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 » January 2005 » Trivia answers...

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01/04/2005: Trivia answers...

Because y'all have been on pins and needles for this one, eh?

[UPDATE: According to today's Quote of the Day newsletter, today is "National Trivia Day". So go wild celebrating this evening.]

1) The members of the neo-classical group the Planets were the parties defendant in (IMHO) one of the best lawsuits in musico-legal history. They entered into an out of court settlement in a suit involving one of their works, called "A One Minute Silence." Who was the plaintiff who sued them, and what was the nature of the lawsuit?
The plaintiff was the Estate of John Cage. In 1952, Cage "composed" the work "4:33", which is scored for "for any instrument or combination of instruments"; the piece is basically four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence (the musician(s) take their place(s) with his(their) instrument(s), and do nothing for at least four minutes and thirty-three seconds). In producing another silent work, the Cage estate claimed that the Planets infringed Cage's copyright in his earlier work.

2) Over the recent holiday season, did anyone watch the Cartoon Network when they ran that classic animated Christmas special, A Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol? Nope, neither did I (though I did see it the year before). So this one may be a bit difficult for you: in that show, what was Tiny Tim Cratchett's most favorite part of the Christmas feast?
Razzleberry dressing. [No, I don't know what it is, either. OK?)

3) In 1996, Sony produced a digital camera that worked superbly. Unfortunately, even though the Nightshot Handycam worked just about perfectly, Sony wound up taking it off the market. Why?
The Nightshot Handycam was basically an infrared digital camera. As any photographer who has done infrared photography can tell you, certain fabrics are transparent to infrared light, thus allowing an infrared camera to "see through" some clothing.

4) Ever had the urge to climb to the top of Mount Izaru in Costa Rica? You might consider it, because it's the only place in the Americas that you can do a particular thing. What is that?
See both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the same time.

5) What distinction did Russell B. Long of Louisiana achieve immediately upon election to the United States Senate in 1948?
Long became the first (and to the best of my knowledge, the only) U.S. Senator who is the child of two U.S. Senators. Russell Long's father was Huey P."The Kingfish" Long, who was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 1930 (though he didn't actually begin serving as Senator until 1932, choosing to retain his office as Louisiana governor until he could guarantee that he was succeeded in that office by a someone he approved of). When Long was assassinated in Baton Rouge in 1935, his wife (and Russell Long's mother), Rose M. Long, was appointed Senator to finish our Long's unexpired term, though she did not run for election to a term in her own right.

6) How many men have won the Congressional Medal of Honor twice? Can you name them? (If you're really anal, like me, you can tell me their branch of service and the war(s) or action(s) they won them.)
19 men have won the Medal of Honor twice. They are:

Frank D. Baldwin, Army, Civil War and Indian Wars
Smedley D. Butler, Marines, Veracruz and Haiti
John Cooper, Navy, Civil War (both)
Louis Cukela, Marines, World War I (both Army and Navy MoH in same action)
Thomas W. Custer, Army, Civil War (both)*
Daniel Daly, Marines, Boxer Rebellion and Haiti
Henry Hogan, Army, Indian Wars (both)
Ernest A. Janson, Marines, World War I (both Army and Navy MoH in same action; Army medal awarded to him under the name "Charles E. Hoffman")
John J. Kelly, Marines, World War I (both Army and Navy MoH in same action)
John King, Navy, Interim 1901-1910 (both)
Matej Kocak, Marine Corps, World War I (both Army and Navy MoH in same action)
John Lafferty, Navy, Civil War and Interim 1871-1898
John McCloy, Navy, Boxer Rebellion and Veracruz
Patrick Mullen, Navy, Civil War (both)
John Henry Pruitt, Marines, World War I (Army and Navy MoH in same action)
Robert Sweeney, Navy, Interim 1871-1898 (both)
Albert Weisbogel, Navy, Interim 1871-1898 (both)
Louis Williams, Navy, Interim 1871-1898 (both)
William Wilson, Army, Indian Wars (both)
*Yes, Thomas W. Custer is the brother of George Armstrong Custer. After the Civil War Tom Custer received a commission as a lieutenant in the 7th Cavalry (he eventually reached the rank of captain), and died with his brothers (LTC George A. Custer and civilian guide Boston Custer), brother-in-law (1LT James Calhoun) and nephew (civilian Harry Armstrong "Autie" Reed) at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

7) Civil War General John Sedgwick spoke what I think are the best last words ever uttered by a human being. What were they?
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...". His last words were in response to his officers telling him to take cover against Confederate riflemen, and the sentence was never finished because Sedgwick was struck and killed by a Confederate bullet.

8) On April 12, 1961, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin made history by becoming the first human being to fly into space (in Vostok 1). He also started a tradition in the Russian space program, one which has been followed by every cosmonaut or astronaut, of any nationality (including Americans) and of both sexes, who have gone into space in a Russian spacecraft. What is that tradition?
Before launch, the space traveler must urinate on the wheel of the bus that brought them out to the spacecraft.

9) In the sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter, there was a somewhat annoying character named Arnold Horshack, played by Ron Palillo. In one episode, what did Horshack claim that "Horshack" meant in his ancestors' native tongue?
"The cows are dying."

10) My absolute, all-time favorite movie is Citizen Kane. I'm probably not spoiling the movie to note here that "Rosebud" is the name of Kane's boyhood sled (before he is turned over to the guardianship of Walter Parks Thatcher). But Rosebud isn't the only sled that Kane owns in the movie. What is the name of the sled that Kane receives from Thatcher as a Christmas present later in the movie? (If you don't remember that, don't worry; it's a brief scene, and if you blinked you may have missed it.)

Len on 01.04.05 @ 06:59 AM CST

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January 2005

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