No. 349: "Uncarded Moment"

No. 349: "Uncarded Moment"

No. 349: "Uncarded Moment"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Dec. 8 1999 3:30 AM

No. 349: "Uncarded Moment"

This year 10 million free online holiday greeting cards have been sent via Bluemountain.com. About a million of them have something in common. What?

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Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Monday's Question (No. 348)--"Whose Deal?":

"These are the big cards we still have to play. Beyond that, I think that, frankly, the likelihood of success is quite small." Who said this about what desperate effort to save what precarious venture?

"Network executives, re their encouraging the remaining cast members of Suddenly Susan to commit suicide in Las Vegas, in an effort to boost ratings."--Larry Amoros (Greg Narver had a similar, and all-nude, answer.)

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"What a load of hooey. Tina's just trying to get more money out of the Weinsteins."--Dave Gaffen (similarly, John J. Edwards III, Evan Cornog, and Jeff Brax)

"That's Rupert Murdoch, explaining why he had to kill off Joey Adams and John Podhoretz in the same week in order to make the New York Post seem even remotely serious."--Peter Carlin

"Steve Jobs, discussing the future of Apple and 'Operation Critical Path,' his final trump card to destroy the Microsoft empire."--Dale Shuger

"Save the Mars Polar Lander or don't, just someone tell NASA it's blocking my driveway."--Dennis Cass

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Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

For most quiz participants, the "precarious venture" that needed saving was either a failing TV show or a foundering political campaign. Wait a second! What if a foundering political campaign were the wacky premise for a failing TV show! You know: lovable losers. Maybe it wouldn't fail. It would do that other thing--succeed. So much so that it would be sponsored by big car companies and breweries, major corporations, just like G.W. Bush. Or go the other way and revive Al Gore's sagging fortunes with a time-honored sitcom helper--big campaign closer--a wedding! First, there's the episode where Tipper dies heroically. No, comically. No, weirdly--killed by the WTO. Later on, Al gets married. To a pig. And the pig talks. And fights crime. In outer space.

I'd watch. Or vote. Whichever.

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Basketball-or-Perhaps-Cantaloupe-Sized Answer

Richard Cook, project manager for the demure and reticent Mars Polar Lander, says his team will see if the probe is unable to align its antenna toward Earth because of its landing position. If not, the party's over, making this the second failed Mars mission in three months, following the September disappearance of the Mars Climate Orbiter due to a merry mix-up over that pesky metric system.

Despite these disasters, each involving a team of highly trained scientists focused on a single launch, many public figures, including all the major presidential candidates, persist in believing an anti-missile system will be able to shoot down numerous rockets launched by "enemies" too dumb to have the warheads shipped over by UPS. "Sure it won't work, sure it will set off an unimaginably costly arms race, sure it will undermine efforts at arms control, but if it brings a smile to a single one of Jerry's kids, it will all be worth it," ABM supporter President Clinton did not say.

State of TV Comedy Augmented Quotations Extra

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(Each final sentence added by News Quiz.)

  • "There were just too many bad shows that people were forced to watch. You know: With that hypno-ray we transmit from … you are cleared for this, right?"--Leslie Moonves, president, CBS Television
  • "America is saying, 'Make us laugh, and we won't tolerate anything that is mildly amusing anymore. We will, however, tolerate enough inane teen swill to make you stinking rich,' and thank God for that!"--Sandy Grushow, new chairman, Fox Entertainment
  • "Every game show on the air means another hundred people out of work. And, for reasons too complicated to explain, every cop show means another hundred puppies strangled with my bare hands; I love this job!"--Leslie Moonves, using the public airwaves for the public good
  • "In all the qualitative research we do, people talk about the state of comedy. Then we clip the electrodes to their balls, and they shut the hell up and keep watching."--David Poltrack, executive vice president for research, CBS
  • "I do think you'd have to say the form is a little tired. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it, you miserable little worms!"--Leslie Moonves, TV executive who green-lighted Becker
  • "I have killed 100 children, all boys, and placed their bodies in acid-filled drums. But I'll bet I sleep better than Les Moonves."--Javed Iqbal, Pakistani mass murderer

Common Denominator

Title of long gone TV game show Card Sharks contains word "card."