11.19.2013

November NERDS!

Remember, remember the... 23rd of November....
Join us on Saturday for our monthly Trivia night.

 Sign up is in the cafe at 7pm, Grilled Cheese special until 8pm, and the games begin upstairs promptly at 8.

10.19.2013

October NERDS!

Once again, we're back with our Hallow's Eve(ish) Trivia Night!
Join us on Oct. 26 for a rip-roarin' good time.


10.09.2013

New Featured Artist: David Hubbard

Surreal Universes: From the Psychedelic to the Sublime
will be showing at MTC from Oct. 13-Nov. 30, 2013.


"This body of work is an outgrowth of my interest in making colorful, affordable banners after the economic crash of 2008. I started the series by working on recycled curtains hung from bamboo rods. As my mastery of stencil making and spray techniques improved, I began working on canvas and heavy print paper. I am interested in contrasting intense color with layers of repeating patterns and am influenced by fabric design and the psychedelic movement. I work mostly with patterns from nature, but some geometric elements have also crept in."

Be sure to join the Artist on Saturday, October 26 from 7-9pm for the opening reception!

9.22.2013

September NERDS

Fall has arrived, and with it, NERDS!
Join us Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 8pm for our monthly trivia night
Sign up begins in the Cafe at 7pm. Grilled Cheese Special 7-8pm. Teams are limited to 5 people. 



9.07.2013

Our second shop is open!

Over two years in the making, our sister cafĂ© over in the Takoma neighborhood, La Mano Coffee Bar, finally opened this week. Come by and visit us. Many of you already have. What an honor it will be to have customers that proudly patron both businesses. Although we know you love everything about Modern Times, we're doing things a little differently in our second home. Come check out the minimalist design including a custom wall mural installation by local artist Mei Mei Chang, a traditional espresso bar menu, new drink offerings such as the cortado, and our new menu of house-baked goodies, including our signature item, which is a nod to our namesake, hand pies! Here's the link to The Washington Post article about it all. You can also check out our facebook page until our permanent website is finished and up. Thank you all, again, for helping make this whole thing possible by being such loyal, supportive customers and our friends.

Phtot credit: Jeffrey MacMillan/For The Washington Post



9.06.2013

New Art: The Camel is Watching You

in case you didn't know...

Come help us celebrate the newest featured artist, Russell Ginns, and his show The Camel is Watching You: A Celebration of Faces and Shoes.
 Don't forget to join us on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 7-9pm for the opening reception.

9.02.2013

NERDS! August Scorecard

Somewhat belated this month (apologies), but here is the run down from the August NERDS! Trivia Night.

A big congratulations to Couch Noodles for taking home the win.

And don't forget to mark your calendars for September 28 - in pen. PEN! See you nerds then. (Aww, look at my little rhyme)

AUGUST NERDS
ROUND 1: Potpourri
1) In 2010, what major internationl leader was officially given ranked status as a Hell's Angel by a unanimous vote of his nations 'high council' of bikers with the name 'Abaddon'?

2) In poker, what is the 'Dead Man's Hand'?

3) Composed by Wagner from around 1848 to 1874, these four epic operas are based loosely on the Norse sagas and are meant to be viewed consecutively over the course of several days. Together, Das Rheingold, Die Walkuerie, Siegfried, and Goetterdaemmerung are known as what?

4) Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria all border what landlocked country?

5) In song, who is Billy Ray? (HINT: Dusty)

6) January 8, 1835 was the only day in American history when the U.S. was completely free of what?

7) For a point each, what two publishing houses merged in 2013 to achieve 25% global book market share?

8) The original and eponymous service of a barber was concerned with what?

9) Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley), was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years for her part in the Wikileaks release of highly sensitive and classified documents. She shed light on war crimes committed in Iraq and probably had a hand in sparking the Arab Spring. She also severely strained diplomatic ties across the board. Under what act was she charged and found guilty?

10) What is the national animal of scotland (i.e. bald eagle, US)?

ROUND 2: The Dog Days of Summer
1) While Many presidents have had a first dog, there is only one whose loyal companion sits beside him at his presidential memorial in DC. You can visit the loyal pair at the Tidal Basin. For one point each: Name the president and his faithful dog.

2) What vessel did Charles Darwin take for his first 5-year voyage? Hint: He later published his journal from his time on the ship, making him a popular author.

3) This Broadway musical, which was recently revived, always uses a shelter dog to play the title character's loyal sidekick. Name the musical.

4) Canis Major, or the Great dog, is the constellation that follows its master Orion. The brightest star in this constellation appears in the dawn sky every August, arking the "dog" days of summer. Name the star.

5) Traditionally, Animal Planet features this sporting event while the NFL has its biggest day of the year. In addition to dogs, the event has also featured bunnies, chickens, cats, and pigs as cheerleaders.

6) What president is widely quoted as saying 'if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog' - but in reality, the quote is most likely from a fictional play about his life. Name the president.

7) This Shakespeare comedy is the only one to include a dog on stage. The play is commonly regarded as Shakespeare's weakest work, but the dog is noted as "the most scene-stealing non-speaking role int eh canon." Name the play.

8) The second day of what culture's New Year is considered to be the birthday of all dogs?

9) What English poet has a famous work titled Epitaph to a Dog? He always was a bit of a romantic.

10) True of False: All dogs are allowed inside Politics & Prose.

ROUND 3: VISUAL (Gunslingers of Past and Fiction)



ROUND 4: MUSIC (Blockbuster Hits)
1) As Time Goes By - Casablanca
2) Somewhere - West Side Story
3) Mrs. Robinson - The Graduate
4) Born to Be Wild - Easy Rider
5) Stayin' Alive - Saturday Night Fever
6) Rainbow Connection - The Muppet Movie
7) Up Where We Belong - An Officer and a Gentleman
8) Magic Dance - Labyrinth
9) My Heart Will Go On - Titanic
10) Lose Yourself - 8 Mile

ANSWERS
ROUND 1
1) Vladimir Putin (on July 24, 2010, Putin appeared at a bikers festival in Sevastopol riding a Harley-Davidson tricycle. The nickname, Abbadon, is influenced by Abadonna, the angel of death and destruction in Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.)

2) A pair of aces and a Pair of 8s, all black (On August 2, 1876, famed law man, Wild Bill Hickok was assassinated while playing poker in Nuttal and Manns Saloon, in Deadwood, in the Black Hills, Dakota Territory. According to legend, Wild Bill was holding 'Aces over Eights' when he was shot. In 1979, he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.)

3) The Ring Cycle (A Full performance of The Rhein Gold, The Valkyrie, Seigfried, and the Twilight of the Gods takes 4 nights at the opera and a total playing time of around 15 hours, depending on pacing and excluding intermission. J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings shares elements with the Cycle - i.e. rings of power - but Tolkien himself denied being influenced by Wagner saying "both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases.")

4) Hungary (Situated in the Carpathian Basin, Hungary is home to the largest thermal water cave system and second largest thermal lake in the world, the largest lake in Central Eruope, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.)

5) A Preacher's Son (And when his daddy would visit he'd come along/When they gathered 'round and started talkin'/That's when Billy would take me walkin'...)

6) National Debt (Due in part to the efforts of President Jackson, the government paid off a debt that had been accruing since the Revolutionary War. It was a Thursday. The current debt is now more than $16 Trillion.)

7) Random House and Penguin (The combined companies, now called Penguin Random House, will control more than 25 percent of the book business, with more than 10,000 employees, 250 independent publishing imprints and about $3.9 Billion in annual revenues.)

8) Beards (From the Latin for beard.)

9) The Espionage Act (Enacted June 15, 1917, the Espionage Act originally prohibited any attempt to interfere with military operations, to support U.S. enemies during wartime, to promote insubordination in the military, or to interfere with military recruitment. Along with Manning, other offenders charged under the Espionage Act were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, and Edward Snowden.)

10) The Unicorn (The Unicorn has been used as a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th Century, when it was first used on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I. In Celtic mythology, the unicorn of Scotland symbolized innocence, purity, and healing powers; it was a sign of masculinity and power. The heraldic unicorn is pictured as chained because, according to legend, a free unicorn was a dangerous beast.)

ROUND 2:
1) FDR & Fala
2) The Beagle
3) Annie
4) Sirius
5) Puppy Bowl
6) Harry Truman (Give 'em Hell, Harry)
7) Two Gentlemen of Verona
8) Chinese
9) Lord Byron
10) True

ROUND 3:
1) The Man with No Name
2) Devil Anse Hatfield
3) Yosemite Sam
4) Annie Oakley
5) The Lone Ranger
6) Wild Bill Hickok
7) Pancho Villa
8) Zoe Washburne
9) Calamity Jane
10) Wyatt Earp

8.18.2013

August NERDS!

Join us Saturday, August 24 for our latest edition of NERDS! trivia.

~ Sign up begins at 7pm in the Cafe
~ Grilled Cheese Special 7-8pm
~ Trivia begins at 8pm upstairs
~ All Ages:: PRIZES:: nerdly fun for all.

(As always, the poster's theme is based on something for which this month might be known... it may or may not hold a clue)

7.29.2013

July NERDS - Scorecard

The answers are in! With a spectacular turn out of 30 teams, Trivia was a great success (mini power outage and all)

Congrats to They May Already be Wieners for taking home first!

Join us for the next NERDS! night, August 24, 2013.

ROUND 1: POTPOURRI
1. The Badge of the Prince of Wales (Known as The Prince of Wales' Feathers) consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet with the words "Ich Dien" on a blue ribbon. How does "Ich Dien" translate to English?

2. There are only 5* full-length, cartoon Disney movies in which both parents are present as characters, and don't die during the course of the film. For a single point each, name these films.
(*It turns out there are 8)

3. In 1983, the office of the Promoter of the Faith was eliminated from the canonization process, ushering in a period of unprecedented elevations to sainthood under Pope John Paul II. What was this role more popularly known as?

4. What word used in the world of espionage originates from John Le Carre's 1974 novel 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'?

5. What was unusual about the Roman Senator Incitatus?

6. Which ancestor of Noah is also the name of an oversized champagne bottle that holds six liters?

7. The name of which American rock band was also the term used by Allied pilots in WWII to describe UFO's?

8. In Greek Mythology, after being spurned by Narcissus, which heart-broken nymph pined away until only her voice remained?

9. President George H.W. Bush caused a bit of a kerfuffle on March 18, 1990 when he banned what from Air Force One?

10. What is a little-known Latin word for "crossroads"?

ROUND 2: MYTHOLOGY
1. These Irish mythological stories occur around the reign of King Conchobar mac Nessa and his nephew, the great hero, Cu Chulain, who single-handedly defeated the armies of Queen Medb. Irish mythology is sorted into four cycles. King Conchobar, Cu Chulainn, and Queen Medb are all part of stories in which cycle?

2. What planet in our solar system is the only one not named after a Roman god or goddess?

3. Name the painter who graphically and darkly brought to life the image of Saturn Devouring His Son. Hint: You can see the painting in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

4. Rebecca Solnit, the author of our Cover to Cover pick this month, recently wrote an open letter to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. In it, she compared Snowden to this to this mythological figure who stole fire from the gods. HINT: Last we heard Snowden still has his liver.

5. Television producer David Simon said he created this highly acclaimed show as a modern day Greek tragedy. Only instead of Olympian forces you have institutions like the police department - and instead of Greece you have Baltimore. Name the show.

6. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series by author Rick Riordan stars Percy Jackson, a troubled 12-year-old boy with dyslexia and ADHD. He eventually discovers he is the son of this Greek deity, whose domain is the ocean/seas. Name Percy's Greek deity father. For an extra point, name the location where demigods go to train.

7. This monument in Washington, DC is in the shape of a Greek Doric temple. Only instead of a god or goddess seated in the throne, you have the sculpture of our 16th President. Name the memorial.

8. In the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Jason is sent to get hold of the Golden Fleece. Many experts believe this fleece was inspired by the coat of a real animal. In addition to its mythical fleece, this animal has the snout of a moose, horns of a cow, tail of a bear, body of a buffalo, and the feet and agility of a mountain goat. Name the animal.

9. The title of this song by Fleetwood Mac takes its name from a prominent figure in Welsh mythology who appears as a beautiful woman dressed in gold silk brocade and riding a shining white horse. The song was voted #488 in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Name the song.

10. Australian writer David Malouf's most recent novel, Ransom, is a retelling of several books in the Iliad. The novel opens when Achilles is mourning the death of his lover Patroclus, and has Killed Patroclus' murderer, Hector. All of this death occurs during what epic Greek war that lasted for a decade?

ROUND 3: VISUAL ROUND

ROUND 4: MUSIC "ROYAL BABY"
1. Ice, Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
2. Just Can't Wait to be King - Lion King
3. Purple Rain - Prince
4. All That She Wants - Ace of Base
5. Praise You - Fatboy Slim
6. Baby Boy - Beyonce Feat. Sean Paul
7. Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
8. Fergalicious - Fergie Feat. Will.i.am (from the album The Dutchess)
9. Kooks - David Bowie
10. Stay Up Late - Talking Heads

::ANSWERS::
Round 1
1. "I Serve"

2. Sleeping Beauty (King Stefan and "his fair queen"- never named), 101 Dalmations (Pongo and Perdita), Mulan (Fa-Zhou, Fa-Li), Peter Pan (George and Mary Darling), The Incredibles (Robert and Helen Par), Hercules (Zues and Hera/Alcmene and Amphitryon), Brave (Queen Elinor and King Fergus), and Tangled (Queen Primrose and King Thomas of Corona).

3. The Devils Advocate (was a canon lawyer appointed by the Vatican to challenges saintly nominations. The Devils Advocate opposed God's Advocate - the Promoter of the Cause - who argued in favor. This task is now performed by the Promoter of Justice, in charge of examining the accuracy of the inquiry on the saintliness of the candidate.

4. Mole (Its origin is unclear, as well as to what extent it was used by intelligence services before it became popularized. Le Carre has said that the term mole was actually used by the KGB, and that Western intelligence services used 'sleeper agent'.)

5. He was a horse (Incitatus was the favored horse of Caligula - reigned 37-41AD) According to a Roman historian writing in 121AD, Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. Another contemporary historian indicated that servants attended the horse, feeding him oats mixed with gold flake.)

6. Methuselah (Most large bottles are named for ancient kings of Israel. The Methuselah, holding the equivalent of about 8 bottles, is named after a patriarch who was said to have lied nearly 1000 years, which might be a playful statement on the aging potential for a wine in a bottle that big.)

7. Foo Fighters

8. Echo (Cursed by Hera for assisting in Zeus' seduction of the other wood nymphs, Echo was only able to repeat words already spoken to her. A chance encounter, and brief flirtation with the beautiful Narcissus drew her out of the woods. But Narcissus ran screaming: "may I die before what's mine is yours". Echo repeats only "what's mine is yours". Heartbroken, Echo spent the rest of her life in lonely glens pining away until all that was left was her voice.)

9. Broccoli ( At a Press Conference in front of the White House on March 22, 1990, Bush clarified saying "I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since i was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.")

10. Trivia ("Trivia" derives from "trivium," from Latin, meaning "three roads". The derivative "Trivialis" carries the sense of "common, ordinary, of the crossroads," from which comes the modern "trivial" as "of no importance." But "trivium" was the basis of Midieval education leading directly to our modern sense of "Trivia." The "three ways" or "three roads" was the first stage of a classical, university level education: rhetoric, grammar and logic. Since the "trivium" was considered "the basics," the derivative "trivia" eventually came to mean "less important matters."

Round 2
1. The Ulster Cycle
2. Earth
3. Francisco Goya
4. Prometheus
5. The Wire
6. Poseidon, Camp Half Blood
7. The Lincoln Memorial
8. The Takin
9. Rhiannon
10. Trojan War

Round 3: Visual
1. Princess Grace of Monaco (2pts)
2. The Royal Tannenbaums (1pt)
3. William & Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (1pt)
4. Mary, Queen of Scots (2pts)
5. Princess Zelda  (1pt)
6. Franz Josef, of Austria (2pts)
6*. Franzl (bonus)
7. Royal Flush (2pts)
8. Czar Nicholas, of Romanov (2pts)
9. Louis XIV, the Sun King (3pts)
10. Queen Isabella I of Castile (2pts)

7.24.2013

Goodbye Letter


As many of you have heard by now, I’m leaving DC after almost exactly four years for Hartford, CT at the end of this month.


It feels silly to write something like this, in no small part for fear of being this guy, which, jeez, The Onion never misses. But the fact is, so many of you have expressed genuine shock/dismay/excitement/dismay again, in that order, that I feel like I shouldn’t just sneak away. A (downright shocking) number of you have given me your business cards and asked for my email in return, so that we can keep up. I’ve been asked where I can be found on facebook for the same reason. I’ve even been offered a letter of recommendation, should I ever need it. Each of these conversations has come with a hug or a handshake, and some truly sincere best-wishes.


This job is what it is, but Modern Times itself is a special place. I suppose we all know the names of our long-time mechanics, bartenders, doormen, etc., but in so many cases, you’ve also told me your childrens’ names, where you work, what your musical tastes are, what you like to read, where you’ve been on vacation and so on and so on. I see many of you five or six times a week. I consider many of you an extension of my co-worker family, and I’ll miss you. Thank you for being so outgoing, helpful, patient, and generous in my time here.


So, in parting, my hope is that you’ll continue to frequent our little cafe. If you’re the type to read all the way through something like this, do me one last favor: write to the ownership of Politics and Prose and tell them how much Modern Times means to you; write Javier and tell him that you appreciate his vision and effort and dedication to this place; go to our Yelp page (currently the stomping grounds primarily of trolls and grumps) and give us a review. Javier has been an incredible owner to work for, and he and Anna are building something really special out in Takoma Park. I know that many of you have donated money to them already, even though, as a regular of MTC, you probably won’t be out there much. I hope that you’ll continue to support them.

If you’re really so inclined, I can be found on facebook or you can send an email to james@moderntimescoffeehouse.com and I’ll get back to you with my personal address.

Thanks for everything, good luck with all the rest.

James Bress

7.22.2013

NERDS 6!

Make your way down this coming Saturday, for our next NERDS! TRIVIA NIGHT
Sign up in the Coffeehouse beginning at 7PM and enjoy our Grilled Cheese Special. The festivities begin upstairs at 8.

Show us what you've got!

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 10

Coffeehouses are known as a gathering place for creative minds. The most regular of regulars are the writers and the artists. In our first post in this series we introduced you to the writer Howard Norman, who uses the coffeehouse for meetings, walkabouts, and conversations. When I thought about who I wanted to feature as the second influential regular, it was obvious that person is BK Adams.

Also known as the 'Art Man', BK usually comes in very early, by himself, although once in awhile with his family, to enjoy exactly two cups of regular coffee. The two cups are always poured into a ceramic mug that BK brings with him. Often he will have some photos or music that he wants to share with us. He always takes the time to ask how we are doing, what we are doing in our personal lives, how we are feeling about the world. And he always has a story on where he found his latest hat or how those newest splashes of paint got onto his clothes. 

We have hosted two exhibits from BK in the coffeehouse in the past few years. To call BK a multimedia or multi-discipline artist is an understatement. As his iconic stickers declare, BK, the person, simply, IS art. 

His current exhibit, Mynd Up, is on display at the Honfleur Gallery in Historic Anacostia through August 30.

7.19.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 9

I admit that I never had tasted quinoa until I started working in the kitchen of Modern Times Coffeehouse. I had seen it at the bulk section at the natural market and dismissed it as tasteless grain that you needed to cover up with salty, oily dressing and a ton of spices to make it taste interesting. However, after tasting its unique flavor and al dente texture (when cooked properly), and then learning about its "superfood" powers and ancient origins, I was hooked.



There has been a lot of coverage of quinoa in the past few years. Since the demand and prices for it has increased in its native Bolivia, farmers there have struggled to keep up with the production demand and prices have spiked on the global market. There is some conflicting information out there, but by and large, it seems like a good thing that farmers there are able to receive more money for their crops.

We cook our quinoa in a commercial sized rice steamer, fluff it in a big bowl, and toss it with a very small amount of oil and vinegar. If you add to much dressing, especially when it it still too warm, it will absorb it right away and then become mushy and oily. Our add-ins are carrots, sundried tomatoes, and cashews. Quinoa salad combinations are endless. Try it with feta cheese, cucumbers, and red peppers with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Or hardboiled eggs, tuna, capers, and anchovy. What about with spinach, enoki mushrooms, scallions, rice vinegar and sesame oil? Quinoa is also lovely to eat for breakfast-- cook it the night before, then warm it in the microwave (or bring to room temperature) and pour hot milk over. Add honey and handful of nuts and fresh fruit. Better than gummy oatmeal :)

Our quinoa salad is our best selling salad. Most people order it either as a whole meal (yes, it's that filling) or as a combo, adding a half of a sandwich, soup, or another salad. Some people have gotten creative and get a scoop of white bean salad or tuna salad on top. We are happy to pack up a quinoa salad to take to go as well, it keeps well a day or two and makes a great lunch or picnic food. 

7.18.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 8

Besides our weekly Unplugged Open Mic event, the coffeehouse's art exhibition program is the most popular event in the coffeehouse. Since we opened seven years ago, we have been committed to donating our space as a temporary gallery for local artists to display their work and hold events. We do not take a commission nor do we sell the art. Instead, we encourage featured artists to hold an artists' reception and sell the work themselves on-site.


Our walls have been host to more than 25 shows of local artists of all disciplines, ages, and subjects. We have hosted group shows, collectives, and historical/informational exhibits. We have displayed paintings, photography, large scale canvas work, drawings, graphic designs, tiny dioramas, and paper cuts. We even have displayed the work of some of our talented staff.

The newest exhibit features the work of a DC-based cartoonist collective. There are single pieces, panels, and strips, in color and B&W. It's been up for only one day so far and we've already gotten numerous compliments and phone calls asking if pieces are for sale and how to contact the artists. The free opening reception for this exhibit is this Sat, July 20th from 7pm-9pm.

Our current arts & events coordinator Stefan Ducich is responsible for curating the shows. He has done a wonderful job of recruiting and selecting a diverse and engaging group of artists from our community. If you are interested in exhibiting at the coffeehouse, please read our guidelines and application instructions here and submit your inquiries to stefan at moderntimescoffeehouse dot com.

7.16.2013

cARToons: Original Works by DC Cartoonists


Modern Times is proud to present cARToons - original works by 15 local artists!

Be sure to join us at the Art Opening this Saturday, July 20, 7-9pm. Meet the artists, and enjoy the atmosphere.

Every Saturday, beginning July 27 through September 1, a selection of the artists will be in-house to sell, sign, and chat from 1-5pm. Don't miss a chance to meet:
Carolyn Belefski, Matt Wuerker, Michael J. Auger, Joe Sutliff, David Hagen, Matt Dembicki, Steve Artley, Donna A. Lewis, Danielle Venne, Barbara Dale, Essa Neima, Bud Grace, Rafer Roberts, Juana Medina, Teresa Roberts Logan,  

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 7

Tuesday is one of the most important days of the week at Modern Times. Tuesday is the day that the pie delivery arrives in the coffeehouse. We purchase our pies from a local, one-woman company called Sweet Rose. Sweet Rose is really Ms. Diane Gross, a licensed commercial baker.

Now I can guarantee you that even the quaintest, country road-take-me-home looking pies from your typical "natural" grocery have at least one component that is pre-made, either a pre-made pie crust, or a processed filling (which uses pre-cut fresh or frozen fruit or even an entirely pre-made filling). These methods can produce perfectly fine pies. After all, ANY pie is better than NO pie. Plus we don't judge too harshly here when it comes to pie-- one of my favorite pie recipes involves Lucky Leaf canned cherry pie filling and generic brand transfatty margarine.

However, Sweet Rose makes all her pies by hand, which if you have ever tried to make a pie, is very time consuming. The crust has to chill, not once, but twice; you have to wash, peel, seed, pit, core, slice and dice the filling ingredients, and then there is the assemblage-- the crimping, latticeworking, and steam vent-slitting. Many people ask us if these pies are "real, homemade pies". While they aren't made at her personal home (which is not legal, not yet anyway), she does make them as if she were at home, preparing the crust and filling from scratch.

Diane uses fruits that are in season so her pie choices rotate throughout the year. Right now she is making peach pies and blackberry pies. Later in the fall, her apple pie is a favorite with our customers. What are your favorite pies?

(By the way, Sweet Rose also makes the biscotti that we sell-- almond anise, chocolate hazelnut, pistachio cranberry).

Remember, Tuesdays and Saturdays are pie delivery days. Please come by on those days and try out this pie!

7.15.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 6

We wrote about iced coffee back in 2010 on this blog, and our opinion hasn't changed much, so we won't say a whole lot more about it except that we are STILL making iced coffee here at Modern Times by the cold-brew method and it's still one of the best selling cold drinks of the summer that we offer.

If you'd like to try cold brewing at home, we recommend buying the Toddy system because it's an all-in-one container and reusable filter system that's very easy to set up and easy to clean. If you would like to do it without this equipment, you can find the method online how to do it and it should work fine. There's a couple rules you should follow however:

1) Get the coffee ground in a commercial grade or at the least, a burr grinder. Grind coarse, but not the coarsest setting. We grind a few notches coarser than you would for drip brewing. Burr grinders crush the beans into uniform pieces, which will extract more evenly and fully. Blade grinders chop the beans unevenly, resulting in over-extracted fine particles and un-extracted coffee bean chunks.

2) Saturate the grounds slowly by layering the grounds and water in alternate batches. When you do it this way you do NOT need to stir the mixture as a way to saturate the grounds. All this does is agitate the mixture and will probably cause the "blooming" coffee crust to erupt over the top of the container by the end of the brew time.

3) Double filter the concentrate when it's done, once in a sieve and then the second time through cheesecloth or a paper filter. The first filter is to get all the grounds out, the second will clarify the concentrate of bitter oils and fine particles.

4) Experiment with different coffee blends and single origins. You will be surprised how the cold brewing process pushes some coffees' delicate flavors into the forefront. Fruity, nutty, and/or sweet coffees work well here.

You can also enjoy cold-brew warmed up if you feel like a hot coffee but don't want to brew a whole pot. It keeps in the refrigerator for a week. I also recommend pairing the concentrate with ice cream for the most delicious (and addictive) coffee milkshake!

7.14.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Days 4 & 5

Weekends at the coffeehouse are a blur. It's our busiest time of the week, when we get many regulars and new customers who are out exploring the city and looking for a new cafe experience or looking to visit the legendary Politics & Prose bookstore. It's a great time to people watch and to really get a feel for who really lives in this town.

around 9am at modern times

Even though the bookstore doesn't open until 9am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays, we open both days at 8am. There's usually a few folks patiently waiting outside with their newspapers under their arm and cheerful, eager smiles. Morning people. I still do not get you. I must say though, that having a pleasant first customer of the day pretty much predicts how the rest of your day will go (Asian superstition), so I'm glad it's the regulars.

After 9, the families start trickling in for a second breakfast/snacktime. Coffees for the parents, bagels, chocolate croissants & cookies for the kids. Don't worry, we do not judge. Didn't you know, baristas primarily live on day-old bagels and broken cookies?

Around 10 we get the athletes post-workout. Bicyclists, joggers, yogis, soccer players. This is the eating crowd that needs to refuel. Croissants, danishes, coffee of all kinds, salmon bagels, fruit/granola/yogurt bowls, ham and swiss brioche are their favorites.

11am is the hangover parade. Can be easily identified by the disheveled hair, gravely voice, stumbling over words in their order, and apologetic faces for not remembering where their wallet is. They are most grateful when you surprise them with an extra shot in their "Red Eye", which turns it into a "Black Eye".

Between 12 and 5 we're bustling with family lunches, coffee dates, and there's usually two if not three author readings happening in the bookstore that send floods of people coming through before and after the events.

If it's a Saturday night when we are having our NERDS! Trivia Night co-hosted with Politics & Prose, we have grilled cheese sandwiches on special at 7pm and then everyone treks upstairs for the event at 8. (It's free and all ages-- but must register in person at 7pm).

Sundays follow this basic schedule, except everything happens about 45 minutes later and we close at 8pm. We hope you come visit us on a weekend someday and experience the coffeehouse during this very special time!

7.12.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 3

The phone calls usually start Thursday morning and continue throughout the day on Friday: "Do you guys do Open Mic?" "When does it start?" "How does it work?" "Is it free?" "How many people usually show up?"

Modern Times Coffeehouse started our weekly Open Mic session almost seven years ago. The event has been held every Friday night since nearly the beginning of Modern Times itself. Besides the rare night off when it falls on a holiday or an emergency sickness, this event has been organized and hosted by Maureen Nelson and a small group of DC-based musicians. They have been committed to holding this event, free of charge and all ages, every Friday night from 7:30-10:30 in the coffeehouse's intimate space. With no microphones, no PA system, and no stage, they have been able to create a welcoming atmosphere for performers of all types and talent levels to share with a diverse crowd. Read this piece in the Washington Post Weekend section about the event.

In addition to all types of music, there is always a healthy mix of poetry, spoken word, book readings, and even standup comedy to go around. We are partial to the poetry readings of coffeehouse regular, Alex. Most times you can find the unassuming Alex quietly reading the paper on a Sat morning or working on a top secret scientific project on his computer, but at Open Mic Night he puts forth a commanding presence, wildly gesturing and projecting his voice so that any passerby from the bookstore has no choice but to stop and listen. (My personal favorite is his rendition of William Blake's The Tyger.) Recently, several students from a nearby music school have been coming to try out their hands at performing in front of a crowd. It's a joy to see these very young folks perform with their families in the audience and getting cheered on from veteran musicians.

Open Mic Night at Modern Times Coffeehouse is held every Friday unless otherwise noted. Sign-ups to perform are taken in-person only at 7:30pm. (No phone sign ups please). The evening begins promptly at 8pm. There are no microphones or PA system, however small amps and electronic instruments are allowed (bring your own cords). Most nights, all performers are limited to two pieces. If there is time left over, performers are allowed to go again. The coffeehouse and bookstore close all sales at 10pm, however the coffeehouse doors are open and music can go until 10:30. No patrons will be allowed into the bookstore past 10pm and everyone must exit into the back parking lot at 10:30.

For more information, call the coffeehouse or submit a question on the group's facebook page.

7.11.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 2

The ubiquitous coffeeshop food is the sandwich-- served cold or hot, with funky names or not, sandwiches are relatively easy to produce, sell well, and can be made with a small staff and a small kitchen. We have been proud to use the same wholesale bread supplier for our sandwiches for the past seven years, Lyon Bakery. Lyon is a locally based artisan bakery with production facilities based in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria. They supply to restaurants throughout the area and recently became available for public retail at several independent grocers and markets, such as Union Market in Northeast D.C., Cork Market on 14th, and Washington Green Grocer.

The selection of breads from Lyon are wide ranging, from classic French and Italian styles to heart healthy whole grain and rustic country loaves. We use the following types: their Pain Levain Farm bread, made from a mix of white flour, wheat flour and rye flour. This bread, in combination with pure unsalted Cabot butter and sharp cheddar cheese, is what makes our grilled cheese sandwich a hit with kids young and old. We also use their thick sliced Multigrain bread to make our turkey breast and tuna salad deli sandwiches. This bread contains 12 different grains and seeds and is also a favorite among our morning customers to eat as toast with butter and jam. Our panino style sandwiches come on individual-sized ciabatta loaves, ready to be pressed crisp on the grill and hold rich and savory fillings such as mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. Finally, we use their crunchy, chewy baguettes as the basis for our most popular sandwich: roasted turkey breast, Granny Smith apple, and brie. 

We know that more and more folks are eating less flour, gluten, carbohydrates, and meat, so we are happy to offer six types of gluten free vegetarian salads every day, as well as a rotating selection of gluten free + vegan soup on every day of the week. But if you do want to partake in a sandwich, we highly recommend one of the ones described above on the wonderful breads from Lyon! 


7.10.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 1

Ah, summer in Washington, DC. Government recesses, spikes in crime, tourists crowding the metro. Usually summertime means a slowdown for those of us in the coffee business. People are saving their money for vacations, are away on travel, or just aren't in the mood for hot coffee. However, in spite of all this, for the past seven years, we've experienced increased business in the summer. Not only has this kept us from getting bored, but it has given us the chance to experiment with fun menu items, new monthly events, and given us all the more encouragement to work on opening up our second store over in Takoma. We also love meeting the new crop of faces to the neighborhood, and reconnecting with old friends that come around more often because they have more free time.

In honor of this, we'll be taking the next 30 days to feature all the important people, places, and things to Modern Times Coffeehouse. We hope you enjoy reading about all the things that make us who we are.

The first person we'd like to introduce is Mr. Howard Norman. Howard is a D.C. based writer and longtime customer of Modern Times. He visits us several times a week, often holding meetings or getting together with his many friends, or just stopping by to walk through and see who he runs into. Every time he comes in, we learn something new. When he came through yesterday, we got the inside scoop about the curious lives of certain NPR radio personalities within the short time it took to make his most favored drink, a caffé mocha.

Howard's newest book is I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place, a memoir. From the Midwest to the Arctic, California, Vermont and back to Washington, he traces a life of both the observer and keeper of the strange, chaotic, and beautiful.

In addition to his valued patronage of the coffeehouse, Howard's talented daughter Emma exhibited her photography on our walls and previously held a job with us. She's now in San Francisco holding a coveted barista position at Blue Bottle Coffee, but we hope one day to win her back to this coast.

You can hear a recent interview with Howard Norman on WAMU's Metro Connection. Listen for upcoming  interviews with Howard on NPR's Weekend Edition and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Mr. Norman will also be speaking and reading from I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place at Politics & Prose this fall.

7.01.2013

TUESDAY! Eat, drink, be merry, and help build our new store!

La Mano Coffee Bar @304 Carroll St NW in the Old Takoma neighborhood

As you know, the ownership of Modern Times Coffeehouse has been working on building a second coffeeshop in the Takoma neighborhood called La Mano Coffee Bar.

On Tues, July 9th, 10% of all sales made on this day will benefit La Mano. Tips for our "guest baristas", Javier Rivas, the owner of Modern Times Coffeehouse, and Anna Petrillo, former cook/barista/manager/janitor/consultant with Modern Times, will benefit La Mano.

For every $5 in donations you give, you're eligible for raffle prizes we'll be giving out throughout the day.

Stop by for some great coffee, our homemade food from our chefs Yoko, Joe, and Lourdes, some famous iPod DJ-ing from Javier, and of course, latte art extraordinaire!

You can also learn more about our construction process, see photos, videos, and donate online through our indiegogo campiagn by following this link.

BENEFIT LA MANO @MTC 

ALL DAY SPECIALS FOR TUES, JULY 9TH:

$2 classic cappuccinos
15% off lunch combos
$16 Modern Times Coffeehouse KeepCup mugs.  (Normally $20). 
All proceeds from this day's mug sales will benefit La Mano.

RAFFLE PRIZES!!! Earn 1 raffle ticket starting when we open at 8am for every $5 in donations made. 100% of donations made will benefit La Mano. Raffles are drawn every hour on the hour between 9am-3pm. Prizes include:


  • 8am: open for benefiting! 
  • 9am: One pound of house coffee - Ceremony Coffee Mass Appeal blend (good for espresso, drip, or press)
  • 10am: One Modern Times Coffeehouse KeepCup mug (comes with one free drink and $.50 off every time you bring it in)
  • 11am: Modern Times Coffeehouse original design "This is not a cup" gold American Apparel t-shirt
  • 12pm: One whole delicious PollyStyle mocha bundt cake!
  • 1pm: One pound of Serendipitea looseleaf tea (that's more than 100 cups of tea!)
  • 2pm: Modern Times Coffeehouse tab of $25
  • 3pm: One whole delicious lime chiffon cake from PollyStyle!

6.30.2013

Scorecard: NERDS 5

With a whoppin 38 teams, last night was one of the biggest Nerd gatherings since ComiCon....

A big congrats to our first place team (who apparently came in last, last time - its an American Dream) Debbie Does a Double Axel.

Mark your calendars, next quiz is July 27, 8pm.

If you were there and want to relive the glory, or if you couldn't make it and wanna know how you might have done, here is the run down of last night's quiz.

ROUND 1: Potpourri
1. What country has the unique distinction of not listing its own name on its postage stamps?

2. Which animal has the largest eye of all land mammals?

3. Which American TV series, which ran for 11 seasons between 1993 and 2004, featured the theme song, "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs"

4. Though corporations are legally granted personhood status, they cannot, of course, be sent to prison for crimes they might commit. Instead, punishment for corporate wrongdoing is meted out in the forms of fines levied, usually by the US government. What is the largest fine a corporation has ever been ordered to pay (+/- $.5 Billion), and which corporation was ordered to pay it?

5. "There were four of us" is the opening line to what Jerome K. Jerome book?

6. "Lilly Law", "Betty Badge", or Alice Blue Gown" were not so endearing terms used on Christopher Street (and elsewhere) in the 1960's to identify and deride cops as they selectively enforced a New York Statute which required that a person wear how many articles of clothing "appropriate to one's gender"?

7. Which Paralympic Sport is also known as Murderball?

8. Which element is used in the production of light sensitive film?

9. The 58th annual Eurovision Song Contast was held last month in Malmo Sweden. Which Country took home the high honor (and will host next year's contest)? Hint: For the first time since 1985, no country of the former Yugoslav Republic qualified for the final round of the Contest.

10. On this date in history: Since its initial release, the iPhone has sold more than 250 million units. Steve Jobs stated at the time that "the phone was not just a communication tool, but a way of life". In what year was the iPhone introduced on the market?

ROUND 2: 'Northwest'
1. North West was born on June 15. What is her astrological sign?

2. North West will have 4 maternal aunts and 1 uncle. For one point each, name her aunts and the uncle. Hint: all but one starts with K

3. The name North West might be a nod to Shakespeare. This title character says "I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw." His "reality" play did not end well. Name the character.

4. If North West really hates her name, she could adopt a stage name, which is exactly what the star of Hitchcock's 1959 film North by Northwest did. Name the actor for one point and the actor's birth name for a second point.

5. Earlier this week Rusty, a red panda, was a fugitive for less than 24 hours after he made a dramatic escape from what establishment in Northwest DC?

6. This place in Northwest DC is the burial site of Woodrow Wilson, the only president interred in DC proper.

7. This official lives next to the Naval Observatory in Northwest DC. And yes, despite his guffaws, he is a Big F*ing Deal.

8. Northwest DC houses the main campuses for 5 universities. List each of the 5 for one point each

9. The C&O Canal runs through Northwest DC before going into Maryland. What does C&O stand for

10. What literary and community establishment opened its doors in Northwest DC nearly 30 years ago?

ROUND 3: Visual (Click Image to Enlarge)
ROUND 4: "What's on Antonin Scalia's iPod?"
1. Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
2. Sympathy for the Devil - Rollin Stones
3. The Times they are A-Changin - Bob Dylan
4. Amish Paradise - Weird Al
5. Were Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
6. Bad as Me - Tom Waits
7. I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty
8. Breaking the Law - Judas Priest
9. Seasons of Love - RENT
10. I Fought the Law - The Clash

::ANSWERS::
ROUND 1:
1. The UK (The first adhesive postage stamp, commonly referred to as the Penny Black, was issued in the United Kingdom in 1840, bearing a profile image of Queen Victoria. All British stamps still bear a picture or silhouette of the reigning monarch somewhere on the design, leaving the monarch's image to symbolize the UK rather than explicitly naming it).

2. Horse (Fun Fact: Most of the time a horse has monocular vision, meaning a different image is seen by each eye. Typically, wherever a horse's ear is pointing is where the horse is looking with they eye on the same side).

3. Frasier

4. $4.5 Billion, BP (for intentionally misleading officials about the scale of the leakage on their Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico - claiming that it was 5,000 barrels/day, while actually it was closer to 140,000 barrels /day - leading to the largest oil spill in US history).

5. Three Men in a Boat

6. Three (On June 28, 1969 a 'routine' raid took a riotous turn when butch dykes, drag queens, gender benders and trannies were joined by a crowd outside the Stonewall Inn. Christopher Street Liberation Day marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and a yearly pride march has taken place on Sundays in June ever since).

7. Wheelchair Rugby (Developed in Canada in 1977, wheelchair rugby is played indoors on a hardwood court. The rules include elements of wheelchair basketball, ice hockey, handball and rugby union. It is governed by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation).

8. Silver

9. Denmark (Emmelie de Forest won with the song "only Teardrops", scoring 281 points. This marks the second time that Denmark has won on Swedish soil.)

10. 2007 (With the exception of 2013, a new generation of the iPhone has been released every year since).

ROUND 2:
1. Gemini
2. Khloe, Kourtney, Kylie, Kendall, and Rob
3. Hamlet
4. Cary Grant, Archie Leak
5. National Zoo
6. Washington National Cathedral
7. Joe Biden
8. American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, University of the District of Columbia
9. Chesapeake & Ohio
10. Politics & Prose

ROUND 3:
1. DAVID BOWIE: Duncan Zowie Heywood Jones  (son)
2. KANYE WEST/KIM KARDASHIAN: North (daughter)
3. NICHOLAS CAGE: Kal-el (son)
4. MILLA JOVAVICH: Ever Gabo (daughter)
5. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS/DAVID BURTKA: Gideo Scott (son) & Harper Grace (daughter)
6. JERMAIN JACKSON: Jermajesty (son)
7. PENN JELLETTE: Moxie Crimefighter (daughter)
8. GWEN STEFANI/GAVIN ROSSDALE: Zuma Nesta Rock (son)
9. FRANK ZAPPA: Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen (daughter)
10. BEYONCE/JAY-Z: Blue Ivy (daughter)

6.28.2013

Indiegogo Campaign for La Mano Coffee Bar

As we mentioned before, Modern Times Coffeehouse customers are what has made our new venture, La Mano Coffee Bar, possible. With your regular support over the past 7 years (some of you loyally every day!), we were able to grow enough to begin a new company and remodel an abandoned property into a new restaurant facility. We are in the final stages of opening and hit a snag in our buildout involving layers of bureaucracy, a utility monopoly, and surprise, higher than expected, non-negotiable fees. We have launched a campaign to help make up the deficit and have already raised over $1500 $3500 $5000 $6000 $8000 from fans in the community. We know you already give us plenty of support by eating and drinking more than your fair share at MTC, but please consider passing up the extra cookies and giving us those couple bucks instead for something new!

6.18.2013

June time NERDS

It is that time of the month again... for NERDS to assemble. Join us Saturday, June 29 at 8pm for our Monthly Trivia night co-hosted with Politics and Prose
Per usual, sign up in the cafe beginning at 7pm (and partake of a yummy Grilled Cheese, on special)

**UPCOMING NERDS: July 27 @ 8pm, August 24 @ 8pm

Godspeed, Raymond Van Over

This week, Ray leaves DC for the sunny shores of Cape Cod and the Great Northeast. Ray has lived in DC for decades and has been a regular of the various coffee shop incarnations in this space for 15 years, including the last seven with us. If you are a morning person, you might know Ray as the guy who is always first in line to get into MTC, but ushers everyone else to the register before him. If you come in the afternoons, you might know him as the guy with the tiny laptop and cool hat sitting right here:
This was Ray's throne for the past four years that I've been here, and many before that. He's written multiple books from this spot, and held court Monday through Friday to educate, entertain, and engage with as many of you as would stop to talk.

And Ray was even better to those of us that work here. Patient to a fault, understanding of all the changes and modifications we've made and had to make, and ALWAYS eager to over-tip, he's one of the best Regulars we've ever had. If you missed his (in my opinion, overly-modest) departure and want to send him a word or farewell, leave it in the comments here and I'll make sure he checks in.

Thanks for coming in, Ray, and good luck in Massachusetts!

The Staff of MTC

6.08.2013

QUIZnotes

Here's the very belated run-down of NERDS Trivia from May
AND
I'll take this opportunity to let you know that June 29, 8pm will be the next iteration of NERDS

A huge congrats to Space Monkey Mafia for taking home first (and a shout out to The Never Nudes for tickling our funny bones with your 'totes appropes' name selection)

The run down - see how you did/might have done...

ROUND 1: POTPOURRI
1. Please draw the punctuation mark, an interrobang. 

2. What is the only South American country that has both a Pacific and an Atlantic coastline?

3. In Greek Mythology, this man built the structure that housed the minotaur, flew to safety on hand-crafted wings, and is credited as the father of carpentry. He even makes an appearance in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series as a son of Athena. But, as with all Greek heros, he also had a tragic life: He was responsible - directly and indirectly - for the deaths of his son (from which we learned to follow instructions) and nephew (from which the world gained partridges). For a point each, what is his name, and what are the names of his son and nephew.
         
4. The average yellow wooden and graphite pencil can be sharpened 17 times and write 45,000 words. If one were used to draw a continuous straight line, (within 5 miles) how far would it stretch?

5. Prior to the 20th century, what term was used to describe what we now call a “psychiatrist”?


6. The 1987 debut album, Rhyme Pays, of American rapper and actor Tracy Marrow, has the distinct honor of being the first hip-hop album to carry the ‘explicit content’ sticker. He gained further notoriety, for the controversy he created over his 1992 track “Cop Killer” on the self-titled first album by Body Count. What is Tracy Marrow’s stage name?


7. Which of the original 13 US Colonies listed as states in the US Constitution is spelled incorrectly in that original document?


8. What is the largest land animal capable of producing offspring without engaging in sex?

9.  Which grape varietal, named for its resemblance to a pine cone, is characterized by its dark purple-color, tight bunches of small, thin-skinned grapes, is famously difficult to cultivate, and is most produced in the Burgundy region of France?


10. Which food, named in class 4.2 of the Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (category Flammable Solids, subgroup: Substances Liable to Spontaneous Combustion), continues to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide after harvesting, and can, if placed under pressure, burst into flames?

ROUND 1: ANSWERS
1. (An interrobang is a non-standard punctuation mark used to combine the functions of a question mark - the ‘interrogative point’ - and the exclamation point - known in printers/programmers’ jargon as the ‘bang’. In 1962, the head of an advertising agency, Martin Speckter believed that ads would look better if copywriters conveyed surprised rhetorical questions using a single mark. He then proposed this concept in an article in the magazine TYPEtalks.
2. COLOMBIA
3. DAEDALUS, ICARUS, PERDIX
4. 35 MILES
5. ALIENIST (Though fallen out of favor conventionally, the term is still used in psychiatric hospitals to describe mental health professionals who evaluate defendants to determine their competency to stand trial).
6. ICE-T (Somewhat ironically, he has played a cop on Law and Order: SVU since 2000)
7. PENNSYLVANIA (‘Pensylvania’)
8. TURKEYS (The technical term is Parthenogenesis, and the offspring of such virgin births are always sterile males).
9. PINOT NOIR (it has been said that while God made the Cabernet Sauvignon, the devil made the Pinot Noir)
10. PISTACHIOS


ROUND 2: THE LONG WEEKEND
1. Composer Jem Finer created a computer-generated musical titled “Longplayer” that began playing at a London lighthouse in 1999. This musical is designed to play, uninterrupted, for how many years? (Hint: Scheherazade [SAY: Schkair zee AID ee] wouldn’t like it.)

2. Puggy, a male Pekingese, currently holds the world record for a dog having the longest one of these.

3. At 29,800 miles, the Pan-American Highway is the longest road on record. It originates in what U.S. state and spans through North, Central, and South America.       

4. This author’s work A la recherche du temps perdu (translated as In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past) contains an estimated 9,609,000 characters and is the longest novel on record. (Sorry, David Foster Wallace.)

5. This country in Southeast Asia hosted a kissing contest to break the world record. The winning  couple kissed for more than 58 hours. Sadly, the contest did not require a re-enactment of the Lady and the Tramp scene using pho noodles.

6. Former cosmonaut Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov is the record holder for the longest single spaceflight in human history. During one trip, he stayed aboard this space station for more than 14 months.

7. In 1987, a bard-ass decided to recite the complete works of this writer. The performance lasted more than 110 hours. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but not record-breaking.

8. Discounting Greenland, which 5 countries boast the longest coastlines? Hint: 3 of the 5 countries are located in East or Southeast Asia.
9. At 36 characters, the term Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia [pronounce: Hip-oh-paht-oh-mahn-stroh-sehs-kwip-uh-day-lee-oh-foh-bee-uh] is one of the longest words on record. Cruelly, Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is defined as the fear of what?

10. This man famously had the longest winning streak on Jeopardy! after winning 74 games in a row.

ROUND 2: ANSWER
1. ONE THOUSAND
2. TONGUE (4.5 inches)
3. ALASKA
4. MARCEL PROUST
5. THAILAND
6. MIR SPACE STATION
7. SHAKESPEARE (the event was called the “Bard-athon”)
8. CANADA, 125 570 miles; INDONESIA, 33,999 miles; RUSSIA, 23,396 miles; PHILIPPINES,      22,559 miles; JAPAN, 18,486 miles
A note on Greenland: This list does not include Greenland which has 44,087 kilometres of coastline but is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark (where things are often rotten). If it were to be included it would be number 3 on the list. The United States is a respectable 8th on the list at 19,924 km (12,383 miles).
9. THE FEAR OF LONG WORDS.
10. KEN JENNINGS

ROUND 3: VISUAL
Directions: Unscramble the anagrams to find well known authors, literary characters and titles (punctuation in the questions do not appear in the answers).
1. Fat Arrow
2. Ape and all gore
3. Memo - jeer joker
4. Win now whilst idle
5. O, chip Icon!
6. Broke Smart
7. Tolerant Botcher
8. He'll mesh crooks
9. Steamy row
10. My Vice Honed Diet

ROUND 3: ANSWERS
1. Art of War
2. Edgar Allan Poe
3. Jerome K. Jerome
4. Wind in the Willows
5. Pinocchio
6. Bram Stoker
7. Charlotte Bronte
8. Sherlock Holmes
9. Tom Sawyer
10. The Divine Comedy

ROUND 4: MUSIC (DIVAS)
1. Casta Diva - Maria Callas
2. She's So High Above Me - Tal Bachman
3. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Cher
4. Jolene - Dolly Parton
5. Telephone - Lady Gaga (Feat. Beyonce)
6. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
7. Rollin' in the Deep - Adele
8. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
9. Don't be Jealous of my Boogie - RuPaul
10. The Way We Were - Barbara Straisand