Archive for July, 2018

Winner: Rosebud, with the Driver, and SchaeferMan far behind and Mistress Daphne looking for some screen time.

This one was over before it started. Nobody was close to Rosebud tonight. The Driver, who lived in the Netherlands for a while, missed the question “what is the capital of the Netherlands.” He swears they must’ve moved the capital since he was there. More likely he just spent too much time in the coffee shops smoking cannabis.

Good Question!: What stopped in London at 3:45 on August 5, 1975?  (actually 1976)

Choices: a. all traffic   b. changing of the guard   c. Big Ben   d. Parliament


Answer: Big Ben, of course

The clock in the clock tower of the houses of Parliament is one of the most recognizable of London’s landmarks. The clock and the clocktower are commonly and inaccurately referred to as Big Ben. Big Ben is actually just the name of the clock’s largest bell and not the clock itself, nor the tower.

When the clock was first built over 150 years ago it was designed to be one of the most accurate clocks in the world – accurate to one second on the first strike of the hour.

Most everyone got this right, except for Pluto, who missed all the easy questions tonight. Most wondered why it stopped at that moment. Was it commemorating some event?

5 August 1976: Big Ben breaks down for the first time in 117 years

“The Great Westminster Clock, AKA Big Ben, has been one of London’s most famous sights for over 100 years. Its familiar chimes ring out on the quarter hour, and every hour it strikes with extraordinary accuracy.

The secret to its great accuracy is its “double three-legged gravity escapement”, which isolates the pendulum from external influences, such as the effect of wind on its heavy hands – each minute hand weighs 100kg, and each hour hand weighs 300kg. At five tonnes, the clock was – and remains – one of the largest mechanical clocks in the world.

It was completed in 1854, at a cost of £2,500. However, the tower to house it wasn’t ready for another five years. So it wasn’t until 31 May 1859, that the clock finally began ticking.

After that, all went well for over a century, until around 3:45AM on this day in 1976. A policeman on duty in the Palace of Westminster heard a “thud”. He called the engineers, who raced up to the clockroom. When they got there, they were met with a scene of complete devastation. There was metal everywhere – on the floor, embedded in the walls and punching holes in the ceiling. It looked like the clock was ruined.

Fatigue in the century-old metal had caused a sudden fracture in the chiming mechanism, which sent the flywheel and huge chunks of metal spinning around the clockroom, smashing the clock to pieces. Big Ben was silenced.

Local clockmakers Thwaites & Reed – who had tendered unsuccessfully to build the original clock – were called in to repair it. And after nine months of work, the clock was restarted on 9 May 1977.” (moneyweek.com)

BTW, don’t plan on visiting Big Ben right now. Big Ben has fallen silent for major repair work expected to last until 2021.

For the top 5 movie scenes featuring the gargantuan timepiece, try this article.

The trailer for one of these movies looks pretty good:



Read Full Post »

Winner: Pluto, followed by SchaeferMan, the Driver, and Frank

No women on the podium this evening. Looks like the men finally woke up. The Driver, in his first game back since his frightful bicycle crash, showed signs of post concussion syndrome, but somehow still managed to finish tied for second.

Tonight we learned that before there was a North Vietnam and a South Vietnam, it was just one country, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and its president was Ho Chi Minh. Many of us old timers remembered Uncle Ho only as the leader of North Vietnam.

Good Question!: In 1960, which country became the first in the world to have a female prime minister?

Choices: a. England   b. Jamaica   c. Sri Lanka   d. India

Answer: Sri Lanka

This fooled most folks and may have been the key question, the one that determined the winner. Most people thought the first female leader was Indira Gandhi from India. Close, but no kewpie doll.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike, became the world’s first woman prime minister when she was elected head of Sri Lanka’s government in July 1960. Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India in 1966, and who can forget Golda Meir who became prime minister of Israel in 1969.



My fave female leader was Eva Peron (or at least the version played by Northport native Patti LuPone):


Read Full Post »

Winner: Judge Judy, followed by Erica, Tall Paul, and BugMan

Judge Judy just sailed through for the win. She led from beginning to end, no playoff needed. As usual, Tall Paul followed behind – not sure if he’s ever finished ahead of Judy. BugMan returned and this time he finished on the podium, a much better showing than last time.

Tonight we celebrated Rosebud’s milestone birthday with a delicious chocolate cake from Copenhagen and she enjoyed herself with old and new friends.


Good Question!: Which prominent historical US person is on the $100 bill?

Choices: a. Grant   b. Hamilton   c. Franklin  d. Jefferson

US dollar banknotes

Answer: Franklin

This was a tough question, not too many folks are familiar with $100 bills. I’m not even sure who’s on a $5 bill. But we’ve had these questions about portraits on paper currency before, so let’s straighten this whole issue out.

What portraits are found on United States paper currency that is in circulation today?

United States currency notes now in production bear the following portraits:
George Washington on the $1 bill,
Thomas Jefferson on the $2 bill,
Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill,
Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill,
Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill,
Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill,
and Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill.

Whose portraits were included on currency notes that are no longer produced?

There are also several denominations of currency notes that are no longer produced. These include
the $500 bill with the portrait of William McKinley,
the $1,000 bill with a portrait of Grover Cleveland,
the $5,000 bill with a portrait of James Madison,
the $10,000 bill with a portrait of Salmon P. Chase,
and the $100,000 currency note bearing a portrait of Woodrow Wilson.

You’re probably wondering – who the heck is Salmon P. Chase?

Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) was a U.S. senator, governor of Ohio and Supreme Court chief justice who served as the U.S. secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War (1861-65). A staunch abolitionist, Chase spent his early career as a lawyer and became known as “the attorney general for fugitive slaves” for his frequent defenses of runaway blacks. After representing Ohio in the U.S. Senate from 1849 to 1855, Chase went on to serve as the state’s governor from 1855 to 1859. He made a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860 before serving as Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of the Treasury. Chase was responsible for managing the finances of the Union during the Civil War and was instrumental in establishing the national banking system and issuing paper currency.

Top 10 Bank Robbery Movies




Read Full Post »

Winner: Pluto, followed closely by Jacqui, then NOLA Girl, Judge Judy, and Barbara

Last week 28 players and the top 4 finishers were female. This week four of the top five finishers are female. What’s going on here?

Pluto felt the weight of all mankind, a strong responsibility to put a male on the winners platform. He tied Jacqui in regulation, then beat her in the playoff, when only he knew that Pelota was a Spanish sport (Jai-Alai in the U.S.)

Good Question!: Who said: “There’s a sucker born every minute?”

Choices: a. Harry Houdini   b. P.T. Barnum  c. Donald Trump   d. J.P. Morgan


Answer: P.T. Barnum

Many people thought this was an easy question and answered Trump. The conventional wisdom says it was PT Barnum, but that may not be right either.

There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase closely associated with P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century, although there is no evidence he in fact said it. Early examples of its use are found instead among gamblers and confidence men.

One source credits late 1860s Chicago “bounty broker, saloon and gambling-house keeper, and eminent politician” Michael Cassius McDonald as the originator of the aphorism. When McDonald was equipping his gambling house known as The Store, his partner expressed concern over the large number of roulette wheels and faro tables being installed and their ability to get enough players to play the games. McDonald then allegedly said, “Don’t worry about that, there’s a sucker born every minute.”

Closely related is W.C. Fields in “Never Give A Sucker An Even Break”:



Read Full Post »

Winners: Emily & Molly, followed oh so closely by Jenn & Donna

‘Twas the hot night before the big holiday and the place was loud and packed. 28 players and we ran out of answer cards. The solution – form two person teams. From all those players and all those teams it was two teams of females who finished tied for first in regulation. A short play off and Emily and Molly were determined to be the winners. First time winners – Well Done!

The team of Droppin’ and Pluto looked like it should be a dream team. After Pluto butchered a few questions, Droppin’ said: “Playing with this guy is a dream all right, a nightmare.”

 Good Question!: What famous chef joined the OSS during WWII hoping to become an American spy?

Choices: a. Graham Kerr   b. Philip Harben   c. Julia Child   d. James Beard

Answer: Julia Child (in keeping with tonight’s theme – another female)

“We knew her as a popular TV personality and a master of the culinary arts. But Julia Child was also a spy — sort of.

Maybe she wasn’t a master spy, but she worked during World War II for the Office of Strategic Services, the huge spy network created by President Franklin Roosevelt. The OSS was the forerunner of today’s CIA.

In addition to Child, who died in 2004 at the age of 91, former OSS operatives included future Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., baseball star Moe Berg and actor Sterling Hayden.

After Pearl Harbor, Julia McWilliams (her birth name) tried to join the Navy. But she was turned down because, at 6 feet, 2 inches, she was considered too tall. The Office of Strategic Services did not care how tall she was.

She began as a typist but her boss wrote, “Because of Miss McWilliams’s education and her previous experience outside the government, we feel she is better qualified to fill a more responsible position.”

She became a top secret researcher for the director of the OSS, the legendary William “Wild Bill” Donovan. And, later, she worked to reduce the threat of U-boats, the deadly Nazi submarines. After the war, she received an award for her service, which cited her many virtues, including her “drive and inherent cheerfulness.”

That sounds just like the Julia Child we saw years later on TV.” (abcnews.go.com)

How to Drink, According to Julia Child

On Cooking With Wine:

“I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes, I even put it in the food.”

“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded, and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit.”

On Eating With Wine:

“A house without a cat is like a day without sunshine, a pie without fromage, a dinner without wine.”

“Wine is meant to be with food—that’s the point of it.”

On Wine as a Lifeline:

“Wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life.”

“As you get older, you shouldn’t waste time drinking bad wine.”

“I’d never really drunk good wine before, and knew nothing at all about it. It was simply a whole new life experience.”

“Just like becoming an expert in wine—you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford—you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious.”

For the Julia Child we all remember try these : 5 Best Julia Child Parody Videos



Read Full Post »