Realm: First question!
Subrealm: We are a jelly donut.
Question: Long before he was Pope Benedict XVI or even a Cardinal, little Joey Ratzinger was just another kid on a German playground. And we're pretty sure that some mean bully gave him the ultimate insult: "your mother is a Geek Army-like collective thingy". What is the German translation of this cruel and ungrammatical insult, tempting even a baby Pope to the cardinal sin of wrath?
Answer: Deine Mutter ist eine Geekenvermachtstaffel. Thingy.
Song: "Army," by Ben Folds Five
Hint: The answer to the first question is the name of the running team. (If they really don't know this, point them toward the rules at wso.williams.edu/orgs/trivia)
Subrealm: Take two or three and call me in the morning.
Question: In 2003, Belgian health insurance companies began reimbursing for a newly popular treatment regimen. In protest, 18 Flemish skeptics gathered to commit mass suicide. Each downed a carefully prepared deadly poison, and each survived with no ill effects. What sort of medical treatment were they demonstrating against, and why did they all survive?
Answer: They were protesting reimbursing for homeopathic medical treatments, and the poisons they drank had been homeopathically prepared, or "dynamized," and thus far too dilute to kill. (Accept anything that gives the gist of this)
Hint: Add water. Shake well. Repeat.
Song: Unskinny Bop, by Poison
Subrealm: There's-- something-- ontheWING!
Question: Thomas Demarse of the University of Florida has succeeded in operating an F-22 flight simulator using a computer made out of 25,000 what?
Answer: Rat neurons (Accept "rat brains" as close enough for jazz.)
Song: So Far I Have Not Found the Science, by Soul Coughing
Hint: The whole thing fits onto a plate.
Subrealm: Saints behaving badly.
Question: This saint so objected to the heresy of Arius that he slapped him in the face-- or, in some accounts, punched him out in a tavern brawl-- during the Council of Nicaea. Now, he's the patron saint of prostitutes, thieves, and murderers. Who is he?
Answer: St. Nicholas of Myra (yes, *that* St. Nicholas.)
Song: St. Theresa, by Joan Osborne
Hint: And he's also the patron of small boys, pawnbrokers, longshoremen, embalmers, and New York City.
Realm: Public Speaking
Subrealm: Gandalf would have said it better.
Question: Before the Sorting Feast in _Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone_, Albus Dumbledore announces he would like to say a few words. For a quick point, what few words does he say?
Answer: "Oddment, nitwit, blubber, tweak."
Song: Stick It To Dolores, by Harry and the Potters
Hint: Having the Harry Potter books around might help you a lot in tonight's contest. Oh, you mean a hint for this question? I got nothin'.
Realm: Making history
Subrealm: What MIT people do in between hacks
Question: It may have been inspired by Destination Day in Perth, or by a Williams alum's comics. It's been publicized by the media and by notes on acid-free paper in obscure books. You'd only ever need one of it. And it happened last weekend at MIT. What is, or was, it?
Answer: The Time Traveler Convention.
Song: Don't Make Me Wait Too Long, by Barry White
Hint: It's just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right.
Realm: Cult Classics
Subrealm: It'd have to be a pretty scary cult.
Question: THREE POINT PLAY. When Mel Gibson filmed "The Passion of the Christ" in Aramaic, its star was struck by lighting, twice. But when Leslie Stevens made a film in another rarely-heard language, it called down a curse on the whole cast: within a decade, Eloise Hardt was murdered, Ann Atmar commited suicide, Milos Milos died in a murder-suicide, and leading man William Shatner recorded "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." For two points, name the language AND the art-house horror flick that remains the only movie ever made in it.
Answer: (1) Esperanto, and (2) Incubus
Hint: The title character can turn into a screaming black goat.
Song: Blood on the Ground, by Incubus
Subrealm: How are these Nights different from all other nights?
Question: In December 2004, vanity press-- oops, sorry, "non-traditional publisher" PublishAmerica accepted the potboiler Atlanta Nights. What happened in January to set Atlanta Nights apart from every other book PublishAmerica has offered a contract for?
Answer: The offer was rescinded when news broke that Atlanta Nights was a hoax-- a deliberately unpublishable piece of trash compiled by a group of SF/Fantasy pros to expose to PublishAmerica's lack of editorial standards. (Accept "it was rejected.")
Song: Paperback Believer, by Go Home Productions
Hint: The author of Atlanta Nights is one Travis Tea. (Say it fast.)
Realm: True Love
Subrealm: As never seen on the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Question: This month, Mary Kay LeTourneau and Vili Fualaau are finally getting marrying, ten years after he first proposed. Why did Mary Kay and Vili have to wait so long to tie the knot?
Answer: They had to wait for him to come of age and to petition the courts to lift a no-contact order, and for her to get out of prison. (LeTourneau served nearly seven years for child rape, after having sex with Fualaau when she was his sixth-grade teacher and he was twelve.) (Accept answers that get the gist.)
Song: A Typical Love, by Betty
Hint: Entertainment Tonight has secured exclusive rights to the wedding.
Subrealm: That has us bouncing up and down with its coolness.
Question: Some of it is still flexible. Some of it is still transparent. Some of it is still red. All of it is 70 million years old. What is this coolest thing to come out of Montana since ever?
Answer: T. rex soft tissues, preserved inside a thighbone from the Hell Creek formation.
Song: Digging in the Dirt, by Peter Gabriel
Hint: Jack Horner probably came in his pants. Of course, I did too.
Song: We love this game.
Question: If you hit frost and dig in, causing you to hog your draw, what are you doing?
Song: "Cold," by Cyndi Lauper
Realm: Grand traditions
Subrealm: Estate auctions
Question: Who is currently the owner of the late Ann Landers' writing desk?
Answer: Dan Savage, the writer of the sex advice column "Savage Love"
Song: Hand Me Down, by the Wallflowers
Hint: Perhaps the new owner wanted to steal its mojo.
Question: 1.7 billion years ago, water trickled into a vein of ore at Oklo, Gabon, and formed the only naturally-occurring examples of these ever discovered. What are they?
Answer: Nuclear reactors.
Hint: It was uranium ore.
Song: Dirty Water, by Mercy Creek
Subrealm: For your PS2
Question: For the first couple years, everything seemed great. But then, you start waiting forever for a response. Sometimes you hear a strange grinding noise. Eventually it stops working altogether, and you're told you have a D.R.E. What happens when you register a complaint?
Answer: Sony replaces your malfunctioning Playstation 2 (a DRE is a "Disk Read Error," which inflicts most PS2s after a few years of use. To avoid a class action lawsuit, Sony has agreed to repair or replace all units which are found to have this problem)
Song: (I'm Losing) My Favorite Game, by the Cardigans
Hint: You can get a DRE when either laser stops working.
Realm: Teenage Suicide
Subrealm: Don't do it
Question: In the 1989 movie Heathers, what is the last thing queen bee Heather Chandler says before dying?
Answer: "Corn nuts!"
Song: Walking on Broken Glass, by Annie Lennox
Hint: She was poisoned. But perhaps the poison made her choke on what she had been eating earlier.
Realm: Great Men
Subrealm: And by "great," we mean "enormous."
Question: THREE POINT PLAY. An actor of some reknown, this gentleman became quite portly in his old age. As a capstone to his career, the last film he was in saw him play the largest role of his life: a planetary body that consumes other planetary bodies. Who is this actor, and what was this role?
Answer: (1) Orson Welles, playing (2) Unicron in Transformers: The Movie
Song: My, I'm Large, by the Bobs
Hint: This actor got his start in voice-work, but his last movie was hardly a "shadow" of his former claim to fame.
Subrealm: When at first you don't succeed, add a chorus line
Question: Its composer reworked it twice, for the operas "Mlada" and "Sorotchinsky Fair." After his death, Rimsky-Korsakov prepared the canonical version of it. Name the musical composition.
Answer: "Night on Bald Mountain"
Song: Roll Over, Beethoven, by Mountain
Hint: The composer is Modeste Moussorgsky
Subrealm: Having your face shoved into somebody's stinking armpit
Question: Wrap your arm around your opponent's head to put them in a facelock, then fall on your back. It's been around for over twenty years, but its namesake has been banned since 1972. Name this move.
Answer: The DDT, created accidentally by Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Song: Union of the Snake, by Duran Duran
Hint: The wrestler was most famous for his pet, which was the only thing that Andre the Giant was ever afraid of.
Song: Is it a church, or a marketing firm?
Question: When John Paul II visited Mexico in 1999, tens of millions of a certain snack food were sold. There were several competing brands, variously offering pictures of the Pope himself, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the Virgin Mary inside the package. Name this food item.
Answer: Potato Chips, or Papas del Papa.
Song: Sell Out, by Reel Big Fish
Hint: In the US, they don't usually come with prizes.
Subrealm: Or the lack thereof
Question: Which Western democracy has the highest number of soldiers per capita?
Answer: Switzerland (every 20-year-old male is conscripted)
Song: Army of Me, by Bjork
Hint: It's more of a militia than an army. No one considers them a threat.
Subrealm: Because size matters
Question: Very few cities like their sports as much as Philadelphia. But the city of brotherly love hasn't had a professional sports championship in over 20 years. Sure, you can blame the owners, the coaches, the players, or whatever, but a true Philly sports fan is reminded of the real reason they lose every time they look towards city center. What happened in the late '80s that sealed the fate of Philadelphia sports?
Answer: The skyscraper Liberty One Place broke a long-standing gentleman's agreement that no building in the city would be built taller than the statue of William Penn atop City Hall. Philly fans claim this is the reason they have not won a sports championship since.
Song: Motownphilly, by Boyz II Men
Hint: Philadelphians are a superstitious bunch, and they protect their own.
Subrealm: Because they're still losers
Question: Despite William Penn no longer being able to overlook his city, Philadelphians still hope to somehow regain his favor and win another championship. What tactic did the city try this past season to restore the Feng Shui and win the Superbowl?
Answer: They lit the top of city hall with green lights in an attempt to make it the most prominent part of the skyline once more.
Song: Field of Dreams, by Center of Attention
Hint: They wanted to make William Penn an Eagles fan.
Realm: Better living through technology
Subrealm: We'll wish we had this after tonight.
Question: Like many of us, MIT grad student Gauri Nanda has trouble waking up on time. To remedy this, she invented "Clocky," a carpet-covered alarm clock. How does Clocky make its owner get out of bed?
Answer: It rolls away after you hit the snooze button, so you have to find it to turn the alarm off next time.
Song: Sleepy Maggie, by Ashley MacIsaac
Subrealm: The Great Escape
Question: Long before there was Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, there was Peter Jackson's Bad Taste, where Jackson served not only as director but also as producer, writer, make-up artist, and actor. Jackson's character particularly lived up to the movie's name. What is the last line of the movie, and what is Jackson's character doing?
Answer: Jackson says "I'm born again!" as he cuts his way through the rectum of the alien leader with a chainsaw.
Song: Die Now, Live Later, by KMFDM
Hint: It sounds like he's discovered Christ, but not where you'd expect.
Question: What extreme measure did authorities in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh take to get people to pay their back taxes?
Answer: They hired drummers to play outside the defaulters' houses non-stop until the taxes were paid.
Song: Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke), by Panjabi MC
Hint: It wasn't illegal or violent. Just really annoying.
Subrealm: Well, there was that one kiss... The BBC originally cast Alan Rickman and Alfred Molina in this show, but, perhaps fearing the explosion of slash fiction that would have resulted, replaced them both with talented but less attractive actors before shooting the first episode. Name this half-hour comedy.
Answer: Red Dwarf
Song: So Cold, by Breaking Benjamin
Hint: They filmed eight seasons with leads Craig Charles and Chris Barrie.
Realm: Greek Mythology
Subrealm: Of the Anglo-Irish Persuasion
Question: How many sentences in James Joyce's _Ulysses_ are narrated by Bloom's wife?
Answer: 8 (8 very long sentences that make up the entire last chapter)
Song: All the Things She Said, by t.A.T.u. (Russian version: "Ya Shosla S Uma")
Hint: She's half asleep when she narrates.
Subrealm: We wish it was curling.
Question: What sport other than football does Bill Bellicheck coach?
Answer: Lacrosse. He is the coach for his 12 year-old son's team.
Song: Coach's Better Days, by James Cotton
Hint: also a team sport in which players wear helmets
Realm: American Icons
Subrealm: "Ar, ar, ar!" says the Presidential Seal
Question: President Truman made a change to the Presidential Seal in 1945. What did he change and why?
Answer: He decided the eagle should face towards the olive branch to symbolize peace instead of the arrows, a symbol of war.
Song: President, by Wyclef Jean
Hint: No elements of the seal were added or removed.
Subrealm: For a lost generation
Question: What do Father Curtis, Rabbi Glickman, Father Hernandez, Father Jessup, Rabbi Kirshbaum, and Sister Roberta have in common?
Answer: They were all clergy on Seinfeld
Song: God, by Tori Amos Hints: None of them were quite so religious as they pretended to be.
Question: Like our poetry bonus, the archived version of April 4th's Get Fuzzy differs from the version run in newspapers by just one word. How was the comic changed?
Answer: In Bucky Katt's discussion of holiday meals, "marmot" was substituted for "beaver" as the traditional entree for Valentine's Day.
Song: The Badger Song, by the Dead Milkmen
Hint: Actually, the substitution is similar to our bonus in more ways than one.
Realm: Student protests
Subrealm: Williams would never be this lame. Right? Right?
Question: Harvard's cutting costs again, and has cut a service that students at the school have deemed absolutely necessary to their health and welfare. They've formed a protest group: "Harvard Students for the Reimplementation ofÉ" Of what? What's missing from Cambridge? Stop the injustice!
Answer: Brand-named cereals. Harvard replaced Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch with cheaper, supposedly healthier cereals.
Song: The Pointless Yet Poignant Crisis of a Co-Ed, by Dar Williams
Hint: It has to do with the food.
Realm: Alternative readings of the text
Subrealm: Stupid readings of the text
Question: A 2000 article in the London Sunday Times reported that Cate Blanchett played "Galadriel, sister of the evil queen Beruthiel" in The Lord of the Rings. As anyone who's seen the movies knows, there is no "Beruthiel" in them. How did such a colossal error make it into the newspaper?
Answer: The reporter had gone on the Internet to find a synopsis of LOTR, and found the Tolkien Sarcasm Page's fake synopsis instead.
Song: My Sister, by the Juliana Hatfield Three
Realm: Non-Euclidean space
Subrealm: Heh heh ... you said "Euclidean"
Question: In 1997 Daina Taimina of Cornell University made the first physical model of a hyperbolic plane, something which many mathematicians had believed impossible. How did she make it?
Answer: She crocheted it.
Song: She Blinded Me With Science, by Thomas Dolby
Realm: Educational television
Subrealm: God forbid anybody learn anything.
Question: This year, PBS pulled an episode of the new children's show Postcards From Buster, in which Buster visits a family in Vermont. What prompted the controversy about the episode?
Answer: The parents of the family are a married lesbian couple.
Song: Don't Censor Me, by Audio Adrenaline
Hint: Vermont's one of the few places you can find the controversy in question.
Realm: Current Events
Song: You know they've got issues.
Question: In August 2004, one knocked a man unconcious outside a bar in Oxford, another crashed a child's birthday party in the Chicago suburbs, and a third scaled Buckingham Palace. Who were they?
Answer: Batman impersonators
Song: Dressed For Success, by Roxette
Hint: Neil Gaiman was prompted to wonder, "But what warped mind could possibly come up with something so fiendish and so funny at the same time...?"
Realm: Faith in friends
Song: Or maybe he's just looking for a change?
Question: Geraldo Rivera is so convinced of Michael Jackson's innocence that he has placed a wager on it. What has Geraldo vowed to do should Jackson be found guilty of child molestation?
Answer: He will shave off his mustache.
Song: Talk Show Survivors, by Howie and the Hillcats
Hint: Geraldo might be unrecognizable if he has to follow through with the bet.
Subrealm: It followed me home-- can I keep it?
Question: In Goethe's Faust, Mephistopheles first appears to Faust in the form of what animal?
Answer: a large black poodle. (do not accept "dog")
Song: Black Shuck, by the Darkness
Hint: It meets him in the street and follows him home, and no one finds this terribly remarkable.
Subrealm: Ducks Behaving Badly
Question: Kees Moeliker of Rotterdam won the coveted Ig Nobel prize in biology for documenting the first recorded case of this in the mallard duck.
Answer: Homosexual necrophilia
Song: Put Down the Duckie, by Bob McGrath (accept Hoots the Owl)
Hint: It started when one mallard chased another into Moeliker's office window.
Realm: Junk Food
Subrealm: The Hostess with the Mostest
Question: How does today's Twinkie differ from its original incarnation, and what prompted the change?
Answer: Originally the Twinkie had banana filling, but it was changed to vanilla because of a WWII banana shortage.
Song: What About the Twinkie by DJ Eye (Subliminal Twinkeez)
Realm: Board games
Subrealm: You can't do that on television
Question: What perfectly serviceable, commonly used 13-point word was removed from the Scrabble dictionary in its most recent edition, and how much are each of the tiles worth for that total of thirteen?
Answer: An F is 4 points, a U is one point, a C is 3, and K is 5.
Song: Kinder Words, by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Hint: George Carlin was probably upset.
Realm: Famous firsts
Subrealm: Okay, not that famous, but really, really cool.
Question: It took 27-year-old Maud Fontenoy of France 72 days, although she'd budgeted 150. She's the first woman in recorded history to do it. And we're totally impressed. What did Fontenoy do?
Answer: She was the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. In a rowboat, no less -- 4287 miles from Peru to French Polynesia.
Song: I Am Woman, by MC Lyte
Hint: It's an athletic achievement.
Realm: ChildrenŐs Literature
Subrealm: Oh, how shocking!
Question: In LM MontgomeryŐs classic Anne of Green Gables, Anne throws a tea party for Diana which goes horribly awry when Anne mistakenly serves an alcoholic beverage and Diana staggers home drunk. What beverage did Anne intend to serve, and what did she serve instead?
Answer: Raspberry Cordial and Currant Wine
Song: Bottle of Red Wine, by Eric Clapton
Hint: Both items are fruit-based.
Realm: Corporate America
Subrealm: We can screw with your credit cards.
Question: The Bank of America is currently undergoing a prolonged merger with FleetBoston Financial Corporation, the bane of credit card users everywhere. This is just the latest in a long string of mergers and acquisitions, which started with a very modest bank that at one time was operated on two planks on a wharf in San Francisco. What was this more modest forerunner of Bank of America originally named?
Answer: Bank of Italy
Song: Exhuming McCarthy, by REM Hints: The founder was an immigrant named Giannini.
Subrealm: Fido's got a nose for drama
Question: On an episode of Emergency Vets, a pet's ailment revealed a marital indiscretion by one of its owners. How?
Answer: A pair of women's underwear were found in the dog's stomach, but the garment did not belong to the woman of the house.
Hint: It was something he ate.
Song: Quiero Ser Tu Perro, by Paralisis Permanente
Realm: You knew this was comingÉ
Question: What fictional barrister bought his wig second-hand from the ex-Attorney General of Tonga?
Answer: Horace Rumpole, in the stories of John Mortimer
Song: Give Me Back My Wig, by Stevie Ray Vaughan
Realm: Brilliant inventions
Subrealm: Where by "brilliant," we mean "stupid".
Question: In 1835, a group of French anti-royalists devised an ingenious creation meant as a tool for assassination. Nicknamed the "infernal device," this invention was tested in an attempt to kill King Louis-Philippe. What did it do?
Answer: It fired twenty-five rifles at once. (It also missed their target)
Song: For Those About to Rock, by Jessica Will
Hint: The guillotine was a lot more sensible.
Realm: Those Wacky Brits
Subrealm: Everybody have fun tonight
Question: Glastonbury, famed in song and story, has seen plenty of wacky hijinks throughout British history. But forget pagan sacrifices-- this latest voodoo is just wrong. Complaints from locals have led organizers of the Glastonbury music festival to make what change to their annual all-night disco?
Answer: The dancers will all wear headphones, dancing in apparent silence.
Song: Safety Dance, by Project Wilson
Hint: they were noise complaints
Song: We prefer the magic of film.
Question: It will cost $20 million, run for three hours, and will have a cast of 50, plus feature music by the Finnish group Varttina and Bollywood composer A. R. Rahman. What popular book is soon to become a musical on the Toronto stage?
Answer: The Lord of the Rings
Song: Kokko, by Varttina
Hint: The song title sounds like a chocolate beverage. Probably. It's in Finnish.
Song: Maybe they were pining for the fjords?
Question: There have been eight independent sightings of it in eastern Arkansas, the first confirmed in continental North America since 1944. Name this creature, thought until April to be extinct.
Answer: The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.
Song: The World Turns All Around Her, by the Byrds
Hint: It's not a dodo, but it's in the same phylum.
Subrealm: Bite me.
Question: The 1975 movie Jaws found Robert Shaw playing a crusty old seaman named Quint, who captained the boat sent to hunt down a shark, thus restoring tourism to the suffering town of Amity. This is a lot like saving the world, only smaller. And more capitalistic. Anyway, what was the name of QuintŐs boat?
Song: Shark Attack, by Wailing Souls
Hint: It's the great white sharkŐs only natural predator.
Subrealm: Also, they don't suck.
Question: What do Grendel, Wide Sargasso Sea, West Side Story, Wicked, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead have in common that "The Wind Done Gone" does not?
Answer: They were all based on material in the public domain, while TWDG was based on "Gone With the Wind", which was still copyright-protected.
Song: My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors, by Moxy Frvous
Hint: Only The Wind Done Gone was threatened in court.
Realm: The Internet
Subrealm: Home of bad taste.
Question: It seems that everyone's blogging these days, using the Net to proclaim their thoughts to the world. Even those who can't really be said to have thoughts are blogging. Whose online journal will you find at durrrrr.blogspot.com?
Answer: Terri Schiavo.
Song: She's Not There, by Neil MacArthur
Hint: This is without a doubt the most tasteless question in the whole contest.
Subrealm: Lack of it may be... disturbing
Question: On the day of the papal election, the Wikipedia article on Pope Benedict XVI included, for several hours, a picture of this man. Whose facial resemblance to the former Cardinal Ratzinger was much remarked on that day?
Answer: Senator Palpatine (Accept Ian MacDiarmid; prompt for a name on 'guy who played the emperor in Star Wars.')
Song: The Power, by Snap
Hint: Always there are two, a pope and an Inquisitor.
Realm: Mythological beasts
Subrealm: That won't be appearing in the next Harry Potter movie
Question: In Japanese folklore, the Kappa is a diminutive, amphibious creature who likes to attack humans. Kappas don't go for the usual tear-out-the-throat method, though. How does a kappa feed on its victim?
Answer: By sucking the entrails out through the anus.
Song: Spare Me the Details, by Offspring
Realm: Those wacky Canadians
Subrealm: This has nothing to do with Celine Dion, we swear.
Question: What do Canadians Eric S. Galt, Ramon Sneyd, and Paul Edward Bridgeman have in common?
Answer: Their identities were stolen and their names used by James Earl Ray(Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassin) as he attempted to flee law enforcement.
Song: Blame Canada, by South Park
Realm: April Fool's jokes
Subrealm: That don't involve nudity
Question: As an April Fool's joke, the senior editor at Pocket Books received at least a dozen proposals for Star Trek books from established authors on the same day. What tipped him off that this was actually a joke?
Answer: All were "outlandish, insane, and preposterous" ... and all involved porn. Porn, porn, porn.
Song: Inspiration, by Fooled By April
Realm: Tributes to the slain
Subrealm: I love my dead dictator!
Question: After the assassination of Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza by Rigoberto Lopez, the government-backed newspaper Novedades ran a poetry contest eulogizing Somoza. The winning entry was "Renowned Paladin and Cavalier Glory of America" -- but the readers discovered something unusual after this poem was published. What?
Answer: The initial letters of the lines spelled out "Rigoberto Lopez."
Song: The Night Pat Murphy Died, by Great Big Sea
Hint: Poets often play word games.
Realm: Science Fiction
Song: Scavenger Hunt!
Question: It was broken into six segments, and the segments were disguised, taking the forms of a large lump of the mineral jethric, the planet Calufrax, the Great Seal of Diplos, a statue on the estate of Count Grendel of Gracht, a giant cephalopod monster called Kroll, and Princess Astra of Atrios. What is it?
Answer: The Key To Time.
Song: Too Pieces, by Yaz
Hint: The Fourth Doctor spent a whole season putting it back together.
Realm: Slimy Things
Song: Named for slimier things
Question: Three new slime mold beetles were identified recently by Cornell University researchers. What are the names of the new species? A. bushi, cheneyi, and rumsfeldi
Song: The Bug, by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Hint: Democratic researchers, one assumes.
Realm: Presidential memories
Subrealm: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Question: When thinking about former presidents, various features tend to stick in one's mind: Reagan's hair, Nixon's nose, Roosevelt's dancing feets. What did Billy Greene, Abraham Lincoln's friend and grammar coach, most remember about him?
Answer: "His thighs were as perfect as a human being's could be." (Accept "his thighs.")
Song: Peaches, by Presidents of the United States of America
Subrealm: Definitely not in the motion picture
Question: THREE POINT PLAY. Of course you can name everyone in the Fellowship of the Ring, though you may owe that skill more to Peter Jackson than to JRR Tolkien. But can you name the members of the Fellowship as recounted in the Harvard Lampoon's classic satire Bored of the Rings? We'll take any four for a point, and all of them for two.
Answer: Goodgulf, Frito, Spam, Moxie, Pepsi, Arrowroot (accept Stomper), Bromosel, Legolam, and Gimlet.
Song: Lords of the Rhymes, by Lords of the Rhymes
Hint: They're all bad puns on the actual names. Mostly to do with food.
Realm: To infinity!
Subrealm: Or just a piggyback ride on a 747.
Question: The Enterprise was the first NASA space shuttle, but Enterprise was not its original name. What was the shuttle called prior to the campaign by avid Star Trek fans to rename it?
Hint: It's also the name of the class of starship that Star Trek's original Enterprise belongs to.
Song: Heart and Soul, by T'Pau
Realm: Ms. Jackson
Subrealm: Not the one in the "Outkast" song
Question: Everyone knows about Janet Jackson's exciting wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl a few years back. But not everyone knows that her career got an early jumpstart from dancing on tv. What show did she dance on, back in the day?
Song: Dear Janet Jackson, by Richard Thompson
Realm: Travel and tourism
Song: (as Dave Lister:) I was going to buy a little farm on Fiji...
Question: The Australian government has come under pressure to issue advisories warning travelers that this can carry a sentence of up to 14 years in Fiji, following an Australian tourist's arrest and sentencing to 2 years. What is it?
Answer: Gay sex.
Hint: A lot of would-be vacationers go to Fire Island instead.
Song: Dad, I'm In Jail, by Was (Not Was)
Realm: Advances in seismology
Subrealm: Camera two, get away from the crater
Question: Scientists in New Zealand have set up webcams to keep an eye on the nearby volcanic islands. However, a prank in May 2004 showed an unexpected guest in the White Island volcanic crater. Who?
Answer: Dino the dinosaur. Someone put a stuffed toy in the crater near the webcam. It's still there.
Song: Volcano, by Paper Moon
Realm: Saints and death
Subrealm: Will no one rid me of this meddlesome contest?
Question: Most historians know the story of how Thomas a Becket of Canterbury was murdered by a quartet of knights who believed they were acting on Henry II's orders. However, even after Becket was dead, his troubles with the Crown weren't over. What other indignities did Becket suffer after death?
Answer: Henry VIII had his bones dug up, tried for treason, found guilty, and burned.
Song: No Rest For the Wicked, by the Bloodhound Gang
Hint: Becket was really most sincerely dead.
Subrealm: Or is it just the natural expression of the male psyche?
Question: What do Ric Flair, Elvis Presley, and the USC Gamecocks, among others, have in common?
Answer: They have all repeatedly used Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra as entrance music.
Song: "Turn My Head Around," by the Philosopher Kings
Hint: It seems they all must have really liked German philosophy.
Realm: The job market
Subrealm: Seth Brown, where are you?
Question: An English Heritage job posting last year asked that applicants have their own outfits, "must be mirthful and prepared to work summer weekends." This particular position had gone unfilled for many years. What was the position?
Answer: State jester.
Song: Hippie House, by Jester Jonze
Hint: It's a fun job, but the pay's probably laughable.
Subrealm: I'd like to be in their club.
Question: Between the 10th and 14th centuries, foot-binding became a widespread practice among Chinese noblewomen. Almost all of the noble families participated in the practice (for fear of being accused of treason) except for one important community. Who were they? And for a bonus point, what likely reasons did they have?
Answer: The Taoists. Two reasons: 1) The men and women Taoists tended to have egalitarian relationships and 2) foot-binding interfered with spiritual development through martial practice.
Song: Feets Don't Fail Me Now, by Little Feat
Hint: Ursula K. LeGuin and Winnie the Pooh both practice it.
Realm: Speech impediments
Subrealm: But he doesn't have a vewwy gweat fwiend in Wome.
Question: What letter is Mr. Smoke-too-Much unable to pronounce properly?
Song: No More Cigarettes (Cigarette Abana), by Habib Koite
Hint: He was attacked by a bat!
Realm: Greek mythology
Subrealm: Early virgin birthsÉsort of
Question: Most Greek heroes claimed descent from the gods in some way. Not all of them made sense. How did Erechthonius, one of the mythical kings of Athens, claim his descent from Athena, a noted virgin goddess?
Answer: The god Hephaestus ejaculated on Athena's leg. She wiped the result off onto the ground, and it grew into a child.
Song: Athena, by The Who
Realm: Language Sub-realm: in Words-Per-Minute
Question: The words "pirouette," "perpetuity," "proprietor," and "typewriter" all have something in common. What is it?
Answer: They use only the letters available on the top row of a QWERTY typewriter/computer keyboard.
Song: You're the Top, by Cole Porter
Realm: Death and Dying
Subrealm: Crime and Punishment
Question: Which state has the death penalty by hanging or lethal injection on the books, but hasn't executed anyone since 1939?
Answer: New Hampshire.
Hint: It's sure as heck not Texas.
Song: Songs of the 50 States, by John Linnell
Realm: Revenge of the Nerd
Subrealm: Wait, wasn't the Nerd writing questions last contest, too?
Question: Linux runs on a lot of platforms. In fact, WSO's own Evan Miller took the classic Unix utility called "fortune" and ported it to run under the version of Linux for what type of computer?
Answer: The iPod.
Song: All About the Pentiums, by Weird Al Yankovic
Hint: Linux really runs on everything these days.
Realm: All that is trivia is not dubious
Subrealm: Not all those who don't sleep are studious
Question: According to the oft-quoted poem by J.R.R. Tolkien, "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost..." Although most of us Trivia players like to think of it as applying to us, it is about someone in specific. Who?
Answer: Aragorn (accept Strider, Elessar, Elfstone, the Dnadan, Thorongil, Estel OR Telcontar, because Evelyn and Kim are immense geeks.)
Song: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), by the Proclaimers
Hint: Just start naming Tolkien characters.
Realm: Amazing advances in technology
Subrealm: That improve our quality of life
Question: The first four home appliances that were electrified were 1) the sewing machine, 2) the electric fan, 3) the teakettle, and 4) the toaster. what was the fifth?
Answer: The vibrator
Song: Electric Avenue, by Eddy Grant
Hint: Personally, I'd have invented it before the sewing machine.
Realm: First Aid
Subrealm: Cheerios are still okay
Question: Nuts, grapes, popcorn, and hard candy are all major choking hazards for young children, and they can all be expelled using the Heimlich maneuver. What common cause of choking and staple of childhood diets cannot be?
Answer: Peanut butter.
Hint: It's less hazardous when eaten with its traditional partner.
Song: Lose My Breath, by Destiny's Child
Subrealm: You should never drink Budweiser in Hamburg.
Question: Toads in a pond in the Altona district of Hamburg have been observed doing something inexplicable. What is it?
Hint: They swell up to three and a half times their usual size first.
Song: The Hoppity Song, by John Ondrasik
Subrealm: Try telling a dragon he's mythological.
Question: The Common Dragon has 12. The Imperial Dragon usually has twenty, though some sources claim that their number measures the dragon's distance from China. And Korean dragons have been sighted with 28. What are they?
Song: Dragon Attack, by Queen
Hint: It's hard to get them to hold still long enough to count them.
Realm: Hunting season.
Subrealm: Bison, bison, bison, bison, jerky, jerky! [a la Badgers, badgers, badgers]
Question: Native Americans sometimes looked for bison near prairie dog mounds where the grasses eaten away by the rodents gave way to fresh growth appetizing to the grazers. When the hunters didn't want to go in search of their prey, what did they do to bring the bison to them?
Answer: They set fire to the prairie so that the new grass growth would attract the herds.
Song: Buffalo Soldier, by Bob Marley
Hint: Apparently not all bison like the macrobiotic diet.
Subrealm: No birds or bees, however, have done it.
Question: Christopher Reeve did it in the two-thousand-aughts, Susan B. Anthony did it in the 1840s, and King John Sigismund of Transylvania did it in the 1560s, the only monarch ever to do so. What did they do?
Answer: They converted to Unitarianism. (Accept UU or Unitarian Universalism.)
Hint: Joseph Priestly and Julia Ward Howe did it too.
Song: One, by U2
Realm: Life skills
Subrealm: A public service announcement provided by Deine Mutter
Question: What category of clothing stains should you never attempt to clean in hot water?
Answer: Protein [e.g., blood and some foods, because the hot water will set the stain]
Song: My Favorite Stain, by Dragonspoon
Hint: Blood is one example.
Realm: Bodily fluids
Subrealm: And their doppelgangers.
Question: During WWII, in the Pacific Theater, both sides routinely used what naturally occurring and plentiful fluid as a naturally sterile substitute for blood plasma in emergency transfusions?
Answer: Coconut water. The fluid inside coconuts is sterile and has the same balance of electrolytes as blood.
Hint: Unlike money, this stuff does grow on trees.
Song: Blood Makes Noise, Suzanne Vega
Realm: Snips and snails and puppy dog tails
Subrealm: Just kidding. Blood.
Question: Name the blood type that's a universal donor, and the type that's a universal receptor.
Answer: O negative and AB positive, respectively.
Song: Spinning Wheel, by Blood, Sweat, & Tears
Subrealm: Blood is so last question.
Question: In the discipline of cryptography, steganography is the name for hiding data where?
Answer: Inside other data
Song: The Sign, Ace of Base
Hint: Cardinal Borusa always said you should hide a needle with other needles.
Realm: Music criticism
Subrealm: Of the non-constructive kind
Question: Musicians hate each other. This is nothing new. How they snipe at each other is another matter entirely, though. What composer was reportedly called "the only person to be declared a cardinal sin?"
Answer: P.D.Q. Bach
Song: Play That Funky Music, by Wild Cherry
Song: And their deep, dark pasts.
Question: Aside from stupendous knockers, what do Dolly Parton, Cybil Shepherd, and Shannen Dougherty all have in common?
Answer: They were all born in Tennessee.
Song: My Give a Damn is Busted, by JoDee Messina
Realm: Film Sub-realm: And kitty litter.
Question: Cats love the silver screen. Name the movies that featured the cats Jonesy and Mr. Bigglesworth.
Answer: Jonesey is the orange cat who is the only survivor (besides Sigourney Weaver) of the original Alien movie; and Mr. Bigglesworth is Dr. Evil's hairless Sphinx in the Austin Powers movies.
Song: The Cat With Two Heads, by the Aquabats
Song: I hope he's got a back-up plan...
Question: William Penn student Andy Stokes recently appeared on the sports page for what rather non-glorious achievement, earning him the title "Mr. Irrelevant"?
Answer: He was the last player taken in the 2005 NFL draft, which carries with it the 'Lowsman Trophy' (accept either)
Song: Super Bowl Sundae, by Ozomatli
Hint: He played football. At an NAIA school. Now he's a Patriot.
Subrealm: This one might catch on.
Question: The town of Esperantantina, Brazil has been celebrating it unofficially for years, but on Saturday its city council declared May 9th to be what new municipal holiday, intended to improve relationships between married couples?
Answer: Orgasm Day
Song: Girl From Ipanema, John Holt
Hint: Activities include a production of "The Vagina Monologues."
Subrealm: Sleep deprivation Q. There's a Jewish holiday that comes in late spring/early summer when the real geeks stay up all night doing geektastic things. And we don't even mean Trivia; there's another one! What holiday is it, and what does its Hebrew name mean? A. Shavuot; Feast of Weeks
Song: Havana Nagila, Hip Hop Hoodios
Realm: Do you know where your towel is?
Subrealm: At this hour, I'm lucky if I know where my ass is.
Question: The makers of the recent "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" gave author Douglas Adams a cameo, despite his being dead. How'd they do that?
Answer: His face is the last thing the Heart of Gold turns into (accept there's a planet in the shape of his head)
Song: So Long and Thanks For All the Fish, from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (accept "Hilary Summers, Kemi Ominiyi, and the R'SVP Voices")
Subrealm: How about a pointed stick?
Question: It's 30 to 40 for an axe, 20 to 25 for a knife, and 10 to 15 for a razor blade. What is it?
Answer: The angle, in degrees, to which the edge of each should be sharpened for optimum use.
Song: "Stiletto," Billy Joel
Realm: Heaven and Hell
Subrealm: Or a reasonable facsimile thereof
Question: Devil duckies, angel food cake -- we like kitsch which maks use of the good/evil spectrum. But we locals have a particular reason to love Dirty Girl lipstick, bubble bath, and soap. Why is that?
Answer: They come from Pittsfield
Song: Young Lust, Luther Wright and the Wrongs
Hint: We're pretty dirty around here.
Subrealm: And a partridge in a pear tree...
Question: In Duxbury, Massachusetts, in 1642, a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey were put to death and buried in a common grave. For what crime were they executed?
Hint: It wasn't jaywalking.
Song: Hamster Dance, by Hampton and the Hamsters
Subrealm: Same Shit, Different Day
Question: In February, 2005, it was revealed that Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Tennessee were given specifically targeted federal grant money by the Department of Homeland Security. What sort of security was this grant money intended to increase?
Answer: Seaport / maritime security.
Hint: Apparently they never tried surfing in Memphis.
Song: Stupid American, Eddie from Ohio
Question: In the Indonesian ketjak, up to two hundred men seated on the ground in concentric circles rhythmically chant "tjak! tjak!" in varying rhythmic patterns as a sonic reenactment of a religiously significant battle. Who are the chanting men impersonating when they do this?
Answer: Rama's monkey army in the Ramayana.
Hint: The chant is a twentieth-century innovation with roots in earlier exorcism ritual.
Song: Skullcrusher Mountain, by Jonathan Coulton
Realm: Multiple Personalities
Subrealm: Tyco Brahe's nose
Question: In the third of the Austin Powers movies, creator/actor Mike Myers played four different characters. Name them.
Answer: Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Goldmember.
Song: Goldfinger, Count Basie Band
Subrealm: Mount Olympus style
Question: We all know the smith god Hephaestus made a golden girdle for Aphrodite. But what object did he later make out of that girdle?
Answer: Wonder Woman's lasso.
Song: Venus, by Bananarama
Hint: This wasn't in Homer's version. Think DC Comics.
Song: Move over, golden calf...
Question: After Pope John Paul II died, Filipinos flocked to Quiapo Church to see a relic he had left behind on a previous visit. What was this holy object?
Answer: A popemobile.
Song: Papal Trachetotomy, Citizen Rahne
Hint: Err. I dunno, this seems too easy anyway.
Realm: Music Sub-realm: Daughters of the American Racism
Question: Banned from performing in Constitution Hall by the racist leaders of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), this world-famous singer sang in the Lincoln Memorial instead, gathering a crowd of fifteen thousand enraptured listeners to the steps and the surrounding grounds for the performance. Who was this singer?
Answer: Marian Anderson
Song: The Times They Are a-Changin', by Tracy Chapman
Subrealm: We all have good and bad days
Question: In the real early days of Dungeons & Dragons, it seems you couldn't count on anything. What did characters have to do before embarking on each new adventure?
Answer: Roll for hit points.
Song: In The Garage, by Wheezer
Hint: You still have to do it, just not as often.
Realm: Feng shui
Subrealm: Where should we put the World Series ring?
Question: Hanging in the dining room of Johnny Damon's Tampa, FL home is a painting featuring Damon and some of his Boston Red Sox teammates. Of what prominent work of art is the piece a parody?
Answer: The Last Supper
Song: Paint it Black, by The Rolling Stones
Hint: Damon's long hair and beard fit in well.
Realm: The Surreal Life
Subrealm: Or something like it.
Question: Salvador Dali claimed that in The Persistence of Memory the watches that appear to be melting were inspired by what?
Answer: The remains of a strong Camembert cheese.
Hint: Something else that melts.
Song: I Melt With You, by Modern English
Realm: Inventions Sub-realm: Close, but no cigar.
Question: A monk named Eilmer at Wiltshire Abbey invented one sometime between 1000 and 1200. It was only used once and did not survive that one use-- though Eilmer, at least, seems to have lived through it. What did Eilmer build a prototype of, the last to be constructed until the work of George Cayley in the nineteenth century?
Answer: A single-passenger glider.
Hint: Leonardo DaVinci's never got off the drawing board.
Song: These Foolish Things, by Thelonious Monk
Realm: Famous People
Subrealm: In certain circles, at least.
Question: What do G. D'Arcy Cheesewright, Hildebrand Glossop, Alexander Charles Prosser, Cyril Fotheringay-Phipps (pron. 'Fungee' with a hard 'g'), Claude Cattermole Potter-Pirbright, Richard Little, and Reginald G. Twistleton-Twistleton have in common?
Answer: They are all members of the Drones Club, in P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories. (Prompt on 'Wodehouse characters' or 'friends of Bertie Wooster.)
Song: Saturday Night Engine, by Club 8
Hint: They are known to their friends as Stilton, Tuppy, Oofy, Barmy, Catsmeat, Bingo and Pongo.
Song: Doing the numbers
Question: On June 19, 1997, the record of 6,137 was broken. The current record is 7,485-- but the person behind that record is likely to break it again sometime in 2006. What is this the record for?
Answer: Longest-running Broadway show. Cats broke A Chorus Line's record, and Phantom of the Opera looks likely to break Cats's record.
Hint: The person who looks likely to break his own record is Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Song: A Thousand and One, by Blessid Union of Souls
Realm: Famous people
Song: Those wacky Victorians
Question: A recent biography of this man suggests that the over-identification with children and the sexual interest in little girls often attributed to him are actually the artifacts of his family's editing of his letters and journals: they completely removed all records of his friendships-- and affairs-- with married women, but left the friendships with little girls, because no one could possibly interpret them as anything other than innocent. Who is he?
Answer: Charles Dodgson, or Lewis Carroll.
Hint: He did take nude photos of little girls, but all the cool Victorians were doing it.
Song: Spirits Rebellious, by Alice Cooper
Subrealm: Of the eewww variety
Question: Jelly Belly has attempted to capitalize on the Harry Potter craze by producing Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans: jellybeans containing every flavor imaginable, from vomit to earwax. What are their three brand new flavors?
Answer: Soap, Spaghetti, and Earthworm.
Song: Candy Everybody Wants, by 10,000 Maniacs
Subrealm: To be or not to be
Question: Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be, but half a bee has got to be vis a vis its entity. But can a bee be said to be or not to be an entire bee, when half the bee is not a bee, due to some ancient injury. So... is this wretched demi-bee half asleep upon my knee some freak from a menagerie?
Answer: "No, it's Eric the half a bee." (From the Monty Python song)
Song: Flight of the Bumblebee, Jascha Heifetz
Hint: the answer is scripted
Realm: Taunt the Editor
Subrealm: You really expect us to publish that?
Question: What fictional character's initial name was "Farty-(F-word)-Balls"?
Answer: Slartibartfast, from Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy
Song: Give Me Back My Name, by Talking Heads
Realm: The Middle East
Subrealm: We're tired too, so here's an easy one.
Question: The current country of Iran was formerly known as Persia. But what was Persia formerly known as?
Song: Iran, by the Clash. Hints: YouŐre hearing the name. Right now. Over and over.
Subrealm: I don't care what it's called; I just want to eat it!
Question: After 1600, the word custard came to mean a pudding-like mixture of dairy and eggs. What did the term refer to before 1600?
Hint: something you might put custard into
Song: Custard Pie, by Led Zeppelin
Subrealm: And gullible New Yorkers
Question: Last year, a Barnes and Noble in New York held a reading of Anton Chekhov's short story "In the Graveyard." However, they'd been the victim of a prank by ImprovEverywhere. What happened at this event?
Answer: "Anton Chekhov" (an actor) showed up and signed autographs. He's been dead 100 years.
Song: Zombie Jamboree, by Rockapella
Hint: Barnes and Noble needs to hire people who've actually studied literature.