No. 280: "Perturbed"

No. 280: "Perturbed"

No. 280: "Perturbed"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
July 23 1999 3:30 AM

No. 280: "Perturbed"

According to the Times of London, around the first of the year, something will happen on Long Island that scientists believe has a small but genuine chance of causing "perturbations of the universe," which could destroy the world. What will happen? (Question courtesy of Jennifer Miller.)

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Send your answer by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Wednesday's Question (No. 279)--"When Worlds Collide":
Federal attorneys in the Eastern District of New York arrested and indicted seven people in a case that touched on Holland, Hasidim, and squirrels. What's the connection?

"Burrow Park."--David Feige

"I don't know the connection, but I did hear the Disney Channel has optioned it for development."--Cliff Schoenberg

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"Aha--that's what Carleton Fiorina didn't want to talk about! Well, I ain't saying anything either."--David Ballard

"You know, I thought this question was hilarious when I first read it, and then I realized that I'd misread 'Hasidim' as 'Hinduism.' Now I think it's offensive."--Greg Diamond

"OK, OK, I think I know this one. A priest, a rabbi, and a squirrel are on a flight to Holland ..."--Bill McDermott

Click for more answers.

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Randy's Wrap-Up

There was much grumbling in the ranks about this question but, if imperfect, it does rest on a solid theoretical foundation. Odd juxtapositions can produce comic results or former Republicans who now stand among the Democrats. Squirrels are funny. Indeed, many small and furry animals tend to be funny and, if you squint, resemble genitalia taken disturbingly out of context and scampering about the place. The ultra-orthodox tend to be funny, particularly when they wear unusual hats and when they're not pelting you with stones. A small, furry, ultra-observant Dutchman in a big black hat is funny if he's not Peter Stuyvesant, who, were he alive today, would probably stick with the Republican Party, but could perhaps become funny if a Jewish squirrel bit him on the ass. At least that was the theory. But with these things, you never know.

Partying the Nights Away at So-Called "Raves" Answer

Dutch drug dealers enlisted young Hasidic men flying from Europe to New York to smuggle MDMA (Ecstasy), a drug shown to cause brain damage in squirrels.

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Those arrested were dealers from Amsterdam and New York. One Israeli is still a fugitive. No courier has yet been arrested.

Each Hasid--most of those involved are from Williamsburg--was given a plane ticket and around $1,500 to carry up to 45,000 tablets. Best excuse from a Hasidic courier: Drugs?! We thought we were smuggling diamonds! (I swear.)

Each squirrel--the research was conducted at Johns Hopkins--may have shown that MDMA damages parts of the brain critical for thought and memory, many people's favorite parts. This work is presumably as definitive as the LSD chromosome damage studies much published in Life magazine in 1967 and 1968. No squirrel has yet been arrested.

It's an Orderly and Predictable Universe Extra

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Actual dialogue on CNN Wednesday morning:

SOME ANCHOR GUY (to a remote correspondent): "Thank you for not speculating. We are not going to do that here on CNN. Now, do you have any thoughts on what the Coast Guard will do next?"

(Courtesy of Kate Wing.)

Domain Name Extra

A company about to launch its Web site may find to its dismay that its name is taken--part of the speculative frenzy in domain names. In that case, the company must devise something new. Participants were invited to submit examples of a claimed domain name along with an amusing and available alternative.

"davidduke.com is registered by the David Duke Report.

hatefulnosejobbedpsycho.com is, surprisingly, available."--Brooke Saucier

"borisyeltsin.com is registered to the Friend to Friend Foundation (and man, am I curious about what that is).

worldofcirrhosis.com is available."--Alex Balk

"kevincostner.com is taken by Tig Films Inc.

bigbudgetbomb.com is available."--William York

"scylla.com is already registered.

carybdis.com is available!"--Marc Cenedella

"princessdi.com has been registered.

princessdead.com is available."--Floyd Elliot

"getalife.com is registered by Up at Night Productions.

screwaroundonline.com is available."--Roger Hipp

"masteroftheuniverse.com is registered by Paul Cooper.

rulerofmysqualidhovel.com and nonentity.com are both available."--Jim O'Grady

"beer.com, chips.com, pretzels.com, and football.com are all taken.

asleeponthesofa.com is still available."--Bruce Brown

"democrats2000.com is taken.

dullandduller.com is available!"--Prabu Muthu

"fatbastard.com is taken by New Millennium Publishing.

eatingbabies.com is available."--Francis Heaney

"hillaryclinton.com is taken.

carpetbagger.com is taken.

awomanscorned.com is available!"--Raphael Laufer

"sexfarm.com is already registered by Zarix Graphics.

farmsex.com is already registered by FarmSex.Com.

farmcowsex.com is available."--Jacob Stohler

"armageddon.com is registered by Armageddon Industries.

apocalypse.com is registered by Apocalypse Software Inc.

doom.com is registered by Doom Gaming Connections.

mildennui.com is still available."--Jennifer Miller

"seanfitzpatrick.com is registered by Sean Fitzpatrick.

kathapollitt.com is available."--Greg Diamond

"randy.com is secured by Randy Ambrose.

hotandrandy.com is available."--Matthew Singer

"contradiction.com is registered to CES Marketing Group.

newsquizandtheethicist.com is still available."--Tom Williams

highlycultivatedsenseofirony.com is also available. (Randy)

Common Denominator

Rocky the flying squirrel, Richard the acting Gere.