August 11, 2008 question

Say what you want about the air quality, but there's something in the
water in Beijing. It seems that a new world record is being set with
every heat of every round of every swimming event. Now, the optimistic
side of me loves the fact that the American men's 4×100-meter freestyle
relay team completed the most amazing comeback in the comeback world
since L.L. Cool J told us not to call his comeback a comeback. I was
whooping and hollering right along with those four musclebound marine
mammals as they rubbed their smash-prediction-defying victory in the
turned-up noses of the French.

But they beat the world record by almost four seconds. In a race that
runs just over three minutes, that's a full two-percent shift. Keep in
mind, the old World Record was not yet a day old. Five, count 'em, FIVE
of the eight teams in the race beat the previous world record. I'm not
saying the Americans are cheaters. I'm saying everyone is a bunch of
cheaters. There is still not test for Human Growth Hormone. But I'd say
the stopwatch is a pretty good indicator.

Alright, enough of this grumbling. It's time for the jubilation of the
second Trivia Olympiad event: Entertainment. Here's today's question:

What is the longest-running soap opera (and the longest-running drama,
period) in television history?

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