To wrap up the show, puzzle guru Greg Pliska asks our finalists to give it their "a-l-l," and think up answers that contain those letters in consecutive order. Unlike Porky Pig, however, contestants have to reach deep into their trivia brains to make sure they don't come up with any fa-l-lacies!
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Did you see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? Well, Honest Abe wasn't the only Commander-in-Chief to fight the supernatural. In this game, we ask you to imagine other films that might depict presidents and the mythological creatures they fought, like George Washington: Dinosaur Hunter. Who knew that the father of our country was fighting T. Rex as well as Rex Anglie (The King of England)?
The central drama in Susan Minot's fourth novel comes from a real-life episode in October 1996, when 139 girls at St. Mary's College in Aboke, Uganda, were abducted by guerillas from the militant Lord's Resistance Army. The school's Italian headmistress followed the rebels into the bush and retrieved all but 30 of the girls — hence the title.
Paul Oyer, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has been teaching economics for almost two decades. His experience with online dating started much more recently. But when he started looking for love online, Oyer discovered that the principles he teaches in the classroom were surprisingly applicable to this new marketplace.
In a new book, Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating, Oyer explains economic concepts in terms of online profiles and dating decisions.
The title of Molly Antopol's deft collection is a kind of pun. While the House Un-American Activities Committee makes a direct appearance in "The Unknown Soldier," a story about a movie actor who's been released from prison after serving time during the Communist witch hunt, to be "un-American" in this book often means just not being American. Antopol's characters are sometimes Israeli or Russian, and her stories are set in Tel Aviv, Prague, the Ukraine.
Caesar and some of his staff plan the comedy show <em>Caesar's Hour</em> in New York City in 1955. From left: Dave Caesar, Charles Andrews, Phil Sharp, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Aaron Ruben, Mel Tolkin, Mike Ross, Sid and Sheldon Keller.
Nanette Fabray gags as railroad commuters Caesar, Carl Reiner (top) and Howard Morris (right) poke their smokes in her direction while looking over her shoulder to read her newspaper, on <em>Caesar's Hour,</em> in 1955.
Caesar relaxes while his wife, Florence, paints a portrait of him in their Kings Point, N.Y., home in 1958. Sid's new weekly program, <em>Sid Caesar Invites You,</em> premiered that year.
Caesar during rehearsal for the <em>Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris Special,</em> on Dec. 10, 1966.
Comedian and writer Mel Brooks (left) sits with Caesar for the <em>Sid Caesar Special</em> in 1967.
Caesar and Imogene Coca practice their soft shoe routine during a dress rehearsal in Boston in 1982 for the Boston Opera Company's production <em>Orpheus.</em> The pair had worked together since the 1950s on <em>Your Show of Shows.</em>
Credit Marvin Lewiton / AP
Caesar with<em> Saturday Night Live</em> writer Brad Hall (from left), Mary Gross, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eddie Murphy and Gary Kroeger on the set of <em>Saturday Night Live</em> in 1983 in New York.
Credit David Bookstaver / AP
Caesar portrays his classic "professor" in a guest appearance for <em>Sesame Street</em>'s 15th anniversary season in 1985.
Legendary pair Caesar and Coca pose in a Boston hotel in 1992, near an old photograph of the two of them. They were announcing the Boston opening of their comedy show <em>Together Again. </em>
Credit Sandy Hill / AP
Actor Billy Crystal presents the Pioneer Award to Caesar onstage at the 2006 TV Land Awards, March 19, 2006, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Credit Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Actor and comedian Sid Caesar was well-known for <em>Your Show of Shows</em> and other comedic roles on television.
Credit NBC via Getty Images
Caesar, flanked by cast performers Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner, listens to a singer in a skit from the TV comedy series <em>Your Show of Shows, </em>in 1952.
Credit NBC / Getty Images
Gisele MacKenzie plays bride to Sid Caesar's German professor character, as Greg Garrison directs the scene, Nov. 21, 1963.
Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.
Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did skits: grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.
In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.
The dinosaurs were killed during the Fifth Extinction — which scientists suspect was caused by an asteroid. Now, we are living through an epoch that many scientists describe as the Sixth Extinction, and this time, human activity is the culprit. As one scientist put it: We're the asteroid.
Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of the new book The Sixth Extinction. It begins with a history of the "big five" extinctions of the past, and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating a sixth one — including our use of fossil fuels and the effects of climate change.
This week sees the publication of The Counterfeit Agent, the 8th book in author Alex Berenson's thriller series featuring former military man and CIA recruit John Wells. Wells can kill with his bare hands, he likes to exorcise his demons in the dead of night, at breakneck speed on the back of a motorcycle — and by the way, he's converted to Islam (a plot point TV viewers are seeing on Homeland years after Berenson featured it). Even after leaving the CIA, Wells never really leaves his job.
In first grade, my heart was stolen by Mark, who sat next to me and had an advanced phonics book (which I also craved). Then there were Peter, Eddie, Raja and Michael. These serial crushes continued right on up through my early 20s, at a rate of approximately three a year. Boys. I fell for their incipient mustaches, their bad attitudes and foul mouths, their poor poetry and bass guitars, their careless humor. I saw their swagger for what it was, but I loved it anyway.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:38 pm
Generations of little girls have watched the ebullient Shirley Temple light up Depression-era black and white films, her glossy curls bouncing and her voice chirping. Generations, too, developed a taste for the Shirley Temple drink — traditionally, ginger ale with a dash of grenadine, maraschino cherry and lemon for garnish.
The drink, it seems, has a shelf life as long as her movies.
That's because the saccharine beverage in a girly pinkish hue has long embodied glamour in a glass for tweens and the younger set.
Most of us have never been submerged under more than a few feet underwater. But just a few meters down, the water compresses the tissues of your body so that you become more dense. At that point, "You're more likely to sink than float," says Dr. Kevin Fong.
Kevin Fong is a co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine and physiology lecturer at University College London.
Dr. Kevin Fong works on "the edges" of medicine — researching how humans survive extremes of heat, cold, trauma, outer space and deep sea. "We're still exploring the human body and what medicine can do in the same way that the great explorers of the 20th century and every age before them explored the world," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
In his book Extreme Medicine, Fong describes how avant garde medicine is challenging our understanding of how our bodies work and the boundary between life and death.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:21 pm
When Woody Harrelson's character got hired as a bartender on Cheers, he was so excited, he insisted on working for no more than the minimum wage. "I'd work like a slave," he said, "and, of course, I'd wash your car."
Most bar and restaurant workers would prefer to bring home a little more cash. They may be in luck.
As part of his plan to raise the minimum wage, President Obama has called for substantially increasing the base wage paid to tipped workers for the first time in decades.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:25 am
How entertaining is B.J. Novak? With One More Thing, the standup comic, scriptwriter and actor (best known for his work on The Office), takes his talents to the page in 64 fresh, short, offbeat and often hilarious stories, many of which involve updating classics for satirical effect — whether with a rematch between the tortoise and the hare, or by replacing detective Encyclopedia Brown from children's literature with Wikipedia Brown, who is hopelessly distracted by tangential subjects.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:21 pm
Most people who follow the headlines are aware of the lifestyles of Wall Street's titans — and the vast bonuses that fund those lives of luxury. Kevin Roose's new Young Money looks at the bottom of that ladder: the college kids who arrived on Wall Street after the economic crash of 2008, prepared to put their noses to the grindstone in the hopes of making it big — or just making a decent living.
Published as Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir in the U.S., Penelope Lively's new book carries the alternative subtitle "A Life in Time" in its British incarnation. This seemed more apt to me, for this is less a memoir in the conventional sense and more a collection of thoughts, a scattering of advice and a reading list to treasure.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:57 am
Whether the Subway Fritos Chicken Enchilada Sub was the result of creative inspiration or an enormous workplace Fritos spill, we'll never know. What matters is it happened, and it's only a matter of time until all foods everywhere will be available topped with Fritos.
Ian: I like that they're thinking in texture. And adding crunch with Fritos is way better than McDonald's creepy BBQ McTickle.
Miles: Yeah, but let's be honest, crunches are the last thing anyone is going to be doing after eating this sandwich.
Research in mice offers new clues as to why Harold and Kumar were so motivated to get to White Castle.
Credit Todd Plitt/Getty Images
<strong>We Didn't Make This Up:</strong> The scientists who performed the study on how cannabis triggers the munchies through the sense of smell commissioned an artist to put this illustration together.
Credit Charlie Padgett / Courtesy of Giovanni Marsicano