ROUND 1: Current Events
1. According to GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, what’s the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom?
2. This former Saturday Night Live star has returned to the show to showcase her spot-on Palin impersonation. Who is she?
3. One day after letting investment banking firm Lehman Brothers fail, the federal government stepped in to bailout this giant insurance company. Name it.
AIG (American International Group)
4. To avert a deeper financial crisis, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury proposed a $700 billion bailout plan. Name the Secretary of the Treasury.
5. In September, the fifth hurricane of 2008 came ashore at Galveston, Texas. Name the hurricane.
6. Earlier this week, a wildfire broke out in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of the Valley, then briefly moved over the Ventura County line into Simi Valley. What was the name of this fire?
7. On Wednesday, the presidential candidates held their third and final debate at a university on Long Island. Name the University.
8. Earlier this week, Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a., “Joe the Plumber”, found himself at the center of the American presidential campaign. What Ohio city is Joe the Plumber from?
Toledo (Holland, Ohio acceptable)
9. Last week, three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein, or GFP. What animal was GFP first found in?
Jellyfish (also acceptable, more specific answers of: crystal jelly, Aequorea Victoria or Aequorea aquorea)
10. Name the New York rapper who opened the revamped Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday.
11. On Thursday, the famed Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship made its 710th and final stop in New York City. This ship will be turned into a floating hotel in what Middle Eastern City?
12. On May 12 of this year, a great earthquake hit China. Name the province in which this earthquake was centered.
Sichuan province (or Szechwan province)
13. In May, a tropical cyclone from the North Indian Ocean hit the country of Myanmar. What was this cyclone’s name?
14. In September, a Ukrainian cargo ship en route to Kenya with weapons was captured by pirates off the coast of Somalia. What is the name of the ship?
15. In August, the 2008 Olympics opened in Beijing. What four-word phrase was the official slogan of the Beijing Olympics?
One World, One Dream.
16. Meteoroid 2008 TC3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky survey and tracked until it exploded in Earth’s atmosphere. What country did this asteroid explode over?
17. The Obama presidential campaign has received much attention for the familiar slogan “Change w e can believe in.” The font used in these campaign signs was designed by the typography firm H&FJ, and was inspired by lettering found throughout New York City buildings. What is the name of this font?
18. On September 29, only one company on the S&P 500 stock market index saw its stock price rise as 499 others fell. Name this well-known company.
Campbell’s Soup Company
19. Although Sarah Palin is known for her time in Wasila, Alaska, name the city and state in which Palin was actually born.
20. This season marks the 15th and last for NBC medical drama ER. Actors George Clooney and Julianna Margulies embodied the main romantic plotline of the show’s first few years. What were the names of their characters?
Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway
ROUND 2: History and Geography
1. With $40 billion in assets in 1984, this bank was at that time the largest to fail in U.S. history. Name it.
Continental Illinois National Bank
2. Presidential candidate John McCain was shot down in October 1967 while flying a mission in the Vietnam War. Name the fighter jet that he was flying at the time.
A Douglas A-4 Skyhawk (A4 and Skyhawk acceptable)
3. In 1930, a new law raised U.S. tariffs on tens of thousands of imported goods to record levels. Name the two U.S. senators who pushed for this notable tariff act.
Reed Smoot (of Utah) and Willis C. Hawley (of Oregon)
4. What is the three-word phrase, meaning “passing the point of no return,” that is associated with Julius Caesar crossing a river in Italy in 49 B.C. to start a civil war?
Crossing the Rubicon
5. One of the world’s most celebrated prehistoric monuments is located at approximately 51 degrees North, 1 degree West. Name it.
6. Following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, this gigantic landfill was temporarily reopened to accept debris from Ground Zero. Name the landfill and the New York City borough in which it’s located.
Fresh Kills Landfill. Staten Island
7. What historical figure founded the religion Sikhism in India in the 1500s?
Guru Nanak Dev
8. In Greek mythology, what is the name of three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hades?
9. What is the month, date and year in which Elvis Presley died?
August 16, 1977
10. What was the United States’ first national park?
Yellowstone National Park
11. At London’s famous Piccadilly Circus, what global electronics brand has an LED advertising sign directly beneath the TDK sign, and directly above the Gap store?
12. What city and state does retail giant Wal-Mart call home?
13. What is the fourth largest city in the United States by population?
14. This gigantic volcanic caldera in Tanzania is famous for being the enclosed home to many large species of mammals. Name it.
15. What Spanish city holds the world famous event called the “Running of the Bulls”?
16. Who is the president of the Republic of Georgia?
17. According to maritime tradition, sailors who are known as Shellbacks have already accomplished this, while sailors known as Pollywogs have not. What exactly is it that these sailors have or have not done?
Cross the equator (known as Crossing the Line)
18. What U.S. city is known as the “Biggest Little City in the World”?
19. What is the name of the narrow strait that connects the Aegean Sea to the inland Sea of Marmara?
20. Finally, please look the envelopes you’ve just been handed. Please name the Southern California location of the structure in this aerial photo.
LAX Theme Building (Encounter, Los Angeles International Airport also acceptable)
ROUND 3: Arts & Entertainment
1. Name the four actresses who star in the movie franchise “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”
Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel
2. What are the first names of the three Jonas Brothers of Disney Channel fame?
Kevin, Joe, and Nick
3. Indian brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla developed this now defunct word game application for the social networking site Facebook. Name it.
4. What is the name of the graphic artist who heads the company Obey and was responsible for the notable posters of presidential candidate Barack Obama that featured the phrase Hope?
5. In 1987, Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for best actor playing an iconic character. Name that character.
6. The AMC drama Mad Men is set at an ad agency in 1960s New York City. Name the fictional ad agency.
7. In the episode of the sitcom Friends where Monica and Rachel lose their apartment to Joey and Chandler in a trivia contest, Rachel claims her favorite movie is Dangerous Liaisons but she truly favors a different movie. Name Rachel’s actual favorite movie.
Weekend at Bernie’s
8. What city stood in for Gotham City in this summer’s blockbuster the Dark Knight?
9. What is the stage name for British musician Mathangi Arulpragasam?
10. To symbolize their unity, Jay-Z and Beyonce got matching tattoos on their ring fingers. What is the tattoo of?
The Roman numeral IV
11. Last month, a famous European landmark and tourist destination became the site 17 sculptures created by American artist Jeff Koons. Name the destination.
Chateau de Versailles.
12. Until his death earlier this year, Paul Newman lived in what Connecticut town?
13. The theme song for the cartoon series Ducktales starts with the line “Life is like a hurricane.” What is the next line in the song?
“Here in Duckburg”
14. The video game Guitar Hero features five colored markers traveling down a guitar fret. Name the marker’s color that is on the very left of the Guitar Hero screen.
15. The In Memoriam segment at the 2008 Emmy awards program featured this comedian twice, once at the beginning and then again at the very end. Name him.
16. A few weeks ago, a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars had to pull out after injuring her Achilles heel. Name her.
17. Next year, Gustavo Dudamel will become the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Dudamel is a product of his country’s national music program. What country is he from?
18. Earlier this year, the CW network received criticism for an ad campaign for its TV series Gossip Girl. The racy ads were accompanied by a four-letter acronym. What is this acronym?
19. The Getty Villa in Malibu is modeled after an ancient Roman town. Name the town.
20. After a controversy over his resume, the Food Network did not renew the contract of chef Robert Irvine as host of the program, “Dinner: Impossible.” Who is the new chef host of “Dinner: Impossible?”
ROUND 4: Science & Literature
1. What is the name of the world’s largest high-energy particle accelerator that the European Organization for Nuclear Research opened in September?
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC acceptable)
2. Name the animal phylum of invertebrates that includes snails, cuttlefish and squids.
Mollusca or Molluscs
3. In September the Zoological Society of London announced that it had photographed a mammal known as Africa’s Unicorn, an animal that had been thought to be extinct in the wild for decades. What is the name of this animal?
The okapi. Or Okapia johnstoni
4. In September, UCLA researchers revealed the largest Prime number ever recorded, one that is defined by the formula 2P-1, where P is also a prime number. What 17th Century French mathematician was this type of prime named in honor of?
5. The period from roughly 1645 to 1715 was defined by an exceedingly low number of sunspots on the sun and coincided with lower global temperatures. Name this period of time.
The Maunder Minimum
6. What is the name of the U.S. scientific research station located on Ross Island in Antarctica?
7. What is the name of the deep sea submersible used by Robert Ballard to explore the wreck of the Titanic?
DSV Alvin (Alvin okay)
8. This atoll in the Marshall Islands was used in U.S. nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War, and most notably was used in the test of Ivy Mike, the first hydrogen bomb, in 1952.
Enewetak (or Eniwetok)
9. Name the Scottish Geologist considered to be the father of modern geology.
10. In 2007, a federal judge imposed limits on water pumping at a pumping plant in Livermore, California, to protect a slender-bodied fish native only the Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary. Name this fish.
The Delta Smelt
11. John Grogan’s best-selling book “Marley and Me” chronicled the 13-year relationship between Grogan, his family and their dog Marley. What specific breed of dog is Marley?
A Labrador Retriever (Also acceptable, Labrador, Labby or Lab) Retriever not acceptable.
12. Harold the dog, Chester the cat and the Monroe Family all made their debut in what notable children’s book by author James Howe?
Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery
13. What is the name of the fictional town inhabited by Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm and other anthropomorphic characters created by children’s author and illustrator Richard Scarry?
14. The acclaimed author of the 1996 novel Infinite Jest took his own life in September. What was his name?
David Foster Wallace
15. In the comic strip Peanuts, who plays catcher on Charlie Brown’s baseball team?
16. The novel “Secret Life of Bees” by author Sue Monk Kidd is set in what southern state?
17. Name the author of “The Outsiders” and “Rumble Fish,” two novels adapted into films by director Francis Ford Coppola in the 1980s.
S.E. Hinton (Susan Eloise Hinton)
18. What is the name of the 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger, in which one of the main characters suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Chrono-Displacement?
The Time Traveler’s Wife
19. Name the author whose recent bestsellers include “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” and “Dragon Bones.”
20. In the Dr. Seuss children’s classic “The Cat the Hat,” the title character is accompanied by two creatures. What are their names?
Thing One and Thing Two
ROUND 5: Sports & California Living
1. Name the two UCLA Bruin basketball players who were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft.
Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook
2. Name the three teams the Los Angeles Lakers defeated on the way to the NBA Finals in order from the first round to the Western Conference Finals.
Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs
3. Michael Phelps won his second of eight swimming gold medals this summer as part of the 4×100 freestyle relay team. Name the man who swam the anchor leg for the US in this race.
4. Now, name the French swimming star who reportedly said France would “smash the Americans in the relay.”
5. Name the head coach of Duke University’s basketball team, who was also the head coach of the US men’s Olympic basketball team. Spelling Counts and no nicknames!
6. Name the surgeon who pioneered the elbow repair procedure now named after former Dodger Tommy John.
Dr. Frank Jobe
7. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt set a new world record time in the 100m sprint at the Beijing Olympics. What was the time?
8. What university did Lakers broadcast analyst Stu Lantz attend?
9. Los Angeles Dodger manager Joe Torre helmed a different team last season. Name the team.
New York Yankees
10. Two U.S. women’s gymnasts won Olympic gold medals in Beijing. Name them.
Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin
11. Name the call signs Officers Jon Baker AND Frank Poncherello used when responding to incidents on their radios in the TV series ChiPs.
7-Mary-3 and 7-Mary-4
12. At the start of the song “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman, what highway does Newman proclaim he is rolling down?
13. In the call-and-response section near the end “I Love L.A.” Three boulevards and one street are named, followed each time by the response “We Love It.” Name those three boulevards and one street IN THE ORDER they appear in the song.
Century; Victory; Santa Monica; and Sixth Street
14. Last month, the California Academy of Science in San Francisco opened a new building with a so-called “living roof” to house its natural history museum, planetarium and aquarium. What is the name of the park that this new building is located in?
Golden Gate Park
15. Name the architect who led the redesign of the California Academy of Science.
16. In October of last year, one Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame band who formed in L.A AND one mega-successful country trio from Texas were the debut performers for the new Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Name these two bands.
The Eagles and the Dixie Chicks
17. The creator of the famed Bellagio dancing fountains built his latest creation in which California city?
18. Two California counties have the same letter of the alphabet in the first and last letter of their names. Name one of these counties.
Alameda or Stanislaus
19. Several times in the 19th and 20th Century, groups along the California/Oregon border have organized to propose seceding from both states to form their own new state. What was the most popular name of this proposed state?
The State of Jefferson
20. The 2008 Michelin Red Guide to Los Angeles awarded three restaurants the very prestigious rating of three stars. Name one of them.
Melisse, Spago or Urusawa