, which saw the Bulls win, the Cubs win, the Sox win, and the Hawks win (and new Bears QB Jay Cutler threw out the first pitch and sang the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley). And the weather was nice.

They don't make many days like this in the Windy City, but I'll take 'em when I can get 'em.

And what is Obama smoking? (I don't have a specific gripe, this whole message just seemed way too cheery for a Monday.)

Today's Question
U.S. Cities
According to, the windiest town in the United States is a suburb of what major city?

Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
The Lorax spoke for the trees. See, trees don't talk . . . the only way to get words to come out of a tree is to cut it down, make paper out of it, and then print or write a message on it. But at that point, it's a little too late to say, "Dude, what are you doing with that saw . . . no, no, NOOOOOO!" Only Paul C (the C stands for Champion Of Seuss Trivia) knew that one. You rule, Paulie.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009 question - Tree Parties

Tea Partied Out
From what I saw, they didn't even dress up.
I've heard altogether too much about these tea parties all around the country. Why was this ever deemed to be good ideas? I know people thought the original one in Boston was effective enough, but at least they did something. Walking around with signs is just not my idea of changing the world. And I really don't care about the numbers. I mean, come on . . . was it really that hard to find people who A) were in for a day off and B) aren't wild about paying taxes?

There's a support group for that. It's called Get in Line.

Today's Question
In the Dr. Seuss world, who speaks for the trees?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Fred Noonan. That's Fred Noonan, everybody. He was Amelia Earhart's navigator. Commit that to memory. It might show up on the test. I have a feeling we'll do better today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16, 2009 question - Get Lost

Come get found
Do you watch Lost? It's awesome, and it's only getting awesomer. And when the end of the season approaches (the end of the penultimate season, mind you) it tends to get even awesomerer.

And while I'm usually the one asking questions here, today I invite you to ask away with all your Lost-related inquiries, theories, and speculation. I will try to respond in due course, although I can't promise that I'll be able to answer your questions before I flash forward in time. We can also share theories in some kind of forum so as not to annoy the people who choose not to attain self-actualization through discussion of the coolest show of all time.

Today's Question
Who disappeared with Amelia Earhart (and no, I won't accept "her navigator" as an answer; I'm looking for a name)?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
The answer may not have been obvious, but it was obverse. Micaela, Steve T (the T stands for Tails, You Lose), and Konrad had no trouble making heads or tails of that answer. If Trivia nation had currency, their heads would be on the big bucks. Congratulations!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15, 2009 question - Frontal Taxonomy

Taxing Intrusion
Private eyes (clap, clap)
I really don't mind the tax paying. Honestly, I expect the government to need a little help. What I don't like, though, is the fact that the Internal Rigorous Search-party is all up in my business. Before the days of federal income tax and Social Security, personal finances were considered private. I'd say that the single biggest cause of identity theft is the simple fact that we're required by law to make our most private financial information completely public.

But until Uncle Sam decides to add a trivia tax, I'll just keep my complaints between us . . . and the Internets.

Today's Question
In the world of currency (and other two-sided objects as well) the back (or tails) side is referred to as the reverse side; what is the term for the front (or heads) side of a coin or bill?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Fiji and Russia are the only two countries in which you can actually stand on the Antimeridian. A lot of you guessed zero, and only one of you guessed anything else. Unfortunately for a lot of you, anything else was closer (because it was three). Congrats to Nancy K (the K stands for Knows Her Anti From Her Prime) for her solo flight around the trivial globe.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009 question - Trivia in the Making

Two Sox go Spartan
Hitting 300 home runs in a career is usually pretty special for any baseball player. It doesn't put you into the Hall of Fame by any means, but it does show you're a legitimate slugger with staying power. And when that 300th long ball clears the fence, the day is usually (or, until yesterday, always) yours to savor.

But that all changed after Jermaine Dye of the Chicago White Sox circled the square base path for his 300th time. Before he could finish his congratulatory round of "you're so special" high fives and back slaps, Paul Konerko, the very next batter, repeated the feat, belting his 300th dinger over the generous fences of U.S. Cellular Field.

When two guys in a row do it, hitting 300 doesn't seem all that special for either one. But for the pair, it's as special as special gets. No two teammates have ever both hit their 300th, 400th, or 500th homers in the same game, let alone in precise succession.

I'm not one to spend a lot of time praising White Sox, but congratulations to Dye and Konerko, for forging trivia before our very eyes.

Today's Question
How many countries (ignoring any Antarctic territories . . . those aren't countries) are intersected on land by the Antimeridian, the Prime Meridian's neglected opposite?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Mercutio uttered those famous words that I've already forgotten, but these trivia winners have vowed never to forget (or they just can't help being that smart):

Heather M (the M stands for Mercutio's Last Words)
Karen M (the M stands for My How Dramatically They Die In Romeo And Juliet?)

Congratulations to you all for your
Great knowledge of the Bard and all his works.

Trivia glory is great on its own. Trivia glory in iambic pentameter is as good as it's gonna get. Congrats.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009 question - Monday's Revenge

Monday's Revenge
Shh. Monday heard what I said about it last week. And boy, is it ticked. Not sure I can escape its wrath, but I'm gonna go ahead and carry on with trivia and then make a break for it. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, form a search party and look for me at the bottom of the ocean. Any ocean. Monday is dastardly like that.

Today's Question
What Shakespearean character uttered the words, "A plague on both your houses" (or "a' both your houses," depending on where you read or hear it)?

Thursday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Vanna set the record for most on-screen television clapping. But does anyone stop to clap for Vanna? Maybe these people do, since her applause garnered them a little G-L-O-R-Y: Diannalee, Heather M (the M stands for Make Some Noise Up In Here), Karen H (the H stands for Hold Your Applause Until The End), and Heidi. No words could describe how proud I am of all of you, so I will just stand here and clap, Vanna style.

Oh, no, wait. I found the words: pretty darn. But I'll still clap.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009 question - ECNMZNG

Frm hr n t ts cnsnnts nly (nd smtms y)
In these troubled economic times, I find it extremely hard to make jokes about our current situation. I'm tempted to joke about changing the national anthem to the theme from Sanford & Son (bonus points if you can remember the name of the song and its composer; we covered this, people) . . . but that would be uncouth. I want to make light of the possibility that the government's last $1.5 trillion check just bounced, and AIG is ticked . . . but that, too, would be noticeably void of couth. I feel compelled to point out that we're so poor, Sally Struthers is asking Ethiopian kids to quit their coffee and adopt us . . . alas, if couth were money, that joke would be America.

So I decided that just this once, making fun of the situation is not the answer. Today, I'm gonna make a difference. Today, I'm going to do my part to trim the fat, tighten the belt (which is so much easier after the fat trimming), and start conserving.

Effective the next paragraph. I'm no longer using vowels.

Thnk bt t: n Whl f Frtn, y mak mny by gssng cnsnnts, bt y py mny t gss vwls. W cn't ffrd t b drppng $200 vry tm w nd vwl, s thts th nd f ll my vwl sg.

Okay, that ain't working. I guess insensitive attempts at humor will have to be my only contribution to the stimuli.

Today's Question
World Records
In 1992, The Guinness Book of World Records credited Vanna White with the honor of being the person who most frequently did what on television?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Jon Heder may have sprung to stardom as Napoleon, but he was paid a mere $1,000 to be that star. I think he's been fairly compensated since. By Nancy K's (the K stands for $1K Seems A Bit Steep) estimation, he got double what he deserved. Her answer of $500 was the closest of anyone. As her prize, I'm breaking out some Dynamite dance moves in her honor. Way to go.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8, 2009 question - Napoleonic Dynasty

What else would you expect from American Idol?
In baseball, you expect extra innings every once in awhile.So of course I wasn't bothered by the extended nature of the Cubs game last night (although I was less than ecstatic about the loss). But in programmed television, the rules are different. They're supposed to end on time. American Idol has achieved a new low in their regular practice of breaking that rule.

Last night's final contestant, Adam Lambert, gave his entire performance after the DVR window. That is to say, he began his performance after the standard three-minute grace period most DVRs record even after the scheduled conclusion of a show. So the people who didn't watch the male version of Cher live last night most likely missed out on his typically must-see performance.

It's unforgivable, inexcusable, and reprehensible. Yet, the world still spins. I'll try to recover.

Today's Question
How much money was actor Jon Heder originally paid to play the title role in Napoleon Dynamite? (Closest guess wins.)

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Nap Lajoie actually became the namesake for his team, changing the Cleveland Bluebirds to the Cleveland Naps. Norris and Karen H (the H stands for How Lucky His Parents Named Him Napoleon Instead Of Richard) both knew that eponymous trivia about the team now known as the Indians.

Congratulations! You both win one free nap. Lajoie it!

And that just may be the worst joke ever. You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009 question - Go Cubs Go

We're Singing
Go, Cubs, Go
Okay, so I didn't jinx Opening Day. Cubs win 4-2. All is right with the world. But I can't go a whole season without mentioning the Cubs. Or could I? Have I been jinxing every season by talking about the Cubs? I guess we'll never know. Oh, no! Now I've jinxed them by insinuating that the Cubs will never win and thus be able to disprove my jinxing theory!

Superstition is such an unbecoming ubiquity.

Today's Question
Baseball . . . yes, BASEBALL!
To what did the Cleveland Bluebirds change their team name in 1902 after Nap Lajoie became the team's biggest star?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Hippos have 36 teeth, but the handful of really big ones catch your attention. And I want to thank you all for guessing so generally wide of the mark in both directions, which made crowning a winner a mathematical achievement. But, if my tallies are to be believed (and Jessie would be inclined to say they are not, since I overlooked her, yesterday) Diannalee is today's winner. Congratulotamus.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009 question - Shining a Light in My Eyes

Somebody Turn That Thing Off
It's too early for sunlight
Monday morning is an interrogation. Monday steals us from the arms of our loving parents, Saturday and Sunday, and locks us in a cold, bare room with nothing but an irritating light that shines as bright as the sun. Because it is the sun.

What do they want to know? What's so important that Monday had to bring me in on trumped up charges of "having work to do," whatever that means? Spare me the torture, Monday. I'll tell you whatever you want to know.

Just take me back home to the weekend. You always do. Why must you keep returning? Go, Monday. Go steal someone else's children.

Stranger danger. Stranger danger!

Today's Question
Animal Kingdom
How many teeth does an adult hippo have?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Google is worth 8 points, but the Y and H in Yahoo give it a whopping 11 Scrabbleriffic tallies. Here's who knew:
Charles (who actually knew the exact point totals)
Steve T (the T stands for One Point)
Nancy K (the K stands for Five Points)

Well done, all of you. May all your word scores be tripled and all your Q words be plentiful.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009 question - Cutleriffic

It's Friday, I'm in Love
. . . with Jay Cutler
It's April 3. That's supposed to be the time I attempt to get the trivia world all excited about baseball and spring and baseball and flowers and baseball and the Cubs and the Cubs and baseball. But instead the Bears are monopolizing the part of my brain that fantasizes about sporting championships. The Bears now have a quarterback that people generally consider to be good.

Yes, he's been accused of being a whiner. True, he has diabetes management issues. And indeed, he has Blagojevichian hair. But still, he's a legitimate quarterback on a team that hasn't had one since the leather-helmet days. AND they added an all-pro offensive lineman from THE Ohio State University. That's right, we have a quarterback and an emphatic definite article. If that's not reason to celebrate than I don't know . . . no, wait . . . then you don't know what is.

However, since knowing what constitutes celebratory motivation makes for a pretty lame trivia question, I'll move on.

Today's Question
Which search-engine title yields a higher Scrabble score: Yahoo or Google? (without bonus squares)

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Do you want to know? "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," was the A-side (do they call them A-sides?) to "Hey Tonight," both of which were rhapsodized by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Here's who knew:

Steve T (the T stands for Tonight . . . Hey!)

Congrats, way to go, you're the Obama-diggity.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009 question - Fools Rush Away

What, You're Too Good for April Fools?
Seriously, what's up with that, trivia dude?

Why didn't I pull some kind of trivial April Fools joke? I'll tell you why. Because I may play it silly every once in awhile. Maybe I lay on the sarcasm here and there. I have been known, on occasion, to play tricks and pranks and other assorted high jinks on my very own trivia family (yes, you are all like second cousins and thrice-removed half aunts and uncles to me . . . and, yes, even those of you who are my real-life siblings). So how could I complain about a lack of any relevant inspiration from the current events of the day when the most obvious calendrical muse was staring me right in the face (or at the very least the profile) the entire time?

Because, my friends, trivia may be a lot of things, but it is not the stuff of fools. For the sake of my personal integrity, nay, the sake of trivial integrity, I refused to base an entire day's rant around an observation that derives its very nature from the lack of knowledge. Trivia is the constant search for knowledge, however far removed from the land of the practical. I will not, and I pray none of you will either, compromise that for the sake of a thematic intro.

Also, I totally forgot.

Today's Question

What immortal musical question was asked on the 1971 single that had "Hey Tonight" as its B-side?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it

The first Cricket World Cup was played in 1975 and I was genuinely impressed at how close almost all of your guesses were, given the sport's long history. But I'm most impressed by Kyle and Charles who got it exactly right. So on their behalf, I offer up this bonus trivia tidbit. When an umpire makes a call on the basepaths in baseball, his choices are essentially out or safe. In cricket, the options are out or not out. Awesome.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009 question: But Seriously

If I Could Just Get Serious for a Moment
. . . but I can't.
The news just ain't doing it for me today. There's sports stuff to talk about. Or Idol. But overall this day just feels so boring. Maybe it's because Obama left the country and took our mojo with him. I just haven't been this far from Barack since he took office, and I just don't know what to do with myself.

I guess I'll just sit here and cry. Or . . . I could just take comfort in knowing that there doesn't necessarily need to be anything to be distracted from in order for trivia to be a pleasant distraction. So I'll just let the crickets chirp for awhile, and then I'll get on to the question.


Today's Question
In what year was the inaugural Cricket World Cup held?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Before he was posthumously doling out awards bearing his name, Joseph Pulitzer fought in the American Civil War and did his fair share of newspaper work. Karen H (the H stands for Honor In Reporting) and Heather M (the M stands for Mudslinging Yellow Journalists) both knew, given some time to think about it. You are both awarded the Pulitzer Prize of Trivia. Kudos.