Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Search: "maybe i'm falling for you"
Why: I just heard it on a commercial for AT&T.
Answer: Landon Pigg. The song is called "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop."
Source: Yahoo! Answers
The More You Know: It was also this commercial for De Beers during Christmas 2007.
Why: He is the only known survivor of both atomic bomb attacks on Japan, in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 and in Nagasaki 3 days later. The first explosion destroyed his eardrums, blinded him temporarily, and left him with serious burns over the left side of the top half of his body.
Answer: Like this:
The More You Know: He is now fighting cancer - possibly because of double radiation exposure, or possibly because he's 93 years old. Either way, he is an active anti-nuclear protester.
Search: the grassroots youtube
Why: I am watching "The Office" on TBS. It's that one where Creed dyes his hair. He played in The Grass Roots in the 70s.
Answer: LOL5000! There he is at 1:30 and 1:48!! Nice ascot!
The More You Know: Creed and I were born the same day 40 years apart.
Search: what nationality is miranda cosgrove
Why: I'm watching "iCarly." Miranda Cosgrove is of questionable ethnicity. You remember her as Summer the Class Factotum in "School of Rock."
Answer: Italian, Welsh, Russian, Armenian, and Slavic
The More You Know: I saw her once at the Arclight. She was teeny. There's no way in hell she's 5'5 1/2.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Why: Jacob at Television Without Pity used it in his recap of last week's "American Idol" results show:
Okay, so I think there's time to get to the point of this show without much more fooferaw.Answer: No, but foofaraw is:
- Excessive or flashy ornamentation.
- A fuss over a trifling matter.
The More You Know: There is some new "Power of Veto" thing going on on Idol this season, but I'm not exactly sure what it is because I have class Thursday nights and can't bear to sit through the results shows afterward, even though I DVR them. Stay tuned.
Why: I haven't seen a commercial for them in a while.
Answer: Reply hazy. Wikipedia has this to say:
The cereal was introduced in 1958, and was taken off the market in 2006. However, Alpha-Bits re-appeared for sale in January 2008 with a new formulation, touting "0% Sugar!" as a "Limited Edition" cereal. The old recipe was reintroduced later in 2008.But the link to the Alpha-Bits page at Kraftfoods.com goes nowhere.
The More You Know: On Amazon, you can buy a pack of 5 boxes of Alpha-Bits for $49.99 (+ $11.44 shipping). Beware - reviews are mixed.
Search: why are dvds released on tuesdays
Why: I just saw a commercial for both Purina Puppy Chow and the "Marley & Me" DVD.
Answer: A bunch of reasons:
- Sales Figures are released on Monday
- If a Tuesday release is selling well, there still is time to order more before the weekend.
- Shipments of music usually begin to arrive in stores on Thursday. That gives the stores time to coordinate special midnight sales on Monday evening, as opposed to Sunday, which is usually a shorter work day
The More You Know: Tomorrow's releases will include "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Seven Pounds," which is actually really great.
Search: dangerous liaisons
Why: I'm watching the 1988 version with John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, Keanu Reeves, and Uma Thurman.
Answer: The epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos was first published in 4 volumes starting on March 23, 1782. It has since been adapted into:
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1959 French film starring Jeanne Moreau)
- Kiken na kankei (1978 Japanese film)
- Nebezpecne Znamosti (1980 Czechoslavakian TV movie)
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1980 French TV movie)
- Dangerous Liaisons (1988 American film - the one I'm watching)
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1988 English play)
- Valmont (1989 film by Milos Forman, starring Colin Firth and Annette Bening)
- Cruel Intentions (1999 film starring Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair)
- Untold Scandal / Joseon Namnyeo Sangyeoljisa (2003 Korean film)
- Dangerous Liaisons (2005 adult film featuring RuPaul and Boy George)
The More You Know: Alternate titles for "Cruel Intentions" include:
- Erotika paihnidia (Greece)
- The Temptation More Beautiful Than a Love (South Korea)
- Sexe Intentions (France)
Why: In "Fear of a Black Hat," everybody has tons of guns concealed on their persons.
Answer: Like this:
The More You Know: The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. In 1958, Gal was the first person to receive the Israel Security Award, presented to him by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion for his work on the gun.
Search: imax boston
Why: Ginny saw "Monsters vs. Aliens" there. I saw "300" there a few years ago with Pat and Cara.
Answer: Jordan's Furniture in Natick
Source: Jordan's IMAX
The More You Know: A few of the voices in "Monsters vs. Aliens" include Will Arnett, Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms, John Krasinski, Hugh Laurie, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Kiefer Sutherland, Jeffrey Tambor, Rainn Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, and Renee Zellweger. Still, the only reason I might still see it is because it's in IMAX 3D, and I love IMAX 3D.
Search: avevo chiesto di cambiare l'oggetto prima della spedizione x errato acq.
Why: On eBay, some guy left this feedback for a seller than I want to buy a memory card from:
avevo chiesto di cambiare l'oggetto prima della spedizione x errato acq.Answer: Either "the subject" or "the object." The translation came back as:
I asked to change the subject before shipment x wrong acq.but by itself, l'oggetto was just "the object."
Source: Google Translate
The More You Know: Non parlo italiano.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Search: i love you man
Why: I recognize him, but I don't know why.
Answer: Rob Huebel. He also played Holly's new boyfriend A.J. in "The Office" (ep. "Lecture Circuit") and he was the host of "MILF Island" on "30 Rock."
The More You Know: "I Love You, Man" is pretty good. Go see it.
Search: tessalon perles
Why: I am taking them 3 times a day for a rumbly cough/cold/Black Lung. My chest sounds like it has Bingo balls tumbling around in it.
Answer: It works by reducing the reflex in the lungs that causes the urge to cough. It has an anesthetic (numbing) action similar to that of benzocaine and "numbs" the stretch sensors in the lungs. It is the stretching of these sensors with breathing that causes the cough.
Source: WebMD, MedicineNet
The More You Know: My voice is completely gone. I have not been able to speak for 2 days. No calls, please.
Why: On p 215 of The Handmaid's Tale:
They aren't squeamish, they don't have the same feelings we do. And the rest of them leaning forward in their chairs, My dear, all horror and prurience.Answer: The quality or state of being prurient...
- Inordinately interested in matters of sex; lascivious.
- Characterized by an inordinate interest in sex: prurient thoughts.
- Arousing or appealing to an inordinate interest in sex: prurient literature.
The More You Know: Latin prurient-, pruriens, present participle of prurire "to itch, crave;" akin to Latin pruna "glowing coal," Sanskrit plosati "he singes," and probably to Latin pruina "hoarfrost"
Search: hong kong sovereign nation
Why: Hong Kong appears separate from China on a list labeled "National IQ Estimates."
Answer: No. The sovereignty of Hong Kong was returned to China by the United Kingdom in 1997. However, Hong Kong still maintains most of the colonial administrative system and hence appears in many "international" rankings.
The More You Know: The official name of the Hong Kong Government is The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The 3 highest ranking officials are named Donald Tsang, Henry Tang, and John Tsang, none of which sound particularly Chinese to me.
Search: average iq by country
Why: Banner ads say "The average American IQ is 98. Can you beat it?"
Answer: The list looks like this:
- Hong Kong - 107
- South Korea - 106
- Japan - 105
- Taiwan - 104
- Singapore - 103
The More You Know: The countries with the lowest average IQ are Zimbabwe (66), the Republic of Congo (65), Sierra Leone (64), Ethiopia (63), and Equatorial Guinea (59).
Why: I need to buy some.
Answer: "Dumbbells" as a word originated in Tudor England, where athletes used hand-held church bells to develop the upper body and arms. These bells ranged in weight from a few ounces to many pounds. They would have made a great deal of noise, so the athletes removed the clappers so they could practice quietly; hence the name "dumb," as in no sound and "bell" – dumbbell. When strongmen started to make their own equipment, they kept the name, even though the shape changed. When athletes started making purpose-built equipment, they also kept the name.
The More You Know: Kettles were also available in various sizes, ranging up to those holding several gallons. Filled with sand or water, these too could be used for training.
Search: bosco cartoon; bosko
Why: Just thinking about how awesome Splash Mountain is and probably about to order Song of the South from China and, omg, maybe Sorry! Splash Mountain Edition.
Anyway, speaking of racist cartoons, I used to see Bosko on "Looney Tunes" clips. When he was in color, I think he was a super stereotypical black kid.
Answer: He looked how I've always seen him! He was created in 1927 as a typical "Negro boy." Bosko was featured in the groundbreaking 1929 "talkie" cartoon "Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid," in which creator Rudolph Ising animates soundtrack-synchronized speech and dancing:And he was in the very first Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon short, Sinkin' in the Bathtub, in 1930:
Later, from 1934-38, he and girlfriend Honey were in color in the "Happy Harmonies" series. This one is from 1934:
but this horrific business is from 1937:
Source: ToonZone, Wikipedia
The More You Know: In Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin saysthat this early version of Bosko:
was in fact a cartoonized version of a young black boy... he spoke in a Southern Negro dialect... in subsequent films this characterization was eschewed, or perhaps forgotten. This could be called sloppiness on the part of Harman and Ising, but it also indicates the uncertain nature of the character itself.Hum.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Search: ponzi scheme
Why: Woody Allen has a Shout & Murmur in The New Yorker about Bernie Madoff and his victims.
Answer: A fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned. The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the technique after emigrating from Italy to the United States in 1903. Ponzi did not invent the scheme (Charles Dickens's 1857 novel Little Dorrit described such a scheme, for example), but his operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States. His original scheme was based on arbitraging international reply coupons for postage stamps, but soon diverted investors' money to support payments to earlier investors and Ponzi's personal wealth.
The More You Know: When I lived in London, I had to give a walking tour of Little Dorrit to my class.
Search: how many balloons does it take to lift a person
Why: At Disneyland yesterday, balloon vendors looked about ready to float off into space.
Answer: 3,235 balloons to lift a 100-pound person:
- 1 liter of helium can lift about 1 gram
- There are 453 grams in 1 pound
- You would need 45,300 liters of helium to lift 100 pounds
- Amusement park balloons (about 1 foot in diameter) hold about 14 liters of helium
- 45,300 liters of helium ÷ 14 liters per balloon = 3,235 balloons
The More You Know: There is a sport called cluster ballooning that uses weather balloons that hold about 1,000 L of helium. You would only need 46 of those to lift a 100 lb person. Here is a video of a guy preparing and riding his balloon cluster:
Search: where the wild things are
Why: To show Zack, because it looks awesome.
The More You Know: The original concept for the book featured horses instead of monster. Author Maurice Sendak changed it when he realized he couldn't draw horses.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Why: All my jeans are getting hemmed or patched. What will I wear to Disneyland tomorrow?
Answer: The word culottes is of French origin, and is the diminutive form of the word "cul," which means "backside," from the Latin "culus." The word has always referred to the knee-breeches commonly worn by gentlemen of the European upper-classes from the late Middle Ages through the early 19th century. Culottes were normally fastened to the knee by either buttons, a strap and buckle, or a drawstring. During the French Revolution (late 18th century), the working-class revolutionaries were known as the "sans-culottes" (literally, "without culottes"), and derived their name from their preference for pantaloons rather than the upper-class culottes.
The More You Know: Breeches has been known since c. 1205, from Old English brēc, the plural of brōc "garment for the legs and trunk," from the Proto-Germanic word *brōkiz, and Old Norse word brók, which shows up in the epithet of the Viking king Ragnar Loðbrók: Ragnar "Hairy-breeches." The Proto-Germanic word also led to the Latin word bracca; the Romans, who did not generally wear pants, referred to Germanic tribes as braccati, "wearers of breeches" (or rather, of fabric wrapped around the legs). In the South, we call them "britches."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Search: feb. 28, 2001 in seattle
Why: A weird post on a message board ends:
God's wrath for the end of times began on feb 28, 2001 in seattle.Answer: An earthquake, magnitude 6.8. It made Seattle slide about 5 millimeters northeast and Olympia drop 1/4 of an inch.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
The More You Know: But why was God so mad at Seattle? And where will he strike next?
Search: los angeles; massachusetts
Why: Lauren said it is.
Answer: Sort of, depending on what you're measuring. Here are the facts!
- MA total area - 10,555 sq mi (27,336 km²)
- LA total area - 498.3 sq mi (1,290.6 km2)
- LA County total area - 4,752 sq mi (12,308 km²)
- MA population - 6,497,967
- LA population - 3,849,378
- LA County population - 9,878,554
The More You Know: Click here to see what the U.S. Census Bureau considers a useful webpage.
Search: never my love
Why: BMI's list of the Top 100 (most played) Songs of the (20th) Century has it listed as #2, with more than 7 million radio/TV plays. The list goes:
- "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"
- "Never My Love"
- "Stand By Me"
- "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"
- "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"
- "Mrs. Robinson"
- "Baby I Need Your Loving"
- "Rhythm of the Rain"
- "Georgia on My Mind"
The More You Know: The Association performed "Never My Love" on the Ed Sullivan show in 1968. Another of their songs, "Cherish," was in the movie "Congo," which I hate more than any movie that has ever been made. Seriously. I'm getting angry just thinking about it.
Search: salmon cook white stuff
Why: It's so unappealing. I don't want to eat it.
Answer: Serum albumin, proteins of the the blood that are still present in the flesh of an animal after it's cleaned. It's not bad for you. You can certainly eat it, but only if you can try to forget what sebum is.
Source: Discuss Cooking Forums
The More You Know: Salmon is one of my least favorite fish (and I love fish), but here is a pretty good recipe for grilled salmon with a soy maple glaze.
Search: step by step
Why: Zack is singing it.
Answer: Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay
The More You Know: Frederick (and possibly Salvay) also wrote the theme songs for "Full House," "Family Matters," and "Perfect Strangers."
Why: It's Levar Burton's "new favorite noodle house in LA."
Answer: The one closest to me is downtown / Little Tokyo, which isn't very close at all. They are also in Torrance and Sherman Oaks.
The More You Know: I will probably never go there.
Search: traffic film
Why: 48 members of an Oaxacan family have been arrested for smuggling heroin from Mexico to Southern California.
The More You Know: On wiretaps, members of the family (the Mendoza clan) referred to the drug as "salsa," "burrito," "taco" and "shirts." They cut the black-tar heroin with lactose using a coffee grinder.
Search: ellen page
Why: In the poster for "Smart People," she looks like an LP.
The More You Know: Her alleged nickname is "The Tiny Canadian" and she's probably even smaller than she looks. Thomas Hayden Church (standing next to her) is really 6 ft tall (maybe - those people always lie).
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Search: nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Why: It is carved in the wall of Offred's bedroom in The Handmaid's Tale. I'm pretty sure the Latin name for sapphire / ruby is similar to carborundorum.
Answer: It's fake Latin for "Don't let the bastards grind you down." Other variations (none of them correct) include:
- Illegitimi non carborundum
- Nil illegitimi carborundum.
- Non illegitimis carborundum.
- Illegitimi nil carborundum.
- Non illegitimi carborundum.
- Nil bastardo carborundum.
- Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
- Illegitimis non carborundum.
- Illegitimus non carborundum est.
- Nil illegitimo in desperandum carborundum
- Nil carborundum illegitamae
The More You Know: The Latin name for sapphire / ruby is corundum - though carborundum is a hard mineral used for grinding. The fake word word carborundorum is probably a portmanteau of "carbon" and "corundum." So I was kind of right. Again.
Search: leafy sea dragon
Why: It's one of my favorite underwater creatures (along with the cuttlefish).
Source: Dive Gallery
The More You Know: As with seahorses, male leafy sea dragons carry their mates' eggs until they hatch. What gentlemen!
Search: craig robinson
Why: Vulture would like to see him host "Saturday Night Live." He currently plays Daryl Philbin on "The Office."
Answer: His first acting role was in the short film "AppleJax and YoYo" in 2001. (He played YoYo.)
The More You Know: Prior to a career in show business, Robinson was a K-8 teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. He began doing stand up and taking classes in improv and acting at the Second City in Chicago.
Why: In "Australia," a kid rode a horse out of a lake, which was pretty much the opposite of what happened in the Swamp of Sadness in "The Neverending Story." I said Arnax; Zack said Ajax.
The More You Know: I got suspended in 6th grade for having a Swiss Army Knife on my keychain. While I waited around the Board of Education the next day to get the suspension cleared, I read Die unendliche Geschichte. I think I was the only kid there reading a book.
Search: demi ashton age difference
Why: Bruce Willis just married a woman 24 years younger than he is. (Emma Heming is 30, not 32.)
Answer: 15 years - Kutcher was born 2/7/78, Moore was 11/11/1962.
The More You Know: Wonder what kind of geriatrics Scout, Tallulah, and Rumer will marry...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Why: On BrokenPictureTelephone, my clue is "Shadow-wraith cat surrenders to cunning ninja tree."
Answer: noun -
- An apparition of a living person that appears as a portent just before that person's death.
- The ghost of a dead person.
- Something shadowy and insubstantial.
The More You Know: My next clue is "Fireman is confused about multiplication tables and two brown lines."
Search: figaro song opera
Why: On "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Ty just sang, "Fiiigaro, Fiiiigaro."
Answer: It's part of the aria "Largo al Factotum" (by the character Figaro) in the opera The Barber of Seville. Here, it comes at 3:24-3:37 -
Source: Yahoo! Answers
The More You Know: The opera is by Gioachino Rossini, the same guy that wrote the "William Tell Overture."
Why: I'm pretty sure it was for Screech's Secret Sauce on "Saved by the Bell."
Answer: Screech's Secret Sauce. Other notable fake phone numbers include 555-PIZA from "The Simpsons" and 1-800-DRUIDIA from "Spaceballs."
Source: 555 SPOT
The More You Know: One of the earliest uses of a 555 number was in "Panic in the Year Zero!" (1962). In older television shows from the 1950s or 1960s, "KLondike 5" or "KLamath 5" was used, because telephone exchanges then used letters and numbers in phone numbers. More recent works set in this period typically use this convention as well. For example, Doc Brown's 1955 phone number in "Back to the Future" is KLondike 5-4385.
Why: On Encore:
Beethoven 3:20-4:50pm - Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt (1992)Answer:
A family man (Charles Grodin) becomes the master of an obstreperous Saint Bernard.
Alice: Bonnie Hunt. Varnick: Dean Jones. Ryce: Nicholle Tom. (Comedy, 87 min.)
- Noisily and stubbornly defiant.
- Aggressively boisterous.
The More You Know: In the Info for Chris Farley movies, I have often seen him described as "a portly buffoon."
Search: french phrases beer please
Why: Audrey needs help with her French homework. I don't speak French.
Answer: Je voudrais une biere, s'il vous plait. ("I would like a beer, please" - the French appreciate manners.)
Source: A Night in Paris
The More You Know: That is not the same as the other "Night in Paris."
Search: nuts gassy
Why: Whenever Susanne eats nuts, she gets all gassy and bloated.
Answer: Not nuts themselves, generally, but combining them with other foods, notably fruits. Nuts are difficult for the body to break down, and are typically in the system 4-14 hours after they're eaten. Their presence in the digestive tract holds up the digestion of foods eaten after or with them, especially fruits since fruits either digest or ferment very quickly. If digestion is held up, bacteria show up to decompose (eat) the food, and it is the waste products of their metabolism that we experience as "gas."
Source: Raw Food Talk / Nora from RawSchool
The More You Know: Other hard-to-digest foods include such as beans, seeds, brussels sprouts, oats, barley, honey, and yeast.
Search: mdx commercial all night long
Why: Because it's hilarious.
The More You Know: I used to watch this every day before work. And sometimes again during work. That stuff turned your tongue radioactive green.
Search: was andy garcia conjoined twin
Why: On "Family Guy," Stewie said drowned Meg looked "worse than Andy Garcia when he had his conjoined twin."
Answer: Yes! He was born with a conjoined twin the size of a softball attached to his shoulder. It was surgically removed, and Garcia has no memory of it.
Source: Notable Names Database
The More You Know: Lisa and I love Abby and Britty Hensel. The last time they filmed a life update, they were turning 16 and getting their driver's licenses, but I still remember when they were just little two-headed girls...
Monday, March 23, 2009
Search: pearl jam
Why: "Jeremy" came on the radio a few nights ago. If it were a person, that song would be old enough to buy cigarettes in some countries.
Answer: The last single was "Love, Reign o'er Me" for the movie "Reign Over Me" in 2007. They haven't had a single hit better than #41 on the US charts since "Last Kiss" in 1999.
The More You Know: They've released a bunch of live albums in the last decade. I have one that was recorded in Lisbon, though I don't see it on that list. Hmm...
Search: when is flu season
Why: I woke up this morning with a brand new case of the Plague. I thought this only happened in the Fall (like last fall, when I hacked lung for 10 straight weeks).
Answer: "Flu season" is at its peak from November through April.
The More You Know: When flu shots are low, only these people are priorities:
- Children between ages 6-23 months
- Adults aged 65+
- Individuals with chronic conditions aged 2-64
- All women who will be pregnant during the coming flu season
- Residents of nursing homes/long term facilities
- Children between 6 months to 18 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy
- Health care workers that work in direct patient care
- Household contacts/out-side caregivers of children under 6 months of age
Why: In "For Your Consideration," Callie's character says:
I didn't want your life. I didn't wanna be in a kitchen with the brisket or the fish balls or the kreplach or the kugel or go out with boys that turn into men I don't want to marry. It was all fershteit. I am not you, Mama. I am me, Rachel Pischer. And, oh, yes, I did meet a nice fella. Her name is Mary Pat.Answer: It means something like "understood" - like all those things were taken for granted. I found a few pages that translate farshstaist as "You understand?" or "Got it?" (but the captions on the movie transliterate it with an e).
Source: Bubby Gram
The More You Know: Kugel is a sweetpudding-type casserole. Kosher-for-Passover kugel was just about the only thing that consoled me when I couldn't eat Cadbury Creme Eggs the week after Easter (the only time they are ever around).
Search: how tall is prince, how tall is elijah wood
Why: Mia and Lauren saw Elijah Wood this weekend.
Answer: Elijah Wood, at 5'6. Prince is 5'2.
The More You Know: Elijah Wood's first acting role was in Paula Abdul's video for "Forever Your Girl" in 1989. I think he's the little businessman at 1:56. The video was directed by David Fincher, who also directed "Seven," "Fight Club," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
Search: shanghai verb
Why: Page 133 of The Handmaid's Tale:
Their power had a flaw to it. They could be shanghaied in toilets.Answer: The verb itself means:
- To kidnap (a man) for compulsory service aboard a ship, especially after drugging him.
- To induce or compel (someone) to do something, especially by fraud or force: We were shanghaied into buying worthless securities.
It comes from American West Coast ports (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, etc.) in the mid-1800s. Laws and economic conditions spurred conscripting men as sailors by forceful techniques such as trickery, intimidating, or violence.
- Once a sailor signed onboard a vessel for a voyage, it was illegal for him to leave the ship before the voyage's end.
- Crews abandoned ships en masse for the California Gold Rush, causing a shortage of skilled labor on the coast. Healthy, able seamen were rare and valuable.
- Boarding masters (who found crews for ships) were paid "by the body," and thus had a strong incentive to put as many men on a ship as possible.
- A kidnapping boarding master (or "crimp") might knock a seaman unconscious, forge his signature, and pick up his money.
- A crimp might trick a sailor into using his advance pay (up to 4 months) to buy supplies and clothes from him for an inflated price.
The More You Know: The most infamous crimps included Jim "Shanghai" Kelly and Johnny "Shanghai Chicken" Devine of San Francisco, and Joseph "Bunco" Kelly of Portland. "Bunco" Kelly allegedly passed off a wooden Cigar store Indian as a much-needed crewman to a desperate ship's captain. Another romanticized story involves the "birthday party" Shanghai Kelly threw for himself, in order to attract enough victims to man 3 ships, including one named Reefer.
Search: inflation rate us dollars 1985
Why: Some original Nintendos are on eBay for up to $2000 (Challenge Set). In 1985, they sold for about $140 in the U.S.
Answer: $276.09 (inflation rate 97.2%)
Source: Coin News
The More You Know: Nintendo was founded as a Japanese business by Fusajiro Yamauchi in late 1889, originally named "Nintendo Koppai". Based in Kyoto, Japan, the business produced and marketed a playing card game called Hanafuda.
at 5:14 PM
Friday, March 20, 2009
Search: football players lost at sea
Why: Summer is coming, and with it my dread of sea creatures.
Answer: No On March 2, Nick Schuyler (former USF player) was found after surviving 46 hours in 63° waters, about 10 hours before he would have died if he hadn't been rescued.
He said that only 2-4 hours after their boat capsized near Clearwater, FL, 2 of his fishing companions - Marquis Cooper (Oakland Raiders) and free agent Corey Smith (former Detroit Lions) took off their life jackets and drifted out to sea.
The next day, Will Bleakley (former USF) said he "saw a light in the distance," took off his jacket, and swam away.
Schuyler's other (redacted) reports claim that one of the men "freaked out" before he removed his life vest. "Later that night, another became unruly and threw punches. He took off his life vest, dove down and never resurfaced. A third thought he saw land and decided to swim."
The More You Know: The very first episode of "I Shouldn't Be Alive" is called "Shark Survivor." It's pretty interesting / scary and examines what happens to people when they're in the middle of the ocean without food, water, or people they trust. Watch part one, two, three, four, five.
Why: Looking for a new air conditioner online, Zack said, "What? eBay has its own craigslist now?"
Answer: In the U.S., June 29, 2007 - before that, the site was available in Russia, China, and India. Like craigslist (and unlike eBay), posting ads is free, sellers must choose major nearby cities for classification, and Kijiji plays no part in completing sales.
Source: PC World
The More You Know: Kijiji means "village" in Swahili. Also, we didn't need a new air conditioner. I cleaned the front grate (for the first time in at least 6 months - probably much longer), and now this place is like the inside of the Ice Bar.
Search: mayday distress
Why: In The Handmaid's Tale, Luke says that "mayday" comes from the French word "m'aidez."
Answer: It actually comes from the French venez m'aider, which means "come help me." The Mayday callsign was originated in 1923 by a radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the word "Mayday" from the French m’aider.
The recommended distress call format suggests the word MAYDAY said 3 times, followed by the vessel name or call sign 3 times. In the U.S., making a hoax Mayday call in the U.S. is a federal crime carrying sanctions of up to six years imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000.
The More You Know: Natasha Richardson starred in the film version of "The Handmaid's Tale" in 1990 with Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, and Aidan Quinn.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Why: A guy on "Ace of Cakes" just said it's made of bugs.
Answer: Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug (below) to make a cocoon. It is processed and sold as dry flakes, which are then dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac. It is used as a brushed on colorant, wood stain, and food glaze - like on candy such as Skittles.
The More You Know: It takes about 100,000 lac bugs to make 1 lb. of shellac flakes. Tree branches covered by thousands of the bugs are harvested as sticklac. The branches are crushed and cleaned, leaving a product used as violin varnish known as seedlac.
Search: girl scout cookies nutritional value
Why: On "Ace of Cakes," the team is making giant replicas of Girl Scouts Cookies. Christy gave us 2 boxes of Thin Mints last week, but we haven't even opened them because they're 40 calories per cookie.
Answer: Ole Ole Reduced Fat Cookies, which are "bite-sized, round and powder-sugared white with vanilla, pecans and coconut," and still not very good for you.
- All Abouts - 2 cookies: 150 calories, 7 grams fat (3 saturated), 20 carbohydrates (9 sugars)
- Aloha Chips with Macadamia Nuts - 3 cookies: 170 cal, 10 g fat (2 sat), 19 carbs (9 sugars)
- Animal Treasures - 2 cookies: 190 cal, 9 g fat (4.5 sat), 25 carbs (12 sugars)
- Caramel deLites - 2 cookies: 140 cal, 7 g fat (6 sat), 19 carbs (13 sugars)
- Do-si-dos (Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cremes) - 3 cookies: 170 cal, 8 g fat (1 sat), 22 carbs (11 sugars)
- Friendship Circles - 2 cookies: 130 cal, 5 g fat (1 sat), 19 carbs (8 sugars)
- Ole Ole Reduced Fat - 5 cookies: 140 cal, 6 g fat (1.5 sat), 20 carbs (10 sugars)
- Peanut Butter Patties - 2 cookies: 150 cal, 8 g fat (5 sat), 16 carbs (9 sugars)
- Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies - 3 cookies: 180 cal, 8 g fat (2 sat), 23 carbs (14 sugars)
- Reduced Fat Lemon Pastry Cremes - 3 cookies: 130 cal, 4.5 g fat (1 sat), 22 carbs (13 sugars)
- Samoas - 2 cookies: 160 cal, 9 g fat (6 sat), 17 carbs (12 sugars)
- Shortbread - 4 cookies: 130 cal, 6 g fat (1.5 sat), 18 carbs (6 sugars)
- Tagalongs Peanut Butter Patties - 2 cookies: 150 cal, 10 g fat (4 sat), 13 carbs (8 sugars)
- Thin Mints - 4 cookies: 160 cal, 9 g fat (6 sat), 20 carbs (11 sugars)
- Trefoils - 5 cookies: 160 cal, 8 g fat (1 sat), 20 carbs (7 sugars)
The More You Know: You can't order Girl Scout Cookies online (which Scout would get the ... commission?), but you can find troops in your area at girlscoutcookies.org.
Search: tia mowry
Why: I saw an ad for a new show called "Roommates" and a girl in the picture looks like one of those twins from "Sister, Sister" (which also starred Jackée).
Answer: Tia Mowry has spent 3 years on a show called "The Game," which is a spin-off of "Girlfriends." But hahaha: the girl in the "Roommates" ad actually is Tamera. What is she doing playing a college kid? She's 31 years old.
The More You Know: They will both be in a movie called "Hollywood Horror" this year.
Search: tyra banks
Why: Today's Tyra Banks Show is about sex and expectant mothers. A lot of weird and nasty stuff is being said. Anyway, Tyra doesn't have a baby, a boyfriend, or a husband.
Answer: 35 (born Dec. 4, 1973)
The More You Know: Her longest (publicized?) relationship was with former Michigan Wolverines Fab Five hotshot Chris Webber. They dated 3 years and broke up in 2004.
Search: why do cats rub their faces on things
Why: I am trying to read a book, but Maddie keeps rubbing her lips on the corner of the pages.
Answer: Cats have pheromone glands in their foreheads, lips, front paws, flanks, and rears. They leave their scents on places and other animals (and people) to mark their territory, to communicate urgency (like hunger or danger), and to signal familiarity. The pheromones secreted by glands in the face seem to have a calming effect on cats.
The More You Know: When a kitty headbutts you, it's an affectionate gesture. Only cats that are completely comfortable with each other will engage in mutual headbutting, called bunting.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Search: vanessa redgrave
Why: Natasha Richardson was her daughter.
Answer: 1966 (in the movie "Blow-Up") and more recently:
Source: Google Images
The More You Know: She won the Best Actress Oscar for "Julia" (1977) and was nominated for 5 others. She played Older Briony in "Atonement" (2007).
Why: Yesterday, Meredith Viera said 35 million Americans claim Irish ancestry.
The More You Know: Ireland is #118 on the list of countries by population, right between Costa Rica and Croatia. In the U.S., it would be the 25th most populous state, with more people than Louisiana but fewer than North Carolina.
Search: why do girls scream
Why: A woman on "Ellen" shrieked when the Gold Digger came to her house.
Answer: Some sociological/anthropological possibilities:
- When excited (like because she just won a bunch of money), a girl screams to release energy and to draw attention from others to help calm her down.
- When scared (of a spider or snake) or in danger, a scream attracts attention from someone who can come take care of business.
- When scared (of a movie or rollercoaster), a scream distracts her from trauma and can shock her out of the moment.
- At concerts, screams alert everyone (including the dudes onstage) that she is a sexually mature female creature.
- Girls are just expressive and extroverted.
The More You Know: I have never shrieked in my life.
Search: shoes on telephone wire drugs
Why: Amy and Kateloh are dealing some drugs, and they want to let the neighbors know.
Answer: A sampling of what shoes on a telephone wire could mean:
- I heard tennis shoes hanging over a power line meant you could buy crack there.
- It's a time-honored tradition to throw your sneakers over the power lines on the last day of school.
- In Nashua, New Hampshire, we used to steal pairs of shoes that had been carelessly left on the sidewalk by kids who had popped open a fireplug. At this point we would play "over the wire keep away" until (a) the kid's mother, brother, father, or a passing police officer put a stop to the game, or (b) shoes went up but didn't come down.
- When I was in the military and guys were getting ready to get out and go back to a "regular" life they would take their combat boots and paint them up all funky before tying the laces together and throwing them over a wire.
- Either they're meant to increase visibility for low-flying aircraft, frighten rattlesnakes away, or just for the hell of it.
- I read in the newspaper that shoes would be thrown over the power lines to serve as a reminder/warning of a murder that occurred nearby.
- Used to be a gang sign — sneakers hanging over telephone or electrical wires were to designate gang turf.
- After getting a new pair of sneakers, it was a common ritual in my neighborhood to tie the shoelaces of your old pair together and throw them up on the telephone wires. What else are you going to do with your old pair of sneakers?
- The kids did this to be mean and make a difficult time of life even more difficult.
- There is no solid cause-effect going on here. Just your everyday kid hijinks.
The More You Know: In Scotland, boys throw their shoes over wires when they lose their virginity.
Why: Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. To honor the Irish, The Ramp had a corned-beef-and-cabbage special.
Answer: Corning is a form of curing. Before refrigerators existed, meat was dry-cured in coarse "corns" of salt. Chunks of salt, the size and shape of corn kernels, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it.
These days instead of dry salt, salt water is used to "corn" beef (a process called brining).
Maybe one of the reasons we still say "corned beef" instead of "brined beef" is because spices are still added during curing, among them peppercorns.
Source: Mr. Breakfast
The More You Know: I had clam chowder, which felt Irish because it summoned up fond memories of Boston (which has a lot of Irish people).
Search: serta; sealy
Why: Two major mattress competitors have two-syllable 5-letter names that start with S.
Answer: Sealy mattresses were first made in Sealy, Texas, in 1881 by a guy who built cotton gins. In 1889, he patented an invention that compressed cotton for the mattresses, called "Mattresses from Sealy." In 1906, another guy bought the patents, took the name Sealy, and expanded it to a national market.
The More You Know: Serta was founded in 1931.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Search: lou ferrigno
Why: He's in the trailer for that new movie "I Love You, Man" (which looks totally awesome). He seems to be part of a joke that boys get.
Answer: He played The Hulk in
- "The Incredible Hulk" (1977)
- "The Incredible Hulk: Death in the Family" (1977)
- "The Incredible Hulk: Married" (1978)
- "The Incredible Hulk" (TV series, 1978-82)
- "The Incredible Hulk Returns" (1988)
- "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk" (1989)
- "The Death of the Incredible Hulk" (1990)
- "The Incredible Hulk" (TV Series, 1996-97)
- episodes of "Stephen Spielberg's Amazing Stores," "Fantastic Four," and "Iron Man" (TV shows)
- and voiced The Hulk in "Hulk" (2008)
The More You Know: He is 6'4 1/2.
Why: It's on page 3 of The Handmaid's Tale, which I first read maybe 10 years ago.
"...the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail..."I didn't look it up the first time.
Answer: from Greek palimpsēston, scraped again : palin, again + psēn, to scrape
1 : writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased
2 : something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface <Canada…is a
palimpsest, an overlay of classes and generations — Margaret Atwood>
The More You Know: Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale. Palimpsest must be her favorite word.
Search: george washington
Why: Zack just said he hates the people who murdered George Washington, but then clarified that his death was due to incompetent doctors.
Answer: The White House says he died of a throat infection on Dec. 14, 1799. Modern doctors believe that Washington died largely because of his treatment, which included calomel and bloodletting, resulting in a combination of shock from the loss of five pints of blood, as well as asphyxia and dehydration.
The More You Know: Upon his death, Napoleon ordered 10 days of mourning throughout France. To protect their privacy, Martha Washington burned all correspondence between her and George. Today, only three letters between them survive.
Search: robert de niro, al pacino
Why: We're watching "Righteous Kill" and it kind of feels like "The Bucket List 2: Grizzled Cops."
Answer: De Niro is 65 (born 8/17/43) and Pacino is 68 (b. 4/25/40). Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are both 71.
The More You Know: Someone in the movie just said, "I never heard of no cop serial killer." This must be set in a universe where no one watches "Dexter."
Monday, March 16, 2009
Search: playing cards
Why: Playing 52 Card Pickup on Save the Planet.
Answer: Four-suited versions of cards existed in China's Song Dynasty (960-1279), India (12th century?), England (mid-13th c.), Naples (1352), and Egypt (late 1300s). In the late 14th century, playing cards spread throughout Europe, seen in Switzerland, Florence, and Paris.
In the 15th century, suits varied, either 4 or 5 of them. In Germany: hearts, bells, leaves, and acorns. In Spain and Italy: swords, batons (or wands), cups, and coins (or rings). The 4 suits we now use (spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs) originated in France around 1480. The trèfle (club) was probably copied from the acorn and the pique (spade) from the leaf of the German suits.
Court cards evolved as well. Originally, a deck included "chevaliers" (knights) and "knaves" (or "servants"). 56-card decks containing Kings, Queens, Knights, and Valets (borrowed from French tarot cards) were common.
The More You Know: In 16th century Paris, court cards were all named after historical and mythological figures, such as Julius Caesar (King of Diamonds), Alexander the Great (King of Clubs), Judith (Queen of Hearts), and Judah Maccabbee (Knave of Clubs).
Search: peaches geldof
Why: In steps:
- PT posted the video for "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak.
- Helena Christensen was the model in that video.
- Helena Christensen lived with Michael Hutchence at some point in the mid-90s (after he broke up with Kylie Minogue.
- In 1996, Michael Hutchence had a daughter with Paula Yates named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence.
- Paula Yates had three daughters from her marriage to Bob Geldof:
- Fifi Trixibelle Geldof (1983)
- Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof (1989)
- Little Pixie Geldof (1990)
Answer: Like this:
Source: Google Images
The More You Know: Peaches was married Aug 5, 2008 to a guy from the Harvard band Chester French. On Feb 7, 2009, they announced that the marriage was over.
Search: the westing game
Why: I am re-reading the book. The last time I read it must have been 15 years ago. It is still entertaining, and with a font that's about size 22, I'm whizzing right through it.
Answer: One movie was made for TV in 1997. The reviews, however, are pretty pisspoor. I don't want to watch it.
The More You Know: My favorite kids book is The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel), also by Ellen Raskin.
Search: beer alcohol content list
Why: Looking for the most bang for my buck.
Answer: Top 10:
- Sam Adams Triple Bock - 17.5%
- Bell's Third Coast Old Ale - 10.2%,
- Bell's Expedition Stout - 10%
- Stone Double Bastard Ale - 10%
- Anchor Old Foghorn - 8-10%
- Sierra Nevada Bigfoot - 9.9%
- Stone Old Guardian - 9.9%
- Marin Old Dipsea Barleywine - 9%
- Sam Adams Double Bock - 8.5%
- Bell's Cherry Stout - 8%
The More You Know: Sam Adams Triple Bock has 340 calories per 12 oz.
Search: sherri shepherd
Why: Tracy Morgan played her in a "The View" sketch on "Saturday Night Live" this week.
Answer: A sampling:
September 18, 2007 - She stated that she didn't "believe in evolution. Period."Source: Wikipedia
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked her, "Is the world flat?"
She first responded, "…I don't know" and expanded that she "never thought about it." Shepherd continued that it was more important to her that she thought about how she was "going to feed [her] child."
Barbara Walters replied to Shepherd's defense of her scientific illiteracy by pointing out, "You can do both."
Shepherd then went on to quote scripture.
December 4, 2007 - During a discussion initiated by Joy Behar about Epicurus, Shepherd said that Christians existed in classical Greece, and that the Greeks threw them to the lions. When confronted on this point, she further claimed that "Jesus came first" (before Greeks and Romans) and stated, "I don't think anything predated Christians."
January 2008 - She commented that gospel singer Shirley Caesar was "like a black Patti LaBelle." Her co-stars, seemingly perplexed by the comment, were all quick to inform her that LaBelle is also African American.
The More You Know: On "30 Rock," Shepherd plays Tracy Morgan's character's wife Angie Jordan.