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Two Prancing Horses

Winner: Cheryl, followed by Jake, and Rosebud

Cheryl, a first-time player, was very quiet back in the bleacher seats. She may have been quiet, but she answered more questions right then anyone else. SchaeferMan, who was going for a triple crown, felt the pressure and finished back in the pack. Maybe a bad sign for Justify.

Tonight we learned that until coffee gained popularity, beer was the breakfast beverage of choice in some parts of the US. When you used to walk in to Gunther’s at noon you knew that continued right here.

Good Question!: Which car company’s logo features a black prancing horse on a yellow background?

Choices: a. Ferrari   b. Bugatti  c. Lamborghini   d. Mustang

Answer: Ferrari

OK, this wasn’t the toughest question tonight but I was interested in why Enzo decided to put the prancing horse on his cars.

Ferrari’s symbol can be traced to the Italian fighter ace Francesco Baracca who painted the horse onto the fuselage of his plane. He recorded 34 kills and was killed in 1918, becoming a national hero. In 1923, a car loving Italian from Modena called Enzo Ferrari met the mother and father of Baracca. Baracca’s mother told Ferrari to paint the prancing horse on his cars as it would give him good luck. Ferrari did so and added the splash of yellow, the color of his birthplace, Modena.

There are several theories as to how Baracca came to use the horse on his plane, one very interesting theory is that it came from a shot down German plane onto which the German Pilot copied the coat of arms of Stuttgart, hence the similarity to the logo of Stuttgart based company Porsche.

 

Had never made that connection before – two iconic, high-performance auto companies both using the same prancing horse.

Maybe Danica should’ve been driving a Ferrari in Sunday’s Indy 500.

 

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The Immortal One

Winner: SchaeferMan

An epic battle between two of next gen’s finest. Tied in regulation, their playoff went 12 rounds before SchaeferMan defended his title and took out TJ.

Yeah, that’s the same TJ we have been trying to ship out of town for the last month. He assures us that this was his swan song. He’s headed to Vegas to start his career and look for a high stakes trivia game.

The final question that decided the game? What animal is on the bottle of Gordon Gin? It’s a boar. Every label and bottle top of Gordon Gin bears a depiction of a wild boar. According to legend a member of Clan Gordon saved the King of Scotland from the animal while hunting.

Good Question! : Which creature is actually immortal?

Choices: a. clam   b. sea urchin   c. koi   d. jellyfish

Answer: jellyfish

Immortal Jellyfish

“The good news is that you can be immortal. The bad news is that you have to become a floating blob of jelly to do so. Scientists have discovered a jellyfish which can live forever.

Turritopsis dohrnii, a jellyfish found in the Mediterranean, is now officially known as the only immortal creature. The secret to eternal life, as it turns out, is not just living a really, really long time. It’s all about maturity, or rather, the lack of it. The immortal jellyfish (as it is better known popularly) propagate and then, faced with the normal career path of dying, they opt instead to revert to a sexually immature stage.

Their tentacles retract, their bodies shrink, and they sink to the ocean floor and start the cycle all over again. Among laboratory samples, all the adult Turritopsis observed regularly undergo this change. And not just once: they can do it over and over again.

Thus, the only known way they can die is if they get consumed by another fish or if a disease strikes the jellyfish.”

“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

For some reason, all this talk of jellyfish makes me think of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” Who can forget James Mason as Captain Nemo.

 

 

                                                      OR

Winner: SchaeferMan, followed by Droppin’, Judge Judy, and Brian

SchaeferMan was very happy to win, but even happier to finally beat his pal Gina. On a night with lots of tough questions Dave really crushed it. Who knew that the giraffe is the land mammal with the longest tail, or that there are 118 elements in the periodic table?

Good Question!: Who has the highest number of subscribers on YouTube?

Choices: a. Ed Sheeran   b. PSY   c. PewDiePie   d. Justin Bieber

Answer: PewDiePie

Most of us dinosaurs answered Justin Bieber because we’re just not hip, I guess. Turns out it’s some character who calls himself PewDiePie.

Felix Kjellberg, the 28-year-old Swedish YouTube sensation is better known as PewDiePie. Kjellberg plays video games for a living. His YouTube channel’s over 62 million subscribers — larger than the population of Canada — assemble to watch his over-the-top reactions to onscreen characters pummeling zombies, botching surgeries, ensnaring dinosaurs or just running around distant worlds in search of a booty to smack. Recently his channel became the first ever to surpass 10 billion views. According to Forbes, he made $12 million in 2016. By most accounts, he is the biggest star on the Internet. Who Knew?

There’s more to Kjellberg’s appeal than gaming skills. He scripts, produces and stars in all of his own content. He reads and responds to comments and tweets, and uses an online chat program called Omegle to talk to fans one-on-one. In his “Fridays with PewDiePie” videos, he does whatever fans ask him to do, which is mostly play games they suggest. He is unabashedly goofy onscreen— and often funny — but in a way that seems personal rather than performative. He calls his army of fans his “Bros;” their official sign is the “Brofist;” and both genders are equally represented within its ranks.

An interesting recent critique of this YouTube star can be found in The Guardian: “What’s up PewdiePie? The troubling content of YouTube’s biggest star”

Let’s watch a couple of his videos to better understand (or not) the PewDiePie phenomenon:
(Actually, watching only one, or even just part of one is plenty)

mm

 

Goldfinger

Winner: TJ, followed by Tall Paul and TomTwin

Two weeks ago TJ won and told us he was headed to Las Vegas to start a new career. We wished him well. Tonight he showed back up and wins again. So we chipped in to buy him a one-way ticket to Las Vegas and told him to stay there this time. Let someone else win.

Tonight we learned that Columbus, who had only three ships on his first voyage to America, was in charge of 17 ships on his second expedition. Who knew?

Good Question!: Where is the world’s largest gold depository?

Choices: a. Denver   b. Manhattan   c. Fort Knox   d. West Point

Answer: Manhattan

Too many of us remembered James Bond’s “Goldfinger” and so we answered Fort Knox.

You remember Goldfinger, don’t you:

The New York Fed’s gold vault is on the basement floor of its main office building in Manhattan. Built during the construction of the building in the early 1920s, the vault provides account holders with a secure location to store their monetary gold reserves.

Much of the gold in the vault arrived during and after World War II as many countries wanted to store their gold reserves in a safe location. At its peak, the vault contained over 12,000 tons of monetary gold. Since that time, gold deposit and withdrawal activity has slowed and the vault has experienced a gradual but steady decline in overall holdings. However, the vault today remains the world’s largest known depository of monetary gold.

As of 2015, the vault housed approximately 508,000 gold bars, with a combined weight of approximately 6,350 tons. The vault is able to support this weight because it rests on the bedrock of Manhattan Island, 80 feet below street level and 50 feet below sea level.

Safekeeping

Once inside the vault the bars become the responsibility of a control group consisting of three representatives: two members of the New York Fed gold vault staff and one member from the New York Fed internal audit staff. These three individuals must be present whenever gold is moved or a compartment is opened in the vault—even to change a light bulb. This helps ensure proper safekeeping and maximum security for the gold.

All bars brought into the vault for deposit are carefully weighed, and the refiner and fineness (purity) markings on the bars are inspected to ensure they agree with the depositor instructions and recorded in the New York Fed’s records. This step is vital because the New York Fed returns the exact bars deposited by the account holder upon withdrawal—gold deposits are not considered fungible.

Following the verification process, the gold is moved to one of the vault’s 122 compartments, where each compartment contains gold held by a single account holder (meaning that gold is not commingled between account holders). Each compartment is secured by a padlock, two combination locks and an auditor’s seal. Compartments are numbered rather than named to maintain confidentiality of the account holders.

BTW, every year tens of thousands of visitors from around the world visit the gold vault as part of a free, public tour of the New York Fed.

If you interested in getting your hands on some gold bullion better read this:

The 5 Greatest Gold Heists in History (kind of long)

OR

The 15 Greatest Gold Heists of All Time (Infographic, much easier to get through)

Winner: TomTwin, followed by Pluto and Rosebud

It was almost too close to call. First a 3 way tie in regulation, then many rounds of playoffs. Finally the game was decided on a bogus question – “What is the only common non-domesticated animal not mentioned in the Bible?” Tom answered “rat” and was judged the winner. Pluto’s strenuous objection was dismissed.

Here’s what the authority says: “You’ll find lions, leopards, and bears (no tigers), along with nearly 100 other animals, insects, and creatures in the pages of the Bible.” Which means of course, that there must be hundreds of non domesticated animals NOT listed in the Bible. So that makes Pluto’s objection valid, and Tom just a “dirty rat.”

Good Question!: What is the only U.S. state without a rectangular flag?

Choices: a. Arkansas   b. Ohio   c. Michigan   d. Tennessee

Answer: Ohio

Who knew? What’s up with those buckeyes?

The Ohio Burgee is the official flag of the U.S. state of Ohio. Ohio’s swallowtail flag is the only non-rectangular U.S. state flag. Its red, white, and blue elements symbolize the state’s natural features and order of admission into the Union. A prominent disc in the flag’s triangular canton is suggestive of the state’s name.

Ohio’s flag is a rare example of a non-quadrilateral civil flag, another well-known example being the flag of Nepal. According to vexillologist Whitney Smith, it may be loosely based upon cavalry flags of the Civil War and Spanish–American War. The flag has been officially defined as a “burgee” since 2002, even though burgees are typically pennants used as maritime flags or for recreational boating organizations. Its shape, lack of text, and mirror symmetry allow it to be flown or hung in various orientations without affecting legibility.

What is a buckeye?

Buckeyes. A small, shiny, dark brown nut with a light tan patch that comes from the official state tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree. According to folklore, the Buckeye resembles the eye of a deer and carrying one brings good luck.

Editors note: in April we celebrated the ninth anniversary of the Tuesday Night Bar Exam blog with over 300 posts. You keep reading, we’ll keep writing.

 

                  OR

Winner: TJ, followed by Carol St. Martin, Rosebud and Tall Paul.
with well behaved photo bomber Chris and not well behaved photo bomber Mike.

TJ is headed to Las Vegas to begin his career as an environmental engineer, so it was only fitting that he would win his last game. Chris rejoined us because he heard there would be some maggot questions, and there is no one who knows more about maggots than Chris.

Good question!: In 1993 San Francisco held a referendum over whether a police officer, Bob Geary, was allowed to patrol while doing what?

Choices: a. yodeling   b. reciting bible verses   c. dancing   d. carrying a dummy

 

Answer: Carrying a dummy

 

Vote for Officer Brendan O’Smarty

Yes, San Francisco voters in November,1993 got the chance to vote for a dummy.

A real dummy, of the wooden, Pinocchio variety. Only this one is dressed like a San Francisco cop, wears a star and goes by the name Officer Brendan O’Smarty. The dummy’s “partner” is Officer Bob Geary, a 24-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department who wanted to do some arm-twisting of his superiors via the ballot box.

Geary, a self-taught ventriloquist, started working with the 38-inch tall puppet about two years before when he started walking the North Beach beat in the department’s community patrol program. The hand-carved dummy cost $1,750 because Officer Geary wouldn’t hear of the $700 molded particleboard version. He spent $125 more for three audiocassettes called “Welcome to the World of Ventriloquy” and practiced talking without moving his lips in front of the bathroom mirror.

“Brendan is a weapon, a soft weapon,” who has helped break up fights and done wonders for community relations, said Geary, 53. Geary once walked into the middle of a bar fight with Officer O’Smarty, who began “telling” the combatants to knock it off. Geary then had the men put their hands on O’Smarty’s badge and swear they wouldn’t fight anymore. They complied, and the fight ended in laughter.

But Geary’s commanders still did not like the idea of a dummy on duty and ordered O’Smarty out. In stepped the Board of Supervisors, which threw its support behind the dummy last October, and spurred new thinking by department brass: Geary and O’Smarty could partner up – as long as advance permission was granted. But that didn’t set well with Geary, who wanted to be the one to decide when and when not to bring O’Smarty to life.

How ridiculous, Officer Geary said, that a cop is trusted to decide when to use his gun but not his dummy! So he spent $10,000 of his own money to gather the 9,964 signatures necessary under California law to qualify his initiative for the ballot – to create city policy that would allow Geary “to exercise his professional judgment as to when he will team up with his `partner,’ puppet Brendan O’Smarty, during the course of his police duties . . .”

And the votes are in

On Nov. 2, the dummy won 51 percent of the vote. Police Chief Anthony Ribera, on television a day after the election, sounded a conciliatory note: “The voters have spoken. … ‘Let’s loosen up a bit.’ ”

The mayor’s press secretary, Noah Griffin, says the dynamic duo could get a beat change. “We’re not trying to be the Grinch that stole Christmas. But this is a paramilitary organization. This is a dangerous precedent. The next person will want to come to work on roller skates or cross-dress so they can relate better to the gay community.”

When he bought the puppet and learned how to use it two years ago, Geary insists, all he wanted was to do his job better. The puppet, he says, makes him more human. Dirty Harry Callahan, though, would never understand this 24-year veteran, New Age cop.

Speaking of Dirty Harry:

Winner: Matt, followed by TomTwin and son TJ.

Last week Peter on the podium, this week Matt and TJ. The NextGen is making an impact. Let’s see if Matt can come back next week and defend his trophy.

Spiderman villains, the tagline in the 2014 film “Whiplash”, and the director of “Black Panther,” were all questions that required you to be on top of your pop culture tonight. For some players (we’re looking at you Carol St. Martin and 10 O’clock Bill) that means they should’ve stayed home or “shoulda stood in bed.”

Mistress Daphne and the Driver returned from their slow boat to China with some local liquor for us to sample. It was nice enough and served from a museum quality ceramic container. It was certainly much nicer then that kerosene liquor with the scorpion in it that they brought back from Vietnam a few years ago.

Good Question!: The penny-farthing was a popular type of what?

Choices: a. ancient coin   b. measure of beer   c. bicycle   d. sailboat

Answer: Bicycle

The penny-farthing, also known as a high wheel, high wheeler and ordinary, was the first machine to be called a “bicycle” It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds (large distance for every rotation of the legs) and comfort (shock absorption through the wheel). It became obsolete from the late 1880s with the development of the modern bicycle, which provided similar speed amplification via chain-driven gear trains and comfort through pneumatic tires, and were marketed in comparison to penny-farthings as “safety bicycles” due to the reduced danger of falling from height. The name came from the British penny and farthing coins, one much larger than the other, so that the side view resembles a penny leading a farthing.

The birth of the bicycle

Eugène Meyer, a Frenchman, invented the high-wheeler bicycle design in 1869 and fashioned the wire-spoke tension wheel. Around 1870 English inventor James Starley, described as the father of the bicycle industry, and others, began producing bicycles based on the French boneshaker but with front wheels of increasing size, because larger front wheels, up to 1.5 m (60 in) in diameter, enabled higher speeds on bicycles limited to direct drive. In 1878, Albert Pope began manufacturing the Columbia bicycle outside Boston, starting their two-decade heyday in America.

Although the trend was short-lived, the penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport.

No penny farthing, but it’s my fave bicycle scene: