Day 62: Goodbye, news notes!

If there was ever a day to go running through the halls in nothing but a tutu, spreading joy and happiness and painting rainbows and unicorns on every wall and door, it would be today. It’s the end of an era of madness! Today was our only news quiz of the entire semester! No more reading four different publications every day! No more yawning through the sports section (I said it before and I’ll say it again. Every story in that section is the same: teams played sports). No more crazy mnemonics and acronyms to remember how to spell outrageous names like Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani or Ibrahim Hassan al-Asriri. I can finally just read without adding to my 25-page Word document of news notes. Ah, free at last!

Just for kicks, I think I’ll relay the news quiz for those who dare to test their “newsiness.” It was probably the easiest and best news quiz I’ve ever written – about 50 times easier than first year’s quizzes (but hey, who am I to complain?). There were even bonus questions so you could potentially get a grand total of 11.5/10. I’m proud to announce I got a 10.5. Think you can do better? Have a go:

  1. There were two bomb packages found on air freight carriers headed for synagogues in Chicago. What country were the packages from?
  2. Who is Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani?
  3. Name a major event that took place this past week concerning Washington DC (there are two possibilities).
  4. Which premier resigned recently? (Half a bonus mark if you can either name the premier’s province or the reason for resignation.)
  5. Oh no! I can’t remember this one. I’ll add it if it comes back to me.
  6. What is “Decision Points”? (Hint: it’s related to #7)
  7. George Bush recently announced his most regrettable moment in his presidency. What was it?
  8. The movie, Barney’s Version, was recently premiered in the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. It’s based on a book. What Canadian author wrote that book?
  9. Who won the World Series?
  10. A professor in South Carolina is launching a new program focused on what female pop phenomenon?

Bonus: What is the name of the company that wanted to take over Saskatchewan’s PotashCorp?

I’ll put the answers at the end.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. There’s just one other observation worth reporting today. I was in the caf today, trying to make my mom’s cooking last longer. There’s a giant TV at either end with a bunch of bar seats in front of it. I was sitting there at the only available seat and started munching on my salad. I happened to glance up at the TV and saw a huge man with a shaved head trying to lift a pick-up truck. I find Strongman competitions completely barbaric. The guy had arms bigger than my legs, legs bigger than me, and every inch of him was a big bulging hunk of muscle.

I turned my attention back to my salad when I started to notice a growing crowd. I looked behind me. About four guys had come to stare at the TV. Two more came on my right. Another one on my left. One guy who works in the caf, clearing dirty dishes actually stopped his cart in the middle of the caf, wandered over to the TV and sat in a chair with his eyes fixated on the TV. I’ve never seen the term “jaw-dropping” put into actual practice, but here it was. There were about 12 guys watching with mouths hanging open at the steroid model shaking under the weight of a truck. And that wasn’t even the best part.

One candidate started getting a nosebleed while lifting the truck and the announcer comes on saying, “That’s perfectly normal. At the peak of the rep, blood pressure can hit levels of 400 or 500, which can cause bleeding from the eyes or nose. This guy is bursting his blood vessels for a Strongman competition and do you know what the reaction from the guys sitting next to me was?

Guy 1: Dude! He busted a blood vessel!

Guy 2: Sick! Too bad it’s only his nose and not his eyes. I’ve never seen anyone bleed from his eyes.

Guy 1: I know! That would be awesome.

Eugh. I think it’s a testosterone thing. I hightailed it out of there as soon as possible. That should be my new feature topic. Forget small green businesses. My paper should be “Modern Man: What is it?”

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the news quiz results!

  1. Yemen
  2. the Iranian woman sentenced to death by hanging
  3. midterm elections or the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (with John Stewart and Stephen Colbert)
  4. Gordon Campbell (from BC, over the HST)
  5. still haven’t remembered yet
  6. George Bush’s newly released memoir
  7. Kanye West called him a racist for his handling of Hurricane Katrina (this is the one I missed. I thought he’d regret failing to find weapons of mass destruction after invading Iraq in 2003, but apparently that’s too petty for Bush to regret.)
  8. Mordecai Richler
  9. San Francisco Giants (thank goodness this was the question for sports. It’s the only sports news I knew!)
  10. Lady Gaga (I completely guessed this one)

Bonus: BHP Billiton from Australia

So let me know how you did on your first j-school-approved news quiz! There’s no shame. Just remember this: last year, I got a 2’s and 3’s frequently on my news quizzes. It’s all good fun … when you’re not being marked on it anyway.


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