Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
Spring has sprung in Davis, and the college students, like T.S. Eliot’s nymphs, have departed. Those who haven’t fled our fair city have few responsibilities tomorrow morning, so perhaps they will come out to play the Pub Quiz this evening, if only to look their friends in the eye again.
I reacquainted myself with a 16 dads from my son Truman’s elementary school this past Saturday evening, and enjoyed dozens of rounds of a poker tournament. I enjoyed it not only because I won the tournament, but because of the spirited banter among all the men (some of whom said they would join us tonight – they wanted questions on music from the 1980s). In some circles, we too rarely excuse ourselves of screens of various sorts to meet for games, beverages, conversation and storytelling (I suppose that’s one reason why our Pub Quiz is so popular: forced interaction with your friends!). As Jim Morrison said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind,” and in free-thinking Davis, we prefer to control our own minds, as well as exercise and challenge them from time to time.
This was a topic of a book I finished recently: Daniel Pink’s Drive. Pink has taught me ways to reward my students and my children by appealing to their needs for autonomy, mastery and purpose, as Pink emphasizes, rather than other sorts of carrots. On the other hand, my children also appreciate ginger snaps.
Speaking of snacks, as an adult, I never really went for French fries or potato chips (what the Brits call “crisps”) until I started spending Monday nights at de Vere’s Irish Pub. Quality ingredients and the absence of superfluous oils and questionable chemical agents make de Vere’s food particularly savory, I think. We will be discussing potato chips tonight on the Pub Quiz, as well as other food topics. Plan also to answer questions about San Francisco companies, Chicago, large countries, rivers, Diana Ross, superheroes, recognizable surnames, Simpsons, Roses, carotene, the color brown, unusual words, red herrings, basketball, Nancy Pelosi, textiles and clothing, Scrabble scores of 10, annoyances, ABC television, album rock, Rhodes scholars, Russia, rodents, the color violet, China, the great plains, Roman Catholicism, good men, Autobiographies, explorers, favorite brands of beer, March, bicycles, the German language, hunger, the Appalachian Trail, Giuseppe Verdi, the Guinness Book of World Records, Shakespeare, and bunnies.
This Thursday is the fifth Thursday of the month, so you’ll have to wait for April 5th for the next Poetry Night, that is, to see Scot Siegel from Oregon and Laurie Glover from Davis perform their work at the John Natsoulas Gallery.
I hope to see you tonight!
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
5. Greek-Roman citizens of Egypt that lived in the second century after Christ. The name of the author of The Almagest, the only surviving comprehensive ancient treatise on astronomy, started with the letter P. What was his name?
6. Monosyllabic Five-Letter Words that Start with the letter S. What word means 1 : an elemental being that inhabits air, and 2 : a slender graceful woman or girl?
7. Pop Culture – Music. What 1996-founded British alternative rock band achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single "Yellow" in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year, Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize?
8. Sports. What San Francisco 49ers free agent quarterback is meeting with the Miami Dolphins, now that Peyton Manning has chosen the Broncos?
9. Science. What is the natural phenomenon that causes dispersed matter to coalesce, and coalesced matter to remain intact?