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Archive for July, 2019

 

Winner: Pluto, then Christine, Tim, Rosebud, and John.

A close game until Pluto got lucky at the very end. He guessed the last two questions correctly, to finish just ahead of a pack of four players.

Tonight we learned that it was Isaac Newton who built the first reflecting telescope and that manzana is Spanish for apple. Who knew?

This was our last game before our summer recess. No games on August 6 and 13th as the village celebrates Family Night on Main Street.

Lot’s of fun activities planned and of course, Main Street Café will be serving its fine food and drink.

Good Question!: Used during World War I, what is a Sopwith Camel?

Choices: a. tank   b. plane   c. machine gun  d. ambulance

 

Answer: plane

Anyone who is a fan of Snoopy as the Flying Ace got this question right away. Throughout the decades, Snoopy comically embraced his fighter pilot role for delighted Peanuts readers. As Snoopy envisioned himself soaring through the clouds in pursuit of his nemesis, the infamous Red Baron, he sat atop his doghouse, which he imagined to be a real British biplane known as a Sopwith Camel.

But why a Sopwith Camel? Peanuts creator Charles Schulz once said, “Can you think of a funnier name for an airplane?”

Sopwith Camel in WWI

The air war of World War I continues to fascinate as this amazing new technology proved far more useful than most military and political leaders anticipated. Initially used only for reconnaissance, before long planes were armed with machine guns. Once Anthony Fokker developed a method to synchronize a machine gun’s fire with the rotation of the propeller, the airplane became a true weapon.

Early aircraft were flimsy, kite-like designs of lightweight wood, fabric and wires. The 80–120 horsepower engines used in 1914 produced top speeds of 100 mph or less; four years later speed had nearly doubled. Protection for pilots remained elusive, but most pilots disdained carrying parachutes regardless.

The Sopwith Camel was a British single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and became one of the best known fighter aircraft of the war.

The Camel was powered by a single rotary engine and was armed with twin synchronized machine guns. Though proving difficult to handle, it provided for a high level of manoeuvrability to an experienced pilot, an attribute which was highly valued in the type’s principal use as a fighter aircraft. In total, Camel pilots have been credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the conflict.

To relive Snoopy’s “dogfight” exploits, follow the Royal Guardsman music video:

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Winner: Pluto, then Johnny and Rosebud

Pluto was surprised to learn that he won this evening. He told Judge Judy he had not played very well. She said:”You didn’t play very well, but we played worse.”

Tonight we learned that Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of “American Idol,” and that Sylvester Stallone has directed four “Rocky” films. Who knew.

Good Question!: In 1991, who made 101 curtain calls and set a world record of one hour 20 minutes for applause for his role in Verdi’s “Otello”?

Choices: a. Placido Domingo  b. Andrea Bocelli   c. Pavarotti   d. Avery Brooks

Answer: Placido Domingo

OK, turns out Placido set the record for longest applause. But he didn’t set the record for most curtain calls. That goes to Pavarotti with 165 curtain calls for his performance in the Donizetti opera L’elisir d’amore at the Deutsche Opera Berlin.

How did these two performances sound? Which do you like better?

First, Placido as Otello:

Second, Pavarotti in L’elisir d’amore

Who gets your applause?

 

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Winner: Tom Twin, then the Driver, Evelyn, Jenn, Shayna

Tom Twin joined us after an absence of a few weeks and and narrowly beat a pack of four, who were only one correct answer behind.

Just goes to show you, if you take some time off, sequester yourself and study, you too could be a winner.

Tonight we celebrated Judy and Celia’s birthdays with two birthday cakes, that’s right two birthday cakes.

(Photo to follow)

Tonight we learned that the first US president born in a hospital was Jimmy Carter (1924), so where did those other guys come from?

Good Question!: According to Greek mythology who was the first woman?

Choices: a. Hera   b. Eve  c. Pandora   d. Athena

Answer: Pandora

Some guys thought the answer should’ve been Wonder Woman.

If we’re going to talk about Pandora, I think we need to talk about Pandora’s box.

The myth of Pandora’s box

The myth of Pandora’s box is considered one of the most descriptive myths of human behavior in Greek mythology. Ancient Greeks used this myth not only to instruct themselves about the weaknesses of humans, but also to explain several misfortunes of the human race.

Pandora, the first woman on Earth

Pandora was, according to the myth, the first woman on Earth. She was created by Gods; each one of them gave her a gift, thus, her name in Greek means “the one who bears all gifts”.

Pandora was created as a punishment to the mankind; Zeus wanted to punish people because Prometheus stole the fire to give it to them. Her gifts were beautifully evil, according to Hesiod. Hephaestus created her from clay, shaping her perfectly, Aphrodite gave her femininity and Athena taught her crafts. Hermes was ordered by Zeus to teach her to be deceitful, stubborn and curious.

Pandora’s box

Pandora's box
Pandora’s box

Pandora was given a box or a jar, called “pithos” in Greek. Gods told her that the box contained special gifts from them but she was not allowed to open the box ever. Then Hermes took her to Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus, to be his wife. Prometheus had advised Epimetheus not to accept anything from the Gods, but he saw Pandora and was astonished by her beauty, thus he accepted her right away.

Pandora, who was created to be curious, couldn’t stay away from the box and the urge to open the box overcame her. Horrible things flew out of the box including greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war, and death. All of life’s miseries had been let out into the world. Pandora slammed the lid of the box back down. The last thing remaining inside of the box was hope. Ever since, humans have been able to hold onto this hope in order to survive the wickedness that Pandora had let out.

“Pandora’s box” now means anything that is best left untouched, for fear of what might come out of it.

Enough with Pandora, let’s get back to Wonder Woman.

How about a clip from her movie:

XX

 

 

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Winner: Droppin’ Dave, then Callie, Erin, Jenn, and Nicole

Droppin’ who’s been sailing around in circles for weeks, finally figured out how to dock his boat and joined us for the game tonight. He won, so it was like old times.

27 players meant a full house, and we all learned a few things – watermelons are vegetables, and the evil queen in Snow White had a name – Queen Grimhilde.

We also learned that Chantenay is not a variety of melon, but rather a small, stout carrot.

Most importantly, we learned that in betting a “pony” or “macaroni” means 25to1 odds. Why?

A very British thing. Tic-Tac is the unusual betting slang where racing bookmakers used sign language to secretly communicate the odds.

25/1 odds – is sometimes called pony, or sometimes macaroni, and is signaled by punching the fists together twice then touching the right shoulder with the right hand.

This derives from the pony on an Indian 25 Rupee banknote and was used by British soldiers serving in India. Also called Macaroni, which is cockney rhyming slang for Pony.

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In honor of tonight’s winner, Droppin’ Dave, I thought we would listen to Richard Burton recite “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

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Winner (07/02/19): Shannon, then Tall Paul and Karen.

A close game ended in a playoff between Tall Paul and Shannon. First playoff question: “How many pints of blood in the human body?” Both answered incorrectly. but Shannon was especially disappointed. She said: “I am studying to be a nurse, how could I miss that question!” Moderator Mike said: “Well, you’re not going to be my nurse.” Next question was about the periodic table. Shannon answered correctly and became a first time winner.

Winner: (06/25/19): Pluto, then Tall Paul, Erin, Jacqui, and Matt.

Darin had a special Mets bottle of wine that she had been waiting many weeks to award to big Mets fan Pluto, but like the Mets he never won. Finally, tonight he won and received his Mets bottle of wine. Someone said he better drink it quickly because by the sixth inning, when the bullpen comes in, it will probably go sour.

 

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