Clue Makers Have Killed Off Mrs. White, Replaced Her With Dr. Orchid


by Kirsten Howard

Who killed Mrs. White? It wasn’t Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room—it was the marketing team over at Hasbro HQ.

Yes, after almost 70 years of planning, committing, and helping to foil gruesome murders in Clue’s Tudor Mansion, original character Mrs. White is being killed off once and for all in August. The housekeeper will be replaced with Dr. Orchid who, according to Hasbro, "is a biologist with a PhD in plant toxicology, privately schooled in Switzerland until her expulsion following a near-fatal daffodil poisoning incident. She was then home-schooled by the very woman she would go on to replace, the late housekeeper, Mrs. White."

The classic game was launched in 1949 after being invented five years earlier by Birmingham, England-born musician Anthony E. Pratt as a fun way to pass the time in bomb shelters. Hasbro has been manufacturing Clue sets since the early 1990s, when the company bought Parker Brothers and Waddingtons, which were both producing their own editions. Although the game recently underwent a full revamp, this is the first time a major change has been made to the character lineup.

Hasbro has released a bio on Mrs. White’s replacement, Dr. Orchid, explaining that she is the adoptive daughter of Tudor Mansion’s rightful owner, Samuel Black. Dr. Orchid will be joining original characters Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, and Colonel Mustard in new Clue sets beginning in August.

“It was a difficult decision to say goodbye to Mrs. White—but after 70 years of suspicious activity, we decided that one of the characters had to go," Jonathan Berkowitz, Hasbro Gaming's senior vice president of global marketing, said in a statement. “Dr. Orchid is a brilliant new character with a rich backstory and links to the Black fortune. We’re sure families around the world will continue to create thrilling murder mysteries with all six suspects inside of the iconic Tudor Mansion. ”

Farewell, Mrs White. Gone, but not forgotten.

All images courtesy of Hasbro.

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Jeremy Freeman, TruTV
A New Game Show Helps Contestants Pay Off Their Student Loans
Jeremy Freeman, TruTV
Jeremy Freeman, TruTV

Most game shows offer flashy prizes—a trip to Maui, a million dollars, or a brand new car—but TruTV’s latest venture is giving away something much more practical: the opportunity to get out of student loan debt. Set to premiere July 10 on TruTV, Paid Off is designed to help contestants with college degrees win hard cash to put towards their loan payments, MarketWatch reports.

The show gives college graduates with student loan debt "the chance to test the depth of their degrees in a fun, fast-paced trivia game show,” according to TruTV’s description. In each episode, three contestants compete in rounds of trivia, with one contestant eliminated each round.

One Family Feud-style segment asks contestants to guess the most popular answer to college-related poll questions like “What’s the best job you can have while in college?” (Answer: Server.) Other segments test contestants' general trivia knowledge. In one, for example, a contestant is given 20 seconds to guess whether certain characters are from Goodfellas or the children’s show Thomas & Friends. Some segments also give them the chance to answer questions related to their college major.

Game show host Michael Torpey behind a podium
TruTV

Based on the number of questions they answer correctly, the last contestant standing can win enough money to pay off the entirety of their student debt. (However, like most game shows, all prizes are taxable, so they won't take home the full amount they win.)

Paid Off was created by actor Michael Torpey, who is best known for his portrayal of the sadistic corrections officer Thomas Humphrey in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Torpey, who also hosts the show, says the cause is personal to him.

“My wife and I struggled with student debt and could only pay it off because—true story—I booked an underpants commercial,” Torpey says in the show’s pilot episode. “But what about the other 45 million Americans with student loans? Sadly, there just aren’t that many underpants commercials. That is why I made this game show.”

The show is likely to draw some criticism for its seemingly flippant handling of a serious issue that affects roughly one in four Americans. But according to Torpey, that’s all part of the plan. The host told MarketWatch that the show is designed “to be so stupid that the people in power look at it and say, ‘That guy is making us look like a bunch of dum dums, we’ve got to do something about this.’”

Paid Off will premiere on Tuesday, July 10 at 10 p.m. Eastern time (9 p.m. Central time).

[h/t MarketWatch]

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Kena Betancur, AFP/Getty Images
Want to Live as Long as an Olympian? Become a Chess Grandmaster
Kena Betancur, AFP/Getty Images
Kena Betancur, AFP/Getty Images

It’s well known that physical fitness can help prolong your life, so it’s not surprising that elite athletes, like Olympians, tend to have longer lifespans than your average couch potato. But it seems that “mind sports” can help keep you alive longer, too. According to BPS Research Digest, a recent study suggests that international chess grandmasters have lifespans comparable to Olympic athletes.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, examined the survival rates of 1208 mostly male chess grandmasters and 15,157 Olympic medalists from 28 countries, and analyzed their life expectancy at 30 years and 60 years after they attained their grandmaster titles. They found that both grandmasters and Olympic medalists exhibited significant lifespan advantages over the general population. In fact, there was no statistical difference between the relative survival rates of chess champions and athletic champions.

There are several variables that the study couldn’t take into account that may be linked to chess players’ long lifespans, though. Grandmasters often employ nutritionists and physical trainers to keep them at their best, according to the researchers, and exercise regularly. Economic and social status can also influence lifespans, and becoming a world-champion chess player likely results in a boost in both areas.

Some research has shown that keeping your mind sharp can help you in old age. Certain kinds of brain training might lower the risk of developing dementia, and one study found that board game players in particular have slightly lower rates of dementia.

If keeping the mind sharp with chess really does extend lifespans, the same effect might apply as well to elite players of other “mind sports,” like Go, poker, or competitive video games. We’ll need more research to find out.

[h/t BPS Research Digest]

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