Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jon's Jeopardy Journal

Jeopardy Round: (green means I got it right, red means I didn't)

Musical Instruments

Fictional TV Cities

Get Into the Ring

"I" Doctor

Toys & Games

In God We Trust
In 2004, the Stratocaster, one of these, turned 50.

What is an electric guitar?
Cicely, Alaska.

What is Northern Exposure?
In 1954 Tolkien followed up The Hobbit with this novel, the first part of a trilogy.

What is the Fellowship of the Ring?
The pancreas secretes this hormone in response to high levels of blood sugar.

What is insulin? 
In 2000, Fortune magazine named this toy of plastic "automatic binding blocks" the toy of the past century.

What is Legos? (I hesitated too long). 
It follows "America" in the name of an airline that went into the sunset in 2005. 

What is West?
Licorice stick is a slang term for this woodwind instrument?

What is an oboe? (clarinet)
Sunnydale, California

What is Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
And it burns, burns, burns, this three word zone of the Pacific Ocean highlighted here (map displayed).

What is the Asia-Pacific Rim? (ring of fire)
This pigmented circular muscle surrounds the pupil of the eye.

What is the iris?
These Massachusetts siblings began their empire in the 1880s with a game called banking.

What is Hasbro? (Parker Brothers)
You can't help but love Shrek even though he's a big, green one of these monsters.  What is an ogre?
A pedal mechanism allows this large orchestral drum to be tuned to different pitches.

What is a tympany? (or kettle drum).
Metropolis, Kansas

What is Smallville?
This newspaperman established his fame with 1916's "You know me, Al"; his "Jr." son was also a writer of note? 

Who is Ring Lardner? (no clue)
In the late 1950, the Asian type of this virus caused 70,000 deaths in the U.S.; the Hong Kong strain struk in the '60s.

What is influenza?
These cute, cuddly plush toys were introduced in 2005 along with a code allowing kids to access an online community.

What are webkins? (I had no clue). 

 It's the word you normally see on this traffic sign?

What is one-way? (detour)
It wasn't until the '60s that we really became familiar with this instrument heard here.

What is a sitar?
Dillon, Texas

What is Friday Night Lights?
Slip into the bikini this, the ring shaped geographic feature shown here (picture displayed).

What is an atol?
Daily Double

Robert Edwards won a 2010 Nobel Prize for developing this, which led to the birth of Louise Brown in1978.

What is a test tube baby? (invitro fertilization - not sure whether I would have been awarded this one by the judges). 
This toy train was created in 1901 as an animated ad for a toy store window display.

What is a Lionel train? (no one go this)
Several members of the Dandolo family held this Venetian job.

What is a gondolier? (douge? couldn't hear Tom's answer and Alex didn't repeat it).
Jascha Heifetz taught a master class on this instrument at USC.

What is a violin? (no one buzzed in on this one).
New New York, New York

What is Futurama? (one contestant buzzed in with Dr. Who)*
This poet finished "The Ring and the Book", a story of a Roman murder case of the 1600s, 28 years after "Pippa Passes"

Who is Robert Browning? (no one got this or even buzzed in on it).
This superficial skin infection is caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria?

What is acne?  (impetigo)
In 1938 William Gruber developed this 3-D viewer; it took off after he got the rights to use Disney characters?

What is a Viewmaster?
John Hancock was a sufferer of this chronic disease that causses painful swelling of the joints?

What is gout?

I really sucked that round!

* At the beginning of the second round, Alex informed Kara that her "Dr Who" answer was correct and credited her $2,000. 

Double Jeopardy Round:

Strange History Movies with the Same Name Wasn't that an '80s Thing? Ordinal Phrases Kid in Play The "KO" Corral
When this Russian empress learned she had dandruff, she locked up her hairdresser so he couldn't tell.  Who is Catherine the Great?
A man ... a woman in distress ... ladder climbing ... a giant ape ... this video game that debuted in 1981 had it all!  What is Donkey Kong? "Tithe" comes from the Old English meaning this fraction.  What is a tenth? Leapin' Lizards! Andrea McArdle and Sarah Jessica Parker have both played this title orphan.  Who is Annie? (I hesitated too long again). A competition in which culinary specialties are prepared.  What is cookoff?
One reason this fascist Italian dictator adopted the Roman salute may have been a fear of shaking hands.  Who is Mussolini?
The wayfarers style of this brand of sunglasses was an 80s fave (picture shown - looked like the ones Cruise wore in Risky Business).  What is Ray-Ban? The advent of Christ on Judgment Day is also called this 2-word phrase.  What is the Second Coming? Katherine Leigh Doherty & Matthew Gumley played Jane & Michael Banks when this title woman flew onto broadway in 2006.  Who is Mary Poppins? In 1889 this territory was divided into 2 states; so Sioux me!  What is Dakota Territory?
This "Rock" of a general was an unpopular teacher at VMI before the Civil War and was often target of pranks.  Who was Ulysses Grant? (Stonewall Jackson)
He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1982 & 1986 & then it was on to the Presidency! Well, not quite.  Who is Michael Dukakis? Daily Double ~ As 4 of his units moved on Madrid, a Spanish civil war general coined this term to describe the extra support inside the capital.  What is the Fifth Column? Wednesday has Mondays off in this 2010 Broadway show, along with Pugsley, played by Adam Reigler.  What is the Adams Family? A tree of the walnut family, or slang for a baseball bat.  What is hickory?
This electricity pioneer & coil inventor lived as a virtual recluse & was obsessed with raising pigeons.  Who was Tesla? 2004: Matt Dillon; 2006: Jessica Simpson (there are 12 a year at some businesses)  What is Employee of the Month? This stainless-steel car with gull-wing doors debuted in 1981; fewer than 10,000 were made.  What is a Delorian? In Judiasm, Arabot, a place where righteousness & justice are found, is also called this, just like a Jessica Biel TV show.  What is Seventh Heaven? Daily Double ~ In 1983 Roshi Handwerger was 10-year-old Patrick Dennis & Angela Lansbury, this title woman.  Who is Mame? Electronic guidance has phased out navigation by compass & clock, this morbid-sounding art.  What is dead reckoning? (no one buzzed in on this one). 
In 1778 this man, the elder, suffered a fatal collapse minutes after speaking against colonial independence.  Who was William Pitt? 1946: Ingrid Bergman; 2009: Jamal Woolard (Not saying which but one is about rap music).  What is House of a Thousand Pleasures? (Notorious) The piece seen here (iconic primitive drawing) by this pop artist who started out graffiting New York City subways in 1981.  Who is Heath Aaron?  (at least that's what I think she said) Though the 1954 Geneva Accords boundary included the Ben Hi river, it was name for this northern parallel of lattitude.  What is the 39th Parallel? (17th) In 1991 11-year-old Daisy Eagan became the youngest female tony winner for "The Secret" this. What is Garden? This blue-gray & white-bellied shark can weight 1,000 pounds.  What is a Mako shark?

Ran out of time and couldn't finish the second category. 

Final Jeopardy Category: Sports Awards

Clue:  In the 4 major U.S. sports leagues, he's won more regular season MVP awards than any other player. 

Question:  Who is Wayne Gretzky?  (he won nine) 

I was undecided but thought of Gretzky, just didn't commit to it in time.  I don't watch sports so I could only WAG. 

Tough clues today.  Better luck tomorrow, I hope. 

FBCS 2011 Upcoming Reads Montage

February is just four days away.

On the first, we start reading Feist's the Riftwar Saga series with Magician: Apprentice.

On the fifteenth, we will start reading Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series with Gardens of the Moon.

Both of these series will keep us occupied, discussing and debating for the rest of 2011. Come join in the fun. Don't feel pressured to read and/or discuss both series ... unless you desire to.

Fantasy Book Club Series's to-read book montage for 2011

Fantasy Book Club Series 200 members

Can't resist the lure of an epic saga full of fantastic creatures, scintillating sorcery, heroic...

Books we plan to read

Magician: Apprentice Gardens of the Moon Magician: Master
Deadhouse Gates Silverthorn Memories of Ice
A Darkness at Sethanon House of Chains Daughter of the Empire
Midnight Tides Servant of the Empire The Bonehunters
Mistress of the Empire Reaper's Gale Prince of the Blood
Toll the Hounds The King's Buccaneer Dust of Dreams
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FBCS Run-Off Poll: Riftwar v. Malazan

Fantasy Book Club Series's read book montage

Fantasy Book Club Series 193 members

Can't resist the lure of a soaring epic saga full of fantastic creatures, scintillating sorcery,...

Books we've read

Stormed FortressStormed Fortress
by Janny Wurts
Start date: December 1, 2010

Traitor's KnotTraitor's Knot
by Janny Wurts
Start date: November 1, 2010

Peril's GatePeril's Gate
by Janny Wurts
Start date: October 1, 2010

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by Jemison

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy, #1)The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I flew through this book, faster than I thought I would. Perhaps it was the font size and white spacing; perhaps it was the compelling story. Told in the first person by a backwoods 'barbaric' young woman called to the very center of the world, unbelievably as the heir, who just happens to be her grandfather. Completely out of her element, but not without heart, courage and brains, Yeine proves equal to the challenges of brutal court politics.

I can't say I enjoyed this story, but I can appreciate the ingenuity of the writing. I did not need the reminder that humans, weak, broken, fallen humans, can stoop to such depths of depravity and but one young woman opens her eyes and sees the truth and has the courage to do what should have been done centuries ago.

I may change my rating from three to four stars, because as a debut novel it excelled. I will continue to ponder it's impact on my reading soul and update this review after a few days.

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The Beyond Reality group at GoodReads is currently reading this novel to discuss next month.

Beyond Reality's to-read book montage

Beyond Reality 507 members

Welcome to the Beyond Reality SF&F discussion group on GoodReads. In Beyond Reality, each of our me...

Books we plan to read

The Hundred Thousand KingdomsThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
by N.K. Jemisin
Start date: February 1, 2011

The Player of GamesThe Player of Games
by Iain M. Banks
Start date: February 1, 2011
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fantasy Book Club Series (GoodReads) Selecting the Next Series for Group Read

Polls open until midnight Saturday night (15 January 2011).

Fantasy Book Club Series's bookshelf: read

Fantasy Book Club Series 190 members

Can't resist the lure of a soaring epic saga full of fantastic creatures, scintillating sorcery,...

Books we've read

Stormed Fortress
Stormed Fortress
by Janny Wurts
Start date: December 1, 2010
Traitor's Knot
Traitor's Knot
by Janny Wurts
Start date: November 1, 2010
Peril's Gate
Peril's Gate
by Janny Wurts
Start date: October 1, 2010
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Members are Selecting the Next Series for Group Read

A dozen fantasy series were nominated, including Black Jewell by Anne Bishop; Corean Chronicles by L.E. Modesitt Jr.; Deverry by Katharine Kerr; Tales of the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee; Fortress by C.J. Cherryh; Inda by Sherwood Smith; Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist; Malazon Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson; Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock; Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan; Saga of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.; and Windrose Chronicles by Barbara Hambly

Results of the poll will automatically be visible after midnight on Saturday 15 January 2011.

FBCS Nominations Average Ratings (from GoodReads)
Series Author Number Published All Avg Ratings Total Avg Rating for Series
Black Jewels Bishop, Anne 9 36.89 4.10
Corean Chronic
Modesitt, L.E., Jr. 7 26.69 3.81
Deverry Kerr, Katherine 15 55.92 3.73
Flat Earth Lee, Tanith 5 21.01 4.20
Fortress Cherryh, C.J. 5 18.69 3.74
Inda Smith, Sherwood 4 16.28 4.07
Riftwar Saga Fesit, Raymond E. 4 16.27 4.07
Malazan Book of the
Erikson, Steven 9 38.48 4.28
Mythago Wood Holdstock, Robert 5 19.27 3.85
Riyria Revelations Sullivan, Michael J. 5 20.35 4.07
Saga of Recluce Modesitt, L.E., Jr. 16 61.81 3.86
Windrose Chronicles Hambly, Barbara 4 15.45 3.86

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Lions of al-RassanThe Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Of the six novels by Guy Gavriel Kay that's I've read, this and Tigana vie for my favorite of his work. How does he manage to make me care so much about his characters? And he creates a reflection of our world on the cusp of a rigid religious fervor scything inexorable destruction before it. A glimpse of the beauty crushed and the horrors perpetrated in the grip of zealous belief and political expediency. A lament for the loss of the previous generation's glories and grandeur. A glimpse of the perseverance and grace of the survivors who rebuild from the ruins of wrath. An affirmation and triumph of love flourishing regardless of race or creed, persecution or circumstances.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book Review: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Under HeavenUnder Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shen Tai mourns his father for over two years by burying the bones of the dead in a vast battlefield on the western edge of the Kitan empire. A backbreaking labor of grace daily and the company of the restless shades of soldiers nightly. He gains the respect of friend and foe and the attention of women in high places with influence, intrigue and power. The unfathomable gift of two hundred and fifty horses from a rival empire courtesy of a Kitan princes sent as tribute sets Shen's life adrift on the high tide of potentially lethal imperial politics. He receives unlooked for and unlikely assistance from several women as he travels from the far western reaches to the very center of the Kitan empire in Xinan: a well trained assassin, Wei Song, sent by a former courtesan of the northwestern district previously known as Spring Rain and a former dancer now the favored courtesan of the emperor himself.

Even though we only ever see one of the famous Sardian horses for much of the novel, Shen repeatedly attempts to exchange them for knowledge of his sister and her rescue from the Bogu barbarians of the north, since his own older brother, now adviser to the prime minister, allowed her to be elevated to an imperial princes and sent as a tribute bride to the Bogu leader. But not even the most powerful players on this corrupted game board can assist Shen with his quest.

Kay delivers sweeping epic vistas of the open grass steppe and the heart-stopping gut-wrenching frenzy of court intrigue and rebellion. No other prose flows so seamlessly as Kays, completely engulfing me in the world he unfolds before me.

My only quibble with this novel, and which almost made me drop my rather to four or four and a half stars, was with the ending. Shifting to third person and a more remote historical sagacious point of view distanced me from the characters just as the story culminated and resolved. I still enjoyed the novel immensely, though, and highly recommend it.

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Book Review: Grand Conspiracy by Janny Wurts

Grand Conspiracy (Wars of Light & Shadow #5; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #2)Grand Conspiracy by Janny Wurts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Each novel peels back layer upon layer, revealing more of the motivations between several key players and philosophies, making it nigh impossible to summarize any plot points, including the myriad conspiracies plaguing Paravia, without spoiling what was, what is and what is yet to come. The last three chapters' pace proved unrelenting, even unto the final triplet.

I'll be picking up the next novel this week (Peril's Gate) to continue this outstanding series.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Nominations Open for the Next Series Read

Join the Fantasy Book Club Series group on GoodReads and help us select our next fantasy series to read as a group. Follow this link to the nominations discussion thread.

Fantasy Book Club Series's bookshelf: read

Fantasy Book Club Series 181 members

Fantasy series discussions with book giveaways
Nominations currently open fo...

Books we've read

The Curse of the Mistwraith
The Ships of Merior
Warhost of Vastmark
Fugitive Prince
Grand Conspiracy
Stormed Fortress
Peril's Gate
Traitor's Knot
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