Pop Quiz

Olympic Fever.

It’s difficult not to get swept up in the grandeur and majesty of the Olympics. People are drawn to watch, to spend hours watching brave and dedicated athletes perform incredible feats in bitter cold from the comfort of their warm couches. It’s powerful and mesmerizing. It’s like a fever, which is why, looking at the incredible number of events, all I can think is this:






Olympic Sport or Illness?

  1. Curling
  2. Scurvy
  3. Rickets
  4. Skijoring
  5. Bandy
  6. Alpinism
  7. Pelota
  8. Roque
  9. Rackets
  10. Croquet
  11. Sauna
  12. Sibelius
  13. Pellagra
  14. Beri beri
  15. Tryptophan
  16. Influenza
  17. Luge
  18. Slalom
  19. Norovirus
  20. Nordic combined
  21. Rabies
  22. Rubella
  23. Monkeypox
  24. Salmonella
  25. Polo


23-25: Gold

21-22: Silver

19-20: Bronze

15-18: Copper

11-14: Tin

7-10: Rubber ball on a string

4-6: For crying out loud, it’s only once every four years. Would it hurt to take a little interest?

1-3: You will be forced to give a humiliating interview about your loss

Answer Key:





Classic Christmas Quiz.

Source: Wikipedia

All of us are getting older whether we like it or not. Or so I’ve been told. Personally I’m not convinced that I’m getting older, although, to steal a line from Tom Lehrer, it is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age he’d been dead for twelve years, but that’s another story.

One of the keys to staying young is to keep the mind active, or so I’ve been told, and one way to keep the mind active is to take a skeptical attitude to every silly notion you’re told. Another way is with puzzles, toys, and games. My mother-in-law, for instance, regularly does crossword puzzles and other games, and has given me quite a few books of crosswords and other puzzles which have kept my mind active, especially when I have to use my mind to figure out where I put them.

The Christmas season is also traditionally a time for toys and classic movies, so here’s a little mental activity: classic toy or character from L. Frank Baum’s Oz stories?

1. Tik-Tok

2. Stretch Armstrong

3. Slinky

4. Yo-Yo

5. Jellia Jamb

6. Tik-Tok

7. Mr. Potatohead

8. Weebles

9. Patchwork Girl

10. Colorforms

11. Jinjur

12. Kalidahs

13. Frisbee

14. Hammer-Head

15. Jack Pumpkinhead

16. Aibo

17. Gumby

18. Polychrome

19. Mombi

20. Creepy Crawlers

21. Kabumpo

22. Hungry Hungry Hippos

23. Toto

24. Triops

25. Mannheim Steamroller


22-25: You’re incredibly mentally active and also spend too much time playing with toys. How old are you?

18-21: Christmas is still your favorite holiday and the time of year when you make the whole family watch The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.

15-17: You’re a master of crossword puzzles.

12-14: You know without checking how old L. Frank Baum was when he was your age.

6-11: You’re mildly amused by toys and think Oz is in the southern hemisphere.

1-5: You were banished from the growups’ table for playing with your food.


Monstrously Easy Quiz.

So I had this idea for a quiz: match the real-life serial killers with the films that their crimes inspired. I started with Psycho, Silence Of The Lambs, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but when the answers came up Ed Gein, Ed Gein, Ed Gein, I knew it was either a terrible idea for a quiz or a brilliant idea for the world’s most morbid slot machine, but that’s another story.

Instead here’s a quiz that should be ridiculously easy if you’re of a certain age or really into cryptozoology, or of a certain age and also really into cryptozoology, two things which just might go hand in hand.

Pop Quiz: Musical Group, Performer, or Cryptozoological Creature?

  1. Kajagoogoo
  2. Oingo Boingo
  3. Ogopogo
  4. Bjork
  5. Morag
  6. Nahuelito
  7. Nickelback
  8. Inkanyabma
  9. Chupacabra
  10. Aswang
  11. Chumbawamba
  12. Rutles
  13. Bunyip
  14. Pomplamoose
  15. Elwedritsche
  16. Loup Garou
  17. Hoobastank
  18. Radiohead
  19. Melonheads
  20. Jackalope
  21. Pixies
  22. Mothman
  23. Mongolian Death Worm
  24. Molly Hatchet
  25. Monkees


Aesop’s Fable:

A miser turned all his wealth into a single large lump of gold. He then buried it in a field. Each day he would go and dig it up and marvel at how much gold was his. A thief noticed this and followed him secretly. Then when the miser was gone the thief dug up the gold and took it.

The miser was greatly upset by this, but a farmer who had observed it all said, “Place a rock where your gold used to be and pretend that’s it. It will do you as much good.”

Discussion Questions

1. Is it always better to diversify your assets?

2. On whose property did the miser bury the gold? Was it his own or public land? Would this make a difference?

3. How should the thief declare the gold on his tax returns?

4. Was the thief a professional or a guy who just happened to notice the miser going to the same place every day? Spend some time on this question. Your teacher’s fixing a gin and tonic.

5. What kind of profession is “miser” anyway? Have you ever mised?

6. Is this story victim-blaming?

7. Like many of the fables attributed to Aesop this story has been retold in various versions for over 2500 years. How did the farmer basically manage to invent modern economics?


Keep ‘Em Together.

Pop Quiz: Match the animals to their collective noun.


  1. Butterflies
  2. Cats
  3. Crocodiles
  4. Ferrets
  5. Hyenas
  6. Larks
  7. Gorillas
  8. Eels
  9. Flamingoes
  10. Dolphins
  11. Owls
  12. Trout
  13. Zebras
  14. Snails
  15. Quail
  16. Crows
  17. Monkeys
  18. Jellyfish
  19. Hedgehogs
  20. Prostitutes


k. Kaleidoscope

s. Clowder

h. Bask

d. Busyness

f. Cackle

e. Exultation

g. Band

c. Bed

m. Flamboyance

n. Pod

a. Parliament

l. Hover

i. Dazzle

j. Escargatoire

o. Covey

r. Murder

q. Barrel

p. Fluther

b. Array

t. Anthology of pros.

Answer Key:



Pop Quiz: Summer Reading.

There’s a story that Salman Rushdie was once asked by some friends what Hamlet would have been called if it were a Robert Ludlum novel. Rushdie immediately came up with The Elsinore Vacillation. He then turned Macbeth into The Dunsinane Reforestation, The Merchant of Venice into The Rialto Sanction and Othello became The Kerchief Implication.





That inspired this less than erudite pop quiz: Robert Ludlum novel or episode of The Big Bang Theory?

  1. The Barbarian Sublimation
  2. The Hades Factor
  3. The Holcroft Covenant
  4. The Luminous Fish Effect
  5. The Shiksa Indeterminacy
  6. The Matarese Circle
  7. The Tangerine Factor
  8. The Sigma Protocol
  9. The Lazarus Vendetta
  10. The Griffin Equivalency
  11. The Financial Permeability
  12. The Arctic Event
  13. The Van Allen Belts
  14. The Dumpling Paradox
  15. The White Asparagus Triangulation
  16. The Scorpio Illusion
  17. The Icarus Agenda
  18. The Codpiece Topology
  19. The Killer Robot Instability
  20. The Cornhusker Vortex
  21. The Aquitaine Progression
  22. The Bus Pants Utilization
  23. The Thespian Catalyst
  24. The Apocalypse Watch
  25. The Pirate Solution


23-25: You used to use your tablet for reading. Now you mostly use it for watching TV.

20-23: You’ve watched all the Jason Bourne movies.

15-20: You plan to spend your summer vacation reading but mostly just watch TV.

10-15: And so the bartender tells Shakespeare, “You can’t come in here. You’re bard!”

5-10: Hello fellow English major.

1-5: So you got the Shakespeare jokes but are wondering about this “Big Bang Theory” and who this Ludlum guy is.

Pop Quiz: It’s Instrumental.

Match The Instrument To The Emotion It Best Expresses.

  1. World’s Smallest Violin
  2. World’s Smallest Tuba
  3. World’s Smallest Piano
  4. World’s Smallest Trumpet
  5. World’s Smallest Picolo
  6. World’s Smallest Viola
  7. World’s Smallest Drum
  8. World’s Smallest Triangle
  9. World’s Smallest Theremin
  1. Mock Jazziness
  2. Mock Heart Of Rock’n’Roll according to Huey Lewis
  3. Mock anti-climactic emphasis to a stirring opus
  4. Mock Jocularity
  5. Pretty much the same as a regular size one
  6. Mock Sympathy
  7. Mock Complex Range of Emotions
  8. Mocks Those Made-For-TV Movies Like Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus and Sharknado that are supposed to be hilariously over-the-top ironic but end up just being stupid
  9. Mocks Your Mock Sympathy

Scoring is of course completely arbitrary and meaningless and any wrong answers will be severely punished.


Valentine’s Day Quiz.

Because love is in the air and because I really love doing these things it’s time for another pop quiz. But first a quick word about romance novels: I found many of the titles on the Romance Writers Of America website, an organization that promotes and supports local libraries everywhere, and that is no joke. And neither are the titles.

Now without further ado, since it’s all much ado about nothing anyway, here’s your pop quiz. Winners will have the satisfaction of knowing they spend too much time on the internet.

Romance Novel or Clickbait Headline?

  1. What She Looks Like Now Is Crazy
  2. Never Say Goodbye
  3. The Trouble with Dukes
  4. She Had No Idea Why The Crowd Was Cheering
  5. Falling for the Highlander
  6. Seven Minutes in Heaven
  7. If She Only Knew
  8. Forgive My Fins
  9. What Could Possibly Happen?
  10. One Night with the Billionaire
  11. This Girl Didn’t Know What’s Inside Her
  12. Lady Luck’s Map of Vegas
  13. Think This Is Normal?
  14. This Will Shock You
  15. How to Bake a Perfect Life
  16. She Created A Life Hack
  17. Barefoot and Pregnant?
  18. Things You Should Never Apologize For
  19. The Daddy Makeover
  20. These Workers Just Want Money
  21. A Hunger Like No Other
  22. Great One-Liners
  23. What Happened Next Changed Everything
  24. The Danger of Desire
  25. The Castle in the Forest

Let’s Get Quizzical.

We had this game when I was a kid. I never played it. I just loved the board.

Source: http://www.whichwitchgame.com/

It’s that time of year and also time for another quiz. Halloween is the season of monsters and death and ghosts and skeletons and demons and scary clowns and also the only time I can get the Monster Cereals, all of which makes it my favorite holiday. The candy is just, er, the icing on the cake. And the cake filled with blood and entrails and releases bats and ravens and tarantulas and hideous creatures from another planet when you cut into it, but that’s another story.

For this particular quiz I reached into the darkest, deepest, most horrifying recesses of my subconscious–in other words to my childhood.

Pop Quiz: Horror Film Or Children’s Game?

  1. Candyman
  2. Sorry!
  3. Re-Animator
  4. Doctor Giggles
  5. Last House On The Left
  6. Monopoly
  7. Human Centipede
  8. Kick The Can
  9. Snakes And Ladders
  10. Pitch Black
  11. Cabin In The Woods
  12. Basket Case
  13. Frosted Flakes
  14. Rock-Paper-Scissors
  15. Hungry Hungry Hippos
  16. The Stuff
  17. The Pit & The Pendulum
  18. Uncle Wiggily
  19. Risk
  20. Blind Man’s Buff
  21. Simon Says
  22. Mumblety Peg
  23. The Hills Have Eyes
  24. Stephen King’s IT
  25. Life


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