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!