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“The Misfits”

Winner: Pluto, followed closely by Rosebud, 9 O’Clock Judy, Almond Joy, Judge Judy, and Tall Paul.

Lots of controversy tonight. What was actress Marilyn Monroe’s last completed film? It was “The Misfits,” a film which many think was Marilyn Monroe’s best dramatic performance.

For some reason most folks thought she had died during the filming of “The Misfits,” and put up a loud and vigorous challenge. In fact, she had only been hospitalized during its filming. It was during the shooting for her next film “Something’s Got to Give” that she died, and that film was unreleased. BTW, Clark Gable, often referred to as “The King of Hollywood,” died of a heart attack just after filming “The Misfits.” He was only 59 years old.

Good Question!: Ricotta is a cheese traditionally made from the milk of which animal?

Choices: a. goat  b. cow  c. sheep  d. camel

Answer: Cow

Oh Boy! Much more controversy here, because many folks thought that ricotta was made from sheep milk, and you know what, they were right, too.

What is Ricotta Cheese?

Ricotta is a soft, sweet, fresh, white cheese made from what is left over after making other cheeses. Basically ricotta is made from whey—that is, the watery liquid that remains after cow, sheep or goat cheese is made. Used in abundance all over Italy, ricotta—in all its various forms—has played an important part in Italian cucina for centuries. Ounce for ounce, Ricotta has five times more calcium than the cottage cheese it closely resembles.

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Want to know much more?

First, better remember, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

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Ancient and Modern Ricotta

“In the ancient times of the Roman republic, the production of ricotta was regulated by Cato the Elder—a statesman known for his humble origins and practical wisdom. Among other laws, he codified rules for sheep farming and agriculture. In those days, sheep’s milk had several uses: as a part of sacrificial rites; as a beverage; for the production of pecorino cheese—and ricotta. Even back then, the practice of using whey, instead of merely discarding it, already existed.

Ricotta, which literally means “recooked” in Italian, was probably accidentally discovered during the production of pecorino. The process for making ricotta is relatively simple: By allowing the whey to ferment one or two days in lukewarm temperatures, it becomes more acidic. After fermentation, the whey is cooked to almost boiling; afterward, the residual proteins solidify into curds, which are then filtered through a cloth. The result is a product with a consistency similar to cottage cheese, but with a sweet taste.

Cheese making is a real craft—it takes a lot of skill, practice and experience to make a good cheese. Even ricotta, in all its simplicity, follows traditions, rules, and methods. Though fresh ricotta is not so readily available—even in Italian cities it can be hard to find, and outside of Italy, it’s still something of a rarity—it is possible to find tasty commercial ricotta just about everywhere.  The commercial versions of ricotta—sold in many parts of the world, as well as in Italy—are very useful in the kitchen, particularly in pastry and pasta dishes. But, there is nothing that can compare to the taste of fresh authentic Italian ricotta.

Made without any additives and naturally low in fat, undoubtedly, the best ricotta you’ll ever experience comes straight from the farm—sold in street markets and local cheese stores all over Italy. Fresh ricotta is readily available in a variety of forms, but the most common types are: ricotta di mucca (cow milk ricotta), ricotta di pecora (sheep milk ricotta), and ricotta mista di mucca e pecora (a mixture of cow and sheep milk ricottas). Cow milk ricotta is more widely consumed in Northern Italy, and sheep ricotta is more prevalent in the central south. Ricotta di capra (goat) and ricotta di bufala (buffalo) also exist but they are a bit harder to come by.

The differences between these ricottas are noteworthy. Cow’s milk ricotta is milder and has a more neutral taste than the other varieties. It’s ideal for the celebrated filled-pasta delicacies of northern Italy—such as, ravioli, tortelloni, agnolotti, savory stuffed crepes—as well as cakes and pastries. In the regions where sheep herding is more widespread—such as in Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzi, Campania, Puglia, and of course Sardinia, which has the largest sheep farms in all of Italy—naturally, sheep milk ricotta is more prevalent. Each region produces a slightly different tasting milk and cheese. In general, sheep milk ricotta has a slightly richer taste than the cow milk variety.” (George DeLallo Company)

 

Winner: Pluto

Lots of players and diners made lots of noise tonight; pretty tough for Moderator Mike to be heard. Not too loud for Pluto, Rosebud, and Almond Joy to finish tied at the end of regulation and head to a playoff. That didn’t last long as only Pluto knew that John Adams was the first president to live in the White House.

Tonight we were reminded that the name of the boy in the Jungle Book was Mowgli. Well, not exactly reminded since most of us did not really know much about the Jungle Book, so here’s the story: “After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther, Bagheera, and free spirited bear, Baloo.” Now we know.

Good Question!: What is featured on the reverse side of the US two dollar bank note?

Choices: a. White House  b. Treasury Building  c. Capitol Bldg  d. Signing Declaration of Independence

 

Answer: Signing Declaration of Independence

The $2 Dollar Bill is America’s Rarest Current Denomination of US Currency

The unique history of the $2 bill has given the note an air of mystery and legend. If you have a $2 dollar bill in your wallet, it is always an instant conversation starter.

History

On 25 June, 1776, the Continental Congress authorized the issue of two-dollar bills of credit for the defense of the America. Only 49,000 bills were issued at that time. The two-dollar bill was first commissioned in March,1862, but was discontinued from 1966 until 1976 when use of the two-dollar bill was resumed as part of the United States bicentennial celebration. This bill had a new design on the back featuring John Trumbull’s depiction of the drafting of the United States Declaration of Independence replacing the previous design of Monticello.

How Rare is the $2 Dollar Bill?

Low printing numbers starting in the 1950s resulted in the $2 dollar bill becoming the rarest current denomination of US Currency.  This rarity caused people to hoard any $2 bills they come across and as a result this decreased the circulation of the $2 dollar bill even more. Today the $2 dollar bill constitute around 1% of all notes in US circulation.

Growing Popularity of the $2 Dollar Bill

Today the $2 dollar bill is growing in popularity. One reason for the increased popularity is the $2 dollar bill is becoming more frequently used as change where tipping is encouraged. For example, $2 dollar bills are popular in some bars and night clubs, especially gentleman’s clubs and poker rooms. The reason many gentleman’s clubs give change using $2 bills is to encourage larger tips. I hope you guys who frequent “gentleman’s clubs” are paying attention.

What is a $2 Dollar Bill worth?

Typically the $2 bill is worth its face value. Special $2 bills have been made in recent years, however they are not worth anything more than face value on the collectors market and most current $2 bills are not worth much more than their face value.

The curious case of the $2 Dollar Bill

The first $2 bill issued in 1862 as a Legal Tender Note features a profile portrait of Alexander Hamilton.

The scene of the Declaration of Independence that appears on the bill’s reverse is not a perfect duplicate of the John Trumbull painting. Five figures were removed to make the image fit the bill.

$2 bills are seen in circulation so rarely that some people still think they’re counterfeit upon first encountering them. Actually, it’s a wonder we don’t see $2 bills more often; as late as the turn of the 21st century, there were over $1.1 billion worth of the bills in circulation.

Uncut $2 Currency Sheets

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computing, buys two dollars by the sheet from the Treasury Department. He then has them bound into a booklet and the bills act as “tear off” pages. You can do this too, because uncut currency sheets of $2 bills are still available in various sizes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

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A 32-subject sheet, which is the original size sheet that the notes are printed on, is available. Other sheet sizes available have been cut from the original 32-subject sheet. These include half (16-note), quarter (8-note), and eighth (4-note) sheets for $2 bills. Uncut sheets range in price from $21 to $90 from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which seems like about a 50% premium to face value.

All this talk of currency and $2 dollar bills makes me think of a couple of great bank heist movies.

 

This is one of the great bank shootout scenes of all time:

and for old time sake – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid:

 

Rocky Balboa

 

Winner: TomO

A couple of fresh faces on the winner’s podium this evening. Newbie Alex tied for the lead in regulation, but lost the play off and TomO became a first time winner. Good job. Now let’s see if you can come back and do it again.

With Mistress Daphne away exploring the Arctic, Mike, the mild moderator, handled things and the game proceeded at a fast clip. He fooled everyone when he asked why it is illegal to sell an ET doll in France? Turns out the French require that dolls must have human faces only. Who knew.

Good question!: What was the first sport to be filmed?

Choices: a. tennis   b. baseball   c. boxing   d. horse racing

Answer: boxing (well, sort of)

This is one strange tale.

THOMAS EDISON FILMED STRIPPERS, DRUG DENS, ANIMAL MURDERS, AND THE VERY FIRST CAT VIDEO

“Edison’s early experiments in film were often pretty scandalous even by today’s standards. There was the time he recorded his favorite body-building stripper, rather gracelessly disrobing upon the trapeze, right down to her massive Victorian underwear. There was also Chinese Opium Den, from which only one frame survives, but you can guess the content. There’s even the time he filmed himself electrocuting Topsy the elephant. So you have sex, drugs and violence, all right there at the beginning of cinema.

Edison really knew what the public wanted, so obviously he made a cat video!

In 1894 Edison filmed “Boxing Cats” at his Black Maria Studio, the charming results of which you see here. Why boxing cats? The Library of Congress explains that this was a relatively popular form of live entertainment for the time:

“The performance was part of Professor Henry Welton’s ‘cat circus,’ which toured the United States both before and after appearing in Edison’s film. Performances included cats riding small bicycles and doing somersaults, with the boxing match being the highlight of the show.”

The Library of Congress’s summary of the film is just “A very interesting and amusing subject.” Can’t argue with that!” (dangerousminds.net)

Turns out upon further research there was a real boxing match filmed by the Edison studios in 1894, but I don’t think we can forgive him for starting the cat video craze:

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Now if we’re going to be watching boxing videos you know it has to be “Rocky” and if you haven’t seen this recently it’s really worth a look:

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Rosemary’s Baby

Winner: Judge Judy

Tonight it came down to the last question. Where did the small private plane crash land this week? Pluto guessed Bellmore and was half right. Judge Judy answered Bellport and was totally right. It was especially fitting that Judy would win this evening as she celebrated her wedding anniversary with Tall Paul.

Tonight we learned that Minnie Mouse’s cat who enjoyed antagonizing Mickey’s beloved dog, Pluto was named Figaro. But most of the questions tonight were baby questions – wonder why.

Good question!: Babies recognize their mother’s voice at birth, how long does it take a baby to recognize its father’s voice?

Choices: a. 12 hours  b. 2 days  c. one week  d. two weeks

 

Answer: two weeks

That answer did not sit well with the fathers who were playing the game this evening. Maybe they had a legitimate beef.

Here’s what “Romper,” a site for a new generation of women figuring out what motherhood means for them, has to say:

“It’s no secret that mother’s have the advantage when it comes to bonding with baby. From carrying to delivering to breastfeeding, mother’s are innately wired to feel connected with their babies. Although fathers don’t have the same constant contact that mothers do with their babies, it doesn’t lessen the importance of their bond with their child. It’s been said that babies recognize their mother’s voice while their still in the womb, but when does a baby recognize their father? Not surprisingly, it may be much earlier than you’d expect.

Although the exact timeline isn’t known for sure, some studies suggest babies can recognize their father’s voice from the womb, and suggest that dads talk to their babies before they’re born. One piece from Parents noted that babies can hear sounds from 16 weeks gestation, so speaking or singing often to your unborn babe will increase their ability to recognize the sound of your voice. Most research, according to Parenting, indicates that babies can recognize their father’s voice from 32 weeks gestation (and immediately after birth.)”

On the other hand “Livestrong.com” has this to say:

Because it’s noisy inside the womb and because outside sounds aren’t heard as well as internal sounds, there’s no proof that babies recognize Dad’s voice at birth. Few studies have tested a baby’s preference for their own father’s voice over other male voices. A 1999 Virginia Tech study published in “Developmental Psychobiology” found that 4-month-old infants did not show a preference for their father’s voice over other male voices but did recognize voices they’d heard previously. Researchers concluded that there is a biological difference in maternal vs. paternal recognition in infants.

So you pays your money and you takes your choice.

All this baby talk has got me thinking about “Rosemary’s Baby:

 

Winner: Oh, Donna

Another close game tonight with five players bunched in second place and a playoff to determine the winner between Pluto and Oh, Donna.  After 7 questions it was still tied. The deciding question – Who had the most single day record sales? Pluto, always a homeboy, went with local girl Mariah Carey. Wrong. Oh, Donna knew better, she remembered her favorite singles as a teenager – screaming for Elvis!

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Mistress Daphne, recently returned from Transylvania, brought back a bottle of Bermet for us to sample. Very Nice! Bermet, a sweet wine that is a specialty of northern Serbia’s Fruška Gora wine region, is an interesting infused dessert wine.

It has between 16 and 18% of alcohol and it is usually served as a dessert wine with cookies, which of course, was how Darin served it.

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Good Question!: Which ocean is the most shallow?

Choices: a. Pacific  b. Arctic  c. Indian  d. Antarctic

Answer: Arctic

The shallowest ocean in the world is the Arctic Ocean. It has an average depth of 3,407 feet. The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth’s oceans and covers about 3 percent of the world’s surface area. In contrast, with an average depth of 13,740 feet, the Pacific Ocean is the deepest, and the deepest place on Earth is the Marianna Trench in the Pacific Ocean, with a depth of 36,200 feet.

Made me wonder.
How long would it take to sail around the world?
Depends. If your are on say a 40′ yacht, It could take anywhere from 1 -10 years depending on how much time and money you have . Most folks circling the globe take an average of 3.5 years. Most do it by passing through the Panama Canal to avoid Cape Horn.

However, if you are Thomas Colville, it would take you 49 days 3 hours 7 minutes and 38 seconds. That’s solo by the way, in his 31m trimaran Sodebo Ultim. Distance covered over the ground: 28,400 nautical miles (52,596 kilometres). Starting and ending at Brest, France. Average speed was 24.09 knots (that’s 27.7 m/h). Pretty Amazing!

Of course, some ocean voyages did not go as well:

The Warriors

It was a mob scene – First, Second & Third Place Finishers: Rosebud, Pluto, 9 O’Clock Judy, Inappropriate Bob, Judge Judy, Almond Joy, Droppin’ and Rhys.

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As the game headed to its conclusion there were plenty of players with a chance to win. Even Inappropriate Bob was a contender, which was a bit of a surprise.

In the end it came down to Droppin’ and Pluto, who went head to head in a playoff to determine the winner. Pluto got lucky when the final question asked the location of Lake Havasu. Droppin’, who’s never been much good around water, was sunk.

Good Question!: In what country was the buried 2000-year-old terra-cotta Army discovered?

Choices: a. Peru  b. Japan  c. India  d. China

Ancient terracotta soldiers march forward with hands empty of weapons.

Answer: China

“The Terra-Cotta Army protects the tomb of China’s first emperor. Platoons of clay soldiers were buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, to accompany him during his eternal rest.

Workers digging a well outside the city of Xi’an, China, in 1974 struck upon one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world: a life-size clay soldier poised for battle.

(ed note: Xi’an is about a 2 hr flight SW from Beijing)

The diggers notified Chinese authorities, who dispatched government archaeologists to the site.

They found not one, but thousands of clay soldiers, each with unique facial expressions and positioned according to rank. And though largely gray today, patches of paint hint at once brightly colored clothes. Further excavations have revealed swords, arrow tips, and other weapons, many in pristine condition.

The soldiers are in trenchlike, underground corridors. In some of the corridors, clay horses are aligned four abreast; behind them are wooden chariots.

The terra-cotta army, as it is known, is part of an elaborate mausoleum created to accompany the first emperor of China into the afterlife, according to archaeologists.” (Nationnal Geographic)

This is a fine 4 minute video that will give you the whole story about Emperor Qin and his terra cotta warriors.

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But, if the first thing you think of when you hear “warriors” is the 1979 cult gang movie, The Warriors, here’s the terrific trailer:

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Bloggers Note: missed a milestone last month as the Tuesday Night Bar Exam blog (TNBE) celebrated its seventh anniversary in April. We had about 5,000 views last year. You keep reading, we’ll keep writing.

 

 

 

Winner: Almond Joy

Just two weeks after self correcting his score and giving up a win, Almond Joy roared back tonight and led from start to finish. “It feels much better to win honestly, it’s the only way,” he said. 9 O’Clock Judy, Rosebud and Main Street Peddler Pluto trailed.

Tonight’s heated dispute: “What is the heaviest land animal in North America?” Is it a buffalo or is it a moose?

Well, fans of the mighty moose will be disappointed to learn that bisons out weight it by about 400 pounds. If Kodiak bears in Alaska had been included as a choice we might’ve had a different winner.

Good Question!: What is the only state that has no indigenous poisonous animals within its borders?

Choices: a. Maine   b. Oregon   c. Illinois   d. Kansas

Answer: Maine

Believe it or not, Maine doesn’t have any poisonous animals within its borders. Once upon a time, there were reports that the timber rattlesnake lived within the region. However, the state is simply too cold to support the lifestyles of these reptiles and they seem to have all died off. In fact, the last known sighting of a timber rattler within Maine’s borders occurred in 1901.

Maine does have several species of snakes within its borders. According to Maine’s Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, the common garter snake is the most frequently encountered snake in the state. Since the milk snake is so similar in color to the timber rattler and is often seen in the wild, residents may worry that the lack of poisonous snakes within Maine’s borders is simply a myth. However, this mild reptile uses its similarity to the timber rattler to protect itself and is unable to produce toxins.

Just because there are no indigenous poisonous animals in Maine doesn’t mean that campers and hikers don’t have to keep a sharp eye out when wandering the many forested areas within the state. Maine has a large moose population and after their young are born they will aggressively defend them.

All of this discussion about snakes is just an excuse to show you the spectacular “Sorcerer and the White Snake” trailer with the incomparable Jet Li: