Not exactly. But here are some changes I’ve made over the last several days:
At this point, no revelation in the Major League Baseball steroid scandal can come as a shock to anyone at all familiar with it. In fact, the parade of new names being linked to performance enhancing substances in sports has drawn on to the point of tedium.
Over at the Cubscast message board, fan desperation has gotten to the point of debating light-hitting backup catchers. The Cubs let Hank White fly (along with this $3 million option el grande) and instead took a flyer on Paul Bako. Both catchers are now making $750,000 in one-year deals, Blanco signing with the Padres. Neither catcher is an accomplished hitter. Both are getting up there in age. Blanco is clearly the better defensive backstop. But all in all, neither one screams “difference maker” in what is already a backup role.
Only Charles knew that Bill Gates was the source of yesterday’s inspiration. And for that, Charles wins an all expense paid trip to anywhere in the world . . . well, a virtual tour anyway. /inspiration.
Okay, on to today’s news, which includes a celebration of Pat Summitt’s 1,000th career coaching victory as head of the Tennessee Lady Vols. One thousand wins is a so amazing it’s a joke. It’s not the kind of thing that happens in real life college basketball, it’s something you could duplicate on the Easy level of a video game. But the gigantic 1K figure isn’t the most astounding part of what that woman has done as a head coach. The number that will make your jaw drop so low you could fit a basketball in there is this one:
186. That’s the number of times the Lady Vols have lost with Pat Summitt on the bench. Wins: 1,000. Losses: 186. That’s an 84% winning percentage. To put it in Vegas terms, if you bet against the Lady Vols, you are gonna lose. And if you bet on the Lady Vols, you’re not gonna make a lot of money. Congratulations, Ms. Summitt. You are ridiculous. Here’s today’s question:
What character did Bronson Pinchot breathe life into (over-the-top accent included) in the 1986 television sitcom, Perfect Strangers? (spelling counts: whoever comes closest wins it all)
I could tell you what the folks at theInternet.com gave as an answer to yesterday’s question, but it would pale in comparison to trivia’s resident expert in all things Russian, who for anonymity’s sake will remain nameless. Here’s what Elena had to say:
Sputnik simply means “satellite,” both man-made and “natural”—as in “The Moon is the sputnik of the Earth.”
But that’s not all. Outside of space travel, “sputnik” has a down-to-earth, everyday meaning of “co-traveler,” someone who is going on the same road with you side by side. “Put” in Russian means “road, way,” and the preposition “s” means “with.” The last name of Russia’s fearless leader, president turned prime-minister—Putin—has the same root.
You may have read from the early history of the Soviet Union, some writers, artists, musicians were denounced (some killed) as “poputchiks”—“fellow travelers” who just tagged along with the regime’s agenda, without showing due enthusiasm.
So, I gave credit to everybody whose answers fit somewhere into Encyclopedia Elena’s definition: Gopal, Karen H (the H stands for Half-Hearted Communist), and of course Elena. So here’s today’s question:
Who said this: “The market does not drive scientists, thinkers, or governments to do the right things. Only by paying attention and making people care can we make as much progress as we need to”?
“Let’s Stay Together” and Al Green sauntered past Don McLean on the charts back in the day, and here’s who knew: Kristin, Robbie, Julia, Maridee, and Kyle.
And speaking of old school R&B, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced yesterday the crowning achievement of the Iran space program, the deployment of Iran’s first satellite. U.S. intelligence officials were initially distressed about the development, believing the same technology used to deploy Omid (Farsi for hope) might later be used in an attempt to deploy nuclear or biological weapons. Further investigation, however, revealed that Iran’s claims were exaggerated.
They actually just acquired their first satellite TV deal at $9.99 a month* from Dish Network. According to one anonymous insider close to the negotiations, Ahmadinejad fumed, “The infidel dogs would not give me a digital converter coupon. Now they can eat the dust of my feet in HD, baby!”
Here’s today’s question:
What is the English translation of the Russian name, “Sputnik,” assigned to the first man-made satellite to orbit the earth?
My change for today was to get to bed early. You see, at a quarter after midnight, I’m beginning to realize why they say it’s important to make your goals specific.
I apologize to all of you for wasting your time with the easiest question of all time. Yes. Al Gore said that. And no, he did not create the Internet, invent the Internet, or even use the Internet until 2005 (I have documented proof*). Everyone got this right, so I’ll give sole credit to Kristin who responded first and made me laugh.
In part due to my retroactive angst in remembering Al Gore’s most grandiose of claims, I got to thinking about global warming, and not just because of the foot and a half of lake-effect snow predicted to fall on me like so many pieces of crumbling sky. I was just wondering why this era of globalwarmophobia has coincided with the incomparable financial success of the major oil companies. The value of shares in Exxon Mobil seem to be directly related to the level of panic on the faces of Al** Gore and the Green*** Team. But I can’t figure out how carbon emission fears could drive up the price of fossil fuels. Is it possible that the oil companies were concerned about waning supplies, so they actually bought pseudo-scientific studies that would scare people into using less oil, so that they could, in turn, drill less and profit more? No. That’s silly. Here’s today’s question:
What song replaced Don McLean’s “American Pie” atop the U.S. pop charts on February 12, 1972?
*By “documented proof” I mean a sarcastic hunch.
**Big clue, part 1
***Big clue, part 2
Last Groundhog Day, I made a commitment for the month that I found far superior to any batch of New Year’s resolutions I had ever concocted. The plan was to make one change every day for the entire month. I didn’t commit to making the changes last. Some stuck. Some didn’t. But I pretty faithfully picked at least one thing every day to change.
Happy Groundhog Day, everybody. So much water cooler talk, so little energy. I watched the Super Bowl . . . ish. Saw a few ads. Missed the Boss. Loved the end of the game. Hated the refs. Amazed at how uncomfortable The Office can make me. Ready for baseball.
Now, on to The View. Guesses came from two main schools: those who think it’s new and those who think it’s been on for way too long . . . okay, maybe both those schools are in general agreement. But we had quite a few guesses from 1990 land and then another big batch from post 2000 ville. I was of the second school, thinking that this particular daytime talk show was one of the after effects of 9/11. But, alas, we can’t blame the terrorists for this one. Barbara and friends have been chatting it up since 1997. Nobody got it exactly right, but these three came within a year:
Kyle, Jacqueline, and Paul C (the C stands for Chatfest). Here’s today’s question, and let’s settle this once and for all:
Did Al Gore really tell Wolf Blitzer, “I took the initiative in creating the Internet”?