Winner: Pluto, then Rosebud, Carol St.Martin, and Maureen

Pluto and Rosebud finished 1-2 in their last game before they head to Florida. They are going to see if the weather is as warm down there, as it has been up here.

Tonight’s theme was Mardi Gras and Darin helped us honor our fave Nawlins girl Rhys’ memory with some King cake.

Good Question!: During Mardi Gras what do the gold colored beads symbolize?

Choices: a. power.  b. justice.  c. faith.  d. lust

Answer: power

“Throw me something, mister!”

Mardi Gras throws are strings of beads, doubloons, cups, or other trinkets passed out or thrown from the floats in the New Orleans Mardi Gras, to spectators lining the streets.

The ‘throws’, consist of necklaces of plastic beads, coins called doubloons, which are stamped with krewes’ logos, parade themes and the year, plus an array of plastic cups and toys including LED trinkets, more recently.

Beads used on Mardis Gras (known as Shrove Tuesday in some regions) are gold, purple and green, with these three colors containing the Christian symbolism of power, justice and faith, respectively. Traditionally, Mardis Gras beads were manufactured in Japan and Czech Republic, although many are now imported from mainland China. 

Spectators have traditionally shouted to the krewe members, “Throw me something, mister!”, a phrase that is iconic in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras street argot. Some women expose their breasts to invite throws in the French Quarter, although this is not required or even classed as a true Mardi Gras tradition, it is however quite common during French Quarter parades.

National Geographic has a wonderful all things Mardi Gras video (only 5 min.):


Artur, the mulatto

Winner: Artur, then Almond Joy, Oh, Donna and Nancy

The Academy Awards were criticized for lack of diversity. Not Tuesday Night Trivia. We welcome players of all races. Tonight a player flew up directly from Rio to join the game. Artur, a mulatto from the favella, played a surprisingly strong game and won a three-way playoff when only he knew the answer to this question: “What artist said he would eat his wife when she died?” Salvador Dali, of course.

Good Question!: Who invented Kodak cameras?

Choices: a. George Kodak   b. George Eastman   c. Thomas Edison   d. Elon Musk

Answer: George Eastman

“You press the button, we do the rest.”

With this slogan George Eastman promoted during the early 1890’s his revolutionary simple cameras for amateur photographers: the first series of Kodak boxcameras.

The very first Kodak came on the market in 1888. It was loaded with a film for 100 exposures and cost $ 25. ($680 in 2020).

Since the mid 1880’s George Eastman had tried to establish a system of photography based on flexible rollfilm:

His company had developed a rollable, non breakable, lightweight film, that could be used in rollholders. These holders were attached to the back of plate cameras.
He also introduced a film developing and printing service.

In 1888 Eastman constructed a new small and simple camera that was meant for amateur photographers who didn’t want to bother with chemicals and technical processes: the Kodak.

The camera was a great success and many people, among them a lot of women, started taking photographs. When the 100 pictures of the film were shot, the photographer could mail the camera to Eastman Kodak, where all the technical work would be done by skilled people. The Kodak camera was loaded with a new film and returned to the owner. As soon as the 100 prints (of 2.5 inch diameter) were finished, these were also sent.

The Kodak produced a round picture of 2.5 inch diameter. The photos were often mounted on cards with a purple border and gold edges.

Reloading the camera and printing the photos cost $10 ($270 in 2020). It wasn’t really cheap, but the easy to use camera and the developing and printing service made photography attractive for many people.

2020 Update: If every time you took a photo today with your smarty phone camera it cost you $2.70, I bet you would take many fewer photos. And if you had to mail the whole damn camera back to the company and then wait for them to develop the film before you could see your photo and how it came out, boy that would be a bummer. All hail the iPhone (and those Android cameras, too)

If you want to see how very difficult early photography was, in the years before the Kodak, try this:


King Arthur and Mordred

Winner: Ed, then Rosebud, and Carol St.Martin

Ed was no newbie as a player, but he was a first time winner tonight. As Gunther’s proprietor, Ed had a bit of an edge and no trouble when questions asked what color is the brandy liquor called chartreuse? (Green) and what is the Scottish drink made from whiskey and heather honey called (Drambuie.)

Good Question!: Who was the legendary king who was killed at the Battle of Camelford?

Choices: a. Arthur   b. Richard the Lion Hearted   c. Richard I   d. Henry VIII

Answer: Arthur

A definite Maybe.

Legend has it that King Arthur and his Knights are a part of North Cornwall history, and that Camelford was the Camelot, of legend. The truth will never be known, although there was a warrior king who died in a bloody battle at Slaughter Bridge, just outside Camelford. This real king’s name was never known, so could it have been Arthur?

On a stream bed at Slaughterbridge, lies a sixth century inscribed stone said to mark the spot where King Arthur met Mordred for the decisive battle of Camlann, which brought to an end the fellowship of the Round Table. The fierce battle is said to have turned the small river red with the blood of slain men, whilst Arthur and Mordred fought a hand-to-hand battle across the river bridge. Arthur slew Mordred but had already received a fatal wound from Mordred’s poisoned sword, which, in minutes, saw him stagger to his death. Mordred is portrayed as a figure representing evil and spoken of in some stories as the illegitimate son of Arthur and his half sister Morgan le Fay. Who Knew?

On the other hand, the river Camel in north Cornwall has interested Arthurian scholars thanks to its supposed links with Arthur’s last battle of Camlan. On this, a study of comment from the sixteenth century onwards reveals growing skepticism; many now conclude that, even if a battle was fought at Camlan in 537, gaining a permanent place in Welsh tradition, there are no historical grounds to associate it with Arthur.

Some people are more interested in King Arthur, but I have always been more fascinated by Lancelot and Guinevere.

Watch the tension build, see the lust in their eyes:


Long Live Freedonia

Winner (01/28/20): Keith, then TomTwin, Carole St.Martin, and Oh Donna.

pardon the quality of the photo. I think my assistant must have used one of those pinhole cameras.

Winner (02/04/20): Pluto, then in 2nd Place -Tom Twin and Jennifer, then in 3rd Place -Keith, Carole St. Martin, Almond Joy, and Nick.

Keith has been on a hot streak, winning the last two weeks. He came in tonight, puffed up his chest, and said he was going for the 3 peat, and no one could stop him. Well, we did.

Good Question!: Who is the oldest Marx brother?

Choices: a. Harpo,  b. Groucho,   c. Zeppo,   d. Chico

Answer: Chico

Most of us had some trouble with this one. We thought it was either Chico or Groucho, but weren’t sure which one.

Actually, in age order they are: Chico (1887), Harpo (1888), Groucho (1890), and Zeppo (1901)

The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) as among the top 100 comedy films, with two of them, Duck Soup (1933) and A Night at the Opera (1935), in the top fifteen.

They are widely considered by critics, scholars, and fans to be among the greatest and most influential comedians of the 20th century. The brothers were included in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classical Hollywood cinema, the only performers to be inducted collectively.

Duck soup was not only a wonderfully funny movie with great comedic acting, but it was a great story, a story that we are familiar with today. See if this plot sounds familiar.

The wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) be appointed leader of the small, bankrupt country of Freedonia before she will continue to provide much-needed financial aid. Meanwhile, neighboring Sylvania is attempting to annex the country. Sylvanian ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) tries to foment a revolution and to woo Mrs. Teasdale, he tries to dig up dirt on Firefly by sending in spies Chicolini (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo). Looks like Mrs. Teasdale should have been impeached for withholding aid and Trentino should have been played by Giuliani or maybe Giuliani should be played by Chico.

Take a peek at this hilarious clip from Duck Soup:



Build a Better Mousetrap

Winner: Keith, then Tom Twin and Pluto

Close contest between Keith and Tom, was not decided until a playoff.

Here’s the question that decided tonight’s winner.

In order to buy a mousetrap in California you need a ?

Keith answered hunting license and he was declared the winner. Most of us thought this seemed pretty far-fetched, and turns out it was.

This is one of those urban legends that is only believable because it’s California, but it’s not true. You buy a mouse trap in California the same way you buy one here in Northport, and we buy a lot of them recently.

Good Question!: Name the worlds largest continent?

Choices: a. Asia   b. Africa   c. Antarctica   d. North America

Answer: Asia

By area, Asia is the largest continent at 44,391,162 square km. It is also the largest by population with more than 4 billion people.

There is quite a bit of debate as to how many continents there are. Some areas of the world combine Asia and Europe into one continent called Eurasia. In that case, the continent of Eurasia would be the biggest continent in both area and population.

The debate as to how many continents there are is based in the basic, yet confusing definition of what a continent is. A continent is understood to be large, continuous, discrete mass of land, ideally separated by an expanse of water. Many of the seven most commonly recognized continents identified by convention are not discrete landmasses separated by water.

The criteria of being large is used arbitrarily. Greenland has an area of 2,166,086 square km and is considered an island. Australia has an area of 7,617,930 square km, but it is called a continent. The distinct landmass separated by water criteria is sometimes ignored in the case of Europe and Asia. All of the criteria are a consensus, not a rule, so some countries teach a different number of continents.

What are the 7 continents from largest to smallest?
Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

Interesting continental facts.

The United States is around the same size as Australia.
Australia is approximately 7,741,220 sq km, while United States is approximately 9,833,517 sq km.

Meanwhile, the population of Australia is only about 23.2 million people, while the United States has about 14 times more people.

The least populated continent is Antarctica which has only visitors. The permanent human population is zero. 90% of the planet’s ice is located on this continent, which also makes up 60% – 70% of the world’s freshwater supply.

The continent with the most countries is Africa, which has 54 sovereign nations. As the oldest human fossils such as skeletons and skulls have been discovered in Africa, the continent is also referred to as the ‘cradle of humankind’.

Many say that the continent with only one country is Australia. Not exactly. Oceania is the smallest continent of the planet. Oceania includes Australasia, Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. This means Australia, New Zealand the many islands to the north and east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean are on this continent.

Asia has 29.5% of the world’s landmass and 60% of the world’s population.

South America is a continent of many natural superlatives:

  • the longest mountain range – the Andes
  • the highest waterfalls – the Angel Falls
  • and the driest place on earth – the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Europe houses the two smallest countries in the world:

  • Vatican City which is located inside Rome/Italy
  • Monaco which is bordered on three sides by France.

Actually, five European countries make it on the list of the ten smallest countries in the world which include also San Marino, Liechtenstein and Malta. All other tiny countries outside Europe are located on islands!

This has  got me thinking about movies that destroy the earth and all the continents.


“The 11 Greatest Ways That Disaster Movies Have Tried to Destroy the World”


In Cold Blood

Winner: Tino, then Keith and Rosebud (she’s the midget)

Two firsts this evening. We had our first basketball player join the game. And tonight’s winner was a newbie with a perfect score. Both were the same guy. Very impressive performance by Tino. Perfect scores are pretty rare, now let’s see if he can do it again. Unfortunately, the photo does not show the special Main Street Café gold bottle of champagne that Tino won.

After the game we had our annual regifting event (see the table below). Much fun.

Good Question: What percentage of humans have the AB negative blood type?

Choices: a. <1%   b. <20%   c. <30%   d. <50%


Answer: <1%

Type AB Negative: The Rarest Blood Type

A person’s blood type is genetic, inherited from his or her parents.
Blood typing is particularly important for blood transfusions, because certain antigens on blood cells can trigger a person’s immune system to attack the donated blood.

People with AB blood inherited an A gene from one parent and a B gene from the other. Approximately 0.6 percent of the population is AB Negative (the rarest blood type), and 3.4 percent is AB Positive, which are potential universal plasma donors, and can be used for all patients regardless of their blood type.

Wondering who pioneered this science in the first place? In 1909, Austrian scientist Karl Landsteiner became the first person to properly identify the four main blood groups. It’s thanks to his research that we now know which blood types to use (and which not to use) with patients in need of transfusions. In 1930, he was rewarded for his contributions when he was given the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Blood Fun Facts

There are 150 Billion red blood cells in one ounce of blood.

The human body manufactures 17 million red blood cells per second.

It only takes 20 to 60 seconds for a drop of blood to travel from the heart, through your body, and back to the heart again.

If your blood type is AB+, then you’re in luck. This blood type is known as the “universal recipient,” seeing as people who have it running through their veins can receive blood from any type A, type B, type O, or type AB donor.

Well, maybe not. If your blood type is AB, then you’ll want to keep a close watch on your cognitive health. One 2014 study found that people with type AB blood had an 82 percent higher risk of cognitive impairment.

Patients in the United States use approximately 32,000 pints of blood every day.


Speaking of blood, do you remember Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”


ugli fruits – real or not?

Winner: EricaS, then Judge Judy, Droppin’, Nancy, and Almond Joy

Erica played a quiet game in the back, then surprised us with the win. Always nice when we have a newbie as a winner.

Main Street Cafe is decorated for the holidays, getting ready for the big night of Christmas Carols on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Good Question: Which of these is toxic if eaten raw?

Choices: a. ugli fruit  b. yams   c. watercress   d. asparagus

Answer: ugli fruit

Most of us were sure that “ugli fruit” was a made-up name. Yet most of us had eaten yams, watercress, and asparagus raw without any ill affects so the answer had to be ugli fruit, right. Well, many of us still couldn’t go there for the answer.

Just what is an ugli fruit?

The Jamaican tangelo, also known by proprietary names ugli /ˈʌɡli/ fruit, uglifruit, and uniq fruit, is a citrus fruit that arose on the island of Jamaica through the natural hybridization of a tangerine or orange with a grapefruit (or pomelo), and is thus a tangelo.

This tangelo was a natural hybrid, having arisen spontaneously like the grapefruit, in Jamaica, where it is mainly grown today.[‘UGLI’ is a registered trademark of Cabel Hall Citrus Limited, under which it markets the fruit, the name being a variation of the word “ugly”, which refers to the fruit’s unsightly appearance, with rough, wrinkled, greenish-yellow rind, wrapped loosely around the orange pulpy citrus inside.

So be careful of those tangelos.

Body Heat

Winner: Tom Twin, followed closely by Rosebud, then a posse – Nick, Keith, Tall Paul, and Almond Joy.

Last week he was oh, so close. This week Tom finished on top and won the Shiner Bock. Maybe because he was the only one who knew how many people world wide are born each year – 134 million.

Good Question!: Who invented the thermometer in 1593?

Choice’s: a. da Vinci   b. Galileo  c. Franklin   d. Nobel

Answer: Galileo

Most of us were fooled here. We think of Galileo as the astronomer and da Vinci as the inventor.

History of Thermometers
(by Andrew Rubin)

“Hundreds of years ago scientists realized they could measure changes in temperature by using primitive glass devices filled with liquids that expanded when they were warm and contracted when they cooled. Alcohol and mercury were the liquids most commonly used.

Thermoscopes were the earliest types of thermometers and they only showed changes in temperature but didn’t show numerical values. One of the first thermoscopes was developed by Italian inventor, Galileo Galilei in 1593.It used water as the liquid and glass bulbs inside an open tube. The glass bulbs rose and fell with the changes in temperature.

The more modern thermometer was invented in 1709 by Daniel Fahrenheit. It was an enclosed glass tube that had a numerical scale, called the Fahrenheit scale. The early version of this thermometer contained alcohol and in 1714 Fahrenheit developed a mercury thermometer using the same scale.

The first real medical thermometer was invented by Sir Thomas Allbut in 1867. It was six inches long and took about five minutes to take a person’s temperature.

For almost a hundred years thermometers were basically unchanged. They contained alcohol or mercury and were considered to be very accurate. More modern thermometers were developed after World War II that used infrared technology and placed in the ear. They utilized tiny electrical circuits and numerical readouts that could measure temperature more quickly and with more precision than the liquid filled glass tubes. Today modern thermometers use some type of electrical sensors to measure temperature but the same numerical scales developed in the 1700’s by Fahrenheit and Celsius are still being used.”


Why does the Fahrenheit scale use 32 degrees as a freezing point?

Daniel Fahrenheit did not use the freezing point of water as a basis for developing his scale. He called the temperature of an ice/salt/water mixture ‘zero degrees’, as this was the lowest temperature he could conveniently attain in his lab. He called his own body temperature ’96 degrees’, and then divided the scale into single degrees between 0 and 96. On this scale, the freezing point of pure water happens to occur at 32 (and the boiling point at 212).


Body Temperature and Determination of the Time of Death

Determining the time of death is both an art and a science and requires that the medical examiner use several techniques and observations to make his estimate. As a general rule, the sooner after death the body is examined, the more accurate this estimate will be.To help with his estimation, the ME utilizes various observations and tests, including: Body temperature

By far the most accurate reading of a body temperature is the one that can be taken rectally. Although is not the most pleasant of ways in which to read someone’s temperature it is the most accurate in relation to the body’s core temperature and for this reason it is normally the most used method of determining the temperature of the decease when they are examined at the scene of a crime.

Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. After death, the body loses or gains heat progressively until it equilibrates with that of the surrounding medium. Since corpse temperature can be easily and quickly obtained, the search for a formula that uses this parameter to define the time of death has been sought for years. The current formula for heat loss is 1.5 degree per hour.


Then of course there is “Body Heat” the movie.



Smoky mountain memories

Winner: Pluto, then Keith and Tom Twin, then TJ

Boys night tonight. Although TJ traveled all the way from Vegas to show his stuff, he couldn’t quite top the 3 old guys, falling one short of the playoff.

Pluto, Keith and Tom Twin went 3 rounds in a playoff before Pluto answered this one correctly: Which car company owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche?

Volkswagen Group, of course.

Good Question!: Which mountains stretch from West Virginia to Georgia?

Choices: a. Appalachian   b. Blue Ridge   c. Smoky   d. Rocky

Answer: Blue Ridge

The choice for most of us was between Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains, and that’s because they are so darn close to each other. Actually, the Great Smoky Mountains are part of, a subset of the much larger Blue Ridge mountain range which does stretch from West Virginia to Georgia.

Before we get into details, let’s get into the Great Smoky Mountain mood by taking a listen to Dolly, a local girl who made good:

Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The Great Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range. The park was established in 1934, and, with over 11 million visits per year, it is the most visited national park in the United States.

Anyone who has visited the Great Smoky Mountains can confirm that the Smokies certainly live up to their name! The mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina are blanketed with a smoky haze that gives the region an almost magical quality. Indeed, the Cherokee considered the mountains to be a sacred place and referred to the area as “Shaconage” (Sha-Kon-O-Hey): land of the blue smoke. When European settlers arrived in the early 1800s, they took inspiration from the Cherokee language when they named the Great Smoky Mountains and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

Where Does the Smoke Come From?

The short answer to the question is that the “smoke” from the Smoky Mountains is actually fog that comes from the area’s vegetation. We all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. What we hear less about is how plants also exhale something called “volatile organic compounds”, or VOCs.

VOCs may sound scary, but when they are released from plants, they are completely natural. Have you ever enjoyed the piney smell that wafts from a Christmas tree? That scent comes from the tree giving off VOCs as it breathes. In addition to causing various scents and odors, a high concentration of VOCs can also cause fog. The millions of trees, bushes, and other plants in the Great Smoky Mountains all give off vapor, which comes together to create the fog that gives the mountains their signature smoky look.


Great Smoky Mountain NP – National Park Service.

Everything to know about Great Smoky Mountains National Park – National Geographic

10 Best Things to Do on a Great Smoky Mountains Vacation


Vanilla, the real deal

Winner: Shields, then Pluto, Tall Paul & Sheilah

There was a lot riding on this game. Good thing Shields won. Had she not won, she might have had to return her PhD.

Bit of chaos tonight. We had a new moderator, a new scoring system, and not nearly enough answer sheets to go around.

With Mistress Daphne, moderator Mike, and Tiffany unavailable, we went deep to the bench and asked Chenzie to moderate the game – she did a fine job. To make things a bit easier for her we went to the honor system with each player keeping their own score – it seemed to work. Moderator Mike has promised to return from the canyons in Utah to moderate next week’s game.

Good Question!: From which type of flower does a vanilla pod come?

Choices: a. vanilla   b. orchid    c. heather   d. lily

Answer: orchid

I have seen a lot of orchids, but I’ve never noticed any vanilla pods in there.

The orchid family is a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant.

They are one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with about 28,000 currently accepted species. Who counts these plants?

The family encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants and includes Vanilla, the genus of the vanilla plant. Since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.
We are just drowning in orchids.

What about vanilla?

Vanilla, the vanilla orchids, forms a flowering plant genus of about 110 species in the orchid family. The most widely known member is the flat-leaved vanilla, native to Mexico, from which commercial vanilla flavoring is derived. It is the only orchid widely used for industrial purposes in flavoring such products as foods, beverages and cosmetics, and is recognized as the most popular aroma and flavor. The key constituent imparting its popular characteristics is the phenolic aldehyde, vanillin.

Good advice here on How To Use a Vanilla Bean


Here is even more of what you need to know about vanilla in the store.

Vanilla Versus Vanillin

“I’m sure most of you have bought vanilla extract at the store and not thought too much about it. Vanilla is vanilla, right? While many people might not think it matters, the differences in true vanilla and vanillin (or fake vanilla) may be of interest to you when you find out the facts.

Vanilla bean pods grow in areas such as Madagascar and Tahiti, The beans are left to dry in the sun and cured, which is when their flavor develops. Vanilla is a natural aphrodisiac and a good source of B vitamins. Vanilla beans are usually soaked with a liquid medium such as alcohol or glycerin (a food-based sweet liquid) for a certain number of weeks to produce vanilla extract.

Vanillin, on the other hand, is what you’ll find in cheap extracts at the store that are also called “imitation vanilla”. Imitation vanilla may also be called “vanilla flavor”, and is often combined with sugar, corn syrup, or a similar low-quality sweetener to make the product taste better. It’s chemically produced to mimic the taste of vanilla but is not however, true vanilla.

Then there’s the price and the flavor. Real vanilla is always worth a few extra dollars, and you’ll likely notice it on the price tag. If a vanilla product you’re buying is extremely cheap, most likely it’s not real vanilla. Real vanilla also has a deep, complex flavor, not an overly sweet taste. Real vanilla has an almost smokey flavor with a depth that cheap vanilla simply can’t replace.

For the best vanilla products, choose alcohol-free extracts that are organic and have no added sugar. Vanilla extract, vanilla beans, and vanilla bean powder are all excellent to add to a variety of foods like healthy “milkshakes”, cupcakes, smoothies, oatmeal, and pie. Just be sure you’re choosing the highest quality so you get your money’s worth and aren’t spending your hard earned dollars on chemicals and sugar.”