Trivia Dominoes II — Play Off the Last Bit of Trivia — continued!

Back before texts, e-mails, and telephones, the visiting card played an important role in social intercourse in upper levels of society. If a high-ranking person left a visiting card at the home of a lower-ranking person in the social order, that was an indication that social doors were beginning to open; it didn’t require an actual visit from the higher-ranking person.

One use of a visiting card was when a person temporarily in a city was leaving, and would make a round of calls to individuals who had welcomed the visitor into their social circle. Again, it wasn’t actually necessary to have a visit, simply leave the card, marked “P.P.C” for “Pour prendre congé” (French for “to take one’s leave”), to indicate one’s appreciation for the other’s welcome.

There was also a code for turning the corner of visiting cards, where different turned corners, singly or in combination, each carried a particular meaning.

Intercourse, Pennsylvania was founded in 1754. The community was originally named “Cross Keys”, after a local tavern. Intercourse became the name in 1814. One idea for the unique name comes from the use of language during the early days of the village. The word ‘intercourse’ was commonly used to describe the ‘fellowship’ and ‘social interaction and support’ shared in the community of faith, which was much a part of a rural village like this one.

Intercourse, Pennsylvania is located in Lancaster County, which has the largest population of Amish of any county in the United States. Pennsylvania has the largest population of Amish of any state, followed by Ohio and Indiana.

The total Amish population in the US is now over 344,000, an astounding 40% increase over the 2010 population. (According to Wiki, anyway.)

Pennsylvania Dutch Country is a region of southeastern and south central Pennsylvania, which was settled by various Germanic groups (“Dutch” is a corruption of the German word “Deitsch”) in the 17th and 18th century.

While the Pennsylvania Dutch were from a number of different religions, the area is known for its populations of Anabaptist groups, including the Amish and Mennonites, many of whom continue to live a rural, simple lifestyle.

Not all Mennonites live a traditional farm lifestyle, avoiding contact with the outside world. A former Premier of Saskatchewan was a Mennonite. Don’t get much more involved in the world than that!

Phil Jackson, who played basketball at North Dakota, also played 13 years in the NBA and was a member of two championship teams. He then turned to coaching, and led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships; following that, he coached the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships.

Both of Jackson’s parents, Charles and Elisabeth Funk Jackson, were ministers in the Assemblies of God church. Prior to her conversion to this religion, Jackson’s mother was a member of the Mennonite church.

Pioneering funk music band Parliament-Funkadelic, led by George Clinton, was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Due to the rotating nature of the “collective” membership of the band, a total of 16 band members were included in the Hall of Fame induction, making it the largest band yet to join the Hall.

In an early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the USS Enterprise conveys alien diplomats to a conference on the neutral planet Parliament.

The original Star Trek series ran for 3 seasons with a total of 79 episodes. The first episode, entitled “The Man Trap” was shown on NBC on September 8, 1966. The last episode, entitled “Turnabout Intruder”, was aired on June 3, 1969.

The first Space Shuttle Orbiter built by NASA was originally designated as the Constitution. After a letter-writing campaign by Star Trek fans, then-president Gerald Ford directed NASA to rename the orbiter Enterprise.

The Enterprise was used for glider testing, and did not have engines or heat shielding installed. It was originally intended that the orbiter would be refit for spaceflight, but this was never done, and Enterprise did not ever fly in space. It was on exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center from 2003 until 2012, when it was moved to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Sir William Samuel Stephenson was a spy during WWII. That much seems clear, but many other things are not.

He was a friend of Churchill’s; or maybe not.

His code name was “Intrepid”; or maybe not.

He was awarded the French Croix de guerre for his exploits as a flying ace in WWI; or maybe not.

He had a liaison role between FDR and Churchill; or maybe not.

He instructed Ian Fleming at Camp X, a school for spies in Canada during WWII; or maybe not.

Perhaps all that uncertainty is an indication of a very good spy indeed, who kept things secret and uncertain.

We do know, however, what Fleming thought of him:

Winston Churchill was responsible for the creation of Jordan and its border with Iraq.

The expression “crossing the Jordan” (or “crossing the River Jordan”) represents a transition to a new (and, typically, better) place or phase of life, and is sometimes used as a euphamism for death.

The term’s origin is from the Biblical book of Joshua, in which the Israelites concluded their journey to the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan River.

The French, with their passion for linguistic precision, have two different words for “River”.

“Rivière” means a river which flows into another river or a lake.

“Fleuve” means a river which flows into the ocean.

Thus the Rivière Richelieu in Quebec flows into the Fleuve St-Laurent, which flows into the Atlantic.

Roger Rivière was a French track and road bicycle racer. Rivière, a three-time world pursuit champion on the track, lost his career to injury. He was considered to have an excellent chance of winning the 1960 Tour de France but crashed on the Col de Perjuret descent of Mont Aigoual in the Massif Central while following leader Gastone Nencini. Rivière hit a guard-block on the edge of the road, falling 20 meters into a ravine. He landed in brush, breaking two vertebrae. He never regained full use of his limbs and lived the rest of his life in a wheelchair, considered an 80 percent invalid.

The American Eagle Squadron was led by bumbling hero Roger Ramjet. He would take a proton energy pill (PEP pill) to briefly attain the “strength of twenty atom bombs”. His aides Yank, Doodle, Dan and Dee helped saved the world from nefarious criminals like Noodles Romanoff and Henry Cabbage Patch.

This cartoon, running from 1965 to 1969, was one of several where popping dubious pharmaceuticals resulted in super powers. (q.v. Underdog). What message this was meant to send to the impressionable viewers is unclear, but it was the 60s. Moral and patriotic, he’s our man. Protector of the nation. Good thing the PEP pills never fell into the wrong hands.

Gary Owens, the baritone-voiced announcer on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, was also a radio disc jockey and voice actor. In the 1960s and 1970s, Owens voiced the cartoon characters Roger Ramjet, Space Ghost, and Blue Falcon, as well as serving as the announcer in the cartoon The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.

In British Celtic folklore, the rowan tree (mountain ash) was considered a protector from witchcraft and spells. It was (and still is) common to see a rowan tree planted near a house in the Highlands. Crosses made from rowan wood twigs, not having been cut with a knife, were considered a protective amulet.

Over the course of a long career, Hugh Laurie has played, among other things, an empty-headed young aristocrat (Jeeves and Wooster), a loving dad (Stuart Little), an acerbic doctor (House), and the British Minister of Justice (Roadkill).

Dammit, ninja’ed again!