POP QUIZ: AND THE WINNER IS (answers)

And Dee Dee does it again! With a top-of-the-class 9/10, Dee Dee clearly knows more about ‘winners’ than anyone else. Way to go. Again.

1) After a tournament held in Stamford CT in March of this year and hosted (as always) by Will Shortz, Howard Barkin was named the 2016 champion in what activity?
2) Johnny Moss (70 &71), Doyle Brunson (76 & 77), Stu Ungar (80 & 81) and Johnny Chan (87 & 88) have all been back-to-back winners of what event, held annually in Las Vegas since 1970? Canadian Johnathan Duhamel won in 2010.
3) Phil Heath has won which professional event for the past five years in a row (2011-2015 inclusive) on his way to tying the eight-victory records set by Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman? A certain Hollywood heavyweight has won seven times.
4) Wellington Jighere of Nigeria is the current English language champion in what game, having won the 2015 tournament held in Perth, Australia and sponsored by Mattell corporation?
5) Beth Royal’s ‘Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters’, Glori Spriggs’ ‘Loaded Potato Pinwheels’ and Christina Verelli’s ‘Pumpkin Raviolli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream’ are all recent winners of what long-running contest?
6) Despite a decision by officials to toughen up the final rounds, what grade-school competition ended in a tie for the third consecutive year in 2016, with 11yr old Nihar Janga and 13yr old Jairam Hathwar being declared co-champions?
7) In 2015, rock-climber and occasional busboy Isaac Caldiero became the first American to complete Stage 4 of what televised competition, after ‘climbing Mt. Midoryama’ in 26.14 seconds?
8) Which competition changed the format in 2016, replacing “swimwear” with “athletic wear” in an effort to modernize, but still crowned a white girl who tweeted the ‘n-word’ four times in the past?
9) “The camel died quite suddenly on the second day, and Selena fretted sulkily and, buffing her already impeccable nails–not for the first time since the journey began–pondered snidely if this would dissolve into a vignette of minor inconveniences like all the other holidays spent with Basil.” This tortured prose by Gail Cain of San Francisco was the first ever winner of what prize, awarded in 1983, and awarded every year since to the “the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels”?
10) What renowned magician and skeptic offered a US$1,000,000 prize to anyone who could demonstrate psychic/paranormal/supernatural abilites under controlled scientific circumstances?

1) CROSSWORD PUZZLES
2) THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER
3) MR OLYMPIA
4) SCRABBLE
5) THE PILLSBURY BAKE-OFF
6) THE SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE
7) AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR
8) MISS TEEN USA
9) THE BULWER-LYTTON AWARD
10) JAMES “THE AMAZING” RANDI

The Bulwer-Lytton award is possibly the longest-running joke in literary circles. The novels don’t have to be real. Competitors are encouraged to submit multiple entires in a single email. There doesn’t have to be any more than the first sentence, and if you’ve never, ever, been a published author, so much the better. It was started to honour Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel “Paul Clifford” opens with perhaps the most famous opening of any literary work ever: “It was a dark and stormy night”. That in itself isn’t so bad, but Lytton wasn’t done there:

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

I mean, that’s Dan Brown bad.

James Randi, on the other hand, is very good. He debunked a lot of fraudsters, not just for fun but in order to stop them from taking peoples money or even to save people from turning their healthcare over to faith healers and mystics when medical science could actually help. No one ever claimed his million dollar prize. Most applicants refused to even fill out the form, or propose a testable ability. He’s kind of a personal hero of mine. Here he is exposing damn liars and the damn lies they told:

Thanks,
QM Bill

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