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June 22, 2005

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Sir Francis Burdett

But where's Freeway in all of this??

[click on my name below btw]

A Married New York City Math Teacher

The world asks you important questions requiring your urgent and complete response, and all you can do with your time is recount a list of the principals of this "internet message journal"? With jocularly-toned annotations and a boring repetition of a turn of phrase to boot, no less!

Clear things up! What are you, some kind of weblog dermatologist? Such lacunae in the common knowledge of HDTD readers are more easily filled by a glance at the well-written and informative sidebar prcis! For shame!

Recount readings redolent with rhythmic radiance! Spin your skeins of specialist schema! Tell me where you topple the teetering tower of turpitudinous twaddle trickling toward tyranny!
For this entry shows it not. For shame!

[and now, gentle perusers of the comments section, you know what teachers do during regents week, after all tests have been graded.]

Bernard Guerrero

BTW, I'm running the office trivia pool for the week. Since Carlos is already concentrating on trivia. ;^) No Googling, they're not that tough.

6/20
1. Which Civil War general was told by a press official that he was "In very great danger of being President of the United States?"

2. What is the earliest surviving system of laws? (0.5) In what land was it implemented? (0.5)

3. Edward Binney and Harold Smith are famous for an invention made in 1903. What was it?

4. Which constellation contains the start Betelgeuse?

5. Which character was originally slated to die in the first episode of the long-running TV show “ER”?(0.5) Which actor played said character?(0.5)

Puzzle: If a purebred black rabbit is crossed with a hybrid black rabbit, what are the chances of the offspring having white hair?

6/21
1. Who was the famous slave who sued to gain his freedom before the Supreme Court in 1846?

2. The strongest ground-level winds ever recorded in the continental United States were 231 mph. Where were they recorded?

3. What is believed to be the oldest mountain range on Earth?

4. Which Madonna video was banned by MTV because it was too “racy”?

5. What was the last battle of the Napoleonic/Revolutionary Wars on the European continent?

Puzzle: Take the letters in the phrase HASTE MAKES WASTE, change one of the letters to an L, and rearrange, and you can make the name of a professional sports team. What is the team?

6/22
1. What was the first battle of the American Revolutionary War?(0.5) Who won?(0.5)

2. What large mammal was discovered only in 1901?(1.0) What unique talent does it have?(0.5)

3. What is the most expensive piece of jewelry ever specifically made for a film?

4. What did Elisha G. Otis invent in 1852?

5. Olympus Mons is a volcano almost three times as tall as Mount Everest. Where is it found?

Puzzle: Remember our rabbits from Monday? Let’s say our little buddies the purebred black and the hybrid black breed like, well, rabbits. Huge number of baby bunnies, which we do not enumerate as to type. We then pick two of these at random and let them breed (eewwww! double eewwwww!) What is the approximate probability that we will end up with a little white bunny? (Hint: The stipulation that they have a large number of unenumerated offspring greatly simplifies the problem.)


And I can think of at least two of these that Carlos and Doug may find the answer to problematic, but hey, arguments are half the fun!

Andrew Gray

Bernard: When you say "earliest surviving system of laws", do you mean the oldest one to survive in the sense of "we have a copy", or to survive in the sense of "somewhere still uses it"? The second could be an interesting debate...

(My piece of trivia for the day: Pope Alexander VI, prior to becoming Pope, was a head of state. What country?)

Bernard Guerrero

The former, though I agree the latter would be an interesting question itself.

Jussi Jalonen

I didn't know that okapis had unique talents. So, what do they do? Play accordion?


Cheers,
Jalonen

Bernard Guerrero

It can clean its ears with its tongue, a talent I believe is available only to it and Gene Simmons. A lot of answers of “manatee”, BTW.

Dennis Brennan

One of my favorite trivia questions:

What do the following have in common?
Clara Barton, John Fenwick, Walt Whitman, James Fenimore Cooper, Richard Stockton, Woodrow Wilson, Molly Pitcher, Joyce Kilmer, Thomas Edison, Grover Cleveland, William Halsey, Alexander Hamilton, and Vince Lombardi.

Carlos

I know.

rparson

Me too, although fact that I am also a member of that set made it easy for me.

Carlos

Um. Robert, I am pretty sure you're not a member of this specific set.

Bernard Guerrero

If it is what I think it is, he clearly isn't. And the answer is clearly trivial.

Bernard Guerrero

Now that I'm thinking about it, what set could Robert possibly _think_ it is? He's not dead, either.

Robert

Hmm, I see that I jumped to conclusions based upon about half of the data. I remembered that several of the members lived in New Jersey, where I was born, then remembered that Halsey had his flag on the battleship New Jersey at one time, and decided that Vince's connection was via a football jersey. Do I get partial credit? If you don't give me at least 50 percent I will send Ward Churchill after you.

Carlos

There's no William Carlos Williams Rest Area either, which led Hugh Kenner to quip, in the manner of Joyce [1] Kilmer:

I think that I shall never see
a WCW WC.

You get partial credit, despite that other WC. Anyway, I could take him.

[1] He's a *man*, baby! Dead of a sniper in WWI.

Carlos

Dennis Brennan, who has found his reply has mysteriously bounced, writes me to say:

"I know Carlos knows. Robert-- A New Jersey is on the right path, so to speak. But I should have specified that the given list is (as far as I know), a _complete_ list."

[The answer, incidentally, is "people who are commemorated with a Rest Area on the New Jersey Turnpike. In Green Bay, they name major thoroughfares after Vince Lombardi. In New Jersey, they name a glorified urinal after him. I think Wisconsin wins that one.]

"None of this is intended to distract attention from Bernard's worthy questions. I only solidly knew the answer to one of the five June 20 questions, two of the June 21 ones, and four of the June 22 ones (although I could take guesses at the rest). Perhaps Bernard will favor us with the solutions at some point, so that the arguments about problematic questions may commence?"

Bernard Guerrero

Ask and ye shall receive. My answers, anyway. YMMV:

6/20

1. Which Civil War general was told by a press official that he was "In very great danger of being President of the United States?"

General George Meade, Union victor of Gettysburg. And you can see how short people’s memories are, ‘cause you save the country in 1863 and people think you’re going to be President, and come 1864 it’s “So what have you done for me lately, George?” and “Hey, is that General Grant?”

2. What is the earliest surviving system of laws? (0.5) In what land was it implemented? (0.5)

The Code of Hammurabi, Hammurabi being the most enterprising of the Amorite rulers of the city-state and imperial hub of Babylon. I also accepted Sumeria, but Mesopotamia is too broad. “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”, which may have inspired parts of Judaic law. If you were accused of something, you could prove your innocence by jumping in a river and swimming across. If you sank, you were guilty. This shows the Sumerians to have been an imminently practical people, since if you made it across they probably wouldn’t have been able to catch you again, anyway. And if you sank, well, who cares, you’re dead.

3. Edward Binney and Harold Smith are famous for an invention made in 1903. What was it?

Crayola Crayons. The word Crayola was created by Alice Stead Binney (Binney’s wife) who took French words for chalk (craie) and oily (olagineux) and combined them. BTW, I think it was actually Edwin Binney.

4. Which constellation contains the star Betelgeuse?

Orion.

5. Which character was originally slated to die in the first episode of the long-running TV show “ER”?(0.5) Which actor played said character?(0.5)

Carol Hathaway, played by Julianna Margulies. Apparently the test audiences didn’t like her dying in the pilot. So they kept her depressive, semi-suicidal self around for a few years so that she could drop everything and move away from Chicago when George Clooney made a cameo return to the show. Gritty realism would have forced them to note that nothing whatsoever had changed in either character’s self-destructive personality, almost ensuring that Hathaway’s happy-ending would eventually result in yet another attempted suicide. Maybe prompted by Clooney’s change in hair-cuts.

Puzzle: If a purebred black rabbit is crossed with a hybrid black rabbit, what are the chances of the offspring having white hair?

No chance at all. This particular mix (a BB and a Bw, since we've defined black as dominant in the question) results in 2 possible purebred black and two possible hybrid black. No white rabbit (ww) is possible.

Bernard Guerrero

"I think that I shall never see
a WCW WC."

Note to self: Petition Rutherford Public Library for an appropriate plaque for the basement johns next time I'm in town.

Bernard Guerrero

6/22

1. Who was the famous slave who sued to gain his freedom before the Supreme Court in 1846?

Dred Scott (ca. 1799 - September 17, 1858) was a slave who sued unsuccessfully for his freedom in the famous lawsuit Dred Scott v. Sandford which bears his name.

2. The strongest ground-level winds ever recorded in the continental United States were 231 mph. Where were they recorded?

Mt.Washington, New Hampshire, in 1934

3. What is believed to be the oldest mountain range on Earth?

I accepted either the Laurentians in Canada or the Lewis formations in Scotland. Both were actually one and the same prior to the Laurentian super-continent breaking into North America and Europe.

4. Which Madonna video was banned by MTV because it was too “racy”?

“Justify My Love”, which contained partial nudity.

5. What was the last battle of the Napoleonic/Revolutionary Wars on the European continent?

The Battle of Wavre was the last battle of the War of the Seventh Coalition, the last of the Napoleonic Wars. It was fought on June 18 and June 19, 1815 between the Prussian rearguard under the command of General Johann von Thielmann and 3 corps of the French army under the command of Marshal Grouchy.

The Prussians, outnumbered nearly two to one, were driven back, but the rearguard prevented two French corps and a French cavalry corps from taking part in the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, and so contributed to the Allied victory in the campaign and the final downfall of Napolon.


Puzzle: Take the letters in the phrase HASTE MAKES WASTE, change one of the letters to an L, and rearrange, and you can make the name of a professional sports team. What is the team?

Seattle Seahawks


Bernard Guerrero

In case anybody's still interested, I ran across a nice one today:

Puzzle: Person x and y have the following conversation:

x: I forgot how old your three kids are.
y: The product of their ages is 36.
x: I still don't know their ages.
y: The sum of their ages is the same as your house number.
x: I still don't know their ages.
y: The oldest one has red hair.
x: Now I know their ages!

What are the kids' ages?

Dave MB

Oldest is nine, the other two are each two.
This assumes that if two children have the same rounded
age, neither is "oldest".

Dennis Brennan

And why can't the kids be aged 4, 3 and 3?

Dennis Brennan

And why can't the kids be aged 4, 3 and 3? Or 12, 3 and 1?

Bernard Guerrero

Dennis,

The key is in the second bit of info you get. From the statement that the product of their ages is 36 the possibilities for the three individual ages are:

1,1,36
1,2,18
1,3,12
1,4,9
1,6,6
2,2,9
2,3,6
3,3,4

From the statement that the sum equals the house number it is possible to eliminate all but two possibilities. The sums of the rest are unique and would allow for an immediate answer. For example if the house number were 16 the ages must be 1, 3, and 12. The two remaining possibilities are 2, 2, and 9; or 1, 6, and 6.

After the clue that the oldest has red hair you can eliminate 1, 6, and 6 because the oldest two have the same age thus there is no oldest son. The only remaining posibility is 2, 2, and 9.

Dennis Brennan

I am now enlightened, thanks. I had figured out that the significance of the "oldest has red hair" datum was that there was exactly one "oldest" kid, but I missed the middle part. Arithmetic not Zathras's skill.

ObNon-sequitur: Boy, the TV coverage of Live 8 sure was terrible.

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