- Mottos and Slogans. Starting with the letter C, and with two N’s in its name, what company uses the slogan “See what we mean”?
- Newspaper Headlines. What European company recently topped Toyota to become the world's biggest carmaker?
- Know Your Metric System. Rounded off to the nearest kilometer, how many kilometers are there in a marathon?
The Machiavelli Scores a Touchdown Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter
Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
A friend and colleague looked at the halftime score of the Super Bowl yesterday and then remarked that he “can’t help but worry that even though the Atlanta Falcons will score more points, the New England Patriots will still win the game.” He was half right. His comment made me think about how much Donald Trump has been talking up the New England Patriots, predicting that the team owned by his good friend Robert Kraft would win by eight points. He was pretty close.
Like Trump, The New England Patriots and their coaches are known for their underhanded play, such as for underinflating footballs or videotaping and learning opposing teams’ signals to their players. Despite this proclivity towards cheating, the Patriots should nevertheless be congratulated. Donald Trump says the Patriots are an honorable team.
Nevertheless, I got to thinking about a great number of current, historical, and even fictional (literary or cinematic) villains that also deserve congratulations for the Machiavellian ways in which they accomplish their goals. With the hopes of offending no one, I’ve created a list for you.
Congratulations to the New England Patriots, under-inflator of footballs.
Congratulations to Bill Belichick for using video to help your team win games, such as by videotaping the New York Jets' defensive coaching signals.
Congratulations to Donald Trump, who evidently has called in favors with friends in leadership roles, that is, in the Kremlin and in the FBI.
Congratulations to Barry Bonds, still our home run king in Major League Baseball, despite the asterisks.
Congratulations to Ty Cobb, who sharpened the spikes on his cleats in full view of the opposing infield, intimidating players from tagging you out as you stole home 54 times.
Congratulations, Lance Armstrong, for all that time spent wearing the yellow jersey. I hope all that blood you dosed was your own!
Congratulations Tonya Harding for clubbing the opposition. You raised the profile of ice skating, and almost got away with it!
Congratulations, Nero, for being the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. You are one of the ones we remember!
Congratulations, Michael Corleone, for surviving both the notable Godfather films!
Congratulations, Imelda Marcos, kleptocrat, on your mountainous collection of shoes. It’s hard to believe that you are still alive!
Congratulations, Emperor Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious) on the execution of your order 66. You really plan ahead.
Congratulations, J. Edgar Hoover, for your devoted work intimidating sitting presidents with what Harry Truman called our own American “Gestapo or secret police.”
Congratulations, Thug Behram, for inspiring so many two-bit thugs to be named after you!
Congratulations, Kim Jong-un for distracting us from the work of your crazy father!
Congratulations, William Rehnquist, for your work choosing President George W. Bush for us. Sometimes democracy needs some help.
Congratulations, Ivan the Terrible, for your work as Tsar, and for turning a state into an empire full of hungry and depressed people.
Congratulations, Mr. Potter, for not letting on that you had pocketed that $8,000 you found in Uncle Billy’s newspaper.
Congratulations, Dutch Shultz, for your excellent aim.
Congratulations, Vlad the Impaler, for your incredible technique, and for retiring the title “impaler.”
Congratulations, Nurse Ratched, for finally calming Randle Patrick McMurphy.
Congratulations, Hannibal Lector, for being both the villain and the hero in a film that swept the major Oscars!
Congratulations, Iraqi Information Minister Baghdad Bob, on your comical press conferences and alternative facts!
Congratulations, Tyler Durden, for your successful campaign against consumerism!
Congratulations, Keyser Söze, for limping right out of that police station!
Congratulations, Chris Christie! Everyone but you has paid the price for Bridgegate!
Congratulations, Andrew Jackson, for your divisive campaign to remove Native Americans. Whereas the Cherokee nicknamed you “Sharp Knife,” we put you on the $20 bill!
Maybe you have others to nominate for inclusion on this list. Drop me a note or a tweet.
Meanwhile, on to clues. In addition to what we’ve covered above, tonight expect questions on associations, carmakers, Bowling Greens, multimillionaires, nutcases, marathons, Marvels, Oscar-winners, African-American history, competitive basketball, the Super Bowl, birds’ nests, ramen fuels, a plane full of pilots, musical westerns, Japanese statistics, intense appetites, Aristotle’s ideas about falling objects, animation, countries that start with vowels, little Irish, James Blake, differing opinions on the same film, famous villains, President Obama, sustainable eco musketry in Last of the Mohicans, making money, alternatives to football, famous paintings, consequences, photography, Stan Lee, the pride of Europe, and Shakespeare.
Leave extra time to get to the pub tonight. Sometimes Californians drive a little nutty in the rain.
Here are three questions from last week’s quiz:
- Books and Authors. Name the third woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (back in 1923), and who also wrote the following poem “First Fig.”
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
- Current Events – Names in the News. Today Google honored on its front page a Japanese internment opponent after whom a Davis elementary school was named. It’s not George Takei. Who was it?
- Sports. John Lynch has a new job with the San Francisco 49ers. What is his new job?
P.S. Poetry Night on February 16th will feature Dorine Jennette! Join us that night at the John Natsoulas Gallery.
- Mottos and Slogans. The Motto of Raley’s Supermarkets is “to infuse life with health and happiness and to make shopping easier, better and more personal.” What Yolo County city is the home to the headquarters of Raley’s Supermarkets?
- Internet Culture. What did CNET recently call “our favorite phone, bar none”? Was it the Apple iPhone 7, the Blackberry Passport, the Google Pixel, or the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge?
- Newspaper Headlines. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down after many years of performances. Which of the following is closest to the length of the run of America’s most famous circus? 50, 100, 150, or 200 years?
- Mottos and Slogans. Starting with the letter O, what brand name for a line of household cleaners uses the slogan “powered by the air you breathe, activated by the water you drink”?
- Internet Culture. Apple’s new wireless cord-free Bluetooth earbuds, called AirPods, retail for which of the following? $16, $76, or $160.
- Newspaper Headlines. What S-word completes this sentence? Last week UC Davis was named the most BLANK university in the world.
- Books and Authors. Who wrote A Child’s Christmas in Wales in 1955?
- Pop Culture – Music (Karaoke Question). About whom did Miles Davis say “You can’t play nothing on trumpet that doesn’t come from him”?
- Sports. Two-time consecutive World Cup winner Lindsey Vonn left a competition today after seriously injuring her arm. In what sport is Vonn considered one of America’s greatest competitors?
- Pop Culture – Music. With four letters and two words in its name, what band's video for "Here It Goes Again" won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2007?
- Science. What two-syllable M word completes this definition of “Spectroscopy”? “Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between BLANK and electromagnetic radiation.”
- Unusual Four-Syllable Words that will Never Appear in a Donald Trump Tweet. What C word, a noun, means “deception by trickery”?
- Great Designers. The man who designed the logos for ABC, IBM, and UPS shares a monosyllabic first and last name with a current U.S. Senator, only in reverse order. Name the designer or the senator.
- California History. Who on this date in 1995 defeated incumbent mayor Frank Jordan to become the first African American mayor of San Francisco?
- Science. When one alphabetizes the common names for sea snails, what name comes first?
- “Take on new influences without fear and you need not fear what is new. Change the people around you by changing the people around you.” George Clinton
- “Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.” George Eliot
- “Out of my entire annual output of songs, perhaps two, or at the most three, came as a result of inspiration. We can never rely on inspiration. When we most want it, it does not come.” George Gershwin
- “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” George Orwell
- “For a creative writer, possession of the “truth” is less important than emotional sincerity.” George Orwell
- “To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.” George Orwell
- “Good prose should be transparent, like a windowpane.” George Orwell
- “What we’re doing in writing is not all that different from what we’ve been doing all our lives, i.e., using our personalities as a way of coping with life. Writing is about charm, about finding and accessing and honing one’s particular charms.” George Saunders
- “If you haven't read you don't have the voice. The lack of voice eliminates experience.” George Saunders
- “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
- “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” George Bernard Shaw
- Books and Authors. What author of The Woman Warrior said, “the writer writes for herself”?
- Film. Two of Bill Murray’s highest-grossing films were Ghostbusters in 1984 and Ghostbusters II in 1989. What film with a one-syllable title, the second highest-grossing PG-13 film of 1988, was also a Bill Murray movie about ghosts?
- Irish Culture. What is the name of the daughter of actors Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin? Dublin Baldwin, Ireland Baldwin, or Kilkenny Baldwin.