Friday, February 27, 2009

February 27, 2009 question

It isn't that I want you to fail; I love coming across a correct answer in the trivia inbox. But when a multiple choice question yields a singular winner . . . I'm pretty happy. So is Jessie, because she and she alone recalled that Shane Stant, otherwise known as "Who?" wielded the club that failed to put Nancy Kerrigan out of commission. Shawn Eckhardt was Tonya Harding's bodyguard. Jeff Gillooly was her husband and the mastermind of the dumbest operation in the history of sports. Tonya Harding was the one who almost strangled the world with her boot lace. And Jeff Stone was . . . also Jeff Gillooly. He changed his name, because A) the notoriety of the incident completely prevented him from having any chance of a peaceful private life, and B) his name was Jeff Gillooly. Congratulations, Jessie! The competition is nowhere to be seen! Hey . . . what did you do? Why? Why? WHY?!?

Um, okay, time for a nice, peaceful Friday question. Here goes nothin':

What sport did England see played for the first time at Lord's Cricket Ground on this date in 1874?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 25, 2009 question

Sorry about the mass trivia confusion on Monday and into Tuesday. I gave the email machine a swift kick, and it seems to be doing alright now. You be the judge.

Anyway, here's the scoop on odd couples: Oscar Madison shacked up with Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, a story that created a formula for an entire genre: the not-really-buddies buddy movie. Tommy Boy, Twins, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, and the entire Lethal Weapon series all owe their success to Felix and Oscar . . . although, I'm pretty sure none of them ever won an Oscar. Here's who knew:

Karen M (the M stands for Madison Actually Drafted The Monroe Doctrine)
Karen H (the H stands for Huh?)
Stephen K (the K stands for Knock The Monroe Doctrine At Your Peril)
Steven F (the F stands for Frazzle Razzle)
Steve J (the J stands for Just Kidding, Okay?!)
Nancy K (the K stands for Knock It Off, You Seven!)

Anyway . . . President Obama addressed the nation last night. I missed it, but I heard the rumblings. I no longer feel the need to watch the Pres on TV because he emails me like twice a day. Ugh. Like I have time for that. I have more important things to deal with, Mr. President . . . it's called trivia. Here's today's question, in honor (sort of) of the 15th anniversary of Nancy Kerrigan's silver medal performance at the 1994 Winter Olympics:

Who clubbed Nancy Kerrigan's knee at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, just over a month before the Olympic Games?

A. Shawn Eckhardt
B. Jeff Gillooly
C. Tonya Harding
D. Shane Stant
E. Jeff Stone

Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009 question

Kevin, Joe, and Nick are the brothers Jonas, and they were born in that order. Charles knew this. Usually, sole trivia glory is a status symbol worthy of boundless pride, but I'm thinking Charles might be wishing he had company atop the trivia podium. Sorry, Charles, you're all alone in the spotlight today.

Perhaps the Oscars were enough to wash away any Jonas-related shame. I found it to be one of the best productions I can remember. For me, the very best part was seeing the winners of past acting awards salute the performances that earned this year's hopefuls their much-deserved nominations. Normally the acting awards are presented by a past winner reading trite character allusions from a teleprompter, followed by random 10-second clips of each performance. This year, though, the nominees were treated to personal, heartfelt praise delivered by their friends, contemporaries, and/or heroes. It was brilliant. The announcement of the winners in these 4 categories were almost anticlimactic (for the audience at least) because the real prizes were the 20 indelible moments captured on screen. What is typically a time of awkward anticipation and intense nerves was turned into something meaningful and unforgettable. I hope they do that every year, but if not, I'll always remember this one.

Okay, here's some Oscar trivia:

What is Oscar's last name in The Odd Couple?

Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20, 2009 question

Former president Bill Clinton urged Barack Obama to speak positively about the US economy, saying, "In times like these, truth is extremely overrated."

Speaking of truth, here's yesterday's answer: Yes, shamrocks are clovers (but not all clovers are shamrocks, and shamrocks are not considered lucky). Lucky or not, here's who answered correctly:

Paul C (the C stands for Charmed, I'm Sure)
Nancy K (the K stands for Kick Out Of Leprechauns)
Steve T (the T stands for Talisman Of Green)

And here's today's impossibly difficult trivia question:

Who is the oldest Jonas Brother?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19, 2008 question

Planters is a really old company launched by a really Italian guy. Nobody guessed that, but I understand. The clue was really obscure: Presidents Day, Planters . . . two proper nouns everyone thinks should have an apostrophe but don't. Not seeing the connection? Okay. Let's try again. Here's today's question:

Are all shamrocks clovers?

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16, 2009 question

You've waited long enough. Yes, river otters do have webbed feet, as my son learned from Diego. Here's who else may have been watching:

Nancy K (the K stands for Kotters Do Not Have Webbed Feet, But They Do Have Welcome Backs)
Paul C (the C stands for City Otters Don't Have Webbed Feet Either, But They Otter)
Steve J (the J stands for Jungle Otters Have No Feet At All)
Karen M (the M stands for Maybe We Should Skip The Jokes And Just Go Straight To The Next Question)

Done. Here it is, in honor of Presidents Day:

What food company was founded in 1906 by an Italian immigrant named Amedeo Obici?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009 question

If you've stolen a cat or a dog whose name you do not know and someone asks you to verify that it's yours by calling out the pet's name, your best bet is Max. And if you have a pet named Max that's gone missing recently, Maridee and Heidi may have been smart enough to get away with the petnapping.

Um, congrats.

On to bigger news. A Russian satellite and an American satellite collided at high speed about 500 miles above Siberia. It was the first ever high-speed collision of man-made objects in space, which makes it officially awesome. Said Lee Minors, chief ballistics engineer at NASA, "We've blown stuff up and smashed stuff up in a lot of places. But doing it in space has forever been the dream. Now, by accident, we've stumbled into uncharted awesomeness. I mean, look at it!"

Now here's a completely unrelated question that I didn't make up--for real, my son just asked me (I got it wrong):

Do river otters have webbed feet?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 10, 2009 question

A lot of you guessed something that sounded like "BAL-kee," but only these people correctly spelled his name Balki (and all but one self-professed cheater left out the Bartokomous): Paul C (the C stands for Came From The Balkans), Larry, and Cindy. Get out of the city, all of you.

Now, on to today's question:

What is the most popular name both for pet cats and for pet dogs in the U.S.?

Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6, 2009 question

Only Charles knew that Bill Gates was the source of yesterday's inspiration. And for that, Charles wins an all expense paid trip to anywhere in the world . . . well, a virtual tour anyway. /inspiration.

Okay, on to today's news, which includes a celebration of Pat Summitt's 1,000th career coaching victory as head of the Tennessee Lady Vols. One thousand wins is a so amazing it's a joke. It's not the kind of thing that happens in real life college basketball, it's something you could duplicate on the Easy level of a video game. But the gigantic 1K figure isn't the most astounding part of what that woman has done as a head coach. The number that will make your jaw drop so low you could fit a basketball in there is this one:

186. That's the number of times the Lady Vols have lost with Pat Summitt on the bench. Wins: 1,000. Losses: 186. That's an 84% winning percentage. To put it in Vegas terms, if you bet against the Lady Vols, you are gonna lose. And if you bet on the Lady Vols, you're not gonna make a lot of money. Congratulations, Ms. Summitt. You are ridiculous. Here's today's question:

What character did Bronson Pinchot breathe life into (over-the-top accent included) in the 1986 television sitcom, Perfect Strangers? (spelling counts: whoever comes closest wins it all)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5, 2009 question

I could tell you what the folks at gave as an answer to yesterday's question, but it would pale in comparison to trivia's resident expert in all things Russian, who for anonymity's sake will remain nameless. Here's what Elena had to say:

Sputnik simply means “satellite,” both man-made and “natural”—as in “The Moon is the sputnik of the Earth.”

But that’s not all. Outside of space travel, “sputnik” has a down-to-earth, everyday meaning of “co-traveler,” someone who is going on the same road with you side by side. “Put” in Russian means “road, way,” and the preposition “s” means “with.” The last name of Russia’s fearless leader, president turned prime-minister—Putin—has the same root.

You may have read from the early history of the Soviet Union, some writers, artists, musicians were denounced (some killed) as “poputchiks”—“fellow travelers” who just tagged along with the regime’s agenda, without showing due enthusiasm.
So, I gave credit to everybody whose answers fit somewhere into Encyclopedia Elena's definition: Gopal, Karen H (the H stands for Half-Hearted Communist), and of course Elena. So here's today's question:

Who said this: "The market does not drive scientists, thinkers, or governments to do the right things. Only by paying attention and making people care can we make as much progress as we need to"?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February 4, 2009 question

"Let's Stay Together" and Al Green sauntered past Don McLean on the charts back in the day, and here's who knew: Kristin, Robbie, Julia, Maridee, and Kyle.

And speaking of old school R&B, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced yesterday the crowning achievement of the Iran space program, the deployment of Iran's first satellite. U.S. intelligence officials were initially distressed about the development, believing the same technology used to deploy Omid (Farsi for hope) might later be used in an attempt to deploy nuclear or biological weapons. Further investigation, however, revealed that Iran's claims were exaggerated.

They actually just acquired their first satellite TV deal at $9.99 a month* from Dish Network. According to one anonymous insider close to the negotiations, Ahmadinejad fumed, "The infidel dogs would not give me a digital converter coupon. Now they can eat the dust of my feet in HD, baby!"

Here's today's question:

What is the English translation of the Russian name, "Sputnik," assigned to the first man-made satellite to orbit the earth?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 3, 2009 question

I apologize to all of you for wasting your time with the easiest question of all time. Yes. Al Gore said that. And no, he did not create the Internet, invent the Internet, or even use the Internet until 2005 (I have documented proof*). Everyone got this right, so I'll give sole credit to Kristin who responded first and made me laugh.

In part due to my retroactive angst in remembering Al Gore's most grandiose of claims, I got to thinking about global warming, and not just because of the foot and a half of lake-effect snow predicted to fall on me like so many pieces of crumbling sky. I was just wondering why this era of globalwarmophobia has coincided with the incomparable financial success of the major oil companies. The value of shares in Exxon Mobil seem to be directly related to the level of panic on the faces of Al** Gore and the Green*** Team. But I can't figure out how carbon emission fears could drive up the price of fossil fuels. Is it possible that the oil companies were concerned about waning supplies, so they actually bought pseudo-scientific studies that would scare people into using less oil, so that they could, in turn, drill less and profit more? No. That's silly. Here's today's question:

What song replaced Don McLean's "American Pie" atop the U.S. pop charts on February 12, 1972?

*By "documented proof" I mean a sarcastic hunch.
**Big clue, part 1
***Big clue, part 2

Monday, February 2, 2009

February 2, 2009 question

Happy Groundhog Day, everybody. So much water cooler talk, so little energy. I watched the Super Bowl . . . ish. Saw a few ads. Missed the Boss. Loved the end of the game. Hated the refs. Amazed at how uncomfortable The Office can make me. Ready for baseball.

Now, on to The View. Guesses came from two main schools: those who think it's new and those who think it's been on for way too long . . . okay, maybe both those schools are in general agreement. But we had quite a few guesses from 1990 land and then another big batch from post 2000 ville. I was of the second school, thinking that this particular daytime talk show was one of the after effects of 9/11. But, alas, we can't blame the terrorists for this one. Barbara and friends have been chatting it up since 1997. Nobody got it exactly right, but these three came within a year:

Kyle, Jacqueline, and Paul C (the C stands for Chatfest). Here's today's question, and let's settle this once and for all:

Did Al Gore really tell Wolf Blitzer, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet"?