Archive for November, 2016


Winner: Driver Shea


Nicky’s Boys

Everyone Plays
For the first time in memory, every one of the patrons in Main Street Café –  all the diners, along with all the usual thirsty souls at the bar – played the game tonight. 18 players on a cold, rainy night – not bad. For a change the Driver answered the last few questions correctly and nipped Tall Paul, CarolD and Almond Joy for the win. It was good to see the Driver, who had been developing a reputation as a choke artist, hold on for the win.

Nicky’s Boys
Darin had met these gentlemen in Nicky’s and convinced them they would have a good time if they joined us for Tuesday Trivia. Of course, she did not tell them they would have to deal with Mistress Daphne all night. I doubt we will see them again.

No Right Answer
Two questions tonight had no correct answer among the choices and had to be thrown out. Sacre Bleu! When we asked Darin how this could happen, she said: “I was interrupted while preparing the answer sheet by a phone call from Cindy, so it was all Cindy’s fault.” Back in the day Cindy was everyone’s favorite waitress at Main Street Café. Then she left to teach and raise a family in south America. She used to be one of Darin’s best friends, now sadly, just a convenient scapegoat.

Good Question!: What deadly disease caused an epidemic approximately concurrent with the end of World War I?

Choices: a. Spanish Flu  b.Black Plague  c. Typhus  d. Small Pox


Answer: Spanish Flu

Despite the fact that the 1918 flu wasn’t isolated to one place, it became known around the world as the Spanish flu, as Spain was one of the earliest countries to be hit hard by the disease.

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351.

A flu pandemic, such as the one in 1918, occurs when an especially virulent new influenza strain for which there’s little or no immunity appears and spreads quickly from person-to-person around the globe.

The pandemic affected everyone. With one-quarter of the US and one-fifth of the world infected with the influenza, it was impossible to escape from the illness. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles to end the World War.

More than 25 percent of the U.S. population became sick, and some 675,000 Americans died during the pandemic. Researchers later discovered what made the 1918 pandemic so deadly: In many victims, the influenza virus had invaded their lungs and caused pneumonia.



The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years. The influenza virus had a profound virulence, with a mortality rate at 2.5% compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%. The death rate for 15 to 34-year-olds of influenza and pneumonia were 20 times higher in 1918 than in previous years. People were struck with illness on the street and died rapid deaths.

Editor’s Note: Mark your calendar. Tuesday, Dec 20 for annual Christmas Carols sing-along @ Main Street Cafe.




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Winner: Rhys

An unexpectedly large turnout for a game only two nights before Thanksgiving and a rough night for all the players not up on their current events. Rhys was due for a win and led from start to finish, followed closely by Rosebud and David.

Tonight we learned that it took 66 days for the Mayflower to travel across the Atlantic ocean and that “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was written by J.K. Rowling, and looks to be a fine follow up to “Harry Potter.”



Good Question!: What Hindu festival involves people throwing colored powders on to each other?

Choices: a. Holi  b. Durga Puja   c. Diwali   d. Navratri

NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 27: Foreign tourists enjoying Holi celebration near Malviya Nagar market on March 27, 2013 in New Delhi, India. Holi, festival of color is Hindu religious festival also called Basantotsav or spring festival as it mark the arrival of spring. People gather together to play colors, sing and dance to traditional tunes and eat sweets specially Gujiyas. (Photo by Ahmer Khan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI, INDIA – MARCH 27: Foreign tourists enjoying Holi celebration near Malviya Nagar market on March 27, 2013 in New Delhi, India. Holi, festival of color is Hindu religious festival also called Basantotsav or spring festival as it mark the arrival of spring. People gather together to play colors, sing and dance to traditional tunes and eat sweets specially Gujiyas. (Photo by Ahmer Khan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)


Answer: Holi

Here is an authentic, unedited history of “Holi”

The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renews sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi”

Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. Numerous legends & stories associated with Holi celebration makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. People rub ‘gulal’ and ‘abeer’ on each others’ faces and cheer up saying, “bura na maano Holi hai”. Holi also gives a wonderful chance to send blessings and love to dear ones wrapped in a special Holi gifts.

Oh heck, a picture is always worth 1000 words:





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We celebrated Bwana John’s 75th birthday this evening and he celebrated with a strong third place finish, on the podium. There was some skepticism that maybe the game had been rigged for him on his birthday. He insisted that was not the case, but said if he had not finished on the podium, he would have claimed that the game was rigged against him. Sound familiar?

We also celebrated Darin’s 45th birthday this evening, including the reading of romantic poetry best wishes from a secret admirer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

Tonight’s winner was decided by a playoff between Pluto and the Driver, who once again missed the last question in regulation time to fall back into a tie. Come on. Who doesn’t know that “Curiosity”, the car sized rover launched by NASA, was sent to explore Mars?

Good Question!: Who was the first president of the United States to live in the White House?

Choices: a.Washington  b.Adams  c.Jefferson  d.Madison


Answer: Adams

Not long after the inauguration of President George Washington in 1789, plans to build an official President’s House in a federal district along the Potomac River took shape. A contest to find a builder produced a winning design from Irish-born architect James Hoban, who modeled his building after an Anglo-Irish villa in Dublin called the Leinster House.

The cornerstone was laid on October 13, 1792, and over the next eight years a construction team comprised of both enslaved and freed African Americans and European immigrants built the Aquia Creek sandstone structure. It was coated with lime-based whitewash in 1798, producing a color that gave rise to its famous nickname. Built at a cost of $232,372 ($4.2M today),  the two-story house was not quite completed when John Adams and Abigail Adams became the first residents on November 1,1800.

Thomas Jefferson added his own personal touches upon moving in a few months later, installing two water closets and working with architect Benjamin Latrobe to add bookending terrace-pavilions. Having transformed the building into a more suitable representation of a leader’s home, Jefferson held the first inaugural open house in 1805, and also opened its doors for public tours and receptions on New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Burned to the ground by the British in August 1814, the President’s House was nearly left in its smoldering remains as lawmakers contemplated moving the capital to another city. Instead, Hoban was brought back to rebuild it nearly from scratch, in some areas incorporating the original, charred walls.


White House Trivia

>The 55,000-square-foot White House sits on 18 acres of land that requires a full-time staff of 13 people to maintain.

>The six-story White House is immense in size and requires 570 gallons of paint to cover the entire exterior surface.

>The White House is home to 132 rooms, including 35 bathrooms, three elevators, 28 fireplaces and 412 doors.

>The White House’s kitchen is large enough to serve more than 1,000 people with hors d’oevures or dinner for 140 people.

>It has its own movie theater, bowling alley, physician’s office, swimming pool, tennis court and flower shop. Bill Clinton added a jogging track during his first term in office.

>The first modern amenity to come to the White House was running water in 1833, followed by a central system for heating in 1837. Electricity was installed in 1891.

>Teddy Roosevelt officially established the “White House” moniker.

>One of the most iconic rooms in the White House, the President’s Oval Office, wasn’t added until 1934.

>It remains the only private residence of a head of state open free of charge to the public, unlike the presidential digs on Fifth Avenue.



The White House also played an important role in the movie Independence Day:


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Winner: Pluto

While televisions reported the shocking election returns in the background, we tried to play a game of trivia. It wasn’t easy, but maybe that was the only way to deal with it. Pluto, feeling the Bern, finished just ahead of Mo, Dale, Judy, and CarolD. Brad, who finished back in the pack, finished with a smile. Way to go, Brad.

Tonight we learned that the first book manuscript to be written on a typewriter was Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer,” and that your crystal wedding anniversary is your 15th anniversary. All I got was glass (a bottle of beer.)

Good question!: Who wrote the book “Catch – 22”?

Choice’s: a. Hugo  b. Alcott  c. Heller  d. Wilde



Answer: Heller

If you haven’t read this book, please find time someday to read it. One of the great novels in American literature, and funny as hell.

from the title of Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel. In widespread use only after release of the movie based on the book in 1970. A frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions; a situation in which a person is frustrated by a paradoxical rule or set of circumstances that preclude any attempt to escape from them.

No time to read the book? “Try the audiobook, read brilliantly by Jay O. Sanders, who does as well with colloquial midcentury American accents as any RSC actor has ever done with the accents of Dickens. Its best scenes remain screamingly, laugh-out-loud funny.”

Here are some memorable lines:

“From now on I’m thinking only of me.”

Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: “But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.”

“Then,” said Yossarian, “I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn’t I?”


“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.”


and a thought for today:

“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, plunder into philanthropy, and brutality into patriotism. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”




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Winners: Judy and Paul

Tonight’s game was very close. Judy and Paul won, but finished barely ahead of everyone else – all the other players finished either second or third. One table of players was made up of guys from the local rescue squad. Even they had trouble with one medical question and did not know that measles can sometimes have a deadly complication occurring years after the infection. So better get your vaccine.

Good question!: What is the largest edible fruit native to the U.S.?

Choices: a.Apple   b.Tomato   c.PawPaw  d.Watermelon



Answer: PawPaw

Here’s what Andrew Moore, author of “Pawpaw” has to say on the topic.

“Though the pawpaw grows wild in 26 states, the fruit remains a mystery to many Americans. This wasn’t actually always the case. At one time Americans were entirely familiar with pawpaws, going back to the Native Americans, who ate the fruit, who used the tree’s fiber for cordage and rope, on down through the earliest explorers, colonists and pioneers. The pawpaw was an important fruit and food item each year in late summer.

In many ways it’s a tropical fruit that has willed itself to grow in the temperate North, to grow where it probably shouldn’t. We know that over millennia it evolved to be here, but it is the only member of the tropical custard apple family that’s not found in the tropics.

The “pawpaw belt” is a term I use to refer to the states and regions where the pawpaw is native, where it grows wild. That encompasses parts of 26 eastern states. It spans from southern Louisiana to Ontario, Canada, from the Atlantic west to the Mississippi, and into Oklahoma and even Nebraska.

What happened? Why did the pawpaw disappear from our tables?

That’s the big question. That was the mystery that I was trying to get at in the book: How did Americans forget about this and why? The easiest way to explain it is that when Americans stopped going to the woods for food, they stopped knowing the pawpaw.

What does a pawpaw taste like?
The pawpaw is commonly described as a cross between a mango and banana. That’s true. But the first thing I like to describe is the texture. It has this tropical custard texture. That’s more similar to fruits you find in the Caribbean, fruits like guanabana and cherimoya, custard apples.

The best thing you can do with a ripe, fresh pawpaw is just to eat it out of hand. Cut it in half, scoop it out and eat it like a custard in a cup, which is essentially what it is.”


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