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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Harry Potter Questions Returning to An Tobar August 10!

Ten years ago, the An Tobar Pub Quiz featured five alternative Harry Potter questions during every second round. Now that it's 2014 instead of 2004, I decided to try something new. That's why I originally decided to try Hunger Games questions and Mad Men questions.

The Hunger Games trilogy (HG, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) are really good books. I have precious little time to read, yet I read all three in just a couple of months reading in just 15 minutes increments here and there. Besides being fast reads they have serious overlying implications such as sending children off to war, Posttraumatic stress disorder, a feminist heroine, and a tuned-out mother. The revolution part is also intriguing, but there is no hope for a revolution with positive aims or results in the U.S. Most who consider themselves revolutionaries today are merely right-wing reactionaries. And this is in keeping with the stupid aim of the last U.S. revolution of 1861-1865 which was fought to try to preserve African-American slavery.

Also, compared to the J.K. Rowling's world of Harry Potter, there is not nearly as much depth to Suzanne Collins' books. That is not to say they aren't great children's books with great themes--they are--but there is much more from which to draw trivia questions in the Harry Potter series.

The Mad Men series is awesome TV. It is not quite Breaking Bad good, but almost. And it is much deeper than Breaking Bad. Whereas much of great TV such as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Dexter sought to be as good as movies, Mad Men aspires to be literature. As such, it doesn't always move as fast some other great TV, but its payoffs are even greater. If you like soap operas or historical romances, you'll love Mad Men. Also, if you like 60s-era events or advertising, you love it too.

The problem for me with Mad Men is that as a trivia host with a relatively small crowd, my primary goal is not to sell people on a tremendous part of popular culture, but to tap into a tremendous part of popular culture that will increase my audience. Harry Potter fits that goal best.

I realize that a lot of people who have not read the Harry Potter books haven't done so because they were adults when the books came out. I was that way myself. But after years of mingling with teachers and editors I worked with who read the books I finally took the plunge.

I started reading the series after Order of the Phoenix came out in 2003. That meant I had to read the first four books first. If you haven't read these let me tell you that the first two are short and really children's books, but from the third book on they are much lengthier and deal with darker, more mature themes.

But as literature goes it has big payoffs. I have rarely been so surprised and sad as when a major character died at the end of the sixth book. And I have never been more sorry a book series was over as when I finished the seventh book.

Once I got up to speed after book five, I attended a party at Borders for The Half-Blood Prince. The book was available for sale at midnight, and I drew the 2 AM time to buy mine. It was great fun to be around Harry Potter fans of all ages, and by that time I would say most fans were at least late teens or early twenties.

I tried to go to the Borders' party for The Deathly Hallows' first day of sale in 2007, but I couldn't even find a parking space in the parking lot, much less get into the store. Keep in mind that now Borders isn't even in business.  So THAT kind of drawing power is what I call a fan base.

So even though we are past all the original books and movies, I am still trusting that there is a fan base out there. If you are in the Orlando area I am calling on you to attend my monthly trivia at An Tobar. Beginning Sunday, August 10, at 6 PM I will feature five Harry Potter trivia questions that could help you win money. I trust most Harry Potter fans are pretty knowledgeable people who aren't slouches at general trivia either. I should know, I am happily married to a woman who fits this description and more who initially attended my trivia because of her Harry Potter knowledge back in 2004. One thing I can promise you for sure is that you won't have to wait seven hours before being able to partake in my event.

Here is my pilot Harry Potter trivia re-boot question from last month:

What team defeated Bulgaria in the Quidditch World Cup that took place during The Goblet of Fire?
<Scoll Down for Answer>

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mad Man Trivia An Tobar July 13, 2013

Mad Men
1. Whose psychiatrist said of her, "she seems consumed with petty jealousies and overwhelmed with every day activities?

2. After giving Don Draper a $2500 performance bonus [1960 dollars] Bert Cooper advised Don to take a $1.99 from it and buy what book?

3. What did Roger Sterling conclude from this Bert-Cooper anecdote: "Stop smoking so much! It's a sign of weakness! Do you know how Hitler got Chamberlain to give him everything at Munich? He held a conference at an old palace that forbids smoking. And after an hour and a half of not smoking, Neville Chamberlain would've given Hitler his mother as a dance partner.?"

4. Why did Mad Men character Michael Ginsberg cut off his nipple and hand it to Peggy in a jewelry box?

5. In which season finale of Mad Men was Don Draper fired?
Scroll down for answers.

1. Betty Draper
2. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
3. All I can get from this story is that Hitler didn't smoke. And I do.
4. so his feelings can flow for her or because the office's new IBM computer has a plan to "make us all homo" and/or he need's to procreate
5. Season 3

Friday, July 4, 2014

What the Founding Fathers Would Be Rocking to if They Were Alive Today

Eleven score and eighteen years ago today, a new nation was hatched. A young, 26-year old signer such as Edward Rutledge would have definitely rocked out to this. And Ben Franklin was still cool at age 70, so no doubt he would have gotten funky too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An Tobar Trivia 6.14.14

Round One
1. What was the occupation of the person who designed the current American flag?
Producer for the Colbert Report

2. During the 1936 Olympics it was discovered that Lichtenstein and Haiti had the same what?

3. There is a patch of lily pads in a lake. The patch doubles in size every day. If it takes 16 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half the lake?

4. Which recently deceased poet said, "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated," and, "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them?"

5. According to a new World Health Organization Report, Which of the following countries consumes the most alcohol per capita? (Belarus drinks the most alcohol per capita 17.5 liters)
South Africa
United States

6. If today [June 14] were your birthday, which [western] astrological sign would you be?

7. How many sides are there on a heptagon?

8. The words quixotic ["foolishly impractical in pursuit of ideals], Dulcinea ["mistress or sweetheart"], rosinante [an old, broken-down horse"] all come from a 17th-Century Spanish novel about what character?

9. "Ring around the collar" was an ad for what laundry detergent?

10. Are chimpanzees monkeys or apes?

Round Two
1. After ordering a vodka martini and being asked if he wanted it shaken or stirred, the James Bond portrayed by which actor replied, "Do I look like I give a damn?"

2. In what late-70s and early-80s highly-rated TV show did the coolest character wear leather and the other characters euphemistically tell each other to sit on things?

3. Which of the major gods of the Greek pantheon known as the Twelve Olympians has the same Greek and Roman name?

4. Which U.S. state was named after the mythical island of the Amazons?

5. How many of the Supreme Court's nine justices concurred in the Brown v. Board Education's ruling that separate but equal schools are unconstitutional?

6. What is the most common job in the U.S.?

7. Before he was an academy-award-winning actor, stand-up comedian Eric Bishop changed his name to this because he thought female comedians received preferential treatment?

8. Which medieval saint so identified with the poor that he legendarily gave all his possessions to his bishop then danced away naked down the street?

9. The 2008 Detroit Lions finished 4-0 in NFL preseason. What was their final regular season record?

10. Where would you find the nearest hammer, anvil, and stirrup?

Round Three
1. How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man (According to Bob Dylan)?

2. Phrase Jumble: L-I-E-S-B-U-I-L-T-O-N-C-R-A-P clue: Samantha from Sex in the City had this occupation

3. Which beer began being brewed first, Guinness or Yuengling?

4. Who was considered the "King of Rock 'n Roll," and who was the "prime minister?" (2 pts.)

5. What dinosaur was on the cover of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, and for a bonus, in which geologic period did it live? (2 pts.)

6. When two then-unknown assailants attacked journalist Dan Rather in New York City in 1986, what phrase did they keep repeating?

7. In what year was the original Japanese Godzilla released, and for a bonus, what group performed the Godzilla rock song released in 1977?

TM8. The Frankish King Charles earned what nickname after the Battle of Tours in AD 732?

AI9. What planet did Carl Sagan say is "Hell" in his book, Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective?

TM10. What 1967 #1 Billboard hit rhymed "together" with "weather" in its waning verses?
Bonus Round

1. Horses with exceptionally large hearts such as Secretariat, which hearts enable them to pump more oxidized blood through their bodies and thus make them able to run faster are said to have the "x-factor." Why is this called the x-factor in horses?

2. In the movie The Matrix, what are the blue pill and red pill for respectively?

3. Name the top three greenhouse gases being emitted into the earth's atmosphere?

4. In this year's FIFA World Cup, what four country's soccer teams are in the so-called "Group of Death?"

5. Name the five largest cities in Florida in terms of population.

Sudden Death Overtime
Are the following five famous dead or alive:
1. Hank Aaron 
2. Carol Burnett 
3. Johnny Carson 
4. Larry King
5. Lawrence Welk

Closest to the pin
How many days after the moon landing was the first Manson family murder committed?

Round One

1. Student* *Robert G. Heft, who originally received a B on the project
2. flag
3. 15 days
4.  Maya Angelou (not Ruby Dee)
5. Russia (15.1 Liters)
6. Gemini
7. seven
8. [The Ingenious Gentleman] Don Quixote [of La Mancha]
9.  Whisk
10. apes

Round Two
1. Daniel Craig
2. Happy Days
3. Apollo
4. California (Queen Calafia was the fictional warrior queen of this island written about in Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo's The Adventures of Esplandián)
5.  all 9
6.  retail sales person
7. Jamie Foxx
8.  St. Francis [CSB p. 71]
9.  0-16
10.  your ear (inner ear, from the Latin malleusincus, and stapes)

Round Three
1.  The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind
3. Guinness (1759) [Yuengling (1829)]
4. Elvis Presley; Chuck Berry
5.  Tyrannosaurus Rex; Cretaceous (which was part of the Mesozoic era, which was part of the Phanerozoic eon)
6. "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" ("What's the frequency Kenneth?" is also acceptable.)
7. 1954; Blue Oyster Cult
8. "Martel" or "the Hammer"
9.  Venus
10.  Happy Together

Bonus Round
1. the female X chromosome is responsible for the large hearts found in outstanding racehorses

2. The BLUE PILL would allow Neo to remain in the virtual reality of the Matrix, therefore living the often blissful "illusion of ignorance."
The RED PILL would lead to Neo's leaving the Matrix and living in the real world, thus having to face the sometimes painful "truth of reality."
3. Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) [the Fluorinated gases (Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride) combined, rank fourth]
4. United States, Germany, Portugal, Ghana
5. Jacksonville (842,583), Miami (417,650), Tampa (352,957), Orlando (255,483), St. Petersburg (249,688)

Sudden Death Overtime
1. (b. 1934)
2. (b. 1933)
3. (d. 2005)
4. (b. 1933)
5. (d. 1992)
Closest to the pin
7 (Moon Landing: 20 July 1969; Gary Hinman murdered 7 July 1969)