The Berkeley Bowl Magnet Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

Reflections on cities and retiring popes

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz, 

This coming Friday and Saturday I’ll be giving talks, serving on panels, and hosting performance events at the yearly San Francisco Writers Conference. Having served on the SFWC faculty for the last eight or so years in a row, and I’ve come to look forward to seeing some of the same presenters and participants every year. Almost everyone has a new book to hawk, so every year I return to Davis with book ideas and firmly-held resolutions. While typically such resolutions fade in the face of more immediate deadlines and responsibilities, this year I hope at least a chapbook version of my current collection of books and essays will be ready for Friday. If and when that book is ready, I’ll be sure to let you know, and think of ways to compel you to purchase a copy, especially because all the profits will go to a good cause. Details to come.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about San Francisco. A cultural and employment magnet hovers over cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle, or so say the students of mine who flee our fine city as soon as they graduate from UC Davis (recently named by Business Insider to be one of the Best Colleges in America). I ran into one such recent graduate this weekend, and she shared that she’s working at The Berkeley Bowl and trying to decide what to do next with her life. If you are too cool or indecisive to adopt a prospective career path early in your undergraduate years, you may end up working at the equivalent of The Berkeley Bowl (as I did). Today my LinkedIn connections list is filled with my former writing and Technocultural Studies students, each hoping that the connections they forged while in Davis will help to secure them better jobs, or really any sort of meaningful employment at all.

Such students teach me to wonder whether it makes more sense to value a job, or a city, even if that city is filled with the closest friends made at UC Davis, and even a future spouse. With that last criterion in mind, I value the city of London the most of all (and I’ll have to save that story for a future newsletter). Did a job bring you to Davis, or do you think that it’ll be a job that will send you on to the next city you call home?

Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on the University of California, Indian tribes, mononyms, popular websites, tall mountains, history, fruit, soap, words that start with C, tropical hardwoods, trouble, gold records, Facebook, submarines, airports and seaports, strings, ages, categories of drama, mixed drinks, comedies, televised breakdowns, private jets, borsht and what follows, military ranks, the 1960s, people named Richard, tragedies, intercollegiate sports, popular names, Oscar nominees, thieves, wealthy people, Austrian hardships, and Shakespeare. Should I also ask a question about the Pope?

I hope to see you this evening. Even though the undergraduates should be studying for their midterms, we’ve been filling every table at the Pub Quiz. Come early to claim a favorite spot!


Your Quizmaster






Here are five questions from last week’s quiz: 

  1. Internet Culture. What’s a LAN?  
  2. Newspaper Headlines.   The last British king to have been killed in battle was recently found under a parking lot in Leicester, 100 miles north west of London. Name him. 
  3. Mathematics. In our American system of mathematical progressions, what denomination come after million, billion and trillion? 
  4. Pop Culture – Music. The musical group Earth, Wind and Fire was founded on the last year of what decade? 
  5. Sports. In 1999, who was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated & "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC? 



P.S. From this morning's USA Today:

“Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, elevated to cardinal in 2010 and head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is so smart, says [National Catholic Reporter Vatican specialist John] Allen, ‘if you were picking a quiz bowl team in the College of Cardinals, most people would start with Ravasi.’” I’m sure that if Cardinal Ravasi were to join the other three members of Trivia Newton John, that new team would win the Pub Quiz every week. If that happens, you’ll learn about it in a future newsletter.

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