Back to business

(Just as long as that business doesn’t require a reliable electricity supply.)

Part 1.
The first pub quiz in ages last night. And we won. Some things never change. Our team name did – we went with “Chinese Cabbage” for obvious reasons. It stood us in good stead, with a comprehensive victory assured well ahead of the final round. Well played, team.

Part 2.
I managed to get back (no pun intended) to gym today for the first time in about a month. Time will tell whether this was a good decision, my back being at that difficult “probably ok, unless you manage to do something really innocuous to damage it again” stage.

Notes from my really gentle session:
– Gym is quiet, but can you imagine what it’ll be like in a month’s time?
– That wasn’t as easy as I remember. It’s amazing how quickly your fitness drops off when you have been injured.
– I’m (briefly, at least) re-motivated to get back to full fitness as soon as possible, but…
– Tomorrow may well bring a world of pain.

Part 3.
I’ve secured a bit more advertising stuff for the blog. You’ll likely see a post or two in the next week or so that simply doesn’t make sense in the context of this otherwise wonderfully-written site. They’ll probably be about casinos and sports betting. I’m not supposed to say that they are paid content, but they are paid content – clearly identifiable by the “Black Label Fund” category I have applied to them. However, this time around, it’s more likely that any monies earned will go towards a Christmas bone-us for the beagle than any beer. (See what I did there?)
Thank you for your understanding.

Map fact of the day

Chaotic day in the lab today, so thank goodness that my first Brilliant Maps newsletter of 2018 dropped into my inbox this morning, filled with potential blog fodder.

And yes, in there amongst 14 other gems, was this fact:

Greenland is farther east, west, north, and south than Iceland.

Wait. You what? But… how?

Well, like this:

Wow. I’d have used thinner lines. But still: wow.

Pub quiz nerds [it me!] will automatically be thinking of the American states question now:

Which American states are furthest North, South, East and West?

Hawaii is clearly the furthest south, but I can never remember which the other ones are.
My wife has a great memory though, so maybe Alaska.

(And if you didn’t get that, go here.)

Of course, if you leave out the non-contiguous states, that question suddenly becomes a whole lot less interesting
(Minnesota, Florida, Maine, Washington).

Pub quiz redux

Ridiculously busy day ahead, so just a few bits and pieces about last night’s pub quiz, penned as I enjoy my thirteenth coffee of the day.

BUZZIN’, MAN!!!!

First off, let me tell you that last night’s pub quiz was a lot of fun. Good beer, good pizza, good company, great service at Fireman’s. Our awesome threesome did really well, finishing in (a mildly disputed) second place (out of 25 teams) after a bit of chaos involving a couple of vague questions in the final round. In a quiz with just fifty questions spread over 10 subjects and 2½ hours, you might argue that there’s no excuse for vague questions, and I would agree.

What is the plural of Opus?

Turns out that there’s more than one correct answer. Never a good idea for a last round question.
(Opuses/Opera, by the way.)

And did Quentin Tarantino really direct Natural Born Killers? No. He didn’t. So if you’re going to ask a question about that film, don’t state in the question that he did. People will get confused. There will be disputes. However, that was nothing compared to the outrage earlier in the evening when the answer to one of the Sports Round questions:

What is the national sport of Bulgaria?

turned out to be:

It’s a trick question. They have no national sport.

Did you get it? No. Neither did anyone else. But really, with just five sports questions to write and a near unlimited supply of options available to you, how utterly lazy is that?

Do. Better.

But I’m making it sound like a disaster. It wasn’t. It was fun. In my defence, I did say that above.

Crossword Man was there. Inspired by 6000 miles… (!), he wants to start his own blog. I know, right? He was asking a lot of questions about blogging, most all of which made more sense than the Bulgarian one above, and one of which was “can you post a blank post?”. I didn’t know that answer, so I tried it. The rest is history. Quite why you would want to post a blank post is a little beyond me, but each to their own. Perhaps he was giving me a hint?

It was our first pub quiz in several months. I knew that something had been missing from my life; I just didn’t know what.

We won’t leave it so long next time.

A little respect

We went quizzing last night at the Fireman’s Arms in town.

It’s been a while since we were there and it’s become a slick operation in our absence: questions on flatscreens, entry fees added to your tab etc etc. Nice work QuizNiteCT.

One thing that did irritate us though was the amount of blatant cheating going on. It has obviously become so endemic that teams don’t even bother to conceal it anymore. When the prize is a bottle of Klipdrift between six and a cap each, is it really worth it?
Evidently, yes, it is. As quiz legend Dale Collins states on all his picture round handouts:

Mobile phone users are killing quizzes

Quite how you stop the cheating is another matter: tough one. It’s sad, because you shouldn’t have to – it’s all a matter of respect.
Which nicely segues me into this track which caused us no end of discussion last night:

[vimeo clip_id=”24852962″ width=”678″ height=”509″]

Wow. What a great video.
How unlucky is that guy? What a series of inconceivable and unfortunate events, hey?
And he’s got a band in his shoe. In his shoe, people!! LOL!

Last night’s tribulations were around whether it was Weezer or whether it was Wheatus?
Who did Buddy Holly, who did Teenage Dirtbag?
It’s actually quite hard to remember after a few Black Labels…
(but we didn’t look it up on our cellphones.)