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Archive for April, 2010

Winner: Dave

Dave finished strong, passing a tiring Driver Shea and Pluto in the final stretch to win by a nose. Quiz master Daphne, rested and relaxed from her sojourn in Vietnam, went native on us, wearing the traditional conical hat and the ao dai. She looked both charming and elegant. Art and Daphne brought back a special bottle of the local “Snake Wine” to share with us. It was very tasty – if you like nail polish remover serving as a formaldehyde for the enclosed scorpion and snake!

“Good Question!”: When did MTV start broadcasting?

Answer: 1981

MTV is an American cable television network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs. Today, MTV still plays a limited selection of music videos, but the channel primarily broadcasts a variety of popular culture and reality television shows targeted at adolescents and young adults.

MTV’s roots can be traced back to 1977, when Warner Amex Cable  launched the first two-way interactive cable TV system, Qube, in Columbus, Ohio. The Qube system offered a specialized channel, Sight On Sound, which was a music channel that featured concert footage and music oriented TV programs. The popularity of the channel prompted Warner Amex to market the channel nationally to other cable services.

On August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching guitar riff written by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. With the flag having a picture of MTVs logo on it. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit, associating MTV with the most famous moment in world television history. At the moment of its launch, only a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey could see it. Sporadically, the screen would go black when an employee at MTV inserted a tape into a VCR.

Appropriately, the first music video shown on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles (with similar tongue-in-cheek humor, the first video shown on MTV Europe was “Money for Nothing,” by Dire Straits, which starts with repetition of the line “I want my MTV,” voiced by Sting).

The early music videos that made up the bulk of the network’s programming in the ’80s were often crude promotional or concert clips from whatever sources could be found; as the popularity of the network rose, and record companies recognized the potential of the medium as a tool to gain recognition and publicity, they began to create increasingly elaborate clips specifically for the network. Several noted film directors got their start creating music videos.

MTV presented one video after another in a constant “flow” that contrasted with the discrete individual programs found on other television networks. Clips were repeated from time to time according to a light, medium, or heavy “rotation” schedule. In this respect, MTV was like Top 40 radio (it even had video jockeys, or vjs, similar to radio djs). Moreover, it soon became apparent that MTV could “break” a recording act (move it into prominence, even star status), just as radio had done for decades.

MTV started off showing music videos nearly full-time, but as time passed they introduced a variety of other shows, including animated cartoons such as Beavis and Butt-head and Daria; “reality” shows such as The Real World and Road Rules; prank/comedic shows such as The Tom Green Show, Jackass, and Punk’d; and soap operas such as Undressed. By the second half of the 1990s, MTV programming consisted primarily of non-music programming.

Sources: American Public University, The Museum of Broadcast Communications, Wikipedia

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Winner: Cecelia

Celia jumped out to an early lead, and was perfect thru the first 12 rounds. She held on to win with only 2 wrong, and becomes the first female winner on this blog. Rookie quizmaster Jaime’s questions were appreciated by most, even the non playing kibitzers. She was soft spoken and supportive of the players, especially when you got one wrong – quite a change of pace from what we are used to with Daphne.

“Good Question!”:  When did the Northport trolley start operation?

Answer: 1902

In 1867, the Long Island Railroad was extended from Syosset to Northport and a railroad station was established at Northport, near where the King Kullen shopping center is now. On April 25, 1868 the station opened within the village, and was an essential transportation link for the growing commuter population. It lasted only six years, however.

In 1870, when the Railroad decided to extend the main line to Port Jefferson, it was decided that the new line would start at Greenlawn and follow an easterly path which would bring it south of Northport. The first train ran on January 13, 1873. The new station located on the west side of Larkfield Road in East Northport was called the Northport Railroad Station.

To avoid confusion with the former station located in the village of Northport, train conductors would refer to the station in Larkfield as “East of Northport” because the station was located east of the Northport railway junction which directed trains north to the station located in the village. Despite the fact that Larkfield was primarily south of Northport, the area became known thereafter as East Northport.

The original rail spur to Northport would then be known as the Northport Branch. After the old bypassed village station closed in 1899, Northport decided to build a 2½ mile trolley line to take commuters between Main Street and the new Northport station located in Larkfield. The new commuter trolley opened in mid-April 1902. The trip took only 12 minutes and cost five cents each way.

The trolley would eventually become obsolete with the invention of the automobile and the trolley made its last scheduled commuter run on August 19, 1924. The Northport Trolley enjoyed a popular revival in the 1970s and 1980s, transporting weekend tourists along Main Street. Unlike the original electric trolleys, this nostalgic replica was horse driven (by “Frick” & “Frack”). It also ran on rubber automobile tires rather than utilizing the original rails which still remain a visible element of Main Street to this day.

Out of all the trolleys on LI this one has the most track still showing. These tracks can be dangerous for bike riders, if you are not paying attention – I found this out the hard way.

(sources: Wikipedia, Northport CofC, Flickr)

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Winners: Dave and Steve

It was close, very close. Originally the judges announced Dave as the sole winner, with three other players only one back. But there was  a challenge and upon review of the scores Steve was moved up to share the win. Rookie quiz master Bren did a fine job, with some interesting questions and the return of photographs and art work. Loved “The Scream” by Munsch:

“Good Question!”: How many immigrants were processed through Ellis Island from 1890 through 1954?

Answer: 12 million  –  Why only 12 million ?

Although 1907 saw over 1 million immigrants, after 1924 restrictions on the total number of immigrants drastically reduced the flow of those entering the country. In fact, from 1925 to its closing in 1954, only 2.3 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, an average of just 77,000 per year.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Prior to 1890, the individual states regulated immigration into the United States. Castle Garden in the Battery (originally known as Castle Clinton) served as the New York State immigration station from 1855 to 1890 and approximately eight million immigrants passed through its doors, mostly from England, Ireland, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

To handle the growing numbers of immigrants arriving yearly, the Federal government constructed a new Federally-operated immigration station on Ellis Island, which opened on January 1, 1892. Annie Moore, a 15 year-old Irish girl, accompanied by her two brothers entered history as she was the very first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island on January 2. Over the next 62 years, more than 12 million were to follow through this port of entry.

First and second class passengers who arrived in New York Harbor were not required to undergo the inspection process at Ellis Island. Instead, these passengers underwent a cursory inspection aboard ship; the theory being that if a person could afford to purchase a first or second class ticket, they were less likely to become a public charge in America due to medical or legal reasons.

This scenario was far different for “steerage” or third class passengers. These immigrants traveled in crowded and often unsanitary conditions near the bottom of steamships with few amenities, often spending up to two weeks seasick in their bunks during rough Atlantic Ocean crossings. Upon arrival in New York City, ships would dock at the Hudson or East River piers. The steerage and third class passengers were transported from the pier by ferry or barge to Ellis Island where everyone would undergo a medical and legal inspection.

If the immigrant’s papers were in order and they were in reasonably good health, the Ellis Island inspection process would last approximately three to five hours. The inspections took place in the Registry Room (or Great Hall), where doctors would briefly scan every immigrant for obvious physical ailments.

Approximately 80 percent successfully passed through in a matter of hours, but others could be detained for days or weeks. Only two percent of the arriving immigrants were excluded from entry. The two main reasons why an immigrant would be excluded were if a doctor diagnosed that the immigrant had a contagious disease that would endanger the public health or if a legal inspector thought the immigrant was likely to become a public charge or an illegal contract laborer.

The peak year at Ellis Island was 1907 with 1,004,756 immigrants received. But from the very beginning of the mass migration that spanned the years (roughly) 1880 to 1924, an increasingly vociferous group of politicians and nativists demanded increased restrictions on immigration.

Passage of the Immigrant Quota Act of 1921 and the National Origins Act of 1924, which limited the number and nationality of immigrants allowed into the United States,  reduced the annual quota to 164,000, and effectively ended the era of mass immigration into New York. The perception existed that the newly arriving immigrants mostly from southern and eastern Europe were somehow inferior to those who arrived earlier.

The Immigration Act also provided for the examination and qualification of immigrants at U.S. consulates overseas. The necessary paperwork was completed at the consulate and a medical inspection was also conducted there.  After 1924, Ellis Island was used only sporadically for immigration, and from 1925 to its closing in 1954, only 2.3 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island–which was still more than half of all those entering the United States.

The buildings began to fall into disuse and disrepair, and Ellis Island, with its 33 structures, was closed in 1954 and declared excess Federal property. The main building was restored and opened as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in 1990. Most of the remaining buildings — many on the island’s south side — have remained unused and in disrepair. The World Monuments Fund put the island on its watch list of threatened sites in 1996 and 2006.

sources: (Citizendium and EH.net)

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Winner: Bren

Bren had been close before, but never a winner. Tonight he fought off a spirited challenge from Jaime – they were tied going into the last question – and triumphed. Next week, in Daphne’s absence, he becomes the quiz master.

“Good Question!”: Which season has the most births?

Answer: Summer

Why?: Some anthropologists theorize that more babies are conceived during the winter because that’s when people spend more time together indoors. However, spring is the next most common season for births, and since babies born in the spring were conceived during the summer and fall, this theory might not adequately explain conceptions and births. Looks like we really don’t know!

from: barefootandpregnant.com

The Baby Barrage: Why are More Infants Born in the Summer?

June 29, 2009   by DIVINECAROLINE.COM

Why does it seem like every year, as soon as the weather begins to warm up, women start having babies all over the place? Along with blooming flowers and lengthening days, it always feels like warm weather brings on the babies.

About four million babies are born in the United States every year, and interestingly, a disproportionate number of them are born during warm weather. According to the Centers For Disease Control, more babies arrive in the summer than any other season, and July, August, and September are the most common months for infant births in this country, with August hosting the most births out of any month of the year and February consistently having the smallest number.

Why Warm Weather?
In the animal kingdom, spring is a time when many species come out of hibernation and begin to breed … and give birth. Animals time their fertility and gestation to coincide with the best weather, because young born during the warm season will have a better chance of surviving. They’ll have more food sources, they’ll have lots of fresh water, and they are less likely to die of exposure. Animal mothers prefer to give birth during spring and summer because those seasons make it easier to provide for a whole litter. It’s hard to imagine a nest of duck eggs surviving during a snowstorm, or a hutch of bunnies learning to find food in the cold. Animals know that warm weather ensures their young’s survival.

At one point in our evolution, humans may have followed this general rule, too. Back when we were hunters and gatherers, it would have made sense to give birth while conditions were mild. Obviously, though, living in cities and in commercial societies has taken away some of the threats that early humans faced. Women can now give birth to a baby at any time of year and be reasonably sure that they can provide for it.

Since food and shelter aren’t a question anymore, sociologists look at human behavior to try to decipher why so many babies are born in July and August, and that means going back nine months to when the babies were conceived. Full-term babies born in the summer were conceived during fall and winter. Some anthropologists theorize that more babies are conceived during the winter because that’s when people spend more time together indoors. Babies born during the winter would have to be conceived in milder weather, when people are more likely to be spending time active and outdoors. However, spring is the next most common season for births, and since babies born in the spring were conceived during the summer and fall, this theory might not adequately explain all conceptions and births. Some demographers believe that summer is popular because many women, especially teachers, purposely time their births to coincide with summer vacations or lenient vacation policies.

Although some rumors of purported baby booms that follow weather events and disasters might be urban legends (like the myth of a baby boom following the 2003 New York City blackout), sometimes freak occurrences can have a measurable effect on births.

Colorado experienced an unusually high number of births in September of 2007 that demographers traced back to a powerful blizzard that hit the state around Christmas of 2006. While stuck in their houses with no power and no transportation for many days, couples in Denver and Boulder spent plenty of quality time together. Beside specific months or seasons, most babies choose to enter the world mid-week. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more babies are born on Tuesday and Wednesday than any other day, and Sunday is the slowest day of the week. This may be because of the prevalence of scheduled labor and cesarean sections, which take place only during the week. Statisticians also know that for a variety of reasons, births of boys outnumber births of girls.

Since so many factors influence our fertility and reproductive behavior, and much has changed since our hunter-gatherer days, it’s hard to tell exactly why so many babies are still born during the balmy summer and spring months.

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