Today I Learned…

…that making flashcards for my acting class/upcoming possible appearance on Jeopardy! was actually kind of fun.

My two weakest common subject areas for Jeopardy are the Bible and classical composers.  So I made a bunch of flashcards from the American Bible Institute to study/use in my activity for class tomorrow.  Classical composers will come next.  I can truthfully say that this will be the only context in which my web browser points itself at the American Bible Institute website.

However, I feel like I’m missing some books and they didn’t have a complete collection of study guides.  I know I didn’t see Job, or Kings.  There might be a few books that they didn’t have for whatever reason.  Oh well, right now it isn’t pressing.

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Today I Learned…

…two really cool things about Juneau, Alaska (both from Jeopardy!).

First, the metropolitan area of Juneau is larger than either Rhode Island or Delaware, and is almost as large as the two states combined.

Second, the Juneau area is technically considered a rainforest.  When I heard this, I exclaimed, “wait, don’t rainforests have to be in the tropics?”  But no!  Apparently, a tropical rainforest is just a subcategory of a larger set.  A rainforest just needs to be a forested area which has an average minimum yearly rainfall between 68 and 78 inches (according to Wikipedia).  These can occur anywhere on Earth.  What we normally think of as a rainforest (of café fame) is actually characterized as a tropical rainforest — merely a rainforest which happens to  fall between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.

Further Reading

Today I Learned…

…that I’m now in the contestant pool for the 25th and 26th seasons of Jeopardy!  I had my audition today in Washington DC, which was surprisingly low stress.  The worst part about the whole process was getting up at quarter-to-five in the morning to get there on time.

The audition consists first of a fifty-question written test, which is the major hurdle to get into the pool.  This is to weed out anyone who googled their way through the previous online test.  Then the very energetic Maggie warmed us up, explained the buzzers, that kind of thing.  We then got into the mock games, where three people were called up at a time to play for a few minutes.  I was the “returning champion” in my game, which was funny — apparently I was a giant killer, having beaten a very impressive player in my previous imaginary game.  Got to play with the buzzer, got a few answers in.  The interview segment was fine (basically they do a mini-jeopardy interview, nothing serious).  I got a big laugh from the phrase “neural underpinnings.”  They asked me about what I studied!  What was I supposed to say?  Basically the mock game and the interview are to make sure you can make eye contact with people, are telegenic, don’t talk into your shoulder, that kind of thing.  After all the mock games, we were informed that everyone in the audition group had been selected to go into the pool!

So basically, any time in the next 18 months I could get a phone call from Jeopardy! telling me to fly out to Los Angeles to be on the show, which is pretty damn awesome if you ask me.  Being on Jeopardy! is a life goal of mine — if I were a contestant, even if I didn’t win (but especially if I did) I could die a happy man.

Today I Learned…

…about a very handy website for Jeopardy! buffs like me.  It’s called TrackMyTrivia, and I found it from a comment on The Jeopardy Project, which you can find on my blogroll.  It’s simply a javascript applet which allows you to keep track of how you are doing as you watch a game of Jeopardy! and play along.  What comes out in the end is basically your “Coryat Score” — your score for the game disregarding wagering.  Much easier to use and more compact than the scorecards I’ve been mocking up for my practice.

Today I Learned…

…that Woody Allen has more combined Oscar nominations for acting, directing, and writing (21) than anyone else in history.

This was Final Jeopardy! from an episode that aired a few weeks ago that I just watched today as part of my training for my audition in a few weeks(!)… my original thought was Clint Eastwood, but I changed it to Allen at the last second.  None of the contestants got it — two of them guessed John Huston (a good guess), and one guessed Orson Welles (another decent guess).

Further Reading…