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

In presidential elections, Alaska is now a reliably Republican state, while New Jersey is a reliably Democratic state. A Democrat last carried Alaska in 1964, when incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson was overwhelmingly elected; a Republican last carried New Jersey in 1988, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was elected.

William Makepeace Thackeray was, in his words, “at the top of the tree” of literary fame in his lifetime, on a level with Charles Dickens, but now his work, except for Vanity Fair, is little read. His novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon was adapted for film by Stanley Kubrick in 1975; Barry Lyndon was not a box office success, but its reputation has grown, and some now regard it as one of Kubrick’s greatest achievements.

In The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare writes,

“I cannot tell what the dickens his name is that my husband had him of. What do you call your knight’s name, sirrah?”

Also, ‘the dickens’ is a saying that means ‘a lot’, like, “This hurts like the dickens!” This usage is not connected with Charles Dickens. It is a minced oath, a euphemism, for the word ‘devil’. It possibly came from ‘devilkins’.

A minced oath is a euphemistic expression formed by deliberately misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane or taboo word to reduce the original term’s objectionable characteristics. One example is ‘beyotch’, for bitch.

The great English playwright and poet William Shakespeare has been played by such actors as Kenneth Branagh (All Is True), Rafe Spall (Anonymous), Mathew Baynton (Bill), Rupert Graves (A Waste of Shame), John Williams (The Twilight Zone, opposite Burt Reynolds, of all people!) and Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), among others.

The original television series known as The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS in 1959 and ran for five seasons through 1964. Shot entirely in black-and-white, episodes in the first three seasons were 30 minutes long. Season four featured hour-long episodes, and the episodes in the fifth season were back to the half-hour format. There were a total of 156 episodes in the original five-year run. The series was produced by Cayuga Productions, Inc., a production company owned and named by Rod Serling.

Before he created and hosted The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling was often frustrated by corporate sponsor interference with his scripts. His line “Got a match?” in Requiem for a Heavyweight was removed at the insistence of Ronson Lighters, and a reference to the Chrysler Building was struck from another script for a show sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.

The Twilight Zone has been revived numerous times:

  • A 1983 movie, featuring Burgess Meredith as the narrator
  • A 1985 television series, with Charles Aidman and Robin Ward as narrators
  • A 1994 made-for-TV movie, with James Earl Jones as narrator
  • A 2002 television series, with Forrest Whitaker as narrator
  • A 2002 radio series, with Stacey Keach as narrator
  • A 2019 television series, with Jordan Peele as narrator

The term ‘twilight zone’ has been around since the early 1900s, where the phrase was used to describe a distinct condition between fantasy and reality.

The phrase then evolved into a term used to define the lowest level of the ocean that light can reach, and then as an aeronautical term used by the U.S. Air Force relating to a moment when a plane is coming down on approach but its pilot cannot see the horizon. It is suspected that it was in this form that Serling first became aware of the term, as his brother (Robert Serling, author of “The President’s Plane is Missing”, among other aviation-themed works) had worked as an aviation editor for United Press International and Serling himself had been a paratrooper in World War II.

-“BB”-

The Phantom Zone was a place of limbo where Kryptonians sent their criminals. Mon-El was put in there when Superboy discovered that lead affected him like kryptonite, where he stayed until Brainiac 5 found a cure 1000 years later.

Adopted by the United States Marine Corps in the early 1960s, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom, with a total of 5,195 built during its production run from 1958 to 1981, became the the most produced American supersonic military aircraft in history. It is still currently in limited service. Japan just retired the aircraft this year (2021). By the 1980s in the United States, it was being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the US Air Force, the F-14 Tomcat in the US Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the US Navy and US Marine Corps. By 1996 it had been fully retired in the US from combat service.

The USAF Thunderbirds and the USN Blue Angels both flew the Phantom from 1969 until 1974.

For the Thunderbirds, the Phantom replaced the North American F-100D Super Sabre, and then was itself replaced by the Northrop T-38 Talon.

For the Blue Angels, the Phantom replaced the Grumman F-11 Tiger, and then was itself replaced by the Douglas A-4F Skyhawk.

Two McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms, in the livery of the Navy Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds, are displayed near the entrance to Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio: Burke Lakefront Airport | Cleveland, Ohio USA Thunderbirds a… | Flickr

In 1997, the United States Postal Service issued a set of ‘Classic Movie Monster’ stamps. There were five of these stamps: Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, Lon Chaney, Jr. as The Wolfman, and Boris Karloff as The Mummy.

George Washington, commanding general of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention and first President of the United States, has appeared on more U.S. Postal Service stamps than any other person. In 1847, he and Benjamin Franklin appeared on the first two U.S. postage stamps ever issued.

According to the USPS, “The first stamp honoring an American woman was the eight-cent Martha Washington stamp of 1902. The first to honor a Hispanic American was the one-dollar Admiral David Farragut stamp in 1903. Native Americans were portrayed in a general way on several earlier stamps, but the first to feature a specific individual was 1907’s five-cent stamp honoring Pocahontas. In 1940, a ten-cent stamp commemorating Booker T. Washington became the first to honor an African American.”

The Great Seal of the Confederate States of America featured George Washington on horseback.

The historian Edmund S. Morgan wrote that George Washington “was outraged by the very idea of rebellion against a republican government…in the years that followed the winning of independence, as the power of Congress continued to wane, his great worry had been that the failure of the states to support the union would ‘destroy our national character, and render us as contemptible in the eyes of Europe as we have it in our power to be respectable.’”

After the Revolution, Washington told an English friend, “I clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.” He said that if the South were ever to try to divide the nation over the issue of slavery, he would “move and be of the northern” part.

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Ted Morgan was born Count Sanche de Gramont, to a noble family whose name is connected to the castle of Gramont in Navarre. His father, Gabriel Antoine Armand, Comte de Gramont, was a hero of the French Resistance.

Morgan became an American citizen in 1977, renouncing his titles of nobility. The name he adopted as a U.S. citizen, “Ted Morgan”, is an anagram of “de Gramont”, and a conscious attempt to discard his aristocratic French past. He wanted a “name that conformed with the language and cultural norms of American society, a name that telephone operators and desk clerks could hear without flinching”, and felt that the name denoted friendliness and trust, someone who dogs and children would like.

Anagrams of his birth name that he rejected were O.D. Garment, Tom Danger, Rod Magnet, and R.D. Megaton.

The 1996 film The Birdcage, an adaptation of the French-Italian film La Cage aux Folles, was originally slated to star Steve Martin as Armand, the gay nightclub owner, and Robin Williams as Albert, his drag-queen partner. However, Martin had to bow out of the project due to another committment, and Williams (who had recently appeared in drag in Mrs. Doubtfire) decided he preferred the part of Armand, which led to Nathan Lane being cast as Albert.

The Lane Motor Museum is located in Nashville, Tennessee and features a collection of mostly European automobiles. The collection currently includes art, memorabilia and over 500 vehicles, with 150 cars displayed on any given day. The museum features European cars of unusual design, propeller-driven vehicles, microcars, three-wheeled cars, amphibious vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, military vehicles, competition cars, one-off vehicles, prototypes — and 23 Tatras (a company in Czechoslovakia that has been in operation since 1897).

The G-7 group of companies is composed of four European countries, two North American countries, and one Asian country. In 2019 they held an estimated 31.7% of the world GDP./ That is projected to drop to 28% in 2025.

According to World Population Review, the total world GDP is almost 92 trillion dollars. The US leads with a GDP of 20.49 trillion dollars, while China is second with a GDP of 13.4 trillion dollars. Japan is third, followed by Germany, United Kingdom, and France. India, Italy, Brazil, and Canada make up the rest of the top 10.