November 29, 2007 question

According to extensive research, scientists don’t know whether lightning rods increase or decrease the likelihood of lightning striking. One theory (the dissipation theory) is that lightning rods create a path for a more gradual transfer of electricity, thereby decreasing the chances of a sudden burst of lightning. The other theory (the diversion theory) suggests that the lightning rod is more likely to be struck because the air surrounding it becomes ionized, and the lightning rod’s main protective effect is that it is a safely grounded target for bolts.

But scientists have a tough time testing lightning, because, as one expert put it, “that’s a lot of energy to be messing around with in a lab, dude. You could, like, die.”

It’s funny, real scientists experiment on their theories before coming to conclusions. Something as powerful as lightning is really tough to predict, measure, test, and/or recreate. So the scientists studying it admit there’s a lot they don’t know. If you can’t prove it, you don’t know it. Meanwhile, the fake, evil, lying, rat-faced, belligerent, egotistical porkheads who study geology and fossils think they can accurately reconstruct the history of the universe based on dried up pigeon poop, catastrophically destroyed bones, telescopes, and ashes. Go figure.

Okay, here’s today’s question:

What do the initials UPC stand for (you know, the barcode thing)?

*I’ll give Paul K (the K stands for Knows His 1.21 Jigowatts From His Flux Capacitors) credit because his guess was in the neither more nor less category.

**The second quote was from Willow.

November 28, 2007 question

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Wait til I get going! Where was I?


Yes, Australia. You must have suspected that I would know the powder’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

You’re only stalling now.

You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you! You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong. So you could have put the poison in your own goblet, relying on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

You’re trying to trick me into giving something away. It won’t work.

But it already has worked. You’ve given everything away!* I know where the poison is!

Then make your choice.

I will. And I choose . . . what in the world could that be?

Some people got close, but I can clearly not give credit for close. I’m sorry. No apprentice this year. Here’s today’s question(s):

Is a lightning rod more or less likely to be struck by lightning than a tower of the same height in the same conditions?


Bonus points to anyone who knows what other 80s fantasy movie I quoted in italics.

*That’s as far as I could get without looking it up.

*That’s as far as I could get without having to look it up.

November 27, 2007 question

Whew, that was a longer layoff than I expected. But those of you in the know know you’ve got mega-credit coming your way. Here’s who correctly predicted all three football games:


Here’s who knew the last float in Macy’s is always Santa and company:

Paul C (the C stands for Candy Everybody Wants)

And here’s who knew everything:

Heather M (the M stands for Macy’s Great Granddaughter)

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect. Which brings me to today’s question:

In The Princess Bride, the movie that cracks almost everyone’s top 5, what line comes after “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect”?

November 21, 2007 question

I don’t want to leave you all hanging like a turkey wattle for the weekend, but I also want to ask a question of sufficient difficulty for a Wednesday. So I’m unleashing an unprecedented trivia onslaught of questions with yet-to-be-determined answers. I’m asking all of you to accurately predict the answers to any of these questions:

1. Who is the winner of Thursday’s Colts/Falcons game?

2. Who is the winner of Thursday’s Packers/Lions game?

3. Who is the winner of Thursday’s Cowboys/Jets game?

4. What is the last float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Whoever scores the trifecta in football or gets #4 right will get mega-bold credit.

Oh, and to see who knew yesterday’s question, you’ll have to go to to find out.

November 20, 2007 question

Let’s get this out of the way: Karen H (the H stands for How In The World?) knew that a bowling alley is 60 feet long from the foul line to the center of the head pin. She was the first to respond and the only to get it right, and if you aren’t impressed by A) the precision of her knowledge or B) the sheerness of her luck or C) the education of her guess, then you, my friend, have no soul. I can assume, however, that you do have a soul and that you are, therefore, impressed as I am.

Now I have to confess I have had precious little to comment on outside of the world of trivia questions and answers, and I’m not entirely sure why that is. I can usually trust myself to have an opinion on just about anything no matter how ill-informed that opinion may be. And I’m usually pretty reliable about voicing said opinions eagerly and volubly, if not valuably. So why the sudden momentum of mum? Who knows.

Maybe it’s because I find myself, as the media are, interested solely in the democratic presidential candidates. Maybe it’s because Chicago sports teams are causing me to shut down emotionally. Maybe I’m a man . . . maybe I’m a lonely man who is in the middle of something that he doesn’t really understand. Whatever it is, I’m ready to break out, and here’s my opinion that has for too long lain dormant:

Stop complaining about Mattel and the Chinese, and start telling your stupid kids to stop eating their toys. There, I said it. Here’s today’s question:

How many stars are on the flag of China?

Answer: 5

Today’s Winners: Melinda, Karen H (the H stands for Hong Kong), Charles, and Neil

November 19, 2007 question

Ferris Bueller’s parents, or the actors who played them in the movie, got married in real life after the movie was filmed. Actually, the whole bloomin’ family almost got married, as Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey were engaged (didn’t quite make it to the altar). Laurie knew that nugget, and for that, I’ll ask a question that is right up her alley. Here it is:

How long is a bowling alley (as measured from the foul line to the center of the head pin)?

November 16, 2007 question

Reg was the only one who knew Charles Bronson was the Tunnel King, although Charles did know he was the tunnel dude . . . that’s still pretty good in my book.

Now it’s time for more movie trivia:

The actors who played what two characters in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off got married after making the film?

November 15, 2007 question

Alexander IV (aka, the Not So Great) came after Alexander the Great (aka, the 3rd), and only Reg knew that. It’s gotta be a hard act to follow when the guy before you was known as “the Great.” Like after Gretzky retired. Or . . . escaping after Steve McQueen. Or all the post-’30s Depressions. How do you improve on greatness?

I don’t know. I’m still working on improving on mediocrity. But here’s today’s Great Escape question:

What was the nickname of Charles Bronson’s character, Flight Lt. Danny Velinski, in The Great Escape?

November 14, 2007 question

Suddenly yesterday, Elena had a stroke of inspiration. Maybe it was only a mild stroke of inspiration, but a stroke nonetheless. She realized that a migraine is a headache one may feel on one side of the head. She also may have realized that it’s pretty much a complete misnomer, but realization and full trivia glory were hers and hers alone.

Now today I’m feeling historical. Not historic, just ancient. So here’s today’s question:

Who succeeded Alexander the Great?

November 13, 2007 question

Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when Jessie comes for you?

That’s right, Cops has doled out 700 episodes of shaky-camera, mosaic-blur, drag-you-out-in-the-street-by-your-underwear good times, and only Jessie had the 411. Way to go!

To the rest of you, don’t pretend like you didn’t watch at least 350 of those fine broadcasts. Here’s today’s better-late-than-never question:

What medical condition derives its name from the Greek term hēmikrania?