January 30, 2009 question

AAA has been around since 1902. Yeah, it was probably needed most critically when automobiles were still heavily outnumbered by horse-drawn carriages. Charles came closest with his guess of 1914, and although it’s 12 years off, he still could have gotten a membership at a really good introductory rate at that time. Way to go, Charles!

Speaking of close, how about that Illinois Senate vote, huh? Seeing as though they’re usually split down the middle on cut-and-dry topics like the bill to legalize bribes applied to the senatorial profit sharing plan, the 59-0 vote to axe Rod was a little overwhelming. Don’t worry about Blago, though, he’ll be back on his feet soon enough. Word is he’s slated to sub for Elisabeth Hasselbeck during her maternity leave from The View.

Now, here’s a question about this important political topic:

In what year did The View premiere on ABC?

January 29, 2009 question

Okay, so I eased up on you with the American Automobile Association, but the trivia pedal is gonna hit the trivia metal today. Here’s the question:

In what year was the American Automobile Association formed?

And here’s who knew better than to succumb to the non-trick trick question:

Heidi
Steven F (the F stands for Ford Anglia)
Gopal
H. E. (the H E stands for Hudson Essex)
Diannalee
Nancy K (the K stands for K-Car)
Lee
Mike K (the K stands for Kei Car)
Frislem
Karen M (the M stands for My Father’s Oldsmobile)
Steve J (the J stands for Jag-You-Are)
Heidi

Vroom.

--  Adam Kellogg adam@adamkellogg.com 219.762.9396 

January 28, 2009 question

WAGDA is A) Washington State Geospatial Data Archive, as three of you knew: Karen M (the M stands for Geographic Information Systems Expert), Karen H (the H stands for Holistic Surveyor), and Heidi. What you may not know is that all of the selections were moderate variations of real acronyms:

WAGD: Waste Anesthetic Gas Disposal
WAGER: Weekly Addiction Gaming Education Report
WAGES: Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security
WAGE: World Affairs and the Global Economy

So don’t worry, you weren’t fooled by my creativity. You were fooled by the avalanche of available acronyms (AAA). Hmm . . . that probably won’t stick either, will it? Here’s today’s question:

What does the acronym AAA* (The Triple-A Membership that offers roadside assistance, maps, travel discounts, and much more) stand for?

It should be noted that this particular acronym holds upwards of 150 legitimate meanings, but I think you know the one I’m talking about.

January 27, 2008 question

I would have asked you which states have never produced a Miss America, but since there are 21 of them (including the Virgin Islands, who have only been competing for four years now) the big winners California, Ohio, and Oklahoma stepped into the trivial spotlight. Nancy K (the K stands for Kansas) was the only one to correctly name two.

Hmm . . . I guess there’s a reason they pulled this show off network TV, because anything not known by this group of trivia seekers isn’t really worth knowing. Well . . . you know.

Right now I’m just excited about the recent study showing that it would take 1,000 years to reverse the global warming trend, even if we reduced our CO2 emissions to zero. Of course, that would require us all to stop breathing, so . . . I’m going to go ahead and keep driving my car, thank you very much. Can we stop putting “green” on the labels of every product imaginable now? I’m ready to go out and buy a bottle of “We’re All Gonna Die Anyway” turbo-charged, industrial strength, lead-based laundry detergent. Okay, here’s today’s question:

The existence of what organization (WAGDA) will likely prevent me from patenting the initials of my new brand, We’re All Gonna Die Anyway?

A) Washington State Geospatial Data Archive
B) Waste Anesthetic Gas Disposal Aggregate
C) Weekly Addiction Gaming Designers Association
D) Women’s Action to Gain Diversified Advancement
E) World Affairs & Global Development Alliance

Overheard, Judge Not Lest Thee Be Five

The other day, the first thing Addison did in the morning was to write Heather a note that said, “I love you, Mommy! –Addison.” It was pretty special, and I thought I might be in for the same kind of treat when he got home from school a day later. He immediately got himself a marker and a piece of paper, telling me he needed to write something down.

I was pretty excited until he asked me this: “How do you spell judge?”

I told him. Then he showed me his new nameplate: “Judge Addison.” I didn’t quite understand, still don’t, actually. But the next words out of his mouth helped me somewhat:

“I order you to make me a peanut butter sandwich!”

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January 26, 2008 question

Britney has about 90 million Web sites calling her name, but Barack Obama is in the 110 million stratosphere. Interestingly enough, there is trivial controversy over which number is more disturbing. I won’t try to settle it, since disturbance and controversy are always welcome here.

I will move on to the best news of the weekend, that Miss Indiana is now, for the first time ever, Miss America. (Also, the Miss America Pageant happened . . . who knew?) As a lifelong Hoosier, I’m proud that the leading propagator of world peace is finally from the finest state in the Union. To celebrate, here’s more Miss America trivia for you in today’s question:

Representatives from what three states have won the Miss America pageant six times each, tied for the most for any state?

Also, big sparkling tiaras to all who knew last Friday’s question:

Paul C (the C stands for Connecticut)
Charles
Kyle
Steve J (the J stands for Jersey)

January 23, 2009 question

Here are the five previous husband-wife tandems to earn best acting Oscar nods in the same year:

Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne (both for The Guardsman in 1932)
Charles Laughton & Elsa Lanchester (both for Witness for the Prosecution in 1957)
Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor (both for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1966)
Frank Sinatra (From Here to Eternity) and Ava Gardner (Mogambo) in 1953
Rex Harrison (Cleopatra) and Rachel Roberts (This Sporting Life) in 1963

Somehow Emma Thompson & Kenneth Branagh, Nicole Kidman & Tom Cruise, and Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward managed to stagger their nominations. But here’s who knew Burton & Taylor: Charles, Elena, Gopal, Heather M (the M stands for Married Or Not, Brangelina Must Not Take Home the Gold), Karen M (the M stands for Marriage Never In Question For Liz), Nancy K (the K stands for Knight Should Have Been Nominated For Best Picture).

And here’s today’s question:

Whose name yields more Google results: Britney Spears or Barack Obama?

Lost Thoughts

I love Lost. I love watching it. Love talking about it. Hate it when it ends. And I especially hate it when the last episode of a season ends. But last night’s long-awaited season premiere had me gasping, chuckling, and oh-no-he-didn’t-ing with furious glee. If you haven’t watched it yet, why in the world are you still reading and not watching? Go. Move. Watch it. Then discuss. Rookies.

For the rest of you, here’s what I thought:
  • I’ll start from the end. When they showed that white-haired, old-lady quantum physicist, I was sure it was Daniel Faraday’s mom and that Desmond was coming to talk to her. But he didn’t move quite that fast. No, it was Ben coming to talk to her (AWESOME!) and she turned out to be the time-hopping flashback advisor who instructed Desmond after the hatch switch he flipped sent him time-hopping, too. This didn’t change my stance on her identity as Faraday’s mom, even though she has called herself Ms. Hawking. Her previous pearls of wisdom for Desmond (You can’t change the future) harmonize quite well with Daniel’s warning to Sawyer (You can’t change the past). So I’m sticking with that theory.
  • Hurley/Hugo defying Ben was maddening and invigorating at the same time. I want to rush the moment that brings the Losties back to the Island, but I also loved the fact that the most genial guy on the show stuck it to the bug-eyed evil one.
  • Ben is turning into the perfect character, the Severus Snape of Lost. He has the potential to be simultaneously awful and noble. You can’t doubt everything he says, because he’s too good a liar to always be wrong. But you also can’t trust anything he says, because he’s too good a liar to let you know when he’s manipulating you into ending the world. Love it.
  • Hurley’s conversation with his mom was beautiful. It had me (and not for the first time) wondering whether the entire show was a figment of his imagination, but his mother’s response shot that theory to crap while also providing the feel-good moment of the 2-hour-old season: “I believe you, Hugo. I don’t understand you, but I believe you.” Precious.
  • It’s really interesting to me that there was no central character on this episode. I don’t know if they’re doing away with that premise altogether (which I would miss) or if secretly the Island was the central character. But I liked the focus on “being dislodged from time” in this episode. They have touched on the idea several times, but I loved having an entire episode where that was the theme. We’ve seen Desmond do it, and the show puts us through it all the time . . . but this time everyone on the whole freaking show got confused about whether they were having a flashback, a flash forward, or a flash present (which, according to the State of Indiana, is possible, but not entirely legal).
  • One other thing about Hurley turning himself into the police: He followed Sayid’s advice instead of listening to the imaginary dead people he kept seeing. That was too bad, because I felt like the dead people always gave him really good advice.
  • What’s happening to Charlotte? I wonder if she is turning into the version of herself that existed at the time they flashed back to while still appearing to be herself. Don’t really care that much. I’m not a fan of the character just yet.
  • Faraday’s been to the island before. And he’s not aging either. I’m beginning to think that he, Richard, Ms. Hawking/Faraday’s mom, and possibly Desmond might be permanently and wholly dislodged from time. Last season, when Desmond was losing it on the chopper/freighter, his consciousness was skipping through time, but his body wasn’t going anywhere. But Richard, Daniel, and his creepy momma seemingly go through time as they please without suffering any of its effects. And since Daniel has stabilized from what Desmond suffered, and Desmond is stable as well, I believe that one’s whole self can be removed from time comfortably once they connect with their constants in multiple time zones.
  • The orientation video spokesman is a real dude, a real smart dude, and a real arrogant dude. I loved the opening scene for so many reasons, even the choice of song (“Shotgun Willie,” Willie Nelson). Awesome.
  • I can’t wait to see how they get back to the Island. I hope it doesn’t take all season long. But you kinda know it will, right?

January 22, 2009 question

Cordelia is one of the moons of Uranus. You all guessed either Saturn or Jupiter and totally forgot about Uranus.

Oh come on. Like you didn’t start thinking up jokes the second you saw what the answer was. But let’s turn our minds to higher, more noble, more edifying subjects . . . like Oscar nominations. Unfortunately, Heath Ledger’s Best Supporting bid is the only big nomination for The Dark Knight. I haven’t checked the rules, but apparently my watching a film completely excludes any movie from Best Picture contention. (My condolences go out to Speed Racer and his family.)

However, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were both nominated in the Best Actor/Actress in a Lead Role categories*, because the voters of the Academy didn’t think the rest of the world was quite jealous enough. Here’s today’s question:

Aside from Pitt and Jolie, name one of the five other married couples who received acting nominations in the same year.**

*How enlightened is it to segregate the actor and actress awards? Why are the men competing against the men and the women against the women? Is there a different range of difficulty or something? Just wondering.

**Okay, I admit, that’s really not a question. It’s more of a command, which seems kind of rude, I guess. “Name one. Now!” You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I’m sure you understand.