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

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).

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

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)
9. FRANK ZAPPA: Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen (daughter)
10. BEYONCE/JAY-Z: Blue Ivy (daughter)


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!


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



Here's the very belated run-down of NERDS Trivia from May
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...

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?

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.
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)

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.

2. TONGUE (4.5 inches)
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).

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

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

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


Hurry Slowly

MTC is proud to present a new show -
Hurry Slowly: Finger Paintings by Joshua Korenblat

Join us Saturday, June 8 from 7-9pm for the Art Opening

For purchasing information, please contact Joshua directly: jkorenbl@gmail.com

Hurry Slowly:

Italo Calvino, a contemporary Italian writer of novellas and short stories, once gave a lecture about a seemingly paradoxical Latin saying that guided his writing, Festina Lente, or Hurry Slowly. Hurry Slowly originated as an illustration in some of the first books printed with movable type, published during the Italian Renaissance by Aldus Manutius, in Venice. Aldus created a maritime logo for the title page of his scholarly books: a fantastical dolphin intertwining with an anchor, symbolizing the working process of printing text, and unwittingly leaving us with a profound motto for idealism. The idealist closes perceived distances between ideas—such as the dolphin, swimmingly swift, and the heavy anchor; the idealist has no problem reconciling opposites. Hurry Slowly feels true to two creative spirits, Aldus and Italo, no matter the centuries between them.
            Hurry Slowly feels true to my working process today, too. In my art, I connect opposites. When I hurry, I seek the swiftness of gesture drawing, finding the essence of a form. In more traditional mediums, I seek out the sumi brush and paper, which artists in Japan used to connect haiku poems written in ink to visual art, rendered with the same flourishing ease as written words, in a practice called haiga painting. As a writer, the unifying swiftness of haiku poems and haiga paintings appeals to me; after all, words can create a universe of designs in a reader’s mind with just a few syllables.
            In this show, I sought out an unconventional medium to create art—the iPhone and the app Brushes. I fingerpainted every image here on a credit card-sized screen, immediate and direct observations of patrons at Politics & Prose and Modern Times Coffeehouse (and one more coffee house that will remain unmentioned)—sipping tea, reading books, lost in thoughts. I also created a few cityscape paintings, rendered swiftly anew and simplified on the tiny reflective canvas. Ironically, this smart phone, a miniature computer, allows us to return to a more tactile realm, directing any digital reading experience with the touch of finger.
I fingerpaint from direct observation, simplifying our bustling microcosmos, constrained within the limits of the canvas space but energized by an unbounded palette of digital color. I’ve enlarged and printed each image from my phone into formats typically reserved for traditional media. When I paint a person, I stop painting when that person leaves, so you can see how fleeting, or how lengthy, my communal experience was with the subject of each fingerpainting. Often, we distract ourselves from our surroundings by delving into smart phones. When I fingerpaint, most people do not realize that I am creating a painting right before them, creating a dynamic between artist and subject that seems impossible with more traditional media, which often raise the self-consciousness of all parties.
Yet for all the swiftness of these fingerpaintings, they are quite slow to make, compared to taking a photograph. Why paint a portrait or landscape when a photograph can more deftly record an encounter? For me, the answer goes back to the essential nature of sumi brush painting, and the art of caricature, which seeks to characterize a subject through exaggeration and a focus on an essential spirit. When I paint a patron of Politics & Prose, I ask myself, what can we glimpse of this person’s interior world in public view? What is the difference between characterizing by rendering a likeness, and the true character of a subject, which most clearly reveals itself not in quotidian moments, captured here, but in situations that require significant decisions? I believe that you can read expression in the face, experience in weathered features, and personality in style choices, such as clothes. Faces reveal stories in a natural way, just as stories appear in eroded rocks and the rings of a tree trunk. I am intrigued by the inferred tension of the moment: what happened in this person’s life before our ordinary, even forgettable encounter, and what might happen after? How does this tension inform the image? Six basic expressions color our faces: sadness, anger, joy, fear, disgust, and surprise. Yet only subtle mixtures of these emotions typically appear in public spaces. The stifled smile seems most evident in everyday conversation, and you see a few of these smiles on these walls.
            Haiku poets seek immediacy. A sketch conveys more life than a finished work of art. That’s why I call this work haiku fingerpainting. Though each painting occurred in an urgent moment, slowness reveals itself in the big picture, ever-changing, comprised of so many small attempts to tell essential stories through pictures. The haiku poet Basho wrote a lyrical epic of life as he knew it, in thousands of brief poems. Despite grim health, his last poem suggests more on the horizon, “Sick on a journey/ my dreams wander/ the withered fields.” Like life, art exists in the elusive moment, and every ending invites the beginning of another story.