Archive for August, 2018

Winner: Pluto, followed by Almond Joy, NOLA Girl, Rosebud and Tall Paul

A small turnout tonight and almost half the players ended up on the podium. Even so, no Judge Judy and Carol St. Martin. Come on ladies, you have to step up your game.

Tonight we learned that the fastest snake on land, whose untreated bite is almost 100% fatal, is the black mamba. Be careful out there.

The Smithsonian has a nice video of the Black Mamba, so you will know what to look out for:


Good Question!: What country’s current capital city is an anagram of its former capital city?

Choices: a. Japan  b. Iran  c. Egypt  d. Mongolia

Answer: Japan

Current capital, Tokyo and former capital, Kyoto.

Kyoto is Japan’s third largest city and also one its oldest. It was originally founded as Heian in 794, and had its golden age during the court’s heyday from 794 to 1185. Home to many cultural landmarks and historical sites, Kyoto is thought of as the heart of Japan. The city still bears the name Kyoto, or “Capital City,” even though the emperor and the National Diet are located in Tokyo. For most of Japan’s history, Heian was the center not only of government but of learning and the arts.

It’s famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district.

If you want to learn a bit more about Kyoto, try this video from PeachPress:


If you are thinking of visiting Kyoto, a fascinating city, try to go in October so that you can experience the Kurama Fire Festival:



Read Full Post »

Winner: Snowy, followed by Rosebud, Eric, and the Driver.

It’s always fun when a first timer like Snowy joins us and shows us she’s got game. Now let’s see if she can do it again.

A nice turnout for the game tonight included an old timer, Tulio visiting from Florida. He used to play with us way back, maybe 15 years ago, and was always a contender.

Good Question!: Who is credited with suggesting the word “hello” be used when answering the telephone?

Choices: a.Alexander Graham Bell  b.Mabel Hubbard Bell  c.Ben Franklin  d.Thomas Edison


Answer: Thomas Edison (although that’s Alex Bell in the photo)

Ahoy there. This guy Edison had his hands in everything, it seems.

“What do you say when you pick up the phone?
You say “hello,” of course.

What do you say when someone introduces a friend, a relative, anybody at all? You say “hello.”

Hello has to have been the standard English language greeting since English people began greeting, no?

Well, here’s a surprise from Ammon Shea, author of The First Telephone Book: Hello is a new word.

The Oxford English Dictionary says the first published use of “hello” goes back only to 1827. And it wasn’t mainly a greeting back then. Ammon says people in the 1830’s said hello to attract attention (“Hello, what do you think you’re doing?”), or to express surprise (“Hello, what have we here?”). Hello didn’t become “hi” until the telephone arrived.

The dictionary says it was Thomas Edison who put hello into common usage. He urged the people who used his phone to say “hello” when answering. His rival, Alexander Graham Bell, thought the better word was “ahoy.”


“Ahoy,” it turns out, had been around longer — at least 100 years longer — than hello. It too was a greeting, albeit a nautical one, derived from the Dutch “hoi,” meaning “hello.” Bell felt so strongly about “ahoy” he used it for the rest of his life.

Why did hello succeed? Aamon points to the telephone book. The first phone books included authoritative How To sections on their first pages and “hello” was frequently the officially sanctioned greeting.” (NPR – Robert Krulwich on Science)

Of course, the first intelligible words spoken over the telephone were: “Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you.”

Model of Telephone Invented by Alexander Graham Bell

This photograph shows a model of the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone revolutionized long-distance communication by allowing two people to speak directly to each other using their own voices instead of through code as with a telegraph.

Read Full Post »

Winner: Pluto, followed by the Driver, Judge Judy, and TomTwin

Pluto was cruising along, looking like he was headed for a clean sheet, but he didn’t know how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon. Why it’s 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, of course. We all miss our hostess Darin, who is out with a broken back. We hope she’s off the DL soon.

Tonight we learned that the first commercially manufactured breakfast cereal was shredded wheat (in 1893). For ancient Romans breakfast was usually composed of everyday staples like bread, cheese, olives, salad, nuts, raisins, and cold meat left over from the night before. They also drank wine-based drinks such as mulsum, a mixture of wine, honey, and aromatic spices. Now that’s breakfast.

Good Question!: What is the deepest lake in the United States?

Choices: a.Superior  b.Ontario  c.Crater  d.Tahoe

Answer: Crater

That is one beautiful lake. Definitely on my bucket list.

Crater Lake is a caldera lake in south-central Oregon. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot deep caldera that was formed around 7,700 years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.

There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. With a depth of 1,949 feet the lake is the deepest in the United States. While having no indigenous fish population, the lake was stocked from 1888 to 1941 with a variety of fish. Since then, several species have formed self-sustaining populations.

In the world, Crater Lake ranks ninth for maximum depth, far behind Lake Baikal, a rift lake in Russia, located in southern Siberia.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world’s fresh surface water. With 5,670 cu mi of fresh water, it contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined. Which means the Great Lakes are not so great, I guess. But I’m sure we’ll make them great again.

With a maximum depth of 5,387 ft. Baikal is the world’s deepest lake.

For those of you who don’t have the time to drive out to see Crater Lake in person, this is a wonderful video tour of Crater Lake National Park:



Read Full Post »