The Bunches of Dynamos Edition of the de Vere's Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter

Thoughts on 2012, and on the de Vere's Irish Pub Pub Quiz

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz on Davis Patch,

Welcome to the last Pub Quiz newsletter of 2012. December 31st is a time to take stock of the year, and our own experiences and accomplishments. Many consider these to be uneasy times, uneasy because of our ever-fragile economy as we try to recover from ill-advised decisions made by past political leaders, and uneasy because of the violence and heartbreak that we see in the news. In returning President Obama to office, we might consider what to make of his first term, perhaps with more optimism for his second. Years from now we might think of Obama as the president who oversaw the radical diminution of government effectiveness, largely because of legislators that make Harry Truman’s “Do Nothing” 80th US Congress look like a bunch of dynamos. Or we might remember Obama as our Mourner in Chief, a president called upon repeatedly to console the nation after a terrible tragedy, usually involving gun violence. If you’d like to see Obama’s sense of humor, as well as his public compassion, I invite you to review this collection of photos of President Obama from 2012. My favorite, and that of occasional Pub Quiz participant Naomi Williams, is of Obama giving a shoulder massage to Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison.


I’m grateful for a number of people when I look back on 2012. The year makes me think of Kate and our children, of our dear friends here in Davis and beyond, of the incredible colleagues that I get to work with at UC Davis, and of my many hard-working and engaging students. Publicly, I get to interact with a great number of Davisites through all my volunteer and community work: my radio show, the poetry series, and my arts advocacy work with the Cultural Action Committee (see below for Thursday night’s reading at the John Natsoulas Gallery). And every Monday you kind people let me assess and harass you while enjoying a 20-ounce Guinness. What fun!


Tonight’s Quiz, not surprisingly, will touch upon the year in review. You can also expect questions about Poland, the month of December, girl scouts, the color red, other colors, fish, New Year’s Eve and its traditions, concordances, the letter D, traffic accidents, Michigan, our crust, veins, all-stars, Portugal, secure communications, Copernicus, visible eyebrows, demonyms, sticks, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, teenagers, Beavertown, hands, jazz and disco, Hawaii, big films, Irish peninsulas, current events, and Shakespeare. Somehow, I ended up asking no questions about Neil Armstrong, arguably the most famous person to have died in 2012, so I will just mention him here.


The terrific de Vere’s manager, Karli, wrote me to say that there will be a New Year’s Special tonight: slow roasted prime rib served with potato croquette, broccolini, red wine braised shallots and au jus (which is French for “with its own juice” – Karli speaks French fluently). I hope you can spend part of your New Year’s Eve at de Vere’s tonight, and that you will be safe in all your travel choices tonight and early tomorrow morning.


See you tonight!


Your Quizmaster






Here are five questions from the December 17 quiz:


  1.  Words in Common. What do the following words have in common? Clay, Eight, Ford, Hill, Hudson. 


  1.  Versatile Actors. What Oscar-nominated actor in the 1990s played Arthur Dimmesdale, Ludwig van Beethoven, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Count Dracula? 


  1. Pop Culture – Music. The name of the performer who won the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist a record five times is an anagram of the phrase LIMITLESS TOY. Name the performer. 


  1. Sports.   What Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman hold the record for the most home runs in the month of April, at 14. He broke this record in 2006. 


  1. Science.   In a 2006 study conducted in Louisiana, 79.8% of the stomach contents of adult alligator snapping turtles were found to be comprised of which of the following? Armadillos, muskrats, opossums, other turtles. 


By the way, this coming Thursday night is Poetry Night in the city of Davis, and BRIONY GYLGAYTON will be the featured poet. Gylgayton in 2013 will finish her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, the top-rated such program in the world. Her masters thesis, titled LOAD SAVE GAME, about survival horror video games and folk and fakelore, is in progress.


Gylgayton has won multiple awards for her writing, including placing second for the University of California system-wide 2010 Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize and placing for both creative writing categories in the 2010 Pamela Maus Contest for Creative Writing, winning first in fiction and second in poetry.


Gylgayton graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Davis in June 2010 with a BA in English-Creative Writing and a minor in Art Studio. Her Creative Writing Honors Thesis was awarded the 2010 Elliot Gilbert Memorial Prize for Best Undergraduate Honors Creative Work. She currently teaches Interpretation of Literature at the University of Iowa, where she has earned high marks on Rate My Professor. A web designer, Briony also created the website for Your Quizmaster.


P.P.S. Thanks to the late Kevin Quinn for many years of friendship and laughter.

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