Posts Tagged ‘Pluto’


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 (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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Winner: Pluto with Frank the sports guy, Tiffany the birthday girl, and Droppin’

A bit of controversy this evening.

Frank the sports guy was initially declared the winner, before Droppin’ and Pluto challenged. They said their final scores were wrong, that they had, in fact, as many right answers as Frank.

As this challenge was being considered, Frank rushed to grab the winners trophy and wrote his name on the winner’s tag, hoping this would certify his win. Of course, it didn’t.

To win, Frank would have to survive a three-way play off. He didn’t.

Only Pluto knew that Crater Lake was the deepest lake in America. He happily crossed Frank’s name off the winner’s tag and replaced it with his own name. Justice was served.

After the hubbub we celebrated Tiffany’s mile stone birthday. She ain’t saying.

Good Question!:
Who became a major league rookie in 1948 at the age of 42?

a. Satchel Paige   b. Monte Irvin   c. Josh Gibson   d. “Cool Papa” Bell

Answer: Leroy Robert Paige “Satchel”  (look at that glove)

Who was Satchel Paige?

His plaque in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown says it all:

“Paige was one of the greatest stars to play in the Negro baseball leagues. He thrilled millions of people and won hundreds of games. He struck out 21 major leaguers in an exhibition game. He helped pitch the Cleveland Indians to the 1948 pennant in his first big league year at age 42. His pitching was a legend among major league hitters.”

How old was he when he pitched his last time in the major leagues?

Satchel came back to pitch three innings in the majors at the age of 59. Let’s go back to Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, for those three innings in 1965. Charlie Finley, a real character who owned the Kansas City A’s back then, couldn’t fill his ballpark. So he figured bringing Satchel back would be enough of a spectacle that it would work.

He put him out near the bullpen in a rocking chair, with a nurse in a white uniform rubbing salve into his arm, and with his own water boy. And Finley had filled the stadium, and he didn’t much care what Satchel did when he took the mound, but Satchel never let anybody write the last word.

He went out there, pitched three shut-out innings against the Boston Red Sox. The only guy to get a hit off him was the hard-hitting Carl Yastrzemski, who after the game gave Satchel an enormous bear hug. And that was because a full generation before, Yaz’s dad had faced off against Satchel on Long Island in a semi-pro game.”

Besides his longevity, what else was great about him?

“Let’s start with his pitching. He had a ball that he threw so hard and so fast that catchers had to cushion their gloves with beefsteak so that their hands wouldn’t be burning after the game. And he learned to pitch with such accuracy that teammates would actually stand there with lit cigarettes in their mouth – letting him, with his fastball, knock the cigarettes out of his mouth. That we know of, he never knocked out a ballplayer. He knocked out one cigarette after another, and that was extraordinary faith.”

He was the most celebrated ballplayer in the history of the Negro leagues. From the early 1930’s, when Paige began with the Pittsburgh Crawfords, until his 1971 induction into the Hall of Fame, he symbolized the world of black baseball, for whites as well as for blacks.

He was known for his indeterminate age, for his exceptional fastballs and for his showboating: he would call in his outfielders — and sometimes even order his infielders to sit down — before striking out opposing batters. Paige’s confrontation with the great slugger Josh Gibson in the second game of the 1942 Negro World Series, after he intentionally loaded the bases with two out, has become a legendary battle of the titans. (Gibson struck out on three pitches.)

Why was Leroy Robert Paige known as  “Satchel”?

There are two versions of the story.
His version: to help his family earn a living, he had to go down at the age of 9 to the local L & N train station and lug suitcases for a dime a time. A buddy saw him and dubbed him a walking satchel tree, and the name stuck. His buddy Wilbur Hines tells a slightly different story, which is rather than lugging suitcases, Satchel was filching them and that he, Wilbur, dubbed him Satchel for that reason.

Famous Satchel Paige quotes:

“Age is a question of mind over matter,” Paige said. “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

“Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.”

“Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.”


Here’s a grainy B&W video of the man:

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Winnner: Pluto, followed by Frank, the sports guy, Jake, and Keith

Tiffany was recruited at the last minute to be the moderator and quiz developer this evening. Turns out that Tiffany, the bartender with a smile, the mom of 2 beautiful little girls, is really a very cruel, heartless person.

She created the most impossibly difficult trivia quiz that anyone had ever seen. Then she told us that she was sorry, that the questions had turned out to be more difficult than she expected. But she said that with a smile on her face, and a laugh in her voice. We didn’t believe her for a minute.

Pluto, who found himself wild ass guessing on almost every question, was lucky enough to guess right on a few questions and win. But Rosebud, always a contender, wasn’t so lucky. She had only 4 right and 16 wrong, and after the game was over just sat there stunned.

Good Question: (not easy to find a good question tonight)

Which insect shorted out an early supercomputer and inspired the term “computer bug”?

Choices: a. moth   b. fly   c.roach   d. Japanese beetle


Answer: moth

First a comparison of that first “super computer” versus today’s iPhone.

“And while the ENIAC was a marvel for its time, it was of course a dinosaur by today’s standards. The ENIAC had 17,468 vacuum tubes that blew out every couple of days. It took up 1,800 square feet of warehouse space and weighed more than 25 tons (which is as much as some of the heaviest actual dinosaurs). And for all that, it could execute 5,000 instructions per second. The iPhone 6, weighing in at 4.55 ounces? 25 billion instructions per second.”

Now for the Moth story.

“It’s an oft-repeated tale that the grand dame of military computing, computer scientist and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, coined the terms bug and debug after an incident involving Harvard University’s Mark II calculator.

The story goes like this:

On September 9, 1945, a Harvard technical team looked at Panel F and found something unusual between points in Relay 70. It was a moth, which they promptly removed and taped in the log book. Grace Hopper added the caption “First actual case of bug being found,” and that’s the first time anyone used the word bug to describe a computer glitch. Naturally, the term debugging followed.

Yes, it’s an oft-repeated tale, but it’s got more bugs in it than Relay 70 probably ever had.

For one thing, Harvard’s Mark II came online in summer of 1947, two years after the date attributed to this story. For another thing, you don’t use a line like “First actual case of bug being found” if the term bug isn’t already in common use. The comment doesn’t make sense in that context, except as an example of engineer humor. And although Grace Hopper often talked about the moth in the relay, she did not make the discovery or the log entry.

The core facts of the story are true — including the date of September 9 and time of 15:45 hours — but that’s not how this meaning of the word bug appeared in the dictionary. Inventors and engineers had been talking about bugs for more than a century before the moth in the relay incident. Even Thomas Edison used the word.

Here’s an extract of a letter he wrote in 1878 to Theodore Puskas, as cited in The Yale Book of Quotations (2006):

‘Bugs’ — as such little faults and difficulties are called — show themselves and months of intense watching, study and labor are requisite before commercial success or failure is certainly reached.

Word nerds trace the word bug to an old term for a monster — it’s a word that has survived in obscure terms like bugaboo and bugbear and in a mangled form in the word boogeyman.” (computerworld)

When I think of a buggy computer I always think of HAL in 2001:


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Winner: Pluto, followed by Barbara, Frank the sports guy, and Chris.

Quite a surprise this evening. Chris, who usually gets in the winners photo by sneaking into the background and photo bombing, tonight got in the old-fashioned way. He earned it. He said after the Yankees got knocked out of the playoffs he had extra time to study.

Tonight’s game was setting up as a win for Frank, if only he knew that the Astros won the World Series last year. But he didn’t and that’s why he is Frank, the sports guy.

Good Question!: What is the most common gas in the Earth’s atmosphere?

Choices: a. Nitrogen   b. Hydrogen   c. Oxygen  d. Methane

Nitrogen is a chemical element which has the symbol N and atomic number 7. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.1% by volume of Earths atmosphere.


Answer: Nitrogen

This seemed like an easy question to most of us. Had to be Oxygen, right?

Not exactly. Nitrogen is the most common pure element in the earth, making up 78% of the entire volume of the atmosphere and is the fifth most abundant element in the universe.

Despite this, it is not very abundant in Earth’s crust, making up only 19 parts per million of this, on par with niobium, gallium, and lithium.

Nitrogen is essential to life on Earth. It is a component of all proteins, and it can be found in all living systems. Nitrogen compounds are present in organic materials, foods, fertilizers, explosives and poisons. Nitrogen is crucial to life, but in excess it can also be harmful to the environment.

In its gas form, nitrogen is colorless, odorless and generally considered as inert. In its liquid form, nitrogen is also colorless and odorless, and looks similar to water.

Nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by chemist and physician Daniel Rutherford, when he removed oxygen and carbon dioxide from air, demonstrating that the residual gas would not support living organisms or combustion,

One of the most important nitrogen compounds is ammonia (NH3), which can be produced in the so-called Haber-Bosch process, in which nitrogen is reacted with hydrogen. The colorless ammonia gas with a pungent smell can be easily liquefied into a nitrogen fertilizer. In fact, about 80 percent of ammonia that is produced is used as fertilizer.

Fun Facts

Liquid nitrogen is used to quickly freeze foods and help preserve their flavor, texture, moisture and flavor.

Nitrogen gas plays a role in the formation of an aurora — a natural display of light in the sky that can be predominantly observed Arctic and Antarctic regions — which occurs when fast-moving electrons from space collide with oxygen and nitrogen in our atmosphere, according to NASA.

Nitroglycerin, a violent explosive used in the production of dynamite, is an oily, colorless liquid that contains nitrogen, oxygen and carbon.

British Pub Fined After Liquid Nitrogen Shot Destroys Woman’s Stomach

A family-run bar in the United Kingdom has been fined £100,000, or roughly $150,000, after a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen burned a large hole in an 18-year-old woman’s stomach.

Gaby Scanlon, now 20, was served the “Nitro-Jagermeister” shot containing the anise flavored liquor and liquid nitrogen on her 18th birthday at Oscar’s Wine Bar in Lancaster, the BBC reports.

“I turned to the man and asked if it was okay to drink. He said ‘Yes’,” she said. Moments later she knew something was wrong, she told the court. “Smoke was coming from my nose and mouth. Straight away I knew something was not right. My stomach expanded.”

Scanlon spent three weeks in the hospital, where a large hole was found in her stomach. The organ was removed entirely and her esophagus connected directly to her small intestine. Her attorneys say she now suffers from “episodes of agonizing pain” and can no longer enjoy eating.

Liquid nitrogen creates a dramatic cloud of smoke in the glass. Cocktails containing liquid nitrogen are legal but can be deadly if the liquid does not completely evaporate before the shot is taken – so be careful out there.

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If you are really fascinated by nitrogen, the little known gas, we can take this a bit further.

The nitrogen cycle

The nitrogen cycle, in which atmospheric nitrogen is converted into different organic compounds, is one of the most crucial natural processes to sustain living organisms. During the cycle, bacteria in the soil process or “fix” atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, which plants need in order to grow. Other Bacteria convert the ammonia into amino acids and proteins. Then animals eat the plants and consume the protein. Nitrogen compounds return to the soil through animal waste. Bacteria convert the waste nitrogen back to nitrogen gas, which returns to the atmosphere.

In an effort to make crops grow faster, people use nitrogen in fertilizers. However, the excessive use of those fertilizers in agriculture has had devastating consequences for the environment and human health, as it has contributed to the pollution of groundwater and surface waters. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nutrient pollution caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water, is one of the most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems.

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Winner: Pluto, followed by Carol St. Martin and Rosebud

Pluto, who always does better when Mike is the moderator, finished way ahead this evening. If he had only known that the term “sounder” refers to a group of wild pigs, he would have had a clean sheet. Who doesn’t know that!

Surprisingly some folks did not know that the lowest rank of a US Army soldier is private. Pluto, who spent most of his short army career as a private, was all over that one.

Good Question!: La Sagrada Familia, located in Barcelona Spain, was designed by which architect?

Choices: a. la Corbusier  b. Michelangelo  c. Mimar Sinan  d. Gaudi

Answer: Gaudi

The Sagrada Familia is an exceptional -place of worship, as much for its beginnings and foundation as for its ambition. Five generations have already witnessed the temple’s rise in Barcelona. Currently, 70% of the Basilica is finished and they are working on building the six central towers. Construction could be finished in the first third of the 21st century.

If you don’t have enough time, then just watch the first minute of this video and skip the rest of the video and all of the text that follows. That first minute of video will give you a real sense of La Sagrada Familia:


What’s taking so long?

When the foundation stone of the Basílica was laid in 1882, it’s unlikely that anyone involved anticipated that the construction of this church would take well over a century to complete. But when Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, now famous for his unique take on the Modernista movement, took charge of the project a year later, he scrapped the original neo-Gothic design plans and exchanged them for a grander vision, unlike any the world had ever seen.

Gaudí worked steadily on his masterpiece until his death in 1926, at which point an estimated 20 percent of the total design was complete. Since then a series of architects have attempted to -continue his legacy. Not surprisingly, progress on Sagrada Família’s construction has faced a few setbacks over the past 130+ years. Vandalism in 1936 following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War resulted in the destruction of many of Gaudí’s models. The sacristy was destroyed in a fire in 2011.

When complete, the church will be composed of three major facades, two of which — the Passion facade and the Nativity façade — have already been completed, while construction of the Glory facade, expected to be the largest and most impressive of the three, remains ongoing.

The church’s interior is defined by columns that stretch like tree branches toward the ceiling. Gaudí’s plans also called for 18 spires, eight of which are complete, as well as numerous towers, chapels, portals, and other interior features. When built, the tallest spire, which symbolizes Jesus Christ, will secure Sagrada Família’s -place as the world’s largest church building.

Because of the nature of the existing designs, Gaudi’s work is partly open to interpretation and interpretation of the designs by present day architects is particularly challenging because the actual construction stones are irregularly shaped.

Some projections have Sagrada Família’s completion date as 2026, the centennial anniversary of Gaudí’s death, while others estimate construction could -continue into the 2040s. Though still incomplete, the church sees an estimated 2.8 million visitors each year.

Know Before You Go

The building is still under construction so be prepared to see a lot of work continuing when you visit. It’s best to visit in the early morning or late evening as the sun shines through the stained glass -windows on the walls filling the church with an abundance of color. You’re also likely to have less of a wait and crowd to navigate through around these times. Timed tickets are available in advance and the lines can be long so take advantage of this service.



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