Jul 28 2011

#89 “Game Night!”

From Suzanne in Chattanooga, Tennessee

I had so much fun creating the catchphrase quiz for yesterday’s post that I have decided to follow it with another trivia-oriented post for today. However, my penchant for creating fun little quizzes is not the sole reason for this particular type of entry. You see, this illustration was included in a large packet of pictures, along with a note from Suzanne that said that she had become so enamored with the WBS project that she regulary encouraged guests at her house to participate. Furthermore, she indicated that this usually takes place at a “game night” which she regularly hosts.

So in honor of Suzanne’s triumphant wolf picture and her spectacularly fun game nights, here is a trivia quiz I designed specifically for Suzanne and her friends. But, of course, you may participate as well. Good luck to everyone! Also, the answers to the questions are located below, but no cheating!

8 categories. 40 total questions.


1. The cover of the 1967 album “The Velvet Underground & Nico” is famous for featuring a picture of a large yellow banana. Who is the equally famous artist that designed this legendary album cover?

2. This famous drummer in a 1960s/1970s hard rock group accidentally ran over his own bodyguard and chauffer with his Bentley while trying to escape from hostile patrons at a Hertfordshire, England pub. It was rumored that this accident occured partly because the musician became a star at such a young age that he had never learned how to operate a vehicle.

3. This fictitious alter ego invented by Garth Brooks released an album in 1999 featuring the Top 5 pop hit “Lost in You.”

4. Often noted as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, this 1973 progressive rock album is said to sync mysteriously with scenes from the 1939 film version of “The Wizard of Oz.”

5. This 1980s guitar god played the fantastic guitar solo in Michael Jackson’s hit song, “Beat it.”


1. Name one of the two most famous painters associated with cubism in the early 20th century.

2. Not long ago, a $4 million museum opened in Massachusetts to honor the paintings of a certain American artist who lived from 1894 to 1978, a person whose works are famous even to people who have never stepped foot in a museum. Who is this artist?

3. Sketches from which 15th century artist anticipated such modern inventions as the airplane and the tank?

4. Who painted the famous piece “The Persistence of Memory”?

5. Which Dutch painter cut of part of his ear after a quarrel?


Pop Culture:
1. Who famously said, “Let’s not forget this was all started by a mouse”?

2. This man was the owner of McDonalds from 1961 until his death in 1984.

3. Which of the following never appeared as a guest on an episode of the American television series “The Office”?
(a) Ray Romano  (b) Amy Adams  (c) Will Arnett  (d) Ken Jeong
(e) Tim Meadows (f) Norm Macdonald

4. Supporters of Conan O’Brien during his turbulent year in 2010 pledged their love for the star by sporting t-shirts with his cartoonish image and a slogan that declared ”I’m with ________.”

5. After being silent for more than 100 years, Mr. Peanut has recently been given a voice. Which Oscar nominee performs this iconic character’s voiceovers?
(a) James Earl Jones  (b) Jonny Depp (c) Michael Douglass
(d) Robert Downey Jr. (e) Tim Allen  (f) David Duchovny


1. In this historic year, Alaska became the 50th star on the flag.

2. This man was first republican candidate to become president of the U.S.

3. The assassination of this archduke of Austria in Sarajevo in June of 1914 is largely viewed as the catalyst for World War I.

4. The first American state to abolish slavery in 1777 was ______________________.

5. The Battle of Hastings in the year 1066 which resulted in William the Conqueror being crowned King of England was fought on this day.


1. This middle-class born poet was the author of The Canterbury Tales and the first commoner to be buried at Westminster Abbey.

2. Stephen King sets most of his novels in this state.

3. This is the name of Ebenezer Scrooge’s deceased associate from “A Christmas Carol.”

4. The title of this famous novel by John Steinbeck was taken from a line of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julia Ward Howe.

5. This acclaimed poet was known for his lack of punctuation and unusual syntax in poems such as “buffalo bill’s,” “anyone lived in a pretty how town” and “my father moved through dooms of love”


1. When Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls for the first time in 1994, he signed a minor-league contract with what major league baseball team?

2. Which of these things found in the Olympics moves the fastest: Ice hockey puck, bobsled, luge, or speed skier?

3. If an NBA player wins the Maurice Poldolof Trophy, what title has he achieved?

4. What sport used the term “home run” long before baseball?

5. What NFL team hired the league’s first professional cheerleading squad in 1972?


1. This is the only country whose name begins with an “A” but does not end with one.

2. The “most crowded” state (the one with the most people living per square mile) is _______________.

3. Which city is the capital of Australia?
(a) Perth (b) Canberra (c) Sydney (d) Melbourne

4. This lake is the largest fresh water lake in the world.

5. In which ocean are the Canary Islands located?


1. In the Catholic religion, what is the title of the church official ranking just below the pope?

2. This woman, noted for her beauty, was the daughter of Leda and Zeus and was abducted by Paris.

3. Which two had the starring roles in the film, Thelma and Louise ?

4. Baskin Robbins Ice Cream makers once tried to produce and market an ice cream product with what vegetable flavoring?

5. A gold ring that is 50% solid gold and 50% other metals will be rated how many carats?



Music: (1) Andy Warhol (2) Keith Moon (3) Chris Gaines (4) Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” (5) Eddie Van Halen

Art: (1) Picasso or Braque (2) Norman Rockwell (3) Leonardo DaVinci (4) Salvador Dali (5) Vincent Van Gogh

Pop Culture: (1) Walt Disney (2) Ray Kroc (3) Norm Macdonald (4) Coco (5) Robert Downey Jr.

History: (1) 1959 (2) Abraham Lincoln (3) Franz Ferdinand (4) Vermont (5) December 25th, Christmas Day

Literature: (1) Geoffrey Chaucer (2) Maine (3) Jacob Marley (4) “The Grapes of Wrath” (5) e e cummings

Sports: (1) Chicago White Sox (2) Speed skier: 140 mph (3) Most Valuable Player (4) Cricket (5) The Dallas Cowboys

Geography: (1) Afghanistan (2) New Jersey (3) Canberra (4) Lake Superior (5) Atlantic

Potpourri: (1) Cardinal (2) Helen of Troy (3) Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon (4) Ketchup/Tomato (5)the term carats indicates the proportion of solid gold out of 24 parts

Jul 27 2011

#88 “Catchphrase!”


From Laura in Little Rock, Arkansas

“Stay cool, Bro…”  What a fantastic phrase. There is so much positivity contained within it. So much energy as well as an overt admonition to simply relax and take it easy. Also, there’s an implied sense of brotherhood. Ladies and gentlemen, I tell you: this phrase has it all: encouragement, love, support, and of course, a slight sense of nastalgia for the very recent past. This is one of those phrases that never really “went away,” but also, it seems that we probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that someone was “bringing it back.”

After pondering this wonderful wolf illustration and its eloquent catchphrase for a short while, my mind began to wander to some of the more popular phrases from pop culture that I remember from my youth. Then, another idea came upon me, and simply put, I have decided to bestow upon you a pop culture catchphrase game. Grab a friend or participate all by yourself; the choice is yours.

Here are the rules:
1. Examine the list of catchphrases below and then try to identify the character and the movie/television show that are most associated with the quote. Write down your answers separately; don’t shout them out. Also, make sure that you don’t sneak a peek at the answer key located below the phrases.
2. One point is awarded for the characer. Another point is awarded for the movie/show. Therefore, each quote is worth 2 points.
3. After all 25 phrases have been examined, the game is over. Check the answer key below and tally your scores.
4. The player with the most points is the winner and must treat the other players to ice cream immediately.

1. “Bam!”
2. “De plane! De plane!”
3. “Dynomite!”
4. “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
5. “I love it when a plan comes together.”
6. “Live long and prosper”
7. “Don’t have a cow, man.”
8. “No soup for you!”
9. “The tribe has spoken”
10. “The truth is out there.”
11. “You’re fired!”
12. “You eeeeeeediot!”
13. “Who loves you, baby?”
14. “Oh my God! They killed Kenny!”
15. “How you doin’?”
16. “Homey don’t play that!”
17. “Here’s Johnny!”
18. “Baby, you’re the greatest!”
19. “Space: The final frontier…”
20. “That’s hot…”
21. “Yabba dabba do!”
22. “Watchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”
23. “You got it, dude!”
24. “Did I do that?”
25. “Good Grief!”


Answer Key:
1. Emeril Legasse, “Emeril Live”
2. Tattoo, “Fantasy Island”
3. J.J., “Good Times”
4. Fat Albert, “Fat Albert”
5. Hannibal, “The A-Team”
6. Spock, “Star Trek”
7. Bart Simpson, “The Simpsons”
8. The Soup Nazi, “Seinfeld”
9. Jeff Probst, “Survivor”
10. Fox Mulder, “The X-Files”
11. Donald Trump, “The Apprentice”
12. Ren, “Ren and Stimpy”
13. Kojac, “Kojac”
14. Kyle/Stan, “Southpark”
15. Joey, “Friends”
16. Homey the Clown, “In living Color”
17. Ed McMahon, “The Tonight Show”
18. Ralph Kramden, “The Honeymooners”
19. Capt. Kirk, “Star Trek”
20. Paris Hilton, “The Simple Life”
21. Fred Flintstone, “The Flintstones”
22. Arnold/Gary Coleman, “Diff’rent Strokes”
23. Michelle, “Full House”
24. Steve Urkel, “Family Matters”
25. Charlie Brown, “Peanuts”

Jun 4 2011

#35 “The Fox/Wolf Connection”


From Dan in Utah

Many people may be staring at this picture in bewilderment this very second and asking aloud, “What the heck does a wolf have to do with Back to the Future? I asked this same question when I first received this illustration in the mail, but then it dawned on me… there is in fact a common link, and that link is none other than the acclaimed actor Michael J. Fox. How could I have overlooked it? It’s so obvious… For you see, Michael J. Fox not only starred in Back to the Future, but he also played in perhaps the most well-known werewolf movie in popular culture in the last 30 years: Teen Wolf.

When I discovered this connection, a smirk of pride passed over my countenance. I was pleased to have solved this little riddle, but after a little time a trickle of uncertainty began to seep into my brain, and before long a deluge of doubt had flooded my mind. As it turns out, after poring over mounds of Michael J. Fox related literature, I discovered that the relationship between the “Fox” and the wolf runs deeper than most would imagine. Peruse the information below if your curiosity is piqued, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. These correlations may be too profound for those who lack a strong mental fortitude. Head to the kitchen and grab a napkin if you must; you may start bleeding from your ears.

  • Michael J. Fox was born in 1961. This same year, the French film The Miracle of the Wolves was released in France and the world was forever changed.
  • Fox was born in Canada, a nation that is second only to Russian in its number of wolves. Coincidence?
  • During the 1990s Fox starred in the television show Spin City which featured the actor Scott Wolf in several episodes as well as the actor Maurice Godin who played a character known as Trevor Wolfe.
  • Michael J. Fox and the actor Scott Wolf bear a striking resemblance to one another.
  • Michael J. Fox voiced the character of a dog (canis lupis familiaris) in the movie “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.” Anyone else see a connection here to the wolf (canis lupis)?
  • The horror film The Company of Wolves was released on DVD in 2002, the same year that Fox released his memoir, Lucky Man. Also, the original version of the film as released in 1985, the same year that Fox starred in Back to the Future.
  • In 2007, Fox was listed by TIME Magazine as one of 100 people “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” If this set of characteristics doesn’t remind you of a wolf, I’m not sure what will. This is also the same year that the short drama Wolf was released, starring Max Moody, Burton Cox and Corine Samwel.
  • In March of last year Fox was given an honorary doctorate degree by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Just last month, roughly one year later, in the same county in Sweden a 45-year-old woman and her child were confronted by a wolf on a wooded path. The wolf attacked the family dog and carried it into the woods as his prey. Just happenstance, you say? Don’t be naive.
  • Fox starred in a campaign ad for Claire McCaskill in 1996 in which he openly supported the use of stem cell research. Some might say this is a result of Fox’s being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I say this is just another covert attempt by Fox to generate a master race of wolves in Missouri in order to take over the USA and allow Canada to absorb our nation.

In conclusion, I’ve never been one to support conspiracy theories, but when the evidence is overwhelming, sometimes there is simply no other conclusion to be reached. To strive for the deeper meaning, though, takes courage, heart, and a sense of adventure. So let this be a lesson to you: Don’t tread on the monotonous highways of the dull-minded and unsophisticated, but seek to stride upon the paths of the scholarly and cerebral, because “where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”