Welcome from Your Quizmaster

by yourquizmaster on February 7, 2012

Welcome to the website and blog for the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz, held Monday nights at 7 at de Vere’s Irish Pub, 217 E Street in Davis. The most anticipated restaurant to come to Davis in many years, voted by Davis Enterprise voters to be the best 2011 addition to Davis, voted by The California Aggie to be the best bar in Davis, de Vere’s Irish Pub has room for 30+ tables and more than 200 Pub Quiz participants.

Details:

Launch Time: 7pm
Recommended time to claim a table: 6pm or earlier, but no earlier than 5:30
Team size: Up to six
Questions: 30 and a tie-breaker
Prizes: Gift Certificates worth $50, $25 and $15 for First, Second and Third Place
Bonus Prizes: A bonus 4th place prize of swag
Quizmaster: Your Quizmaster, Dr. Andy

Below please find the weekly Pub Quiz Newsletter, containing reflections on events of the week, hints about upcoming quiz question topics, and sample questions from the previous week’s quiz. If you would like to add yourself to the YourQuizmaster Mailing List, please do so by entering your name and email to the form on the right (and unsubscribing is just as easy). If you prefer, you can review future Pub Quiz newsletters via your RSS reader, and keep up with the Quizmaster by following him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also send him an email.

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Indiana_Counties

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,

 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think much of Indiana or its governor this week. Of course, my concerns about Indiana have lasted my entire life, for I grew up on my father’s stories about trying to escape the state. A magician by training, my father traveled in ever-widening circles around his hometown of Winchester, driven by my grandfather, putting on magic shows for small and large groups. He earned his living and his early fame as a showman on stage for years, all before starting college.

 

His enthusiasm for magic made him pay better attention to actors he saw on the big screen (whom he saw frequently) and on stage (whom he saw rarely in Winchester). At Antioch College, in neighboring Yellow Springs, Ohio, my dad trained as an actor, a director, and a playwright, and enjoyed extended internships doing radio and television, including his own children’s television show, with puppets, in a variety of mid-western cities. The author R.L. Stine and his brother used to watch “Captain Davey’s Locker” on Columbus television when they were children.

 

My dad sought adventure, increasingly larger audiences, and intellectual challenges, all of these fueled by his love of the arts. In addition to writing and acting in plays, he read Russian novels, read and wrote poetry, published a book of his magic tricks, visited museums, and sought out culture in all of its available forms. Buffeted by these cultural discoveries, my dad couldn’t understand what he saw as the regrettable and self-defeating attitude in most of his fellow Hoosiers: a willful indifference to the world’s cultural offerings and to the open-mindedness necessary to be curious about new ideas.

 

I see this fear of difference and variety evidenced in the bill that was signed into state law last week by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. The “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” effectively protects religious institutions, businesses and associations from lawsuits for their acts of discrimination against gays and lesbians. The Civil Rights Movement taught us that we should all be wary of such segmentation, this separate and discriminatory treatment of one group as compared to another. Race and sexual orientation are separate categories, but some of the beliefs and tactics used to justify bigotry are the same. As the Atlantic pointed out in an article published last June, “the Public Religion Research Institute found that 10 percent of Americans believe business owners should be able to refuse to serve black people if they see that as a violation of their religious beliefs.”

 

Some might be surprised that that same survey revealed that more people in the mid-west than the south felt that such racist attitudes and practices could be thus justified, and more young people than old. Southerners and the elderly remember well the civil rights conflicts that helped first to stigmatize and then to confront this antidemocratic idea of “separate but equal.” I hope the Governor and legislature of Indiana will soon realize what the Chamber of Commerce and civil rights activists already do: bigotry and backsliding are bad for business, and bad for America.

 

If my father were alive, I’m sure that today we would have engaged in a long conversation about Indiana, and I would ask him to tell me more stories. He would have reminded me that Cole Porter, who grew up about 90 miles from my dad, was a home-state hero who inspired my dad and many other potential performers with his show tunes. Porter wrote the music and words to one of my favorite musicals (largely because of its title), Kiss Me Kate. I bet Porter first encountered The Taming of the Shrew in an Indiana classroom.

 

Speaking of favorites, my favorite person on television right now is David Letterman. My favorite crossover ballet choreographer is Twyla Tharp. My favorite 80s singer was Michael Jackson, and my current favorite standup comedian is Jim Gaffigan. What do all these people have in common? Indiana. Plus Letterman, Tharp, and/or Michael Jackson’s and Jim Gaffigan’s parents might have seen my dad performing magic in the early to mid 1940s. One of them might even have considered the magic of entertainment after watching such an entertaining Indiana magician.

 

So as we do with all groups, we should judge Indianans by the best of them, rather than by the limitations of the most shortsighted of them. Davey Marlin-Jones taught me to do that with every group, and thus taught me the importance of heroes. So it should be with the scrutinized and perhaps now awakened people of Indiana.

 

Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on some of the topics raised, above. My dad was a film guy, so we will see a greater than typical number of film questions. Expect questions about the eastern conference, questions of biography, national book favorites, multicellular organisms, Asians in America, the Speaker of the House, unwelcome standards, popular brands, villains, magic, Abraham Lincoln, Philadelphia, Harry Potter, American comedians, credentials to enter heaven, universities, attracting notice, first families, that which generates buzz, dinner tabs, the Mafia, big lakes, today’s headlines, the solar system, popular sports, big thoughts, Irish culture, and Shakespeare.

 

Pub Quiz regular Katy Brown will open for Davis Poet Laureate Emerita Allegra Silberstein this coming Thursday at 8 at the Natsoulas Gallery. National Poetry Month is almost upon us, so you should be making some plans.

 

See you tonight!

 

Your Quizmaster

http://www.yourquizmaster.com

http://www.twitter.com/yourquizmaster

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yourquizmaster@gmail.com

 

Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:

 

  1. Mottos and Slogans.   For a while, all of us had to watch commercials in which a bunch of friends repeatedly asked each other this question: Wassup?! Name the brand of beer that was responsible for this hip and urban slogan.

 

  1. Newspaper Headlines.  Today Eric Schmidt said that a certain Google wearable is “not dead.” What was he referring to?

 

  1. Quotations by Women. Born in Utah in 1952, and now a Hawaii resident, what actor, comedian and politician said “The thing women have got to learn is that nobody gives you power. You just take it.”

 

  1. Four for Four.    Which of the past or current members of the cast of The View has an eponymous TV show that currently airs new episodes? Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Meredith Vieira.

 

  1. Flowers. What four-syllable flower is the symbol of the Emperor of Japan and the official flower of Chicago, and Salinas, California?

 

 

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The Unexpected Sprinkling of Snow Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

March 23, 2015

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, From where I write this on this Monday morning, I can see a welcome sprinkling of snow on the eaves outside my window, a hint of precipitation in an alpine region that would seem parched with thirst were it not for the huge lake nearby. The cover of yesterday’s […]

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    Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   Some of us in the humanities remember the semester system fondly. Imagine being able to take semester-long classes with former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, former Oxford Professor of Poetry Sir Christopher Ricks, or radical historian Howard Zinn, as I did as an undergraduate at Boston […]

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Dr. Andy’s Birthday Celebration Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

March 9, 2015

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   I really hope you can join me for the Pub Quiz tonight, for it’ll be one big party. A couple dozen friends will be stopping by right after the Quiz to wish me a happy birthday starting at 9:15 or so), and to hear the UC Davis all-female […]

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The Tito’s Laughter-Silvered Wings Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

March 2, 2015

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, Where does courage come from? In part, from those who inspire us. March finds me thinking about mentors the way that supermarkets find Ginsberg thinking about Whitman.   Have your read Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California”? It’s the most famous of his Berkeley poems from when he lived on […]

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The Gymnasts Like Tomahawks Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

February 23, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   The modern gym is a playground for adults where children are rarely tolerated. I was excited that a gym was being built a block from my home in south Davis, but I soon discovered that it was a gym for gymnasts, with not much there for an […]

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The Quieted Cablecars Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

February 16, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz!   San Francisco! I’ve been there since Thursday, giving or moderating around ten talks at the San Francisco Writers Conference, as I have done now for the past 11 years. I enjoyed three moments among my conferees the most.   The first happened right at the start: Thursday […]

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The Swag Fishing in Davis Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

February 9, 2015

  Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   I really love living in Davis. Having grown up in Washington DC, I thought I would remain a big city person for my entire life. I found all sorts of reasons to be intellectually and aesthetically excited at home with my parents, and in the city as […]

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The Uplift of Exuberance Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

February 2, 2015

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   Happy Groundhog Day! Surely today the people of Chicago agree with Punxsutawney Phil.   Every year the Super Bowl is reviewed by cultural critics who are more interested in scoring the perceived sexism of Carl’s Jr. hamburger commercials than in the actual score of the game. Understandably, the […]

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The Shock of Purple Hair Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

January 26, 2015

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,   Typically on Sunday nights I hold office hours at Crepeville in downtown Davis. I am grateful that a musical opportunity interrupted my regular schedule this past weekend because of how I spent the night last night, discovering my new favorite House Brass band: Too Many Zooz.   It […]

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