Tag Archives: Winston Churchill

Trivia Night

12 Jun

I have this book called 10,000 Answers: The Ultimate Trivia Encyclopedia. It is exactly what the title indicates – a book full of stuff that might win some money on a game show. Sometimes, I will scan through the book because you never know when the information will come in handy.

Since I cannot think of anything else to write about, I figured a post about one of these book scans would be interesting. We will go through the pages at random and see what useful information can be found for each letter.Trivia Night

The trash collectors in the Hi and Lois comic strip are named Abercrombie and Fitch.

Sir David Brewster invented the kaleidoscope.

Cerumen is the medical term for earwax.

On Bewitched, Samantha Stephens maiden name was Dobson.

Cesar Chavez’s real last name was Estrada.

In 1940, Ida Fuller received the first Social Security check.

“Great Bird of the Galaxy” by Gene Roddenberry’s nickname.

The Hermitage is the home of President Andrew Jackson.

Ixcatlan, Mexico is the setting of The Magnificent Seven.

Justice for All was the original working title of All in the Family.

The python in The Jungle Book is named Kaa.

Little Reata is the original name of the oil company owned by Jett Rink in Giant.

William Morgan invented volleyball.

Frank Calder was the first president of the National Hockey League.

Operation Barbarossa was the German code name for the invasion of Russia during World War II.

Port Charles is the setting for General Hospital.

Mary Quant created the miniskirt.

Winston Churchill’s pet poodle was named Rufus.

Kristin Shepard shot J.R. Ewing.

Charles Lindbergh was Time magazine’s first Person of the Year.

The Snapple company was originally named Unadulterated Food Products.

Volunteer was Lyndon Johnson’s secret service code name.

Tex Ritter’s horse was named White Flash.

Wolfman Jack’s radio station in American Graffiti was XERB.

In 1941, Gary Cooper won the Best Actor Academy Award for playing Tennessean Alvin C. York.

In 1927, pitcher Tom Zachary gave up Babe Ruth’s 60th home run.

 

 

Trivia Matters

9 Mar

For the last post, I did some major searching for all things 601. During that process, I went to the bookshelf and grabbed this huge trivia encyclopedia. It is a book that has been in my possession for a long time and has done an excellent job of filling my mind with useless information.Trivia

To borrow a quote from a friend, “I know all kinds of stuff that will not make any money or get me into heaven.”

Skimming this book, the idea popped into my mind that it may lead to a semi-interesting blog post. I will randomly flip through the pages a pick a piece of trivia for each letter.

A – Frederick Austerlitz is the real name of Fred Astaire.

B – Bowie, Arizona is the birthplace of John Rambo in the Rambo movies.

C – Caledonia is the ancient Roman name for Scotland.

D – William Driver, a sea captain from Salem, Massachusetts, coined the term “Old Glory” for the American flag.

E – John Etherington invented the top hat.

F – Jai Alai is played in a fronton.

G – Janet Guthrie was the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500.

H – Professor Harold Hill is the title character in The Music Man.

I – “I Darrin, Take This Witch Samantha” was the debut episode of Bewitched.

J – The J.D. in J.D. Salinger stands for Jerome David.

K – The Baby Ruth candy bar was originally called the Kandy Kake.

L – “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety” is the motto of the Lions Club.

MMon Lei was a 50-foot Chinese junk owned by Robert L. Ripley.

N – A notaphilist collects paper currency.

O – Castor Oyl is the brother of Olive Oyl.

PPitching and Wooing is the autobiography of Bo Belinsky.

Q – Mary Quant created the miniskirt.

RWinston Churchill’s pet poodle was named Rufus.

S – Barbara Stanwyck’s real name was Ruby Stevens.

T – TCB were the letters on a gold pendant worn by Elvis Presley.

U – Upton Machine Company was the original name of Whirlpool.

V – Benedict Arnold fled to England on a ship named Vulture.

W – Woolworth is the bowling term for a 5-10 split.

X – XERB was Wolfman Jack’s radio station in American Graffiti.

Y – Yarrow, Stookey and Travers are the last names of Peter, Paul and Mary.

Z – Zog I was the last king of Albania.

That is the list. Yep, trivia matters.

 

 

A Prime Minister and a Racetrack

31 Dec

Once, there was a prime minister of Great Britain. I reckon he was somewhat famous. He was prime minister during World War II and was one of the most important people of the 20th Century. You may have heard his name. It was Winston Churchill.Winston Churchill

Currently, there is a famous racetrack in Kentucky. In fact, its most famous race is called the Kentucky Derby and has been run since the 1870s. You may have heard of the racetrack. It is called Churchill Downs.Churchill Downs

Why am I writing about all of this Churchill stuff? Because I live on a street named Churchill, and nobody knows how to spell it. I have seen it spelled as Churchhill, and I have seen it spelled as Church Hill.

Heck, our city, which owns the street and takes care of it, spells it Church Hill. Our water bill says Church Hill, and our property tax card says Church Hill. I wonder if I have to pay those since I do not live on Church Hill.

Since no one knows how to spell the names of one of the most famous people of the 20th Century and one of the most famous racetracks in the United States, I am writing this blog in their honor.

Here is to you, Winston Church Hill.

Here is to you, Churchhill Downs.

May your names live on.

Listeria

11 Jul

I was at the pharmacy buying legal drugs and had to wait the required 20 minutes for them to fill my prescription. There were five druggists and one customer, so I’m not sure why it should take that long. Maybe, they were sampling their merchandise. Anyway, I entertained myself by looking at greeting cards; checking out the new wave of condoms; and, in the end, heading over to the magazine stand. There, in the middle of the too-much-about-celebrities and the too-little-about-sports, I found TIME: The 100 Most Influential People of All Time.

I know what these “list” magazines are. They are a way for magazines to make some extra money and maybe get new subscribers. They are pointless because the lists are totally subjective, and there is no way of knowing how they came up with the names. Besides, what makes 100 so special anyway? It’s just a round number. Despite all of that, I am a sucker for these types of things. I even bought Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and made sure I had all of the songs on my iPod. This, despite the fact that “Like a ROLLING STONE” by Bob Dylan was ranked Numero Uno, and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The ROLLING STONES came in second. Talk about subjective lists with self-promotion.

As you can probably imagine, I bought the history list, too. I am a historian who likes lists. What can I say? Now, I’m not going to go through the entire list, but a few things stood put to me.

1. There are a few people on the list who are subject to speculation in their actual existence. There’s Abraham, Jesus Christ, Confucius. Heck, some people even doubt the reality of William Shakespeare. Yet, they are on the list. Let me set this straight. I am not saying that they did not exist. They, or the inspiration for them, probably did. Also, there is no doubt of the impact that they and their followers have had on the world. I only think it is interesting that the list includes people who may not have actually been people.

2. There are four U.S. presidents on the list – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. I have already written about what I think of our presidents, so I won’t go into great detail. However, this brings some thoughts to mind. First, these four did a great job and left an impact on the world. Second, the other forty haven’t done much. I mean, these guys are always called “the leader of the free world” and are said to hold “the most powerful office in the world”. If that’s true, then why are there not more on the list?

I’ll tell you why. None of that is really true. There are a lot of leaders of “the free world”, and the presidency is not even supposed to be “the most powerful office” in the United States. The three branches – executive, legislative and judicial – are equal. It’s a team effort, and the president is supposed to run the day-to-day operations. Obviously, this job description has been skewed through the years by the people in office (definitely by the four on the list), but the fact remains that the presidency is supposed be no more powerful or influential than the other areas of government.

3. One of the presidents, Roosevelt is on the list along with Winston Churchill. Undoubtedly, they made it because of their efforts against Adolph Hitler (who is also on the list) during World War II. In my opinion, all three of those people deserve their listing. I’m sure a lot of people object to Hitler’s presence, but the list is about influence, not humanity. He started a war that shaped the rest of the 20th Century – from technology to the Cold War.

Mentioning the Cold War leads me to the issue with this grouping. Where is Joseph Stalin? He was one of the Big Three who fought against Nazi Germany. In fact his nation was actually invaded by German troops. Want to know an interesting statistic? More Soviet women died in combat than American men. On top of that, his policies shaped the 20th Century as well.

4. I also find it interesting that my area of historical study, the American West, is also included. I just can’t figure out why. Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea make the list for their journey through the Louisiana Territory. It’s important for the United States, but I am not sure about its influence on the world. First, someone had already made the trek through Canada. Second, most of their travels went through lands already ventured into by Europeans. Third, Native Americans had been there for a long time.

Speaking – actually, writing – of Native Americans. Sitting Bull is on the list. This is one of my favorite people from history, and I will visit the Battle of Little Big Horn, the site of his greatest victory, in a few weeks. However, I don’t see how the killing of George Custer makes him one of the top 100. Sitting Bull didn’t even lead forces into battle because he was recovering from the Sun Dance. He is tattoo worthy, though.

As written earlier, I will not go through the entire list, but I will mention my favorites from each category.

In “Beacon of Spirits”, I like the inclusion of Socrates and Plato.

“Explorers and Visionaries” has Charles Darwin and Alexander Graham Bell, with whom I share a last name. Unfortunately, we are not related.

Queen Elizabeth I and Simon Bolivar are listed under “Leaders of the People”.

“Architects of Culture” includes Michelangelo and Louis Armstrong.

That’s it. If you were on the committee, then who would you put on the list?