It was, to the say the least, a memorable night at Professor Thom's last night.
We had another big crowd for Trivia, with 21 teams taking part. As the Red Sox were turning a laugher against the Texas Rangers into a nail biter, the Olympics were also on and many people were following it. As I was doing the "Spell the Word" round, I had to stop in the middle, as Michael Phelps was going for his fourth gold medal in Beijing. The crowd really got into it, and when he won, he got the biggest cheer of the night, even bigger than when the Red Sox finally pulled out that wacky win at Fenway. (And as I was grading the final round, he went for and got his fifth gold, with the crowd once again cheering him on.)
I announced to the Trivia players: "It's the first time we've ever halted Trivia Night for a swimming race."
We had some strong scores through the first three rounds, but they fell off noticeably at General Knowledge. It was a rather tough round, as was IQ Trivia. Most teams only got one or two right, except for the team of US Synchronized Quiz Team, who were leading going into the final round. They got four of the five, and wound up winning by six points. It was their first appearance at Trivia Night in some time, and the last time they were here, they also won. My congratulations to them.
And also, all the best to Mariangela, a longtime Trivia Night regular, who is moving to Washington and made he last regular appearance last night. She was one of the stalwarts throughout the 2+ years I have hosted Trivia Night, and I'll miss her. (I'm glad I surprised you with the "Jay Berwanger" question!) Good luck in D.C., Mariangela.
1. This actor, who was seriously injured in a car wreck recently, announced that he and his wife of 24 years are divorcing.
2. Skip Caray, who was an announcer for this MLB team since 1976 and the son of legendary broadcaster Harry Caray, died last week in his sleep at age 68.
3. A state of war is ongoing in this former Soviet republic and a breakaway region called South Ossetia inside the country and Russia last week sent in troops there to protect Russian citizens.
4. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of this city was ordered to jail for violating the terms of his bond in his ongoing perjury trial.
5. A recent study in Germany found that sports competitors who wear this color uniform can affect a referee's decision-making ability and even promote a scoring bias.
6. A police shooting in this Canadian city set off a riot on Sunday, injuring three police officers.
7. Alaska Airlines canceled 41 flights on Monday to the US West Coast and Canada from Alaska because of this unusual reason.
Answers: 1. Morgan Freeman; 2. Atlanta Braves; 3. Georgia; 4. Detroit; 5. red; 6. Montreal; 7. ash from a volcanic eruption.
August 12th Trivia
1. On this date in 1898, an armistice officially ended this war.
2. The longest and most costly of all baseball strikes, which eventually canceled the World Series, started on this date in this year.
3. Norris and Ross McWhirter, twin brothers who founded this book, one of the most popular in publishing history, were born on this day in 1925.
4. Mark Knopfler, founder and guitarist of this 1980s popular rock band, was born on this day in 1949.
5. This beloved actor, who appeared in 106 films such as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Ox-Bow Incident" and won an Oscar shortly before his death, died on this date in 1982.
6. This New Jersey governor resigned his position on this day in 2004 and also came out publicly as a gay man.
7. This experiment, which is widely believed to be a hoax, was supposed to have taken place on the Navy ship USS Eldridge on this date in 1943.
Answers: 1. Spanish-American War; 2. 1994; 3. Guinness Book of World Records; 4. Dire Straits; 5. Henry Fonda; 6. Jim McGreevey; 7. The Philadelphia Experiment.
Spell the Word ("The Q Train")
1. KERATITIS: (noun) inflammation of the cornea.
2. PALAVER: (noun) idle talk; talk intended to deceive.
3. LACONIC: (adj) using a minimum of words; brief and pithy.
4. FIDUCIARY: (adj) someone who stands in a special relation of trust, confidence or responsibility.
5. VITUPERATION: (noun) sustained and severely abusive language.
6. PUSILLANIMOUS: (adj) lacking in courage; cowardly.
7. RACONTEUR: (noun) one who excels in telling stories and anecdotes.
8. PATRICIAN: (noun) a person of high birth; a nobleman.
9. HYPERBOLE: (noun) extravagant exaggeration.
10. GLUTINOUS: (adj) resembling glue; sticky.
1. What country is home to diva soprano Kiri te Kanawa?
2. What is Igor Sikorsky credited with inventing?
3. Which 20th century presidential candidate won only Massachusetts in a failed bid for the White House?
4. What Midwestern city's airport is named for Will Rogers?
5. Pink ribbons are usually worn to raise awareness of what disease?
6. Before fresh milk is bottled, what process prevents a layer of cream from forming on it?
7. From which Midwestern school did Jay Berwanger, the first Heisman Trophy winner in 1935, come from?
Answers: 1. New Zealand; 2. helicopter; 3. George McGovern; 4. Oklahoma City; 5. breast cancer; 6. homogenization; 7. University of Chicago.
1. What two parts of the body are joined by the philtrum? ( 4 points)
2. Roy Hinkley was the seldom-used name of what 1960s TV sitcom character? ( 5 points)
3. From what port city did the Mayflower leave England in September 1620? ( 3 points)
4. What evangelical grabbed headlines in 2006 due to allegations of gay liasons and drug use? ( 4 points)
5. What author and playwright is the only one to receive both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar? ( 4 points)
Answers: 1. nose and mouth; 2. The Professor from "Gilligan's Island;" 3. Plymouth; 4. Ted Haggard; 5. George Bernard Shaw.