Posts Tagged ‘Pluto’

Winner: Pluto, then Rosebud, Carol St.Martin, and Maureen

Pluto and Rosebud finished 1-2 in their last game before they head to Florida. They are going to see if the weather is as warm down there, as it has been up here.

Tonight’s theme was Mardi Gras and Darin helped us honor our fave Nawlins girl Rhys’ memory with some King cake.

Good Question!: During Mardi Gras what do the gold colored beads symbolize?

Choices: a. power.  b. justice.  c. faith.  d. lust

Answer: power

“Throw me something, mister!”

Mardi Gras throws are strings of beads, doubloons, cups, or other trinkets passed out or thrown from the floats in the New Orleans Mardi Gras, to spectators lining the streets.

The ‘throws’, consist of necklaces of plastic beads, coins called doubloons, which are stamped with krewes’ logos, parade themes and the year, plus an array of plastic cups and toys including LED trinkets, more recently.

Beads used on Mardis Gras (known as Shrove Tuesday in some regions) are gold, purple and green, with these three colors containing the Christian symbolism of power, justice and faith, respectively. Traditionally, Mardis Gras beads were manufactured in Japan and Czech Republic, although many are now imported from mainland China. 

Spectators have traditionally shouted to the krewe members, “Throw me something, mister!”, a phrase that is iconic in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras street argot. Some women expose their breasts to invite throws in the French Quarter, although this is not required or even classed as a true Mardi Gras tradition, it is however quite common during French Quarter parades.

National Geographic has a wonderful all things Mardi Gras video (only 5 min.):


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Winner (01/28/20): Keith, then TomTwin, Carole St.Martin, and Oh Donna.

pardon the quality of the photo. I think my assistant must have used one of those pinhole cameras.

Winner (02/04/20): Pluto, then in 2nd Place -Tom Twin and Jennifer, then in 3rd Place -Keith, Carole St. Martin, Almond Joy, and Nick.

Keith has been on a hot streak, winning the last two weeks. He came in tonight, puffed up his chest, and said he was going for the 3 peat, and no one could stop him. Well, we did.

Good Question!: Who is the oldest Marx brother?

Choices: a. Harpo,  b. Groucho,   c. Zeppo,   d. Chico

Answer: Chico

Most of us had some trouble with this one. We thought it was either Chico or Groucho, but weren’t sure which one.

Actually, in age order they are: Chico (1887), Harpo (1888), Groucho (1890), and Zeppo (1901)

The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) as among the top 100 comedy films, with two of them, Duck Soup (1933) and A Night at the Opera (1935), in the top fifteen.

They are widely considered by critics, scholars, and fans to be among the greatest and most influential comedians of the 20th century. The brothers were included in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classical Hollywood cinema, the only performers to be inducted collectively.

Duck soup was not only a wonderfully funny movie with great comedic acting, but it was a great story, a story that we are familiar with today. See if this plot sounds familiar.

The wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) be appointed leader of the small, bankrupt country of Freedonia before she will continue to provide much-needed financial aid. Meanwhile, neighboring Sylvania is attempting to annex the country. Sylvanian ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) tries to foment a revolution and to woo Mrs. Teasdale, he tries to dig up dirt on Firefly by sending in spies Chicolini (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo). Looks like Mrs. Teasdale should have been impeached for withholding aid and Trentino should have been played by Giuliani or maybe Giuliani should be played by Chico.

Take a peek at this hilarious clip from Duck Soup:



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Winner: Pluto, then Keith and Tom Twin, then TJ

Boys night tonight. Although TJ traveled all the way from Vegas to show his stuff, he couldn’t quite top the 3 old guys, falling one short of the playoff.

Pluto, Keith and Tom Twin went 3 rounds in a playoff before Pluto answered this one correctly: Which car company owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche?

Volkswagen Group, of course.

Good Question!: Which mountains stretch from West Virginia to Georgia?

Choices: a. Appalachian   b. Blue Ridge   c. Smoky   d. Rocky

Answer: Blue Ridge

The choice for most of us was between Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains, and that’s because they are so darn close to each other. Actually, the Great Smoky Mountains are part of, a subset of the much larger Blue Ridge mountain range which does stretch from West Virginia to Georgia.

Before we get into details, let’s get into the Great Smoky Mountain mood by taking a listen to Dolly, a local girl who made good:

Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The Great Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range. The park was established in 1934, and, with over 11 million visits per year, it is the most visited national park in the United States.

Anyone who has visited the Great Smoky Mountains can confirm that the Smokies certainly live up to their name! The mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina are blanketed with a smoky haze that gives the region an almost magical quality. Indeed, the Cherokee considered the mountains to be a sacred place and referred to the area as “Shaconage” (Sha-Kon-O-Hey): land of the blue smoke. When European settlers arrived in the early 1800s, they took inspiration from the Cherokee language when they named the Great Smoky Mountains and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

Where Does the Smoke Come From?

The short answer to the question is that the “smoke” from the Smoky Mountains is actually fog that comes from the area’s vegetation. We all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. What we hear less about is how plants also exhale something called “volatile organic compounds”, or VOCs.

VOCs may sound scary, but when they are released from plants, they are completely natural. Have you ever enjoyed the piney smell that wafts from a Christmas tree? That scent comes from the tree giving off VOCs as it breathes. In addition to causing various scents and odors, a high concentration of VOCs can also cause fog. The millions of trees, bushes, and other plants in the Great Smoky Mountains all give off vapor, which comes together to create the fog that gives the mountains their signature smoky look.


Great Smoky Mountain NP – National Park Service.

Everything to know about Great Smoky Mountains National Park – National Geographic

10 Best Things to Do on a Great Smoky Mountains Vacation


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Winner: Pluto, then Tall Paul and Nick, then Rosebud and Eva

Pluto won even though he still hasn’t figured out why Nebraska, whose college footbball team is called the Cornhuskers, is known as the Beef State. Makes no sense.

Two things he did know were that Teri Hatcher, a.k.a. Susan Delfino, was a “Desperate Housewife,” and that Bob Petit was a great basketball player (one of the top five power forwards of all time.)

Good Question!: In 1991, a spoof Nobel prize, call the Ig Nobel prize for achievements that cannot or should not be repeated, was instigated by which US University?

Choices: a. Harvard   b. Yale   c. Stanford   d. Brown

Answer: Harvard

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.

Every September, in a gala ceremony in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, 1100 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the new winners step forward to accept their Prizes. These are physically handed out by genuine (genuinely bemused) Nobel Laureates. Thousands more, around the world, watch the live broadcast online.

The 2019 Ig Nobel Prize for BIOLOGY, for instance, was awarded to Ling-Jun Kong and colleagues for the discovery that dead magnetised cockroaches show different behaviour than living magnetised cockroaches. Nevertheless, this was the first work on characterising the magnetisation dynamics in live insects (Kong et al., 2018).

Another gem of 2019 is the Ig Nobel Prize for CHEMISTRY that went to Shigeru Watanabe and colleagues for estimating how much saliva is produced by a typical five-year-old child per day. It is 500 ml in case you wondered (Watanabe et al., 1995)

Here is my favorite Ig Nobel Pize Winning Achievement In Life Science.

Gains come with pains. If you ever love to go for the sweet honey, be ready to be stung by a busy bee…

The Ig Nobel Prize for outstanding efforts to advance the fields of PHYSIOLOGY and ENTOMOLOGY went to Michael Smith in 2015 who investigated which body part is the most painful when stung by a honey bee. In a sophisticated trial, Michael Smith was repeatedly stung 25 times by honey bees on different locations of his body… the least painful are the skull, the middle toe tip and the upper arm; the most painful are the nostril, yes the nostril (!), the upper lip and the penis shaft. Unbelievably, the author, who was the test subject, self-administered five stings per day (Smith, 2014).

Try this for

5 Hilarious Discoveries from the 2019 Ig Nobel Prize Winners


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Winner: Pluto, then Rosebud and Almond Joy

It was a quiet night with a small group of players. The best part of this election evening was that the Driver was away managing one of the polling locations, so we didn’t have to fight him for those delicious brownies that Darin served up.

Good Question!: Who did Time magazine name as man of the year in 1982?

Choices: a. Michael Jackson   b. the computer   c. Microsoft   d. Ronald Reagan


Not Exactly

Answer: the computer (technically, it was named machine of the year)

The announcement of Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” has been a year-end tradition since 1927, when Charles Lindbergh was named “Man of the Year” following his solo flight across the Atlantic.

On Dec. 26, 1982, Time took a risk and placed not a person, but a “Machine of the Year” on the cover of its Jan. 3, 1983, issue: the computer. The cover featured a papier-mâché man sitting at a red table with a PC. Admittedly, this wasn’t Time’s riskiest pick — Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler had both been named “Man of the Year” in years prior. But it was a surprise. It is said that Steve Jobs, who had received signals that he would be named man of the year, cried when he saw the issue.

The “Machine of the Year” designation came at a time when PC sales were doubling each year: going from 724,000 in 1980 to 1.4 million in 1981 to almost 3 million in 1982. As publisher John A. Meyers presciently wrote: “Several human candidates might have represented 1982, but none symbolized the past year more richly, or will be viewed by history as more significant, than a machine: the computer.” Time referenced the PC revolution, which was bringing computers “down to scale” so “people could hold, prod, and play with them.”

When TIME put together the 21-page Machine of the Year cover package, the PC revolution was still young. The vast majority of homes didn’t yet have one and the IBM PC did not ship until 1981.

But it wasn’t that young: The MITS Altair 8800, the first PC that mattered, came out in 1975. In 1977, it was followed by the Apple II, Commodore’s PET 2001 and Radio Shack’s TRS-80, the first truly consumery, ready-to-use machines. And another half-decade of evolution occurred before TIME commemorated the PC’s arrival so memorably.

Interestingly, the journalists who worked on the “Machine of the Year” article used typewriters to write their stories. The Time newsroom did not upgrade to word processors until1983.

Now if it had been Michael Jackson named man of the year we would’ve watch this video:


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Winner (10/15/19): Pluto
then Carol St. Martin, Jacqui, and Sean (with miss Rinn photo bombing)

Pluto guessed a bunch of questions correctly and won tonight’s game by a country mile. Jacqui was a strong second again. She’s due for a win.

Winner (10/08/19): Droppin’ Dave, then Jacqui

Droppin’ led from start to finish, with only Jacqui within shouting distance.

Good Question!: Who is the only non-human to testify before the US Congress?

Choices: a. Kermit   b. R2D2   c. Smokey the Bear   d. Elmo

Answer: Elmo

In April of 2002, at the request and with the assistance of Rep. Duke Cunningham, a Mr. Elmo Monster testified before the Education Appropriations subcommittee in support of funding for music education programs.

In between trying to eat the microphone and interrupting his fellow witness, Elmo engaged in this informative colloquy with subcommitee chair Ralph Regula (R-OH):

Elmo: Please, Congress, help Elmo’s friends find the music in them. I love you, Congress.
Regula: And my grandchildren love you too, Elmo.

Who is Elmo?

A Muppet character on the children’s television show Sesame Street. He is a furry red monster with a falsetto voice, who hosts the last full fifteen-minute segment (five minutes after 2017) on Sesame Street, “Elmo’s World”, which is aimed at toddlers.

the Elmo menace

Fans of Sesame Street have complained that Elmo’s prominent status has caused roles to be greatly reduced for some older characters, such as Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, Count von Count, Prairie Dawn, Grover, and Cookie Monster. Some fans also blame Elmo for the permanent departure of Kermit the Frog from Sesame Street. Elmo has been referred to as the “Little Red Menace” by Sesame Street traditionalists.

Forget Elmo, my favorite character is Oscar the Grouch.

Only 3 minutes, this SNL Parody of the Grouch as the Joker is awesome:


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Winner: Pluto, then the Driver, and Carol St. Martin

We celebrated Oktoberfest and all things beer this evening, so of course, Pluto won.

It was a rousing celebration, with the finest food and beer served by our favorite Hoffbrau girls – Darin, Tiffany and Daphne, helped by Mike, that guy from the Italian alps.


Good Question!: Each year the second weekend of Oktoberfest is known as?

Choices: a. mid fest   b. gay weekend   c. italian weekend  d. ladies choice

MUNICH, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 22: Visitors celebrate in a beer tent on the opening day of the 2018 Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2018 in Munich, Germany. The Oktoberfest lasts until October 7 and is the world’s largest beer festival. The beer festival typically draws over six million visitors. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)

Answer: Italian weekend

so that’s why Mike is all dressed up – he was so cute in his lederhosen.

Benvenuti a Oktoberfest!

Traditionally, on the second, middle weekend of the Oktoberfest, the Italians take over the festival tents on the Theresienwiese.

Wave of visitors from Italy for the “Festa d’ottobre”

Italians love the Munich Oktoberfest – or the “Festa d’ottobre”, as they call it. Traditionally, the second weekend of the Wiesn has become established as the “Italian weekend”. Italians arrive from all over Italy and often travel the length of the country to experience the thrill of the Wiesn. Many travel in camper vans, so don’t be surprised if you see Italian campers parked all over the city on Italian weekend. The travel rush often causes traffic jams, to the extent that local radio stations also make traffic announcements in Italian during the second week of Oktoberfest. Many local newspapers welcome Italian guests with a bilingual title page on Italian weekend. According to statistics from the Munich Department of Tourism, Italians make up the majority of foreign visitors to the Wiesn, at almost 20 percent.

Some scenes from Oktoberfest:

MUNICH, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 22: Waitresses carry beer steins in a beer tent on the opening day of the 2018 Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2018 in Munich, Germany. The Oktoberfest lasts until October 7 and is the world’s largest beer festival. The beer festival typically draws over six million visitors. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)

Young people celebrate the opening of the 185th ‘Oktoberfest’ beer festival in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. The world’s largest beer festival will be held from Sept. 22 until Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

MUNICH, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 22: A visitor in traditional Bavarian outfit is pictured at the opening day of the 2018 Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2018 in Munich, Germany. The Oktoberfest lasts until October 7 and is the world’s largest beer festival. The beer festival typically draws over six million visitors. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)


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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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