Archive for May, 2012

Winner: Droppin’ Dave

Tonight’s theme was ancient history, or at least the history of our quaint seaside village. Gave us a chance to reminisce about where we were for the centennial celebration back in 1994. Turns out that many of us were in the big parade down Main Street, but did not know each other back then. Dave says his float was pretty cool and made the front page of the Observer.

We were joined in the game by a group of young newbies who look like they have potential to be contenders. In fact, one of the newbies, Kell, finished in a tie with Pluto, just a bit behind the winner, Droppin’ Dave. One of the players who doesn’t look like a contender right now is DoubleA Bill, who has always had trouble finding the right card to play in a timely manner. This time he claims that he was given duplicate A cards, but no B card. Next he’ll be telling us the dog ate his answer cards.

Mistress Daphne returned from her cruise down the Danube, where she apparently made the boat stop every time they were near a beer festival – O Lucky Days! Since she couldn’t fit a case of tasty Czech beer in her luggage, she opted to bring back some Czech moonshine (Becherovka) for us to sample. Nothing special, but beat the hell out of the scorpion kerosene liquor she brought back from Vietnam last year.

Good Question!:

The original inhabitants of the area now known as Northport were the ?

Answer: Matinnecocks

Many of us answered Asharokens, but that was the name of the Chief of the mighty Matinnecocks, not the tribe’s name.


1607 – Jamestown, VA

1620 – Providence, MA

1650 – Great Cow Harbor, L.I.

Dates when the white man paid a visit for the first time.

The first inhabitants of Northport were peaceful Indians known as the Matinnecocks, whose camp perched on a lakeshore site now occupied by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The Matinnecocks (one of thirteen tribes on Long Island) occupied and claimed ownership of the north shore of Long Island from Hempstead to Smithtown.

The first white men known to have seen Northport were Dutch sailors exploring the Long Island coast in 1650. These explorers came to the territory from New Amsterdam and reported their discovery to the Dutch government at The Hague. The report described “good fishing, fine meadowlands and mostly level ground suitable for farms and cattle”.

In 1656 Chief Asharoken and 8 braves of the Matinnecock tribe of indians sold the land which is now Northport to 3 English settlers from Huntington for “2 coats, fore shirts, seven quarts of licker and eleven ounces of powder.” Relations between the settlers and the Indians were friendly, and the small colony flourished with farming and shell-fishing.

The settlers from Huntington cleared the land for farms. The area at that point was called Great Cow Harbor, presumably because of the unusual proximity of cattle pastures to the harbor mouth. In 1798, the second lighthouse built in the United States was raised at Eatons Neck. In 1802, the local residents petitioned the Town of Huntington for a dock at Bryants Landing which is now the Northport Village Dock. The harbor has continued to play a pivotal role in local history ever since.

Northport started slowly. At the close of the American revolution, over 100 years after it’s founding, only 31 families lived here. The main settlement was known as Red Hook. It was a small settlement with just a few farmhouses and an inn, around where Main Street and Route 25A now intersect. By the early 1800’s, the name of Cow Harbor was generally replaced by Northport.

A new industry of shipbuilding brought rapid change and growth. By 1874 Northport had become the most flourishing village in all of Suffolk County’s north shore, with three ship yards, five sets of marine railways, two hotels, and at least six general stores. Northport’s shipbuilding boom lasted fifty years, but waned at the end of the century as the coming of steamships and steel hulls made Northport’s largest industry obsolete.

The incorporation date of Northport was 1894, making it the first village in the Town of Huntington.

Interesting footnotes. Even as recently as the early 1900’s, Main Street looked so much like a western frontier town, that Hollywood used it in the movies as a stand-in for the real thing. More recently, you can now find the Matinnecock Indian tribe on Facebook!

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Winner: Trish

Just as the game was about to start, the mother – daughter trivia tag team arrived. Although Ilsa and Trish had not played for some time, we knew what to expect. We were in trouble. With 18 players there was no room at the bar, so they had to sit at a back table, where  it is tough to hear the questions. No problem. Once again they finished at the front of the pack. Pluto was lucky to tie Ilsa for 2nd place.

Driver Shea handled the questions tonight in Daphne’s absence. Along with sister Connie, she continues to drink her way down the Danube, in her Sound of Music frock. The Driver wore his smart glasses, but still had trouble pronouncing some of the more obscure terms. I figure if you can’t say it, then you can’t ask it.

Good Question!: Which band released an album in 1984 titled “Legend”?

Answer: Bob Marley and the Wailers

Bob Marley started his career with the Wailers, a group he formed with Pete  Tosh  and Bunny Livingston in 1963. Marley married Rita Marley  in February 1966, and it was she who introduced him to Rastafarianism. By 1969 Bob, Tosh and Livingston had fully embraced Rastafarianism, which greatly influence Marley’s music in particular and reggae music in general.

The Wailers collaborated with Lee Scratch Perry, resulting in some of the Wailers’ finest tracks like “Soul Rebel”, “Duppy Conquerer”, “400 Years”, and “Small Axe.”

Chris Blackwell,  the owner of Island Records signed the Wailers and produced their first album, “Catch a Fire”. This was followed by “Burnin'”, featuring tracks as “Get Up Stand Up” and “I Shot the Sheriff.” Eric Clapton’s cover of that song reached #1 in the US.

In 1974 Tosh and Livingston left the Wailers to start solo careers. Marley later formed the band “Bob Marley and the Wailers”, with his wife Rita as one of three backup singers called the I-Trees. This period saw the release of some groundbreaking albums, such as “Natty Dread” and “Rastaman Vibration”.

You should play this clip of my fave Bob Marley song, even if you don’t get through the rest of this post:

In 1976, during a period of spiraling political violence in Jamaica, an attempt was made on Marley’s life. Marley left for England, where he lived in self-exile for two years. In England “Exodus” was produced, and it remained on the British charts for 56 straight weeks. His music introduced reggae music to the western world for the first time, and established the beginning of Marley’s international status.

In 1977 Marley consulted with a doctor when a wound in his big toe would not heal. More tests revealed malignant melanoma. He refused to have his toe amputated as his doctors recommended, claiming it contradicted his Rastafarian beliefs. Others, however, claim that the main reason behind his refusal was the possible negative impact on his dancing skills. The cancer was kept secret from the general public while Bob continued working.

Returning to Jamaica in 1978, he continued work and released “Survival” in 1979 which was followed by a successful European tour. It was a time of great success for Marley, and he started an American tour to reach blacks in the US.

He played two shows at Madison Square Garden, but collapsed while jogging in NYC’s Central Park on September 21, 1980. The cancer diagnosed earlier had spread to his brain, lungs and stomach. Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital on May 11, 1981. He was 36 years old.

Legend is the twelfth album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and the second posthumous album, released in 1984 by Island Records. It is a greatest hits  collection of singles, and the best-selling reggae album of all-time, with over 14 million copies sold in the United States and approximately 25 million copies sold globally. In 2003, the album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone’s magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Rastafari movement

The Rastafari movement, or Rasta, is a spiritual movement. It arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, where most of its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate, or the reincarnation of Jesus.

The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis and the rejection of western society, called Babylon. It proclaims Africa (also Zion) as the original birthplace of mankind, and from the beginning of the movement the call to repatriation  to Africa has been a central theme.

Rastafari is not a highly organized religion; it is a movement and an ideology. Many Rastas say that it is not a “religion” at all, but a “Way of Life”. Today, awareness of the Rastafari movement has spread throughout much of the world, largely through interest generated by reggae music, especially the major international success of Jamaican singer/songwriter Bob Marley (1945–1981).

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Winner: Droppin’ Dave

On a night notable for a small turnout, Droppin’ edged Rosebud and Maddy to win another one. Driver Shea handled the moderator duties, and did so in a no nonsense manner. No time to think with the Driver in charge. We learned a lot of interesting stuff this evening, but since I lost the questions we’ll stick to just one that I do remember.

Good Question!: Which motorcycle manufacturer produced the “Tiger”, “Thunderbird”, and “Bonneville?”?

Answer: Triumph

Triumph is the largest surviving British motorcycle manufacturer, one with its own distinctive character and engineering  and a history of creating motorcycles that became design classics.

The name has passed through different hands since German immigrant Siegfried Bettmann introduced the Triumph Cycle Company in 1886, moving from bicycles into motorcycles and producing its first motorized bicycle in 1902.

World War I was a boost for the company as production was switched to provide for the Allied war effort. More than 30,000 motorcycles were supplied to the Allies from it’s Coventry factory. Among them was the Model H Roadster, also known as the “Trusty Triumph”, often cited as the first modern motorcycle.

By the mid-1920s, Triumph was one of Britian’s main motorcycle and car makes. Following the bombing raids on Coventry during World War 2, the recovered tooling and machinery was moved to Meriden in the West Midlands in 1942. The post war period saw large sales of the Triumph Speed Twin, the Thunderbird for the American market, and the 1959 Triumph T120, better known as the iconic Triumph Bonneville.

1939 Triumph Tiger

Through the Fifties and Sixties, names such as Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando cemented the Triumph legend, while numerous land speed records and race track successes gave bikes like the Thunderbird, Bonneville, Tiger and Trident iconic status.

But due to the expansion of Japanese manufacturers in the late 1960s, financial problems resulted in closures, including the Meriden factory. The name was bought by John Bloor in 1983, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s, following the construction of a new factory in Hinckley in Leicestershire, that the first engine and production models appeared.

1961 Triumph Bonneville

The new models used famous names from the past, with new 750cc and 900cc triple-cylinder engines. Parallel twins also became part of the focus for retro motorcycles with modern engineering. In 2004 the stunning Rocket III cruiser launched as the largest production motorcycle in the world. However, it’s retro bikes such as the Bonneville, and modern nakeds (bikes stripped down to the essentials, with more upright ergonomics) including the Speed Triple, that provide the bulk of sales.


Triumph motorcycles, with their famous swooping badge, are one of Hollywood’s favorites. Consider this list of movies where they appeared prominently:

Rebel Without A Cause (Tiger T110 – James Dean)
The Wild One (Tiger T110 – Marlon Brando)

The Great Escape (Bonneville – Steve McQueen)

An Officer and a Gentleman (Bonneville – Richard Gere)
The Matrix (Speed Triple – Carrie Ann Moss)
Mission Impossible 2 (Daytona 955i & Speed Triple)
Terminator 3 (Bonneville – Nick Stahl)

and yes, even Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (Bonneville – Robbie Coltrane)

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Winner: Driver Shea

Where have all the young girls gone? If not for Rosebud, tonight’s game could have been held in a men’s only club. The game started with a bunch of geography questions – right in Driver Shea’s wheel house. He defended his win of last week and was followed closely by Bobby Barcelona and Pluto.

Flyboy Bob jumped all over the cumulonimbus question (the thunderstorm cloud). Heck, I never heard of it and can’t pronounce it. Bobby was helped by the Hogan’s Heroes question. You should see his Hans Schultz imitation – you would think they were twins.

Good Question!: The continent of Africa is made up of how many countries?

Answer: 53

Google that question and it’s amazing how many different answers you get. The answer depends on the date you count and the site you use, but the best current answer seems to be 54 (53 is close enough for government work). Some sites claim there are only 47 countries, but they are the minority opinion.

Map of colonial Africa as in 1913, with modern borders.

Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, after Asia. It covers 20% of the Earth’s total land area. With about 1.0 billion people (as of 2009), it accounts for about 15% of the world’s human population.

In the late 19th century, the European imperial powers (esp. the United Kingdom, salmon color, and France, light blue in map above) engaged in a major territorial scramble and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial  territories, and leaving only two fully independent states: Ethiopia (known to Europeans as “Abyssinia”), and Liberia. Egypt and Sudan were never formally incorporated into any European colonial empire; however, after the British occupation of 1882, Egypt was effectively under British administration until 1922.

Imperial rule by Europeans would continue until after the conclusion of World War II, which left the major European powers weakened. In 1951, Libya, a former Italian colony, gained independence. In 1956, Tunisia and Morocco won their independence from France. Ghana followed suit the next year (March 1957), becoming the first of the sub-Saharan colonies to be freed.

Most of the rest of the continent became independent over the next decade. Today, Africa contains 54 sovereign countries, most of which still have the borders drawn during the era of European colonialism. The largest countries by land area (and they are all close in size) : #1 Sudan, #2 Algeria and #3 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). By population the largest are: #1 Nigeria, (almost twice as large as the next two) #2 Ethiopia and #3 Egypt.

If you want to practice your African geography try this site: https://www.sheppardsoftware.com/African_Geography.htm

No discussion of Africa is complete without a couple of clips from two classic movies with Africa as their centerpiece –

First, “Out of Africa”, who can forget Karen and Denys

and now, of course, everyone’s fave film with Africa as the setting.

“Casablanca”, who can forget Rick and Ilsa


sources: wikipedia

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Winner: Driver Shea

Tonight’s game, with a smaller group of players, was still fast and furious (and loud). Darin was away on a cruise and so the theme was, of course, all about the caribbean. This gave a great advantage to the players who are  “boat people”,  folks who like to cruise around the islands with their peers.

Driver Shea, recently returned from such a cruise, put that knowledge to use and won after being a bridesmaid so many times recently. Close behind were Droppin’ and Coffee Bill.

Pluto showed he’s no boat person – he mistakenly thought that Jamaica was larger than Cuba, which happens to be 10x larger! We all learned that more than 50% of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coast. No wonder it’s always crowded at the beach.

Good Question!: What was the only foreign land that the father of our country, George Washington, ever visited?

Answer: Barbados

Most people answered Canada. Why Barbados?

In 1751, George Washington, age 19, and his half brother Lawrence retreated to Barbados for a seven week stay.  Lawrence, the older brother, was sick with tuberculosis (lung disease) and back then Barbados was known as a health spa for treatment of lung and respiratory ailments. Must have been good, because Barbados is much closer to Venezuela, than it is to the mainland U.S.

George W. left behind an undeveloped colony in Virginia and entered a more advanced world of cultural sophistication. Barbados was the most populated of Britain’s many colonies and made England quite wealthy with the sugar harvests, rum, and molasses.

Bridgetown would have been the largest city he had seen in his life. He visited Bridgetown often and loved the busy streets where vegetables and fruit markets, meat stalls, blacksmiths shops, rum houses, fish stalls, and slave markets could be seen.

To see old George morph into Barrack see this video:

The Barbados Smallpox Incident and the American Revolution

A few weeks before he was to return to Virginia, a near tragedy occurred. George W. came down with smallpox, which caused him severe pain and a burning fever. However, his physician successfully treated him and he survived. Many years later, his acquired immunity to smallpox probably saved his life because this virus spread rapidly throughout his troupes during the American War of Independence. Some claim that smallpox was the number one killer during the American Revolution.

At the time of the Revolutionary War, there were several outbreaks of smallpox. Because survival after the disease confers lifelong immunity, this gave a decided advantage to the British, many of who had been exposed to the disease earlier in life. There were even reports that the British were practicing what we would now term biological warfare, by deliberately spreading the disease within Boston and by sending infected people out of the city to spread the epidemic in the American lines.

sources: coedu.usf.edu, george-washington.visit-barbados.com, celebritydiagnosis.com

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