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Archive for June, 2015

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Winner: Droppin’

This was not an easy night for our moderator Mistress Daphne, who had much difficulty being heard above the din. A party of Napper Tandy regulars decided that Main Street Cafe was the place to be, and those 12 guys made enough noise for 40 people. They didn’t seem to bother Droppin’, who easily finished ahead of Rosebud and Carol.

We learned that crystal is the proper gift for your 15th wedding anniversary. Funny, I don’t remember getting any crystal, although I might have gotten some glass – a bottle of beer.

Good Question!: American Jazz musician Chet Baker was a virtuoso player of the?

Choices: a. Piano   b. Saxophone   c. Trumpet   d. Bass

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Answer: Trumpet

Chet Baker started his career in the late forties. He become famous with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952. His solo in “My Funny Valentine” is a classic of the west coast jazz in the fifties. I think it’s one of the all time great Jazz tunes.

Here are two versions – in the first, a later version, Chet sings; in the second, the original version, he plays his soulful trumpet:

Baker’s personal life often overshadowed his professional one. He was extremely talented but self-involved, needy and manipulative. His drug addiction ruined his reputation in the US, and contributed to his untimely death.

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blogger’s note: “New Horizons” Pluto Alert

The New Horizons spacecraft has been racing towards Pluto for almost 10 years now, at a speed of 10 miles per second. Already the images of Pluto are sharper than the best that can be made with earth-based telescopes.

On July 14 the day of closest approach, the spacecraft will be busy executing a pre-programmed sequence of observations. At 9 pm EDT on July 14 the spacecraft will “phone home” to let the team know it all worked.

To celebrate, let’s party at Main Street Cafe on the 14th

Φ with a tasty “Welcome Back Pluto” cake from Copenhagen Bakery

Ψ with a cocktail, specially created by Darin for the occasion, the “Pluto Palooza”

δ the trivia theme will be all Pluto, all the time (both Planet Pluto and Disney Pluto). we’ll play with 2 person teams, and you will need to create a space themed name for your team.

φ we’ll be playing a custom, outer space music playlist in the background and

Φ you’ll have a chance to see if you can land your space craft on Pluto (blindfolded, of course)

If you want to learn more about the New Horizon’s mission check out this video:

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Winners: Rosebud, Pluto, and the Driver

All 3 winners sat next to each other at one end of the bar – very suspicious. But upon further analysis it was determined there was no hanky panky. In fact, the Driver was comfortably ahead for much of the game before his usual late game collapse. If he had answered the last question correctly, he would have been the sole winner, but of course, he didn’t and he wasn’t.

We were reminded tonight that Elvis’ HeartBreak hotel was on Lonely St. and that sheep are ovine animals, not bovine! No problem, but some of us could not believe that the Brits would call zucchini by the French name “courgette.”

Good Question!: Charlie Allnut and Rosie Sayer appeared in which classic 1951 movie?

Choices: a.African Queen   b.Moby Dick   c.White Heat   d.Raging Bull

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Answer: African Queen

“The African Queen (1951) is the uncomplicated tale of two companions with mismatched, “opposites attract” personalities who develop an implausible love affair as they travel together downriver in Africa around the start of World War I. This quixotic film by director John Huston, based on the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester, is one of the classics of Hollywood adventure filmmaking, with comedy and romance besides. It was the first color film for the two leads and for director Huston.

imgresThe acting of the two principal actors – Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn – is some of the strongest ever registered on film, although this was their first and only pairing together. They portray an unshaven, drinking and smoking captain of a cranky tramp steamer, and a prissy and proper, but imperious and unorthodox WWI-era African missionary spinster.

During the course of many hardships and quarrels along a course filled with tropical dangers and ‘evil’ Germans in a warship, they develop a hard-earned love and respect for each other. The real prize and goal of their water journey down the Ulonga-Bora, other than the destruction of a German boat, is to overcome the various psychological obstacles that stand between them.

source: AMC Filmsite, which BTW, is a wonderful site, with all sort of movie trivia.

Here’s the trailer for African Queen:

blogger’s note:

“New Horizons” Pluto Alert

The views are getting better and better as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approaches Pluto for its July 14 flyby — and the pictures have begun revealing surface details.

Humanity has looked up to the “Man in the Moon” for millennia, but this could be one of our first views of the “Person in Pluto.”

Right now the images makes Pluto look as if it’s a big-headed alien skull from a “Star Trek” episode, with two cratered eyes looking out toward the camera.

In only 3 weeks the New Horizons space probeshould rendezvous with Pluto, take detailed, close up photos for the first time, and provide important info on the dwarf planet’s global geology, surface composition, atmospheric pressure, and whether there are any little green men living there.

This calls for a celebration. Mark your calendar (Tuesday, July 14, 2015) and watch this space for further details as we get closer.

NASA has a good short video “2015 – The Year of Pluto”:

 

 

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Winners: DoubleA (AA) and Pluto

MikeP stood in for Daphne tonight and it was fun hearing him try to pronounce the name of the first openly lesbian head of state – Johanna Siguroardottir of Iceland. He does much better when the answer is Obama.

Pluto trailed DoubleA until the final question – a question about planet Pluto! He was the only one to answer correctly. Maybe that’s why they call him Pluto. Following close behind were Big John and Chris to make it an all boys sweep.

The questions in the first half tonight were all about events that occurred in 2009. Surprising how much you forget in just 6 years, although some things never change. Like the fact that Russia shut off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine, it’s always Ukraine.

Good Question!: in 2009 Russian and American satellites do what over Siberia?

Choices: a. collide   b. photograph Taliban   c. study global warming   d. exchange spy info

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Answer: Collide

Not many of us remembered that happening.

Here’s a news report at the time:

U.S. Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision
February 11, 2009

Russia’s Cosmos 2251 satellite slammed into the Iridium craft at 11:55 a.m. EST (0455 GMT) over Siberia at an altitude of 490 miles (790 km). The incident was observed by the U.S. Defense Department’s Space Surveillance Network, which later was tracking two large clouds of debris.

“We’re tracking more than 500 pieces of debris which pose an additional risk to satellites,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Charlie Drey, a spokesperson for the U.S. Strategic Command which oversees the U.S. Space Surveillance Network.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had two intact spacecraft accidentally run into each other, said Nicholas Johnson, chief scientist of NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. It was a bad day for both of them.”

Johnson said outdated spacecraft, rocket stages and other components break apart in space every year, but there have only been three relatively minor collisions between such objects in the last 20 years. Never before have two intact satellites crashed into one another by accident, he added.

I guess you could say this was a “Space Oddity.” You may be most familiar with David Bowie’s original, but I much prefer young cabaret star Jennifer Sheehan’s version:

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blogger’s note:

“New Horizons” Pluto Alert

More than nine years ago people from planet Earth, the 3rd rock from the sun, launched a space craft to the outer reaches of the solar system. This craft, “New Horizons,” is on a voyage of 5 billion kilometers, headed straight to Pluto, the furthest planet in our solar system (well, it was a planet when the space craft launched).

New Horizons is still about 40 million km from Pluto, but even from that distance we’re starting to see surface features. The next few weeks are going to be very exciting. No space craft has ever travelled that far. Every day it gets closer to its rendezvous with Pluto on July 14, 2015, only one month from now!

This first reconnaissance of the planet Pluto will mean the U.S.A. has been the first nation to reach every planet in the solar system from Mercury to Neptune, and now Pluto, with a space probe. This calls for a celebration.

Mark your calendar (July 14, 2015), and watch this space for further details as we get closer.

 

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Winner: Judy

That Judy won tonight is not much of a surprise, but look who came in second. Our old friend 10 O’Clock Bill exclaimed as the results were read: “Well you won’t have old Bill to kick around anymore.” Well done 10 O’Clock. Also finishing second were Rosebud and Double A (AA).

Tough quiz tonight where Mistress Daphne picked 20 of 30 available questions. Of course, she only picked ones that were impossible to answer. The crowd was reasonably well behaved with the exception of the Driver. He’s still upset that Connecticut Connie cleaned his clock last week.

Good Question!:
Who was the first athlete to appear on a Wheaties box?

Choices: a. Babe Ruth   b. Lou Gehrig   c. Johnny Weissmuller   d. Babe Didrikson Zaharias

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Answer: Lou Gehrig

“For the past two weeks you’ve been reading about a bad break,” he said. “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
—Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig was born in New York City in 1903, the only one of the four Gehrig children to survive infancy. Gehrig studied engineering at Columbia University, played fullback on the football team and pitched for the school’s baseball team, earning the nickname Columbia Lou. In one famous game, the young hurler struck out 17 batters.

Gehrig signed his first contract with the New York Yankees in April 1923. By the following season, Gehrig was inserted into the lineup to replace the team’s aging first baseman, Wally Pipp. It set in motion a streak in which Gehrig “The Iron Horse,” established a Major League Baseball record by playing in 2,130 consecutive games.

Over the next 15 years he led the team to six World Series titles, while batting .361. His Hall of Fame career saw him score 100 runs and knock in at least that many in 13 consecutive seasons. In 1931, he set an American League record by clubbing 184 RBIs, and in 1932, he became the third player to hit four home runs in a single game.

Illness and Retirement

In 1938 the aging Gehrig turned in his first subpar season. His hard-charging career seemed to have caught up with him as his body started to fail him. But Gehrig, who was having trouble with things as simple as tying his shoelaces, feared he might be facing something more than just the downslide of a long baseball career.

In 1939, after getting off to a horrid start to the baseball season, Gehrig checked himself into the Mayo Clinic, where after a series of tests, doctors informed him that he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating disease that strips nerve cells of their ability to interact with the body’s muscles. His diagnosis with the disease helped put the spotlight on the condition, and in the years since Gehrig’s passing, it has come to be known popularly as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

On May 2, 1939, Gehrig’s ironman streak came to an end when he voluntarily took himself out of the lineup. Not long after, Gehrig retired from baseball. He returned to Yankee Stadium on July 4 of that year so that the team could hold a day in his honor. Standing on the field where he’d made so many memories and wearing his old uniform, Gehrig said goodbye to his fans with a short, tearful speech to the crowded ballpark.

Following Gehrig’s retirement, Major League Baseball circumvented its own rules and immediately inducted the former Yankee into its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In addition, the Yankees retired Gehrig’s uniform, making him the first baseball player ever to receive that honor.

By 1941, Gehrig’s health had significantly deteriorated. He largely remained at home, too frail to even sign his own name, much less go out. On June 2, 1941, at age 37, he passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City.

 

 

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Winner: Rosebud

With a pack nipping at her heels, Rosebud squeaked to a narrow win over Pluto, Rhys, and Droppin’. I think it was Charles H. Fairbanks that put her over the top. No one else knew that he was Teddy Roosevelt’s VP between 1905 and 1909.

Tonight 10 O’Clock Bill finally awoke from his slumber and brought his A game. Surprisingly, no shockingly, he appeared to finish ahead of Judy. Of course, there will be a recount.

After a long absence Connecticut Connie joined us from across the sea. She must have been studying all that time, because she played a sharp game, even thumping arch nemesis, the Driver. “Better than a win,” she  said.

Good Question!: Blues legend B.B.King died this week, aged 89. What did B.B. stand for?

Choices: a.Beale Street Blues Boy   b.Blues baby   c.Big Blue   d.Big Band

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Answer: Beale Street Blues Boy

Riley B. King, known by his stage name B.B. King, was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Rolling Stone ranked King number 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

The five ahead of him (#1-5) – Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck. The five just behind him (#7-11) – Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman, Pete Townshend, George Harrison. What do you think?

Tonight’s winner Rosebud has one B.B. King song that she favors over all others (this version is the best):

The Guardian has a wonderful piece about B.B. King’s funeral, worth a read. Includes this recount of how his guitar came to be named “Lucille”:

“One night at a club in Arkansas, two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille when they accidentally set the place on fire. King ran outside, then remembered his Gibson acoustic. He went back and got it just before the building collapsed. He nearly died for that guitar, and then he named it Lucille to remind himself never to do that again.”

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