No. 257: "Big 'n' Sturdy"

No. 257: "Big 'n' Sturdy"

No. 257: "Big 'n' Sturdy"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
June 10 1999 10:32 PM

No. 257: "Big 'n' Sturdy"

Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan's team from the National Science Foundation and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was surprised by the extent, thickness, and persistence. Of what?


Send your answer by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to

Wednesday's Question (No. 256)--"Artifact or Fiction?":

The list includes a paper shredder (Shark 200 personal security shredder), a leather picture frame (without picture), and three pair of Jockey® shorts (athletic midway pouch brief). List of what?

"Items Tipper Gore sought comfort in, to help relieve her mind-numbing bouts of depression."--Larry Amoros


"The first three gifts of the worst Hanukkah ever."--Tim Carvell

"Evidence that will prove Jar Jar is gay."--Daniel Radosh

"Friday's NATO bombing targets. 'We're weaning the pilots off slowly,' said a spokesman."--Beth Sherman

"If you're buying these as gifts for your father, your shrink owes you a refund."--Jennifer Miller


Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

Fawn Hall! Ollie North! Little did I realize, when I typed the charmed words "paper shredder," how much I missed them. And, judging by your replies, you do too. And so my gift to you: a piece of Oliver North e-mail obtained by that wonderful organization, the National Security Archive. (If you like this sort of thing, it has published an entire book of it.)

From: Oliver North
To: Fawn Hall
Subject: Movie on the Contras

Originally classified secret; now unclassified.

A friend of mine in N.Y. is leading stockholder in a movie production company and sent one of the principals to me to help package a $2 million budget for a feature film called "Contras." It will be a credible work about a Jewish Kid who gets thrown in jail in Nicaragua, is freed by a Contra group and eventually sides with them for the right reasons. There is a script currently being edited; Michael Nouri (Flashdance) will be the male lead; Jim Brunner (Delta Force, Missing in Action) will do the screenplay and probably direct. There are a number of stupid films in the works on Central Amer. that all come out on the wrong side. I think we should help these people out if possible. I have met them and they are serious, talented and well-connected in the industry. There is no better way to grab those hearts and minds we need.


The script, Calf, never got shot. But what can you expect? Look what those Hollywood bastards did to Tom Stern and The Chimp Channel. See below.

Artificial Holiday Answer

All are Father's Day gifts advertised in Wednesday's New York Times.

  • The paper shredder ($39.99) "offers peace of mind" and a tangible way to say, "Dad, you've got something to hide."
  • The leather picture frame ($75) says, "Dad, you're not ashamed of your sadomasochistic pornography."
  • And the underwear ($9.37) says, "Oh, lordy, I'm picturing my father naked, although forbidden to do so by the Bible and good sense."


Arts and Sciences Extra

Which of the following describes a footprint discovered in a French cave, and which describes The Chimp Channel, premiering tonight on TBS?

1. Made 25,000-30,000 years ago, it is the oldest of its kind found in Europe.

2. Most of its jokes are the oldest on television.

3. Presumably made by an 8-to-10-year-old boy.

4. Involves barefoot primates.

5. Located just a few feet from invaluable paintings.

6. Located just a few channels from invaluable shopping network.

7. Evidence of advance rise of civilization.

8. Evidence of decline of civilization.

9. Demonstrates determination to survive in harsh circumstances.

10. Demonstrates determination to make a great deal of money in degrading circumstances.


1. Cave footprint

2. Chimp Channel

3. Both

4. Both

5. Cave footprint

6. Chimp Channel

7. Cave footprint

8. Chimp Channel

9. Cave footprint

10. Chimp Channel

Read More About It

Four Cro-Magnon footprints were found in the Chauvet cave in the Ardèche region of southern France. The earliest human footprints, discovered in South Africa, are believed to be 117, 000 years old.

The Chimp Channel, a half-hour sitcom performed by costumed chimps with dubbed human voices, has been plagued by trouble on the set. Writer Tom Stern was fired from the show after he "disrobed and broke a bottle of wine and a bottle of beer" on the set. "Through improv comedy, I was trying to get stuff off my chest about the wrong-headed direction the show was taking," Stern told Daily Variety. "I was willing to stand naked to show I had no shame or fear about making good comedy." Scott is said to have demanded more sophisticated jokes involving farting costumed monkeys.

Mike Madden's Headline Haiku

Irish bar Yugoslavs,
Off the Giants.
Dosage expert isn't
set for Open.

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 3, 1999 (Sports only)

Common Denominator

Oliver North.