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 » November 2004 » Trivia answers....

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11/23/2004: Trivia answers....

I'm well and truly gratified by the response this week, and I think that a majority of the questions got answered correctly. And now, if you've been waiting with bated breath to learn the answers to the ones that didn't get answered.... here we go:

1) While an active player, Davey Johnson batted immediately behind not one, but two of baseball's all-time home run hitters. Who were they?
Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh. For those who haven't heard of him, Oh is a Japanese professional player who holds the all-time professional world's record for career home runs, with 868. Aaron's 755 stands (until Barry Bonds breaks it, most probably in 2006 though if he manages to hit 53 or more home runs next season he'll break it in 2005) as the record for Major League Baseball, but it's not the world record. Hard as it is to believe, while baseball began in the United States, it doesn't end there.....

2) She's been a flight attendant for Pan-Am and American Airlines. She's also had careers as a teacher, a nurse, a ballerina, a rock star, and an animal-rights activist. Who?

3) Meanwhile, in his career as a show business legend, he's played roles ranging from barber to matador. One of his Oscar winning films was about the Knights of the Round Table. Who is he?
That Oscar winning rabbit, Bugs Bunny!

4) Who was #1 on Mr. Blackwell's 37th Annual Worst-Dressed Women List in 1997?
Dennis Rodman, (then) of the Chicago Bulls.

5) According to my sources, only three pitchers in MLB history have thrown no-hitters in 2 different centuries. Who are they? (Extra credit if you can find one my sources missed.)
Nobody claimed the extra credit (and in fairness, there may not be anyone else). The three were, of course, Denton True "Cy" Young (1897, 1904, 1908), Hideo Nomo (1996, 2001), and Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson (1990, 2004)

6) Oh, baby! What's got 9 inches longer in 2004?
The NCAA basketball 3-point shot.

7) Question: Two great writers both died on the same date: April 23, 1616. Who?
Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.

8) Contrary to the implication of the preceding question, Cervantes and Shakespeare did NOT die on the same day. Why not?
At the time of their deaths, Spain was using the Gregorian calendar, England was still on the Julian calendar. They actually died about 2 weeks apart. England didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until September 1752. If you're running a *nix system (Unix, Linux, and maybe Mac OS X, which is BSD based) you can use the "cal" command to verify that. Go to the command line interface (or open a terminal window if you're using X) and enter "cal 9 1752", and notice that the date jumps from September 2, 1752 to September 14, 1752.

Of course, if you think that the English were dumb for not getting with the program, what about the Russians, who didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until after the Revolution of 1917....

9) Just recently, in 2003, researchers at a University in Greater Manchester, England, finally debunked a popular fallacy being distributed in email. Now that the world knows the truth, just what is it that they proved?
A duck's quack does echo (contrary to the popular email factoid that states that a duck's quack does not echo, and that nobody knows why).

10) After he grew older and lost his employment in Hollywood, this child actor later found employment as a hunting guide and bartender, boozing and carousing incessantly before meeting an early end at 32 by being shot to death over a $50 gambling debt. Who was this ill-fated wild child, and what was his best-known role?
Carl Switzer, forever remembered as "Alfalfa" in "The Little Rascals/Our Gang" comedy shorts.

11) In the Bond flick Moonraker, Our Hero James (played by the ever-so-suave Roger Moore) gains access to a restricted laboratory by watching as one of the villian's henchmen enters a secret code onto a musical numeric pad. What's interesting about the code?
The 5 tones entered make up the same motif as the music played by the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

12) After molding 1.4 billion crayons, over 37 years, Crayola's senior crayon maker, Emerson Moser, retired. What secret did he reveal after he had made his last crayon?
Mr. Moser was blue-green colorblind.

13) On an afternoon in 1966 an event at Boston's PBS station, WGBH, drew a crowd of 10,000 people, more than the same afternoon's Red Sox game. What was that event?
An open house featuring a personal appearance by Fred Rogers.

14) What situation defines "coyote ugly?"
You wake up with your arm underneath someone who is so ugly that you'd rather bite your own arm off rather than risk waking her/him up by pulling your arm out from beneath her/him.

15) One summer while on vacation, I was driving down I-94 in North Dakota near Jamestown, ND. What record-holding monument did I see (it's pretty damn near impossible to miss)?
The world's largest statue of a buffalo (all right, bison if you insist on picking zoological nits). Speaking from personal experience, I can say that coming face to face with that is the closest thing I've had to a religious experience since childhood.

16) What was the name of Apple's first personal computer which used a mouse for user input? For extra credit: why did it get that name?
Lisa, after Steve Jobs's daughter (whose mother, as one commenter noted, was never married to Jobs).

17) Calvin Coolidge was known for his brevity. Although not necessarily shy, "Silent Cal" was certainly not verbose and rarely spoke at social gatherings. One evening at a dinner party, one senator's wife bet another that she could persuade the president to say three words over the course of the evening. What was Coolidge's response?
"You lose."

18) Certain people are deemed so important that they are not allowed to travel together, to reduce the risk that they will both be killed in an accident. The President and Vice-President of the US are two; Prince Charles and Prince William of the United Kingdom are two more. Two other people are not allowed to travel together, for fear that if they were to both die a certain critical secret would be lost forever. Who are they?
The two Coca-Cola Company employees who know the secret formula for Coca-Cola. Some of my sources state that the privileged two know not the formula for Coke proper, but the secret formula for "Merchandise 7X", which is the "secret ingredient" in Coca-Cola. I'd have accepted either answer, for what that's worth. Extra bonus trivia factoid: the secret ingredient for "New Coke" is supposedly named "Merchandise 7X-100".

19) On September 17, 1977 the Tennessee Valley Authority shut down a nuclear power plant at Knoxville, TN, for 17 days, for an unusual reason. What was that reason?
A reactor worker's overshoe fell into the reactor.

20) The reason for the Knoxville reactor shutdown was unusual, but hardly weird, all things considered. [Probably it's best that you don't let a reactor operate for too long with a foreign object inside it.] At the University of Florida there's a research reactor that is constantly being shut down and restarted for what one might consider a very weird reason. What is that?
The reactor needed to be shut down every time someone flushed a toilet in the building where the reactor is located.

Len on 11.23.04 @ 08:45 PM CST


Replies: 1 comment

on Wednesday, November 24th, 2004 at 1:49 PM CST, mike hollihan said

Great quiz, Len. I was surprised how many I either didn't know or only half-knew. Usually, I kick all kinds of ass with trivia challenges.

Speaking of Coke and "New" Coke, a commodities researcher noticed, during the "New Coke" fiasco of years ago, that Coca-Cola's pattern of sugar purchase was different before and after. When they brought back old Coke as "Classic Coke" they didn't buy the same sugars from the old suppliers, but bought cheaper sugars from Africa (or somewheres). Some have speculated that the whole "New Coke" thing was just a cover to be able to make the switch, and thereby increase profits!

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