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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

A thousand million questions by Sam M. '07

An evening with Gaelic quesadillas and Farrokh Bulsara.

Today while running westward at sunset, I was nearly blinded by the huge, angry sun. Boston sunsets are always brilliantly red and beautiful, probably because of the massive quantities of air pollution from the city. Anyway, I wondered if I could somehow jog fast enough that the sunset would be on the other side of me, but then I realized that in order to that I’d have to run faster than the rotation of the earth. I spent the rest of the jog estimating that in miles-per-hour and minutes-per-mile.

Hours later, my floor headed down to the Asgard Irish Pub and Restaurant for Tuesday trivia night. The pub serves such Irish delicacies as shepherd’s pie, bangers n’ mash, Emerald Isle nachos, Galway hot wings, and, of course, those great Gaelic quesadillas. Here are five of the most noteworthy questions from the trivia competition:

1. What famous general-turned-president coined the term “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address?
2. What now-deceased rock singer’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara? He was famous for holding up a microphone stand without the bottom part.
3. What two countries’ flags are square?
4. New Jersey and Oregon are the only states where it is illegal to do what at a gas station?
5. What famous 1972 song has the lyric “do, d-do, d-do, do d-do?”

We were joined in our efforts by Professor Merritt Roe Smith and his wife. He’s the housemaster for Burton-Conner, a scholar of the history of technology, and a regular at the Asgard. After Professor Smith quickly answered the first question above, I joked that “he wrote the book” on the subject, since we had discussed it in STS.001, a class that he designed three decades ago. He replied, with a laugh, “I actually told him to put that in the speech! I said, ‘hey, that’s a good term for what’s going on in this country.'”

I’m still not sure if he was kidding or not.

Scroll down slightly for the answers.

1. Dwight Eisenhower
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Switzerland and Vatican City
4. Pump your own gas
5. “Walk On The Wild Side” by Lou Reed

Despite correct answers to four of the above questions (though we totally guessed on number 3), we still only managed a fourth-place finish. Nevertheless, the night was redeemed for me by the appearance of celebrity chef/secret crush Alton Brown in the picture identification round. Overall, a great way to spend my last official night of summer–tomorrow, find out what exciting classes I’m taking… at the same time I do!

Do you still believe that I do things even when there aren’t pictures?

Shout out from BC Desk to Clifton on his eighteenth birthday.

3 responses to “A thousand million questions”

  1. Jessie says:

    Without looking at the answers:

    1. Dwight Eisenhower

    2. Freddie Mercury (my little sis is a Queen fangirl)

    3. Switzerland and…probably Vatican City

    4. No idea

    5. Not very illustrative lyrics – can’t place them without a tune.

  2. Ruth says:

    To be fair, the person reading the questions didn’t really known the tune to number 5 either. All the lyrics were “da da”s or “do be da do bop do bo da zow!”.

  3. Ben says:

    Sam, your tagline needs to go the way of Mitra’s fish!