Posts Tagged ‘Rosebud’

Winner: Rosebud, Then TomTwin, Jacqui, Carol St.Martin, and Judge Judy.

13 Rounds! That’s how long the playoff lasted between Rosebud and TomTwin. Finally, Rosebud won the play off that lasted forever. Only she knew what the letters in SPAM stand for. Spiced Ham, of course. Although, during WWII and beyond, the meat colloquially became known in the UK as an acronym that stood for Special Processed American Meat.

Tiffany moderated in her last game before she goes to see the baby doctor. We will miss her, especially her cupcakes.

Good Question!: What distinctive feature does a man cat have?

Choices: a. black tongue   b. no tail   c. no voice box   d. no ears

Answer: no tail

We thought the phrase “man cat” in the question was a bit strange, and understood it to mean male cat. Well it was strange, because it was a typo. It should have been “Manx cat.” Apparently, we don’t have any serious cat people who would’ve caught this error immediately.

The Manx cat is the pride and joy of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea between Ireland and Great Britain. The cat’s image has been featured on Isle of Man coins and stamps. Although there is no shortage of legends regarding how the tailless breed ended up on the island, it probably resulted from a mutation occurring in the native feline population. The Manx was one of the earliest breeds registered with the Cat Fanciers Association and was among the first cats shown in Great Britain in the late 19th century

Beside the lack of a tail, the Manx is easily identified by the roundness of his head and body. Some unfortunate felines lose their tails to accidents, but the Manx cat is born without that rear appendage. Not all Manx cats lack tails. Some Manx are born with full tails, with others — appropriately called stumpies — only have stumps.

There are two kinds of people in this world – cat people and dog people. Count me among the latter. Do you remember Rin Tin Tin?

Rin Tin Tin was a male German Shepherd rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier, who became an international star in motion pictures.

Here he is in The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin?



Read Full Post »

Winner (10/23): Rosebud, followed by Eric, Judge Judy, and Pluto

Tonight’s game ended in a four-way tie at the end of regulation. In the play off Judge Judy and Pluto faded early. Rosebud, recently returned from holiday in the Algarve was well rested, which served her well when the playoff with Eric went a grueling 10 rounds.

Here’s the question that finally ended it – The Sicilian, French, and Alekhine defense are commonly used in which game?

Eric answered bridge and Rosebud correctly answered chess. Game over.

Winner (10/16): Tall Paul, followed by Eric, Snowy, and Dundar.

Winner (10/02): Carol St. Martin, followed by Tall Paul, Almond Joy, Oh Donna, and Frank, the sports guy.


Winner (09/25): Adam, followed by Frank, the sports guy, and Tall Paul

Tonight’s winner was a young gun who had played in a high-stakes trivia game the night before in the big city. He joined us for our modest suburban game and Frank made him work for his win. Tied with Frank in regulation, he needed nine rounds in a playoff to finally win.

Adam said: It was nice to win, but more importantly, I beat my dad – Droppin’. Youth must be served.


Good Question!: Who said: “You can’t be real country unless you have a beer and an airline”?

Choices: a. Don the Con   b. Frank Zappa   c. Adolphus Busch   d. Gerard Heineken

Answer: Frank Zappa

Actually, the full quote was:  “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Mr. Zappa was known for his pithy quotes:

“Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.”

“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

“The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.”

“One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.”

“Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.”

When he wasn’t philosophizing, Mr. Zappa was making music.

“His music isn’t for all tastes. He knew this: He made it that way. While his peers and contemporaries were incorporating R&B and blues into their psych-out rock ‘n’ roll, Zappa played around with more esteemed forms of music, including jazz, classical and performance art-based collage. The music he made — with the Mothers of Invention, as a solo artist and on projects that aren’t so easily defined or classifiable — was almost always challenging.

Even a seemingly throwaway goof like ‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow’ incorporated musical twists and turns that would leave typical rock artists bruised after 30 seconds. Still, Zappa’s music found open-eared audiences among traditional rockers, classical and jazz fans, connoisseurs of outre music and, of course, totally stoned hippies. His discography spans almost 30 years, all the way to his death in 1993. He released more than 60 albums during that period.

In 1973, Zappa returned to the studio with a new band of Mothers. ‘Montana’ is a six-minute tour de force for both bandleader and group. Drum fills, blazing guitar solos, funky time signatures — all that plus Tina Turner on backing vocals.” (ultimateclassicrock.com)

Read Full Post »

Winner: Rosebud, with the Driver, and SchaeferMan far behind and Mistress Daphne looking for some screen time.

This one was over before it started. Nobody was close to Rosebud tonight. The Driver, who lived in the Netherlands for a while, missed the question “what is the capital of the Netherlands.” He swears they must’ve moved the capital since he was there. More likely he just spent too much time in the coffee shops smoking cannabis.

Good Question!: What stopped in London at 3:45 on August 5, 1975?  (actually 1976)

Choices: a. all traffic   b. changing of the guard   c. Big Ben   d. Parliament


Answer: Big Ben, of course

The clock in the clock tower of the houses of Parliament is one of the most recognizable of London’s landmarks. The clock and the clocktower are commonly and inaccurately referred to as Big Ben. Big Ben is actually just the name of the clock’s largest bell and not the clock itself, nor the tower.

When the clock was first built over 150 years ago it was designed to be one of the most accurate clocks in the world – accurate to one second on the first strike of the hour.

Most everyone got this right, except for Pluto, who missed all the easy questions tonight. Most wondered why it stopped at that moment. Was it commemorating some event?

5 August 1976: Big Ben breaks down for the first time in 117 years

“The Great Westminster Clock, AKA Big Ben, has been one of London’s most famous sights for over 100 years. Its familiar chimes ring out on the quarter hour, and every hour it strikes with extraordinary accuracy.

The secret to its great accuracy is its “double three-legged gravity escapement”, which isolates the pendulum from external influences, such as the effect of wind on its heavy hands – each minute hand weighs 100kg, and each hour hand weighs 300kg. At five tonnes, the clock was – and remains – one of the largest mechanical clocks in the world.

It was completed in 1854, at a cost of £2,500. However, the tower to house it wasn’t ready for another five years. So it wasn’t until 31 May 1859, that the clock finally began ticking.

After that, all went well for over a century, until around 3:45AM on this day in 1976. A policeman on duty in the Palace of Westminster heard a “thud”. He called the engineers, who raced up to the clockroom. When they got there, they were met with a scene of complete devastation. There was metal everywhere – on the floor, embedded in the walls and punching holes in the ceiling. It looked like the clock was ruined.

Fatigue in the century-old metal had caused a sudden fracture in the chiming mechanism, which sent the flywheel and huge chunks of metal spinning around the clockroom, smashing the clock to pieces. Big Ben was silenced.

Local clockmakers Thwaites & Reed – who had tendered unsuccessfully to build the original clock – were called in to repair it. And after nine months of work, the clock was restarted on 9 May 1977.” (moneyweek.com)

BTW, don’t plan on visiting Big Ben right now. Big Ben has fallen silent for major repair work expected to last until 2021.

For the top 5 movie scenes featuring the gargantuan timepiece, try this article.

The trailer for one of these movies looks pretty good:



Read Full Post »

Winner: Rosebud, followed by Chau, 10 O’Clock Bill, Pluto, and Almond Joy

Log jam at the top tonight. Initially Almond Joy was declared the winner, but always a man of character, he acknowledged that he had an additional wrong answer, which dropped him into a five way tie for first place. The play off quickly developed into a two-way contest between newbie Chau, visiting from LA, and old timer Rosebud – a classic East Coast versus West Coast battle. After nine tough rounds Rosebud emerged victorious, when only she knew that the largest North American rodent was the beaver.

Good Question!: True or false: the temperature on the moon is roughly the same all day?

Choice’s: a. True   b. False

Answer: False

“Are you planning a trip to the Moon and you’re wondering what kinds of temperature you might experience. Well, you’re going to want to pack something to keep you warm, since the temperature of the Moon can dip down to -153°C during the night. Oh, but you’re going to want to keep some cool weather clothes too, since the temperature of the Moon in the day can rise to 107°C.

“Why does the moon’s temperature vary so widely? It happens because the Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere like the Earth. Here on Earth, the atmosphere acts like a blanket, trapping heat. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere, and warms up the ground. The energy is emitted by the ground as infrared radiation, but it can’t escape through the atmosphere again easily so the planet warms up. Nights are colder than days, but it’s nothing like the Moon.

There’s another problem. The moon takes 27 days to rotate once on its axis. So any place on the surface of the Moon experiences about 13 days of sunlight, followed by 13 days of darkness. So if you were standing on the surface of the Moon in sunlight, the temperature would be hot enough to boil water. And then the Sun would go down, and the temperature would drop 250 degrees in just a matter of moments.

To deal with this dramatic range in temperature, spacesuits are heavily insulated with layers of fabric and then covered with reflective outer layers. This minimizes the temperature differences between when the astronaut is in the sunlight and when in shade. Space suits also have internal heaters and cooling systems, and liquid heat exchange pumps that remove excess heat.” (universetoday.com)

Enough of the science, let’s listen to the Dark Side of the Moon:


Read Full Post »

Winner: Little Red Riding Hood (aka Rosebud), followed by Mary Claire, and Pluto

Tonight was Halloween and MainStreetCafe was filled with Witches, more than you could shake a broomstick at. The witches didn’t do so well in the game and the photographer didn’t do so well taking their pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word on it. Although, we do have one very blurry photo of some guests.

Mary Claire had been missing from the game for a while, presumably spending time in the library studying up. It must have helped as she tied Rosebud in regulation, but lost in the play off when she failed to identify Quito as the capital of Ecuador. Even finishing second tonight was pretty good as you can tell by the baskets of cheer awarded to the winners.

Darin went all out tonight, including holding a number of raffles during the game. So almost everyone was a winner, making Main Street Cafe the place to be on Halloween.


Tonight we learned that 532 cars, that’s right, 532, were destroyed over the course of production in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Technically, every one of the 532 cars “destroyed” in the making of Transformers 3 was already fit for the scrapheap. The cars had been donated to director Michael Bay because they were flood damaged, and therefore needed to be scrapped by law anyway. This got me thinking of other movies featuring car chases and massive auto destruction. This site has some of the best video clips:  The Ten Movies With The Best Automotive Destruction

My fave is “Bullitt” and the chase over and down the streets of San Francisco:



Read Full Post »


Winner: Rosebud

Tonight was the last game of 2016 and we welcomed back the Mad Scientist (Nadia). She had been down in Maryland, either growing deadly bacteria or killing them – I’m not sure which. Rosebud pretty much killed the competition, with Babs, Pluto, and Tall Paul trailing badly.

Tonight we learned that Thomas Edison liked to keep busy and averaged one patent for every three weeks of his life. I guess his patent attorney was busy, too.

Good Question!: What is the name of the world’s highest waterfall?

Choices: a. Iguazu  b. Niagara  c. Victoria  d. Angel


Answer: Angel

Not even close. Here are the stats:

Angel (Venezuela) plunges 2648 ft.

Iguazu (Brazil/Argentina) 269 ft

Victoria (Zambia / Zimbabwe) 354 ft.

Niagara (United States/Canada) 188 ft.

OK, Angel Falls is the tallest, but no way the most impressive. Let me present Iguazu Falls (courtesy of CNN Travel):



You might have seen the photos.


Even read about it.
You might have visited other great waterfalls before.
But you probably still have no idea what to expect when you come face to face with the almighty Iguazu Falls, on the border of the Argentina province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Parana.
Unlike over-hyped destinations that can leave you feeling disappointed, Iguazu Falls instantly turns even jaded travelers into a raving fan.
To describe the Iguazu Falls without gushing superlatives is a futile exercise.
With water cascades as far as the eye can see — some massive and powerful, some small and dainty — the Iguazu Falls are a shock to the system.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was reportedly so impressed when she saw them that she purportedly said “Poor Niagara.”
You don’t want to miss this awesome video:


Read Full Post »


Winners: Rosebud and Droppin’

Twas the week before Christmas and Darin gifted everybody on the winners podium a bottle of wine. A nice holiday touch – thanks Darin.

Now you’re probably wondering how the heck Chris ended up on the winners podium – we are too. Maybe it was because he knew that Phi Beta Kappa was the oldest college fraternity, established in 1776.

Good question!: Which country does Saint Nicholas originally belong to?

Choices: a.Italy  b.Germany  c.Denmark  d.Turkey


Answer: Turkey

Turkey? Who Knew!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration. Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles.


How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus

This video tells the whole story, but it’s kind of serious:


In the 16th Century in northern Europe, after the reformation, the stories and traditions about St. Nicholas became unpopular.

But someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas, so in the UK, particularly in England, he became ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Old Man Christmas’, an old character from stories during the middle ages in the UK and parts of northern Europe.

In some countries including parts of Austria and Germany, present giver became the ‘Christkind’ a golden-haired baby, with wings, who symbolizes the new born baby Jesus.

In the early USA his name was ‘Kris Kringle’ (from the Christkind). Later, Dutch settlers in the USA took the old stories of St. Nicholas with them and Kris Kringle and St Nicholas became ‘Sinterklaas’ or as we now say ‘Santa Claus’!

St. Nicholas became popular again in the Victorian era when writers, poets and artists rediscovered the old stories. In 1823 the famous poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ or ‘T’was the Night before Christmas’, was published by Dr Clement Clarke Moore, which certified old St. Nicholas in the popular imagination.


On a less serious note there is always “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:”



Read Full Post »

Older Posts »