Monday, March 17, 2008

What Do These Things Have in Common?


I’ve been thinking for a couple of years about ways to test you.

Not that it’s been on my mind every minute of every day—that would be sad. It’s more like every few weeks that I think it would be nice to post a trivia contest or some other way to tickle your brains.

I’ve remembered a lot of useless information in my life. And I’d love to see which among you, my loyal dedicated readers, will come up answers to the questions of miscellany I throw your way.

There’s one problem. It’s called the Internet, and you can search it.

No matter what cool factoid I have somehow stored in this crazy brain, it’s almost always found easily on Google or Clusty. I could ask you for the original lead singer of Genesis, the capital of Svalbard, or the first novel from the author of Fight Club, and you could hunt it down and pretend you knew it all along.

You’re sneaky, and I know it. That’s what I like about you.

So I’ve devised some questions that do not benefit much from your searches. So don’t. For most of these, you won’t discover anything anyway. You’re better off using memory, intellect, or psychic methods to get these answers.

My only rule: Each person can answer only one question per day. With no further ado …

What Do These Things Have in Common?

(1) Brazil, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique (other than being countries) ANSWER: All have Portuguese as an official language.

(2) Mötley Crüe, INXS, Journey, Def Leppard, Colin Hay (other than being male musical artists) ANSWER: All have had concerts reviewed on this blog.

(3) Yankee, Suffragette, Tar Heel ANSWER: All are terms originally used to insult, but which came to be adopted as terms of pride.

(4) Pat Benatar, Rick Wakeman (Yes), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Geoff Downes (Yes, The Buggles, Asia), Tori Amos (other than being musicians able to play piano) ANSWER: All are classically trained rock musicians.

(5) Author Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road); magician and pseudoscience debunker James Randi; actress Anna Deavere Smith (movies like The American President and TV shows like The West Wing and The Practice) ANSWER: All have won a MacArthur Grant, also known as a "Genius Award."

(6) South Africa, Colombia, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Belarus, Costa Rica (other than being countries) ANSWER: These are the only countries in the world with a higher rate of murder with firearms per capita than the United States. They are in order, being the world's top seven in a category in which the US is 8th.

(7) Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York; Dealey Plaza in Dallas; Camp David in Maryland; George Stanley’s “Muse” statues at the Hollywood Bowl in California ANSWER: All were created/constructed with money from the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration (WPA).

(8) Brendan Frasier, Michael J. Fox, Rick Schroder, Heather Locklear, Mandy Moore, Heather Graham, Tara Reid (other than being actors) ANSWER: All have appeared as guest stars in more than one episode of Scrubs.


At March 17, 2008 10:35 AM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

They're all parts of a post from the Musings of David Amulet's blog?

At March 17, 2008 12:13 PM, Blogger Barbara - Layla replied to my musings ...

Hmmm, Well I will guess at number 2. Each band has a member than has been addicted to heroin...


Each band has a song with "blond" in the title.

At March 17, 2008 3:19 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Here goes:

1) The official language in all of these countries is Portuguese.

2) Honestly I have no idea. 2 of them are British, 2 are Aussie, and 1 is British. All I can guess is that all of the bands have had high profile personnel changes or were the result of high profile personnel changes.

3) My guess is that all 3 are terms that were once considered derogatory and were later embraced accepted by the very people those terms were used to describe.

4) They're all classically trained?

5) They're all published writers?

6) These are all countries that were at some point in their histories colonies under foreign rule and are now independent.

7) All are historic sites that are somewhat controversial.

8)I have no clue so my guess is that they were all the same age when they had their tv/film debuts

At March 17, 2008 3:21 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

correction #2) 2 are AMERICAN, 2 are Aussie, 1 is British... But I still stand by my original guess about high profile personnel changes (although I'm doubting my guess because of Colin Hay).

At March 17, 2008 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Today #1 - former Portugeuse protectorate

At March 17, 2008 8:06 PM, Blogger zen wizard replied to my musings ...

I'm guessing #1 has something to do with Che Guevarra.

At March 17, 2008 9:23 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Cube: Not true for all of them ... but one of the lists is explictly related to some feature of this blog.

Barbara: Excellent guesses. I don't think they all had "blond songs," though, and I don't know of any Journey or Colin Hay addictions. Think a little closer to this blog's previous posts.

Perplexio: CORRECT for #1! Well done. As for your others, I did say only one guess per day ... but I'll tell you that two of your other guesses are correct. You have to pick which ones.

Two clues to help you narrow your choices: #2 is wrong (Colin Hay doesn't really fit that one, as you suspected), and #6 is not the answer I had in mind. Your guess is technically correct, but given that 150+ other countries in the world also fit your criterion, there is a better one.)

WIGSF: CORRECT (colonies. protectorates ... whatever)! I had Portuguese as official language in mind, but you're close enough to count.

ZW: While a kick-ass guess, I must sadly reject your hypothesis.

EXTRA CLUE: #8 has to do with television.

Keep the good guesses coming!

At March 17, 2008 10:52 PM, Blogger Rocketstar replied to my musings ...

those are tough, did you come up with those?

At March 18, 2008 5:03 AM, Blogger tworabbitshow replied to my musings ...

For #1 I was going to say they all contain the letter 'A', but obviously that's not what you were looking for.

At March 18, 2008 7:13 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

RS: These aren't easy, I'll admit. Maybe I should have thought of easier ones.

TRS: I guess that works ... kind of like saying that everyone in #5 has never been in my kitchen ... but not what I'm looking for.

EXTRA CLUE NUMBER TWO: For #7, think about construction/funding.

At March 18, 2008 11:54 AM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

Don't have a clue. BTW, just how much time do you have on your hands anyway?

At March 18, 2008 12:31 PM, Blogger Bruce replied to my musings ...

Wait... Tara Reid is considered an actor?

At March 18, 2008 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Wow. I guessed at #1. Let's see how much longer my luck can run.

Today #2 - All have had songs featured on the television program Scrubs.

At March 18, 2008 8:14 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Fuzz: Things on my mind. Trust me, I spend ridiculously little time on the blog these days.

Bruce: Nice catch--perhaps the best observation of the post!

WIGSF: Great guess, but I don't think so. Journey and Colin Hay have both had songs on the show, however. If the others have, I've missed them (or forgotten).

BUT, CLUE #3: One of the answers does relate to that show.

I'll post the clues in the actual post now, too.

At March 19, 2008 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

It was the Colin Hay that made me think of Scrubs. But looking further down the list, I can see the one that is Scrubs-related.

Today #3 - Another guess, how about they're all people in a revolutionary movement. (I don't know what a Tar Heel is other than the college team name and the '20s music group.)

At March 19, 2008 12:39 PM, Blogger LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

Can't handle a test, Toots. I just spent the last 3 hours fighting the DMV ;-)

At March 19, 2008 4:00 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

WIGSF: Name the one that is Scrubs, and you get another guess. And wrong on #3, sadly.

Lisa: I hope that went well. At least you can study for that test ... for this one, not so much.

At March 19, 2008 5:06 PM, Blogger zen wizard replied to my musings ...

On #8, I don't remember Mandy Moore and Rick Schroeder on Scrubs, but as a Scrubsaholic, I remember seeing all of the other actors on Scrubs.

At March 19, 2008 8:53 PM, Anonymous whatigotsofar replied to my musings ...

Scrubs is obviously #8. All people played a character in Scrubs for at least two episodes. Brendan Fraser played the clutzy handyman with a camera and cancer. Michael J. Fox played the doctor of medicine and surgery with OCD who finally used the epiphany toilet. Ricky Schroder played the murse you dated Elliot Reed. Heather Locklear was the drug rep who dated Cox. Mandy Moore was the clutzy girlfriend of JD when he bought the property with no house. Her godfather is Billy Dee Williams. Heather Graham played Doctor Molly Clock in the best fantasy makeout session I've ever seen. Tara Reid played Jordan's little sister. The slut part just came natural to her. I wouldn't call that playing, unless I add around after the word playing.

At March 20, 2008 1:08 AM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

#8 Have they all appeared on Scrubs?
HAHA nevermind it looks like someone beat me to it oh well

Brackets up best of luck

At March 20, 2008 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Today #4 - None of these people have ever been in my kitchen.

At March 20, 2008 10:35 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

You all nailed it.

WIGSF was most specific and accurate: Everyone in #8 has guest starred on Scrubs in more than one episode.

I'm going to go ahead and give Perplexio retroactive credit for getting #3 and #4 correct. The terms in #3 were all used as insults but were adopted as terms of pride. And all of the musicians in #4 were classically trained.


#2: All of these have been subjects of posts on this blog for the same reason.

#5: Despite their diverse backgrounds, these people (as well as author Jared Diamond and economist/former head of the Office of Management and Budget Alice Rivlin) have all won the same award.

#6: These countries are the world's top seven in a category in which the US is 8th.

At March 20, 2008 11:09 AM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

Way to make me feel dumb first thing Friday morning!
I'm not made for this type of competition!

At March 20, 2008 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

I love brain benders even though I suck at them. My brain is too fuzzy today to even try....

At March 20, 2008 6:26 PM, Blogger zen wizard replied to my musings ...

#2: They were all on the Now That's What I Call Music! Volume XXII CD that you purchased and blogged about after you saw a "really cool commercial."

At March 20, 2008 10:13 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

David you must have been kissing leprechauns, your Devils got VERY VERY lucky tonight. Survive and Advance

Cheer for my Boilers Saturday please we need it

At March 21, 2008 9:23 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Tai, Mimi: Sorry I caught you on bad quiz days. With the clues at the bottom of the post, any guesses?

Phats: That was WAY too close for comfort. Belmont should be proud--those guys played one hell of a game.

I'm really looking forward to going to the Duke-West Virginia game on Saturday. And I'm staying for the Purdue-Xavier game ... I'll be pulling for Purdue!

At March 21, 2008 9:30 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

Oh crap...I have no idea.

I need more caffeine before I tackle something like this...;)

At March 22, 2008 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Today #5 - They've all won some award given out by the military for braveness for something like that.

At March 22, 2008 10:30 AM, Blogger Janet replied to my musings ...

I'm never very good at any of these quizzes, but seeing any random eighties references does manage to make me smile. Does that count?:)

At March 23, 2008 7:35 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

PQ, Janet: You are still on my good list, despite the lack of answers. No worries.

WIGSF: Not quite. Check the post itself for final answers!

Thanks to all for playing--I'm putting the answers in the actual post. I'm not sure if this was a success or not ... let me know what you think.


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