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Archive for May, 2016

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Winners: the Driver, Rosebud and Pluto

An unusual three-way tie tonight, with the Driver and Rosebud leading most of the way, only to be caught at the end by Pluto. Speaking of threes, we needed to know that “Moonraker” was the third of three Bond films for which the theme song was performed by Shirley Bassey. There were 24 Bond films and 24 theme songs, but none better than Ms Bassey’s Goldfinger:

We learned tonight that “Sacred Cow” was the name of the first US presidential aircraft, a Douglas C-54 Skymaster put into service for FDR.

Good question!: Martin Luther King’s assassin was arrested in which city?

Choices: a. New York   b. Los Angeles   c. Paris   d. London

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Answer: London

On the day of the assassination, April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray eluded a worldwide manhunt and fled north by car from Memphis to Canada, arriving in Toronto three days later, where he hid out for over a month and acquired a Canadian passport. Ray had served several penitentiary terms and it was said to be an article of faith of the convict grapevine in the United States that passports were unusually easy to obtain in Canada.

He left Toronto in late May on a flight to England. On June 8, 1968, a little more than two months after King’s death, Ray was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on the false Canadian passport.

This racist bum ended the life of one of America’s most charismatic leaders. Who can forget Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

The fugitive’s arrest was announced as Americans watched on television the funeral services in New York for Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was fatally shot Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. 1968 a very bad year for assassinations.

The UK quickly extradited Ray to Tennessee, where he was charged with King’s murder. He confessed to the crime on March 10, 1969, and after pleading guilty he was sentenced to 99 years in prison, where he died in 1998.

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Winners: the Driver and Pluto

We welcomed back some of the lasses recently returned from their trip around the Emerald Isle. We asked them to sing a ditty and dance a jig for us but they politely declined, claimed they were jet lagged.

We were disappointed because we had heard they had blown away folks holding a wake in a local Irish pub with their rendition of “Danny Boy.” The locals said they had never heard anything quite like it.

The Driver finished strong for a change and managed to tie Pluto for the win. Pluto felt lucky tonight wearing his new Guinness rugby shirt, just hand delivered by Rosebud from the Guinness storehouse in Dublin.

We welcomed a few new women players and they got some good intel right off the bat. They now know that the annual matchmaking festival takes place in County Clare.

Good question!: What was the only part of the current United States invaded by the Japanese during WWII?

Choices: a. Hawaii   b. Alaska   c. California   d. Oregon

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Answer: Alaska

The key here, of course, is the term “invaded.” Hawaii was attacked, but Alaska was invaded – who knew?

First, the battle in the Pacific we all know – Pearl Harbor
(in German):

The Forgotten Battle

In the Battle of the Aleutian Islands (June 1942-August 1943) during World War II, U.S. troops fought to remove Japanese garrisons established on a pair of U.S.-owned islands. In June 1942, Japan had seized the remote, sparsely inhabited islands of Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. It was the only U.S. soil Japan would claim during the war in the Pacific. The maneuver was possibly designed to divert U.S. forces during Japan’s attack on Midway Island (June 4-7, 1942) in the central Pacific. It’s also possible the Japanese believed holding the two islands could prevent the U.S. from invading Japan via the Aleutians. Either way, the Japanese occupation was a blow to American morale. In May 1943, U.S. troops retook Attu and three months later reclaimed Kiska, and in the process gained experience that helped them prepare for the long “island-hopping” battles to come as World War II raged across the Pacific Ocean.

for the hardcore war historian:

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With many of our players in Ireland, on that eternal quest for the freshest Guinness and a game of trivia in Gaelic, some feared there would be no game this week. No worries mate. It was a “really huge” game.

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Pluto took advantage of the situation and finished ahead of the Driver and newbie Matt.

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Highlight of the evening were delicious, home baked brownies, “the memorial day specials” created by Gemma’s mom.

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We learned some important stuff this evening like what you call a group of rattlesnakes – a rhumba, course. And that Boob’s Day in Spain is April Fools’ Day in the US. There are some nights at this game when we all feel it’s boob’s day.

Good Question!: Which paddle steamer sank in New York Harbor in 1904 with the loss of over 1000 lives?

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Choices:   a. the Milburn    b. Henry Hudson   c. Dutch Flyer     d. General Slocum

Answer: General Slocum

The General Slocum was a paddle-wheel passenger steamship which caught fire in the East River and burned to the water-line, June 15, 1904. More than a thousand people perished, the worst disaster in New York City’s history until September 11, 2001.

The Whole Story

This tragedy is much less well known compared to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 25, 1911, and the Titanic Disaster of April 15, 1912.

Destination: Eatons Neck

The General Slocum was built in 1891 and worked as a passenger ship, taking people on excursions around New York City. On Wednesday, June 15, 1904, the ship had been chartered for $350 by St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Little Germany district of Manhattan.

This was an annual rite for the group, which had made the trip for 17 consecutive years, a period when German settlers moved out of Little Germany for the Upper East and West Sides. Over 1,400 passengers, mostly women and children, boarded the Slocum, which was to sail up the East River and then eastward across the Long Island Sound to Locust Grove, a picnic site in Eatons Neck, Long Island.

Locust Grove, today Valley Grove, was a location with a dance pavilion and hotel, along with a dock, picnic area and carrousel. The facility primarily catered to excursion steamboats from New York City. Best I can figure, it was on LI Sound, a bit north of Hobart beach.

No video of the General Slocum sinking, but this CGI of The Titanic sinking is pretty cool:

The passengers came mostly from the German-American community of the Lower East Side. Excitement and anticipation filled the air — for the passengers, this would be a fun-filled day outside of the city, and as the ship departed, it would be enjoyable to watch the shoreline as the ship made its way out to the North Shore of Long Island.

Most of the passengers were women and children. As the ship made its way up the East River, good times turned bad very quickly. There have been varying accounts of how the fire started, but it spread rapidly within a half hour of leaving dock around 9 a.m. The panic was horrific among the passengers as they faced death by drowning or being burned alive on the ship. It was a safe bet that most of the passengers could not swim, and the period clothing of the day worked against them.

Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” :

The Aftermath

For days afterward, bodies would wash ashore. Only 321 passengers survived from a total of 1,358 passengers. The final death count totaled 1,021. The next largest death toll in the United States would come decades later with 2,974 dead from 9/11.

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Winner: Pluto

With two questions to go, three players were tied for the lead. This penultimate question had all three stumped. “Orteil” is French for which part of the body? No one knew. Pluto used the age old technique of shuffling his cards and picking an answer at random. Bingo, Bango, Bongo, it was the right answer! And that was the game. Madly and Rosebud had to settle for second place.

Good Question: Who wrote the 1898 book “The War of the Worlds”?

Choices: a. Huxley   b. Wells   c. Bradbury   d. Burroughs

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Answer: H.G. Wells

“The War of the Worlds” is a wonderful book, but is probably more famous as an episode of the American radio drama anthology series “The Mercury Theatre on the Air.” It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on Sunday, October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds (1898). It became famous for causing mass panic (at least that is the legend.)

The first two-thirds of the one-hour broadcast was presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a sustaining show without commercial interruptions, adding to the program’s realism.

In the days following the adaptation, there was widespread outrage in the media. The program’s news-bulletin format was described as deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast and calls for regulation by the Federal Communications Commission. The episode secured Welles’s fame as a dramatist.

Of course, I’m sure you’d like to hear the original broadcast:

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Winners: Droppin’ Dave and Carol

Rosebud was close, but no kewpie doll.

Oh, there were some strange questions tonight. Did you know that a government run by women is called a Gynarchy? Or that a fear of beards is called pogonophobia? Neither did we. My favorite bit of trivia was the fact that on an average day a man will speak only 2000 words, while a woman will speak 7000 words. In my house that would be a very quiet day.

Good question!: On which day of the week are people statistically more likely to suffer a heart attack?

Choices: a. Monday  b. Wednesday  c. Saturday  d. Sunday

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Answer: Monday

In several studies of various populations over the years, scientists have found that deaths from heart attacks follow a pattern during the week. They occur at their lowest rates on weekends, jump significantly on Mondays, then drop again on Tuesdays. According to researchers, an “outpouring” of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, occurs within working people on Mondays.

Monday dangerous even for retirees

One study showed a prominent peak in arrhythmias on Mondays—21 percent of episodes—even if they were no longer working! That was followed by a mid-week decline in arrhythmias and a second peak on Fridays. Not surprisingly, Saturdays and Sundays saw a 50 percent lower arrhythmia rate than did Mondays. 

Why do Mondays continue to be the peak day for arrhythmias? Some believe that your body always remembers and anticipates stressful events. So, even though the participants in the study were not working, the fact that their bodies anticipated going to work on Monday triggered the identical biochemical stress hormones, increasing the heart attack risk factors that led to potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmias.

How to avoid your Monday morning heart attack

Remember that there is a strong link between stress and heart attack risk factors and cardiovascular disorders. Workers can try to reduce the anxiety they feel on Mondays by getting enough sleep Sunday night, starting the day with a good breakfast, using relaxation techniques to get into the right mindset, avoiding traffic by carpooling or taking public transportation, or better yet, taking Monday off altogether. If you do go to work, avoid rushing to work, highly charged meetings and heavy exercise before midday Monday, all of which can be heart attack risk factors. 

15 Terrifying GoPro Videos to Make Your Heart Skip
You don’t want to miss these crazy guys. Here’s just one:

Most heart attacks occur between 5AM and 10AM

You are three times more likely to suffer a heart attack at 9am as compared to 11pm.

Here’s why: Cardiovascular events follow a circadian rhythm, and they’re also triggered by physical and emotional stresses. It’s believed that your sympathetic nervous system is activated when you assume an upright position in the morning, increasing your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and your heart attack risk factors. Another factor is the increased adrenaline that the adrenal glands release in the morning. This additional adrenaline may lead to the rupture of the plaque in the arteries caused by cholesterol.

This is why morning sex can trigger a heart attack in some people.

What does this mean for you? Give yourself time to wake up slowly in the morning, stretching your legs before you rise to an upright position. If you have heart issues, including heart attack risk factors, it’s recommended that you save strenuous exercise (including sex) for the afternoon or evening.

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