Friday, June 13, 2008

Weeklypedia 10/11: Double-shot

Before my job/work moves, I printed out my browsers' Wikipedia histories. That list is somewhere in my messenger bag (aka man-purse). Someday I'll get around to plumbing the depths of that list for quality nuggets of trivia [I really should have used the participle "mining" instead of "plumbing," given the unpleasant combination of words "plumbing" and "nuggets" - ed.]. But for now, there's more recent Wiki-research afoot! I'm going to make this week's quiz double-long, to start making up for the month-long gap in May.

As always, the answers to the previous quiz are now up.

Weeklypedia Nos. 10 & 11

1. The Compromise of 1877 gave this US Presidential candidate an electoral victory in exchange for moving Federal troops out of the South, a move that effectively ended Reconstruction and allowed "Redeemer" Democrats to enact Jim Crow.

2. Batman's criminally insane foes, when not at large, are incarcerated in this facility, named after the fictional Massachusetts setting of much of H.P. Lovecraft's horror writing.

3. Explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to reach this.

4. This NY group was the first hip-hop act to get the message that they'd be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

5. When a politician says "if nominated, I will not run, and if elected I will not serve," he or she is said to be making this kind of statement, named for its originator.

6. This author's crime and western novels have been adapted into movies starring John Travolta, Pam Grier, George Clooney, and Russel Crowe.

7. In the final scene of the final episode of the TV show "The Sopranos," a suspicious character is seen wearing one of this exclusive brand of jackets, popular nationwide in the 1980s.*

8. The separate mafia organizations in New York City are collectively known by this numerical name, and were referenced as such (with fictionalized individual names) in such works as The Godfather, The Sopranos, and Grand Theft Auto.

9. This wife of a presidential candidate was hospitalized approximately a year after her husband lost the election for having drank (drunk?) rubbing alcohol.

10. This one-time vice presidential candidate visibly injured his own face, rather than be used as a propaganda tool by his North Vietnamese captors.

11. Alan Greenspan and David Rockefeller were among the founding members of this group in 1973. The group was designed to foster relations between the three collective powers of Europe, Japan, and the United States, and figures into many right-wing conspiracy theories.

12. This comet passed close to Earth in 1997, and was cited by the Heaven's Gate cult as the signal for their mass suicide.

13. New Horizons, launched by NASA in 2005, will in 2015 be the first ever probe to fly by this.

14. From the Latin root meaning "game," and suggested by Herman Hesse's novel "The Glass Bead Game," it is a word meaning the study and theory of games.

15. Tay Zonday, composer and performer of this song, is one of many web celebrities appearing in the music video for Weezer's single "Pork and Beans."

16. This Iowan Representative to the US Congress, who Horace Greeley famously instructed to "go west, young man," was beaten with a cane about the head and shoulders by a fellow Congressman in 1866.

Here's a fun tidbit that I decided not to question-ize: each of the Voyager space probes carry a golden record as a sort of time capsule, or, in case of extraterrestrial salvage, message of identification & peace. The discs include greetings in many languages and a selection of music from around the world. There's some Bach and some Beethoven, some Stravinsky (terrifying for aliens, I imagine), some Chuck Berry and some Louis Armstrong, pygmy music, gamelan, etc. Anyway, apparently Carl Sagan, who chaired the group that put this together, wanted to include "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles. The Beatles loved the idea but those killjoys at EMI nixed the idea. I like to think that EMI was actually concerned that the title of the song would be read as a threat, the equivalent of a statement to pre-Columbian tribes in the western hemisphere reading "Here Comes Spain." Could've been a terrific diplomatic faux pas. Or maybe it was sensible on the company's part, when you consider that aliens probably already had mp3 and internet technology in the 1970s -- it was too much of a copyright infringement risk.

* PS: [Spoiler Alert] I rewatched the last couple episodes of The Sopranos last night and the finale seemed MUCH less ambiguous this time around -- Tony totally got shot and killed at the blackout. [End Spoiler Alert]

1 comment:

Fred said...


1. Who is Rutherford B. Hayes?
2. What is Arkham Asylum?
3. What is the South Pole?
4. Who are Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five?
5. What is a Shermanesque Statement (named for William Tecumseh Sherman)?
6. Who is Ellmore Leonard?
7. What is a Members Only jacket?
8. What are the Five Families?
9. Who is Kitty Dukakis?
10. Who is James Stockdale?
11. What is the Trilateral Commission?
12. What is Hale-Bopp?
13. What is Pluto?
14. What is Ludology?
15. What is Cholocalte Rain?
16. Who is Josiah B. Grinnell?