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How Did You Know Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney?

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I'm happy to announce a winner to our last How Did You Know? 5-day trivia hunt. Please meet Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney from St. Louis., who now have $100 to spend in our store and will be entered into the drawing to win the HD Flip cam. They blazed through the final puzzle and got all the answers within 18 minutes of the gun! Considering how involved the final challenge was, that's pretty darn fast.

Dozens of you got all the answers correct, and I'll be sure to post the top 10 in the order we received them over on our Facebook page soon, as well as the Flip cam winner.

Meantime, our random winner this month is Sejal Vyas, who was one of the few people who saw the toy soldiers appearing and disappearing in the Sister Salad video for Catch-22. Of course, you didn't need to find all the clues to move ahead, but it was interesting to see who came up with what. For instance, very few people noticed the calendar set to July 4th in the Oliver Stone clue. Also, Lizz changed the color of her headband frequently, from red, to white, to blue, and so on. Furthermore, she covered up the word 'stone' on the Harry Potter book cover every time the large rock/stone dissappered. And I don't think anyone caught Alexandra's missing earring, which she 'Lost'! Anyway, thanks again to Sister Salad for all the hard work in the details.
See everyone back for another HDYK on the 25th of August, when Dawn and Patrick will be looking to defend the title. Meantime, let's meet our winners and review their answers:

[caption id="attachment_30647" align="alignleft" width="480" caption="Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney"][/caption]

Dawn: I'm a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, with a bachelor's in biology (and a minor in Latin), and a master's in teaching. Currently I teach math and science at an alternative high school in St. Louis. In my spare time I like to sing, and watch reality television, and do puzzles, especially logic puzzles. I also go to trivia nights with my friends. Trivia nights are a St. Louis thing; they're like bar trivia, only there's an entrance fee and the games are 100 questions long.

Patrick: I'm a high school math teacher (also a masters of teaching and a bachelor's in math from Wash. U.) and choreographer, the oldest of 5 siblings. I write trivia nights so I have a large amount of knowledge of lots of different subjects. I love doing puzzles, writing puzzles. They make a very useful tool in the classroom, to help students increase their mathematical ability. We divide the puzzles pretty evenly except for Camouflage which I am much, much better at. I think Will Shortz is the bomb.

Final Answer

74

(Joseph Stalin was 74 years old when he died.)

Day 1

In the background of the video there is a chalkboard with different numbers. I noticed right away since it seemed like there was an edit cut after every sentence, so I was looking for things to jump around. The numbers are 4, 8, 15, 16, and 42, from "Lost". Since I'm one of the people who played the lottery with those numbers after they aired, I would recognize those numbers anywhere :) The missing number is of course is 23.

The four TV shows mashed up are "Happy Days", "Laverne and Shirley", "Mork and Mindy", and "Joanie Loves Chachi". I knew the first two, and googled "shazbot" to find "Mork and Mindy". The shows are all connected to "Happy Days" somehow; "Laverne and Shirley" and "Joanie Loves Chachi" are spin-offs, and the character of Mork was introduced on "Happy Days". Once I figured out they were all related to "Happy Days" I went to YouTube to listen to theme songs until I found "Joanie Loves Chachi" (also to confirm the other three). So the password is "chachi".

When I saw the photo I wondered about the connection between those shows and human pyramids on water skis, but I had a hunch which I took to imdb.com to confirm. Henry Winkler has appeared in every show, and he has also "jumped the shark", literally. On water skis.

Day 2

After yesterday's video I was on the lookout for random things in the background, so I spotted the stone that kept appearing and disappearing. I was watching the Harry Potter book, too, and the word "stone" on the cover was taped over and uncovered. So I got Oliver Stone from that. I had to watch a second time for a clue to the movie, and I noticed Lizz's headband had changed colors. It starts out red, then becomes white, and then blue. So from that I got "Born on the Fourth of July". (Or you could have done like Patrick did and saw the daily calendar that said "JULY 4" in big black letters. I like to make things difficult, apparently.)

The circle code threw me for a minute, even though I figured it was an a=1, b=2 type of code, because I wasn't sure where to start or how to tell "1,12" from "11,2". Eventually I just started near the top and tested things. The first name I got was Stephen (actually I got "Tephen" but that was enough to tell me I needed to move back one). I guessed this was the Baldwin brothers and that helped me get Alec, William, and Daniel.

I went to imdb.com and found that Alec Baldwin was not in "Born on the Fourth of July".

Day 3

As the video goes on there's a rose in the background that appears and disappears, along with Alexandra's baseball cap. I put those two together and came up with Pete Rose, and then googled him to find his nickname of "Charlie Hustle". Patrick informs me the journalist he shares names with is Charlie Pete Rose, Jr.

Your example really helped for the next puzzle. "Joltin' Joe" is a nickname of Joe DiMaggio, so I figured all the other names were baseball players' nicknames. Unfortunately they're not all baseball player nicknames, they're from different sports. Thank goodness for Wikipedia (List of sportspeople by nickname and List of baseball player nicknames). From the top:

K
T
T
M
T
S
T
B
T

So the password is "Joe Namath".

Joe Namath advertised Beauty Mist pantyhose (made by Hanes) in 1973.

Day 4

In the background of the video, the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller flips around, upside down and backwards. I think one of the Nerdfighters quoted it. The main character's name is Yossarian.

First I saw the symbol Prince had been going by, and then I saw the map of Arizona with Phoenix marked. I realized that the pictures must all be Harry Potter book titles. From the upper right: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the guy surrounded by bars like a cage), Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (map of Arizona with Phoenix marked), Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (the two faces make a goblet), Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (the weight of 6.35 kg which equals one stone), Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (the silver man with the red chest markings is a comic book character named Chamber), Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (Prince symbol). The lower left is the Sorcerer's Stone.

I had Patrick help me with Camoflauge. All the novels are from the 1960's. We used the Wikipedia page for help
1. Franny and Zoey - J.D. Salinger
2. Airport - Arthur Hailey
3. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
4. Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth
5. The Godfather - Mario Puzo
6. The Chosen - Chaim Potok
7. Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann

Day 5

Latitude: Two of the shows ("Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley") are set in Milwaukee, which is area code 414. LeBron James was born in Akron, OH which is 330; that gives a latitude of 41 degrees, 43 minutes, 30 seconds.

Longitude: A is 54 (the movie is "Car 54, Where Are You?" with Daniel). B is 8 ("8 Seconds", with Stephen). C is 2 ("2 Bits", with Alec). D is 3 ("Three of Hearts", with William). E is 3 (3 Baldwins were in the movie "Born on the Fourth of July"). Thanks to imdb.com for that. So the equation is (54 * 8) + [2 * (3 + 3)] = 444

The book is Airport, and the plane is a Boeing 707. Add 20 to get 727; longitude is 44 degrees, 47 minutes, 27 seconds.

The city is T'bilisi which is the capital of Georgia. Removing "age" leaves you with Gori, which is where Stalin was born. He was 74 when he died (Thanks Wikipedia)!

I just have to say, I really enjoyed this round of HDYK? I never felt that anything was too hard or impossible without prior knowledge. And I very much liked the videos.

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Pop Culture
The Sweet Surprise Reunion Mr. Rogers Never Saw Coming
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Family Communications Inc./Getty Images

For more than 30 years, legendary children’s show host Fred Rogers used his PBS series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to educate his young viewers on concepts like empathy, sharing, and grief. As a result, he won just about every television award he was eligible for, some of them many times over.

Rogers was gracious in accepting each, but according to those who were close to the host, one honor in particular stood out. It was March 11, 1999, and Rogers was being inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, an offshoot of the Emmy Awards. Just before being called to the stage, out came a surprise.

The man responsible for the elation on Rogers’s face was Jeff Erlanger, a 29-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin who became a quadriplegic at a young age after undergoing spinal surgery to remove a tumor. Rogers was surprised because Erlanger had appeared on his show nearly 20 years prior in 1980 to help kids understand how people with physical challenges adapt to life’s challenges. Here's his first encounter with the host:

Reunited on stage after two decades, Erlanger referred to the song, “It’s You I Like,” which the two sang during their initial meeting. “On behalf of millions of children and grown-ups,” Erlanger said, “it’s you I like.” The audience, including a visibly moved Candice Bergen, rose to their feet to give both men a standing ovation.

Following Erlanger’s death in 2007, Hedda Sharapan, an employee with Rogers’s production company, called their poignant scene “authentic” and “unscripted,” and that Rogers often pointed to it as his favorite moment from the series.

Near the end of the original segment in 1980, as Erlanger drives his wheelchair off-camera, Rogers waves goodbye and offers a departing message: “I hope you’ll come back to visit again.”

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entertainment
20 Things You Might Not Have Known About Firefly
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© 2002 Twentieth Century Fox

As any diehard fan will be quick to tell you, Firefly's run was far, far too short. Despite its truncated run, the show still offers a wealth of fun facts and hidden Easter eggs. On the 15th anniversary of the series' premiere, we're looking back at the sci-fi series that kickstarted a Browncoat revolution.

1. A CIVIL WAR NOVEL INSPIRED THE FIREFLY UNIVERSE.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels from author Michael Shaara was Joss Whedon’s inspiration for creating Firefly. It follows Union and Confederate soldiers during four days at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Whedon modeled the series and world on the Reconstruction Era, but set in the future.

2. ORIGINALLY, THE SERENITY CREW INCLUDED JUST FIVE MEMBERS.

When Whedon first developed Firefly, he wanted Serenity to only have five crew members. However, throughout development and casting, Whedon increased the cast from five to nine.

3. REBECCA GAYHEART WAS ORIGINALLY CAST TO PLAY INARA.

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Before Morena Baccarin was cast as Inara Serra, Rebecca Gayheart landed the role—but she was fired after one day of shooting because she lacked chemistry with the rest of the cast. Baccarin was cast two days later and started shooting that day.

4. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS WAS ALMOST DR. SIMON TAM.

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Before it went to Sean Maher, Neil Patrick Harris auditioned for the role of Dr. Simon Tam.

5. JOSS WHEDON WROTE THE THEME SONG.

Whedon wrote the lyrics and music for Firefly’s opening theme song, “The Ballad of Serenity.”

6. STAR WARS SPACECRAFT APPEAR IN FIREFLY.

Star Wars was a big influence on Whedon. Captain Malcolm Reynolds somewhat resembles Han Solo, while Whedon used the Millennium Falcon as inspiration to create Serenity. In fact, you can spot a few spacecraft from George Lucas's magnum opus on the show.

When Inara’s shuttle docks with Serenity in the pilot episode, an Imperial Shuttle can be found flying in the background. In the episode “Shindig,” you can see a Starlight Intruder as the crew lands on the planet Persephone.

7. HAN SOLO FROZEN IN CARBONITE POPS UP THROUGHOUT FIREFLY.

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Nathan Fillion is a big Han Solo fan, so the Firefly prop department made a 12-inch replica of Han Solo encased in Carbonite for the Canadian-born actor. You can see the prop in the background in a number of scenes.

8. ALIEN'S WEYLAND-YUTANI CORPORATION MADE AN APPEARANCE.

In Firefly’s pilot episode, the opening scene features the legendary Battle of Serenity Valley between the Browncoats and The Union of Allied Planets. Captain Malcolm Reynolds takes control of a cannon with a Weyland-Yutani logo inside of its display. Weyland-Yutani is the large conglomerate corporation in the Alien film franchise. (Whedon wrote Alien: Resurrection in 1997.)

9. ZAC EFRON'S ACTING DEBUT WAS ON FIREFLY.

A 13-year-old Zac Efron made his acting debut in the episode “Safe” in 2002. He played Young Simon in a flashback.

10. CAPTAIN MALCOLM REYNOLDS'S HORSE IS A WESTERN TROPE.

At its core, Firefly is a sci-fi western—and Malcolm Reynolds rides the same horse on every planet (it's named Fred).

11. FOX AIRED FIREFLY'S EPISODES OUT OF ORDER.

Fox didn’t feel Firefly’s two-hour pilot episode was strong enough to air as its first episode. Instead, “The Train Job” was broadcast first because it featured more action and excitement. The network continued to cherry-pick episodes based on broad appeal rather than story consistency, and eventually aired the pilot as the show’s final episode.

12. THE ALLIANCE'S ORIGINS ARE AMERICAN AND CHINESE.

The full name of The Alliance is The Anglo-Sino Alliance. Whedon envisioned The Alliance as a merger of American and Chinese government and corporate superpowers. The Union of Allied Planets’ flag is a blending of the American and Chinese national flags.

13. THE SERENITY LOUNGE SERVED AS AN ACTUAL LOUNGE.

Between set-ups and shots, the cast would hang out in the lounge on the Serenity set rather than trailers or green rooms.

14. INARA SERRA'S NAME IS MESOPOTAMIAN.

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Inara Serra is named after the Mesopotamian Hittite goddess, the protector of all wild animals.

15. THE CHARACTERS SWORE (JUST NOT IN ENGLISH).

The Firefly universe is a mixture of American and Chinese culture, which made it easy for writers to get around censors by having characters swear in Chinese.

16. THE UNIFORMS ARE RECYCLED FROM STARSHIP TROOPERS.

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The uniforms for Alliance officers and soldiers were the costumes from the 1997 science fiction film Starship Troopers. The same costumes were repurposed again for the Starship Troopers sequel.

17. "SUMMER!" MEANS SOMEONE MESSED UP.

Every time a cast member flubbed one of his or her lines, they would yell Summer Glau’s name. This was a running gag among the cast after Glau forgot her lines in the episode “Objects In Space.”

18. THE SERENITY SPACESHIP WAS BUILT TO SCALE.

The interior of Serenity was built entirely to scale; rooms and sections were completely contiguous. The ship’s interior was split into two stages, one for the upper deck and one for the lower. Whedon showed off the Firefly set in one long take to open the Serenity movie.

19. "THE MESSAGE" SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE SHOW'S FAREWELL.

Although “The Message” was the twelfth episode, it was the last episode filmed during Firefly’s short run. Composer Greg Edmonson wrote a piece of music for a funeral scene in the episode, which served as a final farewell to the show. Sadly, it was one of three episodes (the other two were “Trash” and “Heart of Gold”) that didn’t air during Firefly’s original broadcast run on Fox.

20. FIREFLY AND SERENITY WERE SENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

American Astronaut Steven Ray Swanson is a big fan of Firefly, so when he was sent to the International Space Station for his first mission (STS-117) in 2007, he brought DVD copies of Firefly and its feature film Serenity aboard with him. The DVDs are now a permanent part of the space station’s library.

This post originally appeared in 2014.

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