Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
Saturday night I attended a high school reunion in San Francisco. This fact will surprise regular readers of the newsletter, for you might remember that I was born in Washington DC, and was raised in the glorious Glover Park neighborhood, around the corner from both the family of Fugazi lead singer Ian MacKaye, as well as various Vice Presidents at the US Naval Observatory. My bike commute from 2454 Tunlaw Road to my high school at 2126 Wyoming Avenue brought me past embassies, an imposing statue of Winston Churchill, and a number of entrances to the 2,000 acres of Rock Creek Park, but nowhere near San Francisco. Since graduation, my classmates and I have dispersed in mostly northern and western directions, and enough of us ended up in the Bay Area to warrant a yearly reunion, especially now that The Field School is celebrating its 40th anniversary. And whereas no one from my graduating class of 40 came to the SF reunion (not surprisingly), I got to catch up with two of my favorite teachers, including the blues musician and jazz journalist Will Layman – he’s one of the intellectual heroes who inspired my interest in reading and writing.
Also at the reunion I met Leo Buc, the CFO of Common Vision, a nonprofit organization that seeks to plant orchards on the grounds of California schools, and teach schoolchildren and their teachers about permaculture and sustainability. Also drawn by the opportunity to catch up with Layman, Buc and his wife drove down from Ukiah, an even more impressive drive than mine from Davis. Buc’s zeal and vision reminded me of our own sustainability efforts at UC Davis, widely recognized today as the coolest school in the country. Sierra Magazine awarded us that special honor not only because of the inherent coolness of, say, radio station KDVS, the UC Davis contingent of hipster students, and at least 5% of our faculty (many of them teaching in Technocultural Studies). Sierra also recognized our campus-wide efforts to emphasize sustainability, green living, recycling, and renewable energy, such as turning organic CoHo food into the energy faculty, students and staff need to pedal about our beautiful campus.
In recognition of these efforts, I have invited members of the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability to join us at the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz this evening, and in return I have promised to ask five questions inspired by widely available “Cool Facts” about UC Davis. Because they have been tipped off to a significant amount of the content of tonight’s quiz, and because I value the integrity and fairness of the Quiz above all other Quizmasterly concerns, I’d like you to have the same advantage. Visit and study this web page to come as ready as our friends from our friends at the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. As Louis Pasteur said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
Also expect questions about rich people and creatures, the greats of 20th century rock and roll, web design, seeing America, know your cabinets, whistling, professional basketball, facts that I learned from Sir Richard Attenborough’s science documentary on the magic of flight, czars in quotation marks, millennials and job interviews, US wars, actresses who have been nominated for Oscars and Emmys, nothing, again with the soundtracks, sustainability at UC Davis (five questions – see above), swoony antiheroes, Benedict Cumberbatch (who will not be the correct answer), cities with made-up names, the TV show Friends, science words that start with K (worth 5 points in Scrabble), authors whose names you actually know, uncooked nursemaids, low-scoring sports, Reddit, and Shakespeare’s influences.
The sustainability enthusiasts will be crowding the pub tonight, probably asking complex questions about the ingredients of the delicious food on the menu, so I encourage you to come early to claim a table. See you tonight.
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
1. Four for Four. Which of the following former US Presidents, if any, attended today’s inauguration of Barack Obama? George Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton.
2. The First Family. The name “Sasha” in this instance is actually a nickname. What is Sasha Obama’s given first name?
3. Film Quotations. In what 2012 film does Jack Black, playing himself, speak these words? “Where am I? Why am I so fancy? This is not good for my image!”
4. Pop Culture – Music. The best-selling soundtrack of all time came from a 1992 film with 12 letters in its name, and features the best-selling song of 1993. Name the film.
5. Sports. Who won 2012 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award?