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“The Fight of the Century”

Winners: Rhys and Carol St. Martin, followed by Judge Judy, Tall Paul, Almond Joy and Christine.

Nurse Christine makes the podium because she made us all feel better tonight when she also missed the anatomy questions. Darin, our quiz master, decided she would rather play grandma with baby Ryan Ann and so there were no answer sheets, which made life very difficult for moderator Mike.

Many of tonight’s questions were so difficult and obscure that cousin Mark, who came all the way from Detroit for the game, quit halfway and said, “I’m not taking this anymore.” But he did like the cookies.

Good Question!: Which boxer defeated Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden in March 1971?

Choices: a. Sonny Liston   b. Larry Holmes   c. Gerry Cooney   d. Joe Frazier

Answer: Smokin’ Joe Frazier

A few sports buffs remembered that it was Joe Frazier who beat Muhammad Ali in his first fight after being released from prison, a fight known as “The Fight of the Century.” But no one believed that fight at Madison Square Garden happened almost 50 years ago! I remember it like it was just yesterday.

The Fight of the Century (also known as The Fight) is the title boxing writers and historians have given to the boxing match between WBC/WBA heavyweight champion Joe Frazier (26–0, 23 KOs) and Ring magazine/lineal heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali (31–0, 25 KOs), held on Monday, March 8, 1971, at Madisn square Garden in NYC. Frazier won in 15 rounds via unanimous decision. It was the first time that two undefeated boxers fought each other for the heavyweight title.

Here’s a condensed version – 15 rounds in 15 minutes.

 

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Island Getaway

 

Winners: Droppin’ and Oh Donna, followed by Almond Joy.

Winner: Droppin’, followed by Judge Judy, Brian, and Tall Paul.

Today’s post is a doubleheader, a catch up. Droppin’ was a winner in the last two games, but he was in a dead heat with Oh, Donna in the earlier game. Droppin’ surprised us all when he was the only one to answer that North Korea was threatening to fire missiles near Granada. Of course, we explained to him that it was Guam, not Granada. He said he knew it started with a G.

Tonight we said sayonara to Mistress Daphne who showed up in her kimono, but left early. She had a plane to catch. From Vancouver she would board a slow boat to Japan. Maybe even get to duck one of kim jong un’s missiles.

Good Question!: Where in Massachusetts is the only island, county, and town in the US that share the same name?

Choices: a. Cape Cod   b. Chappaquiddick   c. Nantucket               d. Martha’s Vineyard

 

Answer: Nantucket

Had to be either Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Half guessed wrong. Never been to Nantucket, so I thought it would be worth taking a look.

This guy has a nice portfolio of aerial photos of the island.

Travel info: Nantucket is about seven hours from Long Island by car via I-95

You have 6 ways to get from Long Island to Nantucket. The cheapest way is bus and ferry which costs $88. The quickest way is bus to New York JFK and fly.

One perfect day on Nantucket

So you don’t have a friend with a seaside mansion on Nantucket, nor the budget to shell out big bucks for a resort room? No problem: This gorgeous island, with its preserved village of sea captains’ homes and bumpy cobblestone streets, is a day-tripper’s dream, especially for Cape Codders. The island is relatively small, a mere 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, but includes some 800 pre-Civil War-era homes, many now housing fine restaurants, inns, museums, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. There are more than 80 miles of beaches on the island and acres of preserved and protected lands. You could wing it: Wander the village, pop into a shop or two, take your chances on a restaurant. But we won’t let you do that. To get the most out of Nantucket (and the cost of your ferry ticket), you need a plan. (see this fine piece from the Boston Globe)

A couple of informative Nantucket videos:

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VIDEO – Steamship Company Island Survey

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Winner: Droppin’

Not a surprise that Droppin’ won tonight. The big surprise was that Tall Paul finally tied Judge Judy. She had been beating him like a drum all these weeks.

They may have finished second tonight, but recently they finished first in the all Icelandic Blue Lagoon thermal pool.

Some very difficult questions tonight. Who remembers the last man to walk on the moon? Turns out it was Gene Cernan, not exactly a household name.

There was one easy question which everyone but Pluto got right. What game was denounced by critics as “sex in a box”? Why it was “Twister,” of course. Poor Pluto must have had a very lonely adolescence, never played Twister.

Good Question!: The Chatham islands in the Pacific ocean are part of which country?

Choice’s: a. Cambodia  b. South Korea  c. Papua New Guinea  d. New Zealand

Answer: New Zealand

I told you there were some very obscure questions this evening. The Chatham Islands, also known as Rekohu, lie 750km to the east of New Zealand’s South Island and are home to New Zealand’s most remote communities. Around 600 people live on two of the 11 islands that make up ‘the Chathams’, with incomes largely reliant on farming, fishing, conservation and tourism.

The islands are in their own time zone, 45 minutes ahead of New Zealand time; the International Date Line jogs eastward to keep them on the same calendar day as the rest of New Zealand.  If you didn’t live there, you wouldn’t know the Chatham Islands even existed.

However, if you were thinking of visiting the Chatham Islands on holiday and enjoying their rugged beauty then, believe it or not, they have their own website which will tell you all you need to know. Steeped in culture and history, these islands are on the very edge of civilisation. Experience Moriori culture, experience “Rekohu.”

If you are fluent in their native language, you might want to look at this video which researches their culture:

 

 

Crazy Horse

Winner: Droppin’ followed by 2nd place finishers Pluto, Sheena, Music Mark, and David.

A hearty welcome back to the Top 3 podium for Sheena. All that computer study seems to have paid off. Droppin’ had no problem finishing first, but surprisingly he was the only one of 20 players who didn’t know that the largest freshwater lake in the US is Lake Superior. Heck, Dave, it’s the largest freshwater lake in the whole world!

Good Question!: What childhood name did Custer and Crazy Horse share?

Choices: a. Speedy   b. Curly   c. Happy   d. Crazy

Answer: Curly

As with tradition Crazy Horse was not originally named Crazy Horse. He happened to start out in this world as “Curly”, aptly named this because he had wavy hair. He would be called Curly until he earned his father’s name, Tasunka Witco (Crazy Horse), by proving himself in battle. Contemporaries of Crazy Horse described him as fairer skinned than the “typical” Native American of the time, with lighter wavy hair than most.

Crazy Horse and Custer will always be linked together. Here is an interesting piece from CBS Sunday Morning, “Custer’s Last Stand, More to the Battle.”

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Crazy Horse – The Man

Crazy Horse was born as a member of the Teton Sioux tribe on Rapid Creek about 40 miles northeast of Thunderhead Mt. in the year 1843. He was killed at Fort Robinson by an American Indian soldier around midnight on September 5, 1877 while under a flag of truce – age 34.

Not much is known of the very early years of Crazy Horse. He would have grown up with the traditional ways of the Lakota. As a very young child he would have learned things like recognizing animals & what types of plants were edible. He would have lain in the tall grass of the prairie listening to and attuning his senses to nature, hoop toss, whipping toss game and whirling bone games with his friends. He would have been taught the ways of his people from multiple sources: his father, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers and any other member of the tribe. Learning happened every day and was always something that prepared the young man for his future life as a warrior for the tribe. A boy of 4 or 5 would have already mastered the use of tomahawks, bows and horseback riding.

Once Crazy Horse was old enough he would have set out on one of the most important rites of passage to a Lakota warrior…the Vision Quest (Hanblecheya – which is defined as “crying for a visions “or “to pray for a spiritual experience”). This rite of passage would have given Crazy Horse guidance on his path in life. He would have gone alone into the hills for four days without food or water and cried for a dream to the great spirits.

By the time Crazy Horse was in his mid-teens he was already a full-fledged warrior. His bravery and prowess in battle were well-known by the Lakota people. He rode into battle with a single hawk feather in his hair, a rock behind his ear and a lightning symbol on his face. The symbols and rituals that went into preparing for war was meant to allow the warrior to draw power and protect themselves from harm during battle.

In 1876 Crazy Horse led a band of Lakota warriors against Custer’s Seventh U.S. Cavalry battalion. They called this the Battle of the Little Big Horn or Custer’s Last Stand. Custer, 9 officers and 280 enlisted men all lay dead after the fighting was over. According to tribes who participated in the battle 32 Indians were killed. Although Crazy Horse is often given credit for killing General George A. Custer, there is no proof that he was the one who took Custer’s last breath.

source: crazyhorsememorial.org/crazy-horse-the-man.html

 

Manna-ha-ta

WINNER: 9 O’Clock Judy, followed by Coffee Bill, Carol St. Martin and Mike

A very large group of players tonight including a surprise return by an old time player – Coffee Bill. He came so close to winning and making his return a storybook finish.

Maybe next time he’ll let his old buddies, the Driver and Pluto know in advance that he’s coming, so they can buy him a beer. Of course, maybe he didn’t let them know intentionally, because if they had been there, he knows they would’ve kicked his butt in the game.

We learned some weird stuff tonight. Turns out that horse meat outsells lamb in Sweden and that in Lebanon it is legal to have sex with female animals. Yuck.

Good Question!: What name translates in Indian as “place of drunkenness?”

Choices: a. Los Angeles  b. Manhattan  c. Utah  d. Denver

Answer: Manhattan

Here’s one version.
When Dutch settlers brought liquor to the island, they offered it to the American Indians they found there. Because American Indians had no history of alcohol use, the liquor had a significant effect on them.
The Native Americans, then called the island “Manahachtanienk,” meaning, “place where we all got drunk.”

Another version has the name starting much earlier. Could’ve been in 1524 when Giovanni Verrazano the Florentine explorer landed for the first time at what is now the lower extremity of New York City. He gave the Indians their first taste of fire water. A good time was had by all, and ever after the natives referred to the island as Manna-ha-ta or “place of drunkenness.”

Or maybe it just got its name after one St. Patrick’s Day.

Manhattan on Sale – Only $24

Peter Minuit, the Dutch West India company director-general, came to New Netherland in 1626 to broker a deal with the American Indians, who occasionally used the land to hunt and fish. In exchange for the island of Manhattan, Minuit offered the tribe a chest of beads and other trinkets worth 60 guilders. In the 19th century, this amount was famously estimated to be about $24; however, that number is disputed. If we assume that the Dutch bought Manhattan for a few cents an acre, it would be a steal comparable to the United States’ purchases of Alaska or the Louisiana Territory. On the other hand, it seems like a raw deal for the American Indians. But many historians point out that the Dutch are the ones who got conned. The American Indians didn’t have the same sense of land ownership as the Dutch did. They didn’t even live on the island.

In any case, the American Indians accepted payment for land they didn’t consider theirs. And it should be noted that the Dutch offering payment at all was a sign of good faith to legitimize their claims, especially compared to the Spanish conquistadors who opted simply to take the land they wanted.

My favorite “Manhattan” story is Woody Allen’s.

Looking for a real old-time film of Manhattan, then try “Manhatta,” but be forewarned, this is a very old B&W film.

In 1920 Paul Strand and artist Charles Sheeler collaborated on Manhatta, a short silent film that presents a day in the life of lower Manhattan. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s book Leaves of Grass, the film includes multiple segments that express the character of New York. The sequences display a similar approach to the still photography of both artists. Attracted by the cityscape and its visual design, Strand and Sheeler favored extreme camera angles to capture New York’s dynamic qualities. Although influenced by Romanticism in its view of the urban environment, Manhatta is considered the first American avant-garde film.

 

“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: