Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 28

The crowd was a bit lighter than in past weeks at the Caledonia for Trivia on Tuesday night. Maybe some folks were more interested in the World Series, the opening of the NBA season, or saving themselves for the Halloween celebrations on Friday night.

No matter, we still had a spirited group of folks come out for Trivia. The team of SuperNintendo Chalmers pulled out the win, as they were trailing going into IQ Trivia by two points, and were the only team to get 3 of 5 right in IQ Trivia, and won the night with 42 points and three-point margin of victory. Congrats to Larry and Tom on their win.

Second place went to Smell My Feet with 39 points, and third place went to Dental Damn Yankees (who also won for Best Team Name) with 31 points.

Current Events
1. "Goodfellas" actor Frank Sivero filed a $250 million lawsuit against current what TV series last week, claiming the show based a character on his most famous role?
2. Toys R Us pulled the action figure toys from what TV series after they received an online petition from over 9,000 signers protesting the stores selling the figures?
3. What recent Oscar-winning actor was recently chosen to star in a biopic about Apple founder Steve Jobs?
4. A driver knocked over a Ten Commandments monument in the capital city of what state last week, a monument that the ACLU had been suing to have removed?
5. Legendary rock guitarist Jack Bruce died last Saturday at the age of 71. What rock group was he part of with Eric Clapton in the late 1960s?
6. A South African court sentenced former Olympian Oscar Pistorius to how many years in prison for his girlfriend's murder last week?
7. Promising young rookie MLB player Oscar Taveras was killed on Sunday in a car crash with his girlfriend in the Dominican Republic. What NL team did he play for in 2014?

October 31st Trivia
1. On this day in 1941, Mt. Rushmore was officially completed. Of the four US presidents immortalized there, which one is second from the left?
2. In 1956, which two European countries began bombing Egypt to force them to reopen the Suez Canal, which they closed two days earlier?
3. In 2011 on this date, the United Nations announced that the world population had reached what landmark number?
4. On this day in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low was born. She founded what American youth organization?
5. In 1864, what western US state joined the Union and became the 36th US state?
6. On this day in 1992, what astronomer & physicist was reinstated by the Roman Catholic Church after he was found guilty of heresy charges 359 years earlier?
7. Actor/director Peter Jackson was born on this day in 1961. For which film did he wain an Oscar for Best Director in 2003?

Horror Films Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the decade)
1. Psycho
2. Night of the Living Dead
3. Poltergeist
4. The Blair Witch Project
5. Halloween
6. Interview With a Vampire
7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
8. The Exorcist
9. Friday the 13th
10. Saw

General Knowledge
1. Who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Goodfellas?" ( 1 pt)
2. The Tampa Bay Lightning play in what sports league? ( 1 pt)
3. The Jetta TDI is a model of what car manufacturer? ( 1 pt)
4. What constellation is known as the Archer? ( 2 pt)
5. What pop singer wore a "meat dress" at the 2010 MTV Music Awards? ( 2 pt)
6. In which field of medicine is amniocentesis used? ( 2 pt)
7. What US state is the most densely populated state in the US? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What veteran entertainer is credited by Guinness World Records with logging the most hours on US television? ( 3 points)
2. "You'll Never Walk Alone" was a number one hit in the UK in 1964 by what British Invasion pop group? ( 5 points)
3. The Roman province of Lusitania is today made up of nearly all of what Western European country? ( 4 points)
4. In 2006, a National Geographic map had soccer as the most popular sport in nearly every nation in the world. What team sport tops the list in just three: Latvia, Lithuania and the Philippines? ( 4 points)
5. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, which is widely considered the largest naval battle in history, occurred during what war? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. "The Simpsons;" 2. "Breaking Bad;" 3. Christian Bale; 4. Oklahoma; 5. Cream; 6. five; 7. St. Louis Cardinals.

October 31st Trivia
1. Thomas Jefferson; 2. Britain and France; 3. 7 billion; 4. Girl Scouts; 5. Nevada; 6. Galileo Galilei; 7. "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

Horror Films Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 1960s (1960); 2. 1960s (1968); 3. 1980s (1982); 4. 1990s (1999); 5. 1970s (1978); 6. 1990s (1994); 7. 1950s (1956); 8. 1970s (1973); 9. 1980s (1980); 10. 2000s (2004).

General Knowledge
1. Joe Pesci; 2. NHL; 3. Volkswagen; 4. Sagittarius; 5. Lady Gaga; 6. obstetrics; 7. New Jersey.

IQ Trivia
1. Regis Philbin; 2. Gerry and the Pacemakers; 3. Portugal; 4. basketball; 5. World War II.

Monday, October 27, 2014

It Never Gets Old

10 years ago today.

It still gives me chills and a tear in my eye.

In Honor of All Hallows Eve

On Tuesday night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia will be "October 31st Trivia." It will be seven questions about all kinds of things that happened in the world on Halloween, none of which are connected to any ghosts or goblins.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Horror Films Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous horror films and you will tell me what decade the film originally came out. BTW, there will be only original films, and no remakes.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The Jetta TDI is a model of what car manufacturer?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some great turnouts over the last few weeks, so I would recommend you get in early to guarantee getting a seat. Thanks for all the great support, and I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow night!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stadium Reviews From Around The World

I received an email from a gentleman named Paul Swaney the other day, and he runs a cool website you might like to check out, "Stadium Journey."

His site has reviewed 1,998 stadiums from around the world, 41 countries in all. This includes every team sport you can think of, from baseball, American football, basketball and hockey, to soccer and even NASCAR. This past season, they reviewed every MLB ballpark, and about half the minor league parks.

Paul sent me the links for all the Red Sox affiliates throughout their minor league system, and of course, the big club. Here they are for your convenience:

Fenway Park:

Here are a few others to check out:
MLB Rankings:
Liverpool FC (Anfield):
Minnesota Vikings (TCF Bank Stadium):
Stadium Journey Main Page:

You can also check out Stadium Journey on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 21

We had another huge crowd in for Trivia at the Caledonia on Tuesday night. 10 teams took part, and the bar was filled with an enthusiastic group really into the Trivia. It is so gratifying to see a lot of the same folks in every week, and some new people as well. Our Trivia Night continues to grow, and I can't thank you all enough for the success so far.

It was really a two-team race in the last three rounds. The team of Kansas City's Nickname Is Fred won by ten points, getting 52 in total, including getting 4 of 5 in IQ Trivia, and getting all 7 of the General Knowledge questions correct as well (it was a tough round, and it will be a bit easier next week). Second place went to They Might Be Giants, But They'll Never Be Royals! with 42 points, and third place went to Land of the Quizfits with 28 points.

Best Team Name: Better Late Than Pregnant

Current Events
1. What actor was selected last week to host the 2015 Academy Awards for the first time after he has hosted the Tony and Emmy Awards previously?
2. What billionaire internet entrepreneur donated $25 million to the CDC in the fight against Ebola last week?
3. What controversial South American nation was elected to the UN's National Security Council last Thursday?
4. What classic rock band is currently being sued in a Pennsylvania court by a 1960s band called Spirit, as they claim the band stole their most famous song from them?
5. A cue card writer on what late-night talk show was fired last week after getting into an altercation with the show's host and another writer?
6. The World Health Organization declared yesterday that the Ebola outbreak in what West African nation has been contained, with the last case there being declared negative?
7. Police have identified a suspect wanted in a series of murders of seven women found dead in different parts of what Midwestern US state?

World Series Trivia
1. When was the last time the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series before 2014? a. 1980; b. 1985; c. 1988; d. 1995.
2. How many times have the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in this century? a. 0; b. 1; c. 2; d. 3.
3. Which Yankees Hall of Famer holds the record for playing on the most World Series champions, with 10 in all? a. Babe Ruth; b. Lou Gehrig; c. Joe DiMaggio; d. Yogi Berra.
4. Which one of the following teams have never won a World Series? a. Washington Nationals; b. Arizona Diamondbacks; c. Cleveland Indians; d. Miami Marlins.
5. What team won three consecutive World Series in the 1970s? a. NY Yankees; b. Los Angeles Dodgers; c. Oakland A's; d. Cincinnati Reds.
6. Which Red Sox player was the MVP of the 2004 World Series? a. Manny Ramirez; b. Keith Foulke; c. David Ortiz; d. Curt Schilling.
7. Name 2 of the 4 years the New York Mets appeared in the World Series.

US and World City Nicknames ("The Q Train")
1. The Gateway City
2. The City of David
3. The City of Light
4. Sin City
5. The Forbidden City
6. The Square Mile
7. The Eternal City
8. The Pearl of the Danube
9. The Big Easy
10. The Emerald City

General Knowledge
1. The country of Burkina Faso is located on what continent? ( 1 pt)
2. "Motor City Madman" is the nickname of what rock star? ( 1 pt)
3. Zane Grey wrote many books in what genre? ( 1 pt)
4. What 1964 film included the characters Major Kong, Lt. Lothar Zogg and General Jack D. Ripper? ( 2 pt)
5. What famous American poet wrote the poem "Howl?" ( 2 pt)
6. What was the name of the casino the infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel opened in 1947? ( 2 pt)
7. In what US state was the "Burning Man Festival" held in 2014? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What number constitutional amendment limited the number of terms a US president could serve to two? ( 3 points)
2. What is the largest southern US city that borders the Cumberland River? ( 5 points)
3. In 2007, what 1990s musician was recognized by RIAA as the top-selling solo artist of all-time, passing Elvis Presley with over 123 million units in US sales? ( 4 points)
4. The child care facility at Nike Headquarters in Oregon was named for what controversial sports figure until it was quietly changed in 2012? ( 4 points)
5. What professional sports team was originally named in honor of a famous local sporting event, the Preakness Stakes? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Neil Patrick Harris; 2. Mark Zuckerberg; 3. Venezuela; 4. Led Zeppelin; 5. The Late Show With David Letterman; 6. Nigeria; 7. Indiana.

World Series Trivia
1. b; 2. c; 3. d; 4. a; 5. c; 6. a; 7. 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000.

US and World City Nicknames ("The Q Train")
1. St. Louis; 2. Jerusalem; 3. Paris; 4. Las Vegas; 5. Beijing; 6. London; 7. Rome; 8. Budapest; 9. New Orleans; 10. Seattle.

General Knowledge
1. Africa; 2. Ted Nugent; 3. Westerns; 4. "Dr. Strangelove;" 5. Allen Ginsburg; 6. The Flamingo; 7. Nevada.

IQ Trivia
1. Twenty-two; 2. Nashville, TN; 3. Garth Brooks; 4. Joe Paterno; 5. Baltimore Colts.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Greatest Comeback: 10 Years Later

It was really nervous on the night of October 20, 2004.

It was Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS between the Red Sox and Yankees. The Sox had been down 0-3 in the series, and had won the last three game in a row to make history, as not team had ever played in a postseason Game 7 after losing the first three games. My friend Adam predicted an 11-0 Sox win after they won Game 6.

He wasn't too far off.

It was a night for the ages. The Sox scored early and often, and had an 8-1 lead by the 7th inning. Johnny Damon blasted two home runs, Derek Lowe was spectacular. Even bringing in Pedro Martinez in the 7th inning (why Tito?) couldn't spoil it, and made the pathetic Yankee fans look even more pathetic with the chants at him. Mark Bellhorn's 8th inning home run shot down any comeback attempt, and sent the "loyal" Yankee fans to the exits. 10-3, Red Sox.

I was at the Riviera Cafe in the West Village with about 150 other Sox fans, and partied into the night with my friends in seeing the Myth of Yankee Superiority exploded forever that night.

The World Series was a forgone conclusion, but we'll talk more about that next week. My friend Allan at The Joy of Sox has an excellent retrospective of the 2004 ALCS up on his site. Worth reliving it, especially with all the great newspaper covers from Boston and New York he's put up.

But of course, "Four Days In October" is a great documentary to relive this 10th anniversary, especially since me and my friends are in it, starting at the 33:00 mark (I'm the guy wearing the Sox jersey sitting at the bar).

Happy 10th Anniversary, Everyone!

The Fall Classic Takes Center Stage

Tomorrow night, the World Series begins in Kansas City, with the underdog and red-hot Royals taking on the NL champion San Francisco Giants. As the game is going on, we will have "World Series Trivia" as the Special Category for Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, starting at 8 PM. It will be seven questions on the Fall Classic, and the first six will be multiple choice, for those of you not huge hardball fans. The seventh question will be a multiple answer question worth more points.

The Q Train lightning round will be "US and World Cities Nicknames Trivia." We did "Countries Nicknames" last week, so why not do cities? I'll give you the nicknames of 10 big cities from here and abroad, and you tell what town I'm talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Zane Grey wrote many books in what genre?"

We get started right around 8 PM. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some big crowds lately, so please do get in before 8 PM to ensure getting a seat. Thanks so much for the great support, and I'll see many of you on Tuesday night!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Ballot For the 2014 BBA Awards

I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and every year we vote on the postseason awards, ahead of when the MLB writers vote is announced. Here is my vote for the American League and National League Pitcher of the Year (Walter Johnson Award), Relief Pitcher of the Year (Goose Gossage Award), and the Stan Musial Award (MVP). Just my opinion, I could be wrong:

NL Pitcher of the Year
1. Clayton Kershaw, LA
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Johnny Cueto, CIN
4. Doug Fister, WAS
5. Cole Hamels, PHI

AL Pitcher of the Year
1. Corey Kluber, CLE
2. Felix Hernandez, SEA
3. Chris Sale, CHI
4. Jon Lester, BOS-OAK
5. David Price, TB-DET

NL Relief Pitcher of the Year
1. Craig Kimbrel, ATL
2. Aroldis Chapman, CIN
3. Trevor Rosenthal, STL

AL Relief Pitcher of the Year
1. Greg Holland, KC
2. Zach Britton, BAL
3. Dellin Betances, NY

1. Clayton Kershaw, LA
2. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
3. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
4. Buster Posey, SF
5. Anthony Rendon, WAS
6. Josh Harrison, PIT
7. Adrian Gonzalez, LA
8. Anthony Rizzo, CHI
9. Adam Wainwright, STL
10. Matt Carpenter, STL

1. Mike Trout, LA
2. Nelson Cruz, BAL
3. Michael Brantley, CLE
4. Jose Bautista, TOR
5. Miguel Cabrera, DET
6. Jose Abreu, CHI
7. Jose Altuve, HOU
8. Victor Martinez, DET
9. Josh Donaldson, OAK
10. Robinson Cano, SEA

The Willie Mays Award for Rookie of the Year was previously awarded earlier this week to Jose Abreu for the AL, and Jacob deGrom for the NL. The Connie Mack Award for Manager of the Year was previously awarded to Clint Hurdle for the NL, and Buck Showalter for the AL.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 14

We had yet another terrific crowd in for Trivia on Tuesday night. The Caledonia was once again filled to capacity, and I can't thank you all enough for another tremendous turnout. Soon we will have to figure a way to add more seats to the bar to accommodate all our Trivia players. What a great problem to have.

The team of Canadian Trivia Is Redundant won the night, getting 52 points (including a perfect sweep of the IQ Trivia questions), and taking it by a full ten points. Congrats to Alex and his crew on another great win. Second place was very close the last two rounds, but it went to Stephen Hawking's School of Dance (which also took the Best Team Name honors) with 42 points, and third place went to Let's See a Double Feature With Geno Smith The Day Before The Game with 41 points.

Current Events
1. Thieves broke into the museum dedicated to what Hall of Fame baseball player last week in New Jersey, stealing priceless memorabilia dedicated to him?
2. What female pop singer was selected as the halftime act for next February's Super Bowl?
3. It was recently revealed that NBC tried unsuccessfully to hire what late-night talk show host to become the new host of their Sunday morning political show "Meet the Press?"
4. Malala Yousafazi, at the age of 17, became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner last Friday. What country is she from?
5. What actress checked into a rehab shortly after she made shocking abuse claims against her father on Twitter?
6. The fiancee of John Kitzhaber, governor of what western US state, admitted last Friday to accepting $5000 to be in a "green card marriage" to an Ethiopian man?
7. A statue of what controversial American made an appearance in Union Square Park last Friday, but the police ordered it removed due to a lack of a permit to display it?

Canada Trivia
1. How many oceans border the nation of Canada?
2. What was the last Canadian city to host an Olympic Games?
3. Name Canada's two national sports.
4. What late Canadian actor's brother was Canada's Deputy Prime Minister from 1984-1986?
5. How many countries in the world are larger than Canada in total land area?
6. Rogers Centre, a major Canadian ballpark, is located in what city?
7. Name 2 of the 3 largest Canadian provinces by population.

Country Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Land of the Rising Sun
2. The Gift of the Nile
3. The Land of Hope & Glory
4. The Land of Milk & Honey
5. The Land of the Incas
6. The Hermit Kingdom
7. The Boot
8. The Rainbow Nation
9. The Hexagon
10. The Land of Oz

General Knowledge
1. Europe recently won the 40th Ryder Cup in what sport? ( 1 pt)
2. The Dewey Decimal System categorizes what? ( 1 pt)
3. Dolly, the first successfully cloned mammal, was what kind of animal? ( 1 pt)
4. Death Valley is located in what American desert? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the most widely spoken language on Earth? ( 2 pt)
6. How many laps are there in the Indianapolis 500? ( 2 pt)
7. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in what country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who did the Associated Press pick as the Athlete of the Decade for 2000-2009? ( 4 points)
2. Cebuano and Tagalog are the two most common native languages spoken in what Asian country? ( 3 points)
3. For the first time since 1932, two women topped Quigley Publishing's 2013 list of the "Top Money-Making Stars." Name the two Oscar-winning actresses. ( 4 points)
4. Charles Fairbanks, Charles Curtis and Charles Dawes were all early 20th century Americans who all held what position? ( 5 points)
5. What popular rock singer/songwriter came in first in a 2012 poll that asked Americans who they'd pick to compose a new national anthem? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Yogi Berra; 2. Katy Perry; 3. Jon Stewart; 4. Pakistan; 5. Amanda Bynes; 6. Oregon; 7. Edward Snowden.

Canada Trivia
1. Three; 2. Vancouver (2010); and lacrosse; 4. Leslie Nielsen; 5. one (Russia); 6. Toronto; 7. Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Country Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Japan; 2. Egypt; 3. England; 4. Switzerland & Israel; 5. Peru; 6. North Korea; 7. Italy; 8. South Africa; 9. France; 10. Australia.

General Knowledge
1. Golf; 2. books; 3. sheep; 4. Mojave; 5. Mandarin Chinese; 6. 200; 7. United Kingdom.

IQ Trivia
1. Tiger Woods; 2. The Philippines; 3. Jennifer Lawrence and Sandra Bullock; 4. Vice President of the United States; 5. Bruce Springsteen.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"America's Hat" Trivia On Tuesday

Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "Canada Trivia." It will be seven questions about our neighbors to the north in honor of their celebration of Thanksgiving Day this week. The Q Train lightning round will be "Countries' Nicknames Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous nicknames of countries from around the world, and you have to tell me what nation I am talking about. (BTW, "Great White North" and "America's Hat" will not be among the nicknames.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Europe recently won the 40th Ryder Cup, in what sport?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've some really nice turnouts over the past few months, and I thank you all for your great support. I look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thanks Josh & Ryan

Two notable Red Sox pitchers from the recent past called it a career this past week: Josh Beckett and Ryan Dempster.

They weren't teammates on the Red Sox, but they briefly played together on the Florida Marlins in 2001 and 2002. Both had terrific careers, but while neither will be going to the Hall of Fame, both retire as World Series champions with the Red Sox. (And Beckett won another ring with the Marlins in 2003.)

Beckett left the Sox in 2012 in the much-heralded trade with the Dodgers, that also sent Adrian Gonzalez and Carl (I Can't Shut Up About How Much I Hate Boston) Crawford. His time had clearly ended in Boston, and a divorce was the best things at the time for all concerned.

Way too much was made of that "Beer and Chicken" nonsense of 2011, but Beckett does deserve much of the blame for the Sox not making the playoffs that year. He and Jon Lester had miserable months of September, and it cost the team dearly. They were supposed to lead the Sox into the postseason, and their failures killed the season.

But that's not what most fans should remember about Beckett. Every fan should always keep in mind that he was the main reason the Red Sox won a second World Series in the 21st century, as he simply stellar. He went 4-0 in that postseason, including being MVP of the ALCS, winning Game 5 that sent the series back to Boston. This coming off a 20-win season that year.

Yeah, the way Beckett left Boston may still be fresh in many fans minds, but when all is said and done, Beckett brought a title to Boston. And that should never be forgotten, and won't be. I'm sure he'll be warmly received when the Sox have a 10th anniversary remembrance of the 2007 Champions in 2017.

Dempster was brought in as a free agent in 2013, and not many people were jumping for joy when the Red Sox signed him. His numbers weren't anything to get excited about (8-9 with a 4.57 ERA), but he became a valuable guy in the clubhouse who ate up innings on the team that shocked the baseball world and won the 2013 World Series.

And fans will never forget the statement he made against one Alex Rodriguez on a Sunday night that August.

Dempster also walked away from the second year of his two-year, $28 million deal with the Sox after the World Series to be with his family. Not every player can walk away from $14 million. He did some work on the MLB Network, and did not officially retire until this week.

I wish both Josh Beckett and Ryan Dempster all the best in their retirements, and thank them both for the great memories they leave Red Sox fans. They retire champions, from two championship Sox teams.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 7

We had another terrific night of Trivia at The Caledonia on Tuesday night, as the bar was filled and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The crowd was rather boisterous, and it was a really close night in terms of scores. In fact, something happened after the third round that I have never seen happen in any Trivia Night I have ever done before. There were seven teams playing, and every team was one point behind the other. And it was really strange since we had a five-way tie for second place after the second round!

The team of Multiple Scoregasms won the night, coming from last place in the third round and had two amazing last rounds, getting 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia to pull off a one point victory with 39 points. Second place went to The Central Park Bears with 38 points, and third place went to Mortal Wombat with 37 points.

Best Team Name: My Name Is Keith. I am Your Bartender, and I Like Things On The Harder Side

Current Events
1. What European country recently abolished all tuition fees in their colleges and universities for the coming school year?
2. What controversial actor was accused of assault and battery after he allegedly attacked a technician during a visit to a dentist last month?
3. According to Pollstar, what NY-area concert venue has sold more tickets to concerts & touring shows than any other US arena in the first nine months of 2014?
4. Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former "president for life" of what country he ruled for 15 years before fleeing into exile in 1986, died last Saturday at the age of 63?
5. The family of the late iconic actor John Wayne is currently locked in a legal battle with what American university over using his nickname on a bourbon bottle?
6. American John O'Keefe and Norwegians May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser were awarded the Nobel Prize in what field on Monday?
7. What movie thriller grossed over $38 million this past weekend in its opening week to become the number one film in the US at the box office?

Italy Trivia
1. Italy's flag is what three colors?
2. Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in Italy in what century?
3. In 1890, Italian Giuseppe Airoldi is credited with inventing what, something you see in newspapers every day?
4. What small country is located totally within northern Italy, has a population of 30,000 and is the oldest constitutional republic in the world?
5. Venice's international airport is named for what Italian traveler and explorer?
6. What is the name of Italy's largest island?
7. How many time has Italy won soccer's World Cup?

Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Beldar Conehead
2. Wayne Campbell
3. Matt Foley
4. Ed Grimley
5. The Church Lady
6. Emily Litella
7. Stuart Smalley
8. Alex Trebek
9. Tommy Flanagan, Pathological Liar
10. Barack Obama

General Knowledge
1. What country leads the teams in the opening parade for every Summer Olympics? ( 1 pt)
2. Clemson University is found in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. What was the name of the SUV famously driven in June 1994 by Al Cowlings? ( 1 pt)
4. Titan is the largest moon of what planet? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the only US state that touches the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the branch of medicine that deals with cancer? ( 2 pt)
7. The month of March always starts on the same day of the week as what other month?  ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the largest bay in the world? ( 4 points)
2. What European car company was founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing passenger cars? ( 5 points)
3. What is the smallest state in the US west of the Mississippi River in land area? ( 3 points)
4. What small European nation is the world's most densely populated country? ( 4 points)
5. At the age of 54, Elena Kagen is the youngest person who is part of what group of people? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Germany; 2. Charlie Sheen; 3. Barclays Center; 4. Haiti; 5. Duke; 6. medicine; 7. "Gone Girl."

Italy Trivia
1. Red, white and green; 2. 16th century; 3. crossword puzzle; 4. San Marino; 5. Marco Polo; 6. Sicily; 7. four.

Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Dan Aykroyd; 2. Mike Myers; 3. Chris Farley; 4. Martin Short; 5. Dana Carvey; 6. Gilda Radner; 7. Al Franken; 8. Will Ferrell; 9. Jon Lovitz; 10. Fred Armisen & Jay Pharoah.

General Knowledge
1. Greece; 2. South Carolina; 3. Ford Bronco; 4. Saturn; 5. New York; 6. oncology; 7. November.

IQ Trivia
1. Bay of Bengal; 2. Jaguar; 3. Hawaii; 4. Monaco; 5. US Supreme Court.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Honoring Italy & SNL On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will feature "Italy Trivia" as the Special Category, in honor of the upcoming Columbus Day holiday next Monday. I will ask you seven questions connected in some way to that great nation.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia." In honor of the NBC show beginning its 40th season a couple of weeks ago, I will give you the names of ten famous characters from that show, and you have to tell me which actor or actress played that character on the program.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What country leads the teams in the opening parade for every Summer Olympics?"

We get rolling just after 8 PM tomorrow night. Thanks to all of you who have been turning out each week and making Trivia at the Caledonia such a success. The pub is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, October 03, 2014

"Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914"

As we all know, America loves an underdog. There have been many in baseball history, and most think of the 1969 New York Mets as the gold standard for it. And there have been many amazing comebacks as well, with the most famous being the New York Giants coming back to win the National League pennant in 1951 (who coincidentally, pulled it off 63 years ago today).

But there was a forerunner for both underdog and comebacks in MLB history. It was the 1914 Boston Braves, who pulled off the most amazing comeback in baseball history, and it is chronicled in the new tome, "Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914" by J. Brian Ross.

The Braves were a pretty nondescript team, playing second fiddle in the city of Boston to the Red Sox, who had won the World Series in 1912. The Braves had not won a pennant in their history and had finished fifth of eight teams in 1913, after ending up in the basement the previous four seasons. They broke from the gate in 1914 losing 16 of their first 19 games, and it looked like another last place finish was in store for them.

On July 4th, they dropped a doubleheader (you remember them, right?) to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and they stood at 26-40 in last place. A few days later they played an exhibition game against Buffalo of the International League, and were humiliated, 10-2. It was the naadir of a lost season. But right after that, their fortunes turned. And dramatically.

Ross does a nice job setting up the times the Braves won it all in 1914: it was the Progressive Era, which was marked by invention and innovation. But it was also a dangerous time, as war was looming in Europe, and would engulf the world.

Ross also talks extensively about many of the major stars of the era, like John McGraw, Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack. He also focuses on the only stars playing for the Braves, future Hall of Fame infielders Rabbit Maranville and Johnny Evers. The section on Evers is especially interesting, as he went through a few tragedies during his playing days. The Braves also had a colorful manager named George Stallings, a figure really lost to MLB history, and Ross' depiction of him is as a real character.

A combination of amazing pitching, great defense and timely hitting put the Braves on an amazing run, as they won 68 and lost just 19 the remainder of the season. They took over first place on September 8th, as the mighty New York Giants slumped in August, and the Braves won the league by an astounding 10 1/2 games, as they went 26-5 in September.

The Braves met Connie Mack and the mighty Philadelphia A's in the World Series. They were one of history's greatest teams, winning three of the past four World Series. Ross does well here describing each of the World Series games, which was a Braves sweep. (The Braves played their two home games at Fenway Park, as Fenway had a larger capacity than Braves Field.)

If I do some criticisms of the book, is that it is a bit short (only 153 pages), and there was little followup on the aftermath of the Braves' miracle season. (It turned out to be just a one-year wonder, as the Braves finished second in 1915, and wound up back in the second division by 1917. The A's suffered a worse fate, as Connie Mack began breaking up his championship squad, as he was short of money. They finished 43-109 in 1915. So the 2014 Red Sox aren't the first team to win a title and finish last the next year.)

But it overall an enjoyable read, and the parallels to the 1969 New York Mets are quite evident. J. Brian Ross brought a deadball era champion back to life, and despite some faults, it is well-worth your time to check it out, especially if you are a fan of old time baseball history.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 30

We had another good crowd in at the Caledonia for Trivia, as the AL Wild Card Game was going on (and will become an instant classic for sure). The team of Lester? I Don't Even Know Her led for the first four rounds, but were overtaken when the team of I Can't Read That Out Loud got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia and wound up winning the night with 38 points, for their first ever Trivia Night win. Lester? Wound up in second with 32 points, and Brains of Kyrgykstan finished third with 25 points.

Best Team Name: Good Name Next Time!

Current Events
1. What US state was hit by a 6.2 earthquake last Thursday, causing minimal damage, and it was estimated that it was 32,000 times less powerful than the state's worst earthquake of 1964?
2. The president of the region of Catalonia, from what country, authorized an independence referendum for November 9th last week over the country's government opposition?
3. The daughter of the infamous BTK serial killer criticized what author recently for having written a screenplay based on the 2005 Kansas case?
4. A new book recently claimed that what legendary comedian faked his own death 30 years ago, and the author, his friend, claims he will reveal his prank to the world soon?
5. Dennis Kimetto set a new marathon world record last Sunday of 2:02:57 in what European capital city?
6. Over 30 people are feared dead after a volcano erupted on Mount Ontake in what Asian country?
7. Ashraf Ghani was sworn in last Sunday as the new president of what Asian country?

Which Came First Trivia
1. a. The American Civil War ends; b. Canada becomes an independent nation.
2. a. Saigon falls and Vietnam unifies; b. Richard Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford becomes president.
3. a. OJ Simpson is indicted for double murder; c. MLB players walk out on strike & the World Series is later canceled.
4. a. American Idol debuts on Fox; b. Survivor debuts on CBS.
5. a. Barack Obama is born; b. JFK is inaugurated president.
6. a. New England Patriots win their first Super Bowl; b. Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years.
7. a. Bernie Madoff is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme; b. Barack Obama is elected 44th US president.

1-2-3-4 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of state capitals named after US presidents.
2. Catcher is this number on a baseball team.
3. On a telephone, this number key is associated with the letters D, E and F.
4. Cancer is this number sign of the zodiac.
5. This is the number of US presidents who have been impeached.
6. In volleyball, this is the number of sets needed to be won to win a whole match.
7. This is the total number of Oscars won by Matt Damon in his career.
8. This is the maximum number of times Friday the 13th can happen in a given year.
9. This is the number of future US presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence.
10. Hall of Fame athletes Ozzie Smith and Oscar Robertson wore this number.

General Knowledge
1. In what classic game can you be ordered to "go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200?" ( 1 pt)
2. What is the sixth planet from the sun? (1 pt)
3. Jakarta is the capital of what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
4. Michael Hutchence was the lead singer of what pop/rock band? ( 2 pt)
5. Matthew Brady was a noted photographer of what war? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the largest bone in the human body? ( 2 pt)
7. Geronimo was the noted leader of what American Indian tribe? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Where in the human body would you find the metacarpus? ( 4 points)
2. Kate Winslet won an Academy Award for Best Actress for what film? ( 3 points)
3. What US state shares the Lake of the Woods with Canada? ( 4 points)
4. The city where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 is now the capital of what independent nation? ( 4 points)
5. In August 2014, California native Kevin McCarthy became only the 25th person in American history to hold what post? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Alaska; 2. Spain; 3. Stephen King; 4. Andy Kaufman; 5. Berlin; 6. Japan; 7. Afghanistan.

Which Came First Trivia
1. a; 2. b; 3. a; 4. b; 5. b; 6. a; 7. b.

1-2-3-4 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 4; 2. 2; 3. 3; 4. 4; 5. 2; 6. 3; 7. 1; 8. 3; 9. 2; 10. 1.

General Knowledge
1. Monopoly; 2. Saturn; 3. Indonesia; 4. INXS; 5. Civil War; 6. femur; 7. Apache.

IQ Trivia
1. Hand; 2. "The Reader;" 3. Minnesota; 4. Bosnia & Herzogovina; 5. Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.