"Who Said That?" is a fun quote quiz book

Who Said That? is a chunky 340-page book that tests your trivia knowledge on the origin of famous quotes. The quotes are arranged by topic (Love and Marriage, Work and Money, Politics and War, Aging, etc.) and are presented in different ways to keep things lively.

Sometimes you'll be asked to choose which person said a particular quote:

"History is made by active, determined minorities, not by the majority, which seldom has a clear and consistent idea of what it really wants."

A: Margaret Mead

B: Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber

C: Susan B Anthony

D: Maximilien Robespierre

Answer: B. This line occurs in the Unabomber’s infamous manifesto. Kaczynski’s brother read it in the newspaper, recognized his older siblings writing style, and tipped off the FBI, leading to Ted’s arrest.

Other times you'll be asked which quotes a person actually said:

John Lennon said only one of these quotes. But which is it?

A: "We thought we’d be really big in Liverpool."

B: "We're more popular than Jesus now."

C: "Everything is OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end."

D: "There was no play on words, we just didn’t know how to spell the word 'beetle.'"

Answer:B. Lennon’s "bigger-than-Jesus" comments in 1966 sparked outrage in America, leading to boycott and death threats. Lennon would remain controversial until his untimely 1980 death. "If there is such a thing as genius, I am one," he once said. "And if there isn’t, I don’t care."

There are a number of other question formats, too. Read the rest

New webseries by daily trivia newsletter 'Now I Know'

Dan Lewis' wildly-popular daily trivia Now I Know newsletter is expanding its presence to YouTube. Yup, he's bringing us a Now I Know webseries.

Dan himself is not an "on-air" kind of guy, so he brought on Matt Silverman to star in the videos.

I’ve written more than 1,000 surprising, strange, and interesting stories over the years and I’m always looking for other ways to spread the fun. Like the two books and even one of those fact-a-day calendar things. But video? That’s been a struggle. I’m not a video producer and in any case, it takes a ton of time to publish the email newsletter. So I can’t do this myself. I’ve talked to a lot of promising collaborators over the years, but those would-be channels all fizzled.

Except for this one -- if you help out. Here's a video about the channel, and you'll see that it isn't me hosting. That's Matt Silverman, a friend of mine who makes awesome videos on the Internet.

Now you know.

You can back this project: Read the rest

A trivia expert offers tips for playing HQ

HQ is a live online trivia game for iPhone only. It takes place at noon and 6pm PT. My family plays every night, along with hundreds of thousands of other people. In each game, 12 questions are asked. You have 10 seconds to answer each question (by clicking on 1 of 3 possible answers). If you guess all 12 correctly, you split a prize pool between $1.000 to $15,000. The best my family has done is getting 10 questions right.

NY Mag asked Paul Paquet, who runs the Trivia Hall of Fame, for some some tips on improving your chances.

Do you have any sort of advice or any sort of strategy for playing it? It happens so quickly.

I have to admit I have a leg up because it’s literally what I do for a living, so I have a leg up in that way. Extra lives really help. I’ve gone all the way about a half-dozen times now, and I think I’ve only managed it once without an extra life. So that’s important. And the other thing, I’ve noticed especially in the questions six to ten area, if you’re just guessing randomly anyway, to go counterintuitive and pick the thing that you think might be the least likely. That’s often what they’re doing now, in that middle block they’ll have what they call the Savage Question, where people who went with the likeliest possibility turn out to be wrong.

Read the rest

Hooray! I’m not the stupidest person at the 2015 Trivia Championships of North America

It’s day one of the 2015 Trivia Championships of North America (TCONA) and already there’s been an “incident.”

We’re oblivious to the unfolding disaster as we mill around the Havana Room of the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. Approximately half of the 200 or so registrants have just finished playing the First Quiz of TCONA, a 100-question written exam covering everything from Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina cleaning regimen to French World War I flying aces.

But now we’re ready for 5x5, the Jeopardy style game that is a TCONA favorite. And there’s no 5x5 to be had.A couple of guys wearing sports caps and jerseys break unexpectedly into show tunes. The rest of us Monday morning quarterback the First Quiz.

We agree that the test’s biggest stumper was to name the most recent Mexican-born winner of an acting Oscar.

I had immediately thought of Anthony Quinn, who was born in Mexico and won two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor in the 1950s (for Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life). I eventually settled on the equally wrong Salma Hayek, who was nominated for Frida but didn’t win.

The correct answer was what we in the quizzing world call a YEKIOYD: you either know it or you don’t. As it turned out, almost no one knew that Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) was actually born in Mexico. For all the brain power in the room, there are still things even most of us don’t know.

Slowly the word gets around that during the night one of the event’s organizers quietly checked out of the hotel taking half of the game buzzers with her. Read the rest

America's greatest trivia minds get their party on in Vegas next month

Tony says:

If you haven't heard of the Trivia Championships of North America, well, that's understandable. It's only the second year for TCONA, but this year's event, taking place from August 10-12 at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, will already be bigger, with more players, more pub quiz hosts from around the country, more medal events, more discussion panels, more game shows field-testing and casting for players, and all the general Las Vegas convention bonding and tomfoolery that typically goes on at these things.

Local pub quiz hosts from around the continent will be showing off their local flavors of bar trivia in the Pub Quiz Lounge, there's a weekend-long Quiz Bowl tournament, representatives from the Learned League, Trivia.al and other online trivia comunities will be doing live events, something called Knodgeball (which is, yes, a cross between trivia and dodgeball), and you'll get to hang out with Jeopardy! champions, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winners, and others who have ascended to the top of the trivia mountain. There's also a podcast, with sample questions and details on the various events.

Registration for the whole weekend is only $150 if you book before July 25. If you're into these particular kinds of nerd games, this should be the highlight of your year.

Trivia Championships of North America | The TCONA Podcast

Take the North American Trivia Geography Kick-Off Quiz Trivia Championships of North America, July 8-10, 2011, Las Vegas Read the rest