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Archive for September, 2014

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Winners: Linda, Mike, & Pluto

We had a good turn out tonight with 19 players, probably because Bonobo was in charge of marketing and sales. When the big guy asks you if you are going to play, you better say yes! Tonight’s winners featured two newcomers, Linda & Mike, who played a strong game and missed only 2 questions. This is a pair to be reckoned with. Joining them was Pluto who guessed right all night long.

With Mistress Daphne on extended absence – last we heard she was adrift somewhere in the South Pacific – Pluto has volunteered to handle the Q&A next week. He promises lots of fun with 2-man teams, recorded music for “guess that tune”, and photos to play “guess that celebrity.” Guarantees a prompt 8:30 start, so you can get your beauty sleep before work or school Wednesday.

Tonight the young folks learned that in 1969 you were supposed to wear flowers in your hair if you were headed to San Francisco. I don’t think they quite understood why. I had 3 friends I graduated with who heard the siren call, and headed to SF, never to return. Scott McKenzie may help the young folks understand (this has been downloaded an astounding 17.5 Million times!):

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Good Question!: A Martian year is how long in Earth days?
(A year being how long it takes the planet to travel around the sun)

Choices:  a. 129      b. 249      c. 499      d. 687

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Answer: 687

Some of us confused our M planets and thought that Mars was closest to the Sun and should have a shorter year than Earth. Turns out it is Mercury that is closest to the Sun, not Mars.

Mars is the 4th planet from the Sun and has a longer year than Earth, the 3rd planet from the sun. Mars’s average distance from the Sun is roughly 143 million miles (the Earth’s is 93 M miles), and its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days. The solar day on Mars is only slightly longer than an Earth day: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds.

Mars is the second smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the second highest known mountain within the Solar System (the tallest on a planet), and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons.

Because Mars is fairly close and resembles the Earth in certain respects, it is the favorite planet for exploration. In fact , Mars is getting crowded. A new NASA orbiter slipped into Mars orbit on Sept 21 (cost $700 Million), followed closely by India’s first interplanetary probe (cost $70 Million), a comet, and then a rush of countries proposing their own entries to the new space race to Mars.

When I think of Mars I always think of Flash Gordon’s “Trip to Mars” – Dr. Zarkov and Ming the Merciless are priceless. If you want to see what Space Travel was like in 1938 you have to check this clip out.

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Winners: FrankC & Cousin Vinny

The Canella boys took on all comers tonight and they proved to be a tough pair of hombres. When Rosebud was initially declared a co-winner, they devised a scheme to have one of her answers disqualified. This ensured that they would finish alone atop the winner’s podium. Rosebud accepted it all graciously, but you know what they say Ms. Rosebud – “Nice guys finish last.”

There were a few raised eyebrows when we were asked what facial features flank your glabella, and who knew that Miller Lite beer is made by Phillip Morris.

Good Question!:
In which decade of the 20th century was the Buffalo nickel first minted?

Choices:   a. 1910      b. 1920      c. 1930      d. 1940

 

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Answer: 1910

The popular Indian Head, or Buffalo, five-cent coin (nickel) was introduced in 1913. Designed by James Earle Fraser, a student of legendary sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Indian Head/Buffalo nickel design showcases the native beauty of the American West.

As part of a drive to beautify the coinage, five denominations of US coins had received new designs between 1907 and 1909. In 1911, Taft administration officials decided to replace Charles E. Barber‘s Liberty Head design for the nickel, and commissioned Fraser to do the work. They were impressed by Fraser’s designs showing a Native American and an American bison.

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The designs were approved in 1912, but were delayed several months because of objections from the Hobbs Manufacturing Company, which made mechanisms to detect slug in nickel-operated machines. The company was not satisfied by changes made in the coin by Fraser, and in February 1913, the Treasury secretary decided to issue the coins despite the objections. Despite attempts by the Mint to adjust the design, the coins proved to strike indistinctly, and to be subject to wear—the dates were easily worn away in circulation.

The Native American depiction on the coins obverse is believed to be based on three different American Indians. Two of the American Indians who modeled for Fraser as he sculpted the coin were named by the designer before his death. They were Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne. Although many have claimed to have had a sitting with Fraser for this design, he could not recall the name of the third person, and satisfactory documentation has not yet been found to identify that individual. It is widely believed that the bison on the coin’s reverse was modeled after Black Diamond, a popular attraction at the New York Zoological Gardens.

Matte proof coins were struck and made available to collectors from 1913 to 1916. The designer’s initial, the letter ‘F,’ appears on the obverse below the date. The coins are also quite accessible to the average collector as many fine examples covering a variety of dates are available. In total, more than 1.2 billion were struck between 1913 and 1938. In 1938, after the minimum 25-year period during which the design could not be replaced without congressional authorization had expired, it was replaced by the Jefferson nickel designed by Felix Schlag.

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Buffalo nickels are also regarded as good luck pieces by some and seem to engender a sense of nostalgia for others. The United States Mint revived the popular design in 2001 with the release of the American Buffalo Commemorative Coin.

 

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Winners: Rosebud and Pluto

Last Tuesday MainStreetCafe turned into an artist’s studio for a “Sip and Paint” experience. Surprisingly, there was actually more painting than sipping, and some very commendable works of art were produced. FrankC admired Pluto’s painting, then told him the painting looked like a Hopper. After a pause, Frank said: “Well not Edward Hopper exactly, more like grass hopper”

As we started our 15th season two old pros, Rosebud and Pluto, showed they still have what it takes and held on for a close win over Judy and Barbara. BigJohn was hoping that lightning would strike twice, but it was not to be. We learned some surprising things tonight. Who knew that in the past 10 years it has rained 9 times on this day in Northport or that Jenny is the name for a female donkey.

Good Question!: “Great Balls of Fire” tells the story of which singer and his 13 year old bride?

Choices:   a.Willie Nelson     b.Jerry Lee Lewis      c.Aaliyah      d.Gene Simmons

Hint: it was NOT Willie Nelson.

ss-130429-willie-nelson-1967.ss_full Willie then          willienelson3 Willie now

Answer: Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis is a piano-playing rock ‘n roll pioneer famous for his high energy stage presence and controversial life.

Before we go any further, let’s just rock a Jerry Leee Lewis live performance on the Dick Clark show – they don’t make ’em like this anymore:

Early Life.
With his innovative and flamboyant piano playing and catchy uptempo songs, Jerry Lee Lewis emerged as one of rock music’s early showman in the 1950s. He was born in 1935 in the small community of Ferriday, Louisiana, where his musical talents became apparent early on. He taught himself to play piano and sang in church growing up. On the radio, Lewis listened to such shows as Grand Ole Opry and The Louisiana Hayride. Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and Al Jolson were some of his early influences.

When he was 10 years old, Lewis got a piano of his very own. His father mortgaged the family farm to buy the instrument. He gave his first public performance at the age of 14. Lewis wowed the crowd gathered for the opening of a local car dealership with his piano prowess. With little formal education, he basically gave up on school around this time to focus on music. Lewis did, however, briefly attend a Bible college in Texas.

Meteoric Rise
article-0-1263E747000005DC-444_468x435Lewis eventually ended up in Memphis, Tennessee, where he found work as a studio musician for Sun Studios. In 1956, he recorded his first single, a cover of Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms,” which did well locally. Lewis also worked on some recording sessions with Carl Perkins. While working at Sun, he and Perkins jammed with Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. This session by the “Million Dollar Quartet” was recorded at the time, but it was not released until much later. (Of course, this event was turned into a Broadway musical and attracted fans from as far away as Northport, NY)

In 1957, Lewis became a star with his unique piano-driven sound. “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” became a hit on the pop, country and R&B charts. By this time, Lewis had also developed some of his famous stage antics, such as playing standing up and even lighting the occasional piano on fire. He had such energy and enthusiasm in his performances that he earned the nickname “The Killer” for the way he knocked out his audiences.

Lewis appeared to be on a roll. His next single, “Great Balls of Fire,” proved to be another big hit in December 1957. The following March, Lewis struck again with “Breathless,” which made into the Top 10 of the pop charts. Behind the scenes, however, some of Lewis’s life choices would soon put a tamper on his career.

International Scandal
article-0-015CF78800000578-471_468x589Lewis already had two brief marriages under his belt when he decided to marry his cousin Myra Gale Brown in 1957. On their marriage license, Brown stated she was 20 years old, but she was really only 13 at the time. News of his underage bride broke as Lewis started a tour of the United Kingdom in 1958, creating such an outcry that the tour was quickly cancelled. Even when Lewis returned to the States, he found that he got a less-than-warm welcome home. Radio stations refused to play his songs, and Lewis had a hard time lining up any live performances.

Later Life
But Lewis continued performing and made a comeback. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, becoming one of the first performers to receive this honor. A new generation music listeners got introduced to Lewis through the 1989 biopic Great Balls of Fire. Lewis was played by actor Dennis Quaid.

 

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Winners: AA (Art) and BigJohn (with the trophy hidden in the background)

BigJohn was a surprise winner tonight. Someone told him that his winning was like Haley’s comet – only happens every 75 years.

BigJohn calmly responded: “Yeah! it feels good to be the King.”
And I say: “All Hail to the King.”

AA’s ability to recite the names of all the president’s in chronological order allowed him to slip into a tie with BigJohn on the very last question. Art very patiently explained to Pluto that there were two president Harrison’s, not one, and it was the second one whose presidency was book ended by Grover Cleveland.

Finishing in second place were Droppin’, Chris (Mrs. Droppin’) and Frank. Should be interesting to see if Chris can give Droppin’ a run for the money, now that she has some time to join us.

Pluto had encouraged a new player to join us. Unfortunately, he had a rough start and missed 4 of the first 5. When the next question turned out to be about opera, he had enough. He got up abruptly and left. Better luck next time.

Good Question!” How many colors in a rainbow?

Choices:  a. five      b. six      c. seven      d. nine

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Answer: Seven

This should be an easy question, and it’s one that reappears regularly. So it’s time that we get it right. I know I’m tired of missing it.

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So here they are in order: (remember Roy G Biv)

RED

ORANGE

YELLOW

GREEN

BLUE

INDIGO

VIOLET

A rainbow is composed of the entire spectrum of colors of visible light, from the longest wavelength, red, to the shortest wavelength, violet. The order of colors in a rainbow is easiest to remember by the following mnemonic (a formula that helps one remember something): ROY G. BIV. R=red, O=orange, Y=yellow, G=green, B=blue, I = indigo, and V=violet. Red is at the top edge of the rainbow and violet is at the bottom edge, with the other colors in between.

Rainbows are created both by reflection and refraction (bending) of sunlight in raindrops. As sunlight enters a raindrop, it bends and it is separated into its constituent colors (the colors that comprise white light [ROY G. BIV]. Some of the light—that which travels at a “critical” angle—is reflected off the back of the raindrop. (A “critical” angle is the angle at which sunlight must strike the back of the raindrop, in order to be reflected back to the front of the drop.) Each color strikes the back of the raindrop at a slightly different angle, thus each color emerges from the front of the raindrop at a slightly different angle.

Only one color exits from each raindrop at the exact angle necessary to reach the observer’s eye. An observer sees only one color at a time reflecting from each raindrop. For this reason, it takes millions of raindrops to create a rainbow.

Don’t forget that the 15th season of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” @ MainStreetCafe starts on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

See who’s gotten older, who’s gotten heavier, who’s gotten skinnier (not likely), and who’s gotten smarter (also not likely).
See you there.

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