February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020


I started this “quiz” approximately a year ago and got some positive feedback. (Incidentally, the newsletter is approaching 15,000 hits.) Here is the second quiz with 21 questions, with the grading at 5 points per question. A total grade of 65 is passing; you are a genius if you are at or above 90.


  1. From a gambler’s perspective, what casino game provides the player with the best opportunity to win?


  1. Name the capitol of either North or South Dakota.


  1. What renowned author and basketball authority recently celebrated his 85th birthday?


  1. What legendary Astoria singer made famous the song “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”?


  1. The 50s and 60s band “Spontaneous Combustion” – featuring Steve Jones – has its roots in what general Nassau County locale?


  1. What Landmark Astoria diner is alive and doing well despite real estate interests in their property?


  1. Who keeps telling his friends this: “Every day is a blessing.”?


  1. Name the smallest country on Earth.


  1. Who uttered the quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”?


  1. Who discovered the Periodic Table?


  1. What nation is dry and stony, and features olives, grapes, lamb and goats?


  1. What college academic discipline could be classified as totally useless and serves a legitimate escape from reality?


  1. What actress said: “There’s no place like home.”?


  1. True or false? Mars is named after the Roman God of War.


  1. True or false? The moon is approximately 242,000 miles from Earth.


  1. Name the largest country on planet Earth.


  1. Who is the greatest boxer of all time?


  1. True or false: Shakespeare’s first name was Sylvio.


  1. Who is the greatest football running back of all time?


  1. Provide the age of the Sun and its distance from planet Earth.


  1. What renowned Civil War general said the following: “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”?


I’ll return with Quiz III later in the year.




  1. According to your author’s statistical analysis, the answer is blackjack (21). Dice (craps) is a close second.
  2. Bismarck and Pierre.
  3. An easy one, yours truly.
  4. Ethel Merman.
  5. The Willistons.
  6. The Neptune Diner.
  7. Legendary (92 years old) sports historian Art Loveley.
  8. A tough one. The Vatican.
  9. Full credit here since no one knows for sure; it was once incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain.
  10. A tough one. Dimitri Mendsleev (a Russian chemist) in 1869.
  11. The land of my forefathers – Greece.
  12. A liberal arts program.
  13. Dorothy (Judy Garland) in Wizard of Oz.
  14. True.
  15. True.
  16. Russia.
  17. Full credit here. For me, it was Sugar Ray Robinson, with Gene Tunney a close second. Interestingly, in 1950, Jack Dempsey was voted the greatest fighter over the past  50 years.  He received 251 votes to 104 for Joe Louis, and there were none for Tunney.   My favorite growing up was Kid Gavalan.
  18. False! It turns out Sylvio was his middle name. His first name was Vincenzo; close friends affectionately called him Vinnie.
  19. Full credit here. I didn’t care for him as a person, but for me, it will always be Jim Brown.
  20. Approximately 4.5 billion years and 93 million miles.
  21. General William T. Sherman.



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MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: The New York Racing Association (NYRA)




Here are this month’s three defensive suggestions from the upcoming second edition of my “BASKETBALL COACHING 101” book.


  1. There is a need to be able to defend one-on-one. Practices should include this exercise.


  1. Never relax on defense. Never!


  1. Each man-to-man defensive player should be defending at all times. The author describes it as the “war” defense. During the Killeen’s basketball team era, one of the author’s small forwards took it personally when his opponent scored.