Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Long Trivial Nightmare is Over. . . for now

Hi Everybody,

So, hey, have any of you taken a look at the website of The Olde Harbor Inn?

Go ahead.

Awww, hell, who am I kidding, most of you won’t click through.

Here is the relevant section, which I am going to reprint in its entirety:

>The Olde Harbor Inn Is Closed For Business.
>After Five Years Of Great Food, Great Entertainment and Great Dockside Dining, We Regretfully Announce Our Closing.
>This decision does not come lightly.
>We have poured our hearts and souls into making this location of one the best spots for seafood and entertainment in Summit County.
>Unfortunately, the tough economic times we are all experiencing have finally caught up with us, and we are no longer able to remain open for business.
>We will truly miss the wonderful patrons and staff who have become our friends and family over the years.
>Our Web site will remain temporarily visible in its most recent state as a monument to the past five-and-a-half years.
>You may reach us by email if needed.
>Thank you,
>The Olde Harbor Inn


Wait, what?!



I know that this news will either
a.) take you on a guided tour through the seedier districts of K├╝bler-Rossylvania, or
b.) leave you sighing relief that you won’t have to put up with my asinine emails every week.

But for BOTH groups, I would like to say:


Just because Tuesday Trivia at the Lighthouse is finished, that does not mean that our little journey is at an end.
Necessarily.

The big question you may be asking yourself is:

Less than you might worry.

If you are playing in a league, you can still play in any of our other locations.  There is Trivia Tuesday-Thursday.
If you don’t want to leave the Greater Akron Population District, you are currently out of luck.
But you can help find the next venue!
There have GOT to be other bars that you think would be a good fit for Trivia.
Send me the name, number, email, and contact name of a human, and I will have one of the amazing folks at Last Call USA speak with them and try to get things going.
If you are the first person to refer a place to me, and they sign up, you’ll drink free for the first trivia night.



Until then,


Thank you!



Rob Core

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Already? Another Annoying Email from Rob Re: Tuesday Trivia Tonight at the Lighthouse! 7:30

Hello All,

Trivia.
Tonight.
Tuesday.
7:30 pm.

* * * * * * * *
League play goes for 12 weeks, but only your top 6 scores will count for finals.
Show up and play as normal but make sure you sign up, either with me, or on the LastCallUSA Website.
You can play as much as you want, but only your top 6 scores will count for finals.
Top teams (from ALL LastCallUSA sites) will compete in the Finals on Dec. 8.
TOP PRIZE is for the $1000 (I did the math, and it turns out that you could afford to buy MORE THAN 18 THINGS FROM 5 BELOW!)
(Remember you can only have 6 players per team during league play.)
Begin Date: August 26th
Final Week: November 11th
Finals: Saturday, December 8th at Noon (location TBA)

(Have you enrolled already, but have a question about your score?  Check with me tonight, and I'll review the scores I have sent in!)
* * * * * * * *

A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, and the most successful eponymic shoe salesman of all time, who is the man responsible for sales of over 1.2 BILLION shoes?   (Also - he was never paid a commission for this heroic work!)
Tell me his name IN PERSON, after 7pm, for a cheesy prize.
* * * * * * * *

LIGHTHOUSE INFO!
Become a fan of The Lighthouse and The Olde Harbor Inn on Facebook.

Info on the Portage Lakes Beer Tour – We are in the middle of Week 2!  THERE IS STILL TIME!
* * * * * * * *

GET A CLUE!
Go check the Last Call USA website for your weekly hint.
It's okay, we'll wait.

You won't have to squint to see the clue.
* * * * * * * *

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!
You receive this email from me because at least one of the following list of things is true.
You:
* Have come to a Tuesday Trivia at The Lighthouse Bar and Grill and signed up for my emails.
* Have a friend or enemy who came to Tuesday Trivia at The Lighthouse Bar and Grill who chickened out, and put down YOUR email instead of their own.
* Are unlucky to know me OUTSIDE of Trivia, and are someone I think may actually be interested in these.
* Are related to me – either by blood or by marriage.  If the former, then “Hi Mom!”  If the later, then may God have mercy on your soul.
* Work for LastCallUsa, The Lighthouse Bar & Grill, The Olde Harbor Inn, or associated entity.
OR you
* Have an email address that may be close to someone else who meets the conditions above, and I completely mistyped.


Want to get OFF the list?  Respond to this with “ANGERBALLSOFRAGEROB! STOP SENDING THESE STUPID $#!+ING EMAILS TO ME!” and I will do so.


rob


so tired.

Monday, September 10, 2012

CITATION NEEDED - Grandma Candy at the Frozen South?

When I got the quiz the other night, one question stood out:

"Admiral Richard Byrd, a polar explorer, traveled to the South Pole with 2 ½ tons of what candy – enough for each member of his team to eat nearly a pound per week for their 2-year stay in Antarctica."


Full disclosure - I am one of the only people under 60 that I know who actually love and enjoy NECCO Wafers - even the mysterious purple wafer. (I found out a few years ago it's clove flavored.) I just wanted to mention it in case you just want to respond telling me you think they are horrible and disgusting. I won't be offended, but I will be a little sad. . .

This South Pole/NECCO connection just sounded odd - I had to dig in.

Some quick Google searching found an almost identical passage on the NECCO website:
"In the 1930s, Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, a polar explorer, traveled to the South Pole with 2 ½ tons of Necco Wafers in tow – his team had nearly a pound per week for their 2-year stay in the Antarctic. "

As much as I love their candy, I am not sure I can count the company website as a reliable source.

Wikipedia had this passage in their entry on NECCO:
"In the 1930s, Richard E. Byrd famously took 2½ tons (2,300 kg) of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole, nearly a 1 pound (0.45 kg) a week for each man in his party, for their two-year stay in the Antarctic."

The footnote for this bit of info brought me to the Local Legacies section of the Library of Congress website.

When I followed that link, the Necco-Byrd connection shows up as:
"In the 1930s, Admiral Byrd took 2 1/2 tons of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole, practically a pound a week for each of his men during their two-year stay in the Antarctic."
At the bottom of the page was this note:
"Originally submitted by: Michael E. Capuano, Representative (8th District)."

It looks to me as if Rep. Capuano either used materials directly from NECCO, or a site that took the information from the NECCO website. I couldn't find anything that looked as if it came from outside of NECCO itself.

I dug around and found a reference in an actual published book! It's Candy: The Sweet History by Beth Kimmerle. I found the passage in question on Google Books:
"Two and a half tons of NECCO Wafers went to Antarctica with Admiral Byrd on an expedition as nutrition and treats for Eskimo children."

At first, I was happy to see SOME printed source for this.
Then I re-read that passage.
"Nutrition and treats for ESKIMO CHILDREN?" - was Byrd bringing a bunch of Inuit kids thousands of miles south? Was he using them instead of sled dogs?

Random Aside - Inuit/Eskimos are from the freezing sections of furthest North America. North Pole expedition? You'll probably encounter a few more Inuit than elves on the way, but for the South Pole? No way. Antarctica has no native human population.
As the crow flies, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina (closest inhabited land to Antarctica) is about 14,000 kilometers or 8,700 miles from Nunavut, Canada. That's a long way to travel for some candy . . .
(You probably knew all this, but my mom got confused when I mentioned this to her.)

So, I have some doubts about Ms. Kimmerle's research, and her index, notes, sources, and bibliography are not accessible through Google books.

The question is this:
Can anyone verify that Byrd took NECCO Wafers on his expedition?
Can anyone find contemporary sources for this?
Or any sources of this that don't read as if they came right from NECCO's own corporate history?




I posted this (in a slightly different form) on ask.metafilter.com.  (You can follow the entire original exchange here.)

The first good lead came when a MeFite told me about the Byrd Polar Research Center Archives at the Ohio State University.  
After a little digging, I sent this email to Laura Kissel, the Polar Curator (best job title ever?) of the Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program at The Ohio State University:

"This is an odd question.
(I think that is the traditional opening for any random inquiry of a librarian or archivist, right? Maybe I should hedge and type "This is probably an odd question," but I know full well it is.)
. . . snipped intro of self, and metafilter thread . . . If you read all that, you'll see that I focused on the NECCO side of things, and neglected the Byrd side.
Within 30 seconds of posting there, (actually 5 minutes, but it seemed that quick) a user named Zamboni pointed me to the Byrd archives at OSU.
I clicked and searched a bit, with no luck.
Zamboni is taking it much further, and posting interesting finds
. . .snipped reposting of Zamboni's leads . . . So here is the part where I ask you to do some work for me, an anonymous dork on the internet for no pay, and little recognition.
Is there any evidence of Byrd having taken NECCO wafers on any expeditions at all?
I'm not looking for confirmation of the 2.5 tons, and certainly NOT asking you to spend more than a few minutes on a cursory check, but any information would be great. Thanks
"

 
NOTE:I snipped out my attempt of bribery by offering her free drinks at the bar trivia contest I run on Tuesdays in Akron - if you want details, you can message me about that.

Her quick and elegant response (stitched from two separate emails):


"So you win the prize today for making me chuckle. And yes, all of our questions are odd and off the wall! Having said this, I feel that I must find the answer because I desperately want my free drink :).
Let me look into it and I’ll get back to you. Give me a day or two. I’ll need to have some files pulled and do a little hunting
. . . . next bit from second email . . . . Of course, post away! And feel free to name me, because as you said, the info is out there. And we want people to find us! Frankly, I need a new and interesting facebook entry, so I hope that we find evidence of this Necco thing so I can put it on our fb page! Win-win."


Later, I got this reply from her:
"HI Rob – Just a quick update – I’m still looking for evidence of the Necco wafers on Byrd’s expedition(s). You would be amazed as to how many files would be possibilities for this info! So far no luck. However, I just feel there is a kernel of truth in this story, so there must be evidence, so I have not yet given up. Unfortunately, the “candy” file did not contain any info about the Necco wafers (that would have been just way too easy!).

For your enjoyment, I’ve attached a food list that I found. No Necco wafers, but lots of other stuff! Must be hard to pack enough food for 2 years!

Still hunting,
Laura

P.s. Thanks for the facebook shout out – we’ve gained lots of new “likes”!"
(note: I added the link to their Facebook page.)
 

She sent me a 15 page PDF titled "Byrd6324_foodlistBAEII.pdf."

It is a scan of typewritten list with handwritten annotations that was used to prepare for Byrd's second Antarctic expedition.
(I think. I am having Laura clarify, and I asked her for permission to upload it to Scribd so you can all enjoy it, also.)

No NECCO by name, but it is full of gems.
Here's a taste:

page 11
100 Cases Soda Crackers - 50 lbs. to case
handwritten next to this is "nice to have but don't purchase"
page 13
3 Cases Ovaltine - 100 lb. to case
page 15 (handwritten under "MISCELLENAEOUS - if donated."
200 lbs. Cracker Jack
and my favorite from page 12:
1000 lb. Pop Corn
The 1000 is crossed out. Next to this entry is handwritten "75lbs. (red checkmark) + 75 (red checkmark) +--- This is enough
The +----- is meant to indicate an arrow. I'd use the arrow bracket, but the interweb  wants to save that for the HTML tags.


Later, from Laura:
"I think that you are right – this is some kind of working list and the annotations are more than likely what they decided to take. There are literally hundreds (thousands?) of pieces of paper documenting the stuff that went. I’m not sure if there is a comprehensive list someplace or not…. Piecing it together may be possible but it would be more time consuming than either one of us would like – files upon files of stuff that was donated vs. stuff that was purchased; files of the equipment and supplies, then broken down into various categories; files of donors (cash? Stuff? Can’t tell unless you pull it and take a look…) That’s why I like the list that I sent you – because it is an actual list!!!

Regarding your other questions- Byrd’s expeditions were privately funded until the 1939-41 US Antarctic Expedition. Byrd raised the money for his expeditions up until this time period. He had a lot of financial contributors as well as companies that donated products. He also wrote and sold his books and lectured (for a fee) about his expeditions. He referred to it as “this hero business.” One gets the sense that maybe he didn’t love it, but he had to do it in order to pay for his expeditions. Copyright is a complicated cluster of rules, but here is my big thing – people need to know where you got it, so the citation information needs to be clear – and you can’t profit from our stuff without our permission. We’ve got forms that you need to complete for that, and yes a small fee must be paid. So if you decided to make a coffee mug, let’s say, with Byrd’s face on it, derived from one of our photos, you gotta pay us for that. (Mind you, our fees are very minimal, but you get the idea.) So – yes, go ahead and post the list, and just make sure that people know it came from us, file #6324 in the Papers of Admiral Richard E. Byrd.
Haven’t given up yet on finding evidence of Necco…."


and more a few days later:
"Hi Rob,
 Well, I don’t give up easily, but I give up. I’ve been through all of the logical files for 3 Byrd Antarctic Expeditions – BAE I 1928-1930; BAE II 1933-1935; and the US Antarctic Service Exped. 1939-1941, and I find no evidence of the NECCO connection. I also looked for random correspondence with the New England Confectionary Co. and/or Oliver R. Chase of Chase and Co., and with no luck. Please note, just because I did not find it, doesn’t mean it isn’t so – but I am a little bothered that there was just nothing in our files to connect Byrd to NECCO. I found so much other correspondence and lists upon lists of foodstuffs, etc. It is interesting, as you have already pointed out, that the various “sources” all seem to be quoting the same identical fact, almost verbatim. Maybe the NECCO people can provide some substantiated evidence?
Sorry :) . It’s more fun when I can actually find the documentation.
-Laura"


Looks as if the polar angle has turned out to be. . .

(adjusts shades)

. . . for the Byrds.
 

(It's probably clear that I need to get out more.)

This doesn't mean I am going to stop, but I'll have to tack back to the NECCO side of things.

Some searching led me to an excellent blog The Candy Professor, written by Samira Kawash, PhD. She is a Professor Emerita from Rutgers, my alma mater, and writes extensively about candy, culture and history. You can see some samples at her blog, or here are several articles she wrote for The Atlantic.

I'm going to write to her - she has several posts about NECCO on her blog. One post in particular, and she also steered my towards a book by Louis Untermayer. It's called "A Century of Candymaking, 1847-1947: The Story of the Origin and Growth of the New England Confectionery Company Which Parallels that of the Candy Industry in America" . Google Books has scanned the volume, but it is in copyright (under copyright?) and so I get teeny tiny maddening glances. Byrd shows up twice:

Page 31
In modern times such hardy explorers as Byrd and MacMillan also realized the value of candy as a source of quick energy. MacMillan took” (preview cuts off)

Page 72
“. . . South Pole and with MacMillan on his expeditions to Eskimo land. You can find them at the corner store.” (Preview doesn't actually show Byrd, but is probably right above the selection shown?)

I altered the search a few different ways. The best result was by searching for MacMillan, but it only gave me the two above, and this:

Page 82 (Apparently a timeline of Necco candy?)
1913 Donald MacMillan, explorer, takes Necco Wafers on his Arctic expedition, using them for nutrition and as rewards to Eskimo children.”

That line is copied verbatim on NECCO’s own timeline , except for changing the capitalization of “Necco” to NECCO and adding a “®” symbol.
What is interesting is that this timeline page does NOT mention Byrd at all.
I used an online library catalog and found copies of the book as close as Cleveland, but that's a bit of a hike - I know it will be forever and a day before I get up there...

(September 2013 update - More than a year, and I haven't been there yet.)

On September 4, I got another update from Laura:
"So – I rather skimmed over the MacMillan thread before, but maybe this is the ticket. MacMillan and Byrd were together on an expedition to Greenland in 1925. Obviously not Antarctica, but some people really muddle this up. We have very little documentation of this expedition, so it won’t take me long to check it out. I’ll have it pulled and try to review tomorrow. Stay tuned…."

Unfortunately, I got this the next day:
 "Darn it, I’m not so amazing after all, it seems. No sign of the elusive NECCO wafer in the MacMillan Greenland expedition documentation either.

But – you can believe that I will keep my eyes peeled for any sign of this and let you know if I ever come across anything to substantiate this in our collections. Did I mention that the Byrd collection is more than 500 boxes? That means things aren’t always where you think they should be and often turn up when looking for something else!!
"

When she mentioned the size of the collection, I immediately flashed on Ion the ending of the first Indiana Jones movie. (The Ark storage area, not the face melting.)
I told her this in my reply, and she said:


"So, sometime when you are in Columbus, come by and visit and I’ll show you our storage facility – which is unbelievably Indiana-Jones like. You would enjoy it. I might even give you a ride on the forklift. (yes, we use forklift machines to retrieve materials from our stacks. I figure if the Archivist gig doesn’t work out, there is always Home Depot ;-))."

(Sept 2013 update - have not yet taken her up on this.)

I did get a reply from Dr. Kawash"
I'll start with her completing the passages from Untermayer's A Century of Candymaking. She gave the missing parts of the passages, but I am going to stitch them together to make it clearer.

More complete selection from page 31:

In modern times such hardy explorers as Byrd and MacMillan also realized the value of candy as a source of quick energy. MacMillan took Necco wafers to the Arctic, while Byrd brought two and a half tons of candy to the South Pole, practically a pound a week for each of his men during their 2 year stay in the Antarctic.

More complete selection from page 72:

Necco candies are known far and wide. they went with Bryd to the South Pole and with MacMillan on his expeditions to Eskimo land. You can find them at the corner store.

And her actual reply (note: My mail acted weird - most of this came through as plaintext, and spaced a bit oddly, I am going to add breaks for clarity and flow. I added the links to the NYT archives, but they are behind the paywall.) :

Ah, I see you've caught the bug.
Untermeyer will not help you.


(Here is where she included the completed passages.)


"I have a bit more information on this topic.
From contemporary sources, it is not clear how many Necco wafers were on the ship, if any.
There were definitely not 2 1/2 tons of Necco wafers, in any case.
There was 2 1/2 tons of candy in general, including cough drops and gum, as well as 10,000 candy bars.
Curtiss candy is named, but not NECCO, in the announcement that was in the trade journal Confectioners Journal, Curtiss presumably supplying the candy bars (the head of Curtiss, Otto Schnering, was a genius for marketing)
Confectioners Journal, 1928 Oct p. 55 “Sugar and Candy in the Antarctic.” (I can't find a link - rob)
The NYT archive seems to be down right now but these articles also mention candy in the expedition: “Byrd Ship Drops Negro Stowaway,” NYT 17 Sept 1928; “Byrd Dogs Seasick Leaving Labrador,” NYT 1 Sept 1928.
Also of interest is Russell Owen, “Chicken and Mince Pie Dinner at Byrd’s Camp Marked Warm Antarctic Christmas Day” NYT 27 Dec 1929 (describes how each man got a one pound box of candy at Christmas, it had been buried under the snow).
Good luck, and if you want to return the favor, when my book comes out next fall I'd love it if you'd spread the word and maybe drop a line on Amazon!
"

And her followup email, when I asked if it was okay to post this, she replied:


"Sure, go ahead. I didn't know about metafilter so that has been a fun discovery.
There are a lot of mythic candy stories that don't hold up to investigation.
I suspect because really it doesn't matter that much. But still there is something quite thrilling about uncovering the real story.
You might be interested in a couple of entries on my blog under the category "myth busting" on Tootsie Roll, kisses etc.
Also since you're traveling to polar regions you might like a related story about another candy -fuelled expedition "Arctic Gum Drop Fiasco".
CandyProfessor.com is sort of on pause mode while I finish my book, but will be ramping up next year.
My book is about how America came to be a "great candy eating nation" in the first half of the twentieth century, and why candy today isn't what it used to be.
With ample candy trivia and history along the way.
Should be out in Fall 2013. I'll post progress on the blog. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!
"

So, the final verdict seems to be:

Byrd certainly brought a LOT of candy (2.5 tons) on his expedition, it was a variety of candy, not simply NECCO wafers.

(If a book that NECCO paid to have written in 1947 doesn't claim the candy was all theirs, I think it is pretty safe to assume that it wasn't.)

So it looks to me as if the Untermayer book is the source of the "fact" which got smudged a bit as time went on, into 2.5 tons of NECCO wafers.


whew!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Week, Another Rambling Email. . .Trivia Tuesday - Rob Core @ The Lighthouse

Hello Triviators (and random friends, acquaintances, well-wishers, spite-mongers and chinchillas),

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?
You receive this email from me because at least one of the following list of things is true:
You
* Have come to a Tuesday Trivia at The Lighthouse Bar and Grill and signed up for my emails.
* Have a friend or enemy who came to Tuesday Trivia at The Lighthouse Bar and Grill who chickened out, and put down YOUR email instead of their own.
* Are unlucky to know me OUTSIDE of Trivia, and are someone I think may actually be interested in these.
* Are related to me – either by blood or by marriage.  If the former, then “Hi Mom!”  If the later, then may God have mercy on your soul.
* Work for LastCallUsa, The Lighthouse Bar & Grill, The Olde Harbor Inn, or associated entity.
OR you
* Have an email address that may be close to someone else who meets the conditions above, and I completely mistyped.


Want to get OFF the list?  Respond to this with “HOLYHECK ROB! STOP SENDING THESE!” and I will do so.
(I may cry, but I’ll do it.)


* * * * * * * *
LIGHTHOUSE INFO!
Become a fan of The Lighthouse and The Olde Harbor Inn on Facebook.

Info on the Portage Lakes Beer Tour – Starting September 2nd!


* * * * * * * *
CONTINUING BASEBALL MADNESS
The question is settled, and scores are final, but I ran across this little item in Deadspin last week, and thought it might be of some interest.
* * * * * * * *

CLUEMANIA
Did you check the Last Call USA website for your weekly hint?  If you did, and clicked on the “Hints & News” Link at the bottom of the page?
If you did, you’ll discover hints from last week (in case you have a police call box, or are Merlin) and lower down, for this week (if you travel through time in the usual way).

This week, the clue for Tuesday is quite pedestrian.

* * * * * * * * *
League play goes for 12 weeks, but only your top 6 scores will count for finals.
Show up and play as normal but make sure you sign up, either with me, or on the LastCallUSA Website.
You can play as much as you want, but only your top 6 scores will count for finals.
Top teams (from ALL LastCallUSA sites) will compete in the Finals on Dec. 8.
TOP PRIZE is for the $1000 (I did the math, and it turns out that you could afford to buy MORE THAN 18 THINGS FROM 5 BELOW!)
(Remember you can only have 6 players per team during league play.)
Begin Date: August 26th
Final Week: November 11th
Finals: Saturday, December 8th at Noon (location TBA)

* * * * * * * * *
Hidden Note: Invisibility!

* * * * * * * * *
CHEESY QUICK QUIZ:
What gigantic company (which was originally going to call itself “BackRub”) celebrates its birthday today?
(Or at least sometime in September, official accounts vary, but September 4 seems to have a plurality of the citations.)

Random prize to the first person to tell me, in person, tonight after 7pm!


Rob

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trivia Tuesday! League Play and Update on Last Week! Rob Core @ the Lighthouse @ 7:30

IRST!  
Welcome to so many new folks!
We had a great crowd from Gojo last week, and a several of them signed up.
I have also dug up my older signup sheets and corrected the distribuition list, so lots more of you folks are getting this.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone you like and invite them out to play.
Remember – it’s totally free to play, and there are excellent prizes.
(Want to get OFF the list?  Respond to this with “HOLYHECK ROB! STOP SENDING THESE!” and I will do so.)

* * * * * * * * *
The Controversial Case of the Crafted Cork Center! Solved?
Last week’s Question 10 caused a bit of a hullabaloo.
The question, as written, was : “What material is at the very center of an MLB regulation baseball?”
The answer I had was simply CORK, but the responses were pretty evenly split between cork and rubber.
My spot judgment was to go with the answer I had. (Remember Rule #5 on your score sheets – “The decisions of the MCs are final.”)

Afterward, one of you mentioned she had actually watched a movie from a baseball manufacturer with her class that showed RUBBER centers in the manufacturing process.
(She pulled it up on YouTube and showed it to me.)

This got me into research mode.

The internet was little help at first.

Several sites gave me conflicting info, so I looked up the actual rules from MLB:
From there, you can pull up the full rules, and sure enough in here:
I looked down to Rule 1.09 where I found this:
     Rule 1.09 The ball shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound around a small core of cork, rubber or similar material, 
     covered with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together.
     It shall weigh not less than five nor more than 5 1/4 ounces avoirdupois 
     and measure not less than nine nor more than 9 1/4 inches in circumference.

It seemed pretty definitive. 
Proud of myself, I sent in my proof to our writing staff.

This was their response:
Thanks for the inquiry about what's in the center of a baseball. 
Like you, I found conflicting and/or incomplete information, not only from the MLB site,
but also from Rawlings, the official supplier of Major League Baseball. 
So I ended up calling the company and talking to a product specialist.  This is what he said:
            "Official Major League baseballs have a cushioned cork core, with wool wrappings, and a cowhide leather covering. 
While Rawlings does make balls with rubber cores for other organizations (I assume Little League and such),
the very center of a big-league baseball is made of cork." 
He also mentioned that every Major League baseball is still handmade, which kinda blew my mind. 
Apparently, they tried to automate the process in the 70s or 80s but the balls were of inferior quality.

So I'd say that's as definitive of an answer as we're going to get. 
I think the key phrase here is "very center"; even if the cushion around the cork is made of rubber,
cork is what is at the exact center point of the ball. 
I’ll consider this settled.
* * * * * * * * *

LIGHTHOUSE INFO!
Become a fan of The Lighthouse and The Olde Harbor Inn on Facebook.

Info on the Portage Lakes Beer Tour – Starting September 2nd!

You know the Lighthouse has live music, right?  Here’s the band schedule through the end of the month!

* * * * * * * * *

LEAGUE PLAY STARTS TONIGHT! (or actually, Sunday. . . .)
League play goes for 12 weeks.
Show up and play as normal.  (See me if you have not registered on the LastCallUSA Website.
You can play as much as you want, but only your top 6 scores will count for finals.
Top teams (from ALL LastCallUSA sites) will compete in the Finals on Dec. 8.
TOP PRIZE is for the $1000 (I did the math, and it turns out that you could afford to buy MORE THAN 57 ITEMS from the McDonalds Dollar Menu!)
(Remember you can only have 6 players per team during league play.)
Begin Date: August 26th
Final Week: November 11th
Finals: Saturday, December 8th at Noon (location TBA)

* * * * * * * * *
One of you drew this lovely Trivia Turkey! on the back of an extra answer sheet a few weeks ago.
I got a kick out of it, and I thought you might too.
(Don’t click on that if you are offended by foul-mouthed, anatomically improbable, pilgrim-garbed fowl.)

* * * * * * * * *
Have you visited the  Last Call USA website and clicked on the “Hints & News” Link at the bottom of the page?
Really? 
It’s free hints. 
You like hints, don’t you?

You don’t?

Are you some kind of freak?
* * * * * * * * *

RANDOM CONTEST
This distinguished gent retired from the US Navy as a Rear Admiral, and received the Medal of Honor, as well as several awards and citations from the US government, including:
In spite of his distinguished military career, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in peacetime, by a special act of Congress. 
Who is he, and why was he so honored?
First person to tell me (correctly, and in person) before 7:20 pm tonight will win a good prize.
The second person will win a crummy prize.
The third person will get my heartfelt congratulations.
There won’t be a fourth person, because I know only 2 of you even read this far in the email.

See you tonight!

Trivially,
Rob Core

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cork You, Farley! - Whiny Whinersons - Question update

Question 10 in last night's show caused some controversy.

The question, as written is:
 
SPORTS - What material is at the very center of an MLB regulation baseball?  

Cork

I had a pretty even answer split between rubber and cork, and one contestant is a teacher who had actually shown a class a film about it from one of the ball manufacturers, which showed it was rubber.  (She pulled it up on Youtube after the show.)  This question actually made the difference between the first and second place teams, and might have put another team into third.  I squashed it during the show - I rely heavily on Rule 5 from the sheet - "Decision on the MC is final" and my folks are generally okay with this.  This one bugged me enough to look it up today though.

A couple sites gave me conflicting info, so I looked up the actual rules from MLB:
From there, you can pull up the full rules, and sure enough in here:
when I looked down to Rule 1.09, I found this:
Rule 1.09 The ball shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound around a small core of cork, rubber or similar material, covered with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together. It shall weigh not less than five nor more than 5 1/4 ounces avoirdupois and measure not less than nine nor more than 9 1/4 inches in circumference.

I'll take care of it at next weeks show, and get the bar to make it up.  
Since it's not league play yet, no one was really upset, but during the league things could get a little heated.

(Even though my one team - the one who nitpicked points the most and questioned every questionable question -  got themselves into the finals and then didn't even bother to show up!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A quickie - Trivia Tuesday Tonight!

Hi All!

Reminder about Trivia - tonight at The Lighthouse Bar and Grill!

7:30 pm.

In lieu of jokes and random links, please enjoy this short video of the musical stylings of the Doctor and Abby N.

BONUS QUESTION - The clip is from a movie (very loosely) based on a book.
What is the much more forgettable subtitle to that book?
If you tell me, in person, before 7:25 you'll win a prize!




Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mistah Kottah? Trivia Tonight.

Hi all!

Trivia is back in a big way at the Lighthouse tonight!

(Well, it didn't really go anywhere, so perhaps it is STILL at the Lighthouse in a big way. . . )

LIGHTHOUSE!:
You can become a fan of The Lighthouse and The Olde Harbor Inn on Facebook.
JUST DO IT!

Last week was interesting - improvised acoustics and all!
Keep your fingers crossed - I think the sound board should be repaired by now.  Unless all the bands that played last week went acoustic.




LAST CALL USA and HINTS - (Yes, cloned from an older email!)
Have you visited the  Last Call USA website and clicked on the “Hints & News” Link at the bottom of the page?
In the “Trivia” section, there is a list of 7 items.  Each is an answer to a quiz question from a Last Call USA bar this week.
(You DO know that we have Trivia EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEKright? )
One of those items will be an answer for a question I will ask tonight.
This is a pathetically easy way to ensure at least one answer correct each week – so please check it every week. 

This is another short one.

But, there is a quiz:
John Hodgman, who became famous as the PC in the Macintosh ads, went to Yale with a demented musician who has song featured in my playlist, almost every week.  For a random prize - be the first person to tell me in person at The Lighthouse between 7 and 7:30 tonight!

R
o
b

C
o
r
e

PS RIP Horshack

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Totally lazy email - Trivia Tonight!

Hi all,

Today was super busy at my day job, so I am simply forwarding last weeks email, and reminding you:

Tonight.

7:30pm

Be there!
**Contest - Smokey Bear's image and name are federally protected by a law that was passed in what year?
1st person to tell me at Trivia tonight wins a stuffed animal!

Rob

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today is a good day to Triviate! - Rob Core Tonight at the Lighthouse - 7:30

Sujatlh 'e' yImev!



NEWS FLASH:

For those of you who have been following this in the news, you may be interested to know that I was found NOT GUILTY!*

Thank you jury of my peers!



LAST WEEKS GAME:

I don’t have my game sheet in front of me, and I am not in the mood to go get it.

So, if you showed up last week:

YAAAYYYYYY!!!!!! You done good!



If you didn’t:

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We all miss you.  Please come back?





LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Invites went out TODAY!

(They went out to the registered team captain – Captains please the info to your teammates!)

Here are the details:

WHEN:Saturday, August 11 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM

WHERE:Spectators8003 Mayfield Rd. Chesterland, OH 44026

AT THIS MOMENT – only the Top 20 teams are invited – alternates may be invited to take their places as RSVPs are received.  All teams in the Top 20 must register by Friday, Aug 3!



LAST CALL USA and HINTS

Have you visited the  Last Call USA website and clicked on the “Hints & News” Link at the bottom of the page?

Why not?

In the “Trivia” section, there is a list of 7 items.  Each is an answer to a quiz question from a Last Call USA bar this week.

(You DO know that we have Trivia EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK, right? )

One of those items will be an answer for a question I will ask tonight.

This is a pathetically easy way to ensure at least one answer correct each week – so please check it every week. SO SAY WE ALL!



LIGHTHOUSE!:

You can become a fan of The Lighthouse and The Olde Harbor Inn on Facebook.

You know that because I bug you every week.

For the love of Mike, just do it!



There might be a contest later on the page. Believe it! Or not.



LIGHTHOUSE 2: Electric Boogaloo

And an EXACT DUPE OF INFO FROM LAST WEEK, STALE JOKES AND ALL:

ALSO on the Lighthouse front:

It is almost time for the Annual Portage Lakes Beer Tour !

And you know what that means!

And if you don’t know, go click the link above to find out more.  Or just click it here, again: And you know what that means!

ALSO:

Check out the Lightouse’s band schedule.

ALSO:

Did you know:

You can buy Olde Harbor Inn/Lightouse Bar and Grill gift certificates for all your loved ones?

Well you do now!



YET ANOTHER POINTLESS CONTEST:

What do all of these companies have in common:

Roxxon Energy Corporation (FKA Roxxon Oil)

Beyond Corporation©

Oceanic Airlines

Tyrell Corporation

Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems

Wolfram & Hart

Sirius Cybernetics Corp.

Nakatomi Trading Corp.



NON CHEESY PRIZES! – Seriously! The first folks who tell me their answer in person will get a Great Lakes Brewing Company T-Shirt.

GLB bottle-opener keychains for ALL with a correct answer!

(You have to tell me in person, though.)



See you tonight,

Rob Core

America’s Trivia Sweetheart



*Note to Mom – it’s okay – it’s not really me.  Honest.  Click the link and take a look at the guy – he is much taller than I am, for one thing. . .

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another Trivial Tuesday - Rob Core at the Lighthouse - 7:30 PM - Be There or Be an Equiangular Rhombus!

Excelsior Triviatrons!



Close match last week!  The Canal Rats took the lead with a strong 74 points, closely followed by The Gooders with 71 points and E=MC Awesome at 70 points.

Great job by all teams, and I would like to take this time to formally welcome Team Cheaters, and say thanks for staying for the whole shoe last week.



I would like to, but I can’t.

Because I didn’t ask them for their email address.

Because I may be an idiot.

(If you have an opinion on this issue, either pro or con, please keep it to yourself, but please remind me to send the email sign up sheet around the room before we get started.  As always, feel free to spread the word around about the Tuesday show!)



LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS:

The scores on the website are not the final showings – LastCallUSA Central Command is still waiting on a few DJs to forward scores in to them.

However, as of this morning, we did have one team in the Top 20, and another just under that.

You probably know who you are, so keep your fingers crossed.

(You are probably on the LastCallUSA distribution, but I’ll send out a special NON-TUESDAY bulletin to alert you when I have the final standings, just in case.)

The Championship is at Spectators in Chesterland.  It’s a Saturday -  August 11th at noon.

I am not sure who is hosting, but I do know it is not me.

I am trying to clear my schedule to make sure I can attend.

More info as I have it!





I reminded you last week that you can move from the friend-zone to the friends-who-occasionally-share-a-little-sumptin’-sumptin’-(I-am-talking-about-nookie-in-case-I-am-not-clear)-zone with a weekly application of good trivia, bad jokes, and lots of booze.

No word on any success stories, but I’ll share any with the list if you send me one.





As always, you can find hints by going to the Last Call USA website and clicking on the “Hints & News” Link at the bottom of the page.

(Insert lame joke and link to a random website here.)

In the “Trivia” section, there is a list of 7 items.  Each is an answer to a quiz question from a Last Call USA bar this week.

(You DO know that we have Trivia EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK**, right? )

One of those items will be an answer for a question I will ask tonight.

This is a pathetically easy way to get at least one answer correct, so please check it every week.





LIGHTHOUSE/OLDE HARBOR INN NEWS:

You can become a fan of The Lighthouse and The Olde Harbor Inn on Facebook.

You know that because I tell you every week.

Did you see last week?

Steve, the owner, declared that I was an expert in Cleveland Indians Baseball from 81-83.

(Truth be told – not so much! )

But I put out a question, and offered a free drink to the first person to get it correct.

No one got it.

BUT THAT IS BECAUSE YOU DID NOT CHECK THE PAGE!

CHECK THE PAGE!

(WHY HAVE YOU NOT BECOME FRIENDS WITH THE LIGHTHOUSE OLDE HARBOR INN?  THEY ALWAYS SAY SUCH NICE THINGS ABOUT YOU!!)



Seriously though, go there and do that.



ALSO on the Lighthouse front:



It is almost time for the Annual Portage Lakes Beer Tour !

And you know what that means!

And if you don’t know, go click the link above to find out more.  Or just click it here, again: And you know what that means!



ALSO:

Check out the Lightouse’s band schedule.



ALSO:

Did you know:

You can buy Olde Harbor Inn/Lightouse Bar and Grill gift certificates for all your loved ones?

Well you do now!





REMINDER ABOUT THE DRIVE OVER:

You are all big boys and girls.  Google it  your own darn self.



LASTCALLUSA News:

NEW SHOW ADDED! Redhawk Grille in Painesville will offer TRIVIA every Wednesday at 8:30 pm starting July 18th!

NEW SHOW ADDED! Mardi Gras in Downtown Cleveland will offer TUNES every Wednesday at 6pm beginning August 8th!



  

 Trivially,

Rev. Rob’t Core, esq.



I send this newsletter out each week.  Do you care?

I enjoy putting it together, but if you think it is annoying, or just don’t want to get it, please let me know – I’ll take you off my list.

 **As I typed last week, our NE Ohio page only has Trivia on some nights – but Last Call runs shows in Cincinnati, Indiana, NY, PA and more.  Do you have another favorite bar that you’d like to see run our Trivia show? (Or Name That Tune, or our Buffalo show?)  If you send me the following information:

•  The name of the bar

•  Their phone number

•  Their web address

•  The name of a contact there

•  Your name

I will have someone from Last Call get in touch with them and see if they are a good match.

If the bar signs up, I’ll buy you a drink.

Simple, no?

No?



Really?



Here is the equation

If (Referral)                    then      (sales call)

If (sales call)                 then      (bar signs up)

If (bar signs up)             then      (I buy you a drink)



Simple logic, honest!

(If someone can present this in actual formal symbolic logic in a way that is actually correct and makes sense, please respond and I will forward it out.)





SOOPER SEKRIT CONTEST QUESTION:

Crummy prize guaranteed for the first two CORRECT RESPONSES that I get IN PERSON.  EMAIL will not count.

Often mistaken for a cast member, this comedian who hosted SNL 8 times in the first 4 years of the show was never actually a member of “The Not-Ready-For Prime-Time-Players” – Who is he?