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Archive for April, 2015

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Winner: the Driver

The game returned to it’s normal format and the Driver, an old fashioned boy at heart, rejoiced. He had been most unhappy with the new fangled game and dominated tonight’s traditional format. He was close to perfect and was followed by a pack of players. However, when it came time for the photo, the Driver had to be talked into sharing it with Judy, Rosebud, and Gary – not nice.

Tonight we learned that Soprano was the highest register of singing voice and that the punk rockers, Sex Pistols sang “God Save The Queen,’ which I’m sure made her day.

Good Question!: Marine algae produce what percent of the earth’s oxygen?

Choices:  a. 10%   b. 25%   c. 50%   d. 75%

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Answer: 75%

What happened to the trees? All this time we’ve been told that the rain forests were important to life on earth, because by absorbing carbon dioxide, rainforests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change. But rainforests only cover 2% of the earth’s surface. No one ever mentions algae.

Well, remember that the oceans cover about 71% of this planet. In nature, free oxygen is produced by the light driven splitting of water during oxygenic photosynthesis. According to some estimates, green algae and cyanobacteria in marine environments provide about 70% of the free oxygen produced on Earth and the rest is produced by terrestrial plants, including the trees. Nearly all these marine plants producing oxygen are single celled, photosynthetic algae. Yup, that’s right, good ol’ scum on the pond.

When I think marine biology, I think of Jacques Cousteau, who was by far the most famous undersea explorer of the 20th century. For an undersea ride on Cousteau’s “Calypso,” try this:

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images-1 Now back to the rainforests – where are they? The largest rainforests are in the Amazon River Basin (South America), the Congo River Basin (western Africa), and throughout much of southeast Asia. Rainforests are being destroyed across the globe for profitable enterprises such as logging, cattle ranching, and cropping.

The results of this deforestation are strongly debated and filled with many grim consequences.  Many scientists point out the possibilities of climactic changes, soil changes due to chemical erosion and hydrological balance shifts as a result of this deforestation. Throughout history, many of the drugs that have been used by humans have been derived from rainforest plants. if current habits continue thousands of plant species could be destroyed in the next fifty years.

Save the Rain Forests!

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Winners: Barbara and Carol

It was another night of screwball questions. Starting with 10 photos of mostly obscure golfers that even the Driver, our designated golf groupie, had trouble identifying. I mean even their mother might have trouble identifying Ian Woosnam, or Lee Westwood. Droppin’ had the best idea – guess Ben Hogan for each photo, and you might be right once (he was.)

The second group of 10 questions did not provide the usual 4 choices, which made them more difficult. No wonder the two winners, Barbara and Carol, could win with fewer than half right.

Tonight we learned that Superman did not grow up in Northport, but rather in Kryptonville, and that Kathryn Hepburn was a competitive golfer, who knew? Most importantly, we learned that a manticore is a Persian legendary creature similar to the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth (like a shark), sometimes bat-like wings, and a trumpet-like voice. It looks like this:

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Good Question!: What nationality was Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt?

Answer: Greek

Cleopatra was born in early 69 BC as the descendant of a line of Egyptian kings in a dynasty that went back 250 years. Her ancestor Ptolemy I, a companion of Alexander the Great, founded the dynasty in the late fourth century BC. Ptolemy was Macedonian Greek in origin (he grew up at the royal court of Alexander’s father in Macedonia, the northern part of the Greek peninsula), and established himself as king of Egypt in the convulsive years after Alexander’s death. The descent passed through six successor Ptolemies until it reached Cleopatra’s father. So Cleopatra was no more than eight generations away from being pure Macedonian Greek.

She was a skilled linguist, a naval commander, an expert administrator, a religious leader who was seen by some as a messianic figure, and a worthy opponent of the Romans. She was worshipped in Egypt for over 400 years after her death. Although she lived a long time ago and we can’t be absolutely sure how she looked, we do have these images that are considered authentic:

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In addition, there is one piece of video that has survived showing her with Marc Antony, her Roman/Welsh lover.

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Winner: Rosebud

Mistress Daphne surprised us tonight with a completely different type of game. A game filled with caricatures of pop singers, maps of various countries standing alone, and questions about patriotic entertainers. There was a great deal of resistance from the old timers to this change. Rosebud, who welcomes change, enjoyed it and barely edged Barbara for the win.

Now who the heck is Anastacia ?

In looking into this I found that we may be the only folks who are not big fans. Her music video “Stupid little Things” has been viewed 6.25 million times (probably mostly by guys), and her video “I’m Outta Love” an astounding 9.3 million times!  Better check her out:

She has an interesting story.

Anastacia Lyn Newkirk (born September 17, 1968) is an American singer, songwriter and producer. She started her career in 1983 as a dancer for hire and in 1990 she started her musical career as a backing vocalist.

Her debut album, Not That Kind, released in 2000 was an international commercial success, most notably in Europe as well as Australia, where the lead single “I’m Outta Love” became the biggest selling song of the year. The singer was awarded as ‘World’s Best-Selling New Female Pop Artist’ in 2001.

After successfully recovering from cancer she returned with 2004’s Anastacia which deviated from previous albums into pop-rock. The album peaked at No. 1 in 11 countries, became the second biggest selling album of the year in Europe and produced the critically acclaimed “Left Outside Alone” that remained at No. 1 on the European Billboard chart for 15 weeks.Known for her powerful mezzo voice and her small stature of 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm), she has been dubbed “the little lady with the big voice”.

But her life has not been all peaches and cream. Anastacia has battled numerous health problems including being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 13, breast cancer at age 34 and the heart condition supraventricular tachycardia, at age 39. In February 2013 it was announced that Anastacia was battling a more intense form of breast cancer, while on October 1, 2013 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Anastacia informed the media that she had undergone a double mastectomy.

In recognition of her decade-long charitable efforts in breast cancer awareness, Anastacia became only the second woman to be presented with the Humanitarian Award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2013. Well done lady and good luck.

 

 

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Winner: Judy

It wasn’t close. After a long dry spell, Judy returned to the winner’s circle with a dominating win. Her 2 misses were far ahead of Rosebud and the Driver.

We had some new players in the bay window seats, very loud and very wrong on most questions. They finished last and for their effort they received boxes of chocolate cherries – not bad. Only Alish knew that in Ireland the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is called Pancake day.

Good Question!: Which Bond villain has been played by: Telly Savalas, Donald Pleasance, Charles Gray, and Max Von Sydow?

Choices: a.Blofeld  b.Hugo Drax  c.Dr. No  d.General Medrono

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Answer: Blofeld

For some this was an easy question, for others it was, “Who was Blofeld?”

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a  supervillain from the James Bond series of novels and films, who was created by Ian Fleming. An evil genius with aspirations of world domination, he is the archenemy of the British Secret Service agent James Bond.

Blofeld is head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE and is commonly referred to as Number 1, an official numerical position given to members of SPECTRE. The character was originally written by Fleming as a physically massive man, standing around 6 foot 3 and weighing 21.6 stone (about 300 pounds), and very powerfully built.

Blofeld appears or is heard in six James Bond films: From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Sometimes the opening title sequence is the best part of a Bond flick. Here’s one movie Blofeld appeared in: “Thunderball”

and some scenes with great James Bond quotes:

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