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trivia report

Picking over a plate of nachos at the Irish Emigrant, Jon, Rachel, and I try to make uneducated guesses to answer questions that our educations have not prepared us to answer. Miraculously, having watched and retained a bit of information from I Love the __s comes in handy, but in general there turn out to be a lot of topics for which I am quite content not to possess any particular expertise. I've always felt much better about loose derivations than being able to remember lists of facts or names of former boxing champions, for instance. However, being unconvinced by my first guess about California's state flower being a poppy is particularly unsettling given the topic of my fifth grade state project report.

The round on flags of the world is also somewhat troubling. We look at a banner, printed in miniature and speculate that something about its colors suggest Eastern Europe (it is not). We are wrong. Knowing the colors of a country's national soccer players only gets us so far (hello, Ukraine!), because only thirty-two teams competed in the World Cup. There are even a few countries whose existence was unknown to me [/us] before tonight. How does this happen? Even worse, I have already forgotten their names.


Rather than study up on vexillology, I'm going to read the second chapter of the new Jennifer Egan book. I felt really smart, wearing a new corduroy jacket from the Nordstrom sale, shopping at at the University Bookstore for new hardcover fiction.


I work with a guy who knows hundreds of flags. We had made a display around our office, and you could point at any one and he'd respond: "Uh, Qatar. And that one is Papua New Guinea."
with fewer than two hundred countries, it seems like it should be a pretty knowable thing. But just being interested enough to even look at all of the flags, let alone being able to committing them all to memory, is probably not incredibly common.

I'll bet he had a field day with that mideast ceasefire infographic [independent.co.uk]