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 » October 2004 » Weekend Trivia answers

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10/10/2004: Weekend Trivia answers

I see we got another "technically correct" answer this week. Yes, all of the Ripper's victims were prostitutes, but I was looking for their names. That follows, momentarily.

1) According to U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2005", what is the hardest college to get into in the U.S.?
Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia. Only 3% of all students who apply to Curtis get in (compare: Julliard admits 7%, Harvard 10%, Yale 11%, Stanford 13%, and MIT 16%).

2) According to the same source, what college has the most capable students (i.e., the largest percentage of students who graduate in 4 years)?
Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, which graduates 92% of its students in 4 years.

3) A couple of this week's posts have been devoted to TV series crossovers. Name the first actor to appear in three different prime time series as the same character in one week. And, of course, you'll be able to name the character and the three series in question.
Richard Belzer as John Munch; Homicide; Law and Order; The X-Files

4) Chronologically, what is the last thing to happen in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction?
Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) and his girlfriend Fabienne (Maria de Medeiros) ride off on Zed's motorcycle.

5) Todd Richard Lewis, of California, is arguably the victim of the greatest public humiliation of 2003. How did he humiliate himself?
He ran for California governor in the Great Recall Election (you remember, the one which gave us Der Gubenator as a major U.S. political figure), and finished dead last, with a whopping 0.00002% of the vote.

6) James Carter got convicted for a crime and sent to the Mississippi State Penitentiary. After his release, he moved up to the Chicago area and managed to eke out a living. Decades later, someone showed up on his door with a check for $20,000 and a promise that more such checks would be forthcoming. What was this windfall, and how did Mr. Carter earn it?
It was the first royalty check for Carter's contribution to the platinum selling soundtrack CD of O Brother Where Art Thou?. While at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Carter led a prisoner chorus in a rendition of "Po Lazarus" which was recorded by musicologist Alan Lomax; this recording was used in the movie soundtrack and resulting CD. Sadly, Mr. Carter died last November 26, in Oak Park, IL, of a stroke at the age of 77.

7) Triumph the Insult Comic Dog did a special remote for Late Night With Conan O'Brien from the line outside a movie theater on the opening day of Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones. He even entertained the fans who'd been camped outside the theater for days with a special Star Wars trivia quiz. According to Triumph, what is the name of the substance that Han Solo was frozen in by Jabba the Hutt?
According to Triumph: "The correct answer is, 'Who gives a shit?'"

8) Mark Johnson-Williams had the misfortune to be investigated for a number of months as a suspect in the Unabomber case. While only true crime buffs among us might be familiar with his name, we're certainly familiar with one of his creations. What might that be?
The "Tickle Me Elmo" doll. Kinda makes you wish the Feds could have pinned the Unabomber case on him, doesn't it?

9) Robert Chesebrough, having survived pleurisy for forty years, died in his nineties. He jokingly referred to his survival as having "slipped from death's grip." To what did he credit his survival?
Whole body Vaseline rubdowns, and eating a spoonful of Vaseline every day.

10) Arguably, Ken Charles Barger earned himself a Darwin award when he accidentally shot himself to death; one night, upon awakening, he grabbed a Smith and Wesson .38 special and held it to his head, upon which it discharged. How did this happen?
The telephone awakened Barger; he picked up the revolver thinking it was the telphone receiver, and the gun discharged while held to his head.

11) What actor was the first to play an openly gay man on a television series? What series was that?
Billy Crystal. "Soap".

12) In the original theatrical release version of Star Wars Episode III: A New Hope, Luke's friend Biggs is the closest thing to a redshirt you get in the Star Wars universe, in that he appears briefly and seemingly for the sole purpose of getting blown up not long after. What is the late and unlamented Biggs's last name?

13) They didn't let sopranos sing on early radio broadcasts; this is the reason that mellow crooners dominated the airwaves in the early days of radio. Why was this?
If a soprano hit a high enough note, she could literally blow the glass vacuum tubes in the transmitters of the era.

14) After which U.S. celebrity was Dolly the sheep named, and why?
Dolly Parton, because the genetic material taken from Dolly's "mother" was taken from a cell from her mammary gland.

15) If you take Cartoon Network's word for it, one animation genius directed the three top animated shorts of all time. Who is he, who did he work for, and what were the cartoons that were so honored?
The genius is, of course, the legendary Chuck Jones of Warner Brothers' Animation Studios. The three cartoons are: "Duck Amuck", "One Froggy Evening", and "What's Opera, Doc?"

16) Speaking of cartoons, Marvin the Martian wants to destroy the Earth. Why?
It blocks his view of Venus.

17) Complete the exchange: "Pinky, art thou pondering that which I am pondering?"
"Methinks so, Brain, verily, but dost thou think Pete Rose by any other name would still smell as sweaty?" (from P&tB, "The Melancholy Brain")

18) Who were all of Jack the Ripper's victims?
Catherine Eddowes, Elizabeth Stride, Mary Kelly, Annie Chapman, Polly Nichols

19) In a Genworth Financial commercial, they say "The right genes make all the difference", while the visual shows a kid (about 6 years old or so) whomping the poo out of an adult on a tennis court (at tennis, we're not talking aggravated assault here). At the end of the commercial, the kid's parents drive up in a minivan and pick him up. Who are the kid's parents?
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf (yep, the genes sure did make the difference...)

20) James Bond has been fighting evil on the silver screen for over forty years, but he's only been married once (well, twice, but one time it was all about business, so that doesn't count). When he was marrying for real, who did he marry? For extra credit, who was Bond's father-in-law, and what businesses was he in? In which movie did this occur? How did the marriage end? Lastly, who played Bond and Tracy in the movie?
Bond married Tracy Draco (Teresa Di Vincenzo in the novel), whose father (Marc Ange) Draco was in legitimate business as the head of a construction company, and in illegitimate business as the head of an organized crime "family" (in the novel, the Union Corse). The movie is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The marriage ended when Tracy was killed by agents of SPECTRE (headed by Ernst Stavro Blofeld). Bond was played by George Lazenby (Lazenby's only outing as Bond), and Tracy by Diana Rigg.

Len on 10.10.04 @ 07:11 PM CST

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