Monday Trivia, No. 126 [Mo and Michael Cain win!]


Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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83 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The Other Four Corners?

    (I was sure that either BC and Alberta split off where Warshington and Idaho split or that Manitoba and Ontario split off where North Dakota and Minnesota do but…)Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Chihuahua and Arizona do not touch. About 17.5 miles separates the Sonora-Arizona-New Mexico tripoint from the Sonora-Chihuahua-New Mexico Tripoint.

      My guess is “states where the Navajo language is taught in the public schools.”Report

  2. Avatar Johanna says:

    Chiricahua leopard frogReport

  3. Avatar Damon says:

    If I’ve got my geo right, one is a dessert in NM, the other in AZ.Report

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    Point of clarification: is this one in base -10?Report

  5. Avatar George Turner says:

    As an aside, I once put together a simple history quiz with questions like:

    Who accepted the British surrender at Saratoga?
    A) General Washington
    B) General Lincoln
    C) General Eisenhower

    This famous automatic, gravity operated decapitation device was invented by a national of this country, and that country was by far its predominant user. The country is:
    A) France
    B) Germany
    C) SpainReport

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Who accepted the British surrender at Saratoga?
      A) General Washington
      B) General Lincoln
      C) General Eisenhower

      None of the above, of course. Was that your intent?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Of the available choices, B) is the most correct, although it is clearly not the best answer.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        How do you figure B?Report

      • Google Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who was injured in a skirmish related to Saratoga, and accepted the British surrender at Yorktown.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Ah, interesting.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Oops. I got my battles confused. ^_^

        Anyway, the answer to question 2 is Germany. Guillotine only popularized the guillotine, which was invented by a German engineer living in France, and the largest user of it, by a longshot, was Nazi Germany.

        I can’t find my old quiz, which had about 40 such questions. The idea was that the quiz would look like some junior high simple stuff, so everybody would zip through it and think they got a perfect score, but instead most would get nearly zero.

        I recall that one question involved the curious fact that the White House wasn’t called the White House until about a hundred years ago, but I forget the trick phrasing of the question.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        If I recall correctly, TR was the first one to call it the White House, but since the whole point of the quiz is that everything you think you know is wrong …Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Yes, I think you got it with TR. Prior to that they just called it “the Presidential mansion” or some such.

        Perhaps everybody could suggest some questions like that and we could put together such a quiz and inflict it on an unsuspecting world.Report

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    It must have something to do with border crossings, but then I can’t figure out why it would be only these 4! I mean, Texas has border stretches with Chihuahua too.

    I suck at this stuff.Report

  7. States whose borders were settled by the Gadsden Purchase?Report

    • Avatar Lyle says:

      Recall that the Gasden Purchase Border started at the Rio Grande, (where Today Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua meet. It then proceeded west thru Sonora to the Colorado River, which Forms the border both between Az and Alta California (us California) and between Sonora and Baja California Norte. So essentially the Gasden border is the South Border of Az and NM, and the north border of Chihuahua and Sonora.Report

  8. Avatar Glyph says:

    Mogollon territory?Report

  9. Avatar kenB says:

    Google provides a possible answer — since that’s cheating, I’ll rot13 it…

    Qbrf gur nafjre unir fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu gur Znqerna Fxl Vfynaqf?Report

  10. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Tuesday hint:

    If these states were listed in increasing order, rather than alphabetical, the result would be:

    Chihuahua, New Mexico, Sonora, Arizona.Report

  11. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    Is it states ranked by tequila or agave production?Report

  12. Avatar Boegiboe says:

    Is it “states with evidence of Stone-Age cultures”?Report

  13. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    My next guess will be “open pit uranium mines.”Report

  14. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Wednesday hint:

    The list stops at five (yes, five. I blame the internet) because at that point it hits a constraint. If we ignore that and keep going, the first ten members in ascending order are:

    Chihuahua, New Mexico, Sonora, Arizona, Sinaloa, Texas, Baja California, Durango, Coahuila, Colorado.

    Naively, you might expect Texas to be first rather than sixth.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Most desert area in North America? Most continuous desert area in NA? Or did someone already suggest that?

      Most area without a large body of water? Largest continuous area without a large body of water? Only in NA of course.

      I don’t think either of these actually make sense, but I suck at this.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I thought about desert territory, rainfall, etc., but kept on stumbling on Nevada. Nevada is almost all desert except for the northern part of its western border, and it’s not even on the “unrestricted” list.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        As another aside, the question of which state gets the most or least rain ends up as Alaska (I think) and Rhode Island, which almost nobody ever thinks of because they’re thinking of inches, not volume.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yeah, Nevada. Like I said, I suck at this.

        Most Tex-Mex restaurants?Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      “Naively, you might expect Texas to be first rather than sixth.”

      Places you shouldn’t mess with?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      “Naively, you might expect Texas to be first rather than sixth.” So it’s not high school football teams per capita?Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      All the others are states, but “Baja California” is actually two states. Norte, Sur, or the two in combination?Report

  15. Avatar Mo says:

    Pima Indian tribe population?Report

  16. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Second Wednesday hint: the answer is about the states’ capitals.Report

  17. Avatar Boegiboe says:

    States whose capitals are continuously inhabited cities founded by Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans.Report

  18. Avatar Don Zeko says:

    Well we know that Mike likes math, and the selected states are all in close geographic proximity to each other. Maybe it has something to do with the latitude or longitude of the relevant state capitols?Report

  19. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Thursday hint:

    @don-zeko is thinking in the right direction. Everything you need to find the answer can be seen on a map.Report

  20. Distance of the capital from the Rio Grande?Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I was going to say distance from the border, but why would Colorado be there then, and Mexicali’s almost on the border, so Baja would be #1? Denver’s pretty far from the border. And Santa Fe is pretty much on the Rio Grande, so like Mo says, NM would have to be first, but it’s second.

      Maybe it has something to do with the number of alien landings.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Maybe distance from the 3-corners of Mexico, Texas, and NM? Their confluence, that is. Or Juarez.

        I’m just staring at the map and looking for base -10s at this point.Report

  21. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    States with capitals within 500 miles of Ciudad Juarez. It may not be the answer, but I believe it matches all of the given conditions.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I wonder, if that is the answer, what the “constraint” is that he mentioned in the Wednesday hint.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        500 miles. Mo’s answer of El Paso above is probably also correct, with that addition. Maybe a better match to the hint about naively thinking Texas should be first. I’ve always thought El Paso should be part of New Mexico. The distance from El Paso to Albuquerque is less than half the distance to Austin, and El Paso is part of the Western Interconnect electrical grid, not the Texas Interconnect. The El Paso-Las Cruces metropolitan statistical area spans the border. And with >800,000 people in El Paso County, they’d be a huge influence in New Mexico’s politics.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Ah, yes. It looks like Austin is 526 miles from Juarez as the crow flies, which would put it just above 500 miles, and Texas is the first addition in Mike’s Wednesday hint.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        On the topic of attaching El Paso to New Mexico, probably worth noting that politically El Paso is solidly Democratic, which is a better match to New Mexico than it is to Texas.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yeah, with the exception of Fort Worth, I believe all of the major cities in Texas are solidly Democratic. I wish we could take Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso and create a new state altogether, and let Fort Worth and suburban/rural Texas do its own thing.Report

  22. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Mo and Michael Cain are close enough that I’m going to declare them joint winners. The precise answer is “States whose capitals are closer to El Paso than its own state’s capital is.” As for Chris’s assumption that the question would be unfair, 50 points from Slytherin!Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Once again, you have proven yourself to be evil! Pure, unadulterated evil. Hilarious evil, perhaps, but evil nonetheless!Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Interesting. Dalhart, TX is closer to the capitals of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas than it is to Austin. I always forget just how far north the Panhandle sticks up.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Outside of the Northeast statelets, I wonder which pair of state capitals are closest together? Just by eye, looks like it might be Sacramento and Carson City.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        You’re probably right. The other pair that comes to mind is Annapolis and Richmond, but they’re a bit further apart.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Boston and Providence are 41 miles apart (or about twenty minutes the way most Rhode Islanders drive).

        Annapolis and Dover are about 53 1/2 miles apart. Boston and Concord are 64 miles apart. Providence and Hartford are 66 miles apart. Sacramento and Carson City are 101 miles apart.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Yes, but those all involve the NE statelets that I intentionally excluded. I mean, with Boston as the capital of Massachusetts, it’s probably impossible to have a city inside RI that’s a hundred miles away. As Will and I point out from time to time, the West has counties bigger than some of the statelets. Riverside County is not only more than twice as large as Delaware by area, it’s got more than twice as many people. Ditto for Clark County, Nevada. I understand the historical factors, but there are days when I think some consolidation might be in order.Report

      • Of course it bears mention that a number of the northeastern statelets have fairly large populations – NJ is the 11th largest by population, MA the 14th, MD the 19th, and CT the 29th. Even ME (41), NH (42), RI (43), and DE (45) have larger populations than the Dakotas, Alaska, and Wyoming, and are about equal with Montana.

        Vermont could probably stand to merge with NH, though. And I’d be thrilled if we could merge Delaware into Maryland – that way I’d only have to drive through one state that I despise with all my soul on my once-regular but now-less-regular drives down to Virginia.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Other interesting trivia Idaho and Maine have a whole lot in common. There is even a bit of a potato rivalry between them.

        Another interesting factoid: Rhode Island has the most per-capita representation in the US House (one for just over half a million). Montana has the least (one for a million). Fifty thousand people separate them, right at the line that gives Rhode Island two reps.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Oh, I also checked on Google Earth – Denver and Cheyenne are 98 miles apart, closer than Sacramento and Carson City. All distances as the crow flies, not on the Interstate.

        But, I’m being nationalist. Tlaxcala is 19 miles from Puebla. (Cities, not states; both capital cities bear the same name as their states.) That’s way closer than any capitals, either in or out of New England.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Vatican City is inside Rome.Report

  23. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    A “statelet” is in the eye of the beholder, then, as apparently is New England: I wouldn’t identify either Maryland or Delaware as being in New England. If you ask me, when you’re in or south of New York, you’re not in New England. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, necessarily.

    I can see calling Delaware a “statelet” but IMO Maryland has a fair amount of geographic territory even with its skinny little panhandle, and with its great population density in Baltimore and the DC ‘burbs, Maryland has a substantial amount of people living within that territory.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Well, I meant NE to be Northeastern. Some definitions of that term include Delaware and Maryland (although now that I’ve looked, the Census Bureau doesn’t). How about original statelets? As for Maryland, certainly not a statelet in a population sense, but since we’re talking distances, I include it as one of those with an unfair geographic advantage based on history.Report

  24. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “States whose capitals are closer to El Paso than its own state’s capital is.”

    I’m sorry, maybe I’m a moron, but this makes no sense to me. Can someone explain it?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      The distance from El Paso to Austin (the capital of the state in which El Paso is situated) is about 526 miles.

      The distance from El Paso to Ciudad Chihuahua is only 218 miles. So the city of El Paso is closer to the capital of the state of Chihuahua than it is to its own capital.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Remember when I said that El Paso is closer to San Diego than it is to Houston? Well, it’s closer to a lot of other state capitals than it is to Austin.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I still don’t believe you about that. Both my lyin’ eyes and Google Maps tell me Austin is closer, though the latter is looking at driving distance. However, the difference is approximately 150 miles and both paths look relatively straight. You’re going to have to offer up some proof, son.

        I will say it is much closer than I thought, in part because I think I assumed El Paso was due south, not due west.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Though I also just learned that Chili, on the Pacific coast of South America, is further east than New York. So I’m clearly bad at maps and knowing things.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Houston, not Austin. Though this trivia question was Austin, the principal is the same: El Paso has no business being in Texas.

        El Paso to San Diego: 628 miles
        El Paso to Houston: 676 milesReport

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Told you I don’t know anything.

        Clearly, we should split up Texas.

        New York, too, while we are at it.Report