Friday, July 18, 2008

Bobby & Bobby into the sunset (Also: quiz answers!)

So it turned out that May was not the final appearance of Roberts Ludlum and Evans on the Minneapolis improv stage. Mr. Dan Hetzel, in observance of his approaching departure to San Diego in early August, has been given a slate of extra performance slots at Improv a-Go-Go to have goodbye performances with the various ensembles he's been in. This Sunday (8PM, 2605 Hennepin Ave S in Minneapolis, $1) , we'll say farewell to these two philosopher kings. I hope you can be there.

OK, a bit of blog housekeeping. It's time for the solution to the quiz of a few weeks back. Here it is:

Set #1 represents the cities hosting the Summer Olympics, 1960 through 2012. The numbers represent the last digit of the given year. The initials separated by commas represent the first letters of the city and country names in English. Thus, U for USSR instead of C for CCCP, and so on.

Set #2 represents the list of losing major party US presidential candidates, 1960 through 2004. The numbers, therefore, are the same as in Set #1, and the initials are the commonly-sed first and last names of the candidates.Thus, BD for Bob instead of Robert Dole.

Here are all the answers:

SET #1 SET #2
2012 London, UK 2004 John Kerry
2008 Beijing, China 2000 Al Gore
2004 Athens, Greece 1996 Bob Dole
2000 Sydney, Australia 1992 George Bush
1996 Atlanta, USA 1988 Michael Dukakis
1992 Barcelona, Spain 1984 Walter Mondale
1988 Seoul, South Korea 1980 Jimmy Carter
1984 Los Angeles, USA 1976 Gerald Ford
1980 Moscow, USSR 1972 George McGovern
1976 Montreal, Canada 1968 Hubert Humphrey
1972 Munich, Germany 1964 Barry Goldwater
1968 Mexico City, Mexico 1960 Richard Nixon
1964 Tokyo, Japan
1960 Rome, Italy

The items listed in my clues last week would be 1956 (Adlai Stevenson, Melbourne Australia) and 1952 (Adlai Stevenson, Helsinki, Finland).

I struggled with how much information to give for these. I decided it would be too obvious to give more than the last digits of the years, and with the candidates, I decided that middle initials might give it away too fast (HHH being particularly tell-tale to the Minnesotans out there). I also decided not to list what the two POSSIBLE entries might be for 2008 in Set #2, as BHO would be a dead give-away.

I mentioned at the beginning of last week's post that I was wondering about whether one ever affects the other. That is, do the Summer Olympics ever affect the US Presidential Election, and if so, how. Certainly this year there are practical effects on the campaign, as the early-August Olympics are driving the party conventions later than they've ever been. But, if you consider warm & fuzzy patriotism to be more in tune with the Republican party than the Democratic (and certainly there are plenty of partisans on both sides who would paint things that way), do you think that the rah-rah American spirit of our Olympic coverage could swing a few votes for the GOP candidate? Or does the feelgood internationalism of the Games instead favor the UN-hugging Democrats? My gut feeling is that, nothing under the sun being new, and the sample size of voters being in the multi-millions, there's probably some dope out there who decided their vote based on how they were feeling after the Olympics*, but that the numbers are small.

Now, as a follow up: I just now noticed an inconsistency in my Olympic list. If you can identify it, you'll get a coveted shout-out in this space and a warm, smug feeling of self-satisfaction. Feel free to comment on the post or email me with your guesses.

* Somewhat more thoughtfully, I suppose it's possible that the Munich Massacre, having geopolitical ramifications, might have had more of an effect, although I don't get the impression that the Middle East was at the forefront of foreign policy politics in the US in 1972, since there were bigger fish to fry at the time.