How Did You Know Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney?

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


(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 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 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<ING<JA<ME<S = King James = LeBron James (basketball)
T<HEB<IGH<UR<T = The Big Hurt = Frank Thomas (baseball)
T<HEM<AI<LMA<N = The Mailman = Karl Malone (basketball)
M<ROC<TO<BE<R = Mr. October = Reggie Jackson (baseball)
T<HE<AN<SWE<R = The Answer = Allen Iverson (basketball)
S<WE<ET<NES<S = Sweetness = Walter Peyton (football)
T<HEG<OLD<EN<BEA<R = The Golden Bear = Jack Nicklaus (golf)
B<ROA<DW<AY<JO<E = Broadway Joe = Joe Namath (football)
T<HER<EF<RIG<ER<ATO<R = The Refrigerator = William Perry (football)

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 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.

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated
A Founder of Earth Day Looks Back on How It Began
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated

On the very first Earth Day in 1970, Denis Hayes stood on a stage in Central Park, stunned by the number of people who'd come to honor the planet. Now in his 70s, Hayes remembers it was like looking at the ocean—“you couldn’t see where the sea of people ended.” Crowd estimates reached more than a million people.

For Hayes, who is now board chair of the international Earth Day Network, it was the culmination of a year’s worth of work. As an urban ecology graduate student at Harvard University, he’d volunteered to help organize a small initiative by Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson was horrified by the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and wanted to raise awareness about environmental issues by holding teaching events similar to those being held by civil rights and anti-war activists.

Senator Nelson saw a growing disconnect between the concept of progress and the idea of American well-being, Hayes tells Mental Floss. “There was a sense that America was prosperous and getting better, but at the same time, the air in the country was similar to the air today in China, Mexico City, or New Delhi," Hayes says. "Rivers were catching on fire. Lakes were unswimmable.”

Nelson's plan for these environmental teach-ins was for speakers to educate college students about environmental issues. But he had no one to organize them. So Hayes, Nelson’s sole volunteer, took control on a national level, organizing teach-ins at Harvard first and then across the U.S. Initially, the response was tepid at best. “Rather rapidly it became clear that this wasn’t a hot issue at colleges and universities in 1969,” Hayes says. “We had a war raging, and civil rights were getting very emotional after the Nixon election.”

Still, both Hayes and Nelson noticed an influx of mail to the senator's office from women with young families worried about the environment. So instead of focusing on colleges, the two decided to take a different tactic, creating events with community-based organizations across the country, Hayes says. They also decided that rather than a series of teach-ins, they'd hold a single, nationwide teach-in on the same day. They called it Earth Day, and set a date: April 22.

Hayes now had a team of young adults working for the cause, and he himself had dropped out of school to tackle it full time. Long before social media, the project began to spread virally. “It just resonated,” he says. Women and smaller environmental-advocacy groups really hooked onto the idea, and word spread by mouth and by information passing between members of the groups.

Courtesy of Denis Hayes

With the cooperation and participation of grassroots groups and volunteers across the country, and a few lawmakers who supported the initiative, Hayes’ efforts culminated in the event on April 22, 1970.

Hayes started the day in Washington, D.C., where he and the staff were based. There was a rally and protest on the National Mall, though by that point Hayes had flown to New York, where Mayor John Lindsay provided a stage in Central Park. Parts of Fifth Avenue were shut down for the events, which included Earth-oriented celebrations, protests, and speeches by celebrities. Some of those attending the event even attacked nearby cars for causing pollution. After the rally, Hayes flew to Chicago for a smaller event.

“We had a sense that it was going to be big, but when the day actually dawned, the crowds were so much bigger than anyone had experienced before,” Hayes said. The event drew grassroots activists working on a variety of issues—Agent Orange, lead paint in poor urban neighborhoods, saving the whales—and fostered a sense of unity among them.

“There were people worrying about these [environmental] issues before Earth Day, but they didn’t think they had anything in common with one another," Hayes says. "We took all those individual strands and wove them together into the fabric of modern environmentalism.”

Hayes and his team spent the summer getting tear-gassed at protests against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Nixon authorized just six days after Earth Day. But by fall, the team refocused on environmental issues—and elections. They targeted a “dirty dozen” members of Congress up for re-election who had terrible environmental records, and campaigned for candidates who championed environmental causes to run against them. They defeated seven out of 12.

“It was a very poorly funded but high-energy campaign,” Hayes says. “That sent the message to Congress that it wasn’t just a bunch of people out frolicking in the sunshine planting daisies and picking up litter. This actually had political chops.”

The early '70s became a golden age for environmental issues; momentum from the Earth Day movement spawned the creation of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Environmental Education Act (which was initially passed in 1970 and revived in 1990), and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We completely changed the framework within which America does business, more than any other period in history with the possible exception of the New Deal,” Hayes says. “But our little revolution was brought entirely from the grassroots up.”

In 1990, Hayes was at it again. He organized the first international Earth Day, with about 200 million participants across more than 140 countries. Since then it’s become a global phenomenon.

Despite its popularity, though, we still have a long way to go, even if the improvements Hayes fought for have made these issues feel more remote. Hayes noted that everything they were fighting in the '70s was something tangible—something you could see, taste, smell, or touch. Climate change can seem much less real—and harder to combat—to the average person who isn’t yet faced with its effects.

Hayes also notes that people have become more skeptical of science. “Historically, that has not been a problem in the United States. But today science is under attack.”

He warns, “This [anti-science sentiment] is something that could impoverish the next 50 generations and create really long-term devastation—that harms not only American health, but also American business, American labor, and American prospects.”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI
13 Great Jack Nicholson Quotes
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

Jack Nicholson turns 81 today. Let's celebrate with some of the actor's wit and wisdom.


"I hate advice unless I'm giving it. I hate giving advice, because people won't take it."

From Esquire's "What I Learned"


"Not that I can think of. I’m sure there are some, but my mind doesn’t go there. When you look at life retrospectively you rarely regret anything that you did, but you might regret things that you didn’t do."

From an interview with The Talks


"I'm Irish. I think about death all the time. Back in the days when I thought of myself as a serious academic writer, I used to think that the only real theme was a fear of death, and that all the other themes were just that same fear, translated into fear of closeness, fear of loneliness, fear of dissolving values. Then I heard old John Huston talking about death. Somebody was quizzing him about the subject, you know, and here he is with the open-heart surgery a few years ago, and the emphysema, but he's bounced back fit as a fiddle, and he's talking about theories of death, and the other fella says, 'Well, great, John, that's great ... but how am I supposed to feel about it when you pass on?' And John says, 'Just treat it as your own.' As for me, I like that line I wrote that, we used in The Border, where I said, 'I just want to do something good before I die.' Isn't that what we all want?"

From an interview with Roger Ebert


''There's a period of time just before you start a movie when you start thinking, I don't know what in the world I'm going to do. It's free-floating anxiety. In my case, though, this is over by lunch the first day of shooting.''

From an interview with The New York Times


"Almost anyone can give a good representative performance when you're unknown. It's just easier. The real pro game of acting is after you're known—to 'un-Jack' that character, in my case, and get the audience to reinvest in a new and specific, fictional person."

From an interview with The Age


"I never had a policy about marriage. I got married very young in life and I always think in all relationships, I've always thought that it's counterproductive to have a theory on that. It's hard enough to get to know yourself and as most of you have probably found, once you get to know two people in tandem it's even more difficult. If it's going to be successful, it's going to have to be very specific and real and immediate so the more ideas you have about it before you start, it seems to me the less likely you are to be successful."

From an interview with


“You only lie to two people in your life: your girlfriend and the police. Everybody else you tell the truth to.”

From a 1994 interview with Vanity Fair


"They're prescription. That's why I wear them. A long time ago, the Middle American in me may have thought it was a bit affected maybe. But the light is very strong in southern California. And once you've experienced negative territory in public life, you begin to accept the notion of shields. I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye. But I can't look into the eyes of everyone who wants to look into mine; I can't emotionally cope with that kind of volume. Sunglasses are part of my armor."

From Esquire's "What I Learned"


"I think people think I'm more physical than I am, I suppose. I'm not really confrontational. Of course, I have a temper, but that's sort of blown out of proportion."

From an interview with ESPN


"I'm a different person when suddenly it's my responsibility. I'm not very inhibited in that way. I would show up [on the set of The Two Jakes] one day, and we'd scouted an orange grove and it had been cut down. You're out in the middle of nowhere and they forget to cast an actor. These are the sort of things I kind of like about directing. Of course, at the time you blow your stack a little bit. ... I'm a Roger Corman baby. Just keep rolling, baby. You've got to get something on there. Maybe it's right. Maybe it's wrong. Maybe you can fix it later. Maybe you can't. You can't imagine the things that come up when you're making a movie where you've got to adjust on the spot."

From an interview with MTV


"There's nobody in there, that he didn't, in the most important way support. He was my life blood to whatever I thought I was going to be as a person. And I hope he knows that this is not all hot air. I'm going to cry now."

From the documentary Corman's World


"This would be the character, whose core—while totally determinate of the part—was the least limiting of any I would ever encounter. This is a more literary way of approaching than I might have had as a kid reading the comics, but you have to get specific. ... He's not wired up the same way. This guy has survived nuclear waste immersion here. Even in my own life, people have said, 'There's nothing sacred to you in the area of humor, Jack. Sometimes, Jack, relax with the humor.' This does not apply to the Joker, in fact, just the opposite. Things even the wildest comics might be afraid to find funny: burning somebody's face into oblivion, destroying a masterpiece in a museum—a subject as an art person even made me a little scared. Not this character. And I love that."

From The Making of Batman


"I've always thought basketball was the best sport, although it wasn't the sport I was best at. It was just the most fun to watch. ... Even as a kid it appealed to me. The basketball players were out at night. They had great overcoats. There was this certain nighttime juvenile-delinquent thing about it that got your blood going."

From Esquire's "What I Learned"


More from mental floss studios