January 8, 2008 question

Only Kyle knew that the frog with the really long name is the only known species of frogs to not have any lungs. Some salamanders are lungless, along with another legless amphibian. Just to keep things straight. Kyle does have lungs. And he did know the answer. No idea whether the frog knows he doesn’t have lungs.

Okay, time for an even harder one . . . or is it? Here’s today’s question:

What is the literal Chinese translation of “Mah-Jongg,” the popular tile game of luck and strategy?

Holidays Over


The commencement of midseason television series marks the official end of the holidays. Scrubs returned tonight, which means it’s time to get back to work. Blogging is not working, but it’s not exactly sitting around doing nothing, so here goes . . . not nothing anymore.

It feels good to be back typing stuff on the Internation. It felt even better to not do that for a long time. Rest is good. But after awhile, you need a break from the rest. I’ll try to ease into it by recapping a couple of fun stories about my boys (each of whom aged about 6 years during the last month).
Addison got a fish tank for Christmas, so we got it ready and went out to buy a couple of fish. We got one that’s an orange and black something or other named Sparky. His buddy was a skinny silver guy named Mikey. Unfortunately, Mikey didn’t even survive the trip home from Wal-Mart. I thought he was making a very poor attempt at escaping being scooped out of his temporary shelter, the plastic bag thingy. And then it seemed for a moment like he was making a valiant display of fortitude as he began zipping around the wide open waters. Turns out that was just the wake of the filter propelling him around.
I know the description sounds callous, but I really was heartbroken that the fish we had just bought for 28 cents had now bought it on his own. I dreaded informing Addison that he had just experienced his first loss of a pet, mere seconds after we transported it home. When I told him I thought Mikey didn’t make it, he was not happy. He denied it. He got angry at me. He told me to just leave him and he would be okay. After I removed Mikey’s body, Addison got even more upset. He cried. He yelled some more. He blamed me. Then I told him Mikey was in fishy heaven.
And then Addison was fine. He went back to watching Sparky swim around in all his not-dead glory. It was all so unpleasant, but heartening to realize my little boy was growing up. Every time I hear him sadly tell someone that Mikey died only to reassure them that he’s in fishy heaven, it hits me that this boy understands the mystical finality of death a little too well. Happy holidays.
Colin, on the other hand, is grasping the concept of one-word sentences. He cracks me up, because he is repeating everything. Not sound-for-sound, but you can tell he knows what he’s saying. It’s off-the-charts cute. Seriously, our pediatrician doesn’t normally tell us any percentiles for head size or weight or anything, but he did say that Colin was at the infinity percentile for cute. He’s a doctor, who are we to argue?
But one thing he did almost made me break down and cry like a frightened puppy. I was in the kitchen. He wanted me to read him a book in the living room. Normally, he would just look up at me, extend both arms to full tip-toe height (just above counter level) and say, “Hold you.” But this time, he just held up one tiny hand right up to mine and said, “Hand?” I grabbed it, and he walked me to the couch. 
And that was awesome. Happy New Year, everybody.

January 6, 2008 question

It’s a new year, and I’d like to tell you I’ve resolved to being more consistent with trivia than I was last year . . . but seeing as we’re six days in and you’re only just now receiving your first question of 09, maybe we’ll hold off on any predictions. Then again, waiting this long for trivia isn’t that much worse than waiting until January 8 to play the last college bowl game.

When I left you last year, we were collectively wondering what the other half of fat free half & half is. Karen M (the M stands for Moo Point) knew that the mystery ingredient is almost always corn syrup. Corn syrup, cream, what’s the difference? Way to know what you aren’t putting in your body, Karen! On to today’s question. Here it is:

The Barbourula kalimantanensis is the only known species of frog that has no . . . what?