Christmas Trivia Quiz

For those of you who need a break from studying, grading, or just surviving the end of the semester, your friendly library staff provides the following diversion…a Christmas Trivia Quiz.  Take a break, relax, and have fun!   (answers are at the bottom)

1.    Christmas presents weren’t always covered in gift wrap.  In the early 1900s, presents were typically wrapped in:
a.    Old clothes
b.   White tissue paper and red satin ribbon
c.    A mystery inside an enigma
d.    Butcher paper


2.    In 1952, the first television advertisement for a toy was shown.  That toy was:
a.    A stick
b.    The first Nintendo game, which used vacuum tubes and was the size of a small car
c.    Poodle Skirt Barbie
d.    Mr. Potato Head, for which parents had to provide children with a real potato


3.    The movie It’s a Wonderful Life actually received its own FBI file because:
a.    An analyst thought the film was an obvious attempt to discredit bankers
b.    J. Edgar Hoover was mad that he wasn’t cast as Mr. Potter
c.    Zuzu was thought to be an un-American name.
d.    The FBI didn’t want people to have a wonderful life


4.    What is frankincense?
a.    Hot dogs made in the Middle East
b.    Frankenstein’s sister
c.    A sweet-smelling gum resin
d.    Spices sewn together to look like a human


5.    Although “Jingle Bells” is one of the most popular Christmas songs, it was actually written for:
a.    Thanksgiving
b.    People who like to sing really loud
c.    An Arnold Schwarzenegger movie
d.    Black Friday


6.    Fruitcake is, for some reason, a popular gift and/or treat at Christmastime.  In ancient times, though, warriors and hunters carried it on long journeys:
a.    To ward off evil spirits
b.    As an extra weapon
c.    In case they couldn’t find wood to build a shelter
d.    Because of its consistency and longevity


7.    In 1847, the music for “O Holy Night” was written by French composer Adolphe-Charles Adam.  However, it was denounced at first by church authorities because:
a.    Of its “lack of musical taste and total absence of the spirit of religion”
b.    They feared the choir wouldn’t be able to sing it
c.    They felt that “O” was confusing
d.    They didn’t like people who had three first names


8.     “Good King Wenceslas” is a song that is often heard during the holiday season, but many people don’t realize that it was written about a real person.  Good King Wenceslas was:
a.    Overrated.  He was actually “Mediocre King Wenceslas.”
b.    The first king to have a Christmas tree in his palace
c.    Duke of Bohemia in the 10th century and a man of great faith who helped spread Christianity in Bohemia
d.    The original Santa Claus


9.    What is myrrh?
a.    The sound a mule makes when it is happy
b.    A sweet treat that was popular in the first century
c.    The short form of the name Myrrhtle
d.    An aromatic gum resin which is made into ointments or perfumes


10.     The Grinch suit that Jim Carrey wore in How the Grinch Stole Christmas was covered in hair from:
a.    Film director Ron Howard
b.    A yak
c.    Wigs
d.    A local barber shop


1.    b
2.    d (yes, d)
3.    a
4.    c
5.    a
6.    d
7.    a
8.    c
9.    d
10.    b

books in refrigeratorSaw this over the weekend at News of the Weird:

The business website Quartz reported in June that a popular consumer item in North Korea’s perhaps-improving economy is the refrigerator, made in China and increasingly available as a reward to stellar performers among civil servants and other elites. The appliances, however, cannot reliably store food because the country’s electric grid is so frequently offline and are mostly just status symbols. One item Quartz says often gets displayed in the refrigerator: books.


Check out our latest post to our YouTube video channel! When evaluating resources, especially online, your main focus is the quality of the information and the validity of the research. However, there are a few other things you can easily examine that enable you to judge the usefulness of a resource. The appearance (What does it look like? Professional? Too many ads or graphics?) and authority (Who hosts the site? Who wrote the article? What qualifications do they have, if any?) of a given resource provide enough clues to help you decide to examine the content further or move on to another, more appropriate, source.

While “researching” a fictitious history paper we Googled “What caused the American Civil War?” and this page appeared in our top search results. Let’s examine its appearance and authority as we evaluate the quality of this resource in less than 3 minutes.

Trying to decide which books merit room in the suitcase for your upcoming beach trip? Need an easy-yet-engrossing story that goes well with hammocks and cold drinks? Let the LRC staff ease your burden with a list of new arrivals and old favorites perfect for vacation reading. Click on each title for reviews and author interviews.

Joyland (Stephen King): Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.-Book jacket

Bonus: Stephen King talks about growing up and being scared on NPR

Jungleland (Christopher Stewart): On April 6, 1940, explorer and future World War II spy Theodore Morde (who would one day attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler), anxious about the perilous journey that lay ahead of him, struggled to fall asleep at the Paris Hotel in La Ceiba, Honduras.

Nearly seventy years later, in the same hotel, acclaimed journalist Christopher S. Stewart wonders what he’s gotten himself into. Stewart and Morde seek the same answer on their quests: the solution to the riddle of the whereabouts of Ciudad Blanca, buried somewhere deep in the rain forest on the Mosquito Coast. What begins as a passing interest slowly turns into an obsession as Stewart pieces together the whirlwind life and mysterious death of Morde, a man who had sailed around the world five times before he was thirty and claimed to have discovered what he called the Lost City of the Monkey God.-Book description

Inferno (Dan Brown): No beach reads list is complete without a Dan Brown novel and his latest mystery plunges protagonist Robert Langdon on a Divine Comedy-inspired tour of Italy during which he solves riddles while pursued by shadowy forces.

Wedding Night (Sophie Kinsella): When the love of Lottie’s life gives her a vacation instead of an engagement ring, she breaks up with him in typical dramatic Lottie style. Days later, her college boyfriend Ben makes an appearance, and the two quickly decide to wed. Meanwhile, Lottie’s sister Fliss and Ben’s best friend Lorcan frantically try to derail the wedding night while they fight their own growing attraction. Never fear: in the end—after international flights, bribery, blackmail, and disaster—all the characters end up discovering true love and learning a bit about themselves in the process. VERDICT Kinsella continues to delight in creating quirky characters and over-the-top situations, and this title is a perfect choice for those craving a great escape.-Library Journal

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Cheryl Strayed): At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.-Book description

Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld): Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.

As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.-Book description


Not Kidding

(click to enlargen)



bad monkey coverBad Monkey (Carl Hiaasen): Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office—has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first—this being Hiaasen country—Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including his just-ex lover, a hot-blooded fugitive from Kansas; the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; two avariciously optimistic real-estate speculators; the Bahamian voodoo witch known as the Dragon Queen, whose suitors are blinded unto death by her peculiar charms; Yancy’s new true love, a kinky coroner; and the eponymous bad monkey, who with hilarious aplomb earns his place among Carl Hiaasen’s greatest characters. (book description)

towerThe Tower (Simon Toyne): When a cyber-attack at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland disables the Hubble telescope and the Nobel Prize–winning scientist in charge disappears, the only clues left behind are a cryptic countdown clock and a chilling message displayed on the missing man’s computer: Mankind Must Look No Further. (book description)




Gulp-cover-350Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (Mary Roach): Fans of lively writing will be delighted by the newest monosyllable from Mary Roach. Once again Roach boldly goes where no author has gone before, into the sciences of the taboo, the macabre, the icky, and the just plain weird. And she conveys it all with a perfect touch: warm, lucid, wry, sharing the unavoidable amusement without ever resorting to the cheap or the obvious. Yum! —Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology and author of How the Mind Works

Check out this awesome meme from the folks at Lawrence University’s Mudd Library:




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