September 29, 2010 question – Hump (back) Day

It’s Wednesday. Hump day. The day everyone realizes the week is half over and they should probably get to work. Excuse me for interrupting. But before I leave you to the sweet relief that Friday is near and the shocking realization that the end of your to-do list is not, please take a moment to appreciate this bit of random knowledge that won’t help you in the least.

Today’s Question
The Animal Kingdom . . . no, wait, Movies

In what film do two humpback whales named George and Gracie travel into the future and save the world?

Previous Answer
And the People Who Knew It

Steve J ( the J stands for Joad Family) and Karen M (the M stands for Make My Salad A César) knew that César Chávez founded United Farm Workers of America. Their trivial reign may never end, because who knows when the next question will go out. Congrats!

June 15, 2009 question

Sorry for the 2-week layoff
I take Flag Day very seriously
The results of the Iranian election are being disputed from the streets of Tehran to the halls of D.C. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes it was a fair and free election. His reformist adversary, Mir Hossein Moussavi, thinks the entire process has been a mullah-generated fraud. And Al Gore still thinks he has enough votes in Florida to win the thing.

Everything old is new again.

Today’s Question
Can Bumblebees sting?

Yesterday’s (give or take 2 weeks) Answer
And the people who knew it

Johnny Carson was the longest tenured host of The Tonight Show by far. I thought it might be so easy you’d second guess yourselves. I thought wrong.

May 11, 2009 question – Trick or Trivia

I Tricked You
And I feel really bad/good about it, too
I ask trick questions all the time. Not all the time, I mean, not every question is a trick question. But I like throwing them in there from time to time. Friday’s was a trick. It was so tricky, in fact, that I’ve been debating all weekend whether to award credit to the people who knew the non-trick question but failed to spot the trick.

Because, you see, nobody guessed the trick answer. If you suspect a trick question’s coming, you can employ a trick guess without even reading the question. Any of these are very likely to garner a correct answer to a trick question: zero, one, none of them, all of them, himself, herself, never.

But if you get tricked by a trick question and you knew the non-trick answer, whew . . . the only genuine responses seem to be @#!&, &#!^, &@#$, and #$##&@^ &!^%#@*. As you can see from the answer below, I’ll have to accept any of these. Sorry.

Today’s Question
Which of the following is not a mollusk:

A. Crab
B. Cuttlefish
C. Giant Squid
D. Slug
E. Snail

Friday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
None of King Henry VIII’s marriages ended in beheading. The two ex-wives who were beheaded became just that—EX wives—shortly before becoming ex-living. King Henry Ocho was a big fan of annulling marriages that didn’t work out, the tricky little bloke.

May 7, 2009 question – Get Out!

The Sun beckons
When I first started trivializing via email, I was a recipient not a sender. And the thing I loved about getting a trivia question every day was the simple fact that it was one small thing to look forward to. It made the day just a little better.

So when I started sending these mind-bending missives, I took the responsibility very seriously: it became my mission to make everybody’s day just a little better with something that bore no other relevance to your life than the simple fact that you expected it to come. And if the intro, the question, the answer or just a non-work-related email elevated the experience of your day . . . success!

Well I’m still going to provide a question today, and I hope you get it right. But I’m going to ask something else of you right now, something that I hope will make your day a little better:

Stop what you’re doing. Go outside for just a minute. Enjoy the weather, rain or shine. Then come back here and tell me about it.

If there’s a reason you just can’t go outside, I’d like to hear that, too (though I suspect you could at least get to an open window or something). But there’s a reason people talk about the weather when they’ve got nothing else to talk about. It’s not small talk. It’s just nice.

It’s nice to know that however we compartmentalize ourselves throughout the course of the day, there’s a big ol’ natural world out there just waiting for us to enjoy it. Be it weather, be it trivia, it’s ready for us to partake of its goodness. If that one-minute break from your self-made cell doesn’t improve your day even a little bit, I’ll give you your money back. Every penny.

So get outside. Tell me what it’s like. This is trivia; there’s no such thing as small talk.

Today’s Question
What do ladybugs eat?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Don Ho, the flyin’ Hawaiian, was the only person on yesterday’s list to shed this mortal coil. Some of you owe Cronkite and Bordot a long-overdue visit. Here’s who knew:

Karen M (the M stands for Morbid)

Congratulations on your genius that has yet to flatline!

April 28, 2009 question – Oink, Oink, Puke

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
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.)

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
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)

Congrats, all you smarty pantses.

April 6, 2009 question – Shining a Light in My Eyes

Somebody Turn That Thing Off
It’s too early for sunlight
Monday morning is an interrogation. Monday steals us from the arms of our loving parents, Saturday and Sunday, and locks us in a cold, bare room with nothing but an irritating light that shines as bright as the sun. Because it is the sun.

What do they want to know? What’s so important that Monday had to bring me in on trumped up charges of “having work to do,” whatever that means? Spare me the torture, Monday. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.

Just take me back home to the weekend. You always do. Why must you keep returning? Go, Monday. Go steal someone else’s children.

Stranger danger. Stranger danger!

Today’s Question
Animal Kingdom
How many teeth does an adult hippo have?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Google is worth 8 points, but the Y and H in Yahoo give it a whopping 11 Scrabbleriffic tallies. Here’s who knew:
Charles (who actually knew the exact point totals)
Steve T (the T stands for One Point)
Nancy K (the K stands for Five Points)

Well done, all of you. May all your word scores be tripled and all your Q words be plentiful.

February 12, 2009 question

If you’ve stolen a cat or a dog whose name you do not know and someone asks you to verify that it’s yours by calling out the pet’s name, your best bet is Max. And if you have a pet named Max that’s gone missing recently, Maridee and Heidi may have been smart enough to get away with the petnapping.

Um, congrats.

On to bigger news. A Russian satellite and an American satellite collided at high speed about 500 miles above Siberia. It was the first ever high-speed collision of man-made objects in space, which makes it officially awesome. Said Lee Minors, chief ballistics engineer at NASA, “We’ve blown stuff up and smashed stuff up in a lot of places. But doing it in space has forever been the dream. Now, by accident, we’ve stumbled into uncharted awesomeness. I mean, look at it!”

Now here’s a completely unrelated question that I didn’t make up–for real, my son just asked me (I got it wrong):

Do river otters have webbed feet?

February 10, 2009 question

A lot of you guessed something that sounded like “BAL-kee,” but only these people correctly spelled his name Balki (and all but one self-professed cheater left out the Bartokomous): Paul C (the C stands for Came From The Balkans), Larry, and Cindy. Get out of the city, all of you.

Now, on to today’s question:

What is the most popular name both for pet cats and for pet dogs in the U.S.?