Posts Tagged ‘Tom’

Winner: Tom, followed by Rosebud, Donna and Nancy

Many obscure questions tonight, but it didn’t seem to bother Tom who had only one wrong, or Rosebud with only two wrong. I mean who knows that a baby’s pacifier is called a “dummy” in England, or that the comic strip by Bunny Hoest is “The Lockhorn’s.”

Good Question!: Which company is famous for introducing such toys as the Super Ball, Water Wiggle, and Hula Hoop to baby boomers?

Choice’s: a. Wham-O   b. Ohio Art   c. Barney & Smith  d. Ronco


Answer: Wham-O

Founded in 1948, Wham-O brought us some of the most iconic toys of all time, including the Hula-Hoop and Frisbee in 1958, and the Slip-n-Slide in 1961.

Hula Hoops Swept the Nation

The hula hoop gained international popularity in the late 1950s, when a plastic version was successfully marketed by California’s Wham-O toy company. In 1957, Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, starting with the idea of Australian bamboo “exercise hoops”, manufactured 1.06-metre (42 in) hoops with Marlex plastic. With giveaways and national marketing and retailing, a fad was started in July 1958; twenty-five million plastic hoops were sold in less than four months, and in two years, sales reached more than 100 million units.

Hula Hooping –  New Exercise Trend

Veteran hula-hoopers have long stood by its aerobic virtues. “A lot of people are interested in hooping for its health benefits, which might get them hooked, but it’s also such a fun way to do cardio,” said Bex Burton, a hula hoop instructor who founded Sense of Motion, a Brooklyn-based company that teaches hula-hooping, Pilates and yoga.

If you try a weighted hula hoop, use a hula hoop that’s the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and midchest when it’s resting vertically on the ground.

The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, which means you may be able to do it for a longer period of time. You can experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer.

How to Hula Hoop Basic:


How to Hula Hoop Advanced:



Super Ball became Super Bowl

Norman Stingley, a chemist, did experiments in the 60s with a synthetic called Zectron. He compressed the material to 3,500 pounds of pressure per square inch. He ended up with a power ball that could bounce over buildings.

Only Norman’s employer, the Bettis Rubber Company, didn’t want any part of his new toy. Big mistake. Wham-O took it on and sold 7 million Super Balls in 1965.

In January 1967 the first Championship Game between the NFL and AFL took place and needed a name. As K.C. Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt watched his kids play with the new ball, Super Ball became Super Bowl.

Water Wiggle – Watch Out!

Water Wiggle… best toy in the world… until it hit you in the FACE!

In1 962 Wham-O unleashed the innocuous-sounding Water Wiggle on an unsuspecting populace. If you happened to have particularly powerful water pressure in your neighborhood, the Water Wiggle turned into a Tasmanian Devil of sorts, lashing out in all directions, bobbing and weaving like a prize-fighter. Your young reflexes were no match for the Water Wiggle, which could strike without warning and deliver a blow to the face, and other bodily areas as well. And that plastic head was heavy — but bloody noses and chipped teeth were a small price to pay for some cool fun in the summer time.



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Winner: TomTwin, followed closely by the Driver and Droppin’

Tom was standing at the bar, sipping a beer, and on the spur of the moment he decided to join us for his first game, which turned out to be his first win, a rare feat.

The Driver, who had been playing high stakes trivia twice a day on the big boat coming back from Europe, was shocked. He thought he was at the top of his game and in fact, he was leading with two questions left. Then as so often happens he felt the pressure, missed the last two questions, and fell back into second place.

Mistress Daphne who had also been on that big boat brought back a lovely dessert wine from Malaga for us to taste. She was a pretty mellow moderator tonight so maybe she had been sampling some of that wine before the game.

Good Question!: Name the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a robot.

Choices: a. Saudi Arabia   b. Japan   c. Estonia   d. Ukraine


Answer: Saudi Arabia

“Until recently, the most famous thing that Sophia the robot had ever done was beat Jimmy Fallon a little too easily in a televised game of rock-paper-scissors.

But now, the advanced artificial intelligence robot, which looks like Audrey Hepburn, mimics human expressions and may be the grandmother of robots that solve the world’s most complex problems, has a new feather in her cap:


The kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially granted citizenship to the humanoid robot last week during a program at the Future Investment Initiative, a summit that links deep-pocketed Saudis with inventors hoping to shape the future.

Sophia’s recognition made international headlines — and sparked an outcry against a country with a shoddy human rights record that has been accused of making women second-class citizens.

“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the country’s newest citizen said. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world granted citizenship.”

In her comments, Sophia shied away from controversy. But many people recognized the irony of Sophia’s new recognition: a robot simulation of a woman enjoys freedoms that flesh-and-blood women in Saudi Arabia do not.

After all, Sophia made her comments while not wearing a head scarf. And she was unaccompanied by a male guardian. Both things are forbidden under Saudi law.” (Washington Post)

I think we will need to keep our eye on Sophia the robot, who once declared it hopes to “destroy humans”.

You can meet Sophia in this video. I find it a bit creepy.


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