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Archive for January, 2013

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Winners: FrankC & Pluto

Tonight’s game was a packed house, with 16 players going for the gusto. With Mistress Daphne still missing on the high seas and Darin seeking fame and fortune at the big tourney in Foxwoods, we still managed to carry on. Droppin’ stepped up to supply the questions and to act as moderator. The “Millionaire’ theme was “air” in all it’s ramifications, and boy were there a lot of ramifications. A pretty tough night of trivia. I think Frank and Pluto had as hard a time as anyone, and were as surprised as anyone, when they heard their names announced as winners. Following right behind were Kel and Nurse Hottie, which gave tonight a nice gender balance.

Unfortunately, Flyboy Bob was MIA. He would have loved all the flight questions, and would definitely have been a contender tonight. He would have nailed these questions: the Canadian precison flying team (Snowbirds); the longest continual flight time without refueling (9 days); and he would have been most knowledgable on this one – the average speed of a fart as it leaves the body (10ft/sec).

Don’t forget that today is Super Bowl Sunday and Darin is throwing a big party at MainStreetCafe, with free food, free raffle prizes, and lots of free fun. Come and watch Ray Lewis play, hopefully, his last game. Better yet, come and watch Ray Lewis lose his last game.

Good Question!: In what year did the Concorde supersonic transport first fly?

Choices: 1959; 1965; 1969; 1972

Answer: 1969

First, a beautiful 3 min.Concorde tribute video:

The plane that came to be synonymous with the rich and famous was developed throughout the 1960s by British and French aerospace engineers.

The first Concorde, the 001, rolled onto the tarmac in 1967, but it took two more years of testing and fine-tuning the powerful engines before it made its maiden flight on March 2, 1969 over France. The Concorde entered service in the mid-1970s and was the world’s only supersonic passenger aircraft.

The supersonic jet was capable of crossing the Atlantic in three hours and 45 minutes at a cruising speed twice the speed of sound, or 1,370 miles per hour. In fact, the Concorde’s fastest transatlantic crossing was on 7 February 1996 when it completed the New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds. Under 3 hours!

That makes the plane peerless — military planes could match the speed but could not sustain Mach 2 for so long.

Concorde used the most powerful pure jet engines flying commercially. In November 1986 a British Airways Concorde flew around the world, covering 28,238 miles in 29 hours, 59 minutes. Concorde measures nearly 204ft in length and stretched between 6 and 10 inches in flight due to heating of the airframe. It was painted in a specially developed white paint to accommodate these changes and to dissipate the heat generated by supersonic flight.

What Killed the Concorde

In 1972, the plane’s future looked bright. More than a dozen airlines had placed orders for the aircraft, and even at a staggering $3.5 billion development cost, France and Britain expected to recoup their investment.

But a year later, the Arab oil embargo hit the fuel-guzzling Concorde hard, as the price of fuel spiralled and prospective buyers dropped out. Only 20 were ever built, though the original plan was for 300.

The world’s desire to go supersonic was surpassed by the realism of subsonic flight in jets able to carry more people more cheaply, like the Boeing 747, or “jumbo jet,” which first flew for PanAm in 1970.

Eventually, the British and French governments were forced to write off the cost of Concorde’s production and virtually give the plane away to British Airways and Air France.

British Airways had seven Concordes, while six flew for Air France. Two flights departed each day from Heathrow, London, to JFK, New York, with one flight each day from JFK to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

More than 2.5m passengers flew supersonically on British Airways Concorde flights. In 1999 BA was charging about $6,000 ($8,500 in 2012 dollars) to fly the Concorde one way JFK to Heathrow, which is a bit less then they charge today for first class on a 747. On 24 October 2003, British Airways withdrew Concorde, bringing to a close the world’s only supersonic passenger service.

I never had the chance to fly on that baby (who could afford it), but I did make the effort to see it’s last flight to JFK. It was a beautiful sight, memorable, unlike any other plane in the sky. Too bad it’s gone.

For those with the time and interest here is a fascinating, but long (58min), video of the entire Concorde story from the beginning:

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Winner: Droppin’

Many pilgrims braved the extreme cold tonight to venture out and join the game, and they deserve a lot of credit. It was a close contest and Droppin’ narrowly edged FrankC and Pluto, who carelessly flipped the wrong card on an easy sports question. But as Inappropriate Bob, in his usual blunt and candid way, responded when Pluto came looking for sympathy: “In this game it’s not whether you know the answer, it’s whether you put the right card out there.”

We learned that the Cuckoo bird is one of the only birds who doesn’t build nests of their own, but lay their eggs in another bird’s nest. Not so cuckoo, especially if the other bird has gone south for the winter, which I wish I had. We also learned (again) that the diameter of the earth is about 8,ooo miles, which should put us far enough away from those crazy Iranians and No. Koreans – I hope.

Good Question: The longest inaugural address was delivered by which President?

Choices: Harrison; Reagan; Washington; Truman

Answer: Harrison

UnknownWilliam Henry Harrison, the oldest man at age sixty-eight (before Ronald Reagan) to be inaugurated President, served the shortest time of any American President—only thirty-two days. Although born in Virginia and ardent backer of slavery he had spent virtually his entire adult life fighting in and governing territories in the Ohio River valley frontier.

In 1840 the Whigs ran the first modern presidential campaign in American history, with Harrison as their presidential candidate. It was a race filled with songs, advertising, slogans, and organized rallies. In the election campaign of 1840, the Whigs handed out free hard cider in little bottles shaped like log cabins at barbecues and bonfires—and they used the slogan “Old Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too” to promote Harrison’s candidacy.

This campaign slogan referenced Harrison as the commanding general of American forces who defeated hostile Native Americans at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Ohio River Valley in 1811. (Tyler was his running mate.)

After the battle Harrison was hailed as a national hero. Not so well known was that his troops had greatly outnumbered the Native Americans, and suffered many more casualties during the battle.

When Harrison came to Washington, he wanted to show both that he was still the steadfast hero of Tippecanoe, and that he was a more learned and thoughtful man than the backwoods caricature ascribed to him in the campaign. He took the oath of office on a cold and wet day in March 1841.

He wore neither an overcoat nor hat, rode on horseback to the ceremony rather than in the closed carriage that had been offered him, and delivered the longest inaugural address in American history. It rambled on and took him nearly two hours to read, although his friend and fellow Whig Daniel Webster had edited it for length (imagine how long the original, unedited version must have been!). Harrison then rode through the streets in the inaugural parade and that evening attended three inaugural balls.

He became ill after delivering his inaugural address, and died of a respiratory infection, probably pneumonia. Unfortunately, the medical practices of the period—one involved heated suction cups, another live snakes—hurt more than they helped. He was the first President to die in office. Harrison’s grandson, Benjamin Harrison, would become President of the United States in 1889.

If you want to hear “They Might Be Giants” do a modern cover of a 170 year old campaign song (it’s pretty cool):

I think Harrison should be more well known for other aspects of his life. In 1803 as Governor of the Indiana Territory he lobbied Congress to permit slavery in the territory. He and his wife had 10 children, which apparently was not enough. He is also believed to have had six children with one of his female slaves, Dilsia. Through this family line, Harrison is the great-grandfather of famous black civil rights activist Walter Francis White, president of the NAACP from 1931–1955.

By the way John Tyler, Harrison’s running mate, had 14 children, the last at age 70! What was in the water back then? This last child lived into the Truman presidency, which almost makes him a contemporary of ours.

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Winner: Droppin’

Tonight every one was a winner – we all received $1Trillion chocolate bars. This game marked a return to the traditional solo contest where it’s every man for himself/herself. Droppin’ led all the way and narrowly edged Nadia (the MadScientist), and Rosebud. Sooner or later Nadia is going to break through and win one of these games, not just finish second.

Mistress Daphne and the Driver continue to be absent as they cruise around the bottom half of the world. At least, that’s what they told us before they left. We haven’t heard from them since. They may just be hiding out on the couch in front of their home TV watching travel videos – who knows.

Good Question: Dead at the young age of 27, in what year did Jimmy Hendrix die?

Choices: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972

Answer: 1970

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Notice our quizmeister made this one extremely difficult by making the choices so close. I think we all remember Jimmy’s amazing rock rendition of  “the Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969, but beyond that it was a close call. Turns out he died in 1970, not 1972.

Hailed by Rolling Stone as the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix was also one of the biggest cultural figures of the Sixties, a psychedelic voodoo child who spewed clouds of distortion and pot smoke.

A left-hander who took a right-handed Fender Stratocaster and played it upside down, Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before Hendrix had experimented with feedback and distortion, but he turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began.

But while he unleashed noise with uncanny mastery — see: the hard-rock riffs of “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Crosstown Traffic” — Hendrix also created tender ballads like “The Wind Cries Mary,” the oft-covered “Little Wing,” and “Angel,” as well as haunting blues recordings such as “Red House” and “Voodoo Chile.” Although Hendrix did not consider himself a good singer, his vocals were nearly as evocative as his guitar playing.

Hendrix’s studio craft and virtuosity with both conventional and unconventional guitar sounds have been widely imitated. His songs have inspired several tribute albums, and have been recorded by a jazz group (1989’s Hendrix Project), the Kronos String Quartet, and avant-garde flutist Robert Dick. Hendrix’s musical vision had a profound effect on everybody from Miles Davis to Sly Stone and George Clinton to Prince and OutKast. Hendrix’s theatrical performing style — full of unmistakably sexual undulations and showman tricks like playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back — has never quite been equaled.

Beyond his virtuosic guitar playing, gifted songwriting, ahead-of-his-time attention to studio production, and electric stage presence, Hendrix was also an icon that transcended music; nobody else from his era wore an afro better. In the decades since Hendrix’s death, pop stars from Rick James and Prince to Lenny Kravitz and Erykah Badu have evoked his look and style.

sources: rollingstone.com; you tube; biography.com

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