Trivia Recap: Definitions Galore!

Oct 25, 2016

Last week on the daily trivia question, we dove head-first into definitions: why is it called the "Head" of the Charles? What's a paralipsis? The answers to those and more, in this week's trivia recap.

FRIDAY, October 21

Q: The Head of the Charles is called the Head of the Charles because it is a so-called head-race. What differentiates a head-race from other races?

A: Head-races are time trial races. Starts are staggered, and athletes race for time instead of racing other athletes side-by-side. It doesn't matter who you finish in front of, because your overall finishing time is compared to other teams' finishing times.

Over 11,000 athletes compete in the Head of the Charles, making it the largest two-day regatta in the world!

THURSDAY, October 20

Q: What do you call someone who repairs and maintains stringed instruments, from violins to electric guitars?

A) A "cordwainer"
B) A "luthier"
C) A "farrier"

A: A luthier is a person who maintains stringed instruments, namely stringed instruments with a neck and sound box, like a violin, an electric guitar, etc. 

(A cordwainer is someone who makes shoes, namely leather shoes; a farrier is someone who shoes horses.)

WEDNESDAY, October 19

Q: What are "King Tides"?

A: King tides are the highest and lowest tides of the year. They happen when the earth, moon, and sun are as close to each other as possible in their respective orbits. King Tides this year caused a bit of flooding in Boston between Monday and Wednesday. More information about King tides, along with a visuals, can be found here.

TUESDAY, October 18

Q: What is "paralipsis"?

A) A rhetorical device that calls attention to something, by specifically saying you won't mention that thing;
B) That thing when you’re quoting someone in a paper and you skip a bit of what they said by putting in an ellipsis; or
C) An unexplained numbing in your lips?

A: A. Rhetorical device by which one calls attention to something by specifically saying you won't mention it. There are several examples of paralipses, but my favorite is from Iron Man 2, when Tony Stark spouts: 

I’m not saying I’m responsible for this country’s longest run of uninterrupted peace in 35 years! I’m not saying that from the ashes of captivity, never has a Phoenix metaphor been more personified! I’m not saying Uncle Sam can kick back on a lawn chair, sipping on an iced tea, because I haven’t come across anyone man enough to go toe to toe with me on my best day!

(The "I'm not saying" bits are particularly boastful example of paralipsis.)

MONDAY, October 17

Q: One of America's most celebrated playwrights was born on this date, October 17 1915. Based on these clues, who is he:

A) He wrote the plays A View from the Bridge, and All My Sons
B) He was married, for a time, to Marilyn Monroe.

A: Arthur Miller (Oct. 17, 1915-Feb. 10, 2005). Additionally, Miller also wrote the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play Death of a Salesman, and the anti-McCarthyist allegorical play The Crucible.

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