Musings of the Chronologically Challenged™ Fourth Generation
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Jan 1 Q. When it comes to champagne, what's a punt? A. The dome-shaped indentation in the bottom of the bottle.
Jan 2 Q. To what family of animals do the Chinstrap, Macaroni, and Gentoo belong? A. Penquin. All three are Antarctic penquins.
Jan 3 Q. What Hollywood actress, as an 11-month-old, was featured in a TV commercial for Gainesburger puppy food? A. Drew Barymore. She made her feature film debut at age five in Altered States in 1980.
Jan 4 Q. Which is the highest of the seven continents? A. Antarctica. Because of its thick ice cover, it has the highest average elevation of all the continents.
Jan 5 Q. How many White Castle hamburgers does a pound of ground beef yield? A. 18. White Castle, founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kasnsas is the oldest hamburger chain in the US.
Jan 6 Q. Who was the first person Madame Tussaud modeled in wax? A. Philosopher/writer Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire, in 1777.
Jan 7 Q. Where was the greyhound dog breed developed? A. In ancient Eqypt. Images of greyhounds hunting deer appear in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Amien, built between 2900 and 2751 B.C.
Jan 8 Q. What is the aptly named weekly journal published by the American Heart Association? A. Circulation.
Jan 9 Q. Who played a neighborhood cop who gets hit in the face with a pie intended for Alice Kramden in Jackie Gleason's very first televised Honeymooners skit? A. Art Carney -- before he assumed the role of Ralph Kramden's sewer-worker sidekick Ed Norton.
Jan 10 Q. In what war did Mary Edwards Walker -- the only woman ever awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor -- serve? A. The Civil War. The first female doctor in the U.S. Army, she served on the front lines and crossed enemy lines to tend to the wounded. Captured by the Confederates, she was freed in a prisoner exchange.
Jan 11 Q. How did the California wine country town of Hopland get its name? A. From the hops once grown there for brewing beer. Grapes replaced hops as the Mendocino County town's major crop in the 1970s.
Jan 12 Q. Why were ladies asked not to wear their hooped skirts and men not to wear their swords, to the premier performance of Handel's Messiah in Dublin in 1742? A. To make room for as many music lovers as possible. Demand to hear the oratorio -- with Handel directing -- was great, and space was limited at the newly opened Neal's Music Hall.
Jan 13 Q. What hulking basketball legend appeared in the fight scene opposite 5-foot-7 Bruce Lee in the 1978 film Game of Death? A. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had studied the martial art style known as Jeet Kune Do (Way of the Intercepting Fist) with Lee. The film was Lee's last.
Jan 14 Q. What plant root gave root beer its name? A. Sassafras.
Jan 15 Q. What was the first black-controlled company traded on the New York Stock Exchange? A. BET Holdings, the parent company of Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1991.
Jan 16 Q. What famous religious leader wrote, "The time to keep silence has passed and the time to speak is come"? A. Martin Luther, the German priest who sparked the Reformation -- and after whom Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. (who originally were named Michael Luther) were renamed in 1934.
Jan 17 Q. What was the Barbie doll wearing when it was introduced in 1959? A. A black-and-white zebra-striped swimsuit and stiletto heels. The doll sold for $3.00.
Jan 18 Q. What are the three key ingredients of the gourmet treat Turducken? A. Turkey, duck and chicken, as the name suggests. The dish contains three boned birds -- a turkey stuffed with a ducking, which in turn is stuffed with a chicken. Turducken recipes generally include three different dressings used as stuffing between the birds.
Jan 19 Q. What are the six official languages of the United Nations? A. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
Jan 20 Q. What world-famous photographer took the first picture that appeared on the cover of the very first issue of Life magazine, in November 1936? A. Margaret Bourke-White. The photo was of the massive Fort Peck Dam, then under construction by the Army Corps of Engineers in Montana.
Jan 21 Q. In stamp collecting, what are cinderellas? A. Stamplike seals or stickers that have no postal validity. They include seals issued by charities and revenue stamps issued by governments.
Jan 22 Q. What baseball great received the highest percentage of votes ever cast for induction into the Hall of Fame? A. Pitcher Tom Seaver, who had 98.84 percent of the votes cast in 1992.
Jan 23 Q. What was the name of the Virginia mansion where first-lady-to-be Martha Washington lived with her first husband, wealthy planter Daniel Parke Custis? A. The White House. The mansion, on the Pamunkey River in New Ken County, is where the widowed Martha Dandridge Custis was living at the time of her marriage to George Washington.
Jan 24 Q. What was the $50 bet between editor Bennett Cerf and Theodor Giesel -- aka Dr. Seuss -- that resulted in the children's classic Green Eggs and Ham? A. Cerf bet Geisel that he couldn't write a book using 50 words or less. Geisel won.
Jan 25 Q. What federal building in Washington, D.C., has a larger-than-life frieze of Napoleon Bonaparte on a wall in its main chamber? A. The U.S. Supreme Court. The frieze is one of the 18 marble likenesses on the courtroom's north and south walls, depicting great figures in legal history. Napoleon's legal legacy is his 1804 Civil Code.
Jan 26 Q. What early colonial figure escaped slavery in Turkey before traveling to the New World to help found a settlement? A. Captain John Smith, who helped establish Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, in 1607 while fighting for the Austrian army against the Turks in Transylvania.
Jan 27 Q. What is the literal meaning of the word antibiotic? A. "Against life." Antibiotics are chemicals made by microorganisms, that are used to treat bacterial infections by inhibiting or killing other microorganisms.
My adult grandchildren like to play "Stump the Granny" -- a game much like "Stump the Band", only with trivia instead of music. They give me far too much credit as a trivia expert, when it's a given that by the time one reaches my age, a lifetime of trivia is right up there bouncing around the synapses. The trick is to access the right synapse. Often I'll get a LD telephone call from one of the grandkids to "settle" a debate or a bet with one of their peers. It seems to be easier to dial up granny than to google! At Christmas my granddaughter gave me a 2006 desk calendar of trivia. You know the kind -- 365 sheets with a trivia question of the day on each tear off page. Today is January 26 and I have known answers to only January 3, 7, 10, 11, 14, and 20, So how do you do on trivia? How many did you know?