October 4, 2010 question: Trivia on Strike

The frosting’s on the punkin muffins, too.

The Cubs’ season is over. The Bears’ fantasy is over. And the frigid part of fall season is officially upon us. The frost is on the punkin, people. It’s time for spices and Cool Whip and sweatshirts and early-morning ankle sensitivity. The leaves, they are a changin’.

Today’s Question
Which is farther: the distance from the foul line to the head pin in bowling or the distance from the pitcher’s plate to home plate in baseball?

Previous Question
And the people who knew it
The movie in question with the earth-saving humpback whales was Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Here’s who knew, more or less: Micaela, Laurie, Kyle, Paul C (the C stands for Contact), Steve J (the J stands for James Tiberius), John H (the H stands for Holla back, Spock!), Karen M (the M stands for Monday needs a whale named after it, too), and Heather M (the M stands for Maybe the Fail Whale could be Monday’s sea mammal). Congrats to all of you, condolences to the rest of you, and kudos to three of you. You know who you are.

July 21, 2009 question – Where Have You Gone, Mr. Trivia?

With Apologies to Simon and/or Garfunkel
And Joe DiMaggio

Where have you gone, Mr. Trivia?
Did Walter Cronkite’s passing get to you?
Boo hoo hoo.

What’s that you say, Mr. Trivia?
The trusted one has left and gone away.
Hey, hey, hey. Hey, hey, hey.

Try to write a question that nobody else will know.
Who discovered sodium biphosphate?
How’d they ever figure out that it would work that way?
So, let’s change the subject. How about those Bears?

So here’s to you, Mr. Trivia.
It looks like you have grossed us out, but why?
That’s TMI.

That’s two weeks off, Mr. Trivia,
And now you’re back, we’re wond’ring what we missed.
Yeah, we insist . . .

Please, no more songs about enemas.
Some trivia is better left unknown.
You make us groan. Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Today’s Question
Sports & Leisure
What is the final score in the seventh frame of a perfect game of bowling?

Previous Answer
And the people who knew it

Captain America is the answer. I’ve forgotten the question. Here’s who knew: Paul C (the C stands for Captain Canada, Hero Of The Great White North), Kyle, Karen H (the H stands for Hombre De Guam), and Micaela. Congrats, glory, and honor to you all, Avengers of ignorance. That was supposed to be a compliment. Forgive me if it didn’t work out that way.

May 5, 2009 question – Cinco de . . . um . . .

Down the Stretch They Come
And by “they” I mean society
I know it’s Cinco de Mayo, but now that I’m half conscious, I want to talk about Dos de Mayo and the running of the Kentucky Derby. The most telling thing about that race was not the 21-hour drive the owner and his horse made from New Mexico (or the hobbled hissy fit he threw when asked about it for the twenty-first time after winning). It wasn’t the 50-1 odds Mine That Bird overcame. It wasn’t even the fact that the winning horse was in dead last 3/4 of the way through the race (or the fact that, after Kyle mockingly said he bet on that horse, I told him not to worry, he was going to do a Black Stallion and win this thing).

No, the very best part of the race, the part that summed up the improbability of it all, was the call Tom Durkin made once Mine That Bird opened up a three length lead–a lead he would more than double down the stretch. Yes, with about 100 yards left in the race, Durkin’s call went like this:

“And out in front is . . . uh . . . “

Yeah, the reason he was searching for a name was the simple fact that the last time he had referenced that horse was in this sentence: “And behind the rest of them is Mine That Bird.”

That’s how unexpected and lightning fast his surge to victory was. I had to rewind it multiple times to verify that what I had just seen was really what my mind was assuming it was.

And it was. And it was hilariously awesome.

Today’s Question
Prior to their defeat in the Battle of Puebla (on Cinco de Mayo) what was the last military battle the French Army had lost, almost 50 years prior?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Yes, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye. It’s right . . . there. Here’s who spotted it:

Steve T (the T stands for Two Hundred Fifty Light Years Away, Making It One Of The Most Distant Objects Visible From Earth WTNE)
Steve J (the J stands for Just Wave So I Can See Where You Are)

Congratulations on your intergalactic genius.

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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
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)
Steve T (the T stands for Turn, Turn, Turn)

Rock on with your Byrd-loving selves.

April 3, 2009 question – Cutleriffic

It’s Friday, I’m in Love
. . . with Jay Cutler
It’s April 3. That’s supposed to be the time I attempt to get the trivia world all excited about baseball and spring and baseball and flowers and baseball and the Cubs and the Cubs and baseball. But instead the Bears are monopolizing the part of my brain that fantasizes about sporting championships. The Bears now have a quarterback that people generally consider to be good.

Yes, he’s been accused of being a whiner. True, he has diabetes management issues. And indeed, he has Blagojevichian hair. But still, he’s a legitimate quarterback on a team that hasn’t had one since the leather-helmet days. AND they added an all-pro offensive lineman from THE Ohio State University. That’s right, we have a quarterback and an emphatic definite article. If that’s not reason to celebrate than I don’t know . . . no, wait . . . then you don’t know what is.

However, since knowing what constitutes celebratory motivation makes for a pretty lame trivia question, I’ll move on.

Today’s Question
Which search-engine title yields a higher Scrabble score: Yahoo or Google? (without bonus squares)

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Do you want to know? “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” was the A-side (do they call them A-sides?) to “Hey Tonight,” both of which were rhapsodized by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Here’s who knew:

Steve T (the T stands for Tonight . . . Hey!)

Congrats, way to go, you’re the Obama-diggity.

April 1, 2009 question: But Seriously

If I Could Just Get Serious for a Moment
. . . but I can’t.
The news just ain’t doing it for me today. There’s sports stuff to talk about. Or Idol. But overall this day just feels so boring. Maybe it’s because Obama left the country and took our mojo with him. I just haven’t been this far from Barack since he took office, and I just don’t know what to do with myself.

I guess I’ll just sit here and cry. Or . . . I could just take comfort in knowing that there doesn’t necessarily need to be anything to be distracted from in order for trivia to be a pleasant distraction. So I’ll just let the crickets chirp for awhile, and then I’ll get on to the question.


Today’s Question
In what year was the inaugural Cricket World Cup held?

Yesterday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
Before he was posthumously doling out awards bearing his name, Joseph Pulitzer fought in the American Civil War and did his fair share of newspaper work. Karen H (the H stands for Honor In Reporting) and Heather M (the M stands for Mudslinging Yellow Journalists) both knew, given some time to think about it. You are both awarded the Pulitzer Prize of Trivia. Kudos.

March 24, 2009 question

$1 Trillion
Next up: bailout infinity
$1 Trillion. One trillion dollars. Stocks surged when the news of the one-trillion-dollar stimuluscious banking bonus was announced from the White House (aka the North Pole). For those of you unfamiliar with life in the trillions, let me break it down this way:

It’s a one. And then a zero. Then another zero. Then another zero. After that comes another zero.  Followed by a zero. And then a zero. Next we have a zero. And a zero after that. Okay, here’s another zero coming up. Next up in the sequence: a zero. Ditto on that last zero. Finally, we round it out with another zero. It’s that many dollars. There are also four commas in there to break up the monotony. If it’s easier to look at it as digits only, try this:
If you’d like to type that number out at home, I offer this tip: To save time, I cut the first comma and the next three zeroes and then pasted that series three times, one right after the other. Still not grasping the immensity of it all? I understand. I’ll use a comparison to make it clearer:
One trillion has more zeroes in it than my savings account has dollars. That help? Or you know how when you’re playing Monopoly with someone, and the banker is losing really bad, so he starts putting all the money in the bank in the middle of the board, hoping he lands on Free Parking? It’s like that, but with the banks of 49 million Monopoly sets.

Today’s Question
Sports & Leisure
How much money came in a standard-issue Monopoly bank before the 2008 version increased the bankroll to $20,580?

Monday’s Answer
And the people who knew it
The correct title of option C, Life of Pi, has no the. Nobody knew. But just to keep trivia morale up, I hereby award you all with one trillion trivia points to divvy among yourselves. Enjoy!

March 4, 2009 question

Because I live and breathe those PHILadelphia PHILlies . . .

I stole that question from Jeopardy because I was so dumbfounded by it. Here’s who wasn’t:

Steve T (the T stands for Trebek)
Heather M ( the M stands for M Words For $1000)
Karen M (the M stands for My Lunchmeat Has A First Name For $600)

Granted, Alex Trebek doesn’t give you all day to answer. He only gives you . . . wait. How long does he give you? Let’s see who knows, shall we? Here’s the question:

How long are Jeopardy contestants given to answer the question (or question the answer, I suppose) in the Final Jeopardy round?

March 3, 2009 question

The answer to Friday’s question is baseball. The only reason I know that is because Steve J (the J stands for Just Trust Me) got it right . . . according to my notes. If you know what the question was, or if you have any information about my whereabouts over the past several days, please let me know. The last week or so is an absolute blur. So let’s just trudge ahead into trivia, shall we? Here’s the question:

What is the only Major League Baseball team whose name begins with the same four letters as its city?

February 27, 2009 question

It isn’t that I want you to fail; I love coming across a correct answer in the trivia inbox. But when a multiple choice question yields a singular winner . . . I’m pretty happy. So is Jessie, because she and she alone recalled that Shane Stant, otherwise known as “Who?” wielded the club that failed to put Nancy Kerrigan out of commission. Shawn Eckhardt was Tonya Harding’s bodyguard. Jeff Gillooly was her husband and the mastermind of the dumbest operation in the history of sports. Tonya Harding was the one who almost strangled the world with her boot lace. And Jeff Stone was . . . also Jeff Gillooly. He changed his name, because A) the notoriety of the incident completely prevented him from having any chance of a peaceful private life, and B) his name was Jeff Gillooly. Congratulations, Jessie! The competition is nowhere to be seen! Hey . . . what did you do? Why? Why? WHY?!?

Um, okay, time for a nice, peaceful Friday question. Here goes nothin’:

What sport did England see played for the first time at Lord’s Cricket Ground on this date in 1874?