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 » Trivia, once again....

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12/05/2004: Trivia, once again....

I've got a few questions that I want to get used, so why not? Yes, I know I'm on a bit of a space program theme on this and the last quiz; I've just given myself an early Festivus gift by getting a DVD of the movie The Right Stuff and the Tom Wolfe book on which it is based. So there.

Answers Tuesday evening.

1) Last time, we asked for the list of the original seven Mercury astronauts. This one is a little harder; who were the members of the second group of astronauts (nine in all) appointed by NASA? (As before, names at a bare minimum; extra credit for ranks/branch of service for military astronauts and employer for civilians).

2) Of the nine astronauts appointed in the second group, one is still carried on the rolls as an active astronaut. Who is that?

3) In the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there is a sequence where a narrator fills us in on the plot development while a hand turns pages in a book which features pictures of a number of knights. One of these knights is "The aptly named Sir Not-appearing-in-this-film", and his picture is that of an infant. Who is the actual infant who posed for this portrait?

4) In the American-Chinese spy plane standoff in the spring of 2001, the Navy personnel on board the captured P-3 Orion were extensively interrogated by the Chinese. Apparently, some of the information the Chinese wanted was information that they could not get from more conventional espionage channels. One such example came from 1977. What top secret did the Chinese ask the Americans to explain?

5) What business has run a 4x7 advertisement on page 3 of the New York Times in every issue of that paper since 1897?

6) In 1900, the average for men in the United States was 6.5. Today, it's 10.5. What is it?

7) Ivory Soap has, for years, touted itself as 99 44/100% pure. What I want to know is, what's in that remaining 0.56%? Can you tell me?

8) All the southpaws I know kvetch about how they're discriminated against in a right-handed world. Want to know how bad things are? In two sports, left-handers are barred by the rules from competing. What sports are they?

9) While not enacted in the rules, left-handers are at a grave disadvantage in competing for one of the more important defensive (i.e., non-pitcher) positions in baseball. So much so that in the whole history of Major League Baseball, only two players at this position have been lefties, and they've had very short careers as catchers (though both had fairly substantial careers at other positions). What position is that? (Extra credit if you can name the two players.)

10) Two of the nominees for major awards at the 2003 Academy Awards were not present at the ceremony that year. Who were the absentees, and why?

11) EXTRA SPECIAL CHRISTMAS SEASON BONUS QUESTION: The classic Chuck Jones animated Christmas special, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! features a classic song: "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", which is sung in a deep, rich bass by a person you've probably never heard of, though it's just about impossible that you haven't heard him in his most famous part. Who is he, and what is that famous part that you'd never associate with his name, if you knew it?

Len on 12.05.04 @ 08:58 PM CST


Replies: 8 comments

on Monday, December 6th, 2004 at 12:20 PM CST, rlrr said

Armstrong, Neil A.(Civilian)

Borman, Frank (Air Force)

Conrad, Charles, Jr. (Navy)

Lovell, James A., Jr. (Navy)

McDivitt, James A. (Air Force)

See, Elliot M., Jr. (Civilian)

Stafford, Thomas P. (Air Force)

White, Edward H., II (Air Force)

Young, John W. (Navy)

on Monday, December 6th, 2004 at 2:39 PM CST, SadPunk said

5. Tiffany's.

7. Uncombined alkali, carbonates, and mineral matter. (A better question is "99 44/100% pure what?")

8. Arm-wrestling?

9. I'll guess "catcher," since it says so right there in the question...

10. Roman Polanski, nominated for Best Picture for "The Pianist"; if he sets foot back in the USA he'll be arrested for statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. And Donald Kaufman, nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Adaptation."; because he doesn't exist.

11. Boris Karloff, best known for playing Frankenstein's monster (not Frankenstein) in the original 1931 movie version.

on Monday, December 6th, 2004 at 2:50 PM CST, rlrr said

11. The same guy who does Tony the Tiger's voice.

on Monday, December 6th, 2004 at 4:17 PM CST, Abby said

I have been watching Arsenic and Old Lace over the last few days. Great old flick, and one really funny thing is Boris Karloff's part. He's supposed to have had plastic surgery, and everyone in the film keeps saying, "You look like Boris Karloff!" Very amusing.

But he isn't Tony the Tiger, nor the singer of the Grinch song. But I don't have high criteria for the tangents I visit. Someone said Boris Karloff, and that's all it took!

on Monday, December 6th, 2004 at 7:21 PM CST, mike hollihan said

2/ I'm gonna take a guess it's Armstrong, as the first man on the moon?

5/ Moe Ginsburg?

6/ Hat size?

8/ I think one is ping-pong.

11/ I know this one: Thurl Ravenscroft!! I love, love, love that song. Whenever I get a cold and my voice drops an octave I irritate everyone by running around singing, "You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch...." ;-) Not only is his name perfect, but he looks the part, too.

on Monday, December 6th, 2004 at 8:03 PM CST, Len Cleavelin said

Cool. Y'all are pretty damn good at this... And Abby, if I ever have the pleasure of engaging in a long conversation with you you'll note that I tend to go off on tangents like that too, and I don't have particularly high criteria for my tangents either. So don't ever apologize for any of the tangents you take. *g*

1) The 9 astronauts named by Jim (the first commenter) are all correct.

2) Neil Armstrong was a good guess, though incorrect. I remember that Armstrong had, after his retirement from NASA, accepted an appointment as professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati, but apparently that only lasted from 1971-79. According to Armstrong's official NASA bio, he's now the chairman of AIL Systems, Inc., in Deer Park, NY.

5) Tiffany's is correct. (Who's Moe Ginsbirg?)

6) Hat size is what I also thought when I first ran up against this question for the first time. I was wrong, too. But yes, it is a size....

7) Well, they're wanting you to think it's 99 44/100% pure soap.... but the remainder, as you give it, is correct.

8) Nope, neither ping pong nor arm wrestling are so restricted (though I can see where an arm wrestling contest between differently handed contestants could be problematic).

9) Hey, don't say I never make things easy for you occasionally. :-) Catcher it is...

10) Polanski and Kaufman are correct, for the reasons you mention. I was amused by one source I read, which stated that in the event the Kaufman "brothers" had won the Oscar for which they were nominated that they would have to share one statue.

11) Boris Karloff narrates "The Grinch" and is the voice of the title character as well. The song is sun by Thurl Ravenscroft, and Thurl is best known (or maybe best-not-known is the better term) as being the voice of Tony the Tiger in the Frosted Flake commercials.

on Tuesday, December 7th, 2004 at 9:33 AM CST, BSTommy said

Six is shoe size, isn't it? I wear size 14 myself.

on Tuesday, December 7th, 2004 at 12:25 PM CST, rlrr said

2) John Young

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December 2004

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