Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » September 2004 » Trivia answers...

[« Thought for the Day:] [Congratulations are in order.... »]

09/24/2004: Trivia answers...

Probably should have gotten these out earlier, but things have been busy around Chez Len. Anyway, here were the answers I was looking for (now, on to the inevitable arguments....)

1) Who is the greatest MLB pitcher of all time whose last name is a body part? And who's the best current baseball pitcher whose last name is a body part? (Hint: "Randy Johnson" does NOT count.)
All Time: Rollie Fingers. Current: Bartolo Colon

2) Oslo; Ottawa; Ouagadougou (pronounced: WAH-ga-doo-goo). What do these three cities have in common (besides the obvious)?
The obvious, of course, was that all the names begin with "O". Less obviously, they are capital cities of nations (Oslo--Norway, Ottawa--Canada, Ouadagougou--Burkina Faso). Put those together, and you have the only world capitals which have names beginning with "O".

3) What is the historic significance of the Three Stooges' 1934 short, "Woman Haters"?
This actually provoked some interesting answers which were correct, though I didn't think they were as significant as the answer I was looking for. "Woman Haters" was, it is true, the first Stooge short which the Stooges made as a solo act for Columbia (prior to that they had made a number of shorts as second bananas to comedian Ted Healy as an extension of their vaudville act "Ted Healy and his Three Stooges"), and it was a musical in which the dialogue rhymed. But in my humble opinion, the true historic significance of "Woman Haters" is that it is the first Stooge film in which Curly Howard did his signature "Woo woo woo woo woo...."

4) Trekkies were seriously disturbed when "Enterprise", the latest entry in the franchise, sported a theme song with lyrics. However, the theme to "Star Trek" (AKA, "The Original Series") had lyrics, though they were never recorded. Who wrote the lyrics to "The Theme from Star Trek", and why?
As correctly answered earlier, "Greedy Gene" Roddenberry wrote the lyrics because he wanted the lyricist credit and, even more importantly, the lyricist's share of the royalties that came with it. And if you really wanted to know, these are those deathless lyrics:

Beyond the rim of the starlight,
my love is wandring in star flight.
I know he'll find
In star clustered reaches
Love, strange love
A star woman teaches.

I konw his journey ends never.
His Star Trek will go on forever.
But tell him while
He wanders his starry sea,
Remember me.
Be thankful the lyrics were never recorded.

5) It has a "sucker rod", a "stuffing box," and a "horse head," and typically operates at 20 strokes per minute. What is it? (Hint: it makes George W. Bush's Dick very happy.)
An oil pump or oil rig.

6) Of all pitchers with 15 or more career decisions against the New York Yankees, who has the all-time best winning percentage?
The great unwashed masses of casual baseball fans forget that George Herman "Babe" Ruth started his career as a left handed pitcher, and he moved to the outfield because of his prowess as a power hitter. In his career as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Ruth's record against the Yankees was 17 wins and 5 losses, a winning percentage of .773.

Baseball statheads with too much time on their hands sometimes argue over whether Ruth would have made it to the Hall of Fame as a pitcher, even if he had never hit a home run in his career. Decide for yourself: in 10 seasons pitching Ruth's basic pitching stats were: 94-46, .671 pct, 2.28 ERA, and 488 K as against 441 BB. This includes games he pitched as a Yankee in 1920 (1 game, 4 IP, 1-0), 1921 (2 games, 9 IP, 2-0) 1930 (1 complete game victory) and 1933 (1 complete game victory).

7) What actor has been nominated for Emmys for playing the same character in three different series? For extra credit, name the character and the three series.
Kelsey Grammer, as (of course) Dr. Frasier Crane, in "Cheers", "Frasier", and "Wings".

8) Believe it or not, one of the organizations that Ian Fleming's super-spy James Bond did battle with actually existed. What organization is that? For extra credit, explain the meaning of its name.
SMERSH (which has a bigger role in the Bond novels than it does in the Bond film canon) was the counterintelligence arm of the KGB. "SMERSH" is derived from the Russian "Smert shpionam", meaning "Death to spies"

9) Why would NRA members have loved to visit the Dandong Zoo in China, until recently?
The Zoo allowed visitors to rent rifles and shoot at animals that were not members of protected species.

10) Cassius Marcellus Coolidge is probably the most familiar artist you've never heard of. Or to be more accurate, his masterpiece, "A Friend In Need", is probably one of the best known artworks for which practically nobody knows the title. What is the subject matter of this deathless work of art?
The subject matter of "A Friend In Need" is often used by people to refer to the painting itself. It's dogs playing poker.

Len on 09.24.04 @ 08:29 AM CST


Replies: 2 comments

on Friday, September 24th, 2004 at 2:13 PM CST, mike hollihan said

Those Star Trek lyrics explain so much about Captain Kirk's behavior, don't they?

on Friday, September 24th, 2004 at 5:00 PM CST, Len Cleavelin said

From what I understand Roddenberry uncannily mimicked certain aspects of Kirk's behavior in real life. I guess one could argue that the fruit didn't fall far from the tree.


No doubt there's some deep philosophical truth hidden deep inside that, but I'll be damned if I can figure it out right now.

New Comment

September 2004

Archives of Blogger site

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
Boing Boing
Crooked Timber
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Letters of Marque
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Political Animal
Positive Liberty
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

Rocky Top Brigade Sampler

A New Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

Cardinals Countdowns:
Days until pitchers and catchers report:
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until first Grapefruit League game (3/3/05; @ NYM):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until Opening Day (4/5/05; @ HOU):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until Home Opener (4/8/05; vs. PHI):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums
template by linear