Blog Archives

The Heart of Dixie, Alabama – A Quiz

1. The famous Iron Bowl, first held in 1893, is between which two renowned college football teams?

2. What polluted steel town had the nickname Pittsburgh of the South?

3. Cloudmont, an Alabama ski resort, seems too far south for snow. Why is there snow there so often?

4. What city is considered the birthplace of the U.S. space program?

5. What port city has a Mardi Gras second only to the one in New Orleans?

6. What pioneering country music star has a memorial in Montgomery? (Hint: cheatin’ heart)

7. Talladega has a hall of fame for what sport?

8. In what noted college town could you drive on Paul W. Bryant Drive?

9. Tuskegee University is connected with which noted black scientist?

10. How did the town of Haleyville react when the state seceded from the Union in 1861?


1. Alabama and Auburn
2. Birmingham
3. The Cloudmont snow is manufactured
4. Huntsville, home of NASA’s Space Flight Center and home to rocket scientist Wernher von Braun
5. Mobile
6. Hank Williams
7. Auto racing
8. Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama
9. George Washington Carver
10. The citizens voted to secede from the state


Painters, Sculptors and Other Artsy Types

!. What painter known for Christina’s World and the Helga paintings died in 2009?

2. Thomas Kinkade, who has been dubbed “America’s most-collected living artist,” is known as the “Painter of” what?

3. James Whistler’s 1872 painting Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1 is better known my what name?

4. What great painter of Americana gained fame for his Saturday Evening Post covers?

5. What noted painter had to go to England to get his Birds of America published?

6. America’s largest art museum, with more that 3 million objects, is what Manhattan landmark?

7. Grant Wood’s famous painting American Gothic shows a farm couple, with the man holding a pitchfork. What relation are the man and woman?

8. The “Gibson girl” made famous by artist Charles Dana Gibson, was what woman?

9. California’s most famous cemetery has several large reproductions of famous religious paintings. What is the cemetery?

10. What redheaded comic is also famous for his paintings of clowns?

11. Florida’s Ringling Museum of Art was financed with money from what type of entertainment?

12. What president’s much visited statue in D.C. was sculpted by Daniel Chester French?

13. If you wanted to see the largest collection of Rembrandt paintings in America, where would you go?

14. Fulton, Missouri, has a thirty-two-foot sculpture titled Breakthrough. What Cold War relic does it commemorate?

15. If you wanted to see a lot of paintings of dogs, what midwestern city would you visit?

16. What noted Missouri artist’s home can be visited in Kansas City?

17. Sculptor Korzack Ziolkowski began work on the world’s largest statue, a memorial to Sioux chief Crazy Horse. In what state?

18. What great artist is known for his more than one hundred portraits of George Washington?

19. Many limners from the colonial era are known only be the names of the families who paid them. What were they?

20. The Wars of America, a forty-two-figure bronze sculpture in Newark, New Jersey, was sculpted by Gutzon Borglun. What huge outdoor sculpture is he more famous for?

21. What great French sculptor’s works are featured in a Philadelphia museum? (Hint: thinker)

22. What famous woman started painting because her fingers had become too stiff for embroidering?


1. Andrew Wyeth
2. Light
3. “Whistler’s Mother”
4. Norman Rockwell
5. John James Audubon
6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
7. Father and daughter, according to the artist
8. Gibson’ wife
9. Forest Lawn, in Glendale
10. Red Skelton, who died in 1997
11. The circus
12. Lincoln’s, inside the Lincoln Memorial
13. The National Gallery of Art in D.C.
14. The Berlin Wall, which still existed when the sculpture was done
15. St. Louis; it’s Museum of the Dog is a center for dog-related art
16. Thomas Hart Benton
17. South Dakota; the statue was carved from the granite of Thunderhead Mountain.
18. Gilbert Stuart
19. Portrait painters
20. Mount Rushmore, the four presidents
21. Rodin, famous for The Thinker
22. Grandma Moses

Remembrance of Things Past

1. The Sons of Liberty protested the tax on tea with an action that later became known as the what?

2. Who was president of the United States during the Great Depression and most of World War II?

3. What civil-rights figure refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man?

4. The Treaty of Panmunjon ended what conflict?

5. Columbus knew the Earth was round, and thought he could sail in what direction from Europe to reach Asia?

6. Ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt traded across what sea?

7. What explorer, trying to find the Fountain of Youth, ended up giving Spain claim to Florida by exploring St. Augustine?

8. What international organization was the first to win the Nobel Peace Prize twice?

9. Greece was known as the birthplace as what form of government?

10. A runaway slave was killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre. What was his name?

11. He was born in Greece, and was founder as well as the first president of Republic of Turkey. Who was he?

12. Where did General Robert E. Lee surrender to General Grant to effectively end the Civil War?


1. Boston Tea Party
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
3. Rosa Parks
4. The Korean War
5. West
6. The Mediterranean Sea
7. Ponce de Leon
8. The Red Cross
9. Democracy
10. Crispus Attucks
11. Kemal Ataturk
12. Appomattox Courthouse

The Usual Suspects – A Quiz

1. Angela Lansbury played Laurence Harvey’s politically ambitious- and murderous-mother in what 1962 thriller?

2. What wisecracking criminal, nicknamed Gotham City’s “clown prince,’ taunted the authorities by leaving playing cards at the scene of his crimes?

3. What black-clad woman sought revenge on her sister’s accidental death by threatening that she “could cause accidents too”?

4. What criminal mastermind enjoyed having old friends for dinner-especially “with fava beans and a nice Chianti”?

5. What rogue scientist and self-described Prometheus is obsessed with annihilating his high-flying nemesis, obliterating Metropolis, and ruling the planet?

6. Who’s the two-toned, fur-loving, evil diva who is so cruel that her country home is nicknamed “Hell Hall”?

7. What brilliant professor and mathematician, known as the Napoleon of Crime, hides an air rifle in his cane?

8. What Asian villain with “a face like Satan”, created by British author Sax Rohmer, was the inspiration for James Bond’s nemesis, Dr. No?

9. What is the name of the squat, toadlike woman whose interests in the dark arts include taking sadistic pleasure in terrorizing her students?

10. What 1988 action film features Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, a techno-terrorist who plots to steal bank bonds from the vault of a skyscraper?


1. The Manchurian Candidate
2. The Joker (Batman)
3. The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
4. Hannibal Lector (The Silence of the Lambs)
5. Lex Luthor (Superman)
6. Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations)
7. Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes)
8. Dr. Fu Manchu
9. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter)
10. Die Hard

Culture Vultures – A Quiz

Art, Ballet, Classical Music

1. Where would you go to see Michelangelo the Pietà ?

2. The works of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms belong to what musical genre?

3. What Dadaist artist submitted an actual urinal, titled Fountain, to an art exhibit in 1917?

4. In what city is the Museo del Prado located?

5. What author of Dover Beach wrote that having culture means to “know the best that has been said and thought in the world”?

6. The Thinker is one of the most recognized sculptures in the world. Who was the sculptor?

7. What French artist is well known for his paintings of ballet dancers?

8. “Jaunty John joked about the jolly jack-o’-lantern.” Is that an example of assonance, alliteration, or onomatopoeia?

9. Who wrote The Rape of Lucrece?

10. Jacques Derrida founded (and coined the term for) what process in literary criticism and philosophy?

11. The Temple of Athena on the Acropolis of Athens is better known by what name?

12. Grand jeté is a part of what art form?


1. St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City)
2. Classical music
3. Marcel Duchamp
4. Madrid
5. Matthew Arnold
6. Auguste Rodin
7. Edgar Degas
8. Alliteration
9. William Shakespeare
10. Deconstruction
11. The Parthenon
12. Classical ballet


Made in America – A Quiz

The original American Inventors

1. The inventor of this classic weapon of the American West got his first big order from the U.S. War Department. What did he invent?

2. What founding father invented, among other things, bifocals, an iron furnace stove, and an odometer to measure the length of mail routes?

3. Philo T. Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin are the two men most often credited with inventing what “tube”ular device?

4. Before it became the generic term for women’s stockings, nylon was first used commercially in toothbrush bristles. What company developed it in 1938?

5. In the 1950s, admiral and engineer Hyman O. Rickover was the first to use this vessel, which the United States now has many of.

6. Mary Anderson of Alabama wanted to improve drivers’ vision during stormy weather, so she invented and patented what?

7. Willis Haviland Carrier invented this chilly “Apparatus for Treating Air” in 1902. What do we call it today?

8. Which came first – dry cleaning or blue jeans?

9. Walter Hunt perfected this handy item in 1849 and sold it for $400. People who plan for emergencies – like a broken shoulder strap at a prom – carry one. What is it?

10. The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built in 1884-85 by Major William Le Baron Jenney, was the first modern what?

11. In 1960, using a manmade ruby, physicist Theodore H. Maiman created the first working one of these items. What did he invent?


1. Samuel Colt developed the Colt revolver, or “six-shooter”
2. Benjamin Franklin
3. The television
4. DuPont
5. Nuclear submarine
6. Windshield Wipers
7. Air conditioner
8. Dry cleaning. It was invented (accidentally) in 1855. Blue jeans were patented in 1873.
9. The safety pin
10. Skyscraper; the building was 10 stories tall.
11. The laser

“X” Marks the Spot

Can you indentify these objects that all end in the letter X?

1. When a story builds to a suspenseful point and then has a trivial or disappointing ending, it’s said to have this kind of ending.

2. Who was Paul Bunyon’s bovine companion?

3. Who was the star of TV’s Sanford and Son?

4. In Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories, the three main characters are Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear, and …who?

5. What’s a ten-letter word for somebody who talks a lot, especially about unimportant things?

6. What is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands?

7. It’s made by flying insects, used to make candles, and is part of the saying “Mind your own…” what?

8. What ten-letter word means unconventionial, independent, or breaking with tradition?

9. What’s the medical term for the end of the spinal column, commonly called the tailbone?

10. In Greek mythology, they are the twin sons of Leda, and the twins in the Gemini constellation. Who are they?


1. An anticlimax
2. Babe the Blue ox
3. Redd Foxx
4. Brer Fox
5. Chatterbox
6. Saint Croix
7. Beeswax
8. Unorthodox
9. Coccyx
10. Castor and Pollux

Chocolate-Covered Quiz

!. The scientific name for the cacao (cocoa) tree is Theobroma cacao. That’s fitting because Theobroma is Latin for what?

2. About 1500 BC, in the rain forests of Central America, which clever folks started making drinks from cacao beans?

3. What conquistador loaded up his ships with New World cacao beans and sailed home to turn the Spanish into chocaholics?

4. Chocolate syrup is the fake blood flowing through the famous shower scene in what Hitchcock film?

5. Whose mother taught his that “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”?

6. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that are known to protect the health of what bodily organ?

7. Chocolate also contains the alkaloid theobromine, which makes the treat poisonous for what important family member?

8. Wanting to whip up something special for patrons of her Massachusetts restaurant, Ruth Wakefield cut a semisweet chocolate bar into her cookie dough and invented what in the 1930s? (Bonus: Name the restaurant.)

9. What is the only U.S. state that grows cacao trees to make chocolate?

10. At 24 pounds per person annually, which country’s citizens chow down the most chocolate?


1. Food of the gods
2. The Olmecs
3. Hernán Cortés
4. Psycho
5. Forest Gump
6. The heart
7. The dog
8. Chocolate-chip cookies; the restaurant was the Toll House Inn.
9. Hawaii
10. Switzerland

We Didn’t Have That (When I Was Your Age) – A Quiz about Inventions

1. Introduced in 1953, what speedy Chevrolet was probably named after a class of small, fast, and powerful warships?

2. Originally created as wallpaper cleaner in 1956, what substance was reintroduced as a creative red, white, or blue children’s toy in 24-ounce cans?

3. First installed in 1969 outside a Chemical Bank in New York, what invention (primarily known by its initials) was found in more than 160,000 locations by 1997?

4. What type of television introduced in 1954 cost $995, the same price tag as a car?

5. In 1951, 200 people paid $3 a year for the privilege of having what kind of paper (plastic came later) in their wallet?

6. What typist aid did Monkee Michael Nesmith’s mother create in 1951 and sell to the Gillette Corporation for $47.5 million in 1979?

7. What did Bill Richards, the owner of a California surf shop, sell in 1958 as a pastime for surfers when the surf was flat?

8. The Oldsmobile Toronado was the first car to offer what safety feature in 1974?

9. In 1951, people started complaining about tripping over the cord of this device, named “Lazy Bones,” invented by Zenith in 1950.

10. What popular pastime, invented by Willy Higinbotham in 1958, required relatively quick reflexes and an oscilloscope?


1. Corvette
2. PlayDoh
3. Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
4. Color TV
5. Credit Card
6. Liquid Paper
7. Skateboard
8. Air bag
9. TV remote control
10. Video games


Surrealism was an artistic movement of the early twentieth century that sought to translate the mysterious workings of the subconscious mind into bizarre, fantastical works of art and literature.

André Breton

Althought the Spanish painter Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was the best-known face of surrealism, the movement spanned many different genres and had a marked impact of twentieth-century art.

The surrealist movement’s de facto leader was a French psychoanalyst named André Breton (1896-1966). Breton was deeply influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and began to experiment with techniques for tapping into the subconscious mind.

The first technique he tried was automatic writing – an effort to directly record the thoughts of the subconscious. To do so, surrealist practitioners had to ignore the normal requirements of “good” writing, including narrative structure and any standard of beauty.

When Breton published the first Surrealist Manifesto in 1924, he defined surrealism as the attempt to transcribe thought “in the absence of all control exercised by the reason.”

René Magritte

In the years that followed, the movement gained prominence. What began as a group that occasionally met in Parisian cafés became an international movement that ranged from literature to film. Major figures included the Italian Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), the Belgian René Magritte (1898-1967), and the Spanish painters Joan Miró (1893-1983) and Dali. The French writer Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) used surrealist techniques to revolutionize the theater. And the Spanish director Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) brought surrealism to the cinema.

Luis Buñuel

Though Buñuel was a somewhat obscure figure, he may have been the most influential. Surrealism has dwindled as an artistic and literary movement, but – from the twists in The Twilight Zone to the dreams in Dumbo – it has never faded from the screen.

In the 1930s, the surrealist movement was divided by politics.Breton and others left or were expelled from the Communist Party, while some of their colleagues remained loyal to Moscow.