Archive for October, 2017

Winner: Little Red Riding Hood (aka Rosebud), followed by Mary Claire, and Pluto

Tonight was Halloween and MainStreetCafe was filled with Witches, more than you could shake a broomstick at. The witches didn’t do so well in the game and the photographer didn’t do so well taking their pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word on it. Although, we do have one very blurry photo of some guests.

Mary Claire had been missing from the game for a while, presumably spending time in the library studying up. It must have helped as she tied Rosebud in regulation, but lost in the play off when she failed to identify Quito as the capital of Ecuador. Even finishing second tonight was pretty good as you can tell by the baskets of cheer awarded to the winners.

Darin went all out tonight, including holding a number of raffles during the game. So almost everyone was a winner, making Main Street Cafe the place to be on Halloween.


Tonight we learned that 532 cars, that’s right, 532, were destroyed over the course of production in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Technically, every one of the 532 cars “destroyed” in the making of Transformers 3 was already fit for the scrapheap. The cars had been donated to director Michael Bay because they were flood damaged, and therefore needed to be scrapped by law anyway. This got me thinking of other movies featuring car chases and massive auto destruction. This site has some of the best video clips:  The Ten Movies With The Best Automotive Destruction

My fave is “Bullitt” and the chase over and down the streets of San Francisco:



Read Full Post »

Winner: Steve (Tom 3rd, Maureen 3rd, Patty 2nd)

On a night with more than a few regulars missing, two rookies had a chance to show their skill. Steve and Patty tied in regulation and headed to a playoff to see who would earn their very first win. Patty, playing in just her first game, couldn’t quite pull it off.

Tonight we learned that it was the Road Runner who first spoke in a Bugs Bunny cartoon in 1951. More importantly, it was the 1940 Tex Avery cartoon A Wild Hare, an Oscar-nominated cartoon, that first had all the classic Bugs favorites: Elmer Fudd, the signature ears and tail, and the “What’s up, Doc?”

Good Question!: In 1849, where was the worlds first air raid from hot air balloons?

Choices: a. Venice   b. Paris   c. Berlin   d. London

Answer: Venice

In the summer of 1849, Austrian forces besieging Venice decided to put into practice a novel plan; Europe had its first experience of aerial warfare.

One bright July morning in 1849 the streets of Venice were crowded with people celebrating the Festa of the Madonna della Salute. Although the Republic was at war, and the city actually under siege by the Austrians, all seemed gay and peaceful, when suddenly in the Piazetta, on the Molo and on the Riva degli Schiavoni hands began pointing to the sky.

Floating towards the city from the direction of the sea and shining in the sun were what an American observer, Edmund Flagg, described later as “small cloudlets.” Every five minutes or so, more appeared until about a score of them “came swaying slowly and majestically on from the Lido.”

The “cloudlets” were, in fact, balloons loaded with bombs. They had been launched from Austrian warships anchored outside the Lido, and their appearance was not entirely a surprise. For a long time, rumour had told of the enemy’s novel plan to attack Venice from the air, but these reports had been universally regarded as fantasy or a joke.

This was the first attempt to bombard a city from the air, and in the light of history it is the most significant incident in the story of the siege.

In just a bit less than 100 years we have “progressed” from harmless balloon bombs to atomic bombs.


Read Full Post »

Winner: Pluto, followed by Droppin’, 9 O’Clock Judy, and Dave

In a week when the president and secretary of state squabbled over who was the bigger moron, we played a game whose theme was “are you smarter than a middle schooler?” I think we should have invited those two guys to join us and we could have settled the question once and for all, although it’s pretty clear who is the bigger moron.

Pluto was smoking hot tonight and if he knew that Frankfort was the capital of Kentucky he would have been perfect. Now he’s bragging that he is smarter than a middle schooler. Big deal.

Good question!: Who crossed the Rubicon?

Choices: a. Mussolini   b. Hannibal   c. Caesar   d. Bellini

Answer: Caesar

Some folks thought it was Hannibal, but he crossed the Alps. So what was the significance of crossing the Rubicon?

“In the year 49 B.C., Julius Caesar was the provincial Governor of Gaul (an area roughly corresponding to modern France). Caesar’s campaign to bring Europe under the yoke of the Roman Empire had been a rousing success. Returning to Rome, Caesar was required by Roman law to leave his legions at the Italian border, but Caesar had enemies in Rome [e.g. Pompey, another Roman general and statesman had ambitions of his own to become dictator] and was reluctant to return without his troops (or “cohorts,” originally divisions of the Roman Legion).

Finally, Caesar made the fateful decision, disobeying Pompey and the Roman senate, to lead his troops across the river that marked the border of Italy, proclaiming (it is said) ‘Alea iacta est’ (‘The die is cast’), meaning that his act was irrevocable, whatever its consequences.

The consequences were dire, for Caesar’s act precipitated a bloody civil war which eventually led to his becoming Emperor of all Rome. Caesar’s remark, immortalized by Roman historians has since become a very well-worn cliché applied to any irrevocable decision. The river that Caesar crossed that fateful day in 49 B.C., incidentally, was the Rubicon, giving us the phrase ‘to cross the Rubicon’ [essentially a synonym of ‘the die is cast’], meaning that an important point has been crossed and that there is no going back.” (per Word Detective)

If you feel like you want to refresh your knowledge of Julius Caesar, a pretty important figure in western civilization, this is a good academic presentation by the Khan Academy.


Read Full Post »

Winner: Eric, followed by Judge Judy and Steve

This was a close one all the way. Three players tied in regulation, but in the playoff only Eric knew that John Glenn was a marine.

Tonight we learned that it is Colorado, and not Alaska, which is the state with the highest average elevation above sea level.

Mistress Daphne and the Driver returned from their slow boat to China and Japan, bringing a very nice bottle of sake with them. We used it to toast Tiffany, who has been our bartender, our waitress, and even our game moderator on occasion. We wished her the very best for her impending nuptials.



Good Question!: Which part of the human body can expand 20 times its normal size?

Choices: a. lungs   b. heart   c. stomach   d. blood vessels

Answer: stomach

Some of us were pretty skeptical, because that just didn’t seem possible. Here’s what I found, and it’s even more surprising.

“The empty stomach is only about the size of your fist, but can stretch to hold as much as 4 liters of food and fluid, or more than 75 times its empty volume, and then return to its resting size when empty. Although you might think that the size of a person’s stomach is related to how much food that individual consumes, body weight does not correlate with stomach size. Rather, when you eat greater quantities of food—such as at holiday dinner—you stretch the stomach more than when you eat less.”  Want to learn more about your stomach? Lumen learning has good info on the stomach in their module on the digestive system.



Your stomach expands every time you eat a meal (and contracts again after you’re done digesting), but it won’t shrink if you diet or fast. The organ has an average resting volume of about 50 ml (.01 gallon), but after a normal meal it expands to about 1 liter (0.26 gallon). If really pushed, the stomach can accommodate up to 4 liters (an entire gallon) of food.

So what if you really push it? Say you go for the tasting menu one night and end up eating twice as much as you normally do at dinner—will your stomach permanently expand a little bit? Nah. It will probably remain distended for longer than usual, because rich, fatty foods slow digestion and thus stay in the stomach longer than leaner fare. And when high fat content is coupled with a large volume of food, your stomach definitely has more work to do than it normally would (plus, it needs more acids and enzymes to do the job, and these add more volume). Still, we’re not talking days here; typically, the stomach is fully empty and “deflated” anywhere from three to five hours after a meal.” (chowhound.com)

Talking stomachs, remembering “Aliens”


Read Full Post »