We were missing 3 teams and overall, about 15 players likely due to slushy weather but it was a spirited group overall.  It was a close battle all night with the Ministry taking first place by a point over three fine teams which were the Blond Artifacts, Cheap Dates and We Know Stuff.  Round 1 was the second best of the night coming in at 60% with the Blonde Artifacts getting the only perfect 10 of the night with a close second of 9 for the Hotel de Ville team.  The first question, concerning the year (within 1) that FDR and Churchill were granted honorary degrees by McGill, was answered correctly by half the house.   For the question about the 900 NHL matchups, 18/23 got it that it was Montreal and Boston with the other 5 teams suggesting Montreal and Toronto.  The beer quote had a similar good record with Ben Franklin being the answer.  In the interesting question of which, if any, of the three “B” composers were alive at the same time, only three teams got it that they did not overlap.  The teams were the Cupcakes, the Spuds and the Otto Maass team.  The most popular wrong answer was that Beethoven and Brahms overlapped in time.

Round 2 stayed about the same as Round 1 with a 59% score.  About half the teams got Sandra Bullock as the best and worst actress in a recent year with almost all the other choices going to either Halle Berry or Meryl Streep.  I don’t think Ms. Streep ever had a bad acting role.  Most all knew Rockefeller was the richest American (adjusted for inflation) and all but two knew that Montreal was the first Canadian city to reach one million persons.  The palindrome cartoon did not fool many although only five teams (Thistle Rocks, In Vino, Cheap Dates, Don’t Think Twice and the Ministry got Michael Douglas (with Thistle Rocks also mentioning the correct movie) on the “lunch is for wimps” quote.  Half the teams got that the population of Ontario was more than the other European countries of Belgium, Sweden and Portugal.  The artist Emily Carr was known to a strong majority of the House as was the iconic Bill Haley and his super-famous song, “Rock Around the Clock”.

Round 3 dipped to the standard average of 55% although all but one team knew Lucille Ball to be on the cover of the first TV Guide.  Did I ask that question before?  I don’t think so but kudos to the House.  Eight teams knew that Kazakhstan was the country of wanderers.  Only the Space Cadets, Interrobang and the Trailblazers knew that York has the second most full-time undergraduate students.  Most chose either the U of M or UBC.  UBC is third and the U of M is 9th and as mentioned at the game, McGill is 13th.  Interestingly, there is an Emily Carr University of Art Design that has nearly 1,700 students.

Round 4 came in at 57% with the first question having the answer “pipe dreams” and it was interesting that 15/23 got it.  Other answers were “chasing the dragon”, “blowing smoke”, “hallucinating” and “poppycock” (which actually is the phrase for “soft dung” in the Dutch language).  Smoking that item might make one hallucinate.  Five teams knew about the biggest disaster at sea and these were the Hotel team, Space Cadets, the Ministry, Green Eggs and We Know Stuff.  A little over half the teams knew that China produces the most bibles.  You can gain a lot of statistical clout with over a billion people.  Every team knew the photo of the green-eyed woman came from the National Geographic magazine.

The 5th round came in with the lowest “grade” of the night with 50%.  I thought it was an astounding trivia fact that Zeppo Marx invented the clamp for holding the atomic bomb on the Enola Gay so I tried to make up seemingly equal odd inventions and only 4 either knew or guessed it was the clamp and these were the Space Cadets, Interrobang, Cupcakes and Wasted Synapses.  Seven teams picked Hitler as the “disguised” individual by way of a change of haircut.  Many in the audience were holding up a hand to block off his hair.  Quite a few knew the baseball film with Kevin Costner and all but one knew the correct designation of the GOP in the US.  In addition, almost all knew the paramilitary unit in Haiti.  Finally, five teams had their country music ears accurate by getting Tammy Wynette or George Jones and Interrobang got both.  The other four were Crusader Rabbit, Green Eggs, Space Cadets and the Ministry.

Round 6 delivered a standard 54% score.  ONLY Interrobang put down that the US had the first devoted highway for automobiles.  Almost all the others chose either England or Germany for the 1908 road.  About half the teams knew Cy Young as the top winner of baseball games (the top pitching award has his name).  The Latin word for “elsewhere” was answered correctly by nine teams (“alibi”).  Half the house knew that the “Jordanaires” were the back up singers for Elvis.  The date (within one year) of the Cuban Missile Crisis was correct for all but two teams.  One said 1965 (past the time of JFK) and the youngest team (who shall go nameless) said 1982.  Shocking, but maybe not.  We must not be intimidated by our colleagues “youth and inexperience” to sort of quote Ronald Reagan.

The last round was the best of the night with 65% answering correctly. I was pleased and surprised that 16/23 teams knew the volcano eruption of Pinatubo.  I was also surprised how many knew the consecutive “S” signs of the Zodiak.  Wrong answers were the “A” and “C” signs.  I was interested to realize the quality of knowledge of this arcane topic.   Only one team (Four Horsemen) got the question on the number of soldiers (6) raising the flag at Iwo Jima.  This is sometimes talked about as most think it was 5.  ALL teams knew Patrick Swayze’s skills as a musician.

The overall score for the night was 57%.  I am pleased to see the consistency of this number (in 2-3 events it has been rather higher at ~60+%) as it is not too easy to try to design questions that overall will have some that are very challenging and the right number that are answerable by the teams.

I thank as usual, our excellent scorekeepers Katya, Steven and Angela.  I should point out that all three are TEAM participants (TEAM being a cadre of over 500 student peer-teacher helpers in about 150 McGill courses that is part of the Tomlinson project).  I always want to thank Kim Stephenson for gathering the money and for some of the prizes. April 12 is the next contest.  We Know Stuff leads overall by 4 points over the Blonde Artifacts.

On the next pages are the overall results for January and the totals.

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