Archive for March, 2018

Winner: Eric, followed by Pluto, and Peter

Twenty-one players anxiously awaited the start of the game. Only one problem. There were no questions and answers. Darin, who does a superb job each week putting the questions and believable answers together, had left this week’s quiz home. After some frantic searching she came up with an old game she had prepared years ago intended for Flag Day. So tonight we made believe that the calendar said June and answered only questions concerning the American flag.

That gave Eric, who was a serious Boy Scout, and Pluto, who was a less serious Sea Cadet, an advantage and they finished one-two.

Good Question!: Does the “Stars and Stripes Forever” march by John Philip Sousa have lyrics?

Choices: a. True   b. False

Answer: True

I have heard “The Stars and Stripes Forever” too many times to count, and yet never knew there were any lyrics to match the music.

“The Stars and Stripes Forever.” is the official march of the United States and it’s John Philip Sousa’s most famous composition (1896). You’ve probably heard it before, even if you don’t know it by name.

With the possible exception of “The Star Spangled Banner,” no musical composition has done more to arouse the patriotic spirit of America than this, John Philip Sousa’s most beloved composition. Symbolic of flag-waving in general, it has been used with considerable effectiveness to generate patriotic feeling ever since its introduction in Philadelphia on May 14, 1897, when the staid Public Ledger reported: “It is stirring enough to rouse the American eagle from his crag, and set him to shriek exultantly while he hurls his arrows at the aurora borealis.” Sousa wrote words for the march, evidently for use in The Trooping of the Colors, his pageant of 1898.

“The President’s Own” – U.S. Marine Band

All of his life, John Philip Sousa loved music and loved America, so it’s no surprise that he wrote this patriotic classic. Sousa grew up in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. As a kid, he enjoyed hearing the Civil War military bands that filled the streets of Washington as well as the sounds of his father’s trombone. His father played in the U.S. Marine Band and Sousa quickly followed in his footsteps. Sousa first enlisted in the Marine Band as an apprentice violinist and later became the bandleader. When Sousa wasn’t playing with a band, he was writing music, like “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”  Sousa said the song was about the feeling of coming home to America and how “in a foreign country the sight of the Stars and Stripes seems the most glorious in the world.” By the 1890s he had written enough popular marches to be nicknamed the “March King.” (marineband.marines.mil)


Lyrics “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Not nearly as stirring as the music, probably why you never hear the lyrics.

Stars and Stripes Forever
by John Philip Sousa

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.


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Winner: Tom, followed by Rosebud, Donna and Nancy

Many obscure questions tonight, but it didn’t seem to bother Tom who had only one wrong, or Rosebud with only two wrong. I mean who knows that a baby’s pacifier is called a “dummy” in England, or that the comic strip by Bunny Hoest is “The Lockhorn’s.”

Good Question!: Which company is famous for introducing such toys as the Super Ball, Water Wiggle, and Hula Hoop to baby boomers?

Choice’s: a. Wham-O   b. Ohio Art   c. Barney & Smith  d. Ronco


Answer: Wham-O

Founded in 1948, Wham-O brought us some of the most iconic toys of all time, including the Hula-Hoop and Frisbee in 1958, and the Slip-n-Slide in 1961.

Hula Hoops Swept the Nation

The hula hoop gained international popularity in the late 1950s, when a plastic version was successfully marketed by California’s Wham-O toy company. In 1957, Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, starting with the idea of Australian bamboo “exercise hoops”, manufactured 1.06-metre (42 in) hoops with Marlex plastic. With giveaways and national marketing and retailing, a fad was started in July 1958; twenty-five million plastic hoops were sold in less than four months, and in two years, sales reached more than 100 million units.

Hula Hooping –  New Exercise Trend

Veteran hula-hoopers have long stood by its aerobic virtues. “A lot of people are interested in hooping for its health benefits, which might get them hooked, but it’s also such a fun way to do cardio,” said Bex Burton, a hula hoop instructor who founded Sense of Motion, a Brooklyn-based company that teaches hula-hooping, Pilates and yoga.

If you try a weighted hula hoop, use a hula hoop that’s the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and midchest when it’s resting vertically on the ground.

The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, which means you may be able to do it for a longer period of time. You can experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer.

How to Hula Hoop Basic:


How to Hula Hoop Advanced:



Super Ball became Super Bowl

Norman Stingley, a chemist, did experiments in the 60s with a synthetic called Zectron. He compressed the material to 3,500 pounds of pressure per square inch. He ended up with a power ball that could bounce over buildings.

Only Norman’s employer, the Bettis Rubber Company, didn’t want any part of his new toy. Big mistake. Wham-O took it on and sold 7 million Super Balls in 1965.

In January 1967 the first Championship Game between the NFL and AFL took place and needed a name. As K.C. Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt watched his kids play with the new ball, Super Ball became Super Bowl.

Water Wiggle – Watch Out!

Water Wiggle… best toy in the world… until it hit you in the FACE!

In1 962 Wham-O unleashed the innocuous-sounding Water Wiggle on an unsuspecting populace. If you happened to have particularly powerful water pressure in your neighborhood, the Water Wiggle turned into a Tasmanian Devil of sorts, lashing out in all directions, bobbing and weaving like a prize-fighter. Your young reflexes were no match for the Water Wiggle, which could strike without warning and deliver a blow to the face, and other bodily areas as well. And that plastic head was heavy — but bloody noses and chipped teeth were a small price to pay for some cool fun in the summer time.



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Winner, Mar.13: Judge Judy, followed by Tall Paul, and Eric

Judge Judy and Tall Paul, returned from their Florida furlough having spent the entire time buried in their Funk and Wagnalls, were now ready to take on all comers. The rest of us had spent our time digging out of snowdrifts. We didn’t stand a chance.

Winner, Mar. 06: Pluto , followed by Rosebud, TomTwin, and Almond Joy

Pluto and Rosebud tied in regulation. The deciding play off question: “Which was the largest ethnic group passing through Ellis Island from 1890 to 1915?” Pluto knew it was the Italians, because that’s when his people came over. Talking to himself he wondered in a soft voice if it had anything to do with potatoes. Rosebud fell for it and answered: the Irish. Almond Joy was impressed and said: “I haven’t seen that old “potato” fake used in a long time.”

Good Question!: How many lines should a limerick have?

Choices: a. 3   b. 5   c. 7   d. 9

“There once was a man from Nantucket

Who kept all his cash in a bucket.

But his daughter, named Nan,

Ran away with a man,

And as for the bucket, Nantucket.”

Answer: 5

Limerick poetry has never been given a deserving place among the cultivated forms of poetry. The subject matter of major Limerick poetry is of humorous nature and the length of limerick poems is short and sweet (just five lines!!) that is why it is loved to be read by people all around the world.

Here are a few more famous limericks:

(a sequel to Nantucket)

But he followed the pair to Pawtucket,
The man and the girl with the bucket;
And he said to the man,
He was welcome to Nan,
But as for the bucket, Pawtucket.


There was a young gal name of Sally
Who loved an occasional dally.
She sat on the lap
Of a well-endowed chap
Crying, “Gee, Dick, you’re right up my alley!”


There once was a mockingbird, Clyde,
who bragged of his prowess, but lied.
To his new wife he sighed,
“When again, gentle bride?”
“Nevermore!” bright-eyed Raven replied.



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