January 21, 2009 question

There are 8 B vitamins, and former VP Dick Cheney has a deficiency of whichever ones prevent you from hurting your back and/or looking like a villain out of a Capra and/or Kubrick movie. To be classified as a vitamin, a compound must be A) organic, B) required by the human body, and C) impossible for the human body to synthesize and therefore supplied by the diet. (By that rationale, I do believe chocolate and caffeine are vitamins, but I’ll have to talk to the FDA about that.) Some of the previous B vitamins have been determined to be unvitaminesque. That’s why there are only 8, even though there’s a B-12. Charles and Karen H (the H stands for Holy Riboflavin, Batman) both knew and will be inaugurated as the leaders of the trivia world in ceremonies beginning shortly.

But here’s today’s question:

Cordelia is one of at least 22 moons orbiting what planet?

January 19, 2009 question

Somewhere, Ricardo Montalban is sitting in a chair upholstered in the softest Corinthian leather. He was a good guy. He and his wife Georgiana were married 63 years before she died in 2007, which has to be some kind of Hollywood record. I will forever remember him as Khan, the most un-Montalbanian role he ever played. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was the first movie I ever saw in the theater, and he scared the Villechaize out of me.

Here’s to you, Ricardo, or should I say, “Khaaaaaaaaan!” And here’s today’s question, which has nothing to do with you whatsoever:

How many B vitamins are there?

Oh, and before trivia got snowed in on Friday, no one knew that an intelligencer is both a reporter (C) and a spy (D), so the answer was O. S was a little too popular. Happy Monday.

Chy Khoh Ckh Ckih Chook

The Transformers, “Transforming Sound”

Michael Jackson, “The Way You Make Me Feel”
Maybe the title makes no sense to you. Maybe you don’t recognize that as the transliteration of the sound a Transformer makes when it transforms. Maybe no one will acknowledge that Michael Jackson indubitably received the entire inspiration of his song (released in 1987) from that one sound effect that first graced the ears of prepubescent toy junkies in 1984. Maybe you won’t be able to detect a single instance of anything resembling that sound in the entire song.
Let me help you. First, play the sound effect and observe how naturally it blends into the subsequent song intro. Then, if you aren’t convinced, advance to the 4:09 mark of the song. I’ll accept your apology at 4:13.
Now excuse me as I transform into a giant moonwalking robot.

Song Lyrics

Most song lyrics are just poems no one would ever read if they weren’t set to music.

Just thought I’d share.

My Cubs Bio

I’m pretty sure I’m not in the Cubs media guide, but if I were, here’s what I’d hope they’d say about me:

I’m not the biggest Cubs fan in the world. I don’t collect memorabilia. I’m not a season ticket holder. I’ve never been to spring training. 

But I will say that visiting Wrigley Field for the first time may have been the defining moment of my life. It feels like home. The Cubs feel like family. And every game feels like yet another family meal that I’m not allowed to miss. 

I don’t cheer for the Cubs because I want to, I do it because I believe I was born this way and I don’t know what else to do. I will never give up on the Cubs. I will never be done with them. 

I’ve had “Go Cubs Go” in my head since 1984. 

I pound on things when the Cubs lose. 

I was among the 15,000 fans at the Kerry Wood game. I sat in the bleachers, a ticket for which I paid $6. 

I still like Sammy Sosa. 

I’m not an eternal optimist, but I never get all that down on the team. I don’t like criticizing the manager or the management. I prefer to try to understand them and what they’re doing. Except for Larry Himes. He was an ass. 

At some point every year I allow myself to imagine what I would do if the Cubs won the World Series. At some point later I always wonder if that’s what jinxed them. 

Some part of me wants the Cubs to tank so we can return to the days when a spring bleacher ticket cost $6 and only 15,000 people would come to a game where the starter was some unproven gangling rookie. 

I will miss Kerry Wood, but I won’t miss people calling him “Woods.” 

I knew I could trust Tony on “24” because he drank out of a Cubs mug. 

I love white flags, blue W’s, green ivy, and crooked yellow numbers on the bottom row of the scoreboard. 

I believe guest conductors should always start the 7th inning stretch with no other words than, “Alright, let me hear ya. A one, a two, a three. . . .” 

I hate the Cardinals. Go Cubs.

January 15, 2009 question

Pepto Bismal, in all its shocking pink glory, is just a little bit radioactive. Some, cough-cough, Robbie, cough-cough, believe it is the secret behind Pink’s super powers. Bismuth, found in Pepto’s Bismuth Subsalicylate, is a radioactive element, although it has a half life of like 50 bajillion years. So it’s stable.

But it’s still Pepto Bismal. Here’s who knew the answer was yes:

Paul C (the C stands for Chalky Taste)
Steve T (the T stands for Trace Amounts Of Lead Should Protect You)
Heather M (the M stands for Maalox Has It, Too)
Karen H (the H stands for Harghxlshj . . . Um, Could You Pass The Peptol?)
Steve J (the J stands for Juicy)

Ah . . . I feel better already. Here’s today’s question:

What is an intelligencer? (Let’s go multiple choice to make it easier.)

A) A Chronicle
B) An Instructor
C) A Reporter
D) A Spy
E) An Unbiased Observer
F) All of the Above
G) None of the Above
H) A and B
I) A and C
J) A and D
K) A and E
L) B and C
M) B and D
N) B and E
O) C and D
P) C and E
Q) D and E
R) F and G
S) I hate you, Adam.

January 14, 2009 question

The Wall-Street all-stars after the Enron meltdown in 2001 were none other than the bad boys of Enron. The blessings they bestowed upon the California energy landscape have since been passed on to the entire gas-guzzling community. If you want to get irritated, as Heather M (the M stands for Make Mine A Double), Steve T (the T stands for Tap’s Open), Trevor, Karen H (the H stands for Hold The Barbecue And The Chicken On That Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Chicken), and Karen M (the M stands for Maybe I Should Drive) probably were when they recalled the answer on Monday, check out this quote from former Enron exec Kenneth Lay, before he was convicted of being Lex Luthor:

“The broader goal of [Krugman’s] latest attack on Enron appears to be to discredit the free-market system, a system that entrusts people to make choices and enjoy the fruits of their labor, skill, intellect and heart. He would apparently rely on a system of monopolies controlled or sponsored by government to make choices for people. We disagree, finding ourselves less trusting of the integrity and good faith of such institutions and their leaders.

“The example Mr. Krugman cites of ‘financialization’ run amok (the electricity market in California) is the product of exactly his kind of system, with active government intervention at every step. Indeed, the only winners in the California fiasco were the government-owned utilities of Los Angeles, the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. The disaster that squandered the wealth of California was born of regulation by the few, not by markets of the many.”

The tactics in question boiled down to a bit of legislation that allowed Enron to inflate prices of everything under the shroud of what became known as Investor-Satan privilege, a law that expressly forbids the government from investigating the terms of any agreements between futures & commodity traders and the Lord of Darkness.

Can you tell the frigid snow storm is making me irritable? Here’s today’s question:

True or False (see, I’m feeling irritable, but generous): Pepto-Bismal contains a radioactive ingredient.

January 9, 2009 answer

Mega kudos to Steve T (the T stands for Three) who knew that 3 of the 11 BCS National Champions (including this year’s Gators and last year’s Tigers) got to play the championship game in their home state. Two teams have actually lost the title game in a home atmosphere. The BCS is just fair all around. Way to go, Steve!

January 12, 2009 question

Yes, it did take me nine days to realize this was 2009. So sue me.

I caught the opening story on 60 Minutes last night about the true reason behind the sudden jump (and subsequent crash) in the price of gasoline at the pump. It was a real good story, but allow me to oversimplify it for us all.

Think of oil as Miley Cyrus concert tickets. Think of the oil companies as TicketMaster. The report alleged that concert venues are getting bigger, there are more dates on the tour schedule, and interest in Miley Cyrus is waning slightly. But there are these people called commodity traders (aka ticket scalpers) who don’t even like Hannah Montana, but they still buy up all the tickets they can for the entire tour. They have a real good feeling that Miley’s minions will pay a lot more than what TicketMaster is charging, and they’re right. But fans can’t buy Hannah Montana tickets from the scalpers . . . no, the scalpers have no intention of selling to actual consumers. They don’t even want the smell of Hannah Montana tickets on their hands. Instead, they sell the tickets to actual ticketing agents, who then dispense the tickets to the real fans at about 4 times the face value. TicketMaster does pretty well (especially since they realize they can increase their prices now that the scalpers have driven up the market price. Miley Cyrus ain’t hurting. The smaller ticketing agents barely make a living. The people who make the most money are the scalpers . . . yeah, the one’s who add exactly zero point zero, zero to the well being of the world. And it’s all perfectly legal. Yummy.

It’s ridiculous, whether you’re talking about oil, gas, or actual concert tickets. The answer to today’s question is the real kicker, though. Here it is:

According to the story on 60 Minutes, investors from what company became the most sought-after recruits on Wall Street as 2001 came to a close?

January 9, 2009 question

Mah-Jongg is a trademarked name that has no direct Chinese translation. I would have accepted “trick question,” or “I hate you, Adam,” as well. It was a transliteration of the Cantonese name for the game, Mahjek, which means “sparrow,” as several people guessed. Since the game was patented in 1923, the popularity of the new made-up name became so popular that it infiltrated Chinese folklore to the point that many people believe Confucius invented it. Saying the game was created by Joseph P. Babcock just doesn’t sell tiles.

Nobody knew, but now we all do. Except for the people who are so convinced by the generational lies that they will email me back and argue about it. Fun! 🙂 Here’s today’s question:

Of the 11 BCS national championship games*, how many have been played in the home state of the winning team?

*That’s college football, if you were wondering. You know who you are**.

**I will not accept an answer of “I hate you, Adam,” for today’s question.