April 30, 2009 question – Attack of the Point Guards

Beautiful Flagrance
Brad Miller’s head is a basketball, say NBA officials
Yesterday the NBA handed down its final ruling on Rajon Rondo’s thwacking of Brad Miller’s head in the closing seconds of Tuesday’s Game 5 between Boston and Chicago. The verdict: not flagrant. If you haven’t seen the play, you can watch it here (at about the 1:15 mark).

They ruled that Rondo didn’t wind up (he lunged at Miller from behind), didn’t follow through (the rock-solid contact with Miller’s huge melon may have had something to do with that), the impact wasn’t severe enough (puncturing Miller’s cheek with his own tooth, requiring stitches), and was part of a play on the basketball (which was neither in the vicinity nor in the same direction as Rondo’s meat-hook swat).

On the very same day, Dwight Howard was suspended for one game for grazing a guy’s cheek with his elbow.

Glad to see the NBA has brought integrity back into its officiating and discipline. All I know is this: if none of the Bulls foul Rondo hard in tonight’s win-or-go-home Game 6 in Chicago, one of the fans will.

Today’s Question
U.S. History
What was the original capital of Virginia?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Idiots are dumber than imbeciles and morons. And I must say, it was lovely receiving emails all day reading nothing but, “Idiot,” or “Moron.” Real self-esteem booster. 🙂 The terms went out of industry use after people started using them as derogatory terms . . . funny how the folks at MENSA never saw that coming. Here’s who knew:

Kyle
Karen H (the H stands for Hay Maker)
Steve J (the J stands for Jab Left, Hook Right)

Congrats on, you know, not being any of those things.

April 29, 2009 question – Dumb and Dumberererest?

Flyover
The Crown Prince of bad ideas
Hey, we need a new picture of Air Force One. Can we get one that makes it look like it’s flying into a building in the middle of Manhattan?

That sounds like something you’d overhear on the set of . . . okay, I’m trying to think of a show that wouldn’t be insulted by the insinuation that they could think of something that dumb, but it’s just not coming to me. Regardless, it wasn’t the desperate attempt of a ratings-hungry trash-com, it was straight out of the White House Military Office, complete with orders to NY law enforcement not to tell anybody.

The word fired comes to mind, but it’s replaced quickly by waterboarding.

Normally I like to take an unpredictable angle on such stories, but . . . yeah, I got nothing.

Today’s Question
Psychology
In the since scrapped psychological IQ classification of mental deficiencies, which rating was the lowest: idiot, imbecile, or moron?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Pigs do sweat, yes. Just not a lot. They don’t have enough sweat glands to cool themselves off adequately. They find other ways to keep themselves cool and stinky. Here’s who knew:

Kyle
Paul C (the C stands for Cool Sans Sweat)
Nancy K (the K stands for Knows Me Too Well To Trust Her Instincts)
Diannalee

Great job, all of you! Now, don’t forget to cover your face when you sneeze, or other people might catch Genius.

Idol Eyes – The Rat Pack


Ah . . . at last we’re down to five. Now we have plenty of time to hear all four judges ramble on. We don’t even have to rush to try to get a performance in before the first commercial break. And the surprise Rat-Pack-era judge? Jamie Foxx. And if you think about it*, it makes sense. Still, Mr. Foxx seemed to do a pretty good job, judging by the results.

*If by “think about it” you mean not even a little.
Kris Allen
Kris is still doing his “you’re so in love with me, right?” thing. And he’s right. Oh, he’s ever so dreamy. His take on “The Way You Look Tonight” was tactically brilliant. There he was, eyes wet with cool, crooning in all his BublĂ©-esque please-punch-me glory. He doesn’t have the range of the other singers, but he’s got a pretty sweet niche carved out . . . the screaming, hormone-crazed girl niche. He’s also got a good voice, an increasingly expert grasp of reverb exploitation, and a nice touch. I’ll admit it, the guy knows his way around a song.
He’s staying. Darn it all.

Allison Iraheta
I’ve always been a big fan of Allison’s, and I’m so glad she made it this far. I still think she’ll stick around one more week, but her time is coming. In some seasons (especially next season . . . I’ve seen the future, and they’re terrible in AI 9) I think Allison would have had a good shot of sticking around until the finals, but not this time. She looked great (warning, criticism approaching) and she sounded great (okay, here it comes) but her phrasing was off. It was like every measure was a separate performance . . . or that she learned the whole song phonetically. But I still love her. 
Insert corny “Someone to Watch Over Me” joke here.

Matt Giraud
“My Funny Valentine,” huh? You studied jazz in college. You know what I studied in college? Psychology. I took a whole class. In summer school. And I got an A. So let me give you a little evaluation: you got a jacked-up brain hiding out under that jauntily cocked little cap, son. I’m glad Simon liked the performance, but in the words of Will Smith, “Aw HAIL no.” It’s not that it was bad, but . . . “I like jazz” is not the right motivation when you’re in the top 5 of American Idol. The vocals were alright, especially after you got past the initial “I want to start slow and boring to make the end sound better” stage, but . . . no. That’s not a vote getter. If this were Jazz Idol, maybe you would be advancing (but I definitely wouldn’t be watching). I don’t know why I’m writing this review as if you’re reading this, Matt, it’s really nothing personal.
There’s a reason behind the pictures I choose, you know?

Danny Gokey
Danny, welcome back! His “Come Rain or Come Shine” was sunny, money, and dipped in honey. Seriously, after a few weeks of sleepwalking through safe and boring performances, finally Danny turned it on. I don’t know if he should have said he could see the finish line (a bit cocky) or smiled so dreamily into all the judges’ faces (a bit creepy), but the singing was on. He started quiet but strong and then exploded into the final riffs of soulful improv that Taylor Hicks could only dream of. Nice job.
The only question is if Danny or Kris will visit the bottom three.

Adam Lambert
This guy is such a showman, it’s hysterical. I mean, he has choreographed every note, wardrobe decision, and facial expression right down to the calculation of the shadows cast by his cockatoo coif. He’s obviously through to the next round and probably more talented than anyone this show’s ever seen. But will he get the votes in the final weeks . . . probably. Enough people don’t like him that it could get interesting later on. He’s pretty much the AI Obama.
I’m only typing something in bold because I decided at this point I should make predictions on everyone.

April 28, 2009 question – Oink, Oink, Puke

Sooey!
To oink or not to oink?
Move out of the way, bird flu, you were taking too long. It’s the swine’s turn, and I think this one has the potential to really get some people some serious sick days.We’re talking vomit, diarrhea, fever, chills, cold sweats, dry heaves, and a seriously porky case of the heebie jeebies and/or the willies.

And I love the recommendations they’re giving about protecting yourself from swine flu (especially since they don’t include staying away from pork). It’s stuff like cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough into your elbow. But those are just things you can do to keep other people from catching swine flue from you! Who cares about other people?!? What do you do when someone sneezes on you? Roll around in the mud? Wash your hands in BBQ sauce? Wrap your head in bacon? . . . Mmmm. I’ll be right back.

Today’s Question
Nature
Do pigs sweat?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Bea Arthur sang (along with Harvey Korman) in the Star Wars Holiday Special. By and large the show proved to be more harmful to humanity than the Swine Flu. Here’s who knew: Paul C (the C stands for Christmas On Mos Eisley) and MB (the MB stands for Merry Boba-Fettstivus!). Congrats on your knowledge of cosmic failure (and the handsomest woman ever to grace the silver screen . . . to Bea or not to Bea? There’s no question.)

Idle Alert

All recent evidence to the contrary, this is not an American Idol blog. I’ve just been a bit uninspired to write anything other than Idol, Lost, and trivia. Actually, the daily trivia email/blog has expanded lately, which has been fun. (You can sign up to receive it just by sending a blank email to kelloggtrivia@aweber.com . . . in case you were wondering.)

It’s not as though I have nothing to say. It’s not as though nothing has moved me to rant, rave, or write. It’s not as though my sons haven’t said anything interesting lately (Addison, today out of the blue: I think Anoop’s coming back; Colin, any time Heather is gone: Mommy, where are you?). I just . . . you know, haven’t posted much of anything here.
I’m sure it will get better. I’m sure I’ll get sick of writing elsewhere or enjoying nature or whatever else keeps distracting me. But for now . . . all I’ve got are ellipses. . . . 

April 27, 2009 question – R. I. Bea

Bye Bye, Bea
And then there’s death
If you’re anything like me, when you heard the news of Bea Arthur’s passing, you were very sad, very sad indeed . . . after getting over the initial shock that she was still alive. Was I alone in thinking she had died several years ago?

Yikes. I guess I owe her a trivia question.

Today’s Question
Bea Arthur
What Christmas special featured Bea Arthur singing the galactically panned bomb, “Goodnight, but not Goodbye”?

Friday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Not big fans of the Jagiellon Dynasty, huh? The nations of Poland and Lithuania are deeply hurt.

April 24, 2009 question – CHI-Jinx

Spoke Too Soon
My kind of losing streak
Since my celebratory email on Monday rejoicing in the glorious weekend of winning, my Chicago teams have won precisely one game. Thank God it’s the weekend again (yes, I’m counting today as the weekend in the hopes that words that begin in W’s conjure up some wins).

If you look on the bright side, of course, you’ll realize that there’s more to life than sports. If, however, sports is the best thing you’ve got going . . . well, I hope you’ve been rooting for someone other than Chicago. Yikes.

Happy Friday anyway.

Today’s Question
History
What two countries were joined under the reign of the Jagiellon Dynasty?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Wow. Either I’ve asked this question before or you’re all just really smart about your folksy guitar bands. Or both. Plenty of you knew that The Byrds were always fronted by Roger McGuinn. Here’s who:

Heather M (the M stands for McGenius)
Larry
Steve T (the T stands for Turn, Turn, Turn)
Micaela
Jocelyn

Rock on with your Byrd-loving selves.

April 23, 2009 question – Free Bird


When Mascots Attack
Freedom’s just another word for “Get that bird out of here.”
For the first three minutes or so of the Hawks/Heat playoff game last night, the players didn’t seem to mind that a bird of prey was on the loose; that’s because they didn’t see it. But “Spirit,” the Atlanta Hawks real-life mascot was soaring inside the arena, perching itself on top of the scoreboard, touring the game action from above, and finally resting atop one of the backboards. When the players finally realized what was going on, they were scared to death and refused to play until the bird’s handler finally got control of the situation.

Atlanta team officials were furious, saying, “This will never happen again. You can’t let a natural predator free inside a stadium. I shudder to think what would have happened if Spud Webb were still playing for us.”

Today’s Question
Music
Although 12 other musicians joined him over the years (1964-1973), Roger McGuinn was the only continuous member of what band?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
I’ll first give fact-checking credit to Heidi for knowing that the Moon does in fact get celebrated on the crappiest day of the week (Monday). But she didn’t know that Iron is believed to be the primary component of the earth’s core. Here’s who did:

Steve T (the T stands for Try And Prove It)
Karen H (the H stands for How Do They Know?)
Karen M (the M stands for Magnets. They Put The Entire Earth On A Fridge, And It Stuck)
Kyle

Congrats, all you smarty pantses.

LOST questions

Before I watch tonight’s episode, I wanted to answer last week’s questions. Most of the questions I’ve received about Lost revolve around the people who briefly abducted Miles, warned him about Widmore, and asked him if he knew what stood in the shadow of the statue. Let’s look at what we know:

The last time we heard the question about something standing in the statue’s shadow was when Lapidus returned from the main island and got ambushed by the 2nd generation of Losties (aka Flight 316). What you (and I) may not have realized is that the main abductor who tried to dissuade Miles in the van was actually a passenger (Bram) on Flight 316. Now . . . was it a passenger who went back in time after crashing on the island or a passenger who had yet to make it to the island? Well, that’s impossible to know at this point, but something tells me that dude had already seen the island.
We also know these people are anti-Widmore, which leads me to believe they’re pro-Ben. They seemed to act completely differently after Lapidus returned from escorting Sun to the main island in contrast to the way they acted before he, Sun, and Ben all left. What changed their minds? My guess is, it had something to do with the psychosomatic smoke monster (heretofore known as PSM). I have a feeling that Ben reunited with the island and perhaps dabbled in yet another bout of time travel to brainwash the survivors of Flight 316. It’s a wild guess, but I’m stickin’ to it.
Another question was how Daniel Farraday could reappear 30 years ago after disappearing. Well, I believe he left the island when Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Jin all joined the Dharma initiative. I don’t know how he did, but he did. Regardless, I think Daniel has always been linked in time to Sawyer, Juliet, et. al. So it’s no surprise he recognized Miles. To us, they are all their present-day selves in a 1970’s setting.
And what about Miles being Dr. Chang’s son? Well that just makes good sense. You’d have to believe Miles got his extra-sensory post-mortem communication abilities from being born on the island (or from the after-effects of what may have happened during his time there).
It’s all so very cool and, if you don’t watch, so very dorky. I can’t wait to watch!

April 22, 2009 question – Earth’s Belly Button

You Say It’s Your Earth Day
It’s my Earth Day too.
Earth Day is a day when we can all spend a little more time on Earth and a little less time wasting our energy and affection on other planets. Sure, we don’t yet have a day dedicated to the Moon, but we celebrate the Sun every week. And I’m sure we’ll commemorate the day of Pluto’s death on some kind of annual basis. And sometimes every day feels like it’s from Mars.

But today, you’re the only planet I care about, Earth. I’m setting aside my love letters to Venus, my Mercurial musings, and any rhyming philosophies about why girls go to Jupiter. As usual, I’m gonna try not to even think about Uranus, but I’ll try twice as hard today.

Unfortunately, you’re infested with humans, so . . . you’re screwed.

Today’s Question
Geology
According to geologists, what element comprises the overwhelming majority of the earth’s core?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
I suppose it’s only fitting that on Earth Day we reveal the anniversary of National Geographic‘s first publication. Here’s who knew: Steve T (the T stands for This Time It’s Deja Vu All Over Again), Karen H (the H stands for Have Every Issue), and a special second-guess consolation prize to Diannalee for almost guessing it. 🙂