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Archive for July, 2013

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Winner: Pluto

Today was hot-hot-hot as the heat wave continued, but it was nice and cool in MainStreetCafe for the game. Tonight we celebrated Rosebud’s “70th Birthday”. As someone who has known her since she was a very cute 22 year old, I must say she still looks marvelous – not a day over 60.

The big controversy tonight was whether China has only one time zone. The Driver and Pluto argued strenuously that China was the right answer, but were met with disdain by Mistress Daphne, who told them they should know better. No matter. Pluto won going away, followed by a new player – Connie, the lying RN – then Rosebud and a pack of others in third. And yes, there is only one time zone in China. Not surprisingly, it’s called “Beijing Time”.

At the conclusion of the game Darin handed out water pistols and a good old fashioned water pistol fight broke out. Dr. K showed that chivalry is indeed dead, using his friend Linda as a human shield to protect himself from getting hit.

Good Question: In which country is the Komodo National Park, famous for its Komodo Dragons, found?

Choices:   Japan   –   China   –   Indonesia   –   Vietnam

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Answer: Indonesia

More about Komodo Dragons very soon.

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Winner: Carol

Tonight’s group of 12 players was a bit more manageable than last week’s mob scene.

Mistress Daphne was absent, probably due to stress related illness from the recent large crowds, so Darin handled all the duties.It was a close game and Carol’s victory over Pluto and Rosebud wasn’t decided until there was a challenge and recount.

Former champion Trish joined us with her mom. Trish had just returned from a dig in the Israeli dessert and her unusually poor performance tonight may have been due to the lingering effects of heat stroke. Of course, by the end of this week we may all be suffering from heat stroke.

Good question!: If you laid your blood vessels end to end how long would they be?

Choices: 10,000 miles   –   20,000 miles   –   60,000 miles   –   1 million  miles

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Answer: 60,000 miles

WoW! and 60,000 miles is conservative – that’s for a child. An adult’s vessels would be closer to 100,000 miles long.

In a general sense, a vessel is defined as a hollow utensil for carrying something: a cup, a bucket, a tube. Blood vessels, then, are hollow utensils for carrying blood. Located throughout your body, your blood vessels are hollow tubes that circulate your blood.

There are three varieties of blood vessels: arteries, veins, and capillaries. During blood circulation, the arteries carry blood away from the heart. The capillaries connect the arteries to veins. Finally, the veins carry the blood back to the heart.

Besides circulating blood, the blood vessels provide two important means of measuring vital health statistics: pulse and blood pressure. We measure heart rate, or pulse, by touching an artery. The rhythmic contraction of the artery keeps pace with the beat of the heart. Since an artery is near the surface of the skin, while the heart is deeply protected, we can easily touch the artery and get an accurate measure of the heart’s pulse.

When we measure blood pressure, we use the blood flowing through the arteries because it has a higher pressure than the blood in the veins. Your blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first number, which is higher, is taken when the heart beats during the systole phase. The second number is taken when the heart relaxes during the diastole phase. Those two numbers stand for millimeters. A column of mercury rises and falls with the beat of the heart. The height of the column is measured in millimeters. Normal blood pressure ranges from 110 to 150 millimeters (as the heart beats) over 60 to 80 millimeters (as the heart relaxes).

It is normal for your blood pressure to increase when you are exercising and to decrease when you are sleeping. If your blood pressure stays too high or too low, however, you may be at risk of heart disease.

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Winner: Kristine

Well, last week’s record for number of players sure did not last long. Tonight’s mob of 35 players shattered that record and stretched Mistress Daphne’s ability to moderate the game to the limit. However, all ran smoothly as Daphne and Darin, who keeps us fed and hydrated, handled things with their usual poise. As you can see from the photos, tonight’s theme was Mexican, in honor of Daphne daughter Jamie’s impending nuptials near CaboSanLucas.

Jamie and her fiancee Josh travelled in from SanFrancisco for the game and were rewarded with 2nd and 3rd place finishes, just behind our winner, Kristine. In truth, no one’s score tonight was especially good, which just shows how little we all know about our neighbor to the South.

Tonight, baseball fans learned that it’s a good thing the Mets didn’t play ball in the Aztec league, where losers were often sacrificed to the gods, and that Cinco de Mayo means more than cheap margarita’s – it celebrates a military victory.

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xx                                                some of tonight’s players

Good Question!: Which archaeological site has Mexico’s largest pyramid?

Choices:  Teotihuacan  –  Chichen Itza  –  Coba  –  Cholula


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Answer: Cholula

The pyramids at Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza get all the pub, but it’s Cholula in the state of Puebla that tops them all. The State of Puebla, located in Mexico’s central region, has mountains, forests, and valleys, but most scenic is the Popocatepetl volcano near Choula, which by the way, blew it’s top this week and disrupted air travel in Mexico :

Puebla, Cholula, Church Nuestra Senora de los Remedios and Popocatepetl Volcano - Photo by SECTUR Puebla

Cholula, topped by the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios,
with the Popocatepetl Volcano in the background 

In the days before the Spanish conquest, Cholula was a sacred city, and also a major commercial centre. Hernan Cortes declared it to be the most beautiful city outside of Spain itself.  The area has probably been inhabited for over 3000 years, and the original pyramid may be over 2000 years old.

Each group that dominated Cholula added to the pyramid (technically called a temple, not a pyramid), until it became a massive structure, larger than any of the pyramids of Egypt in volume.  The people of Cholula participated in much religious ritual, including human sacrifice, even the sacrifice of children.

Being an important sacred centre, even the Aztec leaders went to Cholula to be annointed. The Aztecs believed that Xelhua, one of the giants from their mythology, had constructed the pyramid of Cholula. But after a time, the Cholula pyramid was left to be overgrown by wild plants, and it disappeared under a mound.

Upon the arrival of Cortés, Cholula was Mexico’s second-largest city, with a population of up to 100,000 by some estimates. It appears that Cortés became aware of a plot against the Spaniards, and decided to make a pre-emptive attack.  As a result, thousands were slaughtered by the Spaniards – Cortes claimed 3000 were slain in three hours, but conquistador Bernardino Vázquez de Tapia claimed that the death toll was 30,000. Whatever really happened, the massacre had the effect Cortés wanted, and the people of Mexico were much more inclined to surrender.

The temple was destroyed, and a church, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, was built on the now overgrown pyramid of Cholula.

“We don’t need no stinkin’ badges”

Can’t talk about Mexico without thinking of my fave Mexican movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, John Huston’s treasure hunt classic with Humphry Bogart as drifter Fred C. Dobbs.

This is a great cliff notes version of the movie. Check out the clip near 8:45  for the “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges” scene:

bloggers note: TNBE is pleased to have passed 20,000 page views this week. can’t do it without you, so keep on reading.

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Winner: Judy

Tonight’s group of 27 players set a world record (or at least a MainStreetCafe Tuesday Night trivia record). The joint was loud and boisterous, and Mistress Daphne did a fine job keeping the whole thing under control.

Judy also did a fine job, returning to her winning form and dominating this one – no one was close. Droppin’ finished second, followed by Megan, Carol, Rhys, 10 O’Clock Bill, and Pluto in a dead heat.

One of the more interesting questions – Which state has only 113 divorces for every 1,000 marriages? Judy was the only one who figured it out. Her thinking: “Lots of folks come to Vegas for quickie marriages, then go home and get divorced. The answer must be Nevada.” That’s why she won.

Good Question!: What type of leaves were botanists shocked to find in the stuffing inside the mummified remains of Pharoh Ramses II?

Choices: grape leaves   tobacco leaves   palm leaves   apricot leaves

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Answer: Tobacco Leaves

Well yes, they should have been shocked. Tobacco is a plant that grows natively in North and South America. We have all been taught that Columbus discovered tobacco in the New World, and that Virginia made a fortune growing tobacco and shipping it to Europe, where it was welcomed at first for its perceived medicinal purposes and then for its recreational uses.

So there’s no way that a Pharoh in ancient Egypt could have been a smoker, right?

Well, according to cracked.com, here’s the story:

In 1992, German scientists were testing their mummies when they found remnants of hashish, tobacco, and cocaine in their hair, skin and bones. Now, hashish comes from Asia, so it’s not unfathomable that a royal Egyptian would know a guy who could get him the hook-up. But tobacco and cocaine were strictly New World plants at the time of the mummification. It’d be like if some celebrity today tested positive for heroin that could only have been grown on Venus.

With all this talk about mummies we need a good old mummy monster movie clip:

So how did it happen? All we have are theories. Maybe the sites were contaminated by hard-partying archaeologists (although you’d think that if somebody had old pics of themselves snorting coke off of a mummy’s ass, they’d have uploaded that shit to Facebook by now). Or maybe the mummies themselves were fake, like maybe they were disco-era archaeologists who just took their love of mummification too far.

So the German scientists did what anyone trying to protect their reputation would do — they had an independent lab test the mummies themselves. They found the same dope. The Germans then went to work testing hundreds of ancient mummies, finding nicotine in a third of them. Not only that, but actual tobacco leaves were discovered in the guts of Ramses II (of Exodus fame, maybe).

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