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 » December 2004 » Giving into my "inner geek" tonight....

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12/02/2004: Giving into my "inner geek" tonight....

Just Because I Can, I'm going to liveblog Hey! Spring of Trivia tonight. If you've never seen it before, you might want to read up on the basic concept before moving on to the description below.....

9:00 PM: Call me intellectually or aesthetically perverse, but the intro is wicked cool, IMHO.

9:01 PM Factoid #1: When a helicopter's engines fail, it won't crash. (Hint: does the word "autorotation" ring a bell?). They even do a demonstration of an autorotation from several thousand feet. A bit rough, but safe (i.e., the helo lands without any noticable injury to either of the two occupants). (86 "heys")

9:04 PM Factoid #2: There is an insect that can't be killed. (The "Terminator bug"). They do a number on this one. Heating in an oven at 250 degrees F for two hours (it needs to be rehydrated, but by God, it's still alive). They freeze in in liquid nitrogen (-350 degrees F). It survives. They subject it to a vacuum for an hour. Again, they have to rehydrate it, but it's still alive.

The catch? It's indestructible, but it only lives 6 months..... (77 heys)

9:07 PM: Commercials.

9:10 PM Factoid #3: The can opener was invented 48 years after the invention of the can. (Can: 1810. Opener, 1858). To answer the obvious question: they used hammers and chisels to open cans before 1858 (though soldiers in the field were known to shoot cans to open them). We get demonstrations; quite a messy procedure, though the slow mo films of cans exploding when shot were pretty cool.... (78 heys).

9:14 PM Factoid #4: At Karaoke bars, you can sing a Buddhist prayer. Immediate cut to a commercial break.

9:18 PM: Back from commercials. By Gawd, they're showing the prayer chant on the list of karaoke selections.... ("It's as exciting as watching paint peel", says one of the panelists... 90 heys)

9:20 PM Seed of Trivia: Here a person sends in a question, the answer to become a new trivia factoid. Today's question, how high can loaded hotel service trays be stacked (loaded = "with food on it", or in this case fake food weighing 6 pounds (a typical Japanese hotel meal?); note that the trays in question include four legged bases that they rest on, too)? How many trays before the tower collapses? Of course, before we get to see the answer (we're up to about 46 trays or so, at last count) we.....

9:24 PM: break to commercials....

9:27 PM: The answer? 47 trays; the 48th tray causes the tower of trays to collapse in a suitably messy (or at least it would have been messy if they hadn't wussed out and used fake food to load the trays) disaster. Now we see how impressed the Chairman is.....And his score is: 80%. Why not 100%? They didn't use real food.... The Chairman wanted to see the food splash all over the waitresses as the tower of trays crashed.... Some people are just NEVER satisfied.

9:29 PM Silver brain winner: the helicopter that won't crash... The winner of the Golden Brain (with the piece of melon bread which looks like a brain), at 90 heys: You can sing a Buddhist prayer at a karaoke bar.

Pretty amusing, and some interesting factoids, though I'm pretty sure you can kill a terminator bug if you work at it (they said it wouldn't die when exposed to chemicals, but I'm willing to bet that little sucker would burn if you took a blowtorch to it....). Frankly, I think the fact that the can was invented 48 years before the opener was a bit more impressive than the fact that a helicopter won't (necessarily; autorotation isn't perfect, IIRC) crash when the engine quits, but that is probably because I knew the factoid about helicopters, whereas the can versus can-opener chronological gap was something I learned tonight for the first time....

Len on 12.02.04 @ 09:16 PM CST


Replies: 1 comment

on Friday, December 3rd, 2004 at 1:02 PM CST, Jo Fish said

Ahhh, autos. How much fun they were to learn, especially power-off, full autos to touchdown in a Bell Jet Ranger. The Huey and the 46 were somewhat more forgiving, and more controllable/stable because there was more energy stored in the rotor system.

What memories...

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