Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009 question - Final Day of Trivia

Out Like a Lamb
March, GM, or Adam Lambert?

American automakers are scaring the tar out of me.
It seems very, very odd to have the President of the United States telling the auto industry how to do their business. Maybe I'd feel more comfortable with it if President Ford were in office. Of course, it's also quite unnerving to see the Motown movers and shakers begging for congressional help. Maybe I'd feel better if they were actually Shakers.
Hey . . . maybe I'm on to something here. Any chance the Pennsylvania Dutch can take over the auto industry? I'm pretty sure they have some thoughts on alternative energy sources . . . like horses. (I wanted to say 'horses & buggies,' but it wouldn't rhyme.)
I think the Mustang would look different. Their hybrid would be a Mule. And their CEO would be ridiculed for his luxurious cross-country trips on the company's private moped. And when they succeed, the move would come to be known as the Obamish Rescue Mission.
Today's Question
Maybe these category clues should be bigger?

I'm going to give you all another chance at yesterday's question. Only this time, I'll give you a hint that almost everyone overlooked from yesterday's question (the category was, "People Whose Last Names Start With the Letter P): You have definitely heard of this person, and his last name starts with the letter P.
What U.S. Civil War veteran went on to buy the St. Louis Post and the St. Louis Dispatch and eventually merged them into the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?
Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it

No one guessed yesterday's question correctly, but I will give credit to Charles for being the one person who ventured a guess that started with the right letter. Congrats! As to the answer . . . that will come tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30, 2009 question

Yes or Nolympics
Your answers
On Friday I asked for your input on the pros and cons of seeing the Olympics come to Chicago. Thanks to everybody who enlightened me while making my decision as the official PWANS (Person With Absolutely No Say) all the more difficult. Here are your responses:
The Pros

    * When Michael Phelps exhales, the smoke will be lost in the wind. (Kyle)
    * I won't have to travel far to see it. (Charles . . . and me)
    * I will definitely come and definitely impose on all of my Chicagoland family members and try to go see an Olympic event or two. The coming and the imposing are definite. The actual attending of the Olympics is still at a try and see status. (Heidi)
    * It might get the 3rd airport opened. (Heather M)

The Cons

    * The cost and hassle has overshadowed any benefit of the Games to the city for every host city that is not in an authoritarian state. Like Chicago needs more costs and hassles. (Heather M)
    * The Democrats cannot pull off the Olympics (even though, unfortunately, they can sometimes pull off the presidential elections). (Elena)
    * I despise sports and the coming together of nations and Chicago and Olympic Villages. No, wait, I love all those things except maybe not the Olympic Village, but I could tolerate the Olympic Village for the coming and imposing and trying to see. (Heidi)
    * The tendency of constructing temporary stadiums; support of Chicago (or any city) hosting the Olympics is contingent on constructions that provide a permanent benefit to schools or universities in Chicago (Charles)
    * It would be yet another distraction for the Chicago Bears quarterback.

So thanks, everybody, for your thoughtful and/or humorous insights. I will submit them to the IOC for their immediate disposal perusal.
Today's Question
People whose last name starts with "P"
What U.S. Civil War veteran went on to buy the St. Louis Post and the St. Louis Dispatch and eventually merged them into the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?
Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Of dimes, quarters, and half dollars, which one's cents weigh the most? It's a tie. A half dollar weighs exactly the same as two quarters or five dimes. Who knew?
Well . . . nobody. But now you all do, and isn't that what counts?

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27, 2009 question

Windy City Win or El on Earth?
IOC officials will soon visit Chicago to review its candidacy for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Now, Chicago is my favorite city in the world. And the Olympics are my favorite quadrennial multi-sport international event. But I'm a little back and forth on whether I want the Olympics to blow into the Windy City.

The main pro: maybe I would get to attend an actual Olympic event for the first time in my life.

The main con: I really don't want people to start calling Chicago the Silver Medal city.

But I want to know what you think. Be it serious, playful, or just downright wrong, I invite you to please complete either or both of these sentences:

I want the Olympics to be held in Chicago because . . .

I do not want the Olympics to be held in Chicago because . . .

I'll post my favorites here on Monday. If no one responds, I will make some up and arbitrarily assign them to you.

Today's Question
According to the U.S. Mint, a penny weighs 2.5 grams (or 2.5 grams per cent); a nickel weighs 5 grams (or 1 gram per cent). Of dimes, quarters, and half dollars, in which coin does one cent weigh the most (which has the highest gram per cent rating)?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Bangladesh . . . did I ask this question before? Because y'all were all over the answer. Here's who knew (sorry if I forget anyone . . . it's a rather long list of geniuses):

Heather M (the M stands for Mash The Dish)
Paul S (the S stands for Slam The Dish)
Mike K (the K stands for Kick The Dish)
Nancy K (the K stands for Knee The Dish)
Steve J (the J stands for Jingle The Dish)
Karen H (the H stands for Hang The Dish)
Steve T (the T stands for Turn The Dish Upside Down And Give It One Of . . . These, And Another One Of . . . Those)

Way to know.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March 26, 2009 question

Guest Intro
At least I thought it was funny
I'm stepping aside from the trivia mic today to allow a guest joke from my 5 year old, who made me laugh out loud the other day with this joke he surely borrowed from a magazine or something. I don't care. I'll pass it on to you as if it was his own:
Him: Wanna hear a construction joke?
Me: Sure, let me hear it.
Him: Sorry, I'm still working on it!
The great thing about email is that you don't even have to pretend to laugh to humor the parent who thinks everything his child does is funny. You can just move on to the question without a second thought . . . although, if the answers come in too quickly, I'll worry you didn't take the requisite time to catch your breath.

Today's Question
What country was known as East Pakistan until 1971?

Tuesday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Carbon has the highest melting point of any element, outlasting even Tungsten, which will leave a decidedly undecided Karen H boiling, conceding victory to Karen M (the M stands for My Best Friend Is A Diamond).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009 question

Get Over It
Making it through weeks one hump at a time
It's hump day. But why do they call them Speed Humps when you're supposed to go slow over them? Shouldn't they be Slow Humps? Or Slow Bumps?

Today's Question
What element has the highest melting point?

Tuesday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Nobody got this one exactly right ($15,140) but Nancy K (the K stands for Kinda Close) was within 1K with her guess of $15,700. And since I didn't stipulate Price Is Right rules, she's our winner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24, 2009 question

$1 Trillion
Next up: bailout infinity
$1 Trillion. One trillion dollars. Stocks surged when the news of the one-trillion-dollar stimuluscious banking bonus was announced from the White House (aka the North Pole). For those of you unfamiliar with life in the trillions, let me break it down this way:

It's a one. And then a zero. Then another zero. Then another zero. After that comes another zero.  Followed by a zero. And then a zero. Next we have a zero. And a zero after that. Okay, here's another zero coming up. Next up in the sequence: a zero. Ditto on that last zero. Finally, we round it out with another zero. It's that many dollars. There are also four commas in there to break up the monotony. If it's easier to look at it as digits only, try this:
If you'd like to type that number out at home, I offer this tip: To save time, I cut the first comma and the next three zeroes and then pasted that series three times, one right after the other. Still not grasping the immensity of it all? I understand. I'll use a comparison to make it clearer:
One trillion has more zeroes in it than my savings account has dollars. That help? Or you know how when you're playing Monopoly with someone, and the banker is losing really bad, so he starts putting all the money in the bank in the middle of the board, hoping he lands on Free Parking? It's like that, but with the banks of 49 million Monopoly sets.

Today's Question
Sports & Leisure
How much money came in a standard-issue Monopoly bank before the 2008 version increased the bankroll to $20,580?

Monday's Answer
And the people who knew it
The correct title of option C, Life of Pi, has no the. Nobody knew. But just to keep trivia morale up, I hereby award you all with one trillion trivia points to divvy among yourselves. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009 question

Why were we ever born?
If you haven't conversed with anyone yet, allow me to sum up every conversation taking place in every office everywhere: How are your brackets? Are they ruined? Did you check your brackets? You gotta look at my brackets! Guess what? I totally stunk up my brackets. My brackets rock! Are your final four still intact? Mine are. Mine aren't. I'm so gonna win. I need coffee.

And that is what they call a gross generalization.
Mondays kinda suck. And that is what they call gross reality. But you know what? There's always the distraction of the so-called trivial.

Today's Question
In which of these novel titles is the word the errantly included?
A. The Catcher in the Rye
B. The Kite Runner
C. The Life of Pi
D. The Secret
E. The Shack
Friday's Answer
And the people who knew it
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first presidential face to grace the screen of a television (and the breaking news is that there was a show on last night that actually did not feature Obama's face . . . finding him on TV is starting to become like finding Hitchcock in his own movies). Here's who knew:
Steve J (the J stands for Just Kidding . . . There Weren't Any Obama-Free Shows. I Kid, Barack, I Kid!)

Great work, all of you. Now get back to your Monday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009 question

First Guest
Obama goes to Hollywood

Last night, Jay's first guest was the First Guest. For the first time in history, the sitting president of the United States was sitting in the late night talkshow couch. I don't know if it makes me happy, confused, irritated, or what. I guess it's just proof positive that we're living in a new day, in which the pres doesn't mind filling out brackets and hanging out with Leno. It kind of feels like one of those phases when your boss decides to get really involved with your work. You know, to break the distance between management and labor.

Sure he's cool, but he's still the boss. And now I don't feel comfortable--even Kevin was in a suit. I mean, you can laugh, but not too loud. And you have to act like you're so happy he's there, but really you just wish Reese Witherspoon would come back, and he would go back to his Oval Office and leave you all alone to play Minesweeper and talk about fashion.
It's okay, Mr. President. You don't have to be cool. Just, you know, save the economy or whatever and let us have our space. Boundaries, sir. Boundaries.
Today's Question

Who was the first U.S. president to appear on TV?
Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it

The most productive day of the week is Tuesday, although I suppose a better question would have been, What is the second most productive day of the week? Because almost no one guessed Monday. But here's who knew that Tuesday was number 1:
Nancy K (the K stands for Keeping Busy)
Steve T (the T stands for Tuesdays Stink)
H. E. (the H E stands for Hurrying Everyday)
Steven F (the F stands for Fridays Are My Days)
Karen M (the M stands for Mondays Are Fun Days)
Heather M (the M stands for My Favorite Day Is Today!)

I guess this new format makes everyone really sharp . . . or the questions really dull. Great work, regardless! 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009 question

New Look
Change we can trivialize

I want to thank you for enduring the blustery winds of trivia change that have swirled relentlessly over the past couple of years. I hope you find this to be a welcome little breezy adjustment. [NOTE: If you aren't receiving the question by email, you are not signed up for the latest and greatest and most ridiculously awesome version. If you'd like to get in on that action, please subscribe on the registration form. Thanks!]
Also, this is your last chance at entering the Bracket 'Bucks challenge to win the $20 Starbucks gift card by using your superior luck and/or basketball prognostication. All entries must be received before the games begin today (11:00 CT). Enter now for your chance to win.
Group ID: 123496
Password: bucks

Today's Question

According to a series of Accountemps surveys, what day of the week continually reigns as the most productive day of the work week?

Yesterday's Answer
And the people who knew it

Japan is the oldest monarchy in existence, headed up by Emperor Akihito. Congrats to Karen M (the M stands for Monarch Of Trivia) and her supreme knowledge.Oh, and overdue kudos to Heather M (the M stands for My Green Isn't Welcome?) for her St. Patty's genius. Never run out of kudos here in trivialand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18, 2009 question

So I caught a little bit of Jimmy Fallon on Late Night last night. Wow, was he not funny. It's very odd, because I know he's done stand up and been pretty good AND he was funny behind the Weekend Update desk. I'm sure he'd be much better if he had Tina Fey beside him through every monologue. I'll give him time, but right now he looks like the class clown in solitary confinement up there. I'm guessing Conan took his writers with him. He told one joke that bombed so bad, I seriously thought the sound went out on my TV for a second.

But there were three people in the live trivia audience who didn't miss the humor in yesterday's question: according to Irish folklore, the unluckiest color was green. Legend has it that the faeries loved that color and would kidnap anyone (particularly the little folk) wearing too much of it. That explains why the Leprechauns wear green . . . everyone else just has an abduction fix, apparently. Here's who knew:

Karen M (the M stands for Make My Day, Little Man)
Karen H (the H stands for Haggis . . . Sure, It's Scottish, But So Was
St. Patrick)

Congratulations on spotting my shenanigans. Alrighty, on to today's question. Here it be:

What is the world's oldest existing monarchy?

AND . . . a bonus:

Who is the monarch who rules it?

AND . . . a $20 bonus:

Fill out your brackets at the link below for your chance to win a $20 Starbucks gift card.

Join Now!

The League ID # is 123496 and the password is: bucks

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 17, 2009 question

Here are the seven countries with claims on Antarctic territories:

United Kingdom
New Zealand

The most anybody got was . . . hold on, let me check . . . five, by Karen H (the H stands for How You Like Me Now?). That's quite impressive. I'd also like to point out that the only country above that no one guessed was Argentina. Don't cry for them.

Instead, let's move on to St. Patrick's day. Here's today's question:

According to Irish folklore, what color was considered unlucky due to the belief that the Good People (faeries) would abduct people adorned in the unfortunate hue?

* If you're interested in winning a $20 Starbucks giftcard by showing off your selection skills in the NCAA tourney, venture over here and join the Bracket Bucks challenge.

Monday, March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009 question

Karen M (the M stands for Making A Living Schooling Y'all) was so wronged it was right, living up to the reverse alphabetical trivia challenge in seven-letter fashion. Perhaps someone could have bested her if they were spoonfed the answer.

Ah, there are a lot more of those alphabetical trivia questions lurking out there, but I will leave them alone for a spell so we can focus on more important matters, like . . . okay, I've lost interest in more important matters. I'll settle for just plain different. Here's today's question:

What seven countries have official territorial claims on land in Antarctica?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12, 2009 question

W didn't wiggle it's way into the alphabet until the Middle Ages, but J and U didn't declare their respective independence from I and V until after the Renaissance, when the enlightened finally acknowledged that J and U are letters too. Seriously, that's what they yelled at the protests and wrote on their picket signs: "J AND U ARE LETTERS TOO!!!" Very controversial. A few people knew one of those, no one knew both, but Elena did couple W with J, which, if you think about it, is twice as correct as U.

Moving away from the alphabet now (finally), here's today's challenge:

Name a word that has its letters arranged in reverse alphabetical order.

(Examples: if, red; also, I lied. The moving away from the alphabet is merely an optical illusion, since we're moving backwards . . . almost like a lexical moonwalk, if you will.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009 question

The little letters are minuscule, and the big ones are majuscule (even though my spell checker wants to change it back to minuscule). Only multilingual wiz kids Elena and Konrad knew that nugget of trivial infinitesimality, for which they deserve infinite praise. Well, maybe just barely finite praise. No matter. They'll have a chance to extend the glory if they can get this one right:

What two letters of the English alphabet were last to be added to the Latin alphabet from which they came?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009 question

Aegilops, a type of grass, is the longest alphabetically ordered word in the English language, weighing in at 8 unwieldy letters. No one knew that (and why on earth would you . . . before now, of course) but Karen M (the M stands for 'Mazing) tossed out the still-impressive seven-letter word, billowy, edging out a handful of would-be six-letter winners. Holy hyphen, Batman. So congrats to Karen, and good luck to all of you on this alphabetical stumper:

The set of small or lowercase letters are properly known as the Minuscule Forms of the alphabet. What is the corresponding term for the capital or uppercase letters?

Monday, March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009 question

St. Paul and Minneapolis might be twin cities, but they had a real hard time agreeing on Daylight Saving Time. Only Kyle knew that, so he alone will receive the grand prize: immeasurable trivia glory. But I'll be surprised if anyone duplicates that solo effort with this question that is actually more of a contest.

Name a word that has its letters arranged in alphabetical order.
(Examples: ace, cent, and no words that begin with z; Longest word wins.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009 question

It's cranky Friday.

Watchmen is coming out tonight, and it's got everybody talking, even me. Here's what I'm saying, "Not gonna see it. Ever. Thpbt!"

Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend. I will celebrate by holding my breath for an entire hour beginning at 2 AM on Sunday and ending at 3 AM that morning. After I'm done, I will thumb my nose at the entire universe in disgust.

Grrr. Here's today's question:

From May 9 to May 23 in 1965, what two adjacent cities suddenly became separated by an hour?

And here's who knew that the Sun is like a Vitamin D machine:

Heather M (the M stands for Maybe I Should Just Go Back To Bed)
Nancy K (the K stands for Kill Me. Kill Me Now.)
Karen H (the H stands for How Are You, Really?)
Steve J (the J stands for Jump, Jive, And Wail)
Karen M (the M stands for Maybe Just Wail)

Yay for you all. Woo. Hoo.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009 question

If you play the tune in your head, you might come up with an educated guess of the time allotted in Final Jeopardy. But if you can search your memory for the sound of Alex Trebek's voice saying, "30 seconds," that might help even more. Here's who knew:

Nancy K (the K stands for Knot Really, But Credit Was Overdue)
Steve J (the J stands for Jeopardizing Trivia Safety)
Karen H (the H stands for How Ya Like Me Now, Trebek?)

Now it's on to today's news, which sees the . . . wait . . . it's warm outside! Forget the news. Let's just soak in the sun and enjoy a little free nutrition. Here's today's question:

Exposure to sunlight on the skin triggers the production of what vitamin (although the use of sunscreen reduces that production by 95%)?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009 question

Because I live and breathe those PHILadelphia PHILlies . . .

I stole that question from Jeopardy because I was so dumbfounded by it. Here's who wasn't:

Steve T (the T stands for Trebek)
Heather M ( the M stands for M Words For $1000)
Karen M (the M stands for My Lunchmeat Has A First Name For $600)

Granted, Alex Trebek doesn't give you all day to answer. He only gives you . . . wait. How long does he give you? Let's see who knows, shall we? Here's the question:

How long are Jeopardy contestants given to answer the question (or question the answer, I suppose) in the Final Jeopardy round?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009 question

The answer to Friday's question is baseball. The only reason I know that is because Steve J (the J stands for Just Trust Me) got it right . . . according to my notes. If you know what the question was, or if you have any information about my whereabouts over the past several days, please let me know. The last week or so is an absolute blur. So let's just trudge ahead into trivia, shall we? Here's the question:

What is the only Major League Baseball team whose name begins with the same four letters as its city?