Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cable Dramas, One Episode In

Can you name the cable drama below just based on the plot summaries of the second episode.  I've also changed the names of the characters to just their initials to make things a little trickier.  The original quiz was just the descriptions of the pilot episodes for the same dramas.  

1- The witness who testified against D is killed, and the B organization is suspected; a detail is formed to investigate their drug dealing activity in the low rises. The detail's Lieutenant, Da , is concerned with the quality of his team, while Detective M is concerned with the department's plan for the investigation. Das' protégé K uses B as a confidential informant to identify members of the B organization. However, Das' suspicions about his other detectives prove correct when a late night foray into the West side projects by H, C and P goes awry.

2.  An undercover agent with connections to a Saudi prince who may be funding terrorist activities provides C with a revealing bit of electronic evidence. Meanwhile, C studies surveillance footage of life in B's home, where he appears troubled by traumatic memories and resists Pentagon and media pressure to be hyped as an American war hero.

3. A serial murderer dubbed The Ice Truck Killer leaves clues for D---in D's house; the unit investigates the death of an undercover cop; De's excellent police work gets her a transfer to homicide; D sets his sights on avenging the hit-and-run death of a teen whose killer walked.

4. N is evasive when V questions him about a recent crime spree, but makes sure to cover his tracks with all the relevant parties. Meanwhile, a high-profile murder in Chicago draws different reactions from A R and A C; the Commodore gives N his opinion on women's suffrage; and J scrambles to repay an important debt. 

5. After the accident in the desert, W and J need to dispose of the unfortunate mess in their rolling lab of an RV, and S begins to suspect that W and J are involved in some mysterious goings-on.

6. C and B hijack a truck owned by a company Uncle J is paid to protect; L nearly loses her home to fire, but still refuses to move into a retirement facility; T's pals search for a car once owned by T Jr.'s teacher.

7.  After B helps S out of her dangerous run-in with the Rattrays, she invites him to her grandmother's house to meet the family, but J is unnerved when they leave together for a nighttime stroll, which ends at the Compton's antebellum mansion.

8. R receives some surprise help escaping from a tank surrounded by walkers, and hooks up with a resourceful survivor who leads him to other humans holed up in a downtown department store. The group is none-too-pleased with R, whose gunshots have attracted a rapacious rabble of zombies, and he is forced to come up with a gutsy plan to get them out of the city.

9. Enslaved S is entered into a gladiator school. While there, he makes an enemy of the powerful and ruthless C and gets whipped into fighting shape by the whip-wielding taskmaster D. And S's' new owner, the crafty B, makes him an offer he finds difficult to refuse.

10.  Accompanied by his daughters, N rides south to take his place in King R's court, but C remains at W, praying that B will recover. Meanwhile, T tags along when J S leaves for the N's W with his uncle; and D gets advice on how to please her husband.


1- The Wire
2- Homeland
3- Dexter
4- Boardwalk Empire
5- Breaking Bad
6- The Sopranos
7- True Blood
8- The Walking Dead
9- Spartacus: Blood and Sand
10- Game of Thrones 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Other Guys

10 questions about the men who quested for the highest office and lost.  Strangely, each and every one would have destroyed America if elected, so next time someone tells you America is terrible at picking presidents, just remind them of that.  The answers are all names of the President who won the election.

1-  Even though he later won an election for president, John Adams also lost twice to the same man, though he did manage to place second in electoral voting both times, beating out such luminaries as John Jay, Robert H Harrison, John Rutledge, and George Clinton.  Who beat the esteemed Mr Adams twice?

2- Going into the election, George B McClellan seemed like he had a good shot at unseating the incumbent.  The country had been at war for roughly 3 years, and most people were tired of the war that looked like it may never end.  Sadly for McClellan, the war started to accelerate towards its conclusion in the latter stages of the election year with total victory looking more and more certain.  Soldiers in the army overwhelmingly voted for the incumbent, and McClellan faded into history as a mediocre general and failed presidential candidate.  Who did he lose the election to?

3- Benjamin Harrison has the unique honor of being the only person to unseat an incumbent president and then lose the next election to the same man.  It probably didn't help his case that his opponent shared his last name with a city that would later host an NFL franchise.  It is well known that, unless you are a concussion, you do not go up against the NFL and win.  Who did Harrison lose to?

4- Despite having a glorious moustache, Alton B Parker couldn’t compete with the man who later won the  presidential election.    Imagine if Alton had won?  We’d have Alty Bears and the faces on Mount Rushmore would have at least one different face gazing out on America.  Who beat Alton B Parker?

5- Most men who run for president only leave one or two broken and dispirited men cast out in the trash can of history.  This man is the only one to beat opponents in four separate elections.   Of the four, Herbert Hoover at least got to be president for four years before losing, and Thomas Dewey got a more famous headline later.  Wendell Willkie and Alf Landon?  Assigned to the losers with odd sounding names.  Who beat all four of these men?

6- Speaking of Thomas E Dewey, he was the last presidential candidate to have facial hair (in this case, a very smart looking moustache.)  He also was the Dewey of the famous Chicago Daily Tribune newspaper headline that declared him the winner of the election.  Who, contrary to the Chicago paper headline, was not defeated by Dewey?

7- The 1972 election was the last time a third party candidate received a vote in the Electoral College.   John Hospers won one as the first candidate of the Libertarian Party, and George McGovern won seventeen as the candidate of the Democratic Party.  Which later despised President won by a landslide with 520 EC votes?

8-Former vice president Walter Mondale lost in the biggest Electoral College landslide in US history, winning only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia .  Which incumbent president won 49 states, and a record 525 votes in the Electoral College?

9- According to the internet which he invented, Al Gore ‘lost’ the 2000 election in the Electoral College, even though he won a majority of the popular vote.  The main villain in this piece is, of course, Ralph Nader, who guaranteed that no progressive will vote anything but Democratic for the foreseeable future.  Who ‘won’ the 2000 election by virtue of a Supreme Court Decision (and a majority in the Electoral College)?

10- 1-      Arizona Senator John McCain lost the 2008 election by a comfortable margin to the current president.  According to Nate Silver’s 538 blog, the winner of the 2008 election has, as of Monday night, a 91% chance of getting reelected.  Who is this current president?  (Please, for the love of God do not get this wrong.)


1- George Washington
2- Abraham Lincoln
3- Grover Cleveland
4- Teddy Roosevelt
5- Franklin D Roosevelt
6- Harry S Truman
7- Richard Nixon
8- Ronald Reagan
9- George W Bush
10- Barack Obama

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

90s Cartoons

The round topic, as assigned, was ..."90's cartoons.  Or maybe Nickelodeon, I don't remember."  So here are 10 questions mostly about 90's Nickelodeon cartoons.

  1. Running from 1998-2005, this Nickelodeon series chronicled the adventures of two animals conjoined so that it ended up having two heads, four forelegs, no tails, and no rear legs.  Despite the horrific premise, the series was actually a slapstick comedy.
  2. Originally airing on Nickelodeon from 1991-1994 starring Futurama’s Billy West as the voice of the title character, this series was revived by Disney for a three year run between 1996-1999 without him.  The series follows the adventures of the middle child of the Funnie family and his pet dog Porkchop, sometimes to the musical stylings of The Beets.
  3. This Nickelodeon series ran from 1996-2004, following the adventures of the titular character and his football shaped head.  Despite this crippling deformity, he is bullied by Helga, who actually possessed a “profound, Shakespearean-in-magnitude love for him for years.” (quoted from the Wikipedia entry)
  4. This series, originally aired on CBS, had a thirteen year run in reruns on Nickelodeon spanning the late eighties and early nineties.  In the cartoon, the titular character was voiced by Don Adams, who played a similar character on TV’s Get Smart.  Matthew Broderick played the titular character in the 1999 live action film, but they at least let Don Adams voice the dog Brain (who actually couldn’t talk.)
  5. This Nickelodeon show about a psychotic chihuahua and a good natured cat ran for 5 seasons in the early to mid nineties.  The show’s creators didn’t want to create an educational show (and they didn’t), so the show was a constant source of controversy for the network due to the violence and harsh language.
  6. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
  7. The title of this show doubles as a slang term for toddlers and younger children and follows the nightmare world of the Pickles, Finster, and DeVille children, in which three year olds can understand and speak to both adults and babies, meaning that all family dynamics run through people in their ‘terrible’ phases.
  8. This Nickelodeon series followed the adventures of a Wallaby who moves from Australia to the US, setting in the fictitious city of O-Town. The series focused on being funny for both children and adults, example being the restaurant Chokey Chicken and the place people go when they die is called Heck, run by Peaches.
  9. The main lines of this WB show were “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” and “Gee, [REDACTED], what do you want to do tonight?”  “Same thing we do every night….try to take over the world.”
  10. Take Batman crossed with The Shadow, turn him into a bird, and give him catchy lines like “I am the terror that flaps in the night” and you have this short running ABC/Disney show.

The Answers:
1- Catdog
2- Doug
3-Hey Arnold!
4- Inspector Gadget
5- The Ren and Stimpy Show
6- Spongebob Squarepants
7- Rugrats
8- Rocko's Modern Life
9- Pinky and the Brain
10- Darkwing Duck

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Killers

No, not the ones from Vegas.  These are short personals (for lack of a better term) for ten slasher/horror movie killers.  For the actual quiz, we'd accept either the name of the killer or the name of the franchise.  If you'd like to up the difficulty, you can score it 1/2 point for killer, 1/2 point for franchise.

1.   My mother was a huge inspiration to me and I try to follow in her footsteps.  My unique look shows I’ve got a bit of a sporty side, and I love to be around the water (especially lakes!)  I also come equipped to hack my way through the jungle or any other sorts of rough terrain.  Even though I love my home town, I’ve traveled to New York, and even outer space!
2. Even though I was set on fire by some over protective parents, I haven’t let that keep me from being the man of your dreams.   My fedora gives me a touch of class, and my holiday colored sweater shows off my love of the holiday season!
3. Sure my grandmother was a little odd which led to a rough upbringing… and my last marriage ended badly, but I have a lot of positive qualities to offer!  I’ll watch over you while you sleep (sometimes standing next to you for hours at a time)!  I’m extremely devoted to my nephew Hunter (I’m all about sacrifice!) since his mother died.  I’m also used to being on all sorts of camera, so if that’s your thing, I’m the girl for you!
4.  I’m a family oriented man from Haddonfield, Illinois who will do anything to find my sister.  I love sci-fi, especially Captain Kirk (I wear my William Shatner mask whenever I can.)  I’m in touch with my inner child, and I’ve been seeing the same therapist (Dr. Loomis) on an off for my entire life. 
5. OK, I’ve had a bad childhood, and my mother threw me down a well to get rid of me, but I’ve managed to turn that tragedy into a killer career on video cassette.  Give me seven days and I’ll find you anywhere! (Keep some towels on hand, things tend to get wet after I visit.)
6. Sure, I’m never the same guy twice, but my outfit is inspired by a classic painting!  Granted, I don’t like girls named Sidney, but other than that I’m flexible!
7.  I’m a devoted Texas family man, with a strong interest in arts and crafts (I even make my own masks!)  My family and I are avid hunters, but we’re not wasteful.  Other than eating our kills, we also use bones and skins to improve our home!
8. Look, I’m not like the other guys on this list.  I’m not out to kill anyone, I’m just trying to get them to realize that they’re wasting their lives.  I can’t do this without putting them in hideously complicated torture apparatuses forcing them to make tough choices to save their lives.
9. Good things come in small packages.  I’m very child friendly and I’ll even let kids treat me like a toy!  I’m also very spiritual, possessing a strong interest in voodoo.
10. Everyone loves an accent, and mine’s straight outta the Emerald Isle.  No one has ever called me handsome, but a pot of gold can make up for a whole lot of ugly (and a lack of height…)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apologetic Questions

1. As this is a round written as an apology for a round based on twitter, it seems appropriate to start with an apology over a tweet.  After the incident, Kutcher turned over his twitter account to his managers and apologized saying “My sincere apologies to anyone who I have offended, It was a mistake that will never happen again.”  The tweet he was apologizing for expressed outrage over the November 2011 firing of which iconic college football coach?

2. "There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me. It's because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way .... I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me."  With these words, Jesse James apologized to America and also his wife, who he had cheated on with Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee.  Who was his wife at the time, who later divorced the famed motorcycle customizer?

3. "I know I have severely disappointed all of you…For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for ... I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame. I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in."  Nike later welcomed this golfer back as a spokesman, but his soon to be ex-wife Elin was less forgiving.  Who issued this apology?

4. "I felt it was time you hear directly from me that I am sorry. I cannot go into what happened, and most importantly am not going to sit here and make any excuses ... I take great pride in me being able to exercise self-control, and what I did was inexcusable.... I have told Rihanna countless times, and I am telling you today, that I am truly, truly sorry... Nobody is more disappointed in me than I am."  Who was this singer, who later felt so sorry towards Rihanna that he got a tattoo of a battered woman who looked a bit like her on his neck?

5. "I'm sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom ... I'm in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!... Beyonce's video was the best of this decade!!!"  Who issued this apology for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance of a MTV VMA?

6. "I am sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance at the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable." Which singer/actor issued this apology after exposing Janet Jackson’s right breast to America?

7. "It is important to me that everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow I feel is genuine: First and most important, my family; also my friends, my staff, my Cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her family, and the American people. I have asked all for their forgiveness."  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes it leads to an apology.  Who issued this apology in 1998?

8. "I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry.” Who made this apology to her on and off screen boyfriend after cheating on him with a 41 year old married director?

9. “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troop, the air [force] and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.”  What future US president wrote this letter in the event that the D-Day landings in France were unsuccessful?

10. “I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, Colo.”  America got those words, and his wife got a 4 million dollar ring from who?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trivia #1-Religion in 140 characters

Religious Retweets

Cobbled this round together on the fly using a kind of hare brained idea.  It did not go over well with the Applebees crowd.  Just name the religion associated with the tweet.  Answers in the comments section.

  1. RT @MaryBakerEddy UR sick ‘cause u don’t have enuf faith. Only FAITH can heal u, NOT SCIENCE!!! 
  2. RT @ConstanPatriarch We were 1st with Jesus, all U others are HERETICS. No Pope rulez me! What’s up with Original Sin? BOGUS. 
  3. RT @LRonHubb The Master was totes a RIPOFF of US!!! Someone should get PT Anderson a REAL auditing. 
  4. RT @Yahweh SHOUT OUT to my Chosen People!!!! Let’s all look forward to a nice Shabbat Friday night!!! 
  5. RT @GuruNanak Reminder, the 5 Ks are important! Carry a comb, wear UR bracelet, do not cut UR hair, carry UR sword, and proper underwear! 
  6. RT @JoeSmithJR Made in the USA!!! Remember to get your ancestors baptized so they can join us in heaven and enjoy the Tabernacle choir! 
  7. RT @Gautama Life is suffering, strive for nothingness. But Can U B nothing while tweeting? Keep to the 8 fold path! 
  8. RT @LaoTzu One should Tweet w/o thought. Tweet without Tweeting. Like a Kardashian, just do without thought and all is well. 
  9. RT @REALProphMo There is no God but God, and I M his prophet. This is my official twitter. All tweets r my own and reflect my employer. 
  10. RT @TheTRINITY Ppl, stop tripping!!!! What part of Love Thy Neighbor is so hard to understand? -The Son

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Twilight: Eclipse

Out of three Twilight movies I've watched, Eclipse is the hardest to mock.  Twilight was just a clunky, bad movie which lent itself to the mockery.  New Moon started the insane love triangle and introduced the insanity that is the Twilight universe.

Eclipse?  It's really New Moon, repackaged with Edward in the Jacob role from New Moon.  Which means a large chunk of the movie is the love "triangle".  But it's not really a triangle when the series spent two movies (that's four hours of your life) telling you that Bella and Edward are meant to be together, and that they want this to happen.  So it's more of a love "straight line" with a spare point floating off to the side that occasionally rams itself into the line for dramatic effect.  Every time the point gets too far away, the Bella point will act like there's a chance for a triangle to form, but that's mostly due to her enjoying seeing the point smash into the solid line that is the Bella-Edward Iron Line of True Love Between a 109 year old and a 17 year old.

Bella also likes to talk to Jacob's chest.

Bella, making frat guys proud.

This is actually a Kristen Stewart 'acting' thing.  She does it to someone in the trailer for The Huntsman and Ryan Reynolds pecs get an eyeful in Adventureland.

Eclipse is also where the films get tired of the whole "making sense of vampires, magic, and other weird stuff."  Things that have changed:

  • Edward is no longer sickened/attracted to Bella's blood.  Why?  Because he thought she was dead for 24 hours.  This might be how Atkins worked, I never tried it.
  • You can hide from Alice's see the future ability.  By literally hiding behind someone else.  
  • Vampires are suddenly made of ceramic and shatter like statues when hit hard enough/or cool enough.  They didn't do this in the previous movies, which makes me think that Blade and Whistler introduced some sort of disease into the vampire population.
A crossover that would make millions
  • Vampire fashion changed so that they now douse themselves in lighter fluid.  In the first Twilight, they made a huge production out of building a fire to burn James's body.  In Eclipse, Edward drops a lighter on Victoria and suddenly she's performing at Burning Man.

The Cullens seem to have modeled their non-heroic stances after Bella.  They're supposedly responsible for Seattle, and they make mention about a lot of vampire activity going on over there in the big city.  After roughly 9 months of hearing about it, they decide to go investigate.  

So sad.  Too bad all humans can't be Bella.

Luckily the Cullens are saved the inconvenience of the 3 1/2 hour drive by the news that the vampire army has decided to walk to Forks.  Underwater.  If you Bing the route and choose 'walking' for your mode of transit, it tells you it'll take roughly 41 hours and that the route may not contain sidewalks or pedestrian paths.  I'm guessing Riley the vampire did not Bing it. 

Great, now we have to douse ourselves in lighter fluid again.

Finally, at the very end, after all of the fledgling super vampires are dead, Bella lets us know that she wants to be a vampire because she'd never felt accepted and herself until she started to hang out with vampires who are willing to kill and die for you.  This is like that person you know informing you that they only feel 'right' and 'accepted' among the super rich, so they go find some rich person to marry.  Yup, that's who we're rooting for here.

Oh, and she beats Victoria by cutting herself.  Sadly, this is more than she's done to save herself in the last two films.

Up next:  Breaking Dawn: Part 1.  I assume that she tells Jacob that she might marry him instead of Edward, so he should probably show up for the wedding.  Just for the look on his face.